ESPADRILLES are to loafers what UGGS are to boots.  These canvas shoes with a jute sole —- once merely a Spanish peasant shoe —- has become the footwear of choice for celebrities.  For the past few years, this style of shoes has been making its presence.
JUTE SOLES are what distinguish these shoes from other footwear.  Usually flat, ESPADRILLES are now available in wedges and heels and sport colourful fronts.  Owing to their popularity at street stores and designer boutiques, ESPADRILLES come in many styles, such as open-toe, back-open, slip-ons, with tie-up laces or as gladiator sandals.  Stylist Pernia Qureshi says that espadrilles are gaining popularity because they are casual and comfortable.  “These shoes  pair perfectly with shorts, dresses, denims and almost anything casual,” she says.  She recommends women pair wedge espadrilles with a lose-fitting top, cotton shorts and a big tote.
Image Consultant Yatan Ahluwalia says that with lighter hues ruling men’s fashion, espadrilles can be used to add colour to men’s attire.  “Textured, coloured or striped are suitable to laidback leisure look,” he advises.  Bright numbers are best sported with an all-white or muted ensemble.  Slip-on and flat espadrilles best suit men.
———– Amin Ali. 

His time, His way, His will


An hour of waiting
Yet there seems such need
To reach that spot sublime
I long to reach them — but I long far more
To trust HIS TIME.
“Sit still, my daughter”
Yet the heathen die
They perish while I stay
I long to reach them — but I long far more
To trust HIS WAY.
‘Tis good to get
‘Tis good indeed to give
Yet is it better still
O’er breath, thro’ length, up height
To trust HIS WILL.
—F. M. N.
“When the cloud tarried ….. then the children of Israel ….. journeyed not.  This was the supreme test of obedience.  It was comparatively easy to strike tents, when the fleecy folds of the clouds were slowly gathering from off the Tabernacle, and it floated majestically before the host.  Change is always delightful; and there was excitement and interest in the route, the scenery and the locality of the next halting-place.  But, ah, the tarrying.
Then,, however uninviting and sultry the location, however trying to flesh and blood, however irksome to the impatient disposition, however perilously exposed to danger —- – there was no option but to REMAIN ENCAMPED.
God keeps us waiting.  Face to face with threatening foes, in the midst of alarms, encircled by perils, beneath the impending rock.  May we not go ?  Have we not suffered to the point of utter collapse ?  May we not exchange the glare and heat for green pastures and still waters ?
There is no answer.  The cloud tarries, and we must remain, though sure of manna, rock-water, shelter and defence..  God never keeps us at post, without assuring us of His presence and sending us daily supplies.
DO NOT BE IN A HURRY, TO MAKE A CHANGE.  Until the cloud clearly moves, you must tarry.  Trust HIS TIME, HIS WAY, HIS WILL..

Sharing and spreading joy

Blast from the past…


Once a teacher and his young assistant arrived at a village where the people were angry and quarrelsome.

At their request, he gave them his blessings, and asked them to remain together in the village forever.

In the next village they met joyful people who were cooperating with one another and caring for each other.  the teacher blessed them too, but asked them to leave the village, and spread out across the country.  The puzzled assistant asked the teacher why he had given such different advice.  The teacher said, “Those angry, argumentative people will only spread their unhappiness wherever they go.  So I asked them to stay where they were.  But it is better for the caring people to spread out, taking their happiness with them..  Then others will also learn to be joyful”.


Here is another story :—–One day a man from a nearby village called at the monastery…

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Signs you are addicted to your iPhone

(iphone_6_6plus_primary-100413338-primary.idge1) You forget that other people use devices like ‘watches’ and ‘clocks’ to tell the time.
(2) Whenever you accidentally leave it in the car, you rush back to get it as you had locked your own child in an unattended vehicle.
(3) You keep thinking you can hear your phone message tone going off during the day —- when it hasn’t.
(4) A single tear can be seen rolling down your cheek, as you discover the first crack on your iPhone screen.
(5) You look up the train time-table, on Safari, even though it is clearly posted , in front of you at the train station.
(6) You keep checking to see, if you have any text or e-mail, even though you have not received any notifications.
(7) Putting your phone, on silent mode, has made your vibrator obsolete.
(8) You try to ‘pinch’ zoom other technology devices that do not use a touch-screen.
(9) You are nonchalantly reading this, using your iPhone.
(10) You are now about to Google ‘nonchalantly on your iPhone.

This & That

(1) LOYALTY & OBEDIENCE ——- once they sour, are TERRIFYING THINGS.

(2) The RAZOR-TOOTHED PIRANHAS, of the genera ——SERRASALMUS and PYGOCENTRUS, are the most ferocious fresh-water fish in the world.  In reality, they seldom attack a human.

(3) Nobody grows merely by living a number of years.  We grow old by deserting our ideals.  Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm —— WRINKLES THE SOUL. —— Samuel Ullman.
(4) Everyone has a purpose in our lives ——- some come for a REASON, some come for a SEASON and some for a LIFETIME.

