Monthly Archives: June 2010

South Lake Tahoe – A drive down memory lane

Nowadays I am not feeling good. There is lot going inside me to say and to share but feeling all alone. Raising baby needs lots of patience and when you are not feeling energetic and good about yourself, you lose patience very easily.  I can’t afford to lose patience so this morning when I as doing my quick mails check and accidentally opened my Picasa album. There are many folders in my account – mostly of those places we visit in California. I opened Lake Tahoe folder and suddenly I was down the memory lane.

It was year 2008 and same month June. Our first long trip by our first car in USA. We were scared about the driving part. Driving in USA was not as easy as it is in India (we actually don’t drive in India we mostly dodge).  In this trip, Vishal was on steering and I was the navigator. Why navigator ? because we did not have GPS at that time, we took the printouts of the routes from google maps and my responsibility was to guide Vishal by reading them.

It was a weekend trip, only one night stay in Tahoe which was way short trip. We didn’t care as we were dying to see the place.  So early morning of Saturday we headed to South Lake Tahoe, California.

It was 6 hrs drive.  We checked in the motel, get fresh, eat something and took the stroll in the city near the lake.  After walking few meters we saw a cycle store and I got tempted to rent a bike for cycling. Excitedly I asked Vishal and he said Okay, let’s do it.  The owner of the store gave us helmets and map along with the cycles. I guess we rented it for hourly basis.

Please don't laugh - Its me on bicycle. Stopping by to see the view.

After a short trip on bike we took our car and headed towards the lake.  It was a marvelous evening, and sun was about to set. To my surprise the spot we chose to see the lake was similar to beach shore.  Lake was looking very beautiful.

Lake Tahoe Beach

Few here and there clouds, lights scattering from clouds and mountains and still water, isn’t it breathtaking view ?

Water was so clear and chilling.

Even water has a view in Lake Tahoe

I told you sweetheart, water is cold!

A look from our back –

A picture perfect shot

We print this photo in the form of cards and send this to our family in India. And later when we told them that we visited this place and took this photo they didn’t believe it for few days.

Next morning we went to a National park near lake.  We walk down on a trail to see the upper view of  the lake.

Upper View of the Lake

We could even see where we were on yesterday evening –

Can you spot the place ?

We walked more into the park towards the mountains –

Walking trail towards the Mountains

Walking few more meters leads to this view –

View of Lake from the mountain

See how local people spend time in Lake Tahoe –

True way of enjoying mother nature

We booked a helicopter ride to see the panoramic view of Lake but unfortunately ride was canceled due to windy condition up in the air. Helicopter ride was supposed to end our trip. Feeling little disappointed we eat an early lunch and drive back to our home.

San Francisco - Oakland bridge on our way back to home

It’s a good way to spend some time with our happy memories, it decreases your surrounding negativity and gives a reason to smile. With smile on my face I therefore end this post.

Its a Big World Baby

Yes its a big world baby and you’re little.

It is almost end of 3 months in India and Reva has grown so much since.  Everyday is a new day for Reva. When she came here she only knows how to roll back on her tummy and was learning how to roll back again on her back. She only sleeps in one or two positions. She was learning how to grab things and placed it in mouth. She was learning how to sit.  She was learning how to play taaa (peek-a-boo).  Only expressions she knows was Smiling.  She enjoyed massage very much, I sometimes did massage 3-4 times in a day and for more than 15 mins and she enjoyed every bit of it.  She was a clean eater, just a drop of cereals/purée here and there.  She was supportive during changing diaper.  She loved her toys, Mickey was a her favorite and then Ms. Betty and Tutu.  In night she usually slept for a good long 3-4 hours stretch and makes everybody happy 🙂

