Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Glacier Point, Yosemite

Have you watched the spectacular play of lights on the half dome and the other peaks from glacier point?
Well we did. And what a show it was!
The orange glow of the setting sun lit up different ridges and lines and faces on the rock faces and we got to enjoy a spectrum of images.
It was like a laser show. it was ten minutes of breathtaking performance. We were really lucky as the sky was clear with no mist or cloud.
When the sun had set the sky was in varying shades of crimson-orange while the rocks reverted to a prosaic grey.
Well, they seemed to say...your turn now!
Glacier point is easily reached by car on the Yosemite.
Wah ... Kya scene hai

To be rock solid, to shine in the glow of the setting sun. I am grateful to know a few who have lived life like that.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flashlights in the sky

About our trip to America
We are saying a soft bye to lexington ky as we fly off to San Jose tomorrow.
Yesterday evening we went out for a last walk. We decided to hop across the stones that marked the line between our apartment and the theatre complex called Carmac. The sky started to darken. Thick clouds gathered over our heads. And from the distance we heard deep rumbles.
There are no tall buildings, no towers hide the skyline. we can see the vast expanse of sky above us.
strong winds blow and we can actually see the thick clouds being pushed together. Sample drops warn us of the coming downpour.
My daughter makes frantic calls to tell us not to stir out as there is a storm-warning.
But we only laugh. I look up to catch a brilliant wavy line light up the sky. I keep looking and the clouds oblige. They keep up the dishum-dishum and keep up the white hot streaks.
I have never enjoyed a sight so fascinating. Such a vast expanse of sky. Such thick dark clouds. So much lightening. The white lines are wiggly, straight, curvy, flashy.

these are downtown lights from a moving car....much like the lightnings we saw!!!!!

I love it.
We risk getting wet. We risk being scolded. We walk in the rain to watch the lightning!

A soft goodbye lexington.
You gave us a wonderful stay here.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Just dump it

About our trip to America

An idea you have been working on for some time now doesnt seem to click? just dump it.
What you had stocked in the shop doesnt sell? just dump it.
The sofa is old? just dump it.
This razor has a better grip?? OK i'll try it. The one you have been using? just dump it.

what makes the american psyche stand apart it their respect for new thinking.

It takes an Indian a lot of stamina to change his style. to accept a new product. to try the bizzaare. But no so here....... Here they believe that every idea is worth a try.
you have an idea for a book holder today?
find people who can make it....maybe in China?
you will find people who are ready to put their money in it.
you will find shops that are willing to display the new product.
you will find consumers who are willing to give it a shot.
the whole thing can happen in a month!!!
what's important is trying. Failure is not a crime. Failure is not condemned. Not trying is.

downtown Lexington Ky

i like this respect for individuality. respect for new thought.

what about all the NRIs who are here as a part of their Indian jobs. Is there a change in their mindset too?
do they respect independent thought too?
i must explore more and learn.

Can a country mould individual thought?
tell me what u think

Monday, October 17, 2011

Everybody's convenience

About my thought in America
When I go for walks here in Lexington KY or venture into malls to browse or shop I can't help observing people. I can't help observing that people here are so different and so similar!
i cannot comprehend the quiet well mannered kids
i admire the comfort-first clothing
i am at a loss when i see near perfection in every aspect .... its like someone's been evesdropping into my thoughts......... every convenience one could dream of is here. available...and sometimes for free.
and suddenly it makes me look inward
observing others makes us see ourselves more clearly
i come face to face with dinosaurs and dahlias hidden within me.
i understand the dinausars better
i admire the dahlias

a dinosaur in me?


