Thursday, January 27, 2011

Real Me!!!!!

Recently we were attending an event on Mata Ki Chawki, a religious get together for remembering God and offering prayers. There a friend of mine asked me two questions which really made me think. First was “Are you religious?” Second one was “Do you go to the temple?”

That was the time I realized we think ourselves to be very well educated, experienced and knowing a lot. But to be very frank I did not have the answers to these two simple questions!!! Later on after quite a soul searching on these questions whatever came to my thoughts I am sharing with all.

To be religious means following a particular religion, its beliefs, values and customs. If one is born to Hindu parents one becomes Hindu and if one is born to Muslim parents one becomes Muslim; but after twenty years of following that religion, one day your parents tell you we have adopted you from a Christian family…….then what is your true religion?? It means being a Hindu or a Christian is a label which we are carrying and viewing the world through that label.

Then I realized there are so many other labels which we carry with us, forgetting our real identity. We identify ourselves as our surname & name, another label, we identify ourselves with the degree we earn in school, college, I am B- Tech, M- Tech, Dr., B.Arch, MBA, ……. so and so, these are some more labels, then there are relationship labels, I am a son, daughter, father, mother, husband, wife, brother, sister, girl friend, boy friend………these are some of the roles we play, is this real me, these are only some more labels…..But where is the real me!!!! Who am I? Is real me the designation one holds; Head – Sales & Marketing, VP- Finance, CEO, HR- Head……….But tomorrow if one retires or lose the job, then who is the real me?

For knowing thy real self, one has to remove one by one each of these labels, know the difference between the real me and just the roles and the labels we carry. Even to perform these roles will become much more efficient, if we know our true self. We shall be much happier, content and fulfilled, if we know; Who am I? Where am I? and why am I here? If the answers to these three questions are clear in our mind, sure the life would be much easier, enjoyable and complete.

After removing all these labels we reach to our body, so am I this body, but there are people who get their sex changed, a male can become a female and vice versa, even the body parts have to be cut and removed for accidental or other reasons, then one is not this body, this is also not the real identity!!! After a lot of introspection- the real identity of everyone here is the soul, which is by nature happy, peaceful and powerful, these are the three intrinsic qualities of our basic nature that is real me. The only issue is the real me has got buried under the dust and weight of all these labels.

These roles and responsibilities will always be there but we have to consciously remember the difference between the real me and my role. Number one responsibility is of myself, and if that is being played correctly then only one can perform the rest of the roles righteously.

The real me is the soul, a conscious energy, and where am I? I am in the field of relationships, in action with other souls. Why am I here? I am here in my natural self with the qualities of being happy and peaceful, playing the various roles I have to perform, whether at home or work or society, everywhere. I am here to share the peace and love with other fellow souls, exchanging this conscious, positive energy. So the one important thing which we have to remember is that first take the responsibility of our self and our state of mind. We have to be first at love and peace with our self and then perform the role.

And when we are without the weight of all these labels, it is very easier to connect to God; one need not go to a temple and stand in all those ques and crowd to connect to God. Just by sitting in the corner of our room, with the eyes closed, one can connect with Him in the corner of his or her own heart. One can connect with Him by connecting with their fellow beings………

Happy soul searching, and in this big crowd, let us not get lost, let us find and connect to our self once again………..let us find the Real Me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Grow A Backbone

Having a backbone means to speak our mind, take risks, stand up for our self and others, be trusted, and taking a position and holding on to it. Most people think they have a backbone as physically we all do, but mentally where is it? Having a backbone mentally means to have control of our environment, one is more hopeful, empowered, enthusiastic and in turn it makes it easier to take on any type of challenges.

Do you feel as if everyone is taking advantage of your good nature? Feel disrespected and want to be able to stand for your ground without guilt or fear. If friends, family and colleagues see you as the person who’s always available to help them out or pick up the extra stuff, they’ll continue to ask favors because as far as they’re aware, you always say ‘yes’, so you must be happy to do it. And when the resentment builds up to the point where you lash out at the next person to ask you for something, they’ll be genuinely shocked. You need to realize it’s not just people taking advantage of you – you’re allowing them to, by always saying yes. Is it a fear of rejection or conflict that’s holding you back from standing up for yourself, this you only need to check? But no matter what the reason is that you always say ‘yes’, you’re actually doing the other person involved (as well as yourself) a disservice.

