Manchester United 3:0 Olympiacos (UEFA Champions League)

64FA56F3CD454A9C9C1BBA4F369A8747.ashxRobin van Persie netted a hat-trick to inspire Manchester United to a thrilling 3-0 victory (3-2 on aggregate) over Olympiacos and send the Reds through to the Champions League quarter-finals.

Not since 1984 – indeed, 30 years ago this week – had United turned around a two-goal first-leg deficit in Europe. But on Wednesday, in front of a raucous Old Trafford crowd, van Persie’s treble ensured David Moyes’ maiden European voyage remained on course for Lisbon and gave United fans a thrilling night to remember.

But while the Dutchman will deservedly dominate the column inches, David De Gea’s stunning double save on 40 minutes – first from David Fuster’s bullet header and then Dominguez’s follow-up at the near post – proved just as pivotal.

Nobody would have blamed the Spaniard had either effort found the net but he saved both brilliantly to preserve the 1-0 lead earned when van Persie had earlier opened the scoring from the penalty spot. Five minutes after De Gea’s double denial, in first-half injury time, RvP swept home Wayne Rooney’s cross from close range. United were 2-0 up, level on aggregate and, crucially, in possession of the momentum and confidence that would ultimately carry the Reds to victory.

Van Persie sealed his hat-trick just six minutes into the second period, curling home a free-kick from 25 yards that had Olympiacos goalkeeper Roberto fooled, rooted to the spot.

There were then nervy moments to endure, particularly when De Gea was called into action again at his near post to beat out Dominguez’s blast, but the Reds held on to claim a famous victory.

Comeback Kings!

GGMU

SS

Posted from my MacBook Pro

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The Unbearable Brightness of Being

Every single day bursts with opportunity. So much to see, so much to learn, and so much to do! Sometimes I can barely contain my happiness — how fortunate am I to be born on this bountiful planet — that too at a time when mankind is witnessing its greatest technological advances as well as a resurgence of spiritual values.

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At times it seems futile even to try and learn a single discipline — music, art, engineering, photography — each worth several lifetimes of study.

How much could I possibly grasp in this infinitesimal interval which I have been given — to play, to live, to learn, to give?

Challenges, doubts, distractions and obstacles abound; yet they pale in comparison to the overwhelming good it has been my humble privilege to witness. Helping hands in an apparently selfish world; simple, innocent love in a place where trust is reported absent; abundance and generosity where lack would seem to loom large.

And running through it all like a leitmotif — wonderful, complex music coupled with moments of utter stillness, Samadhi (higher level of concentrated meditation). The Master’s grace wafts through this existence, a fragrance of rose and sandalwood, turning each breath into intense prayer.

It’s as though a giant hand obliterates the din, the traffic, the pollution, the crime and the grime in a fraction of a second; I stand renewed, recharged and refreshed — helplessly and hopelessly unable to express my bliss.

Cheers to my beautiful life, Los Angeles and the people who have made it worth living for!

Love

SS

PS: Its officially Shubham Singh now…so SS made more sense;)

Posted from my MacBook Air

How to make time for the things you love to do

Happy

Occasionally somebody will ask me “How do you even find time to write in your blog?” and this question is a strange concept for me. The only answer I can think of is – I find time to write in my blog because I love writing in my blog.

You can replace “time to write in your blog” with pretty much anything.

Another question I get asked a lot is “Don’t you find it difficult to cook during exams and stuff?

Once again, same answer. I find time to cook (and not only take the cooking stuff, but all the other many aspects of being a cooking freak – which is finding time to generate inspiration for a good meal, to try making new dishes and of course taste them) because I freakin’ love cooking!

Is it difficult for me to do it? No. I love it, so it’s easy. I love it so cooking is my pleasure, not my job. It’s so simple.

You can replace “time for writing in your blog” to “cooking” to “cooking” to “listening music” to “reading comics” to “dancing” to pretty much anything you do just because you like to do it.

How do you make time for it?

You make time for it because you like to make time for it. That is the single best incentive for making time for something.

You don’t really consider “making time to shower” or “making time to eat” because you like doing them. You like the end result (being clean and full!) and perhaps you even like the process too.

So the excuse “I love to ____, but I don’t have time for it” just doesn’t cut it for me…aka “not my lookout” brother!

This essentially translate to “I think I enjoy doing ____, but at the moment I have to prioritize something else in my life.”

And that’s okay too! We only have 24 hours in the day, and we have to choose wisely how we want to spend our time – it is an important life skill to learn. Another important life skill we have to learn is to stop making excuses.

