Thursday, December 28, 2006

Memorable 2006

I always believe that something started well will end well too! I wanted 2006 to start off in a serene, quiet atmosphere. We made it possible..2006 dawned for us at Anza Borrego desert State Park camground. It was special!
Lots of camping trips followed: Morro Bay, Oregon coast, couple of SF trips, Lassen National Park, Catalina Island & of course, the highlight- a week trip to Hawaii!
I started writing since May 2006- still on with my travelblog & blog.
Pursuing my interests in photography;
Accomplished my first backpacking trip to Grand Canyon(thanks to my hubby) & worked my way out in a kayak in the Pacific Ocean!

Life was very patient with me in teaching its lessons.

Met Swamiji in person for the 1st time & got the privilege in joining him for a hike;
Successfully completed my Tai Chi course &
got my yellow belt in Karate(my childhood dream), in the process learnt a lot of things.
Trying to leave my anger behind & see the positive side of life.
Becoming a lot more broad minded than I used to be.

Turned a lot of strangers into friends. Got in touch with a bunch of friends from school(courtesy Orkut!)
Hope to join a course in Piano & Yoga in the year to come!

A couple of my friends & family became moms, including my co-sister! May they be surrounded by abundance!

I'd never believed in New Year resolutions ever since I was a child; I continue doing everything I like & take every day as it comes living one day at a time.

God bless amma, my hubby, my extended family & the whole world with good health & happiness.

We hope to start 2007 with a new experience again-backpacking in a lonely island, watching the fireworks. Let the New Year sunshine bring lots of hope & happiness to everyone.

Blessed New Year 2007!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

My weekend experience

Me & my hubby were out camping at Catalina island last weekend. We went to watch a late night movie and it was a long cold walk back to our campground. But there were this two people, whom we did not know, probably were on a fri date, I do not know, who stopped on seeing us walk all the way. They offered to give us a ride back to our campground informing us that it was a long way.
We were hesitant, but finally took the ride on their golf cart. If not, we would have reached there 30-40 min later. It matters if it was 10.00 pm at night.

This is the second time;

Earlier, we got lost while hiking in Henry Cowell State park. It was almost dark and we had at least 5 miles to go, all uphill. From nowhere, this couple met us & offered us a ride to our car.
Only we know what it meant to us that day!

All of this reminds me of the movie " Pay it forward". One of the sweetest movie I'd seen. The logic is, if I do a good to you, you do good to 3 other people, not to the person who did to you. And those 3 people do good to 3 other people.
Timely help is always remembered & appreciated!

God bless thee, Good Samaritans!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happiness is in the air!

The past couple weeks have been all very happy. We threw a surprise baby shower for a friend, a family friend delivered a baby boy, got in touch with a lot of my school friends, mom's busy with her music concerts, falling in love all over again with my hubby, an amazing weather, beautiful fall colours(even now), not too much rain, did not come across too many accidents, learnt my share of new things & not to mention that we are packing off for a small weekend getaway...

Let's see! Apart from the fear of global warming, there is a lot to be thankful for.
Isn't that what Christmas is all about?
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2006


One of the very few poems that was not a part of my English syllabus at school, but made me go out of my way to read it while still at school!(my eleventh grade to be exact)

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Friday, December 08, 2006

ummm...mouth watering!

My husband took me to this authentic restaurant on our 3rd anniversary.
My first try at Greek cuisine.
I am not a big fan of trying new cuisines, but this place is good.

We tried the Veg stuff: I had a moussaka & my hubby had a garden salata.
Moussaka comes in with greek fries(no french, people!) & the Garden Salata comes with warm pita wedges, French bread & Dip of the Day.

Out of the world!

It is not very expensive and leaves you with a satisfied heart & stomach.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fear of fear

I am currently reading Robin Sharma's "The Monk who sold his Ferrari".
Interesting book! I was just reading the part where Julian talks about fear and how to overcome it.
He says, for a person who has the fear of public speaking, to sign up for 20 classes of public speaking. ie., he says, face fear in the eye and do often what you fear the most.
This way works for me, for sometimes, that is my only way out.
But is this feasible at all times?
At some point, are not all of us scared of being intimidated?

But fear drains our energy. I've heard it before too! We have to let fear pack its bags.
We hardly have time to lead a happy life, why let fear take a part of it?

There was this other thing I really loved from the book:
There are no mistakes; only lessons, in life! All these lessons should be oppurtunities to create milestones.

There are so many things(like this book) to make our lives so easy. Wish I could set my hands on everything and make my life more worthwhile!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

feeling accomplished!

