Saturday, December 29, 2012

New beginnings...

New promises made-
Together life we adore
with trust and amour;

Endless troubles?
After a dark, cold night
hope rises again

Devoid of all mirth,
barren was mother earth;
behold green rebirth.


This post is shared with Haikuheights and this week's prompt is NEW.

Pictures are from Google images

Friday, December 28, 2012


Along frosty path,
as silver dreams float above,
heart seeks warmth in love.

This post is shared with Haikuheights and this week's prompt is snow.

Picture is from Google images

Thursday, December 27, 2012


55 Fiction is a form of micro fiction that refers to the works of fiction limited to a maximum of fifty five words excluding the title.


 Waiting to board the train, Susan smiled thinking of all those tedious hours of training under her coach's watchful eyes. It was designed to make her limber and stronger. Soon she would be in the national team. Little did she know a bomb was aboard too, ticking away waiting to detonate dozens of such dreams...

This post is shared with 3WW and the words for this week are Detonate, Limber & Tedious.

Picture is from Google images

Friday, December 21, 2012

Echo of my soul

Standing on a hill,
feeling dwarfish, lonely
 my heart screams out.

My heart screams out-
a mighty roar I hear,
echo of my soul

Echo of my soul -
saga of hardship and hope,
epic life journey

Epic life journey-
fleeting before my eyes
mind smiles softly.

Mind smiles softly,
distant dreams yet to catch
standing on a hill.

  This post is shared with 3WW and the words for this week are Echo, Hardship & Softly.

A knock on my door...

Ever since I moved to our home in San Diego after marriage, I have had a bunch of special visitors. They religiously drop by for a hello almost every day. We exchange pleasantries silently at times and chirpily on most occasions. It helps that there are quite a few trees that dot the landscape in our apartment apart from shrubs and bushes. By now you must have guessed, my  special visitors are of the winged variety :-) So I have robins, house sparrows and pigeons who like to relax for a while in our patio. Mind you they are camera-shy and my repeated attempts to get them to pose for a quick snap have failed miserably.

However, I did manage to strike a deal with one of them. So when this pigeon sought to hide from its pursuer on a hot afternoon in our patio, I managed to get a couple of candid shots in exchange for refuge ;-)

 As for my other winged friends, they continue to drop by to quench their thirst from the water in the saucers that are placed underneath my potted plants. Someday I hope to shoot their portfolios, till then its just candid conversations. Their early morning choir is another regular feature of my typical day. I sometimes enjoy watching them silently as they fly around chasing one another engrossed in their versions of hide and seek. In fact, yesterday they had some special performance in the intervals of their game. The tiny little humming birds flitted around here and there, even hovering mid air displaying their colorful plumage. It was a well choreographed performance, worthy of a packed audience. If only I could capture it on camera, sigh!!  Thank you my winged friends for the wonderful company you keep me :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hawaiian hula

Plumeria flowers adorning her hair
lent a divine fragrance to the air.
To the strains of the ukulele -
She crooned tales of her land,
Of warm pacific waters and placid bays,
Of endless stretches of colored sand...

She sang of the magical land of Hawaii.
of the sun, the sand and the sea,
 of the mountains and the valleys,
of the forests and the greenery,
of nature and her beauties,
of life and its mysteries...

As the fire crackled and the night fell,
she wove a dream, a lyrical spell...
She sang of the kingdom of yore,
of long gone but still revered tribal chiefs;
She then hummed about the coral reefs,
of the world underwater that one could explore...
She sang about the dolphins and whales,
of turtles and sea-life, she sang exotic tales...

She had her chorus in the breeze and ocean,
"Aloha" they seemed to sing in unison...
Ethereal night and the soulful melody
unburdened the mind of melancholy.
The heart swayed to the hula rhythm
Oh the rhapsody was blithesome!!

Picture is from Google images

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stringed melody

Magical was the tune
when with the strings his fingers played.
One felt over the moon
when the sitar melody was relayed

His fluid string-play,
those enchanting notes high and low
won him worldwide accolades.
Sitar to the world he showcased;
His music the world embraced
honoring him as "The Sitar Maestro"

A tribute to Pt.Ravishankar (7 April 1920 – 11 December 2012) who was instrumental in getting the world's attention to Indian Classical Music.

