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Xena


Xena is for X  –  the warrior princess http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xena

images (1)While Xena, the warrior princess was a fiction character in the TV shows and movies, the entire theme of evil turning to good where Xena goes through her path of redemption is impressive.  Ofcourse, the LGBT undertones brought in spice to the Xena character.  The reason i added Xena to the list is two fold  –

  1. While there were too many heroes for the little boys to idolize, there were hardly women characters for the little girls –  Xena fills in the gap as a female action hero.
  2. And i do not have any women impressive enough with their name starting with alphabet Z  :)

Teresa


Teresa, Mother Teresa  is for T of atozchallenge

When  I was at middle school, the non-detailed studies were mandated as part of English language courses –  looking back, i realize how it helped me a lot to get a glimpse of wide world than I could imagine  –  Mother Teresa’s stories was one of the non-detailed study as part of my curriculum in middle school  –  while there is no real grades attached to non-detailed studies, my dad was encouraging us to read them during the summer vacation even before the school started.   In the era of no internet,  books were the best bet to entertain us during vacations.

imagesThat is how i read about Mother Teresa and then started dreaming that I may also get enlightened one day like her if i continue to do the good deeds she recommends –  ok, that is a cliche!! but that is what i thought when I was in middle school –  I was obsessing on being a good soul and  fancying secretly the greatness of being a christian missionary nun  –  I anyways already had a great impression about the christian nuns in their pure white habits  –  this is  a result of going to a Christian convent for my junior school.  Ofcourse, later when i read more about multiple religions, this fancy fad faded when I realized every religion is a framework  with its own styles helping the humanity to attain the final goal of self realization!

So, here goes my memory on  one of the greatest soul who was of an Albanian descendant but made a sea change to the people of India and then the world.  More about Mother in the below links

Subbulakshmi


Subbulakshmi is for S of #atozchallenge

If you have visited Hindu temples, you have listened to MS Subbulakshmi’s songs without fail  –  the captivating voice is something which is unique even after so many years of her passing.  Again, if you think it is good enough to be wowed by her voice and beauty, you are in for a surprise.

Subbulakshmi persevered her life through various ups and downs and consistently kept her focus on music –  she dedicated her life for music and in turn music let her conquer it.

http://www.msstribute.org/

I have to share this short note about one of her habits.  MS Subbulakshi used to get lot of silk sarees (Indian traditional downloadwomen’s dress) as gifts whenever she is on music concerts.   She had a great method to maintain her simplicity.  She always had only 10 sarees  –  if she gets a new saree presented to her, she immediately will gift one of the existing sarees to one of her mailds.  This way, she ensured that she only had 10 sarees at any time !!

it was not only she was the queen of music, she seem to be a queen in her life with her passion and empathy towards others.

MS amma  –  Queen of music!!!!

Rosa Parks


R is for Rosa Parks for atozchallenge

African American women have done extremely well for themselves  –  while i am of Asian lineage, and it is very natural to look at Asian women as role models, I am equally surprised by the wide diversity of area in which the African American excel well.

Probably Rosa Parks is one of those first few women who stood up for themselves and in turn for the society. When she was subjected to a situation which she felt was wrong, she stood for the right  –  the right to be free and speak about it and do something about it  –  She had the courage to do what she thought was right and that in turn laid the foundation of a big change in the American history. If you want to pick up one person who taught that women can be fearless anytime, then you have to read more about Rosa Parks –  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Parks


It is the irresistible Queen of Sheba who is for Q of #atozchallenge.

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I first knew “Queen of Sheba” as a game which is played when you are in a group.  A game which requires some intelligence to do what the queen is asking the participants to do.  And then came the mythical character of Queen of Sheba  in Bible, in jewish scriptures and also in Islam.  One more instance of a strong powerful women who is known for her beauty, and more so for her intelligence.  The story is that Sheba traveled to meet King Solomon of Israel to check his knowledge through her riddles.  It is a very interesting story where Sheba is finally tricked by King Solomon and they have a son together –  who becomes an important mythical character in ensuring the Ark (container of the sacred ten commandments ) is brought into Ethiopia.  Lot of interesting stuff to read about mythology and Queen of Sheeba is one of those interesting characters.

