Tag Archives: family

A Fair to remember

The colorful entrance to the fair

The colorful entrance to the fair

This Friday a friend of mine messaged me about a fair going on in my city. I googled about it and found its the North American Martyrs Summer Festival in Monroeville, PA. We left around 7:00 pm. This was the first time I was going to attend a fair abroad. Once we reached there the biggest challenge was to find a parking place. After parking we thought we will have to walk a lot but there was a shuttle to the fair.

Amazing rides

Amazing rides

As soon as we reached there, I was reminded of my school days. There used to be a ‘Summer Mela’ in my hometown Baroda. Visiting that fair used to be in the wish list of every child. It used to be a colorful fair with rides and delicious food stalls. This fair had all these elements. All the stalls were decorated with colorful balloons. There were rides, games and food. The aroma of fresh fries and cold ice-cream just aroused our taste buds. Everywhere kids were running, playing and shouting. To make this entire fair musical a live band played songs from 50s, 60s and 70s. I loved the rock and roll songs.

Live band in fair

Live band in fair

In this age of high tech entertainment, nothing equals the satisfaction of attending a fair. They seem to have fun for people of all age groups. The presence of family brings in security. It also allows us to spend quality time with our family. These are the opportunities when all the generations of the family come together and have a great time. By the time we returned it was late night, but we were so rejuvenated that we walked till the parking lot. Next time you visit a new place, make sure you attend the local fairs.

Food stalls

Food stalls

Celebrate the Change

Yesterday evening, it started snowing. It was the first snow of this winter in Pennsylvania. My room had become so cold that I lied down underneath the blankets. After a few minutes I called up my aunt and mom to tell them about the snow. Both suggested making Khichadi. Its a dish made of rice and lentils. The very name of Khichadi brought pleasant memories. During my school days, my mom used to make khichadi regularly in winters. As I was not fond of vegetables, she used to add them in the khichadi. I still remember the hot smoke from freshly made khichadi along with fried fish and tomato chutney.

Finally I got out of the blanket and started cooking khichadi. As a tribute to my school days, I also added some veggies. The aroma and the warmth of kitchen removed the laziness of cold. I made up my mind to enjoy this change of weather. I was so energized that I fried prawns and eggs too. Here is the platter after cooking.

Celebration of first snow with hot Khichadi

Celebration of first snow with hot Khichadi

The aroma seemed to warm up the entire room as I sat eating. I went near the window and saw a beautiful sight where the snow covered cars seemed to shine in moonlight.

Had I continued to stay inside blankets, I would have missed such a great sight. On a philosophical note, like season changes, we also face sudden changes in our lives be it work, friends or family. It all depends on us whether to hide inside blankets and resist it or celebrate it with hot khichadi. So how did you welcome the climate change at your place.

The Surprise Wish

fathersday

It was 21st june’1998, Baroda, India. The third sunday of June was made famous as Father’s day. I was in school and we had just come to know that there is a Father’s day too. The Archies Galary was full of Cards with beautiful messages for fathers. My father was in Singapore. He used to call us every week particularly on Sundays.

I can still remember that Sunday. It was 6:00pm and I was completing my school work for monday when the phone rang. I raced with my sister and was first to pick up the phone. “Hello” It was Baba calling from Singapore. I was so excited that I didn’t even say hello but wished loudly “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, BABA”. Before he could reply my sister took the phone and shouted the same. We didn’t hear any voice for the next 5 seconds and thought the call had disconnected. Mom was just about the keep the receiver when she heard a loud “Thankyou”. Then Baba said, he too had seen a lot of decoration for Father’s day in singapore and was wishing we had such an occasion in India. When we wished him he was so surprised that he was speechless. He also stated the wish had made his day.

It is strange but a small wish can make a day. Some people say that these days are just a means of making money. But I feel that in this fast paced life of today we often forget to tell our near and dear ones how much we love them. Its not just grown-up people but also students. Days like Fathers day and Mothers day make us realize how fortunate we are that we have guiding souls in the name of parents with us. In fact they are global festivals which are celebrated by everyone irrespective of their location or community. Also you don’t need to give expensive gifts to make someone feel good, even a small wish can make a difference no matter how far you are. Lets take this as an opportunity to tell our fathers how much they mean to us. This year again Father’s day is on 21st june. Today you are not there with us Baba, but still I would go ahead and wish you a very HAPPY FATHER’S DAY. Thankyou for always being with me.

A green weekend

Last monday, my roommates asked me to keep my saturday free, the reason was to attend a potluck. It created an image of lots of food and loud talks with friends. Our contribution included Paneer tikka and Parathas. So today as I got up, one of my roommates was already done with cutting vegetables and the other was preparing the dough. As we were preparing the spicy mix for tikka, I was told that we would be using a barbeque. I was energized immidiately as I had never seen a live barbeque. We completed preparing the Parathas and dipped the veggies and paneer in the mix. The scheduled time to start was 10:00am but by the time we started it was 11:30am.

On the way

On the way

It was a beautiful drive with dense forests on both sides of the road. When we reached the park, it seemed as if time stood still. The small office at the gate seemed like a hut.

Entry at Patapsco valley park

Entry at Patapsco valley park

One of our friends had booked a shade. We were the first to reach but none of us knew which shade was booked and who had booked. One of us was just going to call up to find out who had booked when Saritha, my room mate, noticed a small board with the list of bookings for the day. That list was handwritten with coloured pens. There it was mentioned Ravi Sampara, who happened to be one of our friends. As we bought our entry tickets, we were given a map of the park. It was an amazing park with Spring at its best.

