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Foliage

Foliage-1

Foliage . . .

Red and Orange Trees, a whisper in the wind saying that winter is near… Fall is here!!!

Foliage-2

Fall colors

A tree grew old or a bunch of marigold!

Enjoy the fall colors this season…

Cheers!!!

Shruti πŸ™‚

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Celebration!

Happy Diwali !

Happy Diwali !

Wish you all a very Happy Diwali and prosperous New Year πŸ™‚

@Shruti.

Married people like to hang out with other married people, but not just any other married couple will do. When you go out as a group, you want everyone to get along and like each other. You want the conversation to be easy and laughs to be frequent. But finding the right couple to hang out with requires a test-drive. Some couples just seem to click while others don’t.

Typically women set up these double dates. When women became friends, we want our husbands to be buddies, too. So we ask each other questions and hope to find common ground between our guys. Maybe they both play cricket or they’re both into cars or they do the same type of work. We don’t really care what it is. We just need one little link of commonality to get the ball rolling.

So often we arrange the potluck parties, festival get-togethers, weekend day-outs, birthday/anniversary celebrations and women’s noon tea parties because we can get to know new people and if the “frequency” is matched…make new friends. I have observed a lot of shades in human nature through all these activities. Some people are so enthusiastic in the beginning that they would often arrange such get-togethers, call just to say “Hi” n converse friendly but after some days they would behave so reserved. Some of them would just talk about their kids as if that is the only topic left for communication in the world! – Which is so boring for newly married couples like us πŸ™‚ (This is just a general opinion…No offense plz) many fellows are so talkative that they hardly give a chance to others to talk or listen what others are saying while some of them are so introverts n quiet that a word from them is indeed surprising to the group! πŸ˜‰ Gossip mongers, pessimists, sluggishness, enviousness are a big turn-off. That’s why I emphasized from the start about the “frequency” which should be matched for friendship.

Apparently, I have also seen people with good sense of humor, go-getters who make the environment pleasant just by being around, friendly without any “attitude”, willing to listen to others, helping and encouraging each other and enjoying each moment as it comes. Amazingly so many shades of human nature in We-the people!

I believe every one of us should be inquisitive enough or at least aware of common topics, current affairs to talk. The conversation becomes more enjoyable if the other party also has an ear for music, an eye for movies, good taste in novels/reading, interest in sports or indoor games and like to nourish their hobbies. We have got a nice group of friends; we arrange get-togethers and spend a quality time on weekend with good food πŸ™‚

Last weekend was great. Weather was so pleasant; we’ve been at a lake with few other families. The kids had fun, so the grown-ups did. We had a pot-luck (generally “Pot-luck” parties are like treats for hubbys as they get to taste variety of delicious food ;)) we did boating there, played UNO, badminton and clicked many snaps. That was fun! We told them we’d love it if they come back again sometime and I hope they’ll take us up on it.

We stay here away from our country, our people, family, and friends. So it’s that much more important for us to build a strong network of friends – people to laugh with, people to learn from and people to keep us company on this adventure we call “Life”.

Happy Living πŸ™‚

Shruti.

Summer of 09

Hey guys… Confused?? Or do you think I did a typo writing 09 in place of the famous song title “summer of 69″… let me tell you I am not wrong. I want to share my summer experience with you.

I remember in my place back home, the summer is horrible. Sometimes the temperature rises up to 48 degrees (in Celsius). Fans, Cooler and ACs (for some people) become the priorities to everyone. Refrigerators, coolers, ice creams, goggles, sunscreen lotions, summer collections’ ads start hitting on every possible media platforms as soon as February begins. There is one proverb in Marathi called “Aala unhala….tabyeti sambhala” which means “Guard your health, summer’s started now!”

I never liked this season at my place due to many reasons. First, the hot weather. Summer is considered as the exam period and no matter how high the temperature reaches, we had to reach college & attend the lectures, then appear for the exam. That was really painful. I used to cover myself with sun coat, cotton hand gloves, wrap my face with the long scarf (some people would find it funny :D), put my sunglasses on and then ride my scooty πŸ˜‰ Even if the day is bigger than night, it’s so hot throughout the day that hardly one has stamina for other extra activities (e.g. Outdoor sports, for the parents to play with their kids after work) the day ends when it gets dark after approx. 6 PM.

This year I noticed one thing here in USA that people really like summer; they welcome it with smiling faces πŸ™‚ This was the first difference. The sun sets around 9 PM every day, so everyone has ample amount of time for themselves. They play various outdoor sports, swimming. Parents spend time with kids after work, arrange barbecues or may be watch a movie and get the satisfaction of spending some time for “themselves”, with the family at the end of the day. I have filled my bucket-list. I am doing things that I always wanted to do but couldn’t get time. I nourish my hobbies, learning some new sports and kinda enjoying this summer with my family. The “summer of 09” is a special one that’s giving joy to me. What’s in your “Bucket-list” to make your summer memorable?

@Shruti πŸ™‚

India is well known for Festivals and Food along with its Culture.Β  After getting a huge response for my previous blog narrating ‘Indian Culture”, this time I thought to write about the Festivals!
“Shravanmasi harsha manasi…hiraval daate chohikade!
Kshanat yete sarsar shirave…kshanat firuni unh pade!! ” – Baalkavi.

