Category Archives: Life

Discovering a Sunny day

Farmer’s Market

It was a bright, hot and sunny morning, the day when you see everyone in sunglasses. The lazy person in me said “Lie down, listen to music and read a book”. “This is just the right day to go out and explore the place”, said the explorer in me. There was a debate between them, each giving the benefits of their proposal. Ultimately the explorer won. I drove to the community park to see the Farmer’s market. Be it vegetables, bakery products or honey, each vendor greets you with a warm smile and is eager to tell you about it. Every product has the human touch of the person who created it. Its a clear indication of how you feel when you put your heart and soul into developing something.

The park was throbbing with life. Each shade had a story to tell. One shade had a community meet, another had a family picnic, a wedding was going on in third and so on. The smiles of the people seemed to be synchronized with the brightness of the sun. The highest excitement was at a kids baseball match. The ground was surrounded by parents cheering their kids. It seemed as if a fair was near the baseball ground where people sold fresh lemonades, beads, sunglasses, etc. The small kids in the park, personified freedom. They ran, shouted, laughed and cheered. It reminded me of my school days when all that mattered was to live the moment. The sights at the park made me happy, contented and energized for the entire day, something I wouldn’t have experienced if I had stayed back. The Sun seemed to have infused everyone including me, with extra energy. We often tend to take the easy way in life but if you stretch out a little and wander, you will discover way more than you can imagine. Here is my discovery, a sweet and spicy strawberry-Jalapeno jam, which I had never seen before.

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Option for an Individual

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

There are certain things which take you back to special moments of life. I recently had one such experience when I stood in front of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. It was raining heavily but I felt as if I had gone on a time travel to the first day of College. The 19th century architecture reminded me of my college days in Baroda University, which was established at the same time. How grown-up it felt to say we are leaving for college. There was one thing common in the first class of each subject. The professor suggested a number of books for each subject. We asked one of the professors how were we going to cover so many books in one academic session. The professor smiled and replied, those were books on the same topic by different authors. It is up to the student to select the book he or she wants to refer. Initially we referred to the books which were popular choice among seniors. But the curious ones could not resist the urge to explore all the books suggested by Professors and that lead us to the amazing stack in the library.

I entered the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in the same time travel mode. The entrance at the stack had welcome written in various languages including Hindi. The stack of a library is a special place. There is always pin drop silence although there are people. The atmosphere is so serene that one can almost feel the presence of knowledge. If knowledge were to have a fragrance, it would definitely be there in the stack. There are rows and rows of book shelves and benches on either side of the wall. There used to be a break of 3 hours between our theory and practical classes in the first year. We used to spend this time in the library. As I walked in the stack, I remembered how we referred to each book and then chose the one which suited us the most. It is so similar to life. We all are presented with an array of options be it work or hobbies but most of us go for the popular choice ones. We forget each of us is an individual and has unique abilities. Maybe its laziness or the fear of being different which prevents us from pursuing other options. But I feel, when we pursue the option which suits us we develop our personality. We feel satisfied and enlightened, something which is very rare in today’s life. So the next time you have to choose from an array of options, make sure to check each and select the one which suits the individual “YOU”.

The Recharging Cup

It was one of those beautiful days when the weather was so nice that you just want to be outdoors. So I went for a walk with my Father. We came accross a gift shop where many cups were laid out. This cup got my attention. The slight curve reminded me that things are not always straight forward. I was lost in thoughts when Baba (father) said, “Lets buy it”. My father always understood what we wanted before we even spoke out our wishes. As if he was some sort of a mind reader. From then onwards he always served me tea or coffee in this cup. There was an amazing magic in tea or coffee made by him. It used to make all challenges simple. Whenever we were down because of studies or work, he would never pester us with questions but serve us his magical tea or coffee. The steaming cup with its aroma would relax our minds. After drinking it we felt, no matter how bad the situation is we will definitely be able to face it. We often used to say, we are recharged. This was one of the many things he did, where he managed to motivate us without any words.

He was a soccer fanatic. Watching a soccer match on television with him with a cup of coffee was as exciting as sitting in the stadium and cheering the team. His knowledge on Fifa world cup history was incomparable. Today is Father’s day and one of his favorite teams is playing. 2018 is the first world cup he is not with us. I have tried many recipes of tea and coffee but still haven’t been able to create his magic. Maybe it was the trust and affection, with which he used to make it, created the magic. Preparing tea for your near and dear ones is a simple gesture which has deep impact. It comforts us and makes us feel cared. It is not the expensive gifts but simple gestures like these which create everlasting impact. So the next time someone makes that tea or coffee for you, do remember to thank him or her for the recharging cup.

