Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows are everywhere.

When Gautam Buddha got enlightened, he meant to spread his discipline  all over – even after his demise. So, Buddha asked his disciples  that his disciplines be prevalent and followed even after he was gone. They say that was why prayer flags were made. They say the prayer flays are all in scripted with  Buddha’s disciplines. And if you will notice, the Buddhist Stupas are almost always built tall and on high areas. It is because, by hanging flags in high places the Lung ta or the prayer flag, will carry the blessings depicted on the flags to all beings. As wind passes over the surface of the flags, which are sensitive to the slightest movement of the wind, the air is purified and sanctified by the mantras.

“The flag was waving in the wind. Now whether it was waving hello or goodbye, I do not know. 






“A breeze, a forgotten summer, a smile, all can fit into a storefront window.”

I can NOT wait for Summer.

How did your window open to you?

<tOonie :)

Daily Prompt: Say My Name, Say My Name ….

Daily Prompt: Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

                        My first name starts from the 20th letter of the aLphabet,  ‘ T ‘.

Miss Toya Homa Rai :)


Lady 'T'

Lady ‘T’

Originally spelled as ‘ Tonya’ , (nose stress here!) my grandfather named my sisters and me after our mother tongue language.  Being a ‘ Rai ‘ (my surname), I belong to the Indigenous Group of my country and hence, we have a separate set of  mother tongue and culture. Even when our parents had already named my sisters and myself on our rice feeding ceremony , our grandfather named us all after our mother tongue language. My name means something like .. NOT TELLING YOU. NA -AH. I never tell ANYONE the meaning of my name.

I never got a chance to find out and understand why I was named Toya Homa because it never occurred as a strange name inside my family. All my cousins and siblings had names kept from our mother tongue and it  was never a big issue except when we were at school. Now when I think of it, I should have asked my grandfather or, at least my grandmother about my name. I should have slept on their laps and listened to the hopes they carried when they kept my name. 

I used to really hate my name when I was a teenager. I thought everyone around me had really normal and feminine names and I was stuck with a name that often made people think I was a boy. My friends made all sorts of names out of my pretty name. My worst moments were during the introduction round where I had to repeat my name three times on a slow pace and the teacher wouldn’t still get it. I didn’t knew students could change their names during the district level examination of grade 8. I was furious when I couldn’t change my name. Hell, even my passport got stamped with the very name.

But now, I am tired of thinking over my name. There are still moments when I wish my grandfather could have chosen another name that sounded more simple and feminine. But now, I ‘ve grown over the agony. I LOVE my name :) I know it’s almost a common name but my name is still very unique. People tell me it sounds like a Japanese or Chinese name and I am often asked if I was from Japan. Well, that’s a perk of having a very outside- the-box name ;) and I know, I am going to carry my grandfather’s love and name my children from my own mother tongue and they will be loving it. Because I am going to love them with their pweetee names :)

<tOonie :)


Weekly Photo Challenge: What’s in the background?

Weekly Photo ChallengeTake a picture of yourself or someone else as a shadow, a reflection, or a lesser part of a scene, making the background, or  the foreground, the center of attention.

This week’s challenge was a tough, tough because something that’s in the background are often ignored or not really looked at even when it’s there the whole time. Obviously being belonged to a photo area where duck face and V signs are Oh – so- popular .. I really had a hard time going through my albums where I am the lesser part of the photo and the background is just poppin’  like a G 6!


The Golden Hero of Africa - Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

The Golden Hero of Africa – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

I was extremely fortunate enough to visit the Nelson Mandela Square at the Sandton City, Johannesburg in South Africa with my family. Formerly known as Sandton Square, it was renamed Nelson Mandela Square on 31 March 2004 after a 6-metre statue of Nelson Mandela was installed on the square to honor the former South African president. It is attached to the large Sandton City shopping center which is VERY LARGE and EXPENSIVE.

My Mother and I were thoroughly awed by the statue, the ambiance and the expansive feature of the Sandton City. I consider myself extremely lucky to snap with the younger version of the freedom fighter who is so much respected and loved by people. Even the sculptor has not failed to capture his simplicity, to sharp the edges of Mandela’s warm smile, those determined hands and his tall shadow that spread freedom all over Africa. I feel so tiny!

Coining for the Hero!

Coining for the Hero!

The parking lot of the Sandton city were filled with “WE <3 MANDELA – Our Golden Hero” and I personally thought this just set an environment for Non African Residents like me  that Africa loves and respects Mandela and I can see it. Whichever way it works .. I LOVED THIS :)

Mirror Mirror on the waLL, whose shadow on you faLLs?

Mirror Mirror on the waLL,
whose shadow on you faLLs?

And to wrap up this challenge, here’s a quick snap of my reflection at the square gate ;)

Thank you so much South Africa for giving me more than my bargain :D

What’s in YOUR background?

<tOonie :)


Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture


This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge asked us to photograph our Culture.