For many it is hard to stand up for what he believes in and get others to do the same. Most take the back seat while the "man in charge" delivers orders. Now it's our time to shine, our time to grow one. Stop living a spineless miserable life of a shy, under confident person, that is tired of his life and its unexpected outcomes. Now is the time to take charge and grow the spine. Start speaking the mind, losing the fear of opposition, and going to stop going with the majority. Follow these simple steps to begin growing a backbone and living a healthier life.

Stop apologizing. Many of us use the term "I'm sorry" far too frequently and often at inappropriate times. Think about when you use those two simple words. Is it a situation that you truly should be sorry for?

To develop a backbone, voice your opinion and be proud of what you have to say; people will take notice and listen. Speak up. Tell those around what you need. Assertiveness requires good communication skills. Be clear and firm with what you desire. Practice standing up for yourself by conveying your wants and desires to others. Simply communicate that you have thoughts, opinions and needs, too. Once you begin to express these better, the people around you will learn how to appreciate and respect you more, too.

The most important component of growing a backbone is being Competent. Competence means being self sufficient. You don't need anybody to take care of yourself. You can take care of your own necessities of life. Don’t always look for another shoulder to carry your load. Age does not bring self sufficiency; it is to be cultivated on daily basis. On one side there are even kids who are self sufficient, and on the other side there are adults who look for answers to their challenges outside, depending upon others.

Don’t grow a wishbone where a back bone ought to be. ~ Clementine Padford ~

Least do we realize but we spent a lifetime wishing for everything. Wishing had a newer car, a better place to live, more money, better clothes, a better body, a loving spouse, to have lots of friends, to be successful….. wished and wished. How many times a day we wish for things in our life, no idea but it sure is a lot. By just wishing and no action one feels small, no presence, rather handicapped, feeling not smart enough to survive on his own..… having no backbone. How can one possibly stand up without a backbone? Take responsibility for your own life, rather than waiting for someone else to come around and fix it for you. Instead of looking to the horizon for a knight in shining armor, need to roll up the shirtsleeves and get to work figuring out what needed to be done.

Wishbones help us know who we really are and what our dreams and aspirations are. Backbones give us the courage and resolve to make those dreams a reality. Let’s celebrate how we can use them together to fully enjoy a creative and productive life.

Our attitude is everything and impacts how other people perceive us, right through to the signals we're unconsciously sending out. Our attitude sets the tone of our voice, the quality of our thoughts, and is reflected in our facial expressions and body language.

In this modernized world, women serve as a pillars of strength—bearing the weight of so many responsibilities. From motherhood to corporate life to volunteer hours, today’s woman does it all. The days of wishing for a better tomorrow have disappeared. Today, we are empowered to make choices– to take the helm and control our path- growing our backbone.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Bustling City of Hong Kong

The unique blend of eastern and western influences matched by diverse attractions and stunning countryside, has made Hong Kong Asia's prime tourist destination. Hong Kong is a multicultural and secular city with a multiracial population living in harmony. Tolerance for the customs and traditions of all religion and ethnic groups is part of the city's cosmopolitan philosophy.

We were really amazed by the diverse contrasts and close proximity of stunning cityscapes and soaring mountains, heritage sites and extensive green countryside of Hong Kong. The real magic of Hong Kong's stunning countryside is how close it is to the city. One minute you're deep in a bamboo forest, the next minute tower blocks spring into view. The rural areas also offer an amazing variety of scenery. Lush valleys, sub-tropical forests, rugged peaks, coastal walks, and secluded beaches – these are the often neglected splendor of Hong Kong.

