Azaleas in full bloom.

This is an Azalea bush in full bloom in spring in front of our home.


As the weather warmed up the flowers withered and I could only see their frayed ends.

But wait, someone thought this would make a lovely home.

Mother Robin had made a nest.

Mother Robin had made a nest.

In the frayed azalea, blooms life.

Amongst the frayed azalea flowers, life bloomed in a different form.

Welcome to the world, little one!



(of a fabric, rope, or cord) unravel or become worn at the edge, typically through constant rubbing.



Relic of a time gone by: Khajuraho group of monuments.


Relic: something from a past time, place or culture.

I visited Khajuraho group of monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 2007.


The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached its pinnacle between 950 and 1050. Only about 20 temples remain. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture.

 A common misconception is that, since the old structures with carvings in Khajuraho are temples, the carvings depict sex between deities.

Some 10% of the carvings contain sexual themes and those reportedly do not depict deities but rather sexual activities between people. A common misconception is that, since the old structures with carvings in Khajuraho are temples, the carvings depict sex between deities.


Carvings depicting animals such as elephants, monkeys, dragons, lions, boar and others.


The Khajuraho temples were built over a span of 200 years, from 950 to 1150.

DSCN3184DSCN3194 DSCN3191DSCN3167 Greatly influenced by the Tantric school of thought, the Chandela kings promoted various Tantric doctrines through royal monuments, including temples. Sculptors of Khajuraho depicted all aspects of life. The society of the time believed in dealing frankly and openly with all aspects of life, including sex. In accordance with ancient treatises on architecture, erotic depictions were reserved for specific parts of the temples only. The rest of the temple was profusely covered with other aspects of life, secular and spiritual.



Shelfie: Hope


This story is about a small shelf in my guest bedroom, where my ornamental asparagus plant sat.

I have owned this asparagus fern (botanical name:Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’) for twenty two years now.  It requires very low maintenance. This does not mean I could have ignored it, but that is exactly what happened. Through the winter months last year, I forgot to water it and today I noticed the brown leaves and dry branches.P1080097

I removed the pot from the shelf and I couldn’t believe it. How could this have happened?

I got to work- I had to salvage the plant and find out if I could save any of it.

P1080098There were so many dry branches- they had to be chopped off, they had to go.

I grasped the main stem of the plant and was easily able to pull it out of the pot. I could see the bone dry clump of roots. I was now losing hope.

P1080101And then I discovered a dozen fine needles or leaves.


P1080103I have cleaned what is left of the original plant and re-potted it .

I watered and put this plant in an easily accessible spot where I can water it every few days and keep an eye on it. At the end of this summer, I hope to update you about my Asparagus Fern.

This fern and a few other plants were  given to me by my friend Hedi twenty- two years ago, when I moved to the US and lived alone in an apartment.

Hedi and Charu

Hedi and I

Hedi passed away a few years ago. Hedi believed these plants would be waiting for me when I went back to my apartment after I finished working. I believe she was right.

Hedi and Charu 2

Hedi and I








P1080212These are the other plants that Hedi had given me and are doing perfectly well.

I visualize my asparagus fern as growing back again with its feathery light foliage and me fussing over its needles and rearranging its branches. If I could describe this in one word, it would be ‘hope’.


The re-potted asparagus fern.




Chicle/ Chewing gum

Today after dinner, my husband said that his friend at work, Rick, got him some “original” chewing gum from an area near Campeche, Mexico. It is called chicle.

Rick was very kind to give him a little extra to bring some home to the family. I expected to see something packaged like Wrigley’s chewing gum, maybe with Spanish words on it.

However, it looked like this:


The real gum looks like a large block of taffy.

I cut a small sliver and have been chewing gum for the last fifteen minutes.

I cut a small sliver and have been chewing gum for the last twenty minutes.

What does this gum taste like, you ask?
My answer: it is much like describing what water tastes like; it has no taste of its own. Chicle is neither minty nor sweet, but it still freshened my breath. It is uncorrupted, it is pure, much like what the ancient Maya used to eat.

I am glad Rick got us a piece of the real chewing gum- a taste we would not have ever known. Thank you, Rick!

Did you know, most chewing gum companies have switched from using chicle to butadiene-based synthetic rubber, which is cheaper to manufacture. The only U.S. gum company still using chicle is Glee Gum.

I have never tried Glee gum. Have you? What is you favorite gum brand and flavor? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.