Tuesday, December 18, 2018


 England and Scotland tour ,October 11-27, 2018.
Wednesday, 17th October, 2018
             Today is the sixth day of our Southern England tour, and I still look forward with speculation and enthusiasm to see more of the interesting new places.  As we proceed toward the charming city of Bath and our couch passing through the picturesque country side, I capture the greeneries of the vast field and some places full of cows grazing quietly without paying any attention to the surroundings. Seeing two cows having symmetrical belt-like white color on their backs as if they are wearing  white rags folded in square, arouses curiosity in me for the rest of my life. My phone is almost full and the power almost gone I see if there is any charging station in the bus. Luckily our coach has the facility.  Capturing the breath taking landscapes has become

Figure 1Roman Baths
a part of my insatiable hobby and no doubt it has also become a source of of inspiration for my life’s journey.  
             The city of Bath founded by the Romans as thermal spa is a site for tourist attraction. As we wait for our tickets to get into the Bath Abbey, we see incessant flow of tourists coming in and out. Once tickets are in our hands we are also given a head phone each to carry inside so that we could listen to the descriptions of the rooms as we enter. We learn the details of what we see around and inside the Bath Abbey. Surprising images pops up through the screen, men and women in old Roman robes engaged in day to day activities. It displays the scene of the old Roman way of life in their daily  activities.
              Coming out to the other side of the Abbey is the balcony where I stand looking down the water below.  To me the water reflects the color of stagnant one. The layout of the pond area reminds me of some of historical Mughol Empire’s architectures in India. The history of Bath is related with hot springs. An age tribe called Dobunni erected a shrine in honor of Goddess Sullies as people believed that the Goddess had healing power. Romans invaded Britain during 43 AD and built a religious spa on the site, then turning it in to socialistic center known as Aqua Sullies. When the Romans withdrew in the 5th century the baths were neglected. It was rebuilt in 18th century and it is now become a tourist spot and a source of delight. The Georgian architecture of the 18th century of Bath is indeed a city worthy of admiration.

Figure 2Jane Austen museum
               About three fourth of a mile away from the Roman Bath Abbey is the museum of Jane Austen. My friends Myrna from LA and Angie from Philippines are also excited to learn about this museum and hence, we after hurriedly having our lunch at one of the tea houses in the back street, we proceed toward the museum.   As the museum is situated on a higher slope we walk up on the slope with bit of strenuous stride. As we realize that we have limited time we walk past without paying attention to the rows of stalls, vendors displaying various interesting goods and items. Once we reach the museum we are astonished to see the two figures standing near the entrance of the museum as if welcoming us. Even though we desperately want to go inside we don’t have enough time and hence we engage ourselves only taking pictures.  After bidding farewell to Jane Austen we return toward our coach which is waiting for us. On the way back we are tempted to taste the food on the side street as the smell coming from their cooking so tempting but due to time  limit we have  to sacrifice our desire to do so.
 Walking back with nostalgic memories of my earlier days reading Jane Austen’s books “Pride and Prejudice” and  “Emma” come back flashing by. As I have read  the  book which I purchased recently  about Jane Austen, I  learn more about her life.  She started writing when she was a teen ager and her books were published anonymously with the help of her brother. She never got married and died at the age of 41. Till now she is still one of my favorite authors along with Pearl S Buck, Emily Bronte, Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare.  My favorite modern authors are too many so I prefer to skip the long lists
              Visiting Windsor Castle, where the Queen loves to spend her leisure time and Blenheim Palace where Winston Churchill lived  and also Shakespeare’s birth place Stratford-Upon- Avon are unforgettable ones. Also visiting  the Oxford University which is second oldest university in the world gives me the glimpses of the site  where ivy clad colleges famous for its architectural  beauty. Christ Church college where scenes of Harry Potter movies were shot are also interesting sites to reckon for.  Last not the least is the Stonehenge, named as UNESCO world heritage site,  is the most mysterious monument and supposed to have started 5000 years ago and completed 1400 years later. Its construction still defies belief.
              After nine days of exciting tour with the group we are now on our own. Walking whole day at Hyde Park, Kensington Park and then having lunch at Kensington Palace café, it will always remain as our memorable adventures. The experience of travelling by train from London to Edinburgh  is also noteworthy as we watch the train passes by each and every station till we reach  Edinburgh.  Scotland has its own beauty and charm. During one day tour of the Highland, watching and listening  to the historical and mythological stories narrated by our couch  driver we find that she Is no doubt is an excellent story teller and guide.                 Travelling with the group and later, on our own has become an unique adventure and expanded horizon. Our new friend from Philippines reminds me that friendship is always a responsibility never an opportunity, as we three have had our share of conflicts and compromises. Whatever has happened, I treasure it as part of the sweet memories only, and we bid good bye after hugging each other. As I write this journey I wish to include a quote from “Teach me life.” But the most  beautiful things in life are not things. They are people and places, and memories, pictures. They are feelings and moments and smiles and laughter.”

