Monday, February 04, 2013

God made a mother ...

So she can wake up early before dawn and cook oats with added wholesome touches plus love
Work on her scholarly paper and step stealthily lest she wakes up her son before the sun steps out of its slumberous cave
And when the little angel wakes up go tell him that he is the best little guy on earth who fills her life with mirth …

So she can work hard to make a difference not just to produce another scripted text
But make it strong enough so it can move a chest
Literally, from the side of failure to rolling up good-humored jest …

So she can sprinkle enthusiasm in the minds of young scientists-to-be
Who can help her fulfill the many ideas to be
Written down into voluminous scrolls of mighty journals
That can be read and spread by the other great mothers and thinkers …

Who think alike to save mankind and the world
Instead of being in sundry-peripheral-pleasures curled
Driven by the world-changing ideas unfurled
In these heads that love the idea that the world be led
In a direction that can be sped
By the discoveries and touches of the bountiful head
That wants to brighten up the days ahead
Lived by posterity in good stead!

A quick repartee to the much-advertised God Made a Farmer!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dandelions and Daffodils

Finally my writer's block has been blocked :)

Dandelions and daffodils
On your palates and window sills
While the former pumps up your iron, the latter blends bright-eyed ripples with smile spills

It is okay to spill smiles, they add to your lives meaningful miles
And add to your karma lively luster-laced files

It is okay to love thy neighbor and plant those daffodils dancing on your window sills
It is okay to squeeze smiles from strangers when their days have been soured tasting tests testing their sundry skills
It is okay to feel vibrant and smile when there is not a riveting reason to smile aside from all paid bills
It is okay to stop by and savor this sketch on daffodils and blithely bathe in those overflowing scintillating smiles and thrills

And to think of how dazzling a day will be with cumin-sautéed dandelions garnishing your palate
And a big bright albeit enticingly blank slate
To paint with dusky dandelions and dew-drenched daffodils, almost sun-bleached
And add to your slate dream-drizzled thrills unleashed

To paint with dreamy, wind-laden daffodils
To paint with inebriated, dancing daffodils
To paint with mystically magnificent, mellow daffodils
To paint with candidly conjured up dating daffodils
And to hang those out from your winsome window sills
To give passing strangers and thy neighbors those oft-swallowed smiles and those oft-tempered thrills

Friday, April 01, 2011

My homepage is gone!

Well with the ebbing of my Purdue student life, my homepage is gone - my computer engineer-half has been called into action - let's see when he can get things rolling ...

Doctor mamma - being me and trying to rid my writer's block ... pardon me my dear guinea pigs!

They say a baby changes your life - well! I can see that now ... for a woman it is very challenging to be the perfect mamma and to sprint ahead in one's career track. The best way to do it is I guess have your work life and mamma life riddled with imperfections. At times, you feel 24 hours is just not enough ...

Today I was walking in the woods and I heard and then looked up and saw a woodpecker pecking - it made me pause and smile and wonder if my son would get the time to stop and admire the natural splendors around him ... well, if genes play a role, he should grow up to be a nature lover - I hope it is a dominant gene though or else chances are he won't grow up to be one - you know why ;)

This year that I spent at home with my baby after PhD-ing for 4 years gave me a second PhD (honorary) in baby rearing and nutrition ... I tried exotic stuff starting from forbidden black rice to amaranth to lancinato kale and trumpet royale - go figure what that is - in addition to traveling to a new state in my native India - Rajasthan - the adventures in Rajasthan call for a new anecdote though, so don't get me started ...

I am very choosy when it comes to who I work for, or rather, work with - well, in a small town like West Lafayette that does not pay off very well. Also, since I wanted to give my little Shayok wholesome attention in his starting years, especially because we have family about 9000 miles away, I did put my undivided mothering stint on my CV and, well, if a company finds that to be working against me, I am better off not being hired. I think I am now ready to move on in life judging from how independent my little champ is growing up to be, he wants his mamma to "grow up" and gain speed ...