Dubo ko Maala, as we call it in Nepali – Bermuda or Bahama grass are a very important part of our Nepalese Culture. These fresh grass are freshly picked and are wrapped in RED cloth ( because RED is a very auspicious color in our culture), stitched with battu and decorated with Jewells or just plenty of silver threads.


This Dubo ko Maala ( necklace made out of Bermuda Grass) was made at the time of rice feeding ceremony of my little nephew. But this maala is also used during a Nepalese marriage ceremony. The use of this maala is taken as a sign of good omen to mark major human steps in life. My mother says, the bride and the groom put this necklace on one another with the believe that their relationship will be as evergreen as the grass :) aaaaaawwwwwwwwww haha ^_^

Here’s a glimpse of a Nepalese Marriage Ceremony


Marriage is undoubtedly the universal culture of the world. In Nepalese context, Marriage not only holds two souls together, it holds two families together, two culture together and two sets of ideologies together.  When she is married – she not only marries her husband but his whole family. This is a typical swayambar- the exchange of rings, flowers and putting the vermilion on the bride’s scalp. Come sun or rain, a tradition is a tradition!

This snap is VERY special for me because my brother-in-law and my cousin are secretly on the process of holding their hands *giggles* while they’re taking their blessing from the sacred Pachali Bhairab. Everything about this picture attracts me.The bells around the temple and the colors of the people their attire and the dimple on newly groom’s cheek :P .. everything appeals me (well that’s just me) *shrugs*. Moreover, it’s my cousin out there with whom I’ve had great emotional ups and downs and she’s marking her steps to her husband’s heart, to his home with I trust, his infinite support and love for her.  So this part of our culture will embrace us when it’ll be our turn. And I too, will *sighs* drape the sari, jewel myself up, calm my heart, warm my feet up and hopefully will have the hands of my man with me, as we mark the steps together. It will , after all, be our story :)

<tOonie :)

Daily Prompt: And the List continues ……

Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness — go silly or go deep, just go list-y.

It’s 14th April and Nepal is celebrating New Year 2070 B.S with all our hearts and hope :)

And this gives me an absolutely amazing opportunity to make list and add up things I wish to see myself doing this year.

1. Attend the class EVERYDAY.

2. Make notes very CLEAN and PRECISE.

3. Wake up at 5 and reach the class at 6.20 EVERY MORNING.

4. INVOLVE in a NEW issue this year.

5. Give FANTASTIC and MEANINGFUL Field Presentations this year.

Since this is my final year of my undergraduate college,

6. Talk to everyone in the class POLITELY and have fun TOGETHER.


8. GREET teachers with SMILE and do not answer back.

9. Make Daily Reports ON TIME and with Blue Cello Max writer Pens and ADD images and notes to prove your points!

10. DO NOT sleep in class.


Happie New Year 2070!!

I hope this year gives a lit of strength to win over procrastination and gloominess. I need this sooo much :)

Well that’s all for now peeps!

Have you made your List?

<tOonie :)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color Me!

“Colors, like features , follow the changes of the emotions”

- Pablo Picasso

This week’s Photo Challenge lets C O L O R take the center stage.

Colors are a huge, HUGE part of our lives.

These are moments when Color takes form in my Life.

They are a peek from my colorful culture of marking a child’s first step , a women’s bridal blessing, celebrating Gods and Goddesses, a little bit of faith from nature, and .. an eye for a click.

Please click through the photos and let the caption lead you the way :)

Thank you to Rejina Lama for her AMAZING eye for details and clear shot snaps. The snap of a red rose in between two white roses and last huge piece of the budding rose in this gallery is extracted from among her finest photos. Thank you to my sister Rita for her fantastic camera and Thank you to Sumishi Thapa for making me go over this prompt even when I know I can never be as expressive and new as you.

These are moments when our Life is colored the most.

What are YOUR shades?

<tOonie :)


Daily Prompt: Ringa Ringa Roses!!

Daily Prompt: Describe an item you were incredibly attached to as a child. What became of it?

My Frock :)

Ringa Ringa Roses :)

Ringa Ringa Roses :)

As a child, this attire was like my second Layer of Skin.

My Aunt brought this for me when she was practice nursing in Brunei.

It had Layers and it had big, big roses in red and black sprinkled over my little arms and on the hem of my frock. I used to love spinning round and round because the roses would be bouncing and following me around as the silver anklets (kalli) around my little feet clinked on the floor.In this little snap, I am sitting on the stairs of my house when I was about 4 :)

We shifted to a new home the year I turned 5 and with this, a lot of things didn’t make it to my new world. I had once seen it inside one of the small suitcases that had my small clothes. I wish I had pondered on the frock again and felt the charm I had once danced into. I don’t know where my favorite frock is at this moment, but I hope it gives the little child as much charm in wearing it as it has charmed and made me giggle whole heatedly when I was a child.

What did yours become?

<tOonie :)