Victoria Peak- Another thing one”must” do in Hong Kong is to visit Victoria Peak. 396 meter high peak: one gets a great view of the city as you reach the top. Peak Tram is the best means to reach the top. The view as you get higher and higher gets better and better of course and the track is pretty steep some places (maximum of 27 degrees). On the top we got to the Peak Tower and this is the home to the viewing point, restaurants, Madame Tussaud’s, Ripley’s Believe It or Not and others. The view from the top was great. There's a reason why The Peak is one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong: It is absolutely incredible! Looking down from The Peak one is amazed by the spectacular view of the surrounding city skyline, the world-famous Victoria Harbour and Kowloon, towering skyscrapers and peaceful green hillsides.

Getting there is an unforgettable trip. There's nothing in the world like the Peak Tram. Pulled by steel cables, the tram climbs 373 metres (about 1,200 feet). It's so steep that the buildings you pass look like they're leaning! Whether you're going up or coming down, you'll love this trip.

Magical Victoria Harbour- One of Hong Kong's greatest assets, a jewel that people marvel at. Victoria Harbour bustles with activity day and night. To experience the energy take a ride on the Star Ferry.

Here every night at 8:00 pm is “A Symphony Of Light Show”. This spectacular multimedia display, already named the "World's Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show" by Guinness World Records, has been further expanded to include more than 40 buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbour. The show creates an all-round vision of colored lights, laser beams and searchlights performing a stunning, unforgettable spectacle synchronized to music and narration that celebrates the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong.

There are five main themes — Awakening, Energy, Heritage, Partnership and the finale, Celebration, taking spectators on a unique journey.

The first scene "Awakening" begins with flashes of laser lights that give life to a nucleus of light-energy which gradually illuminates participating buildings using an array of dancing lights and rainbow colour. This scene symbolizes the genesis and powerful growth of Hong Kong.

The second scene "Energy" is represented by the display of rising colour patterns and the sweeping of the lasers and searchlights energetically across the night sky, signifying the vibrant energy of Hong Kong.

In the third scene "Heritage", traditional lucky red and gold colours are displayed across buildings on both sides of the Harbour, complemented by the introduction of music using Chinese musical instruments, symbolizing Hong Kong's colourful heritage and rich cultural traditions.

The fourth scene "Partnership" features a display of laser beams and sweeping searchlights scanning across the Harbour, representing an illuminated connection with the opposite side. Beams reach out to symbolically connect the two sides of the Harbour into one greater and unified partnership.

The finale "Celebration" brings out a powerful rhythmic display of swirling, kaleidoscopic patterns of lights and beams dancing lively across the Harbour. The exciting final scene signifies the celebration of the close partnership between the two sides of the Harbour and represents an even brighter future for Asia's world city - Hong Kong.

No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without a visit to the Giant Buddha which sits serenely atop Ngong Ping plateau amid the spectacular mountain scenery of Lantau Island, to experience the natural and cultural side of Hong Kong take a day trip to Lantau Island, Hong Kong's largest island, and discover pristine beaches, traditional fishing villages, lush valleys, soaring mountains and spiritual enlightenment. Visit Po Lin Monastery, the Giant Buddha Exhibition Hall and a 5.7 kilometer cable car journey offering spectacular views of Lantau Island and the South China Sea.

The eyes, lips, incline of the head and even the right hand (raised to deliver a blessing to all); combine to lend great depth of character and dignity to this extraordinary statue. The majestic figure of the seated Buddha was cast in China and took 12 years to complete. It was unveiled in December 1993 amid deeply religious ceremonies. Visitors can climb more than 200 steps to reach the platform where the Buddha is seated.

The Po Lin Monastery is set amid spectacular mountain scenery on the Ngong Ping plateau.

HK is vast and we only got to see a bit of it. But I think that we experienced quite a lot.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Macau- city of dreams

Hong Kong's sister colony on the Pearl River is about an hour’s drive in Ferry from HK. Macau, a famous destination with prosperity and peace, fashion and history, oriental and western cultures, deserves a visit and stay here really revitalizes the visitor.

What Macau is today would not have been the same without its God father Mr. Stanley Ho, the world’s 64th richest man, 89 year old today the only person in Macau allowed to have legally four wives, 19 children. There are total 33 casinos in Macau and he owns 22 of them. Macau Tower also belongs to him.