Picture is from Google images

Monday, December 10, 2012

Silver shores

It was a lovely evening with the sun just signing off for the day leaving behind a multi-hued horizon. The setting couldn't have been more perfect for a party. Sunil's eyes only sought out Malini and there she was in the middle of  friendly banter with her college group. She looked mesmerizing in a blue saree that seemed to twinkle with tiny silver stars. Malini was laughing her heart out at some comment that Neil had made.Oh boy, that tinkling laughter always felt like heavenly music to Sunil's ears. Suman, Madhu and Nikhil were laughing as well. Yet his ears picked out Malini's laughter alone. On any other day that laughter could instantly relieve all his tensions and ease his heart. But not today.

Today all Sunil could feel was his heart pounding, it was so loud that he wondered how no one else had heard it. His lips were already parched and he could hardly gather his thoughts. He wanted to walk over and join in the conversation. But he could only stand gazing at Malini as if he were welded to the floor. He was hardly listening to his buddy Kiran who was animatedly talking about his plans for a road-trip. Kiran sensed that Sunil was lost elsewhere and mockingly shook Sunil saying "Hey, seems like you are already roaring away on our road-trip man".
 "Umm what? Did you say something " said Sunil.
 "Wake up Sunil. I didn't know you still slept with eyes open".
 "Oh its been a long day and I'm just a little tired, why don't we sit down and then you can tell me all about your newest plan", so saying Sunil plonked himself on a chair.

Soon a few other friends joined in and for a while Sunil forgot all his worries. Suddenly there was pin-drop silence and Neil was announcing to the crowd "May I have your attention ladies and gentlemen? It's now time to witness what we all have gathered here for. I have beside me the gorgeous as always Malini. I'd like Sunil to come over as well please".

Sunil was wondering how Neil knew about him and Malini. He was muttering something angrily under his breath when Kiran tugged his jacket "Come, let's go on to the front, you are the star of the evening".
A dazed Sunil replied "What? Yes... No".
"Hey are you alright? You have been behaving strangely all evening", asked a confused Kiran.
"Ummm, Of-course, I must be!!" said Sunil.  "Am I not crazy to marry her a second time after all these years? So what if we had promised ourselves that we would renew our vows after twenty five years? ". "I am making a fool of myself in front of my kids. Oh why did I  agree to this?", moaned Sunil.
"Alright I admit you are crazy and foolish if that pleases you. Now come on, Malini is waiting for you", so saying Kiran dragged Sunil along.

Sunil and Malini renewed their marital vows amidst their friends and family just as they had promised each other 25 years ago at the very beach Sunil had first proposed to Malini.

The silver moon smiled shyly as the "newly-weds" were lost in their own world on the silver shores as a medley of their favorite songs was playing in the background.

All pictures are from Google images

Friday, December 7, 2012

Autumn lesson

Paths dotted with red and yellow
leaves dry and past their days;
some still clinging on to the willow,
hoping to stay for another morrow.
Nature posing in her colorful attire.
Man failing to see the true picture.


Its about holding on, yet letting go
when life asks you to part ways.
Life swings between yes and no;
between a fresh start and an end,
certainly between joy and sorrow.
So beyond the mundane, transcend.

Picture is from Google images

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dancing Diva

Casting a spell with her glowing beauty
with joy did she waltz and sway;
Golden was her aura
as she banished the dark away.

Dazzling like a diva
in the wind as she swirled;
her warmth and laughter radiant
made it seem a surreal world.

Picture is from Google images

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The week that was- Delightful Deepavali

Deepavali or Diwali is one of the most eagerly anticipated festival among the many Indian festivals. It offers a little something for everyone. From fire-crackers for the young and restless to the traditional customs for the purists, from the wide array of treats that can tickle the taste-buds of all ages to fun and bonding time for families, from a new beginning to a homecoming , feel free to take your pick. The festival of lights sure lights up every heart in a special way.

The run-up to Deepavali is choc-a-bloc with activities-shopping for new clothes, cleaning and sprucing up homes, preparing an assortment of sweets and savories. There is something in the air that charges up even jaded souls in a magical way. The mind-blowing variety of lamps and the colorful rangolis that adorn many homes and decorated shopping centers all add up to an enchanting atmosphere.