So if you are still stuck under the belief that you don’t have enough time or space in your life for something you would like to do, here are some tips to create some more space in your life:

How to make time for the things you love to do:

1. Stop doing things you don’t love to do or need to do.

It’s pretty obvious that we won’t always love to do everything we need to do. Sometimes we need to do things because we will love the end product. You might not LOVE getting up and going to work from 9-5, but you love the financial stability it gives you – which in turns allows you to create a life that you love.

Then there are the things and you definitely don’t NEED to do all that much, that you might enjoy doing from time to time, but don’t need to do it in excessive amounts. Make a list. Examples could be: Going on facebook for 5 hours a day, watching tonns of TV etc.

I’m not suggesting that TV or facebook is “bad”, but this is time that you could use for these things you “love” to do, and you need to determine which is more of a priority to you at this time in your life.

2. Find out how to be more efficient at the things you do need to do.

The things we “need” to do can sometimes feel like they get in the way of the things we truly “want” to do. One way to start minimizing this belief is to learn how to become more energy and time efficient with the things that we do need to do. Some examples of these types of activities  could be cleaning your home, cooking, laundry, studying. How could you make your engagement in these activities more effective and efficient? How could you get things done to a higher standard, but faster than you have been doing them.

For example, when it comes to cooking (which I assume is something we all need to do), to be more time efficient, we could:

  • Cook in bulk and freeze the left overs so you can eat it on the days you don’t really feel like cooking.
  • Create a meal plan for the week and shop accordingly, so that “O.M.G it is 9:00pm on Monday, I am completely ravenous, and I have no idea WHAT to cook” does not happen.
  • Repeat your favorite recipes so that you can prepare them faster without thinking much about it.

3. Decide what you want to do more of in your day.

You must choose your priorities and commit to them. If someone asked me what is important to me in my daily schedule (if not daily, pretty darn close to daily), I could literally list them off. This is what is important to me:

  • Studying
  • My personal relationships
  • Cooking
  • Keeping things organized and clean.
  • Clicking photos
  • Writing in my blog
  • Manchester United/ soccer matches
  • Reading/learning
  • Meditation/ My spiritual connection.

That is my life right now. My priorities shift occasionally depending on outward circumstances. For example, during exam time, a few of those bad boys get knocked off the list to provide me with extra time to study – just because I know that is what I have to focus on. But for the majority of the time; this is my life. It is a wonderful concoction of things that allow me to express myself creatively, intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually while simultaneously keeping up with the things in life that I personally feel I need to do. But I want to do everything on that list.

I want to be rich, so I want to study. I want to have a beautiful home, so I want to clean. I want to eat and share delicious meals, so I want to cook. You get the idea…brother?!?Nerd smile

I also am not being too hard on myself and promising myself that I will do everything every day. Because come on – watch soccer every day? Let’s be realistic here and not be so organized that I suck the fun out of a hobby. I watch soccer when I want to and I won’t do it when I don’t want to, but in my heart I know it is a passion and something that I will always allocate time, energy and love to. That’s why it’s on my list.

We might not have the same list. You might not choose to prioritize “photography” or “reading” or “dancing”, because maybe it just isn’t your joy. Maybe instead you would have other joys, such as “watching the best latest movie releases” or “your business” or “playing the guitar”. It really is a very personal thing. What is important to you? What connections are meaningful to you and important for you to maintain and strengthen?

If you can’t answer this question, you might find that you are not completely satisfied with your day, and yet still find yourself “busy” all the time, doing things you don’t really want to do!

So. Figure it out.

Make sure you are selective about what hobbies you choose to commit to. It’s very difficult to commit fully to many different hobbies and interests. It’s better to choose a couple that really make you excited, and excel fully at them.

4. Schedule time in your day for it.

Ok, so now you know what you want to do, now you have to make time for it. It shouldn’t be hard if you really and truly love it, and want it. If you want to make time for exercise in your day because that is important for you, just set your timetable and affirm to yourself that you will go to the gym 4 times a week from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

This is your new schedule now.

Don’t tell me that you don’t have time. You have time. I have time. We all have time. Remember, we all have the same amount of time in our day – 24 hours. Some people make magic in that time. Wake up earlier if you have to.Smile

Our goal is to get to a stage where we are consciously doing everything we do in our day because we want to do them.

To go to sleep each night feeling satisfied that we have made steps forward.

To go to sleep each night knowing that we are pursuing the things that mean the most to us.

To know that we are in control of our time and how we spend it.