Gone those days and a quick update on little princess –

  • She is a serious crawler now, nobody can come on her way. She likes to crawl for slippers, chairs, papers on floor, cupboards, any kind of cables peeking on the floor, anything which is not hygienic, non-edible.
  • Bed is her kingdom.  After 10 o’clock in the night some serious things starts in the kingdom. Nanny at one end and Mommy on the other, and in the middle baby is crawling, jumping, giggling, babbling and making all sort of noises with highly packed actions. Bed is where she learns every move, like she is now trying to stand on her feet with the help of bed’s header and wants to put her in mouth. She crawls towards the pillow and stand up on it placing both hands on the pillows for the support and do the butt dancing which is really very cute.
  • She sleeps on whole bed with restricted space for nanny and mommy. I sometimes found her near my legs, or if I am sleeping side wise she moved in some weird way placing her head near to my back. She loves to sleep on her tummy, and if she sleep on her back she keeps her hand on her forehead like an adult 🙂
  • She has mastered the art of grabbing things and placing them in mouth. Now she graduated from toys, teethers, rings to remote, i-pod, combs, books, newspapers, cables, mobile, laptop. She is a proud daughter of Electronics and Computer Engineer.
  • She is now moved to another level of learning expressions and babbling. When she is happy she claps her hand and scream with utter happiness. If she is irritated she gnash her teeth gum ( we are still fighting the teething period). She babble if something looks interested to her like one day she was babbling  to Gods when nanny took her in pooja ghar, she was babbling to junk when I took her on rooftop. She loves to see flying birds in the evening. I usually say “tata chiya, tata” when there is flying bird/bird flock in the sky and she goes OOOOh and claps her hand 🙂 She don’t like Nanna mustaches and she grab his nose, mouth, cheeks if they touch her face while Nanna’s kiss.  Her favorite person in the house is great nanny (she loves to see her without dentures :P).
  • She now understands me as some kind of important person – it means Mommy, YIPEEE!!.  She search for me if I am not around. She wants to be in my arms if she is not feeling good. She now sleeps only in my arms. She understands when I am not feeling good or feeling irritated. It feels so awesome but sometimes when I want to have a break than it’s not so much bliss. Now I am dependent on her naps for my breaks.
  • She don’t like the massage at all and she wrestle during diaper change session [Sigh]. I always ask myself this question during wresting match with Reva – Why on earth she hates it so much when she never likes a bit to be in wet/dirty diapers. [Big Sigh]
  • I am so sorry Mickey for keeping you packed in suitcase. You see there were so many sessions in past where Reva left Mickey all wet by eating its nose, hat, robe, tail and there was no option for me to wash him so I had to pack him and saved him for anymore disaster. Betty and Tutu are lucky for having labels on their back.  They only get attention because of their labels. I made crochet toys for her and they are of no use because they don’t have labels [sigh].
  • I am more sleep deprived than ever. We sleep around 12 AM. My waking session goes like this – 2 AM, 4AM, 6AM and we finally wake up at 8AM.  Reva’s sleep and my sleep  and inversely proportional so I hardly get any afternoon naps.
  • What to say about how she eats now. I have to make silly faces, noises to make her sit in one place and feed. During feeding every object around us is also fed – her dress, mommy’s dress, toys, mat..

She is our little bundle of joy. Poor Nana and Nanny is going to miss her a lot when she will be away. On 27th she will turn 10 months old – 2 more months to go !!!!

Title and Song from Renée & Jeremy Lullaby.

Hooked with Hook and Needles – II

In last post I introduced you Sarah London from Australia and Lucy’s Attic from UK.  In this post I will show you the work of other two very creative women.

Alicia Paulson is from USA. A tragic accident changed her life, to keep her busy she picked hook and needles. And now she is one of the successful designer and writer. Her blog is so heartwarming, it gives an insight of her intricate work, a peek in her personal life through her photographs.

Alicia's Crochet Design

Alicia's Patchwork

Alicia's Bag design

Do visit her website AliciaPaulson.com to see more about her and her beautiful work.

I love Michelle for her beautiful photography.  Being in her blog is so eye-soothing. She inspires you to pick the camera and start clicking.  Besides photography she is a knitter, crocheter, sewer. And everything she does is ultra amazing. Just a peek from her blog –

Michelle's Photograph

Michelle's Crochet work

Michelle's Knitting work

Go to her Flickr ID and get a peek into her world and get a glimpse of her beautiful creative work, family, beautiful children, home and lost in the bliss.

I hope you have enjoyed a little journey of hook and needles abroad. Now its time for me to unravel my little treasures. I am quite a beginner but want to take it to every level possible.  Will see you in next post.