Our Booking

Our Booking

We reached our wooden shade. There I saw a barbeque for the first time. Soon Ravi joined us. The shade somehow reminded me of Treasure Island where the travellars would have food and talk loudly.

Barbeque

Barbeque

Our shed

Our shed

But my reverie was broken when Ravi plugged a radio and Saritha started playing modern day songs.

Connecting the radio

Connecting the radio

Then began the daunting task of setting up a barbeque. We created the fire using the lighter but it kept going off as soon as we put the coal. Then one of us suggested breaking the coals and finally we were able to get the coals heated. Thus we got an opportunity to apply the lessons learnt in school.

Breaking the coal

Breaking the coal

Setting up the barbeque

Setting up the barbeque

The rest of the group joined us in next hour. Sagar brought his grill and we transferred the hot coal in it. Then we prepared the paneer. Everyone had brought food from their homes. As a result we had a royal lunch in forest. We began with a small brunch.

Dahi wada and wada pav

Dahi wada and wada pav

Egg curry, parathas, salad and chicken

Egg curry, parathas, salad and chicken

We walked a bit and played a small game with stones and balls. It simply reminded me of school days. We returned in 2 hours huffing and puffing. Again we had some refreshments. Then one of us suggested going to the waterfall. Hence all of us packed and cleaned the shed. We drove a bit and then again walked for half a mile to reach the fall. It was exhausting but the sight was worth the effort.

The river

The river

We returned after after spending an hour near the river. It was a day well spent, away from all the comforts of home, in the lap of nature with friends. We spend so many weekends lazing around. If all of us spend atleast one weekend per month with nature and family, life would be so beautiful. It is so simple to be happy. It will give us an opportunity to bind with our family and at the same time save electricity. I thank all my friends Saritha, Miti, Ravi, Harshil, Karim, Pushpalata, Sagar, Amrth,Mehul, Deepak, Neha for such a great day.

The Christmas Tree

Christmas used to be a special occasion in school. We used to start preparing right from 1st December. Every class used to perform be it a play or a song before the school closed for Christmas holidays. The hall used to be decorated on that day. I used to look forward to see the Christmas Tree. Even as a grown-up I love seeing it. This year I was fortunate enough to be in USA in December. Hence as Christmas started approaching, it was available everywhere from Malls to offices. I even saw trees of different colors.

Christmas Trees in display

Christmas Trees in display

A white Christmas Tree

A white Christmas Tree

Some places had a decorated tree from first December itself. These trees gave a feeling of festive season.

A decorated Christmas Tree

A decorated Christmas Tree

The best part was visiting Washington DC on 25th December and witness a large Christmas Tree. It is decorated with lights of different colors. Although it was chilling cold, yet the whole scene was very warm with families surrounding the trees and the children happily playing around.

Christmas Tree at Washington DC

Christmas Tree at Washington DC

The Christmas Tree at the botanical garden had a small train running around it. This gave a feeling of Santa approaching. At another place a small village was created around it.

At Botanical Garden

At Botanical Garden

Train around the Tree

Train around the Tree

Village Surrounded by Christmas Trees

Village Surrounded by Christmas Trees

The whole ambiance was so beautiful and homely. It was also very peaceful as there was hardly any traffic. It was further enhanced by the Church bells ringing. I think this is the spirit of Christmas. To come together and spend time with your near and dear ones.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.

Mastani summers

Yummy Pista Mastani

Yummy Pista Mastani

There is one thing which makes me long for summers. It is the cold delicacies like icecream, lassi, etc. They not only provide respite from the scorching heat but also lighten up my mood with their sweet taste. They seem to flock the markets as soon as the summers begin.

Pune has a special dish called “Mastani”. It is a mix of cold milk shake and icecream. The cold milk cools down the thirst and the icecream provides the much needed sweetness. It comes in different flavours ranging from pista to strawberry to orange to chocolate. In summers you also get a mango flavour. Not only the taste but the mode of serving is also unique. It is served in a long glass with a straw and a long spoon. For some flavours like pista it is also decorated with nuts. After a sumptuous dinner its just the right thing to have with your family.

The restaurants serving mastani have a pleasant sight. They are generally filled with families with children excited over their mastani. It is served in different parts of pune. This is one of the things one should have. So the next time you are in pune, you know what to have for dessert.

Day 4: Explore the Neighborhood

Today’s challenge was to look for blogs which I would like to follow. I chose the following five blogs:

http://blackeiffel.blogspot.in/
This contains photographs on various themes. I feel a picture speaks a thousand words. Thus a good blog should be a perfect combination of photos and text. I loved this blog for the photographs it has.

http://authorleefrench.wordpress.com/
This is the second blog I followed. Its on reviews of books. I have already stated in the previous blogs that I like to read. Also I have my own book review blog http://sanchitasarkar.wordpress.com/. Reading other book review blogs not only informs me about other good books but also allows me to improve my blog.

http://lucyjayneinthesky.wordpress.com/
The third blog I followed was this one. It deals with the subject of travelling. I also enjoy travelling and sightseeing. I feel blogs often give us additional information about places to travel and the things to take care of. Since myriad notions is going to be about everything I feel and travelling is also a part of it, I chose this blog. Also she has added twitter comments and instagram to it.

http://cylithria.me/
This is the blog of a writer. As I am also looking at blogging to improve my writing skills, I am following this blog so that I can see blogs with good content to read.

http://onesahmscrazylife.wordpress.com/about/
In this blog a housewife speaks about her daily experiences. As I want to know about lifestyles in different countries, this blog will give me an opportunity to understand the life in USA.

Today’s exercise just gave me an insight that there are many people like me around the world. Blogging has given me an opportunity to connect to them. Thankyou wordpress.