All you need to know about getting a dog home

dogs playing

It was the summer of 2014, when my husband and I realized we both have always wanted to pet dogs. Getting a pup home is almost like having a baby, except for few responsibilities. They rely on us for vaccination shots, food, play, training, exercise and love.

If you are a first time pet parent, the first few days, or weeks might be overwhelming, but don’t worry, things will get way better. There will be so much more fun and love around that you might find it difficult to leave your pup/dog alone, even for a few days.

It has been almost two years since our decision, and we learnt many things along the way. I know these would be useful to many new, and soon-to-be pet parents as you make this most beautiful, life-changing choice. Trust me, because we had a fair share of “If only we knew this before” moments.

So, are you all ears?

Phase 1: Making the decision: 

Continue reading


Life in the time of superhero movies

Disclaimer: The post has been written for purely entertainment purpose, and I have no inclination to generalise men and women, or make fun of their personalities, and quirks. I love all the men and women in my life. No pun intended. Okay, maybe a little bit.


Who does not like Superheroes? Bring on The Hulk, Super Man, Iron Man, Wolverine out in the streets, every man, woman and child would follow.


Having said that, I want to shake them off, and walk away. Like seriously.


It all started with X-Men: The Last Stand, which I watched some months ago. Continue reading

Nija Bhaktha Hrdaya Vihari: Sri Sai Natha Deva! (24th April, 2015)

24th of April every year will have an iconic significance in each Saiyan’s life. Few of us might celebrate the day, few others might reminisce, and few others might even be choked and teary eyed. However one may express his/her emotion, the day would be about Him.

sathya sai darsan

Our Sai ❤


I too have had range of emotions playing within me each year.

Here is: 2011. 2013. 2014. I assure you, I didn’t leave 2012 by mistake, I will come to that in a while. Before that:

Do you know why Continue reading

Prison Break Review: On its spiritual angle!

I was watching Prison Break recently, and when Dr. Sara, the protagonist’s girl friend, leaves the Prison’s infirmary door open for Michael Scofield (the protagonist) to escape with his brother, it got me thinking.

prison break!

What would I do if I were in that place? When we love someone so dearly, of course we would go any length for them, but would we go all the way, or would questions on dharma (righteousness) come to play?  Continue reading

Letter 19: To the someone that pesters my mind good or bad!

Dear Thoughts,

Do you know your existence is such a sham?

You are not meant to be, but you are. What is meant to be is thoughtlessness, but you were born erroneously, and you still continue to exist over generations. Result: We bond over multiple layers now.

No, strike that! Maybe I shouldn’t call your birth erroneous, for you are doing exactly what you are meant to. That means, I should instead congratulate you, for pulling out such a spectacular feat.  Continue reading

Himalayas – Part 6 – Trekking Khuliya top

Day 6 had only one thing on our list: to trek the Khuliya top.

KT is one of the main attraction points at Munsiyari, Uttarakhand. Situated at a height of 11,500 feet, this 14km trek seemed humongous, yet exciting.

Post our trek to Mahavatara Babaji cave the other day, elders were requested to not join the trek, and few others also dropped out. So at about 6AM, 20 to 25 of us hopped into the bus, and I realised Pooja and I were the only girls in the lot.

“So you think we will do this?” I asked her.

“Well, we can try” she replied with a smile.

All geared up :)

All geared up 🙂

We then stopped for a mini breakfast, and by 6.30, we were at the gates.

“Whew! And it begins!” I said to myself.

I have trekked earlier, but KT by far would be the longest ever for me. Was a love for Nature, adventure and photography enough, or did testosterone matter? Would it be an impossible feat, as many gave up? We debated on the mind debacle for a minutes, but then I ended up saying, “Okay fine. Let’s do this.”

It took us 3.5 hours to reach the top, and another 2 hours to descend. There were times when I went ahead, there were times when I lagged, and there were times when all of us rested together.

***The beautiful khuliya***

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There were few who climbed as a group, few others found joy in their solitude, while few others in music. When we crossed paths – we clicked – laughed – shared a joke. A few of them waited for us, while we waited for a few others. A few others dropped out.

All in all, it was an exhilarating trek. 🙂


What to say of the visual treat!!!

