Friday, 20 May 2016

oh, the trips we take and the memories we make...

the thing about taking a long gap from something is that it is all the more difficult to get back to it, or start doing it, once again. thats what happens when you take a long break from your blog - you actually feel clueless about where to begin and how to continue.

i could say the same thing about coming back to 'routine' or 'normal' life, after a long trip.

i was away from the end of march till the end of april, spending almost an entire month (except for a few days ) between my mom's and my aunt's houses, and being a part of my cousin's wedding.

there are a few parts about that trip which i wish i could erase out entirely, like the huge stress i had weighing on my mind because of some stupid paperwork which wouldn't get sorted out till the last minute, and some health issues. if these two hadnt been there, i would have enjoyed the trip and the wedding so much better - but well, there must always be some rain on the parade or it wouldn't be my life.

the good part though, it is always great when you get to spend time with mom, aunts and cousins. throw in a big fat indian wedding and it just gets better. when you look back, you always tend to take the tense parts leading up to a wedding lightly and focus only on the good parts... these are the ones which end up as fond memories, ones which will get talked about again and again, get told and retold over the years.

personally, i think i refuse to be an adult when im staying at my mom's or aunt's, and neither do they consider me one i guess :) - getting used to tea being ready by the time i brush my teeth, and having food cooked by someone else for a whole month, makes it so difficult to get back to 'adult mode' when you are back in a home of your own.
what makes it all the more difficult though, is the sights, sounds, colours and smells of the places you hold close to your heart. the bright morning sun that streams through your mother's kitchen, the neem tree in front of the house, or the banana tree in your aunt's backyard - with the passage of time, you realise that memories are more sensory than you think.

( in the foreground is the neem tree in front of my parents' house, the coconut trees behind are from the houses on the opposite side of the street... )

as i was saying at the beginning, it takes so long to get back to 'normal' after an extended home town visit. it has been close to three weeks and im still coming to terms with it :)
one of the things that make me feel 'back at home' and 'grown up', is making that first batch of ghee, first batch of yoghurt, and idli/dosa batter, to restock the kitchen. somehow these three seem to form the core of my existence, helping me get my bearings back, so to speak :)

so, is it just me or do you tend to have 'holiday hangover' too ? do you feel some memories hang more heavily over you than others ? 


Thursday, 17 March 2016

throwback thursday - TBT #25

march 17th is st.patrick's day. it is one of those celebrations that have become so much assimilated into mainstream american culture despite having originated in another country (ireland in this case). originally began as a catholic feast day for st.patrick, today it has become more associated with parades, drinking, and everything in green ! many american towns dye their rivers green for the day (and in recent years even the white house fountain ), and it is believed that americans spend more than $4 billion on the day - most of it probably on guinness beer, but also largely on costumes including green irish top hats and shamrocks, and cabbages ! (not to mention probably a sizeable amount on 'dui' tickets, post-beer.)

and now, coming to today's throwback - i always love a good round of vintage-picture-hunting, so here are a few that i found of vintage st.patricks day parades from around the world -



the one above is from the st patrick's day parade in new york city, 1909. photo from the collection of US library of congress, found on wikimedia here


photo above shows a parade in brisbane, australia, around 1927.  (on a side note, see the store on the side called 'barnes self service bazaar'. must have been one of the earliest stores to adopt a 'self service' format, without salespeople handing you the goods.) photo from the state library of queensland, found on wikimedia commons here.


and lastly, one from ireland itself - kids dressed up to entertain, dublin, 1924. photo from the national library of ireland, posted on flickr here.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

throwback thursday - TBT #24

march 3rd, 1923 - the first issue of 'TIME' magazine is published from new york city.

this is the cover of the first issue, below -

the first issue price of 15 cents can be seen on the cover. the person on the cover is US speaker Joseph G Cannon. 'TIME' has the world's largest circulation among weekly magazines, and its annual features, 'person of the year' and '100 most influential people of the year' are very popular.

today, the 'time' group has a large number of magazines, as well as media & communications businesses.

the entire first issue of time magazine is available to read, from their archives here.

Monday, 29 February 2016

mundane monday - #65

i took a photo today for the mundane monday series after many weeks - it was a surprise that the camera even held the charge for so long, i remember the last i charged it was some time in jan !

anyway, it is going to be almost a month since we moved into this apartment, and here are the keys - :)


march is here, and hope the weather gets nicer soon. i have lists to make and shopping to be done in the next few weeks, in anticipation of a long trip by the end of march, fingers crossed :)

hope you are having good days and nice weather wherever you are !