Thanks for reading.

Have a great day !

Shafqat Amanat Ali

For those who haven’t listened to or heard of Shafqat, just a quick brush up – he sung the song “Mitwa” from Kabhi Alvida na Kehna and “Ye Honsla” from Dor.  You will be wondering whats the occasion or why on earth I picked him to write a post. You see today all music channels, radio channels are flooding the song “Mora Piya” from Rajneeti. The song is getting good response but it never clicked to me and in fact makes me disappointed. Now you will be thinking she must be some kind of classical music geek or something.  I am no classical geek just a regular music lover.  But listening to Rajneeti’s Mora Piya my conscious pleaded me to write this post.  So before moving forward I would like you to listen “Mora Piya” by Shafqat and tell me how do you like it-

Feeling any better ??

Shafqat is one of my favorite singer. Shafqat’s voice represents a unique blend of classical gayaki and contemporary panache.  He is the son of the legendary Pakistani singer Ustad Amanat Ali Khan of Pakistan, he belongs to the nine generation old Patiala Gharana.  He was also the lead vocalist of the popular Pakistani pop band “Fuzon”. He sung the above song when he was with Fuzon.  Have you heard “Ankhon ke Sagar” by Shafqat ? No, then please allow your ears and yourself to get indulge in some peaks of ecstasy and the depths of pain within moments.

So you know why I responded weirdly after listening to Rajneeti’s “More Piya” song.  New song stands no where in front of Shafqat’s song. So instead of criticizing Adesh Shrivastava for his composition and singing, I thanked him to reminding me how melodious is Shafqat Amanat Ali.

Hope you enjoy listening the songs.

Thanks for stopping by.

Hooked with Hook and Needles – I

In year 2007 we went to California. For us it was a new country, new city, new place with no family and friends.  When V was off to work I was all alone in my apartment – no one talk to, not much to see in TV. I read books but when it comes to spend everyday time, I need something more.  I need hand-action, I love to create something with my own hand which satisfies me eternally.  I did some knitting when I was in school, I did quilting in every semester break of my engineering. What should I do here as I have limited resources. Knitting needs – 2 needles, and to my knowledge its output is only sweaters, scarf.. things only to wear. Quilting need heck of supplies. I was roaming around in of the art supplies store (Man! what a art supplies store are there in USA) I stumble upon yarn section. So gorgeous, so pretty in colors, and not in one variety, but so many and so mouth-watering. I thought, I had to do something from them – they are calling me. On the yarn shelves, there were small free projects books. I picked one of them and to my wonder all projects were made in crochet. Did I know crochet ?? My Aunt (who planted the seed of craft in me) taught me crochet when I was very little. I remembered it though. So I pick one of the sample project book, set of crochet hooks, and “the beautiful yarn” and the journey begins…..

During my crochet journey I came to know the real world of Crochet and Knitting. The world I know was very restricted in India. I visited many sites and blogs and found a very colorful and beautiful world of Crochet and Knitting. There is one site called Ravelry which is a Crochet and Knitting community. Just sign up and you are connected with world sharing their patterns and photos. They are Blogs dedicated to this beautiful art.  One of my favorite is Sarah London from Australia. She is an amazing designer, crocheter, quilter, sewer….. The extraordinary thing about her that she know color very well. I mean the way she blend the colors, play with colors is wonderful.  Through her I got a chance to see the world of Granny Squares. Marvelous!!

Granny Square

She showed the world how to accessorize your home with granny squares –

Granny Square Pillow

Granny Squares on lamp

Granny Square Blanket

See her on Flickr. Thanks Sarah for inspiring me.

Now comes Lucy from Attic24. She is the lady I can relate to. A stay home mom of three (I only have one) and making her home with her creativeness. If Sarah inspires my crocheter inside me than Lucy shows how simple it could be.  Her blog covers all what a woman wants in her home. Her beautiful pictures makes her blog eye-catching and leaves you reading all day long.

Ripple Effect

Gardening

Baking

Check her on Flickr. Wish I could bake buns like her 🙂

There are few more and me (I am just a beginner, but I would love to show my work to you). I will continue on next post.