This time around S and me celebrated a very special Deepavali - our first one after our wedding. We got to feel the festive air in a slightly different manner. The shopping malls all wore a festive look, courtesy Thanksgiving that is coming up next week. So there were sales going on in most stores which was accompanied by decorative lighting. It sure felt like Diwali. Thanks to DHL, we got our share of sweets and savories all the way from India. The local Indian stores also had clay diyas which we bought gladly and lit up our patio the traditional way. A simple puja at our home with special prayers of course and Seviyan Kheer for the festive flavor followed by Skype sessions with our parents for their blessings and a visit to the temple summed up our Deepavali celebrations. And what festival is complete without family and friends? The dinner get-together at a friend's place completed our Deepavali picture.

Picture is from Google images

Sunday, November 11, 2012


"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise " is a quote that we have all grown up hearing our parents tell us. When we were schoolkids we all secretly wished to be allowed to stay up late and watch that interesting movie or cricket match till the end without being ordered off to bed early. Teenage rebellion followed by studying for the board exams all meant that this wish was granted but not in the manner that we had wished for... The odd New-year's eve that we were permitted to stay awake till the clock struck the 12 well past the "Cinderella hour" was a celebratory event in itself...The many sweet memories of childhood that I wish to relive all over again, soaking myself in those carefree joys...And then there are those many "I wish were forgettable" incidents which made you feel like turning back the clock and undoing the wrongs and setting things right... If only we could do that... In-fact of the many magical powers that were part of Harry potter's world I wished I had, the time-turner tops my list.
Last weekend for the first time I had my brush with time in a special way, it was the end of Daylight saving time. As Wiki will rightly enlighten you - " Daylight saving time (DST)—also summer time in several countries is the practice of advancing clocks so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less."Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn.The phrase "Spring forward, Fall back" helps people remember how DST affects their clocks. Start and end dates vary with location and year. Beginning and ending dates are the reverse in the southern hemisphere.

Confused hour hand :P
At my previous workplace back in India, this had meant that our meetings with our US counterparts would be rescheduled as per convenience of both the groups. This time however living here in the US of A  meant that on November 4th, we shifted our clocks back one hour at 2 a.m. local time. It felt very funny, it was like we were turning back time albeit only for an hour...We have to put it ahead by an hour in spring mind you, but until then we have turned back time :-P So there you are - although "Time and tide wait for no one", DST offered me the false sense of victory over time for a brief moment. Now if only I could lay my hands on a real time-turner...

Sunday, November 4, 2012


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 33; the thirty-third edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is 'Celebrations'

55 Fiction is a form of micro fiction that refers to the works of fiction limited to a maximum of fifty five words excluding the title.

People say I am bubbly. You see, after spending most of your life bottled up in a glass cage, it is natural to burst out with joy at the first opportunity you get to see the world, even if it means the countdown to your last few moments has begun...

"Freedom" definitely deserves a celebration!!

People say I am enthusiastic. You see, after staying bundled up tight to brave the cold and often dark winter, it is natural to come out blooming and rejuvenated at the first opportunity you get to feel the sun's warmth, all the more when it means a new beginning...

"Fresh start" definitely leads to celebration!! 


People say I am priceless. You see, after having stayed hidden deep within the mind fearing failure and heartbreak, it is natural to come out dazzling and eager to sow seeds of mirth all around at the first opportunity of victory, especially when it comes after back-breaking hardwork...

"Success" definitely calls for celebration!!


People say I am heart-warming. You see, there is no point in just being cooped up within the heart fearing life and its offerings. Instead it is worth venturing out into the world with courage and relishing simple pleasures of life and unraveling joy all around...

"Spreading cheer" is the true definition of celebration!!


All pictures are from Google images

Note: This post is made up of four 55-fictions, each of which looks at different facet of celebration.
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: Sweta Tiwary, Participation Count: 1

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or treat ?

Just as the US presidential race was headed into a final showdown beyond all heated debates and vigorous campaigns into the ballot boxes,nature decided that things were too hot to handle and decided to display her power. And now, for the past couple of days the "Perfect storm" has dominated the airwaves. The estimated destructive power of this superstorm "Sandy" resulted in shutdown of the powerful New York Stock Exchange office for two days in a row. This is the first time the markets have been closed for consecutive days because of weather since a blizzard forced the N.Y.S.E. to close for two days in 1888. Now that is one powerful storm right? This was the "before" part of story, the hurricane now having made landfall and thus gotten weaker, it is now time for the "after" part of the whole episode.

