Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn

First and foremost I would like to thank a very dear friend of mine, Ami Shah, (check out her blog at Sunshine in the Rain) for sending me this wonderful e-mail. I thought this is something that needs to be shared.....

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in K-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.

It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so such in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the K-Mart.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child come pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in "Mum, let's run through the rain," she said.

"What?" Mum asked. "Let's run through the rain!" She repeated.

"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mum replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated:

"Mum, let's run through the rain,"

"We'll get soaked if we do," Mum said.

"No, we won't, Mum. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mum's arm.

Mum said, "This morning? ... When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"

"Don't you remember?" Little girl replied. "When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!"

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mum paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.

Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's' life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If God let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mum said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.

And yes, I did.

I ran.

I got wet.

I needed washing...

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories.. So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as "living a life."

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that you don't go to happiness, it comes to you.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn...

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Tragedy in Virginia

I express my shock, disgust, and sorrow at the events that unfolded today at Virginia Tech. After fatally shooting 32 people in a senseless, murderous rampage, the lone gunman turned the gun on himself. This, for many, was the sole source of consolation from today's atrocities.

We wish to offer our deepest condolences to the friends and families of the victims. They will most certainly be in our thoughts and prayers.

J.K. Rowling and the Quest for Inspiration in Art

In an introduction written for a new guide to children's books set in Edinburgh, J.K. Rowling describes how she once took to wandering through the some of the great art collections in Scotland seeking inspiration while writing some of the Harry Potter novels. The Scotsman reports tonight that Jo "took to wandering the halls of the National Galleries of Scotland in a 'desperate and random measure' as she sought inspiration. However, it only left her feeling miserable."

The newspaper goes on to cite further quotes from Jo via the Reading Round Edinburgh book:

Memories of Edinburgh "leap out of the pages of Harry Potter for me", Rowling writes, "the places I wrote particular chapters and passages; where I despaired of ever having another idea; where I experienced all the delights and the frustrations of living in a fictional world."

But while the city has many "Potteresque vistas", she cannot point to particular buildings or streets featured in her books.

She slaps down the idea that Hogwarts was based on a "certain public school" in the city.
You can learn more about this book, here and here. It is also available via TLC's Cauldron Shop as well.

Harry Potter Number One in Australia

The Courier Mail is reporting about a new survey where Australian readers were asked to list their top 100 favorite books. The Harry Potter series by author J.K. Rowling was ranked at the number one spot. According to the newspaper, 75,000 people took part in this survey and according to one bookseller the "Top 100 Book List provides the public with a selection of popular quality reads that are tried and true," Angus & Robertson general manager Dave Fenlon said."

Others in the top ten include To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen as well as two books by Dan Brown. To read the entire list, click here.

New OOTP pics

Check out this new photo of Ron, Fred, George, and Ginny Weasley in Dumbledore's office after hearing the news that Mr. Weasley was attacked, and this one of Draco, Crabbe, Neville, and Hermione in Umbridge's office just after the DA members escaped from the Room of Requirement.

We hope to have larger versions of these photos later. Thanks to Mike!

UPDATE 2: Use the links above to view high-res images sent to us by Warner Brothers!

MuggleNet book jumps on bestseller lists again

Harry Potter fans are showing their muscle: MuggleNet.com's What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7 is receiving glowing reviews, and this week it jumped to #3 on the New York Times Children's Bestseller List. On top of that, it jumped to #46 on USA Today's list of the bestselling books in the nation - that includes everything from the Bible to the Da Vinci Code.

If you wish to buy the book, we hope you'll support the site and order it through our partner Alivan's as opposed to other retailers such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Event Update: For those of you planning on attending Saturday's discussion/signing in Bloomingdale, Ill., the event will begin at 2 PM.

Mark your calendars: Our summer book tour schedule is complete! Ben and I will be hitting up bookstores all over California on our West Coast tour from May 25th to June 5th, and from June 7th to June 20th we'll start in Ohio and travel up and down the East Coast. We really hope you'll come out and see us if you live in any of the areas we're scheduled to attend!

JKR 13th most influential person in UK

JKR 13th most influential person in UK The Guardian has compiled a "definitive list" of the 50 most influential Britons who have not been elected to government. Jo Rowling is placed at #13, with the following blurb:

"You can't sell 375m books and not influence someone. Especially when those books lead to a multi-film movie franchise and all the concomitant gewgaws and plastic toys. But perhaps the most important contribution she's made is the way that she and Harry Potter have reached millions of children who'd previously not exhibited any enthusiasm for reading, leading not just to an enthusiasm for more reading but also to the creation of millions of words of fan-fiction and perhaps a revitalised generation of creative readers and writers."