Thursday, October 13, 2011


About our trip to America

Last Saturday we went to watch the horse races at Keeneland.
visions of elegant women in designer gowns and attention grabbing hats and dainty parasols come to mind as we load ourselves into the car and drive to Keeneland. Recall that scene in My Fair Lady..... as she screams her head off much to the shocked silence of the women around her.

this is the 75th  year of the races in Keeneland. The races are from Oct7 to 29.  they are all prepared for it. A very large parking lot accomodates the many cars that converge to this place. We see what's called tail-gating. Friends and family gather in large vans or trucks. drive to Keeneland. Park on the greens there. they bring along food and beer and have a good time... soaking in the atmosphere of the races. tailgate ... a new concept for me!

there are drive thru betting counters places outside for those who wish to only wager and not really mess with the crowd inside!

but we are here to see just that! so we go in. Wow what a variety we see! women in casual tees, women in stylish gowns, women in stunning spaghetti tops, women in killer heels keeping them on their toes!! and men is bow ties, men in flowery shirts, men in blazers and men carrying babies in nappies! men whooping at a grand win...couples celebrating with warm kiss

we looked into the race books, studied the horses that were to run in RACE 5, took out some precious dollars, and approached the betting counters confidently. The lady wished me good luck and printed out my wager for me. I stuffed that into my bag and hurried to the tracks. the race would begin in 3 minutes. Come on Horse 2. you got to win....
and yeah! it did.........wah what amazing judgement....now what? i look at my daughter. how do i get the winning amount??
go win the race

thats when we realised..........we had studied the horses of RACE 5 and bet on 2...while the race going was RACE 4. !! Oh no! I pull out the printout from my bag.....

yehhhh! the lady has placed my wager for RACE 4!!!! so my mistake...has won me my first wager!!
after that we tried again
and again
and again......
i won my first wager..........i'll remember that!

aaah! The urge to make a fast buck!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

a meeting on wires

At about 5.30 in the evening we venture out for our walk. We sometimes meet athletic runners, men cycling with dogs on leash, couples on a quiet stroll. They nod at us, throw a greeting or just wave.

did you try the red berries??
hey your beak is nice and shiny
eat some more flowers they are good for your eyes
did you notice those two there? they are waqlkingggg!

who's chatting??
Then we catch them at they daily update-meeting. a hundred sparrows line up on the wires exchanging notes of their day's adventure.

birds assembly

Thursday, October 6, 2011

After You....Please....Thankyou

About our trip to America

People here are so relaxed. We in India, on the other hand seem to be always in a tearing hurry.
While getting into a metro in delhi
while entering a theatre in a mall ... ticket in hand...places reserved!
while billing our purchases at a counter
while ordering masala dosas at a Darshini
we are in a frantic fear.
is this a fall out of generations brought up in a situation of........Early bird catches the worm...and others go hungry??
we are forever concerned that IT will be OVER and we will not get any.

That is not true here. Men and women wait, open doors and offer with a smile 'after you', at counters there is no rush of me first,
i do not see creases of stress on faces
How is that?

But the bloomberg magazine creates a dismal picture of pay-cuts, falling sale graphs, stock accumulation etc etc
so who is right? the happy faces? or the dismal stories?

I am reading this book called Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier. He says in it ...
Sometimes we are afraid of something because we are afraid of something else.

so when we fear that our place in the theater will be taken
when we rush into the lift
when we speak of falling wages
are we actually scared of something else???
after you......thank you


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

books books and books

are you wondering why there are three books in the title?
well the first book is for the many savior kid books at home. The dal-rice just does not go in without some story reading. He has his favourites.
the story about the lady who swallowed a fly...i dont know why she swallowed a fly ! is the all time winner. Then there is one about george the monkey who learns to read. and one about a giraffe who wanders in search of his mom... I like this one. when he finds his mom at the end and gives him a hug...the person reading out the story gets a hug too!
and O yes... one with amazing white pop-ups with the story of Santaclaus.

book shop at lexington ky

We had been to Barnes and Nobles. The minute we entered Yash dashed to the back of the store where they have a running model of Thomas Engine!! An elderly gentleman who was deeply immersed in his book looked up to chuckle with our little boy.
This is the sprawling book shop of lexington...where you can Read Eat Sleep!!! It has rows and rows of books. Then there are 20 soft sofas that you can sink into, high chairs that you can prop yourself on and coffee tables. You can pick up a book, sit where you like, and read for as long as you want to, even sip a coffee or bite into some cookies while you read. The atmosphere was charged with the aura of book lovers. and mmmm i jus luvvved it. There were some knic-knacs with fancy prices....patel value?