I am an optimist and a perfectionist and I now feel I am ready for a new beginning, a new beginning where I jump start my wagon and oil my engines and let the journey begin all over again - the journey to embrace my dreams jolted by cayenne and cumin and whatever else flows in my adrenaline-laden vessels ... Bon Voyage!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Chinese Charms and Chasms

I headed to China in October 2007 for attending a premier computer sciency conference – SRDS. China, the country constantly featured in the 30 second news bytes, brought to my mind all the trite surface things that I hear of with my morning granola and walnut-ie flakes, you know … things like the huge and rising trade deficit of the US with China and of the toys and toothpastes and animal foods wreaking first world chaos, perhaps in divine vengeance to the sweat shop injustice! Well I did get a chance to delve deeper piercing the veneer of the flaky newscast-y surface once in the oriental soils … my mind effortless-ly conjuring up images of dragons and old ladies playing mah-jong and knowing not what fortunes lie on the other face of the globe nor dream to … for they have but dainty dreams and simple pleasures of life that they seek to relish – like winning the next game and going home and smiling victoriously and singing to the triumphant tunes of their simple glories. I cannot resist the wafting of my mind waves and the lurking temptation of peeking beyond the rising walls of the capital and seeing what rhythm keeps these 1.3B people ticking and thriving. Well, here was my chance and I embraced it with super spirits of learning and seeing sounds and images that I had only heard and caught flighty snippets of, for now I was the master dictating what I wanted to see and hear!

The Winsome Welcome to the Chinese Folk land

I land in Beijing after a 13 hour long flight direct from the western front – starting my tour from Chicago’s O’ Hare. This journey did wake up the child in me whence I slept off in one place and woke up in wide-eyed expectation to see a land so different. While in one of my slumberous dreamy detours, I felt a sudden tug and I woke up half awake only to receive a fantasy jolt. The Chinese girl, Naomi, Naomi Cheng, sitting next to me had added a karma point to her life by waking me up to catch a glimpse of the North Pole. For I was thankful to her for this noble gesture … after all you don’t fly over the North Pole all the time! This got us speaking and she spoke in broken English … told me that she was going back home after covering a story for the Chinese television channel. Alas! I thought those poor folks … folks who get merry turning on their radios to catch a glimpse of the world through the eyes of a total stranger … it all rests on the shoulders of the stranger to paint the picture without a splotch on the real colors but what is reel if not void of real! Naomi also taught me some survival skills that would make me smile long after she was gone – how simple thoughts and gestures make humans happy – the maya, the cosmic illusion, that the divine filmmaker cast upon her characters wryly with a twinkle in the corner of her eyes. Well, with whatever blessings I had in my tote I did bless her for waking me up to the sights and imagined sounds of the canvas below with the badge – North Pole. It was well worth getting up in the middle of my fleeting dreams to see a real dream and to feel it if not touch it.

The next thing I knew was the grumble of my belly and as if in continuation to my fairly tale mind modes, the smell of chole and kofta wafted in the air and as if by divine ordination my belly calls were pacified soon enough. I was fortunate or rather disciplined enough to select my cuisine mindfully because it is during these long flights that food becomes one of the most fondest of preoccupations, no! fondest alone does not emphasize it enough! In synchrony with my Indian bhoj, I felt like ordering the lime and honey mellowed drink with a hint of tulsi that made me feel relaxed at home à la carte on board but wasn’t that too much to ask for. I don’t still know the special something that gave it a mystique feel and that something S never reveals to me.

10 AM CEST with DST

No, my dear friends Chinese don’t create time divides in spite of their extremely diverse climatology and span of several longitudinal lines. So, my caption was just to get my knowledgeable comrades anxious! Yes, Beijing is to the East of the country but there is no Chinese Eastern Standard Time and no Daylight Saving Time. With the recent Fall Back to bias my thoughts I should not even try to comment on the benefits or flaws of having DST if you know how it feels like to get an extra hour credited to your wagon that lets you stop yonder and just merrily incline your seat-back 75 degrees and relish a little more of your bedtime read knowing the extra credit you gather for your noble deeds … deeds worth half a year before that lone sweet credit is snatched away again. So, I embarked on the Chinese soil glittered by the multiplying fortunes in colorful shades of ceramic or vinyl maybe, pardon my evasive floor memories. Chinese have finessed the system of gathering instant effortless public feedback which let me express my satisfaction level with the click of faces revealing varying levels of customer satisfaction. Yes the clean clad, crispy attired young girl had impressed me with her professional strides on the computer screen and so, being the weary-eyed, soft hearted traveler that I was – I credited her with the happiest face on the dashboard and winked. With the assistance of the deftly pocketed Chinese translation of the Park Plaza Hotel from the conference web portal, lo and behold I was enroute my first Chinese destination. Yahoo! I thought, the power of the tongue and how on earth did my long gone ancestors survive without the power that spoke!

