Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Monday, October 31, 2005

Dee Deep Deepawali :)

The beautiful day of lights is here :).

Deepawali has always fascinated me. Its one of my favourite festivals, not only because of the fireworks, but because of the lights and the rituals as well. There is a cheerfulness in case of Deepawali more than any other festival or that is what I have noticed in my household. I even used to love taking walks around the colony in the day just to watch kids light up patakhas (or pataki in Kannada). There's a kind of vibrant energy all around. And I used to go upto terrace during the nights and enjoy the rockets lighting up the skies. I love it :).

This year's Deepawali is in a way, a mixture of happiness and sadness for me. Its the same old story. The happiness is obviously in the fact that I have Sri now and am getting to spend it with him. The sadness comes from the fact that had we been in India, this being our first Deepawali after marriage, we'd have spent it with my parents. Its supposed to be very special. Instead, we are spending it here in a country which doesn't even know what the festival is. No one to share the joys with and obviously no walk around the colony to see children playing. No sitting up on the terrace either, the houses don't even have the terrace concept here :-p.

Its been continuously gnashing at my heart. Sri consoles me saying any Deepawali we are in India, we'll celebrate in a big way. The mind understands the logic, we can't fly to India anytime we want and all that, but the heart doesn't. It wants to throw tantrums, make a fuss and somehow be in India. The story is never-ending...

But I haven't actually let my heart bog me down. Yet. Last week we went and bought candles, plain and scented ones. The diyas are available in Indian stores, but rates are atrocious + didn't want to risk diyas, what with wooden houses here. The candles atleast have a glass/metal cover. We obviously can't have fireworks (Neighbours are sure to call 911 immediately, if they hear weird noises :-p), but atleast we saw some in the recent Atlanta trip. I actually said to myself then, this is my Deepawali. Sounds pathetic, I know, but what else can I do?

So, we did do neeru tumbso hubba (water filling festival) yesterday. I drew some decorations in turmetic-kumkum on the water heater and performed the pooja. Later we lighted up all the candles and arranged them in front of the door :). I also had taken recipes from mom for a special Deepawali dish called Ereyappa. There is sweet ereyappa and khaara ereyappa. I made both and they came out pretty well for first attempt ;-). But, while making ereyappa, the poor American mixie couldn't handle my Indian jaggery and the blade's rubber got burnt. Sri's applaudable comment to that was "We did atleast burn something, even though there wasn't any noise" and my retort was "yeah, thank God the mixie didn't explode or something, then really there'd have been a huggggge noise" :-D. We also called up our homes and some of our relatives to wish them all a prosperous Deepawali :).

Today morning woke up early. Deepawali's Naraka Chaturdashi special is enne snaana i.e Oil bath. So did enne shaastra and later had a head bath. Did an aarthi and seeked blessings. That's it. Sri headed to his office and I started my work. Yup, we will be lighting candles for 3 days, but its somehow not the same without the constant noise in the background, without the hustle bustle and without the crackers.

But its still not that bad. Last year, on the third day of Deepawali i.e Bali Padyami, I met Sri. And this Deepawali, we are together. That day I didn't even know whether to say Yes or No. Today, I can't imagine not being with him. This chain of thoughts is enough to bring a smile on my face whenever I feel even a bit down :). So thats how the cheerfulness and the spirit of the festival are maintained.

Mom and Dad, the Deepawali from your side is still baaki to us. Lets carry it over to whichever year we are back in India and then we'll celebrate it really grand :). I know you miss us and I miss you all too, but we'll make it all up when we are together again :).

As for you other people, have a wonderful Deepawali and play safe with firecrackers :).

Friday, October 28, 2005

Happy 26th Anniversary :)

Happy Anniversary to you, Happy Anniversary!!
Wishing you wonderful days with no worry.
To the world's best mom and dad, a wish so true..
May good luck go with you both and happiness too..

