Sunday, June 28, 2009

NIAGRA FALLS & TORONTO

Niagra Falls is one of the most wonderful places I have seen. The place has been totally developed from a tourist point of view with all the possible attractions and facilities. One gets all possible forms of souvenirs in the varied shops and at a very reasonable price, then Clifton hill..the main street is complete with all the amusement rides, shows, giant wheel and its a really fun place .
We took the ferry..MAID OF THE MIST..it takes you so near to the falls..and is really an experience in itself..one feels so humble to see the stature of the fall and the pressure of water..awesome!!! The nature is so powerful that we are all so tiny creatures there. We took JOURNEY BEHIND THE FALLS.....here we venture into a tunnel at the base of the falls and there are a few view points, from where we can see the falls and water at their origin.
While returning we stayed at Toronto...took a ride through the city, saw the Harbour .......now-a-days here its summer for the people here and they thoroughly enjoy the sun,in all the cities one can see the people outside enjoying various things and there are always fun fetes running in downtown, whereas yours truely:)..habitual of living in 40 degree temp. finds it quite hot sometime and cant walk or stay in the sun for a long period....isnt it very contradictory?
My sis took me to all the shops where she has been shopping for years and to all the restaurants where she likes to eat:). We took a fresh Afghani bread from a Afghani shop..there I saw that on the TV the serial had Indian actors like..Sachin sharma etc...but the language I couldnt understand. We had Lunch at Brar's..it was an Indian Buffet and the variety was mind boggling with all type of sweets, soup, vegetables and idli dosa also with north Indian fare. Then we had a thali once at Rajdhani and it was the most delicious one.

We saw Swaminarayan Temple...constructed on the style of Akshardhaam except that it is white...it is a huge place, and since we went there at the time of Aarti..there were many people.......they have a dress code..anybody wearing a dress exposing knee downwards has to wrap a sarong.

We went t0o EATON SQUARE..it is one of the biggest mall in this area with all the branded shops..it was like a zoo over there with so much of crowd...never saw here any other mall bustling with the people.
Then we saw one locality where most of the inhabitants were chinese and then we went to Gerard Street..its a mini India over there..we saw a roadside Chat corner , people eating Bhutta.....and 60,s Hindi movie songs are still the most popular ones in most of the restaurants and shops. There one can find any Indian thing at a most reasonable price..be it jewellery, food, clothes or vegetables or anything else......


THOUSAND ISLANDS----Here we took a cruise while going..its for an hour and they take you through the great lakes, showing you many islands and Golden castle from outside---its the most scenic cruise one can take.
I am going to put some pictures once I reach back Zurich

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

OTTAWA

I am in Ottawa now--a days. It is small and beautiful place with a very low density of people. After US , I find here a lot of difference in surroundings and even people. Here Indians are plenty and practically one gets everything here, there are 48 Indian restaurants here, though its a small place. One thing which i found very endearing when my sister told me is...that here Canadian parents have changed a little after watching that India children are doing well in studies, they are getting more involved with their children's studies and careers. Now its not a must for Indian children to live independently after 16 and so is for some of them:)
One more thing which I liked here is that all the students do a lot of volunteering in charity events and that work is given weightage in their applications for University admissions. This way they get a lot of inter personal skills and exposure. My nephew did it for dragon boat competition for 3 days, we also went there to see it......its a beautiful place....Mooney's bay, and then we saw that unique bridge on the Douse Lake..where whenevr a high clearance boat or ship comes that whole road shifts to one side..its a sight to see.
We went through Sussex drive.. and saw from outside prime minister's house, parliament, governor's house and then went to Reido' centre....its the biggest mall in Ottawa. On the way we tried Gulabjamun and two types of samosas from a shop and they were delicious, i couldnt believe that I am in Ottawa and eating those typically Indian and so tasty dishes. Sweets were available in NJ US also , but they were tasteless.
Here in a party I met many Indians settled here and was a little shocked to see what they thought about Indian girls.....they are scared of marrying their son to a girl born and brought up in India , as they found them to be very manipulating, as they show in TV serials, whereas the children brought up here in Indian households are..SEEDHA.....what it says about us?
Even many of the young crowd is so Indianised here, whereas in India we are going western completely..be it the dress or food or sensibilities or lifestyle..dont know where will it take us. None of the female crowd came to the party in western wear, all of them were wearing either saree or salwar kameez....and each one of them was well educated, holding good posts, working, and I felt so akin to them and happy to see.
And friends I am not finding time to read your blogs, so bear with me for another month:), and then I will be regular. This weekend we are planning to see Niagra, and Toranto etc, wuill give you a update in my next post.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