 The havoc wrecked by the hurricane surely needs time to be cleaned up and for many people, the storm was the "trick" that nature pulled on them this Halloween. Many have lost their homes, possessions and their loved ones. Such losses can never be made good but time, they say is a great healer and life must go on and it will indeed... In true spirit of humanity, in the most heavily affected areas, Halloween will not be celebrated normally this year. In New Jersey, there is an executive order postponing Halloween celebrations statewide in the face of the chaos resulting from Sandy's passage. New York authorities postponed the traditional costume parade for the first time in history. After all what is a city without its citizens?

On the other side of the globe, there is a cyclone that has hit coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in India. This weather visitor goes by the name "Nilam". It is once again Nature showing us that no matter how ever much technological advances make man feel he is the master of the Universe, reality is far from it.

Will mankind realize its folly and learn to respect Nature before its too late?

All pictures are from Google images

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    The grass was greener... - a 77-fiction

    77 Fiction is a form of micro fiction that refers to the works of fiction limited to a maximum of seventy seven words excluding the title.

    "The grass was greener
      The light was brighter
      With friends surrounded
      The nights of wonder..."   
    cackled the scratchy CD from his Bose Wave Music System III,  his indulgence from his first salary in a  far away land. Although the crooners were a bunch of youngsters screaming their lungs out, it sounded far sweeter than the Pink Floyd version to Mani's ears. Ah those good old college days... That Skype conference call just could not wait any longer :)

    Image is from Google images

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    Celebrating the sacred feminine?

    Over the past nine days, most of India celebrated Navaratri with devotion and fervour. During Navaratri, Shakthi/Devi is worshiped in nine different forms. While the rituals vary depending on the regions, the essence remains the same - worship of the Sacred feminine. Similarly over the course of the calendar year, there are rituals devoted to worship of rivers and seas and even Mother Earth.This is true of not just India but of the world. Across most cultures, the feminine is worshiped either as the Mother Nature or as the Holy Mother or as the Goddess of knowledge/art/love. She is the bearer of life. But this adulation is sadly restricted to the divine world. The human world seems to narrate a different story.

    There is a "International Women's day" that is now famously celebrated all over the world on March 8th. Why, there is even a "International Day of the Girl Child " that is in place from this year. Henceforth October 11th has been earmarked for the same. Ironically its very first celebration had the Taliban attack on Malala Yousafzai, an advocate of girls' right to education as a backdrop. Each day, we hear/read news reports about atrocities against women. For every act of violence reported, there are many that are buried deep in the society out of fear or shame or ignorance. Even our reaction to these sort of happenings is scarily muted. For most part, such news has become commonplace, it is almost as if we have become immune to it. While our ancestors had a noble intention of respecting all objects whether animate or inanimate, somewhere down the line the central thought behind the worship seems to have gotten lost behind the rituals and the hype and hoopla. The domestic violence, female-foeticide/infanticide, dowry harassment, discrimination at many levels that hampers her education, health and her very existence by pinning her down each time she tries to stand up to her tormentors are the demons that need to be vanquished. 

    While policies by governments and initiatives by various social and corporate organizations are a step in the right direction, a modified mindset of the masses is what will take this movement to the next level. It is not that the woman is weak and needs to be always protected and safeguarded. It is just that the world, not just men, even the women themselves should learn to respect themselves. In this world of give and take, one must give respect and take respect, do your duty and then enjoy your rights. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, young or old; what matters is standing up for the right thing. While it is a sin to hurt someone, it is a greater sin to bear the hurt silently. Women need to raise their voices against any form of injustice. For the victory of the good over evil, a battle must be fought always. I like to believe we are fighting that battle and one must never give up fighting for the right thing. One must always remember that the night is darkest just before dawn.

    It is not about who is greater - man or woman? It is about what is right for mankind, the justice, the equilibrium. I hope the day is not far when the feminine will be celebrated in her true spirit. That would be the celebration of humanity and divinity combined.

    Happy Dasara!! 

    All pictures are from Google images

    Friday, October 19, 2012

    A chink in the knight's armour...

    Think of a knight and the image your mind conjures up for you is that of a brave and strong man clad in armour and mounted atop a horse equipped with sword/lance or some kind of weaponry. Basically an image of strength and fearlessness. But every knight has a chink in his armour of which he is generally aware and takes great care to shield lest others take advantage of it... Now why am I talking of knights and armours in this day and age of sophisticated and scientific warfare you may ask. Here's why...