From snow clad peaks to leafless trees, from the look alike of whomping willow to insectivorous, slimy plants, from green, bright meadows to arid and dried water pits, we saw everything. (Speaking of green, I always love how much shades of it are there in the world around us. However, I am one of those who cannot distinguish finer shades, like how women are usually expected to.  Does this pic ring a bell?



That’s me, but I am the one in the right :P)

Anyway, I remember walking through the lush green meadows, and I immediately started dreaming about my yonder giridhari. I said to myself, “Isn’t this where He would have taken the cows for a hearty meal, my dearest cowherd Krishna?!”

I don’t know if it was the pleasantness of the air, or the enchanting views that triggered the thought, but there is surely something about meadows that makes one romanticize.

I then thought, “…but where are your cows, Krishna? I can’t seem to spot any.”

The master madhusudan must have heard my heart’s whisper, for very soon he gladdened my heart with this sight ❤

The one and only place where I spotted cow grazing!

The one and only place where I spotted cow grazing!



At this point, I must tell you about my husband, he is a fitness freak, and a big fan of Tony Horton. There might even be days, when there is no music in the house, but the voice of Tony Horton would resound through the morning air, every single day. However, the husband that he is, he didn’t march ahead with his guy pals. We trekked together, and he slowed down just for me, but there were times, when I had to slow down for him.

Why? I saw him for the biology lover that he was, as he looked intently at all weird looking plants and gave each of them – names! Here are a few of his clicks 😀

Sometimes he was so much into the sights around, that he didn’t really see where he was stepping on, and slipped twice. I had to tell him, “Dude! You are holding my hands. You might not mind slipping, but do your pati-dharma.”

[What also accompanied us apart from the chirping of birds, was the constant sound of crunchy dried leaves as we stepped over them. I would have loved a dramatic version of flowers falling over us, as we trekked, but had to satiate myself with just this. At certain places, the dried leaves and the moistness of the rocks made it difficult for us to have a firm footing. That is why the distracted mind of my husband didn’t help. He laughed and drove me nuts, but I guess that was part of the fun 😀 ]

Someday I will get to be the irresponsible one, and I will pay him back with my sinister laughter 😉


And we did it:

Everything has to end, even all big, scary things, and so did the 7km ascend. Wah! I felt awesome.

We played with the small stretch of snow that invited us at the top, and the guys had a good time throwing snow, or eating them. We spent a good one hour, breathing in the beauty that was around. The guys gave me an applause, as the only girl in the lot had made it along with them. I smiled awkwardly at the attention that I got. 😀 We then distracted ourselves to spot Panchachuli.

Few meditated, few clicked, few had their lunch, few posed with the Trishul that was on the topmost point of the hill: each of us had come to the same spot, yet each of us related to the place in different ways, and did our different things. 

Soon the guide who accompanied us said, it would be better for us to leave, as any time after 12, it could rain. The ones who trekked the day before had to abort theirs, but we were lucky in our ascend. Likewise, we trekked back. A few of us reached our buses well on time, while few others had their share of rain gala.

All in all, it was a much satisfying day! 🙂


The trek as such spoke to me on a lot of levels, and I learnt that treks are like life lessons.

Over to them:

* There will always be people who can climb better than you, but that shouldn’t let you give up on yourself. Embrace the unique you. ❤

Embrace the unique you!

Embrace the unique you!

*There will be disarrayed, slippery paths now and then, but there will also be someone to lend you their hand. Believe in the goodness of the world. 

Believe in the good world!

Believe in the good world!

*If there aren’t any around, and you trip, you will still find that spark within you that says, “Come on. Get up! You can do this!” Learn to listen to your heart.

The heart never lies!

The heart never lies!

*There will always be journeys that are arduous and long. Don’t try to cover the stretch at one go. Take a break, share a laugh, enjoy the beauty. The beginnings and the ends are only as great the journey itself.

*Our bodies always show signals, when we go over the line. Respect the signs.

Taking a breather always helps!

Taking a breather always helps!

Most of all –

*What matters is NOT what we know of ourselves, what lays ahead, how much time it will take, or if we will even make it through –  BUT the willingness we show to live, dare, learn and experiment when we come face to face with life’s uncertainties. 

That final climb!

That final climb!

For our lives are worth living!