The Macau Tower, also called the Macau Sky Tower, is a tower on the southern part of the Macau peninsula. Macau Taower is 338 metres (1,109 feet) tall. There is an observation deck at the top where visitors can enjoy panoramic views. Besides for observation and entertainment, the Macau Tower is also used for telecommunications and broadcasting.

The Macau Tower the brainchild of Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho, who was so impressed with the Sky Tower in Auckland, that he was determined to have a similar tower in Macau. The tower was designed by Beca Group, a New Zealand engineering firm, working in corporation with Gordon Moller of Craig Craig Moller architects. Construction began in 1998 and the tower was officially open on 19 December, 2001.

On 17 December, 2006, the world renowned bungee jumper AJ Hackett leaped from the tower's outer rim. At 233 metres, it was the world's highest bungee jump.

Another Landmark, the large sculpture of "Lotus Flower In Full Bloom", Standing in Lotus Square next to the Forum, presented by the State Council of China in 1999, marks the return of sovereignty of Macau.

The sculpture, made of gilded bronze and weights 6.5 tons, is 6 meters high and the diameter of the flower is 3.6 meters at maximum. The major part is composed of a stem, petals and pistil, with a total of 16 components. The base of the flower consists of 23 pieces of red granite. The lotus flower, which is in full bloom, symbolizes the everlasting prosperity of Macau. There are three layers of red granite at the base, which are in the shape of lotus leaves, signifying the Macau Peninsula, Taipa Island and Coloane Island.

Kun Iam Statue
Located on the Outer Harbour, this statue, dedicated to Goddess of Kun Iam (Goddess of Mercy) is 20 meters tall and made of special bronze. The dome shape base like a lotus flower, is an ecumenical centre where information is available on Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

The post on Macau is incomplete unless a mention about Venetian. It plays a crucial role in making Macao one of Asia's most exciting entertainment destinations. The Venetian Macao is a hotel and casino resort in Macau. It is a 40-story, $2.4 billion anchor for the 7 hotels on the Cotai Strip in Macau. The 10,500,000-square-foot (980,000 m2) is the largest single structure hotel building in Asia and the fifth-largest building in the world by area. Large enough to hold ninety Boeing 747 jumbo jets, nowhere else in Asia will you find such a rare combination of facilities, attractions and amenities than at this 3,000 suite flagship property.

The Grand Canal Shoppes - Asia's Most Unique and Opulent Shopping Experience. Surrounded by the world's finest brands, stroll along winding cobblestone walkways, or relax with an authentic gondola ride. Indulge in over 330 stores, offering the best in fashion, Jewellery, accessories, gifts, services and sporting goods. Then delight in one of many world class restaurants, bars and caf├ęs.

Be enthralled by the serenading sounds of the performers and singing gondoliers who transform The Grand Canal Shoppes into the romantic sounds of old world Venice.

Not to miss is Zaia, a show by Cirque du Soleil, opened on 27 July 2008 at the dedicated Cirque du Soleil arena. The 90-minute production of 75 circus artists is directed by Neilson Vignola and Gilles Maheu. The theme is a young girl's perception of the stars and planets, space and infinity, populated by otherworldly creatures. The title, Zaia, comes from a Greek word meaning "life",

 Plan a trip to Macau and Enjoy!!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hong Kong Disneyland - a real estate marvel !!!!!!!

Disney Castle @ Night
Just a peice of land and the developer has money, a lot of money but does not know what to do with it. Then of course there is a concept a plan, which not only entertains millions, but change their lives for ever, after just one visit. Most Memorable and Unforgettable experience, a place where one leaves today and enter the world of golden past, glorious future and Fantasy……. It took us a full day and more to see the park.

It helped that we stayed at Disney Hollywood hotel and took a two-day pass. As the newest Disneyland in the world, Hong Kong Disneyland is a must-see because of its special attractions and the inimitable sense of Chinese culture. Walking into Hong Kong Disneyland, one feels as if you are in a wonderland. Accompanied by Mickey Mouse and other Disney friends, starts a fantastic and magical journey.
Hollywood Hotel
Hollywood Hotel
Hollywood Hotel

It’s true when they say that Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth. We were transported back to our happy childhood where we came face to face with our favorite Disney characters. It’s one place where you can push your adult worries aside and just enjoy to your heart’s delight.