Thanks for coming by.

हम और यात्रा Grand Canyon, Las Vegas की

मेरे लिए ‘Jiyo life moment’  मई २००९ में था.  मैं और मेरे पति (जिन्हें मै पोस्ट में पोस्ट में V बुलओंगी) एक छोटी सी यात्रा पर Las Vegas और Grand Canyon National Park गए थे. यादगार २ बातों से हैं – हम ४ सूटकेस लेकर California आये थे और २-३ महीने हमारे लिए बड़े कठीन थे – न नौकरी, न घर, जिसके भरोसे आये थे वो कहीं गायब हो गया. लेकिन १ साल में हमने अपने आप को उन सभी मुश्किलों से उभरे और अपने बलबूते पर ये छुट्टियाँ मनाई और दूसरी बात की हम Pregnant थे :). मेरे लिए ये दुनिया की सबसे बड़ी खुशी थी. अपने सबसे गहरे दोस्त, प्रीतम, जीवनसाथी का साथ और हमारे आने वाले नन्हे के साथ छुट्टियॉं मनाना. ये अनुभव मैं भुलाये नहीं भूलती.

जैसे ही मेरे pregnancy के ३ महीने पुरे हुए मेरी डॉक्टर ने मुझसे कहा की अब सब नोर्मल है, चिंता की कोई बात नहीं है है. चाहो तो कहीं घूमने जा सकती हो… घूमने का बहाना हमदोनो बहुत दिनों से ढून्ड रहे थे लेकिन फिर उम्मीद ही छोड़ दी थी जब हमें pregnancy के बारे में पता चला था. लेकिन डोक्टर की बात सुनकर मन प्रसन्न हो गया था.  मैंने जल्दी से What to Expect when you are Expecting में उन सभी बातों को ध्यान से पढ़ा जो मुझे कहीं छुट्टी मानाने से पहले ध्यान में रखनी चाहिए.  V ने सारी बुकिंग की तेयारी कर ली और हम बस निकलने के लिए बेक़रार थे. हमारा नक्शा कुछ इस तरह था –

हमारी यात्रा २ राज्यों की थी, Nevada और Arizona. Las Vegas और Hoover Dam Nevada में स्थित हैं और Grand Canyon National Park Arizona में स्थित है.

हमारा मार्ग कुछ इस तरह था –

  • San Jose से San Francisco हवाईअड्डा.
  • हवाई जहाज द्वारा San Francisco से Las Vegas .
  • Rental कार से Grand Canyon National Park South Rim.
  • Grand Canyon के रस्ते में  Hoover Dam देखते हुए.
  • Grand Canyon के पास एक गांव में एक रात कट कर दुसरे दिन सवेरे Grand Canyon National Park के लिए रवाना. फिर उसी दिन Las Vegas के लिए वापसी.
  • Las Vegas में २ राते बिता कर वापस San francisco.
  • San Francisco Airport से  San Jose.

चलिए अब मैं आपको भी सुहाने सफर पर ले चलूं जहां प्रकृति का मनमोहक द्रश्य है और मनुष्य के बनायी हुई रंगीन ‘Sin City’ जहाँ रात में दिन होता है.

हम सुबह जल्दी San Jose से San Francisco हवाईअड्डे के लिए निकले. हवाईअड्डे पर अपनी कार पार्क की और वहाँ से Las Vegas के लिए जहाज लिया. सफर  करीबन १ घंटे का था. Las Vegas पहुँच कर हमें Rental कार लेनी जिससे हमें Grand Canyon National Park के लिए निकलना था. कार लेकर हम निकल पड़े ५ घंटे की रेगिस्तानी drive पर. रास्ते में था Hoover Dam.

हमारा मार्गदर्शक, हमारा GPS

पहले मैं आपको Nevada राज्य के बारे में कुछ जानकारी दे दूँ.  नेवाडा अमेरिका के पश्चमी छेत्र में स्थित है। Carson City इसकी राजधानी और सबसे बड़ा शहर है Las Vegas. राज्य का उपनाम है “रजत राज्य,” क्यूंकि वहां बड़ी संख्या में रजत सुरंगों की खोज हुई थी। लगभग 7 इंच की औसत वार्षिक वर्षा के साथ नेवाडा देश का रेगिस्तानी राज्य है.