With love,


[If you would like to know more about trekking Khuliya, this link should be helpful:]

Pause. Pat. You are loved!

One of my recent acquaintances happened to speak about her experience in Kashi. Of the many things she said, picture this scene – dead bodies are piled up and stashed in one corner waiting for their line of pyre, while new borns are cradled and named in the other end – that pretty much sums up our existence.

Though life has much more attached to it, and all of us end up discussing, dissecting, debating each phase of it – for once, I want all of us to take a break and give ourselves a pat in the back.

I seriously mean it. Go on. Do it now.

Nobody ever had things figured from day one.


Maybe you have bosses who yell unnecessarily, or you are going through a tough break up, lost a loved one, got fired from the job, family vendetta, tight deadlines, peer pressure, unrequited love, the-damn-thesis-is-not-getting-over syndrome, yada, yada…

We all know that it’s all about walking through the maze one step at a time, but sometimes we just FORGET.

We forget that its not a 3 hour happy ending Bollywood/Hollywood plot.

Its more like the 10 years FRIENDS sitcom, where from Episode 1 you know Ross and Rachel have this THING between them, but they will need another 10 years, 220 episodes, 2 marriages, 100 mini breakups, plus a baby to figure it out. You know – that’s life.


This is not one of those self help posts that people write about (if it does sound like one), but I wanted to put this one out.

When you laugh at Joey Tribbiani’s jokes next time, pause for a moment, you will know you are looking at Matt Le Blanc, who had just 11$ in his account before making it big. You could be a Matt or Joey now, and in any case, a career is always not that glossy, but those love and laughters are sure to give you a good enough ride. Try to have more of ’em in your life.

When you roll down your car window to take a breath of fresh air, and you see an old man in his 80s – his greyish temple sweating it all out –his rough hands hard at work, weaving the dry coconut leaves  into a basket. You will know – old age isn’t easy, so treat ‘em with love. Those toothless blessings are one of a kind. And most importantly cherish your strong knees, and pearly teeth. They might not be yours forever!

As for finding love, staying single, or groping between the two – well, its gonna be helleva ride in any case. What works for one, might not for another! Few of us are Chandlers, and we get lucky; while few of us screw it over and over like Ross; while few of us are Joeys – we just don’t see it. So what?!

Our courage, our queer laughter, our ability to stay awake as we listen to a late night friend’s rant, our random acts of kindness – all of these alone don’t make us ‘US’ – our idiosyncrasies, our fears, our failures, the quest for unknown – all of this – and much more make us ‘US’. Go. Celebrate. Live. Call a loved one. Drop by with some flowers. Spread your love, the hungry world needs it! And you know you need it too 🙂 that_s_life

Now that you have read until here – you also get an additional pat from me 😉

Love and more love.

The ‘Parkadal’ cruise

If I ever run out of the sweet little things in my life, I know where to come to get my share of sweetness!

Saturday (09:00 hours)

It was one of those exciting days for Pari, as she was heading towards her friend Krishna’s place. Kay, as she fondly calls, was quite the lazy head in the morning hours, or so she thought, and decided to drop by the dwaram; otherwise this time again they wouldn’t be able to spend a day together.

As she pedaled her way to Kay’s eternal abode, Pari couldn’t stop smiling. It was her first time to her dear Kahna’s place, but as expected His golden chambers were still shut.

“Duuuude! Its 09:00’o clock! Don’t tell me you are still reclining in that adisesh bed of yours”, she mumbled within. Just then, Jayar & Vijayar, Kay’s eternal door-keepers, entered the scene and addressed her: “So, you must be Pari?”  Continue reading

Of autumn trees and trying times!


Tree (Photo credit: blmiers2)

We sat there in silence – Bumble and I. There weren’t many around in the park – a stray couple here and there, a group of elderly women, who shared a muffled laughter, two more elderly couple, who took brisk strolls, as they chatted on all and sundry, rest of the world was hushed by the serenity of the evening air.

I looked at her, as she clumsily hugged her knees. There was sadness in her eyes, and silence in her lips. I knew what tugged her, and I also knew that no words could soothe, no hugs could heal, no reasoning could decipher the play. It felt like a lost battle, and I swallowed the words that came my way.

It reminded me of Continue reading

I might not remember, Ma.