(5) “Knowledge is power”, says Lord Bacon, “but as for Wealth, it is useful as baggage, but very cumbersome.”

(6) LITTLE is significant, because the LARGE is made up of the LITTLES.
(7) When you are in difficulties, hitch your wagon to a star, and keep your eyes fixed on that goal.  When obstacles come your way, RIDE OVER THEM; don’t yield by going round about.
(8) To be pleased with one’s limits, is a WRETCHED STATE.— Goethe.

(9) In every sadness lies a seed of promise.  There is a promise beneath the surface of every heartbreak.
(10) God gave us tears to wash our pain away.  How trivial are the inconveniences and slights of life, compared to the burdens that some people carry.
(11) The happiest people are those who touch life at the greatest number of points.

(12) The painting —-LIGHT OF THE WORLD, shows Christ in a garden at midnight.  In His left hand He is holding a lantern, and His right hand is knocking on a heavy-panelled door.  When the painting was unveiled, an art critic remarked, “Mr. Hunt, you haven’t finished your work.  There is no handle on the door.”  “That,” said the artist, “is the door to the human heart ——- IT CAN BE OPENED ONLY FROM THE INSIDE.” 

(13) In English the letter ‘E’ occurs most frequently,” says F.H. Vizetelly.  But it is the most unfortunate character in the alphabet, because it is ALWAYS OUT of CASH, FOREVER in DEBT, NEVER OUT of DANGER and in HELL ALL THE TIME.  It has its bright side too, for it is NEVER in WAR and ALWAYS in PEACE.  It is the BEGINNING of EXISTENCE, the COMMENCEMENT of EASE and the END of TROUBLE.  WITHOUT it there would be NO MEAT, NO HEAVEN and NO LIFE.  It is in the CENTRE of HONESTY, makes LOVE PERFECT and without it there would be NO EDITORS, NO PRINTERS, NO NEWS and NO READERS or ANNOUNCERS.

(14) Look for the best in the other fellow —– YOU WILL FIND SOMETHING GOOD.
(15) Don’t put your trust in money, but money in trust.


mindfulness-580In a state of MINDLESSNESS, our mind is not free to think, focus and act.  Each one of us, at some point in life, wishes to change ourselves or others.  However, we often remain stuck due to the all-pervasive impact of mindlessness that we are unaware of.
The first component of mindlessness is the DESIRE TO CONTROL.  Everyone carries a fantasy of how they and the rest of the world should be.  So we are constantly putting intense pressure on ourselves and others to match up to this image.  Mind power can be utilised only when we give up the wish to control, and instead, work to build understanding.
Another element of mindlessness is our OBSESSION WITH THE PAST & FUTURE.  There are people who relive memories of a happy past or mourn negative experiences.  Some are petrified by possibilities of an uncertain future.  On the whole, people spend a lot of their present time in either dissecting past baggage or imagining an ideal future.  So, they are not anchored in the present, but we can only grow when our complete attention is anchored in the present.
The third component of mindlessness is GREED FOR QUICK ENLIGHTENMENT.  There are some who experience disillusionment  because they commit themselves to superficial perspectives for instant nirvana.  Others commit to a valid perspective, but leave it halfway as they are unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Both types suffer due to their attitude.  Remember, no one can give you enlightenment.  The wise can guide you, but enlightenment will only come gradually with your consistent efforts. There is no short cut.
In order to grow and blossom, it is important to become aware of our mindlessness and gradually change it to MINDFULNESS, which is very liberating as it requires us to notice and understand all kinds of thoughts, feelings and actions without judgement and criticism.  Keep your attention in the HERE & NOW, without clinging to either the past or future.  Although MINDFULNESS appears to be simple and trivial at the outset, it is, in fact, the essence.  About mindfulness Buddha said, “Mindfulness, I declare, is all-helpful.  All things can be mastered by mindfulness.”
——— Pulkit Sharma. 

Top 10 kid-friendly dogs

Blast from the past…


Always choose the breed, by its DISPOSITION, TEMPERAMENT, SIZE, AND ENERGY-LEVEL —–all of which should suit your family’s lifestyle.


(1) GOLDEN RETRIEVER :—–Not as big in size as the Labrador, it is a confident, smart, kind and loyal dog.  Neither aggressive nor timid, it is extremely patient —–perfect for kids.  It does need  lot of exercise, its LOVE OF PLAY makes this an easy task to achieve.


(2) LABRADOR RETRIEVER : —–One of the most popular dog-breeds in the U.S.A.  It is playful, patient, protective, loving and reliable. In fact, its sweet personality and intelligence is only matched by its beauty a perfect family pet.


(3) THE POODLE : —–It is often given curious haircuts by its owners.  The poodle is a smart and gentle dog.  It is also great for kids with allergies, as it sheds very little.  But it requires scheduled grooming. or its hair will get out…

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O break my heart…

O break my heart; but break it as a field

Is by the plough up-broken for the corn

O break it as the buds, a green leaf sealed

Are, to unloose the golden blossom, torn

Love would I offer unto Love’s great Master

Set free the odour, break the alabaster.

