Friday, December 30, 2011

A Gentle Reminder

Last night we sat through another parliament session. This time it was the Rajya sabha. Not that it was any different in tone, temperament and language and decibel level from the Lok sabha. Somehow i expected the upper house to be more ... upper??
Where has the gentleness gone?
to be gentle is not to be weak. in our minds we have put the two together. and wrongly so.
thus we react to all situations in a harsh tone.
you have not done the dishes - the lady says curtly to her husband in front of guests
is this what you call a report - the boss flings papers at his sheepish junior
100 rupees ... the auto driver scowls
what do you say to this Mr. so-and-so the news reader glares

At one time anger, shouting, and loss of cool were seen as weakness. The strong remained in control of their emotions.
but one day on TV, India saw Saurav Ganguly remove his shirt in a blatant display of rejoice.
and aggression became the happening attitude

I wish for us all in 2012
more gentleness
more love
and more freedom

Happy Friday, and happy Saturday
may you ring in the new year with people who love you

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hope, keeps the world going

We were told as kids
nodu magu, suno beta, daikho 
We have no control over the arrow that is shot and the word that is uttered. So we were warned, be careful ... you never know how far reaching your actions may be ...

That did make me apprehensive. It bound me within the confines of 'what if ...'

Now here is a poem that fills me with hope. That the arrow will come to rest at an oak causing no harm and remaining unharmed. That the words will not be twisted out of context. But will remain a source of inspiration and love in my friend's mind.

Here's to hope. and here's to a happy life.


The Arrow and the Song By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend. 

Most reviewers this this poem is about friendship. Do you think I got it right? or got it wrong?

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Shadow Lines - Amitav Ghosh

Have you spent a day at a well attended family wedding. Where you move around and hear many anecdotes. Where you learn about some childhood prank of a stern uncle, of a serious relationship issue a cousin is going through, a play that someone attended and one that someone else missed?
And you come back refreshed and spent, with so many times buzzing about in your head??

Well, Amitav's Ghosh's book The Shadow Lines is like that. The narrator brings to life memories locked in the hearts of his grandmother, Tridib an uncle and Maya a girl he loves. The book is a delight. It takes me through the by-lanes of Calcutta, walks me across the neat streets of London and drops me into Dhaka.

I am waiting to share this book with a book lover.

Perfect weather, perfect surroundings, and a perfect book to read
Most of Lexington Ky is like this. Green and wide

Friday, December 9, 2011

Catch attention

Six ways to catch the attention
of your boss, crush, spouse, neighbour, publisher, shopkeeper ...

1. Be patient - Accept your lot. Look if I can stand on my head and still run the show, you can too.

WonderWorks amusement at Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

2. Smile and laugh and get involved - I did not mean to get involved with that iceberg so deeply... just shows, we need to keep within limits!

Titanic building, Gatlinburg.
Doesn't that car look like its gaping ... open mouthed??!

3. Just be yourself -  People love me, cracks and all, they'll love you too ...

Ripley's at Pigeon forge

4. Be humble - Come into my parlour ... I swear I will dote ON you. I am just hanging around ... waiting to serve

Halloween decorations - Gatlinburg

5. Be outstanding - I know ... I am jutting out and all that. But hey, That's not the way I meant it. And did you notice? I catch the sun - dawn to noon to set

Downtown Chicago

6. Stand tall and be counted - It's nice and windy here, and the view is good too!

Willis Tower, Chicago

7. Be real - I forget that people may be watching. It's a lot easier to be, than to pretend.

Chinese restaurant at San Francisco 

Did you like this post? It's not my usual. But I thought I have been mighty clever. eh?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cinnamon in my coffee

What's the aroma?