I might not remember the first time

you held me close, and kissed me,

but I’m sure that was when

the lover in me was born!


I might not remember the gazillion times

when I stole sleep from you

and kept you awake,

to watch over me.


But I’m sure I learnt soon enough

That: I cannot live a minute away

without you by my side,

or you in my thought!


I might not remember:

how you always treasured me,

in between all the chaos,

I created as a child.


I might not remember: how

I made you run, jump and scream

I might remember nothing at all – of my baby days

that you fancied and talked about so much!


But if I ever get a chance

to do all that for you,

and not be remembered – I’d

trade that offer with my life! ❤

Because: You are the bestest mum!!! 🙂 Muaah!



Romancing the Indian way…

#arranged marriages #india #traditional romance

The To-be-wed-girl says:    

Heard I have a million times 
What charm is there
In an arranged bond?
I, for one reason,
Couldn’t answer then
Now that my turn has come,
Hear me say:
What more charm
Can one bargain
Than the tingling feel
Of this brand new bond?
With grandpa just hurrying
Only to say –
“Now, My darling bride,
Come on! Quick here –
This side”
  Tiptoed I – to the
Farthest aisle
As uncles and aunts
Hooted along;
Chuckling aloud
Mommy told –
“The one in the white shirt
Is all yours to flirt.”
“Worth a watch,” isn’t he?
Nudged my dad
“Go on then –
Speak to him.”
Walked I slowly
Into the room,
Only to be bewitched by
The groom.
For, spoke he not a 1000 sonnet
Or showcased a heroic valour 
Tender and subtle, he cut me thru’:
Charmed I was,
By my beloved beau!
  “Loving already?!”
The sisters peeped in
“At first sight” –
The groom winked
And what did my darling sis say?
“Not a thing!!!
But she did give a smile
That shook me deep within.”
“Wahoo sis!
Now that’s romantic.”
Fully blushing –
I ran to my dad
Just to whisper –
“He is my man!”
Smiled the lad
From the rear end;
His carefree ebullience
Spreading the radiance
That moment onward
Clearly it dawned –
There is more than
Charm to this willed bond.
There is more than charm to this willed bond.

The To-be-wed-guy says:
Of Krishna and cupids, of Terasa and Hewitts,
 Thought I in my mind’s eye.
That to me was love, till y’day
An apparent radiant in the distant bay.
Yeah, love to me then was eww
Love to me then was a meaningless hue.
But then you came along
Enthralling me to an eternal bond.
With your exquisite elegance
and elusive exuberance. Wah! 
  Love to me now is you!
Yes, Love to me now is YOU 🙂



Waiting‘ is a beautiful word.

When we look up the word ‘wait’ in dictionary, it reads:”stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or event

We all wait in our lives for something, for someone, don’t we? For the perfect job. For the perfect spouse. For the society to deem as successful. Well, that is just the way it is!

We are being jostled and cradled in a world of instant gratification. We are never taught to pay attention to the journey, pay attention to our waiting. Even if we do, we will sadly nitpick. That something or someone is not good enough. That we are not good enough. That we could be better.

In sight of the goal, we lose sight of what we are today. Things that make us ‘us’.


Do you know what it also reads: “remain in readiness for a purpose

Only when we bring light to that side of the definition, would we turn back to the now. Only then we will enjoy this moment of our making. Right here. Right now.

Take a deep breath. We are here. We are ready. We are in the now. What will come along is only going to complement us, but never complete us. We are already complete-full-whole.

The next time something doesn’t confirm to our pre-conceived notions of success, let’s remember: the act of waiting might never be tasteful by itself. But it is how we wait that makes all the difference.

Much love and power to you my good people,

SB ❤

Going beyond…

Himalayan peaks

Robert Frost once wrote:

“Two roads diverged in a wood,

I took the one less traveled by

And that has made all the difference.”

What a classic line that is, for a century later we all still relate to it.

In the August of 2013, Krishnashtami day, my Master told me to come and live in Puttaparthi.

He continued, “Sarvada Sarva Kaleshu Sarvatra Hari Chintanam” (everywhere, at all times, under all circumstances contemplate on the One).

Puttaparthi is a land of ethereal promises. No doubt. But back then I had wondered many a times, ‘why?’ It was not in my foreseeable plan.