Written by Jamuna Devi Advani  12/12/18





Edinburgh Castle. 



Myrna and Angie

At Double Tree Hotel with Anjie



with Myrna at Jane Austen Museum

Windsor Castle

Buckingham Palace with Myrna

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Role model 2018 Foster City Village


Supriya Singh called me one day and wanted to meet me and also to borrow my books. So I agreed to meet her on the coming Friday as she was visiting the area. When she came she told me about the Foster City Village where she was volunteering for the seniors. They are planning a fundraising program and the volunteers had to give two names as their role models. Supriya wanted me to be one of her model. I was surprised reluctant but finally agreed to be her model. She wanted to borrow my books and i obliged her. The program was scheduled for September 16, 2018.

Foster City Village Fund raising Day.
The law offices of Mark c.Watson, Foster City Village presents
Role Models 2018
INAUGURAL BENEFIT CELEBRATE THE PEOPLE YOU ADMIRE
September 16, 2018
Crown Plaza Foster City
Program starts at
1.45 PM
Peter Horvath Trio.
Silent Auction, Opporturnity drawing.
2.30 PM
Welcome
Gary Shaw, Host and Benefit Announcer
Mary Bates, Executive Director, Foster City Village, Mark C. Watson, Foster City Village Partner.
2.45 PM
Savory Bites and Sweets
No host Bar, Peter Horvath Trio, T. Jack Foster Jr. Keynote speaker, “Creating Foster City.”
3.15 PM
Live Auction and Fund a Need (4pm Silent Auction Closes)
4PM
Ambassador Jeffrey D. Levine (ret) Keynote Speaker
“Role Model Salute”
ROLE MODELS ’18 SHOW
4.45 Pm
Award Ceremony
T.Jack Foster, Jr Presented by Ambassador Jeffrey D. Levine
Audrey and Gil Guerin, presented by Jim Wambach
September 16, 2018
Crown Plaza Foster City
A poem:
Walking on the runway
like a real fashion model
The excitement rising
Within me like a morning sun
And doubts clouding slowly.
On my ever happy sunrise feeling.
It is just like the talk on NAMA convention
The same feeling of doubt and overcoming
Was sure way to success like the sun
 on the way smoothly sailing.
 Am I the one to represent as a model.
Do I really deserve it?
I wonder myself when asked
To be on the stage and walk on
The podium.




Friday, September 7, 2018

Two weeks' vacation with family




Jibesh, Rachna, Jamuna, Shobha, Lall
near Facebook sign.on 7/6/18



.Travel to Bangkok, Cambodia, Seoul 2018
Two weeks’ vacation with family: July 8th 2018 - July 22nd 2018
Yesterday Jibesh and Rachna left for Toronto after one week’s visit to California. It was my precious moments  of togetherness.  Rachna my daughter in law,fell in love with the city of San Francisco and visiting with Jibesh three consecutive days of the city was not enough. But they had no other choice as they had to see other places like Silicon Valley  and also meet Lucas and Shawn at Bay area. They had no doubt good time at California and left on July 7, 2018  for Toronto, heading toward  their home town, Woodsburg, Ontario.
Next day on July 8th Shobha, Lall and I flew to Bangkok with stopover in Seoul  by Korean airways. It was our first time flight with this airline as it had enough leg space. But food was not up to the mark and I still love the type of food served by Japan airline.
At  Bangkok airport lounge with Irabanta




Gifting my book Nurse Hemabati to Jiten Nongmeithem


At Seoul DMZ visit

at DMZ Seoul

At DMZZ Seoul

Near Railway station border with N Korea

old train on way on display.

old palace building Seuol

p
view from Tower

sunset view from Tower

Tower behind me

Mike Lee and Leon Tejwani



Mike explaining about palace, Seoul





                                                         i
with Irabanta at Ankor temple 
Tuk Tuk at Thailand

Shobha and Lall at Krabi beach

Breakfast table at Krabi resort.