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Autumn thrills and chills :)

Autumn is all over the place and it feels absolutely marvellous :). Its as if the whole place is an enormous canvas and God, like a child, has taken brush after brush and painted strokes of yellows, oranges, pinks, reds and maroons. Looks like He doesn't like any green around, so He's covering it up with all sorts of vibrant colours :). Each direction you turn, there's a new colour. Your eyes can't see enough, your memory can't record enough. And I can't take enough pictures ;-).

Kentucky is one of the states that change their colours once fall sets in. Just about 2 weeks back, everything was still green. I remember cribbing to Sri on what's-the-big-deal-about-fall-cause-I-don't-see-any-changes thing :). Miraculously, the whole surroundings and the weather has changed in days and if you ask me, the whole change is absolutely lovely. Just go on a drive and you'll be awestruck by the colours. Heck!! Why drive!! My apartment complex trees have also changed in a way that makes me wonder whether these were the same trees that I saw about a week ago. Maybe somebody took out the old ones and replanted new ones overnight :-p. This is not a joke, it actually happened at Sri's office once when they renovated the surroundings. One day there were plants and over the weekend there were trees!! Hehehe :).

I remember in India, autumn means leaves fall off. There are colours there too, but those are basically of flowers which remain on trees while the leaves fall off. So the trees are full of flowers with no leaves to be seen. I have seen purple, pink and yellow flowers which look lovely. But here, surprisingly there are no flowers. None at all!! Its as if the flowers got jealous of the leaves' colours and left the trees, huffing in anger :). Me and my imagination :).

The poem on the previous post was inspired by the change of colours in our apartment complex. I wrote it last week, but posted it this week only because of the lengthy Atlanta post ;-). But on the weekend, we got to see so much more of Kentucky autumn that yup, it deserved a special post on its own. The poem just didn't do what we saw justice. Actually it didn't do autumn any justice at all :-p :-D. We drove to Blue Licks Battlefield state park which is just about 40 min away from Lexington, not for history sake, but for the colours.

And man!! Was it worth it or what!! The drive itself satisfied our craving. We both were like kids pointing out candy!! "Look at that lovely yellow there" I said, "The small red trees over there are beautiful" said Sri, and this continued all the way till we reached the park :). The park was also looking extremely lovely with a palette of colours.

We walked to a small lookout to see the hills covered by various shades, later to a bridge to see an awesome view of a road and much later to a small lake which was surrounded with colourful foliage :). The sun was playing peek-a-boo with us and whenever it came out, the sights were worth capturing in a snap. Here's another photo:

We never actually saw any historical places on the park. We were busy admiring the handwork of God, which I should say is much better than man made building anyways. But I did climb on to a swing in the playground there and swung like I used to way back in childhood :). Also, we did try our hands at a 18-hole mini golf. A mini golf has 18 holes, but its not a huge golf course. It has small distance holes with some fun stuff like a house standing in between the path with a hole in the bottom. You have to make the golf ball go through the house to reach the actual hole :). I was a bit nervous in the beginning, but there were no people there except a family which was way ahead of us. So said "What the heck!!" and went for it :-D.

Hehehe. Sri claimed to be Tiger Woods, but most of his shots went outside the course. So I teased him saying "Yup you are Tiger Woods, when he didn't know what golf was" :-D. I got one of the holes in my first shot which was an absolute beginner's luck scenario. We shouted all the time for every shot, boo-d each other and gave hi-fives. Had royal fun throughout. At one point, we actually did wonder what these Americans would have thought had they heard us shouting, maybe "These Indians are crazy!!" - Asterix style :)). Anyways, later had fries, apple pies and sundae (yup I'm crazy enough to have a hot fudge sundae in cold weather, while Sri had a coffee) in McDonalds and set off home.

