Saturday, June 04, 2022

Our first trip with Akshara (Jan 2015)

Publishing the notes that I had kept regarding our first trip with Akshara in Jan 2015 (when she was 6 months old). The trip was planned by Anitha as a way to commemorate Akshara turning 4 months old.

Just keeping the notes as is. Someday I might want to edit.

Day 1 : Jan 29, 2015

  • First flight journey for Akshara. from SFO to Miami on American Airlines flight
  • We were worried how you would take it but you handled it well
  • You were looking out of the window while being fed
  • Started at 4.30 am to the airport and parked the car at the airport
  • You cried for a short time in the flight (at the beginning of the flight) and later were ok. Played and slept in the flight
  • This was your 4th month birthday
  • Rented a car and drove to the apartment that we got from Airbnb. Chose this place since we wanted to cook as your grandmom was also there
  • The apartment wasn't good. It was located in North Miami Beach
  • The whole place (Miami) reminded me of India with Coconut, Papaya and Mango trees around
  • Didn't do much the rest of the day as we were tired of the flight journey and the time difference between SFO and Miami
  • Picked up some groceries from Walmart nearby and slept
  • Mom and Grandma took care of you during the night as usual

Day 2 : Jan 30, 2015

  • Drove in the morning to Everglade's National Wildlife Refuge
  • It was a little hot
  • There's water everywhere in Florida
  • Unfortunately realized we couldn't drive inside the park
  • Luckily found alligators at the stream near the parking area. Took a picture of you with them. I was excited to see them in the wild. Quite close by and they were not doing anything other than lying idle and sleeping
  • Also spotted some turtles, fish and birds
  • Had lunch there and headed off to the apartment as there wasn't much to do
  • Picked up some hashbrowns from a Dunkin Donuts. Your mom's fav
  • Then headed off to Crandon Park
  • Drove through the downtown and reached Crandon Park. It was a nice island connected by a bridge
  • Driving through the bridge gave a good view of the highrises in downtown Miami. Your grandma liked the view
  • Unfortunately it was 5.30 pm by the time we reached Crandon Park and so we had to leave and we drove to Ocean Drive instead
  • The downtown was alive with music and you liked it a lot
  • We walked along Ocean Drive along the restaurants
  • Went to the beach near Ocean Drive in the moonlight and both Mommy and I wet our feet in the warm water of the Altlantic Ocean
  • Had dinner at an Indian Restaurant. The dosas were good and we ate to our stomach full

Day 3 : Jan 31, 2015

  • Got up early to drive to Keywest but it was 10.30 by the time we checked out and started driving. It was supposed to be a 4 hour drive. We planned to stop at some placed along the drive of 1 south
  • Stopped at "Robert's is Here" farm where we finally found some coconuts and other topical fruits. Bought many fruits there. There was sugarcane, mangoes, papaya, sapote, guava, starfruit and many others
  • There were farm animals along with Tortoises and Emu's
  • It was a nice place and you seemed to enjoy it
  • Later stopped at Islamadora Marina where we clicked many photos with the turquoise water in the background
  • It was 6.30 pm by the time we reached the hotel
  • Unfortunately we couldn't reach in time to get into water in the beach in Keywest. Decided to go in the morning to the beach

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Shooting Stars

I am staying at this beautiful meditation and ecology center (KMEC) which is on the Hilo side of Big Island. A really peaceful place. I have been trying to watch the night sky to look for shooting stars, my hobby wherever I go. And I have been waiting to spot them for years with no success. The other day early during the morning I saw 1 of them passing by in a flash and I was delighted. But then I started to watch for more of them and observed 1 more, but still wanted to observe for more. Then it occurred to me... I have been waiting to see 1 for years, and I saw it but the desire didn't stop there. I wanted more of them. 

The way of human desire.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Sleep is Meditation

 Isn't sleep the same as meditate: the mind is inactive except for the part when there are dreams, but otherwise it's the same... no thoughts going on in the mind...all blank.. which is what meditation wants to achieve

Friday, March 18, 2022

The Ukraine War

 The war is going on in Ukraine right now and seeing the death and destruction, reminded me of this beautiful song from the bollywood movie Border, which I watched as a kid. I was so moved by that song as a kid that I learnt the whole song at that time, from my uncle's portable cassette player (we didn't have one as we couldn't afford one at that time).

The song is about the doom and gloom and pain caused by a war. It's written very well. The beauty of the song is that it addresses the soldiers of Pakistan as brother and Friend. In the end calls for taking a pledge to not go for another war.

The movie though has elements of nationalism.

Some key points from the song:

* My enemy, my brother , my shadow ... these burning homes want to tell us something

* Why do we sow the seeds of guns and bombs in our fields (instead of wheat and rice) when in both our country's streets there are children who go hungry to bed.

* Until when will this python of hatred be alive at the border of the two countries

Coming back to the current war in Ukraine, it pains to see the bombings in Ukraine by Russia. Saw picture s of pregnant woman walking with blood on their face from a maternity hospital that was bombed.  I feel for them and the people of Ukraine. 

War is never acceptable.

But additionally there are these thoughts:

* There are wars going-on in many other parts of the world, but only why such media coverage only for this war? The world has become

* Does Russia's fear of the expansion of NATO closer to its territories, justify this aggression?

* When Russia does it, it is war mongering, expansion, aggression, but when US does it in other parts of the world it saving the world, and saving its interests. 

* I am glad that in this world of inter-connectedness the countries are pursuing different non-confrontational approaches (economic sanctions) of pressurizing Russia to end this conflict

* Happy to see all the support the people of Ukraine are getting from all people around the world (not just nations)

I hope this war ends soon

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Advantages of Online Book wrt to Printed Books

Discovered this interesting comparison of online books vs printed books

Monday, November 01, 2021

The Arrival of Fall

It's that time of the year, when the trees she their leaves

It's that time of the year, when the squirrels hide the nuts in the soil

It's fall... the winter is coming and all are preparing for it

Action/Inaction and Changing the World

 Blaise Pascal said this:

“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

UG Krishnamurti said this:

 “The plain fact is that if you don't have a problem, you create one. If you don't have a problem you don't feel that you are living.”

There is an innate emptiness in human soul, that craves for some external stimuli to fill the void. If we dont act/dont do something we start to feel that emptyness. 

We create things, which creates other problems and then we create solutions to those problems and those in-turn create more problems. And this spiral continues forever and we derive meaning from being part of this spiral. I do not know if its a converging or diverging spiral.

The best thing in the larger context would be not to do anything, but for most of us its not possible. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

You are one amongst them (Us)

हम भी ऊन्ही जैसे तुच्च है

हम भी ऊन्ही जैसे ऊच्च है