Krabi Resort front gate

Irabanta at Krabi resort front gate

Irabanta playing at the wave of Krabi ocean side

Lall, Shobha, Leon, Rimi walking on the beach. Krabi resort.
   At Seoul we had to change the flight and also Leon coming from New York we waited at the gate of the next flight for Bangkok. We arrived I at Seoul at 5.25 pm local time and our next flight to Bangkok was at 7.45 pm pm July 9, 2018. Leon already waiting at the gate for flight to Bangkok while Lall and Shobha were standing upstairs just near the escalator going down for the gate to meet Leon. When I saw Leon I suggested that he goes and let them know he was already here. The flight was in time and we arrived at Suvarnabh International Airport, Bangkok around 11.50 pm local time.
 We flew with Bangkok Airways flight number PG 261 from Suvarnabhumi Airport at 9.25 am to KBV Krabi, Thailand arriving at 10 . 50 am.We  had enjoyed  the facilities provided at the Boutique Lounge on July 10, 2018 (Eligible for all Bangkok Airways passengers.)
Krabi  July 10-13
Krabi resort
232 Moo.2. Ao Nang, Muang, Krabi 81000
The driver waiting with the van took us to the resort where we had booked our AirBnB accommodation. The room which  I shared with Rimi was attached with Shobha and Lall’s room. Irabanta shared with Leon.. So it was easy for Rimi to be around them spending time talking and enjoying wine. After  we settled down we came out to see the resort town and first caught our eyes was an Indian restaurant “Moti Mahal”. We had Thai food and it was good.
July 11.  After  breakfast at resort which was part of our stay we came out of the resort and took a walk around the town by the side walk all along the ocean on our right hand side. Morning tide was high nearly reaching the side walk and by afternoon the tide was low  and we could walk below on the sand.  We wanted to look out for a restaurant call Anang which was recommended by Rimi’s friend in Bangalore. It was indeed a very good place to eat and hence we had gone there to eat next few times. Late in the evening time Rimi went out near the shoreline of the resort  to relax on the resort beach and she came back after an hour or so. I was a bit worried and I kept praying for her safe return.
July 12. The dining room of the resort had varieties of food one can have as much as one can and food was superb. I tried to eat more of fibers as I was constipated since we arrived there. After breakfast we went to the other side of the street and saw ocean with boats near the shore waiting for passengers to  ride. The view was fascinating with hillside back ground and the  small islands in the middle of the ocean. After returning, we told Shobha and others about the other side of the street where they have not so far gone. It was time for lunch and as there were not much of eating places at the other side, we came back to the same Anang A Bar where we had lunch around 3pm. They as usual served good food. Rest of the day we spent near the water on the resort beach where chairs were laid for the resort residents.
July 13. We got up early for breakfast and get ready for flight to Bangkok. As usual Rimi got up late and hence Shobha went with her for breakfast. We all came out by 9.15 am as driver came to pick us up to go to Krabi airport which was about 45 mins drive. We flew by Bangkok Airways flight number 262 at 11.40 am and arrived at Bangkok Suvarnabh domestic airport around 13.10 pm.

Ao Nang Beach, Thailand.
After coming back from Krabi to Bangkok we checked in the above AirBnB address our AirBnB was just near the Mall Terminal 21 and since was at walking distance we could walk up to the place. It was  a very reasonably priced place and we could pick up some stuff we wanted
28/11 Soi Sukhumvit 19, Khwaeng Khlong, Toel Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110 . This is the place where we got reservation through Air BnB.
Next day on July 14 we all flew to Cambodia. Departing from DMK Bangkok Don Mueng at 10 am arriving at Siem Reap, Cambodia at 11.10 am.
July 14 
We took flight by Air Asia on July 14 from Don Meueang airport to Cambodia’s Seim  Reap Airport to see the Angkor Wat the famous Temple in Cambodia. Stayed the night at Lavender