Autumn is all fun and beautiful but the weather is getting colder and colder day by day!! Its about 2 to 5 degree celsius daily now and we really can't venture out without getting decked in some kind of coats and caps. Anytime of the day I go out, I can see my breath like smoke. Just a moment out in the chilly weather, my hands, nose and ears freeze :(. If autumn is like this, I don't even want to wonder what winter will be like!!! We have to keep the heater continuously on in the house already!! So, the moral of the story, my dear friends is, "Autumn thrills, but chills!!" :).

Monday, October 24, 2005

Why, Oh Why, God?

Why, Oh Why, God?

God, why have you made autumn this way?
So many different colours to be seen..
Here in America, so many shades in leaves
While there in India, why only green?

God, why have you made days this way?
One is cloudy while other is blessed with sun..
And why are creatures the way they are?
One cannot fly while another cannot run..

God, why have you made countries this way?
One has mountains while the other has ravines..
And why is the fate of them so different?
When one has floods, several others have famines..

God, why have you made humans this way?
Skin colours black, white, red and brown..
While the internal system is quite the same,
Why are faces, thoughts, unique and their own?

God, why have you made feelings this way?
Excited, Confused, Lonely, Happy and Sad..
And why is the human nature so different?
While one is good, why is the other so bad?

God, why have you made me this way?
Why do I think, think and over-think?
Why has what started as autumn colours,
Changed into so many other why's in a blink?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Cheers Atlanta!

Ok as promised by humble me, here's the pages-and-pages travel report on our Atlanta trip last weekend (Ok ok its not that long :-p). I'm warning you, proceed only if you want to read my rant about all the places we visited in Atlanta and how we spent each and every moment. If you are reading this line, then I'm assuming you really have no other better work to do at this moment and hence you have agreed to read till the end. Its a binding contract failing which you'll be sued :-D. As usual, click on the photos to view all our Atlanta snaps. Again I repeat, limited offer :).

Lets start at the very beginning, a very good place to start (I must admit that I stole this line blatantly from the song "Do Re Mi" from the Sound of music movie :-D). There were 3 main purposes to visit Atlanta.

  • Sri's friend Anjay was shifting to a job in Atlanta and needed our help in moving some of his things.

  • Sri's cousin Uday lives in Atlanta and he had a baby recently.

  • Though Sri had worked in Atlanta before, he hadn't seen some of the things its famous for. Moreover he wanted to show them to me too (very kind of him :-p).
Since last weekend was the weekend Anjay was shifting, we also decided to go there at the same time.

14th October 2005:

We left Lexington at about 2:00PM on Friday noon. Yup, I had to finish all my assigned work early and Sri came home early. So we were off. The drive from Lexington to Atlanta is more than 5 hours. Anjay had left in the morning itself, so he'd pick up his stuff from us after we reached. Everything was fine until there was a whopping traffic jam when Atlanta was just an hour away!! We were stuck for more than 1.5 hours and reached Atlanta only at about 9:30 PM in the night :-(. Just landed at the hotel and settled for the night.

15th October 2005:

Saturday early morning, we set off towards Atlanta downtown to visit CNN headquarters. CNN has a huge building (obviously what with them having so many channels and minting huge amounts of money :-p). Sri had bought the tickets online the previous day and only had to show the printout at the counter to get the tickets. We had a breakfast of some sandwiches at the CNN food court and were ready for the 9:00AM studio tour.

The tour started with a security check and climbing an escalator which is supposedly world's steepest escalator. These Americans have the tendency to find the impossible thing and tag it to their attraction. One escalator is steepest, another is longest, yet another is shortest, widest, so on and so forth :-p. First we saw how the images are mixed and telecasted.

Later we were taken to one studio and the guide even demonstrated in front of the green screen how the weather is telecasted. The anchors are not supposed to wear clothes with the same green colour, or the microchip will replace the green with the weather image :-D. Next we were taken to the studios from where CNN was being telecasted. We could see the anchors and the people collecting news working there. All this from a glass window. And we weren't allowed to take any photos from this point of time. Maybe CNN thinks we'll sell them to a rival channel and mint money. And of course they don't want anyone else to make money other than themselves :-p. We were also taken to the CNN Headline centre and later to CNN International where news keeps pouring from all over the world. In between these studios we were shown many shows on the working of the channel, how the famous anchors started etc. All in all very interesting :).

