What’s that smell?

Today’s title, “What’s that smell?” comes from Vince’s response when he opened the refrigerator door when we got back. I wasn’t going to use it, but Terri Webster Schrandt and I had a good laugh about it, so there it is.

aqua fish platter
The smell of sweet memories 
Always has a place in my heart
It takes me back to a happy place
Reminding of joys of long ago

I remember I was 4 or 5 and we were living in Mangla, a place where American engineers were collaborating with the Pakistani government to build a huge hydroelectric dam.

The Americans had built a small residential complex over there and had a cinema, a bowling alley and a small restaurant. Whenever we had time we would go to the cinema with our parents and on the way back would have French fries at the restaurant. Whenever I smell freshly frying fries, my mind wanders back to those days of innocent pleasures.

Mangla Dam

The olfactory stimulus is a very powerful evoker of nostalgia. Nothing is more powerful than scent to bring back the memories. Smelling your mom’s perfume or your dad’s aftershave reminds you instantly of them. We forget incidents, conversations, and actions but we remember smells!

Written for WQW # 17- Smell, hosted by Marsha

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Hope or faith, or is it the same?

This quote just says it the best. Faith and hope are connected with the thread of love. When you love, you have faith and when you have faith, hope is always alive.

Faith and hope are our miracles and one gives birth to the other. Faith could mean faith in oneself, in those you love and trust or faith could be that ultimate faith that provides you with all the guidance in life. In every scenario, having faith is the strongest emotion that makes love and its miracles happen.

A life without hope is a life without magic
Hope gives us the courage to look towards tomorrow
And expect things to happen because we have faith

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Written for;WQW #16: Which Is Which Hope or Faith?

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Rainy days

Proverbially, rain is synonymous with trouble, mishap, and something that’s unwanted. If we learn to take these unwelcome intrusions in our life as a challenge to go forward, to grow both in life and wisdom, and enjoy it at the same time, we can make our lives so much a more enjoyable.

Fighting with our circumstances is a futile effort. Acceptance brings us peace of mind and then, often we can find ways to conquer our problems.

I love this quote where rain is seen as cleansing, washing away our pain and troubles. Like tears can wash our souls of the pain, rain can be symbolic of tears of heaven, cleaning the buildup of woes and sorrows.

Dark clouds gathering, heralding rain
Birds flying towards safety as a storm is on its way

Written for WQW- Rain has the edge, hosted by Marsha

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Spring

This week the topic for WQW is spring

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The spring season is one of hope and renewal. Hearts fell lighter and the worries less cumbersome. Each flower when it blooms, lifts our spirits higher.

The verve, the joy
Spring season infuses
Into our winter frozen minds
Like rays of golden sunshine
Thaws the negativity inside
The ice melts and a river of
Happiness flows

There is evidence of spring everywhere I look. Flowers blooming around me.

Written for;WQW #12: “You Cannot Stop Spring from Coming”, hosted by Marsha

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Is luck colored green?

Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge Logo

Anyone who has good friends, should consider themselves very lucky indeed. For unlike organic family which we are gifted with at birth, friends are the family we find for ourselves.

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I love this whimsical quote, but I don’t believe that luck has anything to do with any material objects. Luck is just serendipitous chance which often occurs because we work hard for it.

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Love and protect the green foliage in the environment. It is what keeps the life on the planet going. The over industrialization, cutting of the forests to make room for human habitat and burning of fossil fuels are leading our planet towards a future we really don’t want to live in.

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Written for;WQW #11: St. Patrick’s Day Green, hosted by Marsha

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Taste, Food, Recipes- In quotes

Enjoying life, tasting it to the fullest 
We need friends and family to sit together
Make it a special occasion which remains
In our minds, always alive as memories
to cherish

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All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.

Charles M. Schulz

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An ideal day is incomplete without chocolate! And obviously no celebration can be a celebration without a bit of chocolate added in.

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I have been very lucky to have tasted different foods from different cultures. It is an awesome experience, and like this quote, I felt more connected to the people whose food I’ve shared.

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All we need to enjoy good food is a good appetite and an open heart.

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If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Food is one of the necessities of life
Clean air and water we also need in addition
Love and good friends to make life beautiful
Songs and music to entertain and lighten our souls
Gold and money, land or property have little role
In making our lives fulfilling and satisfying
Why do then we crave riches and material wealth
And not the spiritual treasures of sincere friendships

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Written for WQW # 10- 5 Senses- Taste, hosted by Marsha

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Honoring women- WQW # 9

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

Marie Curie (1867–1934), the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize

About: Polish scientist Marie Curie is, to date, the only person to have won two Nobel prizes in two different fields. The first, awarded in 1903 for Curie’s pioneering research on radioactivity (a word she also invented), made her the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize. Her second, for chemistry, was issued in 1911. She is arguably one of the most well-known scientists in the world – and came top in a 2018 poll conducted by BBC History Magazineasking ‘Which woman has had the biggest impact on world history?’

Marie Curie. (Getty Images)

Being a student of science, I came to know of Ms Curie in grade 6. She was an inspiration for me and millions of girls worldwide, in many generations that came after her. What a remarkable and dedicated woman!

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Human rights are not things that are put on the table for people to enjoy. These are things you fight for and then you protect.” 