collection of children books

And then we visited the City Central Library...only here they call it Lexington Public Library, and we go to their Eagle Creek Branch. An efficient place that provides books, they accept online reservations and fine you if you fail to pick up the books. they are that serious. audio files, reading counters/cubicles, categorised books, its all there. neat and tidy. the drop books counter is located conveniently on the outside so you can do just that...drop them. we picked ten books! there were movies too....and i spotted Dabanng right on top!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chuck E Cheese

About our trip to America
Yesterday we went to Chuck-e Cheese.  Chuck e cheese to kamal ki cheez hai.
 My grandson was jumping in his car seat the moment we turned into that area. He knew where we were heading!
Just as we enter there is an attendant at the door. He holds a kind of stamp in his hand and presses it gently on the back of our left palm. We cannot see it but he has printed a number. When a child it taken out of the place he checks the number on the palm with an infra red reader and allows the kids out only if they are accompanied by an adult with the same number! A neat way of ensuring safety.
Yash leads the way here. He marched up to the chip counter and dutifully held a paper cup...waiting for his mom to feed in dollars and buy chips at the vending machine. He is given a few to hold while his mom keeps the rest in another paper cup.
Yash drags us to the bowling alley first. He puts in a coin in the slot and rolls the real ball on the small alley. from here a virtual screen picks up the game. the virtual ball rolls down the virtual alley and breaks the bowling pins! yeah! his hands go up in joy as he gets a near STRIKE! Coupons roll out and are faithfully collected.
The place has about 50 such games. we try deal/no deal, then we try the number wheel and then the racing cars and then basket ball, and dropping coins......hahaha we freak out with the kids there and collect coupons! after an hour Yash is ready to go home. He knows the fun is not over! Its time to feed the coupons into the coupon reader.

O. he just loves this. You must see the serious concentration with which he accomplishes the task and then clicks on the button to print the redeem voucher. There are tables and pizzas and beverages are available. but we are not interested. there's yummy kootu, palya, sajjige and onion pakoda at home.
so we rush back. stopping only to pick up a typically American Bowl of ice cream.

O this ice cream place was fun too!. he rolled Yash's blue ice cream into a ball and threw it to his assistant who caught it neatly in a cup and presented it to Yash with a flourish. hahaha
that was neat!

A safe warm place where kids can have fun and adults relax over a pizza.
i like it.

the temple at lexington


A log cabin - Smoky Mountains

About our trip to America

We got to the Smoky Mountains through Gatlinburg.....passing through Sevierville and Pigeon Ford. The banks on either side of the road has neat landscaped greens, the tall pine trees are held back, at a distance from the national highways. The Smoky Mountains are tall mountains covered by the thick forest of pines and other hard trees. In October the leaves change to a fascinating range of oranges and reds and yellows before steep and strong winds blow the leaves away.
In September. the trees are still green with a naughty few here and there flaunting their colours before time. Wisps of clouds play about the mountains .... looks like appalchian Raja is busy smoking a pipe!! Perhaps this is what gives the place its name?
fall colours begin at Smoky Mountains

Turn right into wiley oakly road ....... she tells us patiently. and like good school kids we listen to her and turn right into wiley oakly road. The road is winding round the mountainside and we again come to a crossroad. we are busy chatting and go right ahead.
recalculating....... she scolds us. and then... not giving up on us, tells us again...
go straight, look for the three way sign and turn right on piney butt road
this time we pay attention and ahaa we find the log cabin.
The small GPS that locates a log cabin in the middle of smoky mountains ... right upto the doorstep amazes me.
Green Leaf log cabin...where we spent two wonderful days

This log cabin is convenient, exclusive and so well equipped.
we cook

we play

we soak

and we swing.
go higher...go higher

we got soooo comfortable here, we didnt stir out till afternoon!