Our next place of visit was the Coke Headquarters in Atlanta downtown. Since it was a walkable distance from the CNN building, we walked :). On the way, there is a place called Underground Atlanta which is full of shops and carts like in India :). The following is a shot of the fountain in front of Underground Atlanta. It was a 3 level fountain and I absolutely loved the bronze statue:

So finally we found the Coke centre and entered it. Again there was a tour which we took. The tour had history of Coca Cola (secret formulas which they never revealed ;-) :-D) and how Cokes are bottled etc.

We also saw how previously Coke was actually sold as a Fountain drink and took photos everywhere. But the best part was the "Taste Coke flavours from all over the world" section. There were ginger, litchi, fruit punch, cherry, vanilla etc flavoured drinks. One of the worst I tasted was the Italian Beverly Bitter Coke which is actually bitter and worse than medicines. I drank it first, grimaced and conned Sri into drinking it, saying its very nice. Poor guy, the expression on his face was worth the prank :-D. The tour was probably not worth the money we paid, but it was pretty informative :).

Next we headed towards Stone Mountain park, which is one of the very famous National parks near Atlanta. They have carved a Memorial Carving on the stone mountain which is very famous.

We enjoyed the aerial tramway to the top of the mountain. The views were beautiful all around. The walk around the mountain was also very exciting :). Yup I did take hell lot of photos :).

After coming down the mountain, we caught the pumpkin express. Its a train which goes around the mountain with comedy show stops in between. After that we found a nice place on a lawn and waited. What were we waiting for? The Laser and Fireworks show that Stone Mountain Park has every Saturday.

The show started at 8:00PM and went on till almost 9:00PM. And it was awesome!! The synchronization between the songs, lasers colours and the fireworks was simply amazing. I had never seen any fireworks in US before, so this was my first one and it was just what I expected :). Most of the songs were about American Patriotism and it was really nice to see people around us even joining in some of the singing :). The photos didn't come out that well though :-D. But that's ok. It was a really enjoyable experience :). After the show, we went back home and retired for the day..

16th October 2005:

The first objective of the day was Anjay collecting his things from us. The second was to visit Sri's cousin Uday and his wife Kruthi in Alpharetta. It was a reliving of memories for Sri, as he had lived in Alpharetta before for a project in 2002. He showed me his office and the house in which he lived. The excitement was evident on his face :).

We found Uday's place very easily. I had never met them before, so we had introductions all around. Then we met their just-over-one-month-old baby boy Varun. We had a nice time what with me holding him, him sleeping without any concern and his parents complaining about how he kept them awake all night :-D. We also met Kruthi's parents who had come recently to visit their grandson and had a lovely breakfast with them. So after presenting Varun with some gifts we had taken and taking loads of photos, we bid goodbye to them.

Our next objective was to go to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga which is about an hour away from Atlanta towards Lexington. To visit a waterfall called Ruby falls. The Ruby Falls is an 145 foot waterfall inside a cave. Its supposedly the largest falls inside a cave!! Its still privately owned. We were pretty horrified at the fee they were charging, but bought the tickets anyways. We were taken underground in an elevator about 130 feet below the ground! The caves were also beautiful with lots of interesting formations like the cactus, candle, chandelier, Frozen Niagara etc formations. Moreover we were shown history videos on Plasma TVs and there was surround sound everywhere in the cave. No wonder they were charging so much!! But the falls were pretty much worth it. It was wonderful. The photo may not show the beauty as it was pretty dim-lit, but take a look:

Next we visited a place called Rock City Gardens. Its built around rocks on Lookout Mountain and the paths go over rocks, under rocks and between rocks :). The paths are beautiful and the whole place is constructed like a magical getaway place :). The best part about it was a waterfall in a place called Lovers' Leap :).