The other day Mom and I were talking about this very topic – how we have to prioritize what is important and make sure everything is happening in a nice harmonious balance throughout our day, and how there is nothing really in our daily schedule that we don’t want, or that is taking more space and time than we would like it to. I asked her what kind of things make her really happy, and what things need to happen in her day to make her feel good.

She said “Well, my life makes me happy.

And I don’t think you could get a much better answer than that.

So our final goal of this blog post, is to get to a point where we can confidently affirm that we are living by example. And that if anyone asked you what makes you happy, you would be able to tell them – hey, you know what, my life makes me happy!!Smile

Cheerio!Hot smile

ShubiXbox

Are you a Hugger?!?

My family was never one for hugging it was one of those awkward signs of affection. It’s not that we didn’t love each other it’s just that we never hugged. In an odd way, the only people in my life that I hug is Suchi, my parents sometimes and the odd farewell hug to my far away friends!

It was the other day I faced two well-meaning hugging scenarios which I returned with awkward grace.  The first  was an acquaintance I hadn’t seen for a while dove into greet me with a hug. I mustered the best I could – I was frazzled, I went spastic, jumped away, recovered with a smile,  moving forward with the conversation.

My Mom was in the distance chuckling at the  scenario. As I walked towards her“I know! She hugged me!”

She chuckled again…

The next day I met my cousin whom I haven’t seen for over two years. He was a young sappy sprout who has decided to travel across Bangalore to discover his freedom and find  himself. We chatted over breakfast, got the scoop on the whole family, and listened to his future dreams.

As I dropped him off, he dove in to give me a farewell hug. I dove away! The best I could muster was a punch in the arm, “Go get them slugger! I hope you have a great time!”

So I ask are you a hugger? Do you return the hug? Or do you find it an invasion of your personal space?

Ponder about!

CheersJust kidding

ShubiXbox

On the Eve of Diwali

Most people believe that business and spirituality are at loggerheads with each other. A person doing business cannot afford to be spiritual and a person who is spiritual shouldn’t care about business. This is what the so called experts say…

The Ancients knew better!!

The Goddess of Wealth Laxmi signifies the epitome of Business. She sits on a lotus which is in water. Meaning that wealth and prosperity can be very fleeting. Any moment they could sink! Also the lotus signifies a fully blossomed consciousness and that only such a person is really capable of handling wealth effectively. The finances of a country (or a family for that matter) need to be managed by extremely capable hands, other wise, the wealth (and the country) could go under very fast… (America… You listening to this?!Smile with tongue out)

To drive home that Wealth is best in the hands of someone extremely skilful and with a fully blossomed consciousness, Laxmi is married to Lord Narayana…the epitome of Spirituality, the very First Guru. Narayana means one with a highly sensitive and fully developed nervous system. He is the Preserver aspect of the Holy Trinity. Also from His navel springs forth a Lotus in which sits Lord Brahma, the creator of all. So He also has the creative impulse at His command. Only such a person can handle and maintain wealth effectively!

Narayana is usually depicted lying on the Shesh Naga, the King of serpents who is floating on an ocean of milk. This is such beautiful symbolism! The King of serpents is His seat, meaning that He is supremely aware… yet He is lying down, relaxing, which signifies that though He is super aware and alert at all times, He does it effortlessly… The ocean of milk signifies extreme abundance… An infinite ocean of wealth is His!

To such a one comes Goddess Laxmi as wife.

Not only do business and spirituality complement each other… They are married to each other!Smile

A hard core business person (with no spirituality) has the habit of monetizing everything. See a beautiful painting, think ahhh…Rs 5 Lakhs! See a lovely bungalow, think hmmm… Rs 25 Crores and so on… Even after acquiring all, he cannot appreciate what he has, coz all he can see around him are small and big piles of money. He has no ability to appreciate and enjoy the finer things in Life… Many Gujju friends come to mind!Smile with tongue out

When such a person learns and practices meditation, his heart opens up… He realizes that there is life beyond money. He learns to enjoy his money and use it for the good of himself and others, instead of just jealously hoarding it. Spirituality brings the Heart back to the business man.

Now, I have this brilliant (if i may say so myself Smile) message for everyone. But to get it to you, i need a computer, i need internet (preferably broadband) access, i need to be able to host my blog, etc, all of which needs money… So for spirituality to spread, it needs the support of commerce. It needs wealth. Thus business becomes the Legs of Spirituality.

