Kemah Boardwalk ……

Yes ……I am back after a break of more than 2 months.  Just did not feel like writing anything all these days. Anyways ….life has been full of ups and downs since last 3 months.  Its not easy to be a full time working mom is all I can say :-) After a long time …..we had an outing last weekend to Kemah Boardwalk. Its a huge wooden platform built on the coast of Gulf of Mexico. They have amazing sea food and cajun restaurants. They also have live music  during the weekends. The boardwalks has  amusement rides and you can have a great view of the gulf from these rides.They have boat rides too. We had a great time on the rides. Amogh had his first boat ride,  he freaked out and hated when the water splashed on his face.  He was reluctant to get into other rides too and would hold me very tight as we got into them. I was amazed to see this change in him as he would enjoy the carousel rides a few months back.

We had a great time together and ended the day with a dinner at Masala Wok a casual Indian Dining place.

As we drove back from Kemah I remembered  the devastation hurricane ike had caused in this place 2 years ag0.  It was amazing to see how people have re-built everything and are back with a bang.  Based on my experiences on this planet I feel one of the greatest capability every living thing has … to overcome their loss and move on with their lives as time passes by.

Here are a few vpics of Kemah BoardWalk,

outing last weekend to Kemah Boardwalk. It was a good outing and all three of us enjoyed the rides and had a good time roaming around.As we drove back from Kemah I remembered  the devastation hurricane ike had caused in this place 2 years ag0.  It was amazing to see how people have re-built everything and are back with a bang.  Based on my experiences on this planet I feel one of the greatest capability every living thing has … to overcome their loss and move on with their lives as time passes by.

Here are a few vpics of Kemah,

My ride !

Here’s my new ride !  Its a 2008 Toyota Yaris. Been driving this car for close to 3 months now.  I have been reluctant to drive on my own …for whatever reasons …  Thanks to my dear hubby for not giving up on teaching me how to drive, reverse park and parallel park my car. I did learn to drive in India but …..If you don’t practice its no use.  I don’t know if I am perfect yet  but I am happy that  I reverse park at my office parking garage everyday without any hassles.

Harishchandra chi Factory …….

Its been a while since I wrote. I have a long list of posts in my drafts but it has been tough for me to sit in front of the computer for more than a hour and complete them. Finally found some time today :-)

A  few  days back I watched this Marathi movie “Harishchandrachi Factory”.  The movie was about Dada Bhai Phalke the father of Indian Film Industry -  how he made the first motion picture in India -  Raja Harishchandra.  Its amazing how we have progressed from a silent motion picture to now the largest film Industry in the world. It also clearly shows the mind set of Indians in those days. The superstitions they believed in, women working in a drama or a movie was totally unacceptable. We have come a long way. Hats off to this great personality for laying a strong foundation to the Indian Film Industry.

A few things not to miss in this movie

1) Dada Bhai’s family -. A Fun loving family and a great support to him despite of all the opposition in the society. Both the child actors who played the role of his sons did an awesome job. I would say all the actors did a great job.

2) Watching movies in a tent. My mom and dad used to tell me about how they watched movies in tents when they were kids.

3) The superstitious beliefs people had about cameras those days. We have come a long way from a world of superstitious beliefs.

4)  The Indian Hospitality where anyone is welcome anytime and the guests are treated like God.

Hats off to the producer of this movie.  The movie is available with subtitles. This movie was India’s Official Entry to Oscars last year.

20 Random facts about me

1) Spent first 7 years of my life in Hyderabad…18 years in Mangalore and 4 years in Houston …. Mangalore is the best place ever. Can’t wait to go back.

2) I was an average student when I was in primary school but did well in my  academics from 7th grade. My parents were not at all pushy when it comes to studies ……I think that it is around this time I started picturing what I wanted to be and worked towards it.

3) Had a great childhood with my elder sibling. We used to fight with each other a lot but come a third person we used to be united. We no longer fight with each other but the unity still remains :-) Used to spend my vacation at my Grand ma’s and had a great time with my cousins and kids who used to stay around her place. Never to forget the car festival, long walks and picnics with all the kids.

4) I am short tempered which got me in to trouble a couple of times.  I try to maintain cool as much as possible but…:-(. Thanks to my dear hubby who is patient and cool all the time.

5) Being a Hindu, we worship various deities. I firmly believe in God and always picture him in Lord Ganapathi . Ever since I was a kid I always felt that there has been my  been a power which guiding me through this life and helped me out of numerous obstacles that I have faced.

6) I have undergone 3 major surgeries ….2 to fix my leg which broke when I met with an accident in 1986. I had a steel rod with 12 screws inserted into my leg for about 8 months to fix my femur bone. The other one was due to a medical condition.