Tomorrowland- Globe
There are four theme parks within Disneyland: Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland and Mainstreet U.S.A.
Mailand USA Street
 Main Street, U.S.A: The first theme park one comes across is 'Main Street, U.S.A.'. It is traveling back in time to experience small town Americana. Think bowler hats and old-style picket fence architecture and you probably have a mental picture close-enough to the reality of Main Street, U.S.A. This introductory area of the park brings typical early 20th century American culture town to life. Listen to the singing barber shop boys or take a ride on a steam engine.

Entering Main Street, we were amazed by the delicate buildings, dim gas lamp and Paddy Wagon passing by. Antique taxicabs, Disneyland Railroad and the City Hall transports one back to America of the early 20th century. There are Chinese elements here too. Plaza Inn, the first Chinese restaurant in Main Street, complete with 19th Century Chinese table service. Market House Bakery and Main Street Corner Cafe are also good places to enjoy.

Adventureland: For those looking for something more ’adventurous’ there is Adventureland. Guided by a brave captain, Jungle River Cruise took us into the heart of hidden regions- Hippos, cobras, elephants, orangutans and startling jungle events. There are also many legacies of Disney’s timeless classics, with shows such as The Lion King and Winne The Pooh. Festival of the Lion King is so interesting that our eyes were glued on the show. Adapted from Disney's animated classic 'The Lion King', this colorful pageant of music and dance is just like a classic music drama because of its consummate performers, costumes and exotic scenery.

Traveling by raft in the Rivers of Adventure, we landed at our destination: Tarzan Island. Exploring Tarzan Island and visiting Tarzan's Treehouse reminds of the story of this human child raised by gorillas. Tahitian Terrace Restaurant and River View Cafe here makes one feel satisfied to dine in the jungle.

Fantasyland: It is a real fantasy world where we Cinderella Carrousel, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Sword in the Stone, Mad Hatter Tea Cups, Sleeping Beauty Castle, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Snow White Grotto to make all your storybook dreams come true. At a dizzying 3-D attraction in Mickey's Philhar Magic one joins Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and many other friends. Wearing special glasses, one lies on the magic carpet with Aladdin and smell the flavor of Donald Duck soup.

The most fantastic place was The Golden Mickeys at Disney's Storybook Theater. Adapting all the Disney classics into a 25-minute musical drama, mixing acrobatics and special effects, this makes one stop blinking. In the theater, Tarzan swings quickly on the rigging, just like the fan on the ceiling. When The Little Mermaid Ariel appears, the whole theater is submerged by bubbles descending from the ceiling; one really feels that you are at sea.

Also at Fantasyland: Fantasy Gardens, where characters meet-n-greet; Snow White Grotto; and a live show, The Golden Mickeys, etc…

Tomorrowland:After leaving the fairytale wonderland perfectly content we stepped into Tomorrowland. Screaming in Space Mountain, we had no time to appreciate the sparkling stars because of the exciting roller coaster. In Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, we flew in our space capsule and fight against the aliens with our space gun. After we were weary of the breathtaking attractions, Orbitron was a good choice for us to fly above Tomorrowland and take some rest.


Not to miss is “Let It Snow Grand Christmas Parade”at 3:30 pm  which happens daily. It showcases floats, dancers, musicians and our favorite Disney characters. The parade starts in Fantasyland and passes in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle and down Main Street USA.

When you're at Disneyland, you MUST stay until nightfall. This is when you will get to see Disney in the Stars - the FIREWORKS!!!!! It's so spectacularly brilliant that I have to say it's one of the most memorizing things I've ever seen in my life, complete with music and animation. The best spot? Right in front of The Sleeping Beauty Castle. Disney in the Stars Fireworks was indeed eye-catching & spectacular. We witnessed the sky transform into a beautiful piece of art. It’s amazing to watch colorful fireworks light up the sky to the tune of Disney’s well-loved songs. Another heart-warming moment for all of us.

Disney HK is real fun.