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Business and Spirituality are intricately linked. They are married to each other. Don’t make the mistake of divorcing them!Smile

Many people make the mistake of running after Laxmi (money)… Would anyone like it if someone else wooed their wife? You think Lord Narayana is going to be pleased if you go after His beloved wife?!Smile They may even get the money, but that money only brings them pain of different flavours. What else do you expect if you piss off Her husband?!Open-mouthed smile

The intelligent ones, they go after Lord Narayana Himself. They learn and practice Meditation…go deeper into Spirituality, coz they know, if you have Him, then His wife has to follow! Where He is, she is! So Wealth and abundance come to these lucky, wise people and with Lord Narayana and Goddess Laxmi on their side, they become supremely happy and extremely comfortable as well.Smile

Deepawali is the Celebration of Abundance. Of Wealth. Of the Goddess Laxmi in all Her glory. But for this celebration to be complete, there has to be a deep, spiritual, meditative consciousness underlying it, otherwise its just pretty lights and loud noises.

This year, in between the sweets and the fireworks, meditate and do Pooja. Do some Seva and have a bit of Satsang.

Make this Deepawali a meaningful glorious Celebration for yourself and others around you.

We wish everyone a very, very Happy Deepawali and also since it starts giving you a fell that the year is gonna come to an end soon so wish you a fantastic, prosperous and meditative New Year well in advance!!!

Love

ShubiXbox

True Magic

…continued from Suchi Re-Introduced!!

Today was D-day. She would have to appear for the personal interview. What chance did she have?! She would certainly fail on looks, voice, laugh and familiar.

Come on Sunita, its time we went to that place, shouted his holiness Suchi’s Dad. Don’t forget to get Candy, yelled Suchi’s Mumma. They had been the most understanding people on earth about her wanting to become a witch once they saw her curdle milk with a glance and turn it into rich dahi with a flick of her wrist. And that time when they were stuck in a traffic jam in Delhi…trying hard to somehow cross Hapur and getting horribly late in order to take their baby girl back to Haldwani…Suchi had suggested an alternate mode of transportation. Maa had alighted gracefully from the Kanchan’s broomstick, adjusted the pleats of her silk sari, and commented, “This is really not that much different from a Activa ride from Kusum Khera to Botia Parao”.

“And less bumpy too,” pointed out his holiness Suchi’s Dad!Smile with tongue out

She pulled Candy’s hair all over the place to make him look scary. All it did was make him look untidy and cute. She hastily put her worst dress on and uncombed her hair. Now she rushed out of her door and ran to the car and to her dismay found that she had forgotten to undo the door bless.

By the time she was entering the gates of IITWW, Haldwani…the magic had finished working.Sad smile She was radiant. Cheeks glowing, hair brushed and cascading and dress new and starched. There was nothing for it now, she thought…Nothing I can do. I will have to study calculus. All around her were girls and boys her age, who had white hair or green eyes. Who could cackle. They had spiders and mice and bats and owls as familiars. She stood out like a sore thumb.

And suddenly her name was called. Suchi Dulloo, please go to door number 14. She walked to number 14, her heart beating faster and faster, making the blood go to her cheeks and making her look even more beautiful. She hesitantly knocked on the door, and pushed it open. Candy scampered in.

The room was bare and dark. A rich red carpet covered the floor. But there were no chairs, no tables and no one. She stepped in and the door softly and resolutely snapped shut behind her.

Okai darling, drop your disguise please boomed a voice!!Eye rolling smileI don't know smileThinking smile

Suchi’s lips twitched and a small tear trickled down her face. I am not in a disguise, she sobbed. This is how I really look. She noticed a beautiful huge mirror on the wall to the left and she turned to face herself and suddenly stopped crying. She looked and felt really good she thought. Did she really require a wart to do magic? Did she really have to cackle hideously to put a hex?
I am not in disguise. This is how I am. I love music and singing. I love my laugh. I love myself and I really want to study witchcraft. I want to learn magic. I won’t do any more bad deeds for the day!

A white light, dazzlingly bright flashed. The room faded…

Suchi found herself in a foyer surrounded by many young people. Many of them beautiful or handsome, others plain, some ugly. All holding little yellow slips in their hands. All exultant.

Her slip read, “It’s a myth that you need to be ugly (or beautiful) to be a witch. It’s also a myth that you need to do bad deeds to be a great witch. To gain admission at IITWW, Haldwani, you simply need to accept yourself as you are. Only then can true magic be learned. Only then can true magic happen! Suchi…you can do wonders!!Smile

Welcome to IITWW, Haldwani and Congratulations!