Our last stop for the whole trip was at the "Lookout Mountain Incline Railway". Its supposedly the steepest tram railway. I believed that!! Man, its oh so steep!! The trip down and then back up took only about half an hour in total. But it was exciting and a great experience. We almost expected thing to speed up like a roller coaster :-D. Sadly, it never did :).

By then it was about 6:00PM in the night. Lexington was still about 4 hours away. So we set off. Thankfully, we didn't have any traffic jams on the way back and we were able to reach Lexington at about 10:45PM in the night. Sri was the only one who drove the whole way and back, so he was tired. But I, who did nothing, was also very tired. Guess the trip took its toll :).

BTW now I'm wondering whether I did the right thing in commenting all those things about the various places. If in India a blogger is sued for something he wrote, I'm in America!! What if they all read this and sue me? That's a very distressing idea :(. Hehehehehe :)). Me just kidding. Who reads my blog :-p!! So this is it. Another great end to another lovely trip :). Adios folks and have a good day :).

Monday, October 17, 2005

Who am I?

Been a long time since I took one of these tests. And I answered 45 questions for the damn thing! The test actually says that I'm Gandhi and here I thought I was an extremist :-(. Wish it had said Subhash Chandra Bose and I would have agreed whole-heartedly :).

Anyways, had been to Atlanta over the weekend. So you are gonna get a full travel report same place, sometime very soon, whether you want it or not :-D.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What you shouldn't blog...

Literally stumbled upon a whole controversy when I was just glancing at some blog. Before you read my instructions on what not to blog, first you require the prelude in chronological order. I suggest you read through all of these (I know its a bloody lot, but you really need the background before making assumptions). So here are the events:

  • The beginning - an article carried by JAM Magazine about IIPM whose editor is Rashmi Bansal.

  • Gaurav Sabnis, a regular blogger reads the above and writes a post, like we bloggers regularly tend to do ;-).

  • Gaurav gets a legal notice!!

  • It reaches up to the level of Gaurav's employer IBM and he decides to resign voluntarily!!

  • Varna another blogger, mentions Gaurav's post and gets a legal notice!!

  • It has become a bloggers vs. IIPM movement now :-D

  • Latest update is that NDTV calls it "fascinating story, which has not just raised questions about claims made by private educational institutions but also about laws governing internet privacy. " :-o!!

Ok the history over. Now my post. Tips on what you shouldn't blog:

  • Don't refer to a magazine article in any part of your post. You never know who might come up and sue you ;-).

  • If some other blogger is posting references to a magazine article, please don't ever support him/her and mention him/her in your post. Oooooooooops looks like I'm doing exactly that!! Hellllllllllp, I might get a legal notice anytime!! For people who want to send legal notice, please post it as a comment to this post as I've not given my email Id anywhere on my blog :-p. Look at me being considerate :-D.

  • If you don't support the blogger above and want to register and post, don't ever post like this stupid guy here :-p. "Mummy, Mummy, my school is very nice, I even got a chocolate" anyone?? Sheeeeeeeesh!!

  • Well, looking at the points above, I think you shouldn't even blog at all!!

  • Also, if you read all my points and still want to go ahead and post, then don't worry, 1000's of bloggers including me will support you :).

If you ask my personal opinion, I think the whole thing is silly. IIPM instead of neglecting the whole thing, negligently put its ass on fire by giving it importance. Now even TVs are picking up the story. Ab IIPM ka kya hoga? Tch tch tch!! Poor Rashmi , Gaurav and Varna are being attacked at personal level, which I think is absolutely shameful and so do 1000's of other bloggers who are supporting them. Go people!! You guys rock!!

But I sort of pity the poor students studying in the pitiful institute. I mean, it really shows how worried they are if they are willing to burn the one and only laptop given to them by the institute :-p (Me being devilish >:) ).............

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Unexpected treat and sweets :)

While I've been bothering my head on what to blog next, I suddenly came face to face with an event which I just had to blog about. Coincidence? Or does God love my blogging? Hehehehe :)).