Figure 3boat ride at Tonle Sap Lake
Angkor Boutique.
JPhum Modul11 Sankat  Svay Dankum,
 Siem Reap  City, Kingdom of Cambodia We all had room of our own room. We went for sight seeing the afternoon and had Cambodian lunch directed by the driver. He took us to the lake and had a ride on the boat. The lake looked muddy and quite wide and vast
July 15
. We wanted to see the sun rise near the temple so we woke up around 4am and got ready to be near the temple to see the sunrise. But it was cloudy and hence we couldn’t see the sun rise. So the guide took us inside the temple.
Going to the Ankor Wat which is the main temple. Next day early morning for the sun rise    to see was a preparation to get up at 3.30 to be ready by 4 am. The driver cam in time for picking us in time and we all went to the temple expecting and grand view of the sun rising and its image on the small pond in front of the temple.  To my surprise the temple  turned out to be  archeological upkeep and ruins maintained by India through  UNESCO. The inscriptions on the massive stone walls of the temple was mind blowing. All carving of Mahabharat, Ramayana and Lord Krishna’s childhood stories of stealing butter from his mother’s pot hanging on the ceiling. 
Our driver took us to other temples one by one and I was quite tired by the last temple.
After going to all the temples like Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom.  Banteay Srei, Bayon, it was a very interesting but for me

Figure 4. Angor Wat front view
it was very tiring to 4walk all over the places of interest.
We had dinner at Embassy Luxury with 7 course meal. That was an experience of a lifetime. At the end, I would like to say that  I love our own home cooked food.
After  the dinner session, then we walked along the streets back to hotel passing through night streets and pub street.
 On July 15  we took our return flight at 9.45 pm to Bangkok, Don Mueang airport.
We had a good sleep at our AirBnB place  at Bangkok and after eating breakfast we took Tuk Tuk to go to DMK market. After shopping we came back by Transit train, but  Rimi stayed back as she wanted to  do more shopping. We went to Terminal 21 to look for something else. It was a good place to shop as it was quite near our accommodation.  
Then in the evening taking train to the night market was a very scenic one riding the steamer crossing the river to the night market. Once we were in the night market and looking around for sometime we had dinner in the  market.  I was happy to see the Indian food after all the asian food and hence I ordered dosa and sambar while Irabanta ordere Bhature Chole. It was  a treat and we enjoyed after eating all other stuffs throughout our travel so far.
July 17 Bangkok, Thailand
We took half day tour of the city of Bangkok. First we were taken to the Hor Phra Naga built by King Rama 1 to enshrine Pra Naga image, a standing Buddha in copper alloy. Later it was pulled down to build the bigger accommodations for preserving the ashes of the princes and princesses.
Later we were taken to see The Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Also known as Wat Phra Sri RattanSatsdarm in Thai built by king Rama 1 in 1782 at the outer palace to house the Emerald Buddha. Since Sukhotai period about 800 years ago building of the temple at the precincts of the palace. There is not living accommodations for the Buddhist Monks.
Golden Buddha was discovered while transporting the image fell down and broke. It was found out that inside was carved in solid gold. So it is still preserved as Golden Buddha at the palace.
Next we were taken to the Temple where huge inclining Buddha could be seen. After the half day tour of Bangkok we went to DMK market  whare I purchased my phone cover and Irabanta did his shopping for all the kids at home. This evening he had to leave for Kolkata and around 10 pm Shobha and Las went to escort him to the taxi stand. On the way they got the one standing near Terminal 21.
July 18
We took our flight by Korean Air on July 18 and after reaching Inchon Airport we took airport Limousine which took us about an hour to reach Hotel Marriott. We went out to see if there is any food for the night. Only Leon and I wanted to eat  so we got soup packets from 7/11 and sweet potatoes. I planned to call Jiten Nongmeitham who lived in Korea and worked there next day.
July 19
Mike Lee, Leon’s friend came to hotel and took us around for the city tour. L was quite impressed by his thoughtfulness giving me a small hand fan for me as gift to cool myself during the hot day tour. First was the palace compound where meetings took place with the king during olden days. After a long walk in the heat about 89 *F. he took us toward the village where local products and customs could be seen and learned. Then we walked toward the university area where young people gather and have fun singing and dancing weekend evenings. We had lunch in one of the restaurants and then to Raccoon Café where the animals are kept as pets and customers can pet them. But we had to pay and remove our shoes and leave our things in the locker before going to the enclosure. It was interesting to see one of the raccoons fiddling the pocket of a customer. Some were not interested and napping.   
July 20
Nike came and took us to the Korean shopping area and then we went to the underground shopping place near hotel  Court yard. I got a sandal for myself and it was very comfortable going up to the tower. I took the ropeway while Lall and Shobha walked up to the  spot where we had to take the elevator. After Shobha and Lall came we took the elevator together to the viewing enclosure. Everyone was waiting for the sunset view while many more visitors came to see the night view of the city. It was a magnificent view for which I don’t not have any proper words to express. . We could see the North Korea side from the tower Korea.