However when your guru asks you to do something, you do it. As simple as it sounds, it was difficult, sometimes it still is.

Eventually when I did marry and move to Parthi, I had thought,”Man! I didn’t know I was this obedient.” I now realise He had infact answered my prayer, just that He had packaged it differently.

In these 2+ years, I have learnt many a lesson, met many brilliant minds, kind hearts, loving souls, ardent spiritual seekers and masters: things that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. The love I have received, the lessons I am still unlearning and relearning. #Gratitude

One of the crucial, nerve-racking tests of ’em all is learning to wait. The waiting lingo is so very common here. Almost everyone you see would have waited some time or the other for a sign, a command, or a benediction.

I am turning 30 this weekend – while time doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, the rites of passage don’t let you in peace. Interestingly enough, that is not even getting my goats.


In the early 1900s Swami Pranabananda sensing young Mukunda’s doubts, who would later become Yogananda, had told him, ” I will tell you how priceless is a guru’s help. I used to meditate with another disciple for eight hours every night.” “…But a little veil always remained between me and the Infinite…”

At long last when Pranabananda sought Lahiri Mahasaya‘s guidance, the Master had told him, “You may go now and meditate. I have interceded for you with Brahma.”

Okay. Plea bargain: I have not meditated for eight hours in the night, I am not even remotely close. I have not been a disciplined sadhaka. I still am not. #facefallen

But I want to say: “Call back, my lord, call back this pervading silent heat, still and keen and cruel, burning the heart with dire despair. Let the cloud of grace bend low from above like the tearful look of the mother on the day of the father’s wrath.”


Last year, this time around, my guru made me have a week long satsang with a Himalayan master. It was exhilarating. He has been tossing and turning my world, ideologies, concepts since then. For the most part, I have loved it. Again: #Grateful

The pressing feeling though – Every spiritual master I have known and read, have always sought the guidance of a Guru in close quarters. I have had my trysts in the altar of my heart for too long. The other day as I read Yogananda address Sri Yukteshwar Giri as ‘Gurudeva’, I was lost in the endearing profundity of it all. It was sublime.

Even as I type these words, I do understand, my Master, that you are nudging me towards the nirgun aspect of life. Something I asked out of you. Now, whose fault is that, you might say!

I agree. Shall I then submit a prayer?

I seek Thy humbling presence in my everyday life. Spare the incessant heat, and the silent tests. Show me Thy presence in all that is, and all that I am. Delay not. Show me Thy presence like a torrential rain. That I may flourish and fly in the eternity of the oneness that we all are.

May every micro and macrocosm find peace and love in the now and forever.

Love and pranams,

Your beloved… ❤

And here’s to the day I shall truly be born, for aren’t birthdays meant to be forever!

I also humbly take this moment to thank every being, whose influence and presence has helped me in my sojourn.

Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavanthu | May all the beings in all the worlds be happy. |


Of a life beyond ‘labels’ – 3

Post the heart-breaking CNN video, and Hony’s War Veteran series, I stumbled upon the sentiments/outpouring of a Pakistani citizen, the animal vs. human debate in NY Times, and few other related articles this past week.

Either in the articles or in the comments section, there is very often a debate, an insult, or insinuation, whatever people seem befit to pull the other party down. It could be against Muslims, against Hindus, against Pakistan… Sometimes it’s re. the biases that African-Americans encounter with the U.S. police… Or those heated arguments between animal lovers and the others, etc. It is like a bonfire, you go close, you get burnt. If the topic is not a good conductor of heat, it will at least get trampled on.

Despite all those punches in the gut, I still look forward to a changed world. A simple RAOK feels enough to restore the balance, to fight the odds. Because my logic – when one eye gets hurt, the other one has to cry.

Today as I was discussing a related point with my husband, I realised what I had discovered earlier in the day: “You know what. Swami agrees with me as well” I had told him. And only after I said it out loud, it struck deeply.

As I was pouring over my guru’s discourses in light of the upcoming Krishnashtami program, I found this. 