7) I have been into 2 major road accidents one when I was 7 and the other when I was 21. I broke my leg in the first one where I was hit by a Jeep and second one the Bus I was traveling in  toppled into a field which was filled with water due to heavy rains. I escaped with a few scratches.

8)I am a vegetarian but eat eggs. I have eaten fish and chicken before but since last 10 years I have been a vegetarian. I still cook chicken and fish from my family.

9)I love varieties of food and have been able to appreciate and like every cuisine I have tasted be it Indian or any other cuisine. Love to try new things at new restaurants. Following are the list of cuisines I have tried  Indian(Various …North Indian, South Indian, Gujju, Andhra, Rajasthani, Kerala, Konkani ..the list is endless), Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Ethiopian, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean, French and American.

10)I had never tasted yogurt (curd), butter milk and butter in its original form until I had Amogh. I used to get nauseated whenever I try to eat/drink them. Not sure if its my pregnancy hormones …… I no longer feel nauseated.

11) Recently developed interests in parapsychology and like reading books on parapsychology.

12) I don’t talk much normally but love chit-chatting with people who are  close to me.

13) I am very independent and try doing everything on my own. I don’t ask people for help until it is very much required.

14) I have never competed with anyone (I have written competitive exams though and competed with other kids generally;-)) or compared myself to anyone specifically. My parent never compared me to anyone else.I never remember they comparing me or my sister to any other kid ? Not that we were exceptional kids both of us were just average in our studies …we used to be a nuisance sometimes …I always remember them correcting us but never compared our behavior to another kid.Amongst my friends, whenever there was a sense of competition I would just think what I want to be and keep the competition aside.

15) I always pictured what/where I wanted to be and been able to achieve most of it or at least progressed towards getting there. Lots of ups and downs everywhere but at the end of it …….I am happy.

16) My role model ….is my beloved DAD Why ? A person who maintains a same state of mind whatever the situation be. I have rarely seen him express his emotions. I also admire the way he used make sure we did what he wanted. He never forced his decision on us….he would sit with us and explain the pros and cons whichever way we took and always made sure we took the final decision on what we wanted to do.  There are lot of other things about him … would be better to put it in a separate post.

17) I want to do something that would make a difference to people who are not as fortunate as I am. I have donated to charitable institutions but nothing substantial.

18) I love music. I can sing pretty well. I did win a couple of prizes when in school and college. I do want to learn classical music whenever I get a chance. I have learnt Hindustani Classical music for 2 years when I was a kid.

19) I don’t like to dress in fancy clothes and wear a lot of jewelery.  I prefer anything in cotton or pure silk and lighter shades. I like to buy jewelry but I hardly wear them. I have a pair of earings, chain and bracelet which I wear most of the time. All other accessories which I use including my shoes are usually black or white.

20) I respect everyone’s  religious beliefs and views. I don’t like  it when someone tries to or force their beliefs and views on me.

Well ……there are more than 20 facts but for now that’s enough

Only Love is Real !

This is a recent book I read  written by Dr Brian Weiss. I liked reading it but not as much as the previous book. He does explain a lot about destiny, the immortality of the soul. This book is about 2 people who are destined to meet at some point in their life time. They come to his clinic for past life regression treatment and at some point the doctor realizes both of them are narrating same stories. In one of the past lives they were father and daughter and in another true lovers who were separated for some or the other reasons. The relationship between them was different in every life time but the common thing was they truly loved each other. He could not share this information due to privacy and confidentiality agreement. However the two end up meeting as per their destiny and get married. He explains the concept of soul-mates and how they will end up meeting each other no matter what. Also, a soul-mate is not necessarily your spouse. It could be any one who you love truly. It was more like a novel with a happy ending. It is one of the best sellers in the US of A.

Dr Weiss tries explains the reasons for bad relationships, fear in a person while in a relationship …  be it with your spouse or any one else. To some extent I like his explanations. Again this is a reference to newton’s third law thing i mentioned in one of  my previous post :-)

Gajar Ka Halwa

We had a super bowl party last weekend at a friend’s place.  We had a  pot luck dinner after the game and I made Gajar ka Halwa (made with carrot and milk)  for dessert. I love sweets and this is one of favorites. All my friends loved it too.

Here’s the recipe :

Note: Quantity serves around 8 – 10 people.

Carrots – 2 lbs (Around 1 kg)
Milk (Preferably whole milk)- 1/4 th Gallon (Around 1 litre)
Ghee – 4 tbl spoons
Sugar – 2 cups
Powdered Cardamom (Elaichi) – 1/2 tea spoon
Nuts (Badam and Kaju) – 10 each

Grate the carrots. Add all the milk to the grated carrots and pressure cook for around 15 mins until milk reduces to 3/4 th of the content. Add 1 tbl spoon of Ghee in a kadai and pour the pressure cooked carrot and milk mixture into the kadai. Keep the flame on medium high until the mixture starts thickening. Keep stiring the mixture every now and then.  When the mixture is still liquidy add sugar and rest of the ghee. This point onwards you need to keep the flame on medium and keep stiring the mixture until it changes to halwa-like consistency. Ghee starts separating out from the mixture and this when Halwa is ready. Garnish with powdered cardamom and nuts.