- Inspired by Saurabh’s recollections of his flight to Beijing, China; SRDS (conference); October, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Serenading Sunscapes & Whipsering Willows!

My blog log is way too lackluster for my tastes, so here's the new name to transcend all the mundane machinations of everyday life!

Friday, September 22, 2006

My City of Joy - Wake Up and Let the Candle Glow Brighter!

It feels like something's amiss in this land far far away as the Goddess of Power lands across the seas in my childhood "City of Joy"! There's this nostalgia, shimmering with thoughts of bygone days, when my family and I would wander, all decked up with pompous paraphernalia, to live up to the color and splendor of the festival. Yes! It's "Durga Puja" again, everything remains the same, the same enthusiasm, the same ardor, the same beatific beauty permeating the land, enchanted souls scurrying about the streets of Calcutta - but this time, I have those scenes playing wildly in my mind's eye. Aah! but then again, it's as if it's a blessing in disguise because now I can paint the colors of the festival with my exclusive graphiti strokes to finesse the nuances of the festive season - "nah! a little bit tangerine there, a little mellow yellow here, a little more of the azure tint in the sky, nope! don't rain - make it bright and warm" - making the people of my faraway land happier and brighter!

Well, there's more to this festival than the religious fervor of the people, it is a festival of triumph of good over evil, it is a festival of bliss, a festival of prosperity and peace! Think of all the dreams you dreamt, but couldn't quite transform to reality and in your innocent, earnest way ask Her to give you Her touch, and yes! She will - She will sprinkle over you a potion to cast aside that despondent drudgery of mundane life and replace it with sparkling success. How? Is it magic, no! it is that glimmer of hope that faith brings to people. Yes! you let that little prayer of hope slip by your soul, when all's going the way it was not meant to! Yes, you wrap that little parcel of unachieved dreams to heaven and seal it with cherubic hopes and dreams and let the charm work! It's with these little glittering inklings of faith and hope that we grow up; they come in different colors and flavors ... and when all's going awry - that's what you live for, the hope to let things shape up the way you want them to, the faith in what that little you within you is telling you - Move! March Forward! I am there with you!!

Let this world of ours share that faith and that passion to achieve, that passion to do good, that passion to live and let live, to love and let love!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

From Parisiis to Paris

Dated: Late June, 2006!
Caution: Don't get intimidated by the French phrases; blogging about the French capital well deserveth the French fantasies :)

Now don't take me to be a world class historian and swear by every piece of informative tidbit I provide, read it, savor it, and let it whet your appetite to read more. Yes, some of it is well influenced by the travel books we followed to make us seasoned travelers, which we definitely are! By the way, if you do get a lot out of your readings, come, share it with me over a steaming cup of café o lait!

So, here we go: The Paris conquered by the Romans in 55 BC was a small flood-prone fishing village on Ile de la Cité, inhabited then by a Parisii tribe. Today, Ile de la Cité and Ile St. Louis, are two islands on the Seine river and almost centrally located in Paris, where Parisians and wide-eyed tourists stroll arm in arm. As they stroll, they do unfurl noveau vistas along nooks and niches of this cute, historic town of about 2 million. Well! I would say touring Paris is a lot like walking down the tracks of history, at times you feel Parisians are so engrossed in their history that they've almost forgotten it's the 21st century, almost! For, when you "pace" across the city, as comfy as ever, getting on and off the RATP and RER trains, you do think again! The metro system is amazingly good, in fact I am tempted to say, it's the best laid out intercity train system I have ever seen. The RATP maps for one are amazingly easy to read, thanks to the Latin script, check out the
"Metro map" and remember to note the "track number" and the "destination station", both; e.g., to go from Concorde to Bastille, you gotta take "line 1" toward "Château de Vincennes", and not toward "La Défense", unless you have an unlimited day pass and want to be going round and round the merry-go-round, with no time constraints; or else, you are bored of history and are on the look-out for modernity! Well then, La Défense, Paris' skyscraper district on the Seine, and 3 km west of the 17th arrondissement, is replete with modern architecture! Go for it!!

Getting back on our quest for historic panels and marvels, we started off our Paris itinerary, with an evening cruise along the Seine on Captaine Francaise, and had thirty second glimpses of the Louvre and Eiffel and the Statue of Liberty, yes, the Statue of Liberty! Few people know that a scaled down Statue of Liberty, stands on an isle in the west of Paris, along the Seine, and was donated to the city by the American community in Paris, in 1885. The next day, we started off roving across the historic town, self-guided, along inland roads and (metro) tracks of Paris, starting off with Bastille, specifically place de la Bastille.