Wangarĩ Maathai (1940–2011), Kenyan political activist and environmental campaigner

About: Wangarĩ Maathai was awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for her “contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”, making her the first African woman to win the prestigious award. No stranger to historic ‘firsts’, Maathai was also the first woman from East and Central Africa to graduate with a doctorate. She is particularly known for founding the Green Belt Movement, which campaigns for the planting of trees, environmental conversation and women’s rights.

Wangari Maathai.(Photo by Wendy Stone/Corbis via Getty Images)

As Marsha suggested, I came across Wangarĩ Maathai when I was researching this post. I am thoroughly impressed by her contributions towards environmental protection, awareness, and sustainable development. This a story of courage and perseverance!

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Women in my life- My heroes

Where would I be without the woman who birthed me- my mom

My paternal grandma who took on the responsibility of raising me when my mom passed away


My kind and generous teachers who nurtured my enquiring mind


Groomed my wayward tomboyish ways into a semblance of elegance


My professors who taught me the knowledge of human body
and how it works

And also the etiquettes of good conduct
and deportment

A very loving mother in law who wiped clean the feeling of deprivation


Intelligent and bright daughters who are full of kindness


And last but not the least the little granddaughter


Who brightens my life with her “I love you nano!”

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Written for: WQW #9 – Women in History, hosted by Marsha

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What moves us- Quotes

You can’t understand a city without using its public transportation system.

Erol Ozan

I loved riding the Metro when I was in Seattle. At first, I found it confusing to follow the routes and the schedules. The city was new to me and in my home country, traveling by public transport wasn’t very easy so it was a whole new experience for me.

But when I grew used to traveling by metro, I loved this experience. There was a bus every 10 minutes or so from where we lived and to all the districts of the city. I even went to nearby towns via the Metro. While traveling I met so many people, from different countries and it was such an enriching experience.

And I got to know the city quite well. It’s a beautiful place, full of natural beauty and I enjoyed myself whenever I got the chance to explore it.

Walking is the only form of transportation in which a man proceeds erect – like a man – on his own legs, under his own power. There is immense satisfaction in that.

Edward Abbey,

As I’ve written many times before, I fell in love with walking pretty late in life. It’s an acquired taste for me and it grew on me gradually.

I love going for a walk whenever I get the chance. On foot one can explore nature closely. The flowers, the trees, the birds singing in the branches, the clouds floating leisurely across the sky, these all look so much more beautiful when we can observe them while leisurely walking.

And one does feel more satisfied when we walk someplace instead of driving there. When we drive we are oblivious to all the things we could be admiring, if we hadn’t rushed by them.

Written for;WQW #8 – Topic: Transportation – Anything that Moves You, hosted by Marsha

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Dreaming of traveling

All conversations about traveling abroad open with this word;

When…..

When the Covid restrictions will ease down, when it will be safe to travel, when it will be safe to fly for 7-8 hours with hundreds of people sharing the air you breathe…..

But like everyone else, we also make plans. Dubai expo was an event we wanted to visit but considered it unsafe to travel right now.

Visiting Turkey is also on the list. I’ve been to Turkey with my friends and so has my husband on an official tour but we didn’t go together. And we want to take the rest of the family with us. Turkey makes an excellent travel destination. It’s not very far, it’s affordable, and it’s welcoming to us Pakistanis. There are old historic places to visit as well the modern Turkey to admire. It offers a wide range of travel attractions to tourists and Istanbul was one of the most visited city in the world before Covid.

Another place that I’d love to visit is Saudi Arabia. I’d like to perform Umrah, a ritualistic visit to holy Ka’aba in the city of Mecca. All Muslims want to visit Mecca to perform Umrah or Hajj.

Stepping out of my comfort zone 
Embarking on a journey to new places
Seems to be a difficult step to take
The inertia of the fear of the unknown stops me
But the excitement of finding something new spurs me on
Growing in wisdom and experience with every new destination
Traveling opens my heart and mind to new possibilities
Pack your bags 
Raid the money bank
Fold the map and keep it safe
It’s time to open the door
And step out to explore

Written for WQW #7 – Topic: Where Do You Want to Travel? Hosted by Marsha

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Love and romance, in quotes

My first selection is such a profound quote that explains what true love is all about;

Would you become a pilgrim on the road of love? The first condition is that you make yourself humble as dust and ashes.” – Rumi

They say in love there is no shame
They’ll tell you in love there’s no pride
Humble yourself, shed the ego’s burden
Only then your soul is ready to receive
The blessings of love that lift you up
From the dusty pathway to the height of the sky

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Love is all about giving and not expecting anything in return. Love is what makes us, elevates us from the ordinary to extraordinary. Love changes us from within, hides the blemishes of our character, giving it a luminosity an aura of gentleness and kindness. If love doesn’t do this, it isn’t true love.

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From the time we are born to the time we die, we crave to be loved. Some would scorn the notion that they want to love or be loved, but this is something ingrained in our psyche. Money or power can give happiness for a little while but the lasting joy always comes from love. Loving and being loved.

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There are two types of love. One is the love we feel for others around us, family, friends, spouse, or that special someone and our fur babies. The other kind of love is the spiritual kind which connects us to our Creator and then it connects us to His creations. Both kinds of love are capable of changing us into better versions of ourselves.

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Written for WQW #6 – Topic: Romance and Love, hosted by Marsha

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