Hoover Dam, जिसे पहले ‘Boulder Dam’ कहा जाता था एक ठोस आर्क-गुरुत्वाकर्षण बांध है जो Colorado नदी के Black Canyon में है। जब 1936 में इस बाँध का निर्माण पूरा हुआ तब यह दुनिया की सबसे बड़ा विद्युत शक्ति पैदा करने वाला स्टेशन और सबसे बड़ी ठोस संरचना था।

Hoover Dam

बांध Herbert Hoover के नाम पर पड़ा जिन्होंने इसके निर्माण में एक निर्णायक भूमिका निभाई. Hoover पहले अमेरिका के वाणिज्य सचिव और बाद में 31वें राष्ट्रपति बने। बाँध के द्वारा बने जलाशय का नाम Lake Mead है।
हूवर बांध के बारे में सबसे रोचक तथ्य यह है कि इसमें पिरामिड गीज़ा से अधिक चिनाई उपयोग हुई है।

Hoover Dam

Lake Mead

उस समय बांध को और ऊँचा बनाने का प्रोजेक्ट चल रहा था.

Contruction over Hoover Dam

मनुष्य के अद्भूत साहस को सराह कर हमने अपनी यात्रा को आगे बढ़ाया.

Hoover Dam से करीब ५ घंटे की दुरी पर है Grand Canyon National पार्क। वैसे तो यह राष्ट्रीय पार्क Nevada में भी आता है परन्तु इसका दार्शनिक स्थल Arizona में है, Nevada का पड़ोसी राज्य।
कभी कभी रेगिस्तान में भी इतने मनोहर द्रश्य होते हैं की आप कभी अनुमान नहीं लगा सकते।

रेगिस्तान और तेज धूप

कुछ तितरे बितरे बदल

उमड़ घुमड़ घिर आये बदला

बरसने को तेयार

Grand Canyon National park से ५० मील पहले Williams नाम का छोटा शहर हैं. वह हमने रात बितायी और सुबह निकल पड़े National park की ओर.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National park को दुनिया के प्रमुख प्राकृतिक आश्चर्यों में से माना जाता है। इस पार्क के भीतर ही Grand Canyon और Colorado नदी है। पहले मैं आपको बताना चाहती हूँ की Grand Canyon इतना प्रसिद्ध क्यों है – नाम से पता चलता है की यह भव्य घाटी है पर कितनी भव्य और कैसे हुई ये इतनी भव्य ? करीबन ६ लाख साल पहले Colorado नदी के द्वारा बनाया गया धरती पर यह बहुत विशाल कटाव है। घाटी ४४६ किमी लंबी, तकरीबन ६.४ – २९ किमी चौड़ी और १.८३ किमी गहरी है।

Colorado plateau में भारी दरार का कारण है Grand Canyon, जिससे धरती की ‘Proterozoic’ और ‘Paleozoic’ तहों में उभराव आया। भू-विज्ञानिकों के अनुसार Grand Canyon इसलिए महत्वपूर्ण है क्यूंकि यहां प्राचीन चट्टानों की मोटी श्रेणियां हैं जो इतने खूबसूरती से सरंक्षित है और दीवारों पर उतनी ही उभरी हैं। Canyon में कई प्रमुख पारितंत्र (ecosystem) शामिल हैं। करीबन 1500 पौधें, 355 पक्षी, 89 स्तनधारी, 47 साँप, 17 मछली की प्रजातियों पार्क में पाए जाते हैं।
प्रकृति का ये नज़ारा देख कर दिल खुश हो गया….

Grand Canyon के रूप

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

शहर के शोरशराबे से दूर, रोज की आपा-धापी से दूर, ऐसा लग रहा था की हम शुन्य में पहुँच गए हैं.  यहाँ जितना समय रुके उतना ही कम था. प्रकृति के अनुपम द्रश्य को जितना हो सके हम दोनों अपनी आँखों में समेट रहे थे. घाटी की सुंदरता को निहारते हुए अपने बीते हुए सुन्दर २ साल और आने वाले नन्हे का सपना, आने वाले नए कल का सपना आँखों में मुंद रहे थे.  जाने का मन ज़रा सा भी नहीं था लेकिन जाना था.  एक लंबी नज़र से पूरा द्रश्य आँखों में समेटा और इस उमीद से वापस चल दिए की की कभी फिर से अपने बच्चों के साथ घुमे आयें.

