Madhu Bazaz Wangu | Blog
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Fifteen Fabulous Days in India, DAY ONE

Dear Friends, Recently, I had one of the most exhilarating and emotionally fulfilling holiday in India with my husband Manoj. We visited many places we had never seen before, and a few we had seen more than once. We met close family members and made new friends. This time our journey was rather lavish compared to our previous trips to India, except the one in October 2013. Then we travelled by the luxury train called Royal Rajasthan on Wheels visiting exquisite palaces and magnificent temples in Central India. Unforgettable! So we decided to travel again this year by another train named Golden Chariot. During the night we chugged from one city to the next and during the day a bus drove us to various monuments and awe inspiring locations in the Southern States of Tamil Nadu and Kerela. From Pittsburgh we took a flight to Bengaluru. Before boarding the train we stayed overnight at the Taj West End. The hotel is...

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Journey Through Indian Peninsula

[caption id="attachment_40796" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Interior of the Bedroom of a Mansion, Alsisar, Rajasthan. 2013[/caption] I’ll be in India until November 10 traveling by train via Tamil Nadu and Kerala visiting their respective capitals, Chennai and Thiruvanathapuram. We’ll see the rock cut temples of Mamallapuram and the magnificent ones of Trichy, Thanjavur and Madurai. The train will take us by way of enchanting Pondicherry (once a French colony) and backwaters of Alleppey in Kochi. After disembarking the train in Bangalore we will go to Agra to see Taj Mahal and Red Fort, then Old and New Delhi and finally to Chandigarh in Punjab. I’ll keep you posted. At this point I would like to ask you: If you have never been to India, what is your cherished fantasy about the country and what is your...

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Mindful Writers 2nd Fall Retreat

The wondrous Mindful Writers 2nd Fall Retreat (17-20 September) was even better than the previous year. From Thursday to Sunday, we practiced Writing Meditation Practice that includes mindfulness meditation, walking meditation, and writing in journal and laptop to our heart’s content. Our personal writing time was most productive and our time together filled with deep affection, light heartedness and laughter. We practiced mindfulness mediation outdoors, in a gazebo visible behind the group picture. Guided body, heart and mind meditations helped us explore our minds. With deep and long inhalation and exhalation we calmed the mental chatter that seems to always keep us company. We were present and focused, ready to receive intuitive ideas and insights. We untangled our emotional knots and let the creativity and imagination flow freely. Lori Jones led the...

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Meditation and Mindfulness Workshops at Art Museums

Last week, I attended Meditation and Mindfulness Workshop at Freer Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. with seventy to eighty other participants. The workshop meets every Thursday from 12:15 - 12:45 and will run until mid December. Lead by charming Philip Bender, meditation (raja) and yoga (hatha) teacher, the session ended with such restful calm that for a few more minutes we continued to sit in pin drop silence. A feeling of peace, well-being and fellowship was palpable. After the workshop, I chatted with Phil. He said as far as he knew there were only two art museums in the country that offered mindfulness workshops: Freer Gallery and Hammer Museum at UCLA. I thought to myself, Why not offer a meditation and mindfulness workshop at Carnegie Museum of Art? I am trying to get in touch with the museum's media coordinator, Lucy Stewart to start the ball...

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Homesteaders in Trapper Creek, Alaska

In Trapper Creek, Alaska, we spent a morning with homesteaders. The charming mother Jeanne and her equally charming daughter Jenny. They both narrated their stories from their respective points of view. [caption id="attachment_40761" align="alignleft" width="200"] The Pioneer Mother[/caption] In 1959, this charming elderly lady was a young wife and mother of three. She and her husband got this crazy idea of selling everything they had in South Dakota and heading to the wilderness where the federal government had allotted them land. Upon arrival they found themselves in the middle of nowhere. They chopped down trees and built a one-room home; it’s roof no taller than the height of her husband. In winter the family melted water to drink and in summer hunted caribou and moose, and grew vegetables and fruit. Within the...

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Madhu Bazaz Wangu

An Educator Turns to Fiction

For me, there are so many lessons learned and heartfelt moments that have come from writing stories about culture through different characters' perspectives. It has given me the chance to learn from myself and my past and to share in other's lessons and traditions. Today, I am grateful for the opportunity to share this article written in the Pittsburgh City Paper about Chance Meetings. Here is a quote from the article, Though "Cadmium and Crimson" is set in what Wangu calls a romanticized rural India, most of these 13 stories take place in present-day India and America. "Secret Healer" details the harrowing, Dickensian journey of a poor rural boy who becomes an indentured servant in the city. Wangu drew on experiences with friends and family in India. "They have these helpers they...

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Web Tour Continues: Day 10

Today is the tenth day of the web book tour. I am spending the day at Lisa's Research and Reviews on A Gluten Free Journey! You can see the review by clicking here. A pre-ordained destiny is not something I believe in, and the stories in this collection fully support that ones needs to take their life in their hands and choose their own direction. Life is meant to be lived to its fullest and Wangu helped me to remember it again. I want to share a quick reminder before the weekend. You can connect with me and learn more about my writing and share stories through my email newsletter. Sign up here by entering your email in the red banner. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you...

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Web Tour Continues: Day 7

I’m spending Day 7 of the web book tour with Debbie, author of Green and Glassie. Come join me today and see the review of Chance meetings. You can also take your own tour of the site to learn about green living from Debbie. Chance Meetings is a wonderful collection of short stories about life. Each unique and meaningful. I found the stories to be intriguing while forcing me to examine my mind and heart. I think my favorite short story was The Blackened Mirror. Tomorrow, I will be visiting What Jenna Thought and I hope to see you there. One final thought! Make sure that you sign up for my new email newsletter by clicking the red banner at the top of this page. Have a wonderful day!...

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Web Tour Continues: Day 6 Ebook Addicts

Welcome back! It is the second week of the Chance Meetings web book tour and I am excited to see where my virtual traveling brings us. I am also looking forward to reading the lessons and ideas readers take away from the short stories shared in Chance Meetings. Today, I join Ebooks Addicts. You can see the review here. My favourites were the Blackened Mirror and Gauri’s Freedom, but if I am honest I loved them all, and this a collection I could go back and read again and again. Have a wonderful week and remember to stay in touch with my email newsletter by clicking here and placing your email in the red banner at the top of the page. Happy Monday!...

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Web Tour Continues: Day 5

It is Day 5 of the web book tour and I cannot tell you how pleased I am to visit Book Babble today. Teresa is a beautiful writer and I am delighted to see my book review on her site. As I finished each story in the book, I couldn't wait to get to the next one. They are well-written, and they pull you into the life of the characters. My favorite story was An American Dialogue--it is very time appropriate for this day and age. As you read these reviews and stories, please join in the conversation. You can stay in touch with my email newsletter by clicking here and placing your email in the red banner at the top of the page. Thank you for following along today. On...

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