    About a fortnight ago S and me caught up with the animated movie "Hotel Transylvania", a truly funfilled presentation :) The cinema hall was filled with as many kids as adults and entertained one and all in equal measure. How could it not? It's tagline read "Even monsters need a vacation". While I'll not venture into the details of the plot, its essence is one which you'll find in the human world. The central characters in the movie were Dracula  (Ah yes the infamous blood sucking count...), his daughter Mavis (the chink in the armor!!) and a human(the luvv angle in this love triangle :P). While the movie starts off showcasing the Hotel Transylvania as the ultimate getaway for monsters (remember their need for vacation?), you cannot help but notice the paternal instincts of Dracula that materialize in almost every frame of the story.

    It was simply adorable to see him teach little Mavis how to transform herself into a bat and fly, I just loved the cute lil pink helmet he put on her before he began the training(Safety first!!). There are many such tender moments including when he plays her favorite song and enjoys all her antics like the proverbial chase around the house or in this case literally around the house for being a monster she can walk on walls and ceilings you see :D that showcase the special bond. Of course towards the end, in true filmi style he goes hunting for the human he had sent away himself after realising his daughter's romantic feelings for the human, manages to find him and bring him back to unite the young hearts nearly dying in the process but then its an animated movie, so it has to end with "and they happily lived ever-after..."

    The point I'm trying to make here is that a daughter has a very special place in a father's heart. A daughter wields some kind of a magical power over her father, she can make him melt as if he were ice-cream and not the tough guy that the son or the mother see him to be. Oh yes, a father is quite harsh on his son, but rarely so with the daughter. He cares deeply about his children but a father does not usually express it in words, some fathers do but most of them keep their most treasured feelings to themselves like the proverbial knight. The world never gets to see the softer side of the strongest man in the world that I know(Sorry my dear husband). Remember that line in a an advertisement, Dhara ad if I remember well, "My daddy strongest :D"... Yes, that is how any child will feel about his/her dad. I know that you care a lot about me Appa, it's just that you don't say it out loud... But you have been and will always be there for me whenever I have needed you, Thank you Appa :)

    Pictures are from Google images

    PS: Amma, this post does not in anyway undermine the special bond we share :)

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    Wordless Wednesday-1

    "A picture is worth a thousand words" is a very popular phrase. Words are not always required to convey or express your thoughts. An image is more effective at times. And thus mushroomed the thought of "Wordless Wednesday" in blogosphere... Why Wednesday? My guess is that it sounds much more interesting than say a "Wordless Thursday". Another reason could be Wednesday being the middle of the week, blogger could be pressed for time to come up with a worded post and hence to have a post and yet not spend too much time, came up with WW...

    Below is my first attempt at going wordless-

    Friday, October 12, 2012

    First the rain,then the thunderbirds!!

    There's something magical about rain that makes me feel refreshed. The aroma exuded by earth when it rains after a dry spell, ah that is revitalizing and soothing. It seems the rain-gods have taken a sudden liking to sunny San Diego and so for three days in a row now I have woken up to the sound of rain as it "pittered and pattered" outside our home :)

    View of rain from our patio

    From a sprinkler show on day 1 to a  light shower at regular intervals on day 2 to moderate rainfall in the wee hours of day 3, rain has sure announced itself in this year. Coming from Bangalore where it rains whenever the mercury crosses into the uncomfortable "God! its hot" zone or during the monsoons or there are cyclonic depressions near the coastlines, I was beginning to miss rains here when the temperatures touched 35 on the Celsius scale. I was infact complaining about the lack of rain to S.And then though the temperatures had dipped a bit and there were dark clouds gathering up occasionally and one could see the red skies at night, rain seemed evasive.But not anymore I guess. I couldn't resist and clicked a few pics of rain from our patio.
    I ended humming a popular kannada melody ಮುಂಗಾರು ಮಳೆಯೇ ಏನು ನಿನ್ನ ಹನಿಗಳ ಲೀಲೆ.....
     (Translation: Oh pre-monsoon rain, what magic do your drops possess? )
    Ah the magic of rain indeed...