God bless youSmile

Loads of loveRed heart

ShubiXbox

PS: You will need to learn calculus though, it’s a myth too that wizardry and witchcraft don’t require the knowledge of calculusWinking smile

Suchi Re-Introduced!!

As we are finally approaching the end of one of most beloved franchise watching which we’ve grown up…yeah yeah I’m talking about Harry Potter! The last movie hits the theatres on 15th July, 2011 (Happy Birthday Maa).SmileRed heart So I had witnessed one of the craziest and the most beautiful dream last night! Don’t remember much of it, so thought of blogging it down before I forget all of it! Its all about Magic, witches and a place like Hogwarts!Open-mouthed smile

It all started with these words:

I am a total disaster, she sobbed. I have flawless skin. I don’t have any warts or pimples. Not even acne. I have long beautiful dark brown hair and deep dark brown eyes…to make it even more adorable I apply Kajal to them!Smile When I laugh it sounds like the tinkle of delicate bells. I can sing. The kind of songs that actually make people smile, and not scare them away. I have a cute little toy poodle for my familiar. And my name is Suchi Dulloo. How could I possibly pass the entrance exams and clear the interview for becoming a witch?!?In love

Her poodle, that she had named Candy in the wild hope that he would become fearsome, listened to the wailing with a bored twitch of his ears. He had heard it many, many times. He had, contrary to what Suchi wanted, become a very cute and cuddly little dog, though he would use his powers to mercilessly zap any cats who tried to get fresh with him with various curses. Soon mommy cats would scare their little kits with stories of Candy’s curses, if they didn’t drink their milk or they didn’t sleep their 20 hours every day.

Oh Candy, what do I do? None of the hexes I have gotten off the internet work on me. They only work on other people. Why only yesterday, I gave Priya from the sixth floor such a lovely wart right on the tip of her nose. And all she had to do was share her chocolate with me. But now she is not even talking to me. She screams every time she looks in the mirror. That was my bad deed of the day, but I didn’t like making her feel bad. Is that counted then? And if I don’t get in, then my powers will just fade away…even my memory that I could do magic will go, and I will never be able to understand anything you say and worst of all I will have to study calculus (I got very high marks in 10th and 12th grade, I knew I should not have used magic to give the board exams). Worse still, I may even have to get married to none other than…Shubi!Open-mouthed smile
Magic is not going to help me, she thought. I need a miracle. She thought of some of the Gods who she was friendly with, but all of them had refused to make her ugly or even teach her how to cackle. They all said that she would simply have to get very high marks on the BWW (Basic Witchcraft and Wizardry), and then use her talents to get through the interviews. She was not so scared of the BWW, it was the personal interview that made her heart flutter.

The BWW had been a month ago, and she had cleared it. She had applied to the very prestigious IITWW (The Indian Institutes of the Technology of Witchcraft and Wizardry). Especially IITWW, Haldwani which was world famous in India.Winking smile

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Today was D-day. She would have to appear for the personal interview. What chance did she have?! She would certainly fail on looks, voice, laugh and familiar.

Come on Sunita, its time we went to that place, shouted his holiness Suchi’s Dad. Don’t forget to get Candy, yelled Suchi’s Mumma. They had been the most understanding people on earth about her wanting to become a witch once they saw her curdle milk with a glance and turn it into rich dahi with a flick of her wrist. And that time when they were stuck in a traffic jam in Delhi…trying hard to somehow cross Hapur and getting horribly late in order to take their baby girl back to Haldwani…Suchi had suggested an alternate mode of transportation. Maa had alighted gracefully from the Kanchan’s broomstick, adjusted the pleats of her silk sari, and commented, “This is really not that much different from a Activa ride from Kusum Khera to Botia Parao”.

“And less bumpy too,” pointed out his holiness Suchi’s Dad!Smile with tongue out

She pulled Candy’s hair all over the place to make him look scary. All it did was make him look untidy and cute. She hastily put her worst dress on and uncombed her hair…

What happens next? Will she clear her interview and get admission into IITWW, Haldwani? Will she become ugly on time? Will she get her chance for becoming a witch?!

Well the thinking is still on! I’l try competing the dream/story tonight!

Stay tuned for a lovely and beautiful and a magical ending!

Loads of loveSmile

Miss you babySad smile

ShubiXbox

PS: I kinda wrote a poem too…Suchi’s Song, watch out for it in a day or 3Open-mouthed smile

Also people reading this post can post in “The End” of the magical story as a coment! It would be really generous and the effort would be highly appreciated!

“Win Guardian Leviosa”