My use of the flavour of cinnamon was limited to using it in Palyada-pudi ( Kannada Masala Powder), in Bisibelebath and in Vangibath. And that about summed up my use of Cinnamon.
This was in my before america days.... Now I am in the after phase!!
You get cinnamon flavour with almost every dish...Cinnamon has a sweetness to it. Yet it is a spice. So that kind of makes it Hot and Sweet! .......... mmmm yummy!
Don't camouflage its unique flavour with other spices. Use it as a Royal Single.
Plop some cinnamon powder into your morning oatsmeal, and some chunks of apple. .... heavenly!
We had waffles with dribbled honey and cinnamon sprinkle
And not to mention warm freshly baked  apple pie ..... cinnamon flavoured ofcourse!
And ooooo the irresistible walnut-cinnamon rolls 
or the cinnamon swirl raisin bread
And in Dunkin D instead of boring chocolate you must try  donuts coated with cinnamon-sugar.
Cinnamon with black coffee . Black coffee? I loved cinnamon with the milk-sugar - chocolate laced variety too.
And have you tried cinnamon with tea? You must!! What you do is: Drop a small stick into the water before it begins to boil. (add tea-milk-sugar...bring to boil.) Allow the brew to stand for 5 minutes before you pour in into cups to serve. Refreshing and healthful.

Back in Delhi
I tried it with sooji-halwa and it was good ...  (rava -kesaribath)
and with coconut burfi it was a success ... (kobri mithai)
Carrots or potatoes saute with butter, sprinkle cinnamon powder, mint and salt

spice rack
I now have a bottle of cinnamon occupying an important place in my spice rack.
Daal Cheeni, aur dalchini
tho hus padega man and jinni

Friday, December 2, 2011

El Camino Real 2

We discover America

near a national highway

Did you look at this picture and say ... aaah! grandpa's house in Alur? Malur? Udupi? This is actually an ancient church in California.
There are many missions and pueblos on  El Camino Real. These missions are held in great reverence. They are the beginning of modern occupation of American Land in this area. A mission is basically a church that brought religion, modern life and community feel to the people in that area. These missions in particular also protected the land from other occupation.

San Luis Obispo - mission

We locate San Luis Obispo established in 1772. With difficulty we find a parking place... most streets here had  'limited parking access'. The place is serene and takes us back into history. We walk through the vine covered archway in obedient silence.

Soft strains of music fill the air. Some girls are practicing for a local Halloween event behind loosely shut doors
mission bells

The stone well, the large bells ,the flat raised seating area in the porch,  the grape laden archway ... for the Americans it must seem ancient ... and from the Olden Times. ... It just reminds us of India and Grandpa's home in the village.... (replace bells with a pulley and rope .. raatey-hagga)

Paintings of Indians - the original occupants are called Indians thanks to a mistake that Columbus made!! -give us a hint of the people who must have been enjoying the land before the missions arrived!

This country has great respect for history. And a pride in the past. And HISTORY is preserved and showcased with care.
I now wish I had kept, Anna's radio, his travel typewriter, Ajja's Shanbhog desk, Amma's Singer Sewing Machine, Tata's hand made radio ...
but we were in a hurry to move into the future
and wanted to escape from the past!

Is there something you wished you had preserved?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

El Camino Real and the Bells

It happens only in America
We are on US Highway 101 on the way back to San Jose from LA. This route is a fast drive and also a picturesque one for it also goes next to the sea for a short time.

LA to San Jose

So unlike Interstate 5 or 1, this route allows you to have the cake and eat it too!!!

A farm on Us Highway 101

We are moving at close to 80 mph. Conversation in the car is limited to:
One more is ...CLICK!
Did you get it? Show me

O, There is one more. ... O no, missed it.
Heyyy! One more. Got it?
We are trying to capture a good picture of the Historic Bell. Here are some of our attempts...

Until my nephew A gets the perfect shot. Well, we are moving at 80 mph  remember??!

El Camino Real Historic Bell

These are The EL CAMINO REAL bells. You say Al Kam-eeno Ree-aaa-l, Spanish for - The King's Highway. From horse/mule carts to cars with horsepower, this route has seen it all!! It's been in existence since1821. It goes from San Diego in South California to San Francisco in North California.
Don't miss:      The heavy iron El Camino Real bell - the engraved wordings  - the curve of the Franciscan Walking Stick (very beautiful) - the heavy concrete base.

These bells were placed on that mud track to show the route from one mission or presidium or pueblo to the next one.  The bells have been re-created to replicate the original. These new bells are in place since 1902 and have been renewed and maintained since.

Their website tells me that in June 2011, a sum of $161,000 is approved to make and install 40 bells on highway 101 -

That is love of history for you. Hotte gey hittu illa juttige mallige hoovu???

There are many historical routes in India too. I would like to preserve and celebrate the path of the Dandi March. Can you think of more?
that we can mark this way and preserve and celebrate for the future...