On Monday, Sri and me went to Lexington downtown just for a drive and some shopping. At a particular place, there were police cars everywhere and some roads were closed. Traffic was being diverted. There were also some fire engines seen and we started wondering whether there was a major accident or a huge fire. All sorts of bad thoughts were floating around in our minds. Since one of the shops we wanted to visit was supposedly in one of these closed roads (we didn't know the correct location), Sri parked the car and we decided to take a stroll. I admit we were also very curious to know just what was going on.

Imagine our delight, when we discovered that it was a parade. It was a fire fighters parade especially organized for children so that they learn about fire safety (The children might have been fire-fighters' kids, but I'm not sure). Much much later we came to know that its name was Lexington's annual Fire prevention parade :).

The parade hadn't yet started. People were organizing stuff yet. There were clowns riding on golf carts shaped like jeeps, fire engines everywhere with kids on top, a marching band playing a nice beat and so many people watching the whole thing. There were banners saying "Blow out before you go out" everywhere :). There were also something called stations which were vehicles dressed up as something else for the parade. Like there was this Fire engine whch wasn't real, it was cardboard all painted and fixed like a fire engine :). Then there were 3 ladies dressed as 3 piggies with a brick and hay house on a vehicle which said "Huff puff blow out before you go out" :-D. Another was a mobile fire safe house which had stuff organized in such a way to minimize chances of fire. There was also one station dressed like a jungle and little kids in fancy dresses, dressed like a giraffe, penguin etc. Yet another was a vehicle which fully looked like a birthday cake ;-). And another like a boxing ring which was named "Million Dollar baby" where a thin lady was fighting a plump man :). We walked along the road watching the hustle bustle. It was really nice to see kids enjoying so much.

The parade started at about 7:30 PM. By that time, we had already walked all the way and seen all the vehicles. Yet we sat on some steps and decided to watch the parade go by. So off they all went. Real fire engines and dressed up stations, march bands, all marched. Ronald from Mcdonalds rode a tiny Mcdonalds car and waved to the audience. There were fire-fighters with fairy wings attached to the back, people having various Popeye and Olive artificial heads attached, small vehicles shaped like a shoe, car etc. Kids waved from the tops of fire-engines and threw chocolates at everyone. There were also people giving away free mementos like a cup holder and like this small house a nice elderly lady gave me.

We waved at the kids, ran after and collected chocolates and bubble gum the kids threw at us, chewed the bubble gums and blew bubbles like kids :-D. More important was the fact that we laughed all the way and thoroughly enjoyed the experience :). I so much wished that I had our camera with us, so that I could have snapped away at all I wanted. But heck, we weren't prepared for an unexpected event :). The photo above of the kids is also from a different parade since I couldn't find any of this one on the net either :(. Anyways the photos of the parade are embedded on my mind and thats what counts :).

This unexpected treat was too cool :). It reminded me of something Sri always proclaims "Always expect the unexpected" :). By the way, we never actually found the shop we went looking for. We just didn't care anymore :-D.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


God!! There were so many people writing about blogging that they started giving me an inferiority complex (Now I can't have that, can I? :-D). I see the "To blog or not to blog" title in every damn place. What's this (blog) world coming to?? :-D

First I read Maddox's post on blogging. I saw so many posts referring to it that I just had to read it. It says:

Blogger: Term used to describe anyone with enough time or narcissism to document every tedious bit of minutia filling their uneventful lives.

Yup people, as you can see my life is pretty uneventful ;-). And yup, I do have the time :-D.

Just when I thought people couldn't have a worse opinion on blogging, I read "Blogging is stupid; go be a human being" referred to by another blogger saying that he agrees!! (this guy agrees and he has been blogging for 3 years now! Contradictions or what! :-D). The article is by Heather Burns and this is what she has to say:

Blogs aren't just stupid, they are crippling our social skills, and there is nothing better than human interaction, trust me. Believe it or not, there is a world outside of the computer. No joke, it has trees, popcorn and drive-thru liquor stores

Yeah so true. I just went outside and saw that there are so many trees. Wow!! Till now I hadn't realized that the earth had trees!!