Forgot to click the picture. Will post it next time.

Amogh turns 2 ….

Can’t believe its been 2 years since we had Amogh. A friend of ours baked this cake for Amogh’s bday. It was a layer of vanilla cake over chocolate cake. Amogh loves his teddy bear very much so we thought of getting him a teddy cake.

My Sunny Balcony

Not everybody in this world gets a chance to do what they dream of. Most of the times we never realize the talents we possess or we never bother to think of how to make our dreams come true. My Sunny Balcony is a dream come true for my friends. The idea is very innovative, a noble cause and a 100% job satisfaction. So what does MSB do ? For more details Click Here

To me, this is a perfect example to all those people who get frustrated in life for not being able to do what they desperately wanted to do. We can remain frustrated through out our lives cursing our destiny or keep working towards achieving what we want. May not be feasible given the responsibilities and other factors that influence each of our lives. If we are focused and keep looking for opportunities to pursue our dreams we might some day meet our goal. Life is not a fairy land. We may not be able to achieve everything what we want but there is no harm in trying to pursue them.  At the end of it, we will have a satisfaction that we tried.

Believe me, even throwing up your ideas or discussing your goals with your friends helps. You never know when you might find a like – minded partner who can work along with you.

The Miracle Man

Ever wondered how great it would be to have a world free of suffering ?Have doctors who can diagnose and cure their patients using psychic power. A man did exist between 1877 and 1945 who did posses this power of healing people. “Many Mansions” is a book about Edgar Cayce who lived in the United States not so long ago. This miracle man had a special power while in trance. He could visualize his patients body from the inside, determine the root cause of the ailment and suggest remedies to cure them. A lot of people who lost hope after all the suffering did find a complete cure from his remedies.The best thing I liked about this person is that he did not misuse his powers. A lot of people tried to use his powers to make money but his powers either did not work in these cases or he would refuse to help them.

There were many cases where Cayce was not able to find the root cause of the ailments  physically. In such cases he would point out incidents in people’s past life that lead to their suffering in this life. There were also cases where  people could verify their past lives with the details he would give.

Do I believe in past life ? Well…. not sure. Until I have a fool-proof evidence it is difficult for me to accept it.My take from this  book is ……. What if this past life theory is true?   You cannot change your past life no matter how good or bad it was. If you have to suffer from the wrong doings there is no way you can avoid it.   But present and future is definitely in our hands. Its like Newton’s 3 rd law of motion. Every action has equal and opposite reaction. Every good action towards others will surely bring back equal and good reaction towards you. Every bad action ….I don’t have to continue you know what it is.

Many Lives Many Masters

I have never been a great reader through out my life. I used to only read magazines and news papers other than my text books. When I was a kid I loved reading comics/fairy tales but never a novel. Off late I developed an interest in parapsychology after I read a couple of books on psychology. I developed interest in psychology after I had Amogh. I took a year’s break from work  to spend time with my little one. Sometimes he would just amaze me with his little tricks  and arouse my curiosity  as to  what must be going on in his mind. That’s when I started researching on this topic. Also, I attended the Infant Siddha course organized by SSY, Mangalore.  I would suggest this course to all the to be parents. After attending this course I grew more curious about sub-conscience and parapsychology. To add to my curiosity my sister told me about this book she read Many Lives Many Masters by Dr Brian Weiss and I started with this book.

Whenever I pick up a book to read the first thing i look at is the number of pages then when I read 4th or 5th page I normally fall asleep. But I loved reading this book and more I read more I wanted know what was in the next page. The book was about past life regression therapy and how your current life is effected by your experiences in the past life. Once I read the book my question was do I believe everything what is written here ? All of us might have faced failures in some way or the other. Whenever something unfortunate happens we always tend to analyze the reasons behind them and try not commit those mistakes again. But there are lots of  instances where  you are not able to understand the reason and there is always a question as to WHY DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME? WHERE DID I GO WRONG? This book has a pretty good explanation  to these questions. All the religious books do explain this theory in some way or the other. Bhagvathgeetha has great analogies to explain this theory. Infact I ended up watching  a couple of episodes of Mahabharatha on youtube after reading this book to confirm. Its amazing how Lord himself knew about the destruction, pain and suffering that the war would lead to but could not stop it.

Well……the more I analyzed what I read I felt that it just about how to remain positive even during the toughest times in your life. There is no scientific evidence to this theory but if it has a positive effect on you then why not believe it ?

I am reading a couple of other books now will blog about it soon.