These are my favorite lines from a marathi poem by famous poet “Baalkavi” describing “Shravan”…the eagerly awaited monsoon and beginning of festival season in India. I feel it is the most delicate month of the year, as it spreads greenery allover, refreshes the nature and gives pleasure to all humans through its various shades. Rain is something I enjoy the most in this season apart from delicious food and various celebrations πŸ˜‰ The fragrance of soil (Mrudagandha) that comes after it has just drizzled… I miss that “Mrudgandha” a lot here in America 😦 and those tiny-little dewdrops on fragile leaves of plants glitter like diamonds in the sunshine reflected through them! At the moment its cloudy..suddenly the
weather becomes sunny…as if nature is playing “Hide & Seek” with us! Ahhh… its so heavenly beautiful that I feel short of words to describe it… simply unimaginable!

This season is dear to newly married girls especially because they get a chance to meet their parents, family n friends back home and celebrate various festivals. To begin with Shravan Somwar (to pray Lord Shiva), Mangalagauri (a festival in which newly wedded girls pray to Godess Gauri for goodwill of their family, play swings (jhoolas), sing/dance and celebrate it overnight till dawn of next day…which is an absolute fun, Naagpanchami (Showing our gratitude towards Naagdevta), Rakshabandhan, Kojagiri Full moon, Janmashtami, Gauri followed by Ganesh festival which is celebrated at a grand level in Maharashtra. Then comes Navaratri, Dasara and then the biggest festival of India – “Diwali”! I believe these are the festivals that strengthen the bonds of relationships, give everyone many joyful moments and reasons to smile… πŸ™‚
This is the spirit that unites we Indians living in a country having 28 states, more than 30 languages and billions of people.

Have fun this festival seasonΒ  πŸ™‚
Shruti.

“Atithi Devo Bhava!”

“Weather is good today..looks like a sunny day, honey. We can go n check out some living room sets” my hubby said to me. “Okay dear, we will start in an hour or so”
We both being very much choosy, visited many shops n searched for the furniture. If I liked the sofa, he would not like the coffee table with it. If he insisted on some sofa fabric, I would have a better color n design option in mind. so…after the long discussion with my better half, our search ended and we both nailed down on a complete living room set. It was a decent micro suede fabric sofa+love seat with leather base, matching wooden+glass coffee table with end tables. With the negotiation & formalities getting over, the Living room set was ours finally πŸ™‚ The dealer was also happy for selling the furniture at a good deal and we were happier as it was going to be delivered to our home next day morning πŸ™‚
It was a sunny Sunday morning and our furniture arrived! We were surprised to see that it was the dealer himself who came up to deliver it. In USA, its people’s thinking that “No work is a small work” Here children start working at the age of 16, they work at pizza huts, Subways, coffee shops, many kids clean up neighbor’s backyard garden as the “Summer job”! No matter what age they are or how rich their parents are. Reason, everybody likes to be independent here. Work really is worship for them and they are not ashamed of it if its a small work. Apparently in my place back home, if somebody’s son/daughter is doing some small job for living, I have seen people cursing their parents for it and even parents feel ashamed of it, if their kids are working just as a vacation job. (eg. “Khari Kamai” program during school summer vacation)
These thoughts startled in my mind watching the dealer’s teenager son and wife helping him move stuff. When I asked him about why his family accompanied him today, he said that they have gone to church before coming at our place. Americans never miss their Sunday church prayer.

While I was preparing parathas, the furniture was all set in our home. We invited them for the breakfast too. After insisting, they agreed to come. They hadn’t tasted Indian food before, so I was curious how they will find it. I served the hot Aloo parathans with yogurt. “This might be somewhat spicy for you” I said to them. While my husband was talking to them, I prepared two more parathaas and they really liked it. We both were glad to know that they knew a lot about India and Indian culture and now they like the Indian food too πŸ˜‰
While leaving they said to us “We had heard about Indian culture n how they treat their guests as God.” the dealer tried to recall something and said, “Atithi Devo Bhava” that’s what you call and is very true. We appreciate it!” and happy heartedly they left our home. We said B-bye to them. So, this was one of the content weekends and yes, we hosted our first American guests too. “Atithi Devo Bhava..” I felt proud to hear that. I was so happy to know that our Indian culture is known and appreciated all over the world!

Happy Living…

Shruti πŸ™‚

Gateway Arch, St. Louis

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis is the tallest national monument in the United States at 630 feet. The Arch weighs 17,246 tons. Nine hundred tons of stainless steelΒ wasΒ used to build the Arch, more than any other project in history.
Β Gateway Arch, St. Louis

Gateway Arch, St. Louis

Gateway Arch - side view

Gateway Arch - side view

Downtown, St. Louis

Downtown, St. Louis

I took this pic from the top of the arch.

Tha Arch Shadow

The Arch Shadow

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis

Ronald Wilson Reagan Memorial Bridge – behind the arch on Missouri river.

Overall it was a great experience to visit this monument.

@Shruti πŸ™‚