Just had a look at the full list. It puts the CEO of Tesco, the Governor of the Bank of England and the Editor of the Daily Mail, ahead of the Queen.... now tell me isn't that intriguing. atleast to me it seems so.....

what da ya say.....


Friday, April 13, 2007

Inhuman Dolphin Slaughter!!! (I Just Lost My Apettite.)

Hey everyone..Check the video and If u feel the pain then for sake of humanity please sign the petition at
Video Warning: The video link below contains many graphic images, that may not be suitable to children or sensitive viewers. Your discretion is required... (personally I think all fish eaters should see this, to know what torment the fish go through to be your food.) Its pretty unbearable to see them suffer like that......

Video link: http://www.glumbert.com/media/dolphin

Thank you,
And ya.. some more info if you guys wanna read..
A US anti-whaling group trying to stop dolphin killing has released video footage of a recent hunt out of the small Japanese fishing town of Taiji that shows blood-filled coves and dead dolphins in boats.

The tape, shot by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, graphically captures the end of a hunt, in which fishermen pound on the water, causing waves that confuse the mammals' sense of direction, and then corral dolphins into small coves where they can more easily be killed.

Though subject to government-set quotas, the hunts are not banned under Japanese law and are not subject to international regulations because they are done near the shore.

In the footage, several dead or dying dolphins can be seen on the boats, bleeding profusely.

"It's a wholesale slaughter, which results in immense suffering for these animals," said activist Nik Hensey. "It's a sight that one just can't imagine."

Requests for comment from the mayor were denied and other town officials declined to comment.

A fisherman's union representative, who demanded anonymity, said the kills are conducted as humanely as possible, and noted that dolphin hunts have been part of local culture for 400 years.

Hunting dolphins is not banned by the International Whaling Commission, which has maintained a moratorium on commercial whaling since 1986.

Fishermen in the western Japanese town regularly conduct dolphin hunts during the October to April season.

They've caught more than 60 striped dolphins so far this year under the government quota system. The meat is usually canned and sold in supermarkets.

But because of international pressure for an end to the killing of dolphins and the bloodiness of their hunting method, fishermen there have tried to keep out of the public eye.

They do not permit videos of their hunts, refuse on-the-record interviews and have even erected barriers along the shoreline to discourage cameramen.

The Sea Shepherd activists said they managed to get the video by camping out in town for several weeks. They provided Associated Press Television News with a copy of their footage.

Three activists from the conservation group, which is based in Malibu, California, were briefly detained by Japanese police after allegedly trying to stop a dolphin hunt and scuffling with a fisherman earlier this month.

The activists - a Briton, a Canadian and an American, all in their 20s - were taken in for about nine hours of questioning before being released. They weren't charged with any crimes.

Japan is one of the few major fishing nations that continues to support the hunting of whales and dolphins.

Officials there say the populations of many of the marine mammals have recovered enough to sustain limited catches, and have argued that pressure to quit killing them is based more on cultural bias than on science.

Under a special IWC allowance, Japan is also allowed to kill hundreds of whales a year. Critics say the catch is commercial whaling in disguise because most of the meat ends up being sold in markets and restaurants.

Tokyo counters that the kills are done as part of a research program needed to study whale populations and migration patterns.

© 2003. The Sydney Morning Herald.
Just Noticed!!!!!

Just saw this on the dashboard.... now we can blog in our favorite language हिंदी . देखा मैं ना कहता था। .

OK for more details on how this works, check out google's official blog ->

Official Google Blog: Now you can blog in Hindi
Support JK in her eBay lawsuit
Support JK in her eBay lawsuit As was reported previously, JK Rowling is suing eBay for allowing illegal and fraudulent copies of her works to be sold on the auction site. Jo has managed to obtain an injunction which prevents eBay from listing illegal copies (namely e-versions of her books), which is binding until a May 23rd hearing.

Not only is Jo losing out from the auctioning of illegal books, but fans are being hoodwinked and wasting their money.

Marjorie, webmistress of the MuggleNet-affiliated collectors' advice site JKR's Army, contacted Neil Blair (Jo's lawyer) asking how fans can lend their support. Marjorie has set up a petition, which we strongly encourage you all to sign. We will soon have more ways you can help, but for now, visit this page for additional info.

The petition, which currently has over 13,000 signatures, will be forwarded to eBay on April 20th. However, we wish to gather as many signatures as we can before then. So if you haven't done so already, we encourage you to sign right here. Thank you.

Support for J.K. Rowling's Actions Against eBay Petition

P.S. I've already signed on and so should you.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My Thoughts on Reservation, Division by casts, and the Meenatai Thackeray Issue

Hi People we'll I'm back again...

The recent Reservation issue from my home country brought some thoughts to my mind, which I want to present before you.