Saturday, 2nd Dec 2006! One of my most tensed days! My Yellow belt test day!
I am not a white belt anymore.
I really learnt a lot in this fall semester! Got to know so many new people. Learnt a lot about life! I am indebted to my Sensei(Japanese for teacher)for having faith and trust in me.
I can never thank my mom and husband enough for backing me up all the while through this semester, listening to all that happened at class & of course medicining my wounds anytime I got hurt in the day's work.

Karate had been my childhood dream and Swamiji(Swami Sukhabodhananda) inspired me to go ahead, despite my age.
Never too late to learn anything!
Swamiji is a brown belt now and started music classes at the age of 44.
Maybe I will learn music some day!

A day well ended! As my Sensei says, there are always people below us, but also above us too; I would always remember that and want to be thankful & grateful for where I am today.
One of those days, when I feel really blessed and happy.
Guess, the feeling you get, when you have striked down one of the "must do's before you die" list :-)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

parallel thinking!

Now, I have the time to sit back and relax. But what comes on to my mind? Wars, corruption, anger, hatred, bomb blasts, lay offs, accidents, deaths, killings, pathetic politics everywhere: Isn't it really a fight for survival?

Too many negative thoughts! I relax my mind a little more. The first thing that comes to my mind is 'clear blue sky beyond a beautiful beach, palm trees swaying in the wind'; Now, I am completely relaxed. I look around me now.
People smiling at each other, greeting one another for thanksgiving, people having a vacation, people working their backs off to make sure their kids are well fed, a Safeway employee smiling when she says she still has to work on thanksgiving, a child smiles at me, I look out the window and see the tall trees that have survived a thousand storms,...a lot more that I cannot find space to write down.

It is the same me, feeling completely opposite things. How? I wonder! That's where I get to know, there is nothing more complex and simple than our mind. It is all in there. No wonder all preachers these days are talking about controlling that thing that often goes wild than stays silent. Its doing its job after all.

Isn't world an index of our lives? Isn't what we see a perception of what we are and feel?
Will it hurt to force positive thoughts into our mind and start seeing life with better eyes?
As Swamiji says,
Delete all negative thoughts and replace it with positive thoughts. That is the secret to a relaxed mind and a long life!

When something goes wrong, it is very easy to sit in a chair, point finger at something. But, it is not so easy to either keep quiet, even harder to do something about it.
Life is often like a puzzle; It remains interesting only so long until we solve it. After that, we go search for something more interesting and puzzling. God's creation!

I want to live happily and let others do the same; To be in the present is all I have; Help me to take one step at a time. I realize that if you bring me to a maze, you will guide me through it. All is well in the end!

This is my prayer to you, God!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mixed feelings about Orkut

Some hate it, some love it, some are indifferent about it; Some go out of their way to despise it; Still a lot of us Orkut! Well, it has become like "google it", hasn't it?

With all that said, I was evading it for a long time too! A lot of friends kept sending request; One fine day, I just accepted the request; and I am glad I did.
I got in touch with all my old friends from School. There was no other way, I could've got in touch with them. It feels so good to relive old memories, especially when you love your childhood(indirectly my school too). Who knows? Maybe we might have a reunion sometime! How great would that be, huh?

I don't know how long Orkut is going to be around, but I am getting what I wanted(all my friend's contacts)..Well! that was what Google wanted too :-)

It may all go overboard in while soon (Orkut already has a community "people who hate Orkut")
My policy: Enjoy it while it lasts!

Happy Orkutting! (God! Why would I even say that? Doesn't make an ounce of sense, does it? :-))
Well! When you are in Rome...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Blogging helps me to read more. Its been 3 yrs since I came here, to the US. But I have never really bothered to know what is the story behind it.
This year did some reading.

Pretty old tradition! Since 1620!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Did we know?

I just came across this piece of info about USA.
In 17 states, the capital city and the largest city are the same.

Did surprise me...Always thought they are never the same, to make a small capital city more popular.

Never too late to learn a few things!

Friday, November 10, 2006

What's it with guys and ........?

I just cleaned all my husband's hair from the bathroom floor, for the nth time.
Are all guys this capable?
The list seems endless: toilet seats up(my husband recovered from this...hopefully!!!)
bags not in place, the dumbbells right in the center of the room, opened containers, bed not made up, car perfectly dirty(all the time), comfortably say, "I forgot" when they don't even work on remembering it, remotes on the sofa/coffee table; wet towels on the door(hello!the same door has a hook! too difficult??? gosh!)
The best of all: Where are my keys/cellphone/bluetooth? That one never fails!!

Just wondering out loud: Is this gene defect? Gender defect? manufacturing defect? or marriage defect?

I am sure a lot of wives/room-mates who stay with guys have this problem.
Seeing hair in the shower/faucet still makes me puke! Should have got over it by now :-(
Wish I had a brother to grow up with-would have known there will hair everywhere...

I am not the cleanest of people, but, c'mon. Give me a break!
I whine! I complain! I get angry! But still do it everyday!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

When air & water conspire to kill

My mother brought this news to my attention. Three young software engineers were killed just by sitting in their car in Chennai. At least after reading this, we all will be a little aware of where we are and what we are doing!

I hope the link works!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hallo Halloween

Oct 31st: Halloween! Day of the dead!!!!

I've always wondered why would everyone celebrate Halloween. What's the story behind dressing up in ghostly costumes?

I came up a very interesting piece of info:

The word itself, "Halloween," actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, "All Hollows Day" (or "All Saints Day"), is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (sow-en), the Celtic New year.

One story says that, on that day, the disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts believed all laws of space and time were suspended during this time, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living.

Naturally, the still-living did not want to be possessed. So on the night of October 31, villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes, to make them cold and undesirable. They would then dress up in all manner of ghoulish costumes and noisily paraded around the neighborhood, being as destructive as possible in order to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to possess.

Sounds believable to me!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Why, Why, Why?

I am a brahmin by birth. There are a lot of customs that come as a free gift with it. As a kid, I just did what my parents did. Never questioned if they knew what they were doing. But as I grew up, my mind was boggled with a million questions. Some got answers, some never.
Religion is always a debatable topic. Recently, I had friends come over for a Diwali dinner. I do not remember how the topic shifted, but we were talking about our religion. All of us were Hindus there. A friend narrated about his wedding and how he made the shastrigal(prohit who performs the wedding) explain all the meanings to him. I felt good. How many of us know the meanings(or even the proper sanskrit pronunciations) of what we say in any ceremony? He narrated that all the wedding mantras literally explained how one should lead a married life.
Well! All is fine until then. But, in those days, marriages were different. There were so many people to help in wedding; the women were home makers(strictly confined to the home alone); husbands worked hard to make a living. So, the mantras could be related to their lives.
But now, women work- at offices & at home; they help/support men in all ways possible. They have started to do things that were unimaginable in those days; A lot of us have moved into nuclear families.
In this situation, why do we want the groom to say a wedding mantra that means " I will work hard and take care of my wife" or the bride's parents should bend all they can to get their daughters married?(there may be a fistful exceptions, I agree)
There is a brahmin wedding custom that the bride's parents wash the groom's feet! I wasn't actively participating in the detailed ceremonies until it came to mine. Why would we want to do this?
I do not know if I will question this if I was born as a male. But I am not, so, I ask.
Sometimes, we concentrate so much on the ceremony than the actual tradition itself. For eg., Vinayaka Chathurthi(Lord Ganesha's birthday) is celebrated in a big way in India. It creates a festive atmosphere. All houses buy a clay idol of the Lord, buy lots of flowers, etc. I still remember how much I used to look forward for that day! Mostly because, it was a school holiday and I got lots of kozhukattai to eat! I was a kid then. I wouldn't expect much. But now! I am grown up. What is happening? I still make sweets, go to temple, have people come over for lunch/dinner, chat and get going with our own lives. Its still worse in India. All the tv channels are filled with new movie songs/ unwanted programs. But what is the essence of it? What are we teaching the next generation? Sit back home, don't do your homework, watch TV all day? Does not Lord Ganesha signify more than that? Hinduism is a very rich religion, but how many of us are making use of it? No offense to other religions- I do not know about them. I am not pointing fingers at others. I do the same too. We've had this culture of not questioning our elders & blindly follow orders. As a result, we do not know anything in full. Tomorrow, when our kids ask something, we google it to figure out.
I do not know if it is frustration or helplessness, but it is not something that I can feel proud of.
Where are we going? Why are we doing what we are doing? Is it laziness? Or are we really dumb to expect that the next generation will not question us?

I respect all religions and believe that they help people grow up. But are we making use of the religion in the way we are supposed to? Religion is everywhere: Politics, debates, schools & colleges. It is definitely not a way of life anymore; It is only in the papers & helps you to get a school or a college seat.
How pathetic!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My first entry

I maintain a travelblog.
But I've had this urge to say my share of something to the world for quite a while. So, here I am, in the blogging world. Maybe a spec of dust in this massive blogging storm, but at least I am here.
Whatever I am today is because of my parents. So, I dedicate my writings to them.

Namaskarams to my
Appa and Amma.