O break my heart; break it victorious God

That life’s eternal well may flash abroad

O let it break as when the captive trees

Breaking cold bonds, regain their liberties

And as thought’s sacred grove to life is springing

Be joys, like birds, their hope, Thy victory singing.

— Thomas Toke Bunch.

God uses most for His glory those people and things which are most perfectly broken.  The sacrifices He accepts are broken and contrite hearts.  It was the breaking down of Jacob’s natural strength at Peniel, that got him where God would clothe him with spiritual power.  It was breaking the surface of the rock at Horeb, by the stroke of Moses’ rod, that let out the cool waters to the thirsty people.

iStock_000008690737XSmallIt was when the 300 elect soldiers, under Gideon, broke their pitchers, a type of breaking themselves, that the hidden lights shone forth to the consternation of their adversaries.  It was when the poor widow broke the seal of the little pot of oil, and poured it forth, that God multiplied it to pay her debts and supply means of support.

It was when Esther risked her life and broke through the rigid etiquette of a heathen court, that she obtained favour to rescue her people from death.  It was when Jesus took the five loaves and broke them, that the bread was multiplied, in the very act of breaking, sufficient to fed   five thousand.  It was when Mary broke her beautiful alabaster box, rendering it henceforth useless, that the pent-up perfume filled the house.

It is when a beautiful grain of corn is broken up in the earth, that its inner heart sprouts forth and bears hundreds of other grains.  And thus, on and on, through all history, and all biography, and all vegetation  , and all spiritual life, GOD MUST HAVE BROKEN THINGS.

Those who are broken in wealth, and broken in self-will, and broken in their ambitions, and broken in their beautiful ideals, and broken in worldly reputation, and broken in their affections, and broken oft-times in health; those who are despised and seem utterly forlorn and helpless, God is using for His glory.  “The lame take the prey,” Isaiah tells us.

Belgian Shepherd dog

MALINOIS or BELGIAN SHEPHERD DOG, is a breed of dog, sometimes classified as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog classification, rather than as a separate breed.  The MALINOIS, is recognised in the US under the name BELGIAN MALINOIS.  It’s name is the French word for MECHLINIAN, which , in Dutch, is either MECHELSE herdershond or MECHELSE SCHEPER (both meaning Shepherd Dog from Mechelen).  The breed is used as a working dog for tasks, including, detection of odours such as explosives, accelerants (for arson investigation) and narcotics; tracking of humans for suspect apprehension in police work and search and rescue missions.
Like all Belgian Shepherds, the MALINOIS is a medium-sized and square-proportioned dog, in the sheep-dog family.  Well-raised and trained MALINOIS are usually active, intelligent, friendly, protective, alert and hard-working.  Many have excessively high PREY DRIVE.  They are strong dogs that require consistent obedience training and enjoy being challenged with new tasks. They are known to be very easy to train, due to their high drive for rewards.
It has a heavy snout and a big head and detect Suspect Human Presence and improvised explosive devices with PRECISE CORRECTNESS, and it is intelligent enough to communicate signals through a NOD OF THE HEAD and NOT BY BARKING, which could alert the target.
In India, the NSG (National Security Guard) Commando Unit have inducted MALINOIS breed into its K-9 Unit.  US Navy SEALS, used a Belgian MALINOIS war dog, named CAIRO, in Operation Neptune Spear, in which Osama Bin Laden was killed.

Paper art

PAPER has a fragile and ethereal about that tends to be equated with transience.  However, it can be a highly durable medium, and has been extremely popular, with artists, for drawings and paintings.  Due to its versatility and ease of availability, it has found multiple uses in design and craft.  Origami, quilling, quilting and moulding are some of the techniques which are used to create art with paper.
Apart from its traditional use, paper is now manipulated by contemporary artists to produce artworks which are displayed in galleries and at international events.  A French artist has created 1,600 little papier-mâché pandas to raise awareness on their dwindling population.
books-art-7A combination of different types of paper and techniques has been put to creative use to come up with extraordinary artworks, made entirely out of paper.  BOOK ART, which involves transforming the pages of an old book into amazing artworks and artworks made out of paper pulp to resemble books, can be equally fascinating.  Elaborately detailed masks, life-size sculptures and abstract installations are a few other options.
8805097072_7514aa311b_zAs an installation, the transformation of paper has immense possibilities and can easily fit into any kind of décor in both residential and corporate spaces.  Traditional forms such as animals and birds, and decorative pieces such as chandeliers, are now given a contemporary touch to create stunning artworks.
When selecting paper art, keep in mind that scale plays a vital role, and the larger the artwork, the greater the impact.  The possibilities are endless and a great thing about paper art, is that it can be either minimal or intricate, and complements any kind of décor.
—— Nalini S Malaviya.