Am I taking it personally? Yes. Am I being defensive? Absolutely :). If bloggers and blogs are junk, then why the heck are these people giving opinions on junk??

If you ask me why I blog (I know you are not asking me :-p), I don't have a definite answer. Is it because I don't have any other better work to do? Is it because I think I have a webspace and I like to fill it up with junk? Is it because I am being
narcissistic? Or is it because I don't have any real friends and I have only my computer I can have a decent conversation with??

No, the answer probably lies in the fact that I love to write. Be it a small memory or a nice trip or a not-so-nice experience. Yes, I am aware that many people (most of them strangers) may stumble across my blog and read it. No, I am not writing my blog in such a way that'll compel them to read it. Its their wish and will. As for people I know, my family, friends and relatives know about my blog and they love that fact that I have the time and patience to write all about a few simple day-to-day happenings (If you are one of the family, friends and relatives and you think otherwise, then this is the time to contradict me :-D. Speak now or forever hold your peace :-D. Hehehehe :-D). I am living far away from most of them, so I love to let them know the tiny details of my life, be it boring, stupid or whatever!!

And yup, I have gone out, eaten popcorn, not driven through liquor stores till now (probably will be another experience to jot about :-D), but have seen trees, birds and flowers. Heck, thats what I blog about :-D.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Nostalgia unlimited :)

Recognize this? I'm pretty sure my mom will be able to name it immediately ;-). I don't know whether this plant grows in places other than Karnataka. But its everywhere in Karnataka. It doesn't even need to be grown. Like a weed its found in empty fields and grows in your garden if you don't take care. Well, I have stretched it enough. The plant is called hulisoppu (meaning sour-leaves) in Kannada. People use it in cooking too. Imagine my surprise and delight when I found it, yup, here in Lexington, in my apartment lawn!!

I went crazy. Immediately plucked a leaf and put it in my mouth. Just like that, at that very moment, I was back. Back in my childhood. Back in the place where I'd use these leaves as a vegetable in my cooking games. Back in the time when I'd pick its tiny ladies-finger-like fruits, divide them equally, eat one half and stuff the rest into Darsh's mouth ;-). If I'd find more than 4 fruits then mom and dad also would get a share :).

Recently when we had been for a trek, I also found a small plant which grows with the grass. When I was about 10 years old, I remember, me and my friends would pluck its tiny pink flowers, put it in the folds of our white uniforms and press. The flower would leave a purple colour mark in that fold. We'd be proud that we had died the uniform a purple colur and mom would always wonder why my unifrom had these marks :-D. She probably thought those were the results of my ink pen ;-). So what do I, the so-called grown up, do when I see this plant here? Yup, I did pluck a pink flower, I did put it in the folds of my shirt, pressed it and was totally delighted at the purple mark it left :-D.

When I was in college studying pre-university, whenever we had free time, we would sit in the lawns at the college. There used to be a type of grass that would grow there. We'd pick the very young shoots of the grass, make a brush with about 10-20 of them and rub it against our cheeks. They'd be so soft and they'd feel wonderful against our cheeks :). Yup, you guessed it, I saw the same grass some weeks ago on a field. Yup, you guessed it again, I couldn't resist picking the young shoots again :).

Its so strange that such small plants have the power to bring back so many memories. But even more strange is the fact that the same plants are available half-way around the world!! I always had this idea that the vegetation here would be totally different. But I found as soon as I came here that the idea was a myth. I found sampige (champaka) trees, bougainvillea plants and many other flowering plants/trees that are found in Bangalore. And yes, they succeeded in taking me back to a world, a world I thought was impossible to go back to, a world I thought was out of my reach. The beautiful world of Childhood :).