San Diego

Last weekend we went to San diego..it was the graduation time for my SIL. Here in US they make it look so grand ceremony......it was like their advisors putting that sashay on them and then all the way we had those flower shops selling bouquets and garlands. We also thought of buying one and my daughter picked 2-3 and the seller was watching like..hellooo:) because when he said 20 $ we said for how many? and he was like what do you think, its for one:)
After the ceremony there was a reception for all the parents, families and all.and everybody was having photo sessions. Looking at the parents I thought how happy they were, it was also their fruit of labour,their moment of glory and I remembered my son's graduation day so much and how much he had made efforts to make it possible for us to be there and I have very fond memories of that day and wished that I could see my daughter walking on the podium, but that time neither I had any idea, nor my daughter thought of calling us:).
In the evening we wanted to go to an Indian restaurant to celebrate the occasion and somebody said..MONSOON is best..its in downtown..here there were so many indian restaurants all in 1km radius. This Monsoon was not good at all, neither the food was good nor the servings enough:).
We stayed at Hyatt at La Jolla and the hotel was good, service is also good, but even the internet is charged extra there..it was a bit on expensive side and the crowd..it was so crowded all the time and there was some wedding party also going on, so I saw some really best dressed people, otherwise here I get to see people always casually dressed:)
Weather was very pleasant there so it was a nice weekend,met few friends-one Indian and one Mauritian. and now tomorrow I am leaving for Canada:)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I was Tagged long back by Shilpa, Deeps and Deeplydip for this tag about 25 random things about me. I was dillydallying, thinking what to write, dont know whether I shall be able to complete the no. anyway here I am:-----

  1. I am a stickler for values and character and can never be flexible about that.
  2. I care about environment a lot, so very particular about spending water, electricity,plastic and petrol and never waste paper. I feel very irritated when I see people demanding plastic bags from the dhopkeeper for something they can keep in the purse even.
  3. I am very diligent with work, if someone asks me for something, i shall never delay it, and the same I expect from others and feel very frustrated if it is not done immediately.
  4. I cant stand rudeness, and disrespect, for me dont do anything for me, even dont love me..its fine, but nevr ever be rude to me, that i cant tolerate, will never forget even and will nurse a hurt forever...there was a time my brother used to make fun of me saying....tum samantvaadi ho, har samay chamche chahiye:)
  5. In my childhood I read Gandhi Shiksha in my syllabus and two of his teaching were ingrained in my mind..never tell a lie and bearing injustice is akin to doing it......but the second one didnt bear fruit when i applied it in my life....in personal relationships..rights and wrongs are not so important as maintaining the relations and nurturing them.
  6. My policy of no expectations and complaints and acceptance has brought me a lot of happiness and peace.
  7. I am really addicted to tea, even when I fast for navratri....more than the food I miss is my daily morning tea..because in fast i cant take it before doing pooja:)
  8. I cant watch daily soaps for long, I prefer comedy serials or movies.
  9. I am a compulsive reader..read all the Hindi literature in my childhood only, now I read everything..magazines, novels, fiction, spiritual everything:), earlier i had a quite big library at home.
  10. I like to wear everything according to the occasion and place and very fond of good clothes and accessories.
  11. I am a very loyal person.. be a friend or relative.
  12. For me punctuality is very important, though sometimes we have reached a party when even host is not ready...but at my place i prefer to have evrything in time.
  13. I would nevr say anything rude to anybody whether in jest or reality, for me any humour which hurts somebody..sucks big time.
  14. I am very fond of travelling and meeting new people, visiting new places.
  15. I am very hesitant in saying NO to anybody for anything, and it messes up my life so much.
  16. I always believe in Karma..your good karma always come back to you, you just may not know..like I always believe that my two children are my good karma. In the balance sheet of god there is no credit..he always gives you more than you demand or deserve.
  17. I have learnt a lot from my children.
  18. I always had very strong beliefs about everything ..but in the journey of life learnt to be flexible because journey is more important than the destination.
  19. I hoard jewellery like anything, if beads are the in thing, must have in all colors, and then if long necklaces are in fashion, i must have them in all colors...I cant wear anything without co-ordination.
  20. In blogging also I cant be fake, whether I get readers or not, I cant praise for nothing, and I dont even bother before reading some one's blog whether he/she comes to mine or not.
  21. The worst habit I had was of keeping grudges, but when I knew that it was eating me only from inside..I learnt to let go.
  22. I am not much for diplomacy or hypocrisy in my circle of friends and relatives..I want to keep few but genuine people.
  23. While gifting or taking..I dont give much value to price, I always give that much only which doesnt make me feel for the return and I dont expect anything back. I never go out of the way for gifts, but if someone needs it, I will certainly give.
  24. Very fond of movies, any language as long as it is subtitled is fine with me.
  25. I dream to finally settle down somewhere near Nainital.....in a cool small place near to nature with few things only:)