    When there is rain, can thunder be far away? But this is a thunder of a different kind. Its time for the annual Marine Corps Air Show at Miramar. This is the largest military air show in the US and hence we have jets thundering through the skies of San Diego since yesterday. It reminds me of the biennial Air-show in Bangalore. Oh those spectacular displays and those daredevil spins and nosedives by the pilots and their flying machines... the very thought revs us up with enthusiasm and zest for life.

    You can check the following link to check out the source of the airshow images and photo gallery that feature sample photos of what the show has to offer - MCAS airshow

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    Born to be wild

    It was a typical morning in South India. The entire household woke up to the notes of M.S.Subbalakshmi's Suprabhatam  but for the sleeping beauty. She lay all cuddled up on her special bed. Even the aroma of fresh filter coffee(she had loved sipping coffee during the rains) wafting in from the kitchen failed to wake her up... Finally when the Sun streamed in through the window grills lighting up her skin golden, she yawned and stretched her tender-self and opened her tiny little eyes much to the amusement of  Kamala who had been watching over her keenly. "Amma*, She's awake... Amma, Sunaina woke up...", Kamala called out to her mother. Within minutes, Amma came in with two glasses of milk, one for Kamala and the other for Sunaina. Both the girls slurped up the milk in a jiffy as if it were a competition. "Can Su and me play for a while in the garden?" asked Kamala. "Sure dear. Be careful with her and don't trouble her too much", so saying Amma went back to her chores.

    Kamala was thrilled that her mother was letting her play with Su. The last time they had played with each other was nearly six months ago when Kamala was home for her summer vacations. It was Kamala who had come up with Sunaina's name. She had chosen the name after loosing herself in those deep-amber colored eyes that oozed mischief and innocence. She had gone back to her residential school with a heavy heart at the end of what had been her best summer vacation. Now for another 3 weeks, she could play with Su to her heart's content.Both the kids were lost in their world until Appa** came home for lunch.

    Seeing their games, Appa whispered to Amma "Oh how adorable they look together!! I can't imagine how Kamala will react when she comes home next summer. Sunaina will be nearly a year old then... I cannot keep her with me any longer. She needs to go back to where she came from, the forest, after all that is her home. She was born to be wild...". Amma comforted him saying "Don't worry dear, I'll speak to Kamala about it. I'm sure a smart girl like her will understand ".

     But there was no need for Amma and Appa to be worried as Kamala had overheard their conversation. That night at dinner, she spoke with a very serious look on her usually chirpy face "Amma I know that we cannot keep Sunaina with us forever. After all she is a tigress, but till my holidays end, I'll spend every waking moment with her. I'll cherish the time I have spent with my little pet forever. As a forest officer you are only doing your duty Appa and I understand that."

    Kamala went over to Sunaina's bed and kissed the little cub goodnight. And so it was the end of another day at the Bhadra Tiger reserve.

    (Background: Kamala's Appa was incharge of "Project Tiger" at Bhadra Tiger Reserve and had brought home the cub he found while following the tracks of a dead tigress after succesfully hunting down poachers.)

    PS: Tiger, the national animal of India is on the list of priority and endangered species of world wildlife fund  .
    In India, efforts are being made for tiger conservation through Project Tiger.
    According to world wildlife fund "The tiger population is at its lowest level ever, with possibly as few as 3,200 remaining in the wild."

      *Amma - Mother
    ** Appa - Father

    For source of image of the cub, click here
    For source of Bhadra Tiger reserve map, click here

    Saturday, October 6, 2012


    Creeping in silence,
    casting her spell all around
    she lit up the eyes.

    Picture is from Google images

    PS: This is my first attempt at Haiku, a verse of three lines of up to 17 syllables, generally in 5-7-5 format

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    Into the sunset

    Its been over a month since we got our DSLR, a Canon T3i. The first place we visited armed with it was Point Loma, a hilly peninsula that is not quite a beach but one that offers a great sunset view. It is about 15 miles from our home and we reached there in time to soak ourselves in the setting sun on a perfect summer day in sunny San Diego. It being summer, the sunset was scheduled to occur a few minutes before 8PM. For someone from India this might sound a bit strange, sunset at 8 in the night?? But then that's how it is here in the US of A during summer(which is why there is the concept of daylight saving time).
    Driving into the sunset
     A little bit of trivia about Point Loma - It is apparently the place where Europeans first landed in California.
    Sunset cliffs at Point Loma
    The cliffs stood majestically while the waves of the Pacific Ocean gently lapped up against them and the now dull yellow sun was nearly ready to sink into the cool waters or so it seemed.