Its quite conspicuous that how keen we are in making divisions in our community.. Everyone wants to divide it into narrower and narrower groups.. We (Indians) have been seperated as Hindus from the Muslims, Christains from
the Muslims (They follow the same god yet call him by different names viz. Christ vs Allah), Lower Cast from the So Called "Upper Cast", SC from the
ST, OBC Vanjari (all lower cast hindus) so on and so forth. the list is virtually endless.
I could go on with this for another hour but what would be the end result. Nothing but waste of webspace (for Blogger), Bandwith (your's as well as mine).

This is what is creating rifts between us and also allowing the filthy
politicians who are not even worthy of ruling their own homes get to
rule us with ease every 5 years.

Why cant we people stay united...as Indians, or maybe.... as one Humanity .. why do we like to create divisions?

Perhaps its not the fault of any one person or two.. this is in our history.. this is the reason why we have been ruled by outsiders for centuries.. because we are always ready to divide ourselves, for our minuscle benefits, without caring at all for the overall impact of our actions.. 

A case in point is the recent riots regarding the mud-slinging on the statue of Meenatai Thackeray. No-doubt the desecration of the statue of any person, whether of historical importance or not, is a despicable and horrendous act. It is an insult to the Deceased person himself and humanity too in general. But the acts that followed it were more despicable and worthy of anybody, even the Shiv Sena. Mr. Abu Azmi's retaliation to the comments of the Sena High Command regarding his alleged involvement also did not do any good, rather did more bad than good. I regret to say that but I presonally felt there was a Communal Tinge to the comments made by both the parties involved...

The Statement I feel given by the newly formed Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackery was more appropriate to the situation.. Though he voiced his concerns regarding the desecration of the statue he refrained from giving it any political or communal color. He said that his aunt was a preson of peace and would not have liked the Rioting that followed her statues' desecration.

Today's papers carry news giving pointers that certain elements who may be part of the Sena itself or its Close Allies may have been involved in Sunday's Incident. This if true, makes me feel that the nick I use for myself (The Devil's Advocate) is being fulfilled by these filthy politicians... Who else would stoop to such low levels to only for getting political mileage out of it. To show their useless display of muscle power, and falling flat on their face... What else can we call the bandh they called. I work at a suburban restaurant in mumbai.

The news reached the local Shakha at about 10.00 A.M. At 11.30 A.M. they came and asked us to shut shop. But by 4.30 P.M. the shops were all opened and resuming work.

If you call a bandh of two-four hours a show of power, Then I pity you. If that is all you can do.

The astute silence maintained by Sena Chief over the whole episode also threw in some pointers of the change of the Power Equation at Matoshree (The Sena Chiefs' Residence)

We'll that I think should be the end of my largest post till date. Please post back your views on the matter.

The Devil's Advocate

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Harry Potter Actors

to Send Video Greetings

to Comic-Con Guests

We've learned that the Harry Potter trio - Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint - and producer David Heyman will make a videotaped appearance at this year's Comic-Con International, the huge comics convention at which attendees have seen Harry Potter previews in the past. The actors and producer have taped a video message from the set, which will be played during one of the nights; at this time there is no plan to show any preview footage of Order of the Phoenix. More info on the way!

Confirmed: JKR Interview

on Richard & Judy

Coming June 26

TLC can now confirm that author J.K. Rowling's appearance on the Richard & Judy talk show will be broadcast Monday, June 26. This show will air on Channel 4 from 5 -6 pm, and we do not have any details on what they will be discussing at this time. This interview comes the day after Jo will be reading from Half-Blood Prince at the special birthday party for the Queen on Sunday, June 25 that will be broadcast on the BBC. Anyone who can get video or screencaps of either event, please send them in.

New HPEF Convention: Prophecy 2007

HPEF, the same group who brought Potter fans Nimbus 2003, The Witching Hour, and the upcoming Lumos 2006 convention, have announced their new event: Prophecy 2007. Being held in Toronto, Ontario Canada, Prophecy 2007: From Hero to Legend will occur August 2-5 next year. Hotel and registration information will be coming soon. Members from HP Education Fanon will be at Lumos to answer questions and more, so stay tuned! Thanks Doris!

Registration for Chamber
of Secrets Reading Groups Open

Registration to participate in our Harry Potter reading groups is open again, this time for discussion of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. To get sorted into a group, click here! You don't need to have been in any previous groups to participate now, but you do need to be a Lounge member, so click here to register.These groups are known to fill up too fast for us to manage, so click soon if you're interested.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Monday, March 06, 2006

GoF Promotional Studio Shoot pics in Hi-Resolution

Hi Ppl,

Here is an update... check out these hi res pics of the GoF Promotional Photo Shoot.

The images are clickable thumbnails of the Full Hi-Res Images @ Photobucket.com.

Needless to say image hosting provided by Photobucket.com.