This is for those history buffs for a weekend read on Sheeba  –  http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/cultures/sheba_01.shtml

Oprah Winfrey


O is for Oprah Winfrey in #atozchallenge

imagesHere is another women who created a brand for herself –  media proprietor, talk show host, actor, etc, etc.  She has come a long way from her childhood  –  she was born in a poor family of a single mother, underwent hardship including child abuse with hardly much support from any of her close family.

She could have ended up as another woman with lot of bitterness in life  –  instead, she conquered her weaknesses , struggled and survived to be what she is today.  She is one typical role model for little girls when it comes to courage in facing life and making the best of what is available.  More details on Oprah here –  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oprah_Winfrey

Maya Angelou


M is for Maya Angelou in #atoz challenge.

My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry To get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return –  Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quote on 'I Love You'There are millions of reasons why Maya is regarded as one of the best authors who will continue to influence more and more individuals in all the generations yet to come. You can read through them in these web pages

My one single reason is the wonderful poem by her….

Caged Bird

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Joanne Rowling


J is for Joanne Rowling or JK Rowling in atozchallenge.

We all grew up listening to lot of fairy tales  –   magic world is always intriguing with the witches and wizards when we were kids.  And i  was convinced that I grew up over years and matured and  transitioned from the fairy tales to fiction and finally to non fiction and philosophy.   I was reading Paulo Cohelo and extracts of Bhagvat Geetha and bingo…. i was again pulled into the magic world of wizards by the great HARRY POTTER series of JK  !!

The intelligence which is built by her into the Harry Potter series is astounding!!!   The characters, the little details, the locations, the incidents, the good over evil  –   she wowed me!!  She just made sure an entire generation of kids returned back to their reading habits and probably the so-called grown ups (like me!)  went back to their world of fairy tales where the good triumphs over evil and got the hope back in life!!!

Goes without saying that her personal life is also an inspiration  –  where she faced multiple disappointments before she became the current famous version of herself –  JK Rowling!!

JK  –  my vote for her in bringing back the hope of good over evil in millions of children and the grown-ups!! And then it made me realize that she has subtly included lot of philosophy into her wrriting  –  some samples below.

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Read more about her and her works in these two links

Indira Gandhi


I is for Indira Gandhi in AtoZ challenge.  Anyone who lived in India during the period of Indira Gandhi  will agree to the fact that she is one of the most charismatic political leader ever in the subcontinent!

If I have to pick up one quality of her, then it is her courage which impresses me  –  the courage with which she went ahead and made those major decisions in Indian politics, Indian Government and in turn in the lives of Indians.   While I am neutral politically, it goes without saying that she comes on top of my list if i look at all the prime minsters who held post in India in the past.

There are multiple views on how the Nehru family and especially Indira patronized the monarchy model in the so-called democratic India –  her dad Jawaharlal Nehru, she and her son Rajiv Gandhi all held the post of prime ministers of India.

Still, when it comes to looking at that one women political leader across the world in all these years, Indira still is as impressive as she can get.  If you need to read the life of an individual, who conquered her own demons and reached the pinnacle of power in politics in a developing country like India, INDIRA it is!!! For starters, to know more about Indira Gandhi Wiki is a good place  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indira_Gandhi !!

Check out the few sample pictures if you want to find out what it means to be a Charismatic leader….i was tough to stop adding more pictures to this post!!   Indira  =  Charisma !!!!

Hillary Clinton


H on #AtoZ challenge is Hillary, and obviously i never knew this is going to be a topical post when I decided it was Hillary for H.

While there are many famous women who happen to be the wives of very famous individuals, Hillary was someone I noticed closely for one single reason.The reason was her strong clarity when the famous Bill clinton – Lewinsky episode happen.

feed-image-1East or West, it is always a challenge to handle personal matters in the eye of media and that too, if it is a spicy extra marital affair of high profile. Hillary handled that phase of her life well.  In the whole episode, all i was wondering was how will Hillary will really feel about it and how much she can acknowledge about it.  And, definitely, she wowed me with her confidence through this episode.

And now, here is she – “Hillary for America” and it will be of great interest to watch her emerge as the first American women president  –  while we at the east had multiple women political leaders, it is time the world’s super power gets ready for women power !  And her first video on her presidential campaign is likeable!!

H  for Hillary and Hillary for America

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