Grand Canyon से वापसी

Grand Canyon दुनिया के प्राकृतिक आश्चर्यों में से एक है तो Las Vegas – Nevada के रेगिस्तान की म्रग्त्रिश्ना है। दुनिया की मनोरंजन राजधानी Las Vegas, Casino Resort और उससे संभंधित व्यापार के लिए प्रसिद्ध है। यहाँ होटलों के वास्तुकला अद्भुत है। शहर की चकाचौंध में शामिल है – जुआ, खरीदारी और मनोरंजन। राज्य हर साल जुआ से 9 अरब डॉलर राजस्व बनाता है। यहाँ प्रति दिन लगभग 315 शादियों होती हैं और शायद उतने ही गिनती में divorce भी होते है. Las Vegas Boulevard वहाँ की सबसे की सबसे प्रसिद्ध रोड है.

Las Vegas Boulevard

Las Vegas Boulevard पर ही सरे बड़े बड़े होटल और कसीनो हैं.  उन सभी होटलों का रूप मनमोहक है. किसी न किसी तर्ज पर इन होटल को बनाया गया है. कोई मिस्त्र के पिरामिड की याद दिलाता है तो कोई पेरिस की.

Las Vegas Boulevard पर कुछ होटल

Las Vegas रोड पर रात और भी खूबसूरत होती हैं –

Las Vegas Boulevard की रात

एक प्रसिद्ध होटल Bellagio का मशहूर Fountain Show –

Belllagio's Fountain Show

इस शो को देख कर हम वापस अपने होटल चले गए और इसी के साथ हमारी यात्रा समाप्त हो गयी.  यात्रा छोटी थी लेकिन हमने यात्रा के हर पल का आनंद उठाया. कभी मौका लगा तो हम फिर से यहाँ आएंगे और जो कुछ छुट गया वो फिर से घूमेंगे. आशा करती हूँ की आपको मेरी यात्रा का संछेप पसंद आयेगा होगा.


नेवाडा अमेरिका के पश्चमी छेत्र में स्थित है। Carson City इसकी राजधानी और सबसे बड़ा शहर है Las Vegas. राज्य का उपनाम है “रजत राज्य,” क्यूंकि वहां बड़ी संख्या में रजत सुरंगों की खोज हुई थी। लगभग 7 इंच की औसत वार्षिक वर्षा के साथ नेवाडा देश का रेगिस्तानी राज्य है।

A disappointing Customer Service of the fastest growing Electronics Shop

I am talking about Central India’s fastest growing electronics shop Lotus Electronics. Indeed they have make electronics shopping easier but what’s the point of shopping when one get a poor customer service. I just want to clear one thing by this post to all big and low sellers- today’s customers not only looks for lower prices but also a quality customer service. Whats the point of running a showroom when you don’t test the product before selling it to the customer, you don’t hand the warranty card, manuals along with the bills and claim that is in the box and box you never tested before. You don’t have refund policy, you run service and repair center on the basis of warranty card and card was never delivered to the customer.

We bought two products from the showroom. Automatic washing machine and Vacuum cleaner. And with both the products we did not get any documents. Last year we bought the washing machine. They told that every documents is in the box and we found nothing. My sister had to call the showroom daily for 15 days to get the documents. Now for vacuum cleaner’s documents when I called them and told that we did not recieved any manual and warranty card with the products, you would not believed what did he said “Madam it is you fault that you did not collect them.  Now I have to check whether we have them or not. Visit the showroom once with the bill and we will note it.” I asked how many days will it take to come he said “3-4 days or so”. Which means 15 days again.  Why visit the showroom when you can note it over the phone ??

It means customer only get what they pay for and it is customer’s responsibility to collect all the things which is associated with the products. As they are favoring us with the low prices and they are done with it.