Sunday, 28 February 2016

hollywood boulevard & kodak theatre - old photos dug from my archives !

i have been thinking often about how there are so many photos i've taken, that remain sadly neglected in storage. there are ones from many previous years stored in a hard disk and a laptop, and there are so many from 2015 still stuck in the phone as well as camera, which i have not even bothered to transfer.

i should be giving them more attention, organising and posting the good ones and clearing out those that havent turned out good. 

the fact that today is the 88th academy award ceremony reminded me of the pics from a visit to hollywood/LA, six years ago. we were living a few hours away at that time, and it was a short weekend day trip. i dont have a lot of photos from the trip, but i picked a few from the ones i had and touched them up a bit, so that i could post them here today.

these are from an afternoon walk around the hollywood boulevard, seeing the 'walk of fame' and the academy awards venue - the 'kodak theatre', as it was called back then, and dolby theatre as it is known now.


this is the home of the academy awards - where the oscars have been given each year, from 2002. (there have been many different venues earlier.) kodak sponsored the auditorium, paying a hefty sum for the naming rights, until it went bankrupt and could no longer afford it. it is now called 'dolby theatre', after dolby acquired the naming rights, and upgraded the sound systems.

the hollywood 'walk of fame' is a long of stretch of sidewalk (footpath) on both sides of the road called hollywood boulevard. the path has stars outlined in brass with the names of those who have made a lasting contribution to the entertainment industry. the stars are installed based on nominations. there are now more than 2500.

here are a few among the favourites that i spotted -



this is the star of the amazing director steven spielberg - he deserves every superlative adjective you can think of -  and whose movie 'bridge of spies' is nominated this year ! (and yeah thats my foot making an appearance.)


the star of actor ben kingsley, who always remains a household name in india for his award winning role of "Gandhi"



and one of my favourites, sandra bullock - who won an academy award for her epic performance in the movie 'blindside'.


there are also stars for many popular fictional characters, like these ones for bugs bunny and snow white.

and finally -

this is the famous hollywood sign, seen here from the hollywood & highland center, which is the complex where the dolby theatre and so many other shops & restaurants are located.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

throwback thursday - TBT #23

the weather in these parts was nice and sunny the past weekend, and has since returned to a wintry mix of alternating rain and snow the last few days, though not too bad altogether. my coping mechanism has been to drink generous amounts of ginger chai, and keep staring out of the window now and then.

meanwhile, here are some vintage photos of snowy winters that i found -

the one above is of 5th avenue in new york city, apparently taken around 1905



any guesses for the pic above ? - it is the white house, washington d.c !
taken around 1907.

source for both photos - from here.

one thing that should keep our spirits up is the thought that march is just around the corner - hope we see the first signs of spring soon !

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

moving on...

we moved, last weekend - after every kind of uncertainty and change of plan there could possibly be, including a blizzard that threw a spanner in the works. 

packing tape, moving day

after travelling using an impossible-sounding combination of transport, which included a rental car, a flight, a friend's car and own car, we finally reached the new place. the moving truck with all our stuff is yet to come though, so right now it feels like staying in an oversized hotel room with no furniture. as of now theres just a couple of comforters, pillows, some clothes and a few kitchen essentials (and laptops of course). 

while it is surprisingly eye-opening to realise how much i can get by with just the basics, i'm sure getting all the stuff would definitely be a big help to make the place feel like 'home'. right now, my laptop 'support/desk' is a 12 pack of bathroom tissue on the floor. yeah. 


of all the times i have moved, this time seemed the least stressful, both because all the delays had given me more time to pack, and also, more importantly, we had a couple of close friends coming over and helping, during and after the moving truck was being loaded. it made a big difference to me i think, since it is always the last few hours that i usually panic and almost seem to flip out :) we also had a friend's family receive us when we landed in a new state, made us a hot dinner and packed us with some essential stuff for the first few days. trust me, having people around makes a huge difference. 

on that note, its a bit unsettling to think that this time we are going to be in a new town where we dont have any of our friends or family nearby, with our closest friends being a 1.5 hrs drive away. but you always take comfort in the fact that it could have been worse. hmmm.

also, as a bit of trivia, i have always lived in coastal states, and this is the first time i'm being in a 'landlocked' state, with no beaches :) - though we have a river nearby, and a huge lake in a few hours drive. 

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