In the 1998 discourse, my guru had said, “Bharath is a land in which the tender Tulasi plant and the giant banyan tree are worshipped with equal devotion. Cows, horses, elephants and other animals are treated as sacred objects of worship. Even ants are considered worthy of care and protection that rice flour or sugar is offered to them every day. Crows and eagles, dogs and monkeys are deemed worthy of worship. The world might bellow it all as superstition, but the land of Bharath considered that – the expression of Divine love should not be confined to human beings, but should be extended to all beings…” “…you must positively Love all beings, actively Love, actively engage yourself in acts of Love.” 

Ah. That is why I love you my Swami. 

At a time, when regions and religions are at crossroads, when everything that people have held in high esteem seemed to have lost its way — words, vision, and aspirations like these is what keeps me going. In His acknowledgement I realised, I did a good thing by hugging a tree the other day, when I thought it could get cut. At the risk of sounding insane, I simply couldn’t wrap my head and heart around to a beautiful, old tree getting cut. People might refute, but I believe all beings – trees, animals, humans, whatever the beings might be – deserve a chance to not just live, but live happily. When they don’t, it effing hurts, because I believe we are all one. 

Because my logic – when one eye gets hurt, the other one has to cry. But today, I am grateful for all the love, all the empathy, and the oneness people believe in. Truly, only that keeps this world going. #ThankYou


Places to visit in Puttaparthi – 7

TruYogi Wellness is an organic store and café in Puttaparthi, that has brought with it a fresh wave of newness.

Whilst Parthi has always had plenty of food outlets, a café was something it lacked. Now TYW has made it easier for us to stop by for a drink, or a quick bite in the evenings, whilst shopping. That is what I call having the cake, and eating it too.

I love the aesthetics of the place, and in particular the good view and pristine stillness of their balcony, as it oversees the samadhi of Sathya Sai Baba’s parents.

Specializing in organic, ayurvedic and other yoga based products, this health and wellness store offers free wi-fi, and allows visitors to put up flyers. With nominal pricing, and no compromise in quality, they have definitely stepped up the game, which Sai Towers and Hanuman Hill Rock so far offered only with increased food costs. It is also a good place to buy quality cheese, and tofu.


Situated at Prem Sai Residency, Chitravathi Road (Opposite Hanuman Hillrock), TYW I believe is open from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm, and 4.30-7.30 except Sundays. Until next, SB.

Places to eat in Puttaparthi – 6


Sai Towers is a very popular restaurant in Puttaparthi, that stands at the junction of the Main road, and the Gopuram road. Proximity near the ashram, good food and ambiance has given the place the kind of name it has looked to sustain.

In the past year, the restaurant branched out to cater to two different tastes with Vanta Gadhi outlet focusing on South Indian cuisine, and Love Is My Form outlet focusing on North Indian, and InterContinental cuisine.

The two outlets are next to each other, and with comfortable seats, free wi-fi, air-conditioned space, and membership cards, the restaurant has become the hub for a quiet family meal, or a gala filled friends reunion.


Waiting time. This is a definite overbearing on the name of the restaurant that most of us relate to, and we even walked out once. Whilst we have had good services, and good waiters, we have on one too many occasions waited just for waiters to show up. That is a turn off.

Overall: Good place that leaves  you with mixed feelings.

Until another time,


Places to visit in Puttaparthi – 5


Shilparamam, a government park in Brahmanapalli, is a 5-10 minute ride from Puttaparthi’s Gopuram Gate. It’s a good place for you to unwind, socialize, watch the kids play in swing/seesaw, or simply take a stroll.

With an entry fee of ten bucks per person (for two hours), an amphitheater that is up for grabs, a couple of small rocky hills to trek, a children’s park, Shilparamam makes your evenings better.

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Here is a video that Google Photos made for us for more sneak-peek:)

Until another place,

SB ❤

Places to visit in Puttaparthi – 4

Reaching Vengalamma Cheruvu (Cheruvu in Telugu is lake) takes a 15-20 minute ride from Puttaparthi, and once you settle there with a picnic basket, friends, book, pet dog, or just yourself, the time will just melt away. Every time I went there, I had such a good time, and here are a few snaps for you to savor 🙂


Vengalamma Cheruvu, June 2016.

Summer in Andhra Pradesh is intense, so we could see a drastic difference in the water levels from December to June. That never stopped my dog though.

Some more 🙂

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Beautiful, isn’t it?

Until another time,

SB ❤