Bridge of feelings

There are very few rare places in the world which signify commitment towards relationships. One such place is the Schenley bridge in Pittsburgh. The yellow bridge is filled with colorful locks on both sides. Its a beautiful sight. These are love locks put up by couples. There is lush greenery around the bridge. While walking over the bridge, one is reminded of those hundreds of couples who put up the locks as a mark of their commitment. Seems like it is a bridge connecting their feelings which would stay forever. This is a complete contrast to all the noise around broken relationships. As I looked on, the bridge seemed to be saying, no matter how bad the times are and how far the people are, true feelings would always remain immortal. This filled my heart with an amazing sense of positivity. A poet would have captured those words in a poem. I was able to capture the bridge in my cellphone camera.

The next time you are in Pittsburgh or when you are feeling low, just take a walk over Schenley bridge. It would fill your heart with optimism.

The Snow Heroes

The snow covered view from my window

It had snowed all night and when I looked out of window, everything was covered in a thick white layer of snow. It was a beautiful sight. I opened the window to feel the cold air. It was so cold that could not even stand for a minute and closed the window. I changed all plans of going out. For me it was a holiday but what about those who had work or other commitments due to which they would have to go out. My question was answered by a truck with a snow plow. It was removing snow from the roads, keeping them in usable condition. As long as it snowed, the truck kept on cleaning the roads at regular intervals.

The Snow Truck

Be it low temperature or snow storm, this truck would always be there to ensure the roads are clean. Hats off to the people driving it. They remind me of Heroes, even though they don’t have superpowers or jazzy outfits, the Snow Heroes. They make sure if need be we can always go out. In a way, they motivate us to go on, no matter how rough the situations are. Think about it, heroes are always identified by their outfits or powers in movies but in reality its the situation which brings out the Hero within us. There is a hero in all of us, it just needs the right motivation to come out. So the next time someone asks you who is favorite hero, don’t just think about the ones in movies but also those who are around you, making your life better everyday.

A unique festival

Have you ever received a notification which made you so curious that the first thing you do on the weekend is to rush downtown in spite of rains. I did, when an article on Picklesburgh was shared. This is a festival to celebrate all things pickled. My interest was increased when I read it would be conducted on the Roberto Clemente bridge in Pittsburgh. This was the most unique festival I had ever attended. The day began with rains which generally dampen my spirits for travelling. But my curiosity got the better of me and by afternoon I was on my way. As soon as I reached near the downtown, I saw huge crowd dressed in bright summer colors. The best way to find an event is to follow the crowd.

Roberto Clemente bridge with Picklesburgh

The bridge entrance

The bridge seemed to have come to life because of the festival. The excitement of the event was clearly visible on the happy faces of the kids. There were stalls of all kinds of pickles, jams, jellies, cakes and chocolates in addition to fries, sandwiches. There were pickles of cucumber, corns, beans, etc. Most of the food items had a little bit of dill be it sandwich or roll. The air on the bridge had the lovely fragrance of dill. Everyone seemed to have come with their families. Even the weather seemed to have given up to the enthusiasm and so the clouds had cleared to a bright sunny day.

On the bridge

live music

To add to this there was live music. This was a complete family event which reminded me of the fairs in my hometown in my school days. Everyone Even simple things when done differently can make wonders, this was one such wonder. These kind of events give us the much needed opportunity to enjoy quality time with our family. The crowded bridge and the still river, presented an amazing contrast to the viewer. I returned home with amazing memories. This festival will be pickled in my heart forever.

Introduction to Art

This weekend I had an opportunity to meet a painter Nispruha Desai. Her enthusiastic about travelling is infectious. But unlike most travelers, she shares her experiences through her paintings. Each of her paintings reflects her ability to notice exceptional things. Although all her paintings left me speechless, the ones which remained in my heart are the ones depicting monsoon. The painter had spent her childhood and youth in India. There everyone waits for monsoon. As soon as the first showers occur, everything seems to become fresh. People going around with colorful umbrellas is an amazing sight. All these memories are captured in her paintings. The colors are so vibrant that the effect is different in various volumes of lights. Her work is not only present in canvas but also on tables, lamp, etc. Her work covers both traditional and modern art. I was surprised to learn her painting exhibitions are conducted in Monroeville public library, which I visit regularly.

She simply inspired me to follow my passions. There is a huge misinterpretation of retirement. It is generally associated with following a uniform routine. But I learnt it is the time to go back to ones childhood and pursue all the hobbies which had got shelved. This meet turned out to be highly educational for me, as I learnt to look and understand modern art. Let us take some time from the daily grind of life and identify the colors of life. If possible let us express it someway. The results will help us discover ourselves. I hope to see many more works of Nispruha(Nipu) Desai. My best wishes are with her.