Thank god I am able to complete the nos, sorry friends I have been very very late, and by now everyone has done it, so i am not tagging anyone, if any of you want to take it up, you are most welcome.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

RACISM AT THE PEAK

For the last few days I keep reading about the attacks on Indian students and feel very sad.We always think that law and order situation is not very good in our country, but here is a developed country and the people there are being targeted so openly..acid being thrown on the face..and they are not able to stop it..17 attacks in a month..what it says...is their govt. incompetent or the intentions are not honest? Then why they come to India to have seminars and conferences and invite students to study there? And the worst part is that few indians settled there in a cushy life are not supporting the truth, and trying to blame the students for the attack, just because they dont want to antagonise their white neighbors. or put their careers in jeopardy.very sad indeed. And what I found really mean on part of some indians is that in such a situation they are bringing out their personal frustrations out by saying......Some hindus are like that they dont include Indian Muslims and Christians in their Indian community gatherings and all in Australia and all that.....this is like trivialising a tragedy. and then there are some who are comparing these racist crimes with the crime of rape of foreigners and loot in India.....Rape is a worst crime and perpetrators must get stringent punishment, but they are crimes and not committed with a hatred or wanting them to leave the country. The motive of a crime is very important..in Australia they are target ting particular people and want them to go back....But in the first place Indians are not there illegally, their govt gave them visa and Indians have spent their hard earned money, so the govt owes it to them to give them security or refund their money. I just hope that either their govt and people learn a lesson or people boycott Australian goods and Australia completely.

Lately I have been quite sluggish in posting and lot of posts have become due..like a few tags and then whatever I saw in Seattle:). Just the other day I saw the movie..PECK IN THE CHEEK..its a Tamil, Sinhalese movie, the cast was so impressive, so it was imperative to see it.and was I disappointed? No way..its a fabulous movie in the mould of other Mani Ratnam Movies. Madhavan is mind blowing..he is looking fabulous and acted also so well and all the other assorted people and things all so well synchronised.
The story is like this....Shyama( nandita Das) gets married to Dileepa(Chakravorty) in Srilanka.Dileepa belongs to LTTE. Due to the running war Shyama is sent to India with her father, she delivers a baby in Rameshwaram and leaves her here in Red cross and goes back to her husband. Here a young engineer and a writer Madhvan..I forgot his name....wants to adopt her and gets married to Indra(Simran). They bring her up as their own and later on have 2 sons also. when she is 9, they tell her the truth, she is shattered and wants to see her mother who abandoned her..ultimately they go to that strife torn country..and how she meets her and little nuances are so touching...director has treated this story with such a sensitivity that it is just marvellous. One can realise only after watching it. I saw one other movie AMU also on a similar plot, and it was so childish and pathetic.
A lovely movie worth a watch !!!
Then I saw 8X10 TASVEER....couldnt even believe it is from Nagesh Kunnoor, he seems to have lost the touch completely....the movie is woth a watch only because of the beautiful locales of Canada and Akshay kumar..rest everybody is looking funny and out of place be it Sharmila tagore or Aayesha Takia or anybody else. I really felt sad to see my favourite GIRISH KARNAD wasted in a miniscule role with nothing to do.
Next I saw BARAH AANA....can you believe it, my daughte ris such a fan of Vijay raaj's comedy that she brought it just for that...but here he and Naseeruddin shah both are wasted, a low grad movie with nothing to recommend.
Saw a few other movies also..English ones which are called chick flicks here:)like DOUBLECROSS..was ok.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Social Conscience Part II and MNCs