    Countdown begins
     The evening sky soon turned into a bright orange and since there were no clouds in sight, there were no other hues but just the color of sunset - orange tint all across the horizon. In the next ten minutes, all we did was soak in the beauty of nature, savoring the visual treat and soon it was time to head back home.

     Sun kissing the Pacific
    Sun sinking in silently

    Nearly sunk
    End of a lovely day!!
    After the sunset, we just drove along the sunset cliffs enjoying the cool breeze and that was indeed the end of a very lovely day.If we headed further down south beyond Point Loma, we were told we could get to Cabrillo National monument, but our sunset rendezvous meant we had to do that some other day. Living in sunny San Diego meant many beaches and many sunsets, but the one at sunset cliffs will remain special...

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012


    The moment one hears the word "barfi" in India, images of the humble yet mouthwatering sweet is what comes to mind. There may be variations in color and taste but it is the square/diamond shaped sweet nonetheless. There is a new addition to the long list of "barfis" but this time its not a sweet but a movie(sweet and simple one at that). Last weekend I watched my first Bollywood movie in the theaters of US of A with my hubby S. By then "BARFI!" had already been nominated as India's official entry for the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. I had decided to watch the movie without allowing any hype to cloud my opinion.
    The movie is in a narrative format and so the timeline moves back and forth. The early part of the movie which has Ranbir (Titular character Barfi ) being chased by cops is reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin's antics. 

     Ranbir's role as the guy condemned to silence (deaf and mute by birth) but one who always manages to perk things up for anyone whom he chances upon is very likable. The best part is the gusto with which he lives each moment, it is infectious and something I liked to bring back home with me. 

     Ileana does justice to her role as the initially confused and finally determined lady who breaks the shackles she bound herself in. She has brought out the emotional dilemma of her character(Shruti Ghosh/Mrs Sengupta) quite well. Priyanka as the autistic girl (Jhilmil )who is only hoping that people understand her and not mock her unfortunately doesn't quite measure up to the character. She does go a little over the top at times to emphasize her medical condition and this takes away some of the sparkle from the movie.

     All the other supporting characters namely the police inspector, Barfi's dad, his childhood friend, the founder-caretaker of  "Muskaan" have been sketched out well. The cameraman captures the scenery of Darjeeling and the chaos of Kolkata well. The songs seem to blend well into the movie and the tunes are non-intrusive and hummable.

    The attitude of society towards autism largely due to ignorance of the people is highlighted. It would have been better if the filmmakers had also used this opportunity to create awareness regarding the kind of care and facilities that would make the world a better place for such people. The special care center does provide a glimpse of it. There are quite a few scenes in the movie which remind you of the "origin of their inspiration" but overall it is a sweet movie that does touch the tear-glands a bit but the one that really tickles your funny bone and makes you feel good about life, teaching you to enjoy the simple pleasures that are strewn all along the path of life :-).

    For the source of the image here

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Flowers and Festivals...

    The months of August and September mark the festival season in India.The festivities are heralded by a customary trip to the market. The first thing that captures the eye is the heaps and heaps of  multicolored flowers from dundu-mallige (jasmine) to jaaji (pink jasmine) to lotus to roses to sevantige(chrysanthemums) to sampige (joy-perfume) to kedige (screw pine). You'll also find some of them stringed together in the form of garlands. The next thing that you can sense is the aroma these beauties exude, ranging from mild scents to strong fragrances. Ah the market is indeed a treat to the senses...The bunches of mango-leaves, strings of tulasi (holy basil) and the plantain leaves add a touch of green to the riot of colors.

    Flower Market in Malleswaram,Bangalore

    The hustle-bustle of  the market, the sellers promoting their wares and the buyers haggling for a better deal all add to the charm of festive-shopping. This time around during Gowri-Ganesha festival I really missed the festive-shopping. We did celebrate the festival complete with the homemade sweets and puja et all but the shopping was of a different kind in a very quiet setting minus the festive fervour... This is more of a "You know it used to be " kind of a post more than "I miss you badly" post. Having just moved away from India I guess a few such posts are justified

    PS: for details regarding flowers you can check the site: