Winter Wonder…

Every season has its own charm. The Winter is most charming , I must say. Think of winter and what comes to my mind is foggy mornings, dew and mist, several cups of hot tea, geyser and of course woollens. Sun becomes the best friend. My grandmother used to put all woollen clothes in sunlight for 2-3 days before we started putting them on. Days become short but full of activity. You can roam in daylight without any problem. Everyone comes out for Sun. All outdoor games become pleasant.

Another reason why winter is good is that it brings Green Peas (Matar). I’m not that kind who loves to get everything round the year. I don’t like the concept of frozen peas. Get a bunch , open the pods and eat fresh or cook aaloo-matar (ghugnee) or choora-matar (matar poha) or make matar stuffed paranthas. Another typical curry of matar is Nimona which is my favourite.

The New Year arrives in winter, the dates start repeating with another year and there is much excitement about new calendars and new diary. Christmas decorations add more beauty to winter. Cakes and gifts for kids and friends and sending new year greeting cards to near and dear ones. I still send greeting cards to my loved ones. I feel internet is not able to create that magic of a card, with a message written with hand.

Then comes Makara Sankranti – A significant festival and a celestial phenomenon. The Sun ends its southward journey and start moving towards north i.e., towards tropic of cancer. Sesame seeds (til) and jaggery laddoos , gajak, khichadi with dahi – choora come into the picture. The more beauty is added by the colourful kites.

Few things like Amla,  sweet potato (shakarkand) are gift of winter. Nature is so beautiful and systematic that if a change in weather occurs, it also brings the suitable kind of vegetation for the season. So, lets stay warm and enjoy winter with your favourite cuppa……………

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Telangana

Finally, there will be a Telangana it seems. Cheers to those who were supporting it and sorry to those who were against it. Personally, I don’t like divisions in India.

If formed, Telangana will be the 29th state of India. There will be 10 districts – Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Medak (near Maharastra), Khammam (near Chhattisgarh), Mahbubnagar (near Karnataka), Warangal, Ranga Reddy, Nalgonda and Hyderabad and 5 of them qulify for backward region grant fund.

Why do we need divisions?? Why can’t we integrate?? Why can’t we merge into each other??

Anyway, I hope there will be love and peace among people of the united AP. Boundaries are not going to separate them. They all speak telugu and have common interests.

Jai Hind !!

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The Indian Idol Show

From past few weeks I was watching Indian Idol on sony and was awestruck by the preformances of the three finalists. Out of the three, the most knowledgeable was Devendra Pal Singh. Vipul Mehta had versatility which took him far. Amit was of course my third choice because he has a powerful voice but in soft songs he is not that good. Vipul Mehta won and he was awarded with so many things..Congrats to Him. He was superb in “ tu ramta jogi tu ramta jogi hai “.

Earlier, Amit was gifted a guitar and a Suzuki Hayate. Amit’s best performance was “marjaani marjaani,”

I’m feeling too sad for Devendra. He was too deserving. His best were – “Mujhe raat din, Jaane kya chahe man” and one more classical based song which i don’t remember right now, it was some Virah song. The Indian Idol show organisers should give some reward to the other two finalists also , apart from the winner. Hope Devendra Pal gets his share soon.

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Whats in a name?

Well, They say whats in a name? But I see few letters, A,A,I,N,S  creating wonders. I hope you have guessed by now. Yes I’m talking about SANIA and SAINA.

SANIA Mirza is a leading Tennis player from India. I don’t remember any other female tennis player before her from our country who had played so well. Let us not expect her to become top seeded in singles as we lack such infrastructure in our country. If it happens, it would be a miracle !! (Amen).

SAINA Nehwal has taken Indian Badminton to new heights. She was amazing at Indonesian open, recently. I wish her good luck for 2012 Olympics.

I wonder if any other permutation / combination of A A I N S is going to create wonders !!

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To my Mentors, with love.

“Guru Govind dou khade, kake laagon paavn;

 Balihaari guru aapki, Govind diyo banay.”

“Mentor and God both are standing together, whom should I respect first (by touching his feet). Then I thought mentor should be worshiped first because his teachings made someone God OR, even God has a teacher/mentor.”  –  This is the literal meaning of the lines which tell about the importance of a mentor or GURU. If you have a good teacher he will always show you a correct path in life, besides teaching good things in a good way. If you are in sports you need to have a good coach in order to learn all aspects of the game concerned.

first teacher of life - mom

Mom - the first teacher of life

The very first teacher of life is mom (or family). The basic things of life we learn from our home – what is good for us what should be avoided etc. Then comes formal education and the role of school and teachers come into play. For a kid a good , healthy and innovative atmosphere of study is essential. There should be no fear of asking questions.

But what I felt , not all the teachers are the same. Some are more liberal, some don’t give much importance to the actual role of a mentor, they just take classes for their livelihood. Some are too strict (and therefore scary) and they need only one thing in class – silence. Only a few are there who are well-balanced in and outside classroom – They are the true mentors who give us valuable advice related to our studies, career and life; for whom our head bows with respect. My geography teacher in school was one of this kind – Excellent knowledge of his subject, always used various teaching aids in order to make things simple to understand, frankly told what data we need to cram and what points we need to understand, always helped in extra – curricular activities and encouraged to participate in activities at interschool / zonal / regional levels. He was a very good speaker both in Hindi and English and had lots of responsibilities of school…. Today I’ve no idea of his whereabouts but I always remember him as one of the best teachers I had.

On Teacher’s day (5th Sept), which is celebrated as Birthday of Dr. SarvaPalli Radha Krishnanan, the students of class 11th and 12th were given charge of the whole school, they became teachers for one day !! It gave us a huge sense of responsibility. Time – tables were studied and classes were distributed accordingly. A discipline  committee made of senior students, would be vigilant all the day. Teachers just coming and enjoying their special day and watching their students playing their role. Few teachers judged the teaching method of senior students and prizes were given to best teachers (senior student teachers) of the day. After recess, a small programme and High tea were organised in respect of teachers. It was really an occasion we all students waited for the whole year !!

In college also one or two profs were good but the care and love we get at school start vanishing slowly – may be we are grown ups and don’t need that much care. We also start using our own head rather than listening to someone….Lastly, my project guide was also a genius prof. Having tremendous knowledge of his subject, he was also brilliant in other fields and always willing to learn new tools and techniques to make a subject intresting…

Just want to say, I’m thankful to all my teachers who helped me in shaping my life.

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Sydney – Part 2

…..continued from Sydney Part -1 (https://rubyash.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/sydney-the-rocking-n-happening-city-1/)

We were damn tired and slept like kumbhkarna after 1st day of Sydney tour. Next morning we got up without any alarm and reached the circular quay at 9:00 am. We got Matilda cruise which took us to Taronga Zoo We got a cable car which took us to the zoo entrance – A nice way to enter the zoo – You can have a view of sea, opera house, Harbour Bridge and animals.

In the zoo we found several deadly reptiles, lions, tigers, hippopotamus, Ostriches, Elephants, Koalas and many other animals . Of course there were GIRAFFE and ZEBRA.  There was a fabulous sealion show which again was a presentation of Harmony of man and another animal……And sometimes we don’t understand what other man is saying and we fight among each other…

I got some pics and would let them do the rest of talking…..

Giraffe posing with Opera house

Black n White

a pic while going to the zoo 

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Sydney : The Rocking n Happening City – 1

The Sydney Opera House

Yesterday, talking about Giraffe as the animal with longest cervical vertebrae, I told my friends about where I saw the first giraffe of my life and that reminded me of my Sydney Trip. The nostalgia is still there – Thanks to everyone who made it a memorable trip of my Life. I would like to mention Napoleon on Kent – The serviced apartment, where we stayed. It was a very convenient location and The Darling Harbour was just 10 minutes away from it while the circular quay was 15 – 20 minutes in the other direction. It was at intersection of Napoleon and Kent streets. (219,Kent Street, Sydney, NSW 2000) (Nearby railway Station – Wynyard Railway Station).
So, How it happened ?
Well, we reached Sydney in the morning from Brisbane and after check – in and usual stuff, we headed towards Circular Quay. It was the most lively and adventurous place I saw in Sydney. Facing the sea it has 6 Wharfs, from where you can choose your way to cruise. Some of the names I remember are Matilda, Thomas cook etc. We gathered Information from Tourist Information Centre and obtained a 2 day Sydney tour pass. (There are many choices depending on how much time do you have ).
Soon after getting the pass we started for the Opera house tour but we were stopped by a different kind of music. We were unable to prevent ourselves from tapping our feet. Decided to look for the source we end up meeting the Indigenous Australians (Aboriginals) playing an instrument named didgeridoo (also known as a didgeridoo or didge) using their mouth. It was a hollow wooden pipe of 1.5 meter, very beautifully decorated. The player needs to blow air through the mouthpiece and at the same time try to make some noise. It was an Aerophone / natural wooden trumpet. The man was playing music and selling recorded CDs of his music. I bought one and it’s still the most different kind of music I’ve heard. (The aboriginals are the original inhabitants of Australia.)

The Circular Quay @ Sydney

Heading towards Opera house we met several tourists who were in awe with the liveliness of the place. WOW ! AMAZING ! MARVELLOUS ! was the expression on seeing Opera house from outside. Sydney Opera house – I must say its an epitome of Modern architecture with the sea (pacific ocean) giving its a perfect company. We went for the guided tour of Opera house which included a visit to some of the theatres and we were lucky to saw one ballet rehearsal. It was a nice

A didgeridoo Player @ Circular Quay, Sydney

choreography and it reminded me of the Opera house scene from movie Dil Chahta hai. Collecting the photographs, we concluded the Opera house tour and came out of the beautiful creation of man. (Those who have seen Lotus / Bahai Temple  in New Delhi may feel a resemblance of the same with Opera house.) What a place !!

Then, it was time for sea adventures. We went for Jet cruise and then jet speed boating. Both were unique in their own ways. Jet cruise allowed kids also but jet speed boating was not for kids – it was a speed boat with 20 – 25  capacity with a captain and used to give a spin amidst the sea. Next moment you could be singing “water, water everywhere…..” It was a breathtaking experience.

We were damn hungry after the thrilling rides and decided to fill our bellies. There were variety of food n snacks stalls outlining the sea – side

Proud  Mr. Ravishankar and Anoushka

A poster @ Sydney Opera House

and later on we found an Indian Restaurant too which was having a Ganesha idol at the entrance. (Food is never a problem in Australia.)  We went to the Royal Botanic Gardens nearby Opera house for a walk. Its very charming to walk along the sea.

Another major attaction is The Harbour Bridge which is most clearly visible while cruising / speedboating. You can also climb on the bridge with permission and get a certificate of the same !! It is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries all kind of traffic, be it rail, vehicular, bicycle or pedestrian, between the Sydney CBD and theNorth Shore. The beautiful  view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic representation of Sydney or you can say Australia. …….to be continued…….    

 SYDNEY PART 2  https://rubyash.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/sydney-part-2/

 

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

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