Just the other day were thinking..what is it about US that has brought them at the top of the world.......see we Indians are forever copying them, so why shouldnt we copy that trait:).
After a lot of discussion we came to the conclusion may be it is their openness and freedom they give to every individual. Like this is one country embracing people from all over the world. people are coming from outside and making it prosper, they dont resent outsiders. Its not the way we think..like in our own country some states put curbs on the people from other states and do reservations for locals..nothing like that here, its a completely merit based country..have merit and enjoy. And the same freedom is given to human mind ..to explore, to do what you want....no restriction on you mind, behaviour, dressing sense, and no judgemental issues, not that it is all good as we can see, but yes it brings new ideas.
And this brings me to the topic of my one of last posts..social conscience..people going outside the country for a better living..........the comments from everybody made me think it over again and again and then I realised that on one side we are talking about global world with diminishing boundaries, on the other I am being so conservative about our best people going abroad, not fair to them or anybody. we must also strive to make our country a merit based country. And if it wasnt in the the interest of our country wouldnt we ban it? we must have this same freedom in our country to let every individual think and decide whatevr one wants to do and remove all the subsidies from education, rather there should be education loans, so we dont have this feeling that..see they are getting subsidised education and then going abroad, otherwise this education is not free, its like a bond, study here, so remain here, whereas education always makes us free to do whatevr we want to do in life.
And then there was the question..whether we should resent MNCs because they send their earnings outside our country.........10 years back i was of the same opinion. At that time we had limited variety in the market in various products but the price was low, and then MNCs started coming, giving us variety and I felt that with their free gift culture they are going to tempt Indian consumer, and once they get popular, they will stop that and them price their products higher and by that time they would have the killed the competition ( meaning Indian small industries)..and i really didnt want to buy their products. Even today whenever I go to Hyderabad .Shilparaman, there was this shop of tribal products, I will buy my stock from there or sometimes from Khadi Bhandar also. I always have certain preferences...
Like if two vegetable sellers are there and one is woman, I will go the woman. the same for any product.
If my local grocer is good enough, then I will order my main groceries from him only.
If any of our Indigenous product can do, will get the preference ( like amul is my preferred brand for everything they make:)....and there are many dos...like this in my life:)
But then I thought..suppose we indians set up a shop abroad according to the laws over there and then local show the same disdain then?...so the main onus lies with the govt..for framing laws in such a way that they dont harm our local industries, and then see to it that they follow it.....but more important is this..why not Indian companies make their stuff so good that if not better its equal..I am sure there are many people like me who would prefer to buy from them...again it comes to merit and quality.
One day my husband talked to me and asked me why I dont think in a progressive way, he said that we get everything so cheap in US but not here in India because......our farmers are small, they dont have the latest technology for bulk producing and then storing , transporting and everything. Let the MNCs come, and they will have all the facilities and then our farmers will also get the optimum price for their produce( which never happens otherwise because whenever they have bumper crop, they dont have any storage idea or anything and either it rots or it goes cheap, so good crop or bad crop they are always in debt), and secondly people of our country will also be able to afford minimum basic products, which are meant today for rich only....yes they will send their earnings outside, but at the same time they are generating employment also, providing us products also. and then we are not stopping Indian entrepreneurs to come forward.
Till such time that we become a developed nation we need them and then they will need us.
Till then govt. can put all its resources in providing the basic things....water, electricity, education(primary only), food , health services and infrastructure.
This is one topic where i can write and write:), but I want everyone to read it, not skip it:)