Figure 6cable car to the tower in Seoul
July 21
We took the conducted tour of Seoul through one of the tour organizers. 
We were on our way toDMZ(demilitarization zone) and first one was our tour guide took us to the Freedom Bridge and also to Cow Bridge
We were shown the war memorial and the railway station at the border which has stopped going to North Koea. Then going to the Tunnel which was one of the most difficult to  walk through the  entry,  I decided not to go. It was a difficult climb while returning and very hot I believe. This is one of the tunnels North Korea had dug to invade South Korea. 
July 22
Leaving Hotel Courtyard and Seoul today. We scheduled to meet Jiten Nogmeithem before leaving and I gave him my Manipuri book titled  “Nurse Hemabati.” He came in his car and able to meet us before we leave the hotel. We met him in the lounge of the hotel and gave him breakfast but he already ate before driving to our hotel. He owns the Manipur Times and also has many businesses on line.  We took a photograph together. He helped us to pull my luggage to the airport bus stop. I am glad I met Jiten and it was really a good feeling. In Inchon airport we stayed inside the lounge for sometime and then walked toward the gate which was quite a long walk.
Our flight time to SFO was about ten hours and we reached SFO around 10.30 am and took Uber for home. Rested for some time and then I cooked dal and rice and it was best food I felt after eating all the Asian foods for two weeks. Nothing like home cooked food.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

SGI conference in FNCC



 Friday, April 6,2018,
It  was a great experience  for me attending the women's 1 conference at the FNCC April 4-6, 2018  Meeting members of SGI from all parts of the country and also from Aruba and Hawaii, was an extraordinary encounter for me. I wish I had attended the conference earlier.

After   the participants arrived   and checked in  at the the gymnasium there was orientation given. Screening for "Traveler for peace " at 1.30 pm and at 4 pm was a interesting. Dinner at Sunshine Dining Hall.

The facilitators were Akemi Bailey-Haynie SGI-USA Women's leader, Naoko Leslie East Territory Women's Leader,  Kumiko Miyake Central territory Women's leader, Renu Debozi West Territory Women's Leader.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

SGI meeting on 2/6/18

The discussion meeting today at Dipak and Ira's place at 38 Rose Wood Court was quite informative. This year as usual President Ikeda wrote a peace proposal to the UN and I believe is a very remarkable one for a person who is 90 year old. I am so in awe when I read his contributions for world peace.  Daisaku Ikeda was inaugurated as third president of the Soka Gakkai on May 3, 1960. Under his leadership the international organization SGI was formed in Guam on January 26, 1975. It has now expended to more than 12 million members and 192 countries and territories.He has set a prime example of how to embody and put Buddhist principle into action for the sake of humankind. He as a mentor is to empower all people to achieve their potential.
Since 1983 each year on January 26 president Ikeda issues a proposal to teh United Nations highlighting the ideas and initiatives for peace. (sources from Living Buddhism.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Spending quality time with Lena To and Lisa and having lunch at Sweet Tomatoes it was a great day for me. The lunch was good and had reasonable amount to eat within the price we paid for. she was very helpful by purchasing at discounted price of my hair spray at Beauty Supply at Dublin. She has been always a helpful person. I knew her since we were in JCPenney Beauty parlor.
But it is difficult to convince her about the Nichiren Buddhism as she strictly follows the usual Temple worship with priests' rituals and all other that go on. Anyway I don't want to loose friendship so I don't insist on my belief. Just I am sharing the benefits I get from practicing it.