Originally built as a medieval fortress, the Bastille eventually came to be used as a state prison. Political prisoners were often held there, as were citizens detained by the authorities for trial. Some prisoners were held on the direct order of the king, from which there was no appeal. Although by the late 18th century it was little used and was scheduled to be demolished, the Bastille had come to be associated in the minds of the people with the harsh rule of the Bourbon monarchy. During the unrest of 1789, on July 14, an enraged mob approached the Bastille to demand the arms and ammunition stored there, and, when the force guarding the structure resisted, the attackers captured the prison, releasing the seven prisoners held there.

The fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, and it thus became a symbol of the end of the ancient régime. July 14, often called la fête nationale in France, became an official holiday in 1880. From the beginning, speeches, parades, and fireworks, along with public revelry, were part of the celebration. The slogan “Vive le 14 juillet!” (“Long live the 14th of July!”) has continued to be associated with the day. The square of the Bastille (Bastille Square) was created later, in 1803. Today, the only monument still gracing the square is the 52 meters tall, Colonne de Juillet (July Column), created by d'Alavoine. The top is adorned by a winged, gilded figurine representing the Spirit of Liberty called the "Génie de la Liberté".

With the 52 meters tall monument, serving as a mere traffic circle, it was quite a disappointing start of the day; but then, thinking again, there was indeed an eerie sensation associated with the place, reminiscent of the angry mob approaching the Bastille and fuming in rage, setting ablaze the spirit of the French Revolution!

From there, we moved on to place des Vosges, the oldest square in Paris. There, we explored Maison de Victor Hugo (Victor Hugo's home), home of the workaholic French author from 1832-1848, at 6 Place des Vosges, without much success! Well, if you really want to get a lot out of the musée, I would urge you to mastermind French and then visit the museum, nope! they didn't have much of a documentary or even exhibit labels for English speakers. One thing really intriguing in the museum, though, was Hugo's tall desk where he stood to write, along with woodwork and Chinese-theme panels he created for his mistress!

At a roughly five minutes walk from the place, we joined the lines at the falafel windows of L'As du Falafel, with several competing joints sitting next to one another, but we followed what our travel books told us, and had promptly served Jewish cuisine in the lively falafel joint. We then retraced our steps, satiated and smiling, to Place des Vosges, and our eyes lay feast on some beautiful, "untouchable" painting, well! maybe not untouchable for Bill Gates, ah, well! those painters are blessed with hands of gold!

One block from the square is the Musée Carnavalet (free entrée), chronicling the history of the capital. It is a treasure-trove for lovers of Paris: paintings, prints, artifacts, displays and re-creations, all housed in two magnificent mansions. Re-creations of Proust's cork-lined writing room, the apartments of the famous letter-writer-Madame de Sévigné, or the art nouveau Fouquet jewelry boutique were splendid exhibits, indeed. Though, beware, these exhibits close down for an hour or two, while the French curators and guards, laze in a summer siesta; yeah! we did go back to the museum after the lunch hour(s) to see what the travel books urged us to, and well! we weren't too unhappy, well worth the trouble in fact!

Moving on to the isles of the city of musées, we saw the Notre Dame cathedral in Ile de la Cité, where Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame was based. Set behind the Ile de la Cité, is the romantic isle of Ile St-Louis, having harbored the rich and the famous, including Chopin, Chagall, and the Rothschild family. Walking through the tree-lined rues of this isle, we headed toward 19 quai de Bourbon, and felt the stinging pathos of Camille Claudel, sculptor from 1899 to 1913, having been betrayed by her lover, Auguste Rodin. We also saw the rather non-inspiring wrought-iron facade at the intersection of the quai and rue des Deux Ponts, where the mediocre café-Au Franc-Pinot sits; the wrought-iron facade being as old as the island itself! Well, the oft-felt realization that the journey is often more important than the destination itself, proves its mettle over and over again. We walked along and feasted our eyes on Sorbonne, a 13th century college of theology, one of the oldest universities in Europe and College De France with Claude Bernard's (Claude Bernard-1813-1878; France's most famous physiologist) statue heralding its facade.

With lot said and lot done, Paris looked like a city struggling between the past and the present; the challenge is to remember the past but to frisk free from the throes of the past to embrace the fascinating future, the faster you embrace it, the more fascinating you make it–but then again, is it worth the frenetic pursuit after all!