Friday, October 31, 2008

Elephant Droppings' Paper!!!

Yet another fresh idea since painting the house walls and floor with cow-dung.

These guys are making paper with the elephant droppings. Check it out here:

I so adore their logo and the brand name. :) Don't you?

Image copyrights:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall colors & a funnie

Some shots from my collection of fall season photos this year...

And a fun fun billboard somewhere on highway 101!! :D

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Japaat Siddhi...

|| japaat siddhi japaat siddhi japaat siddhi ni:sanshayet ||

Translation: japa (chanting of mantra) is the ultimate medium for success (of the ultimate goal of life - moksha); there is no doubt about this.

Here japaat siddhi is said three times to impress upon the message it conveys. That in life anything can be achieved with practice, here of doing the japa.

May everyone achieve that success in whatever they're seeking in life as we welcome this new year.

Saal Mubarak everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Diwali Wishes for All

Here is a wish for God to bless:
Abundance of love, joy, and happiness,
Peace for the whole world, it is a mess!
Playing for kids with toys that cost less,
Youthful thinking, living life with finesse.

Diwali is here and I must confess
Indian Diwali are world's best!!!
What fun is it to work today with recess?
All I want to do is wear an expensive dress,
Look pretty, and eat good food in excess... ;)
I wish you all that and even more this Diwali, oh yes!


Happy Diwali & Happy New Year!

Best wishes,

October 28, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Here's the scenario. This happened to someone I know and I need your valuable opinions. Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts.

Gift giving parties: A and B
Gift receiving party: C

A and B together decide the budget and share amount (how much each person will pay, say $P) and the plan is to buy thing X as a gift.

Before gift giving time, A changes mind, goes on and buys gift Y, spending more than the budget amount increasing the share amount to say $Q. The payment for gift is done by A.

When it comes to present party C with the gift, only A goes and gives the gift, without including or informing B.

What should A do?

What should B do?

That's in regards with settling finances.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The story of Ruru & Pramadwaraa

The noble king Parikshit is cursed, for a small mistake he has made, that on the seventh day Takshak naag (serpent) will bite him and he will die. People around him are giving him suggestions on how to prolong his life. When someone reminds him to plead to Yamraaj, Parikshit says he is aware of that historic story when Ruru sacrificed half of his life to bring back Pramadwara, his fiancee’s life.

It happens so that long ago, the apsara Menaka has a daughter with Vishrawavasu; who is raised by sage Sthoolakesha. When Pramadwara is grown up, the sage (who is like her father) decides for her marriage with sage Pramati’s son, Ruru.

But unfortunately, before the marriage can take place, a serpent bites Pramadwara and she dies. So much in love with her, Ruru also decides to give up his own life. When Ruru is on verge of committing suicide Yamraaj tries to convince him otherwise, but he doesn’t get convinced and says that life without Pramadwara would not be a life for him so he’d rather just die. So finally Yamraaj gives up and suggests to him that there might be a way to bring Pramadwara back to life. If Ruru gave her half of his life years, she would become alive again. Ruru does give up half of his life time for the love of his life, Pramadwara and she comes to life again and they live happily together the rest of their lives.

So here we have it, a story of a man fighting with Gods for the life of his wife-to-be. Since it is karva-chauth today, many folks want to know whether there are men out there doing things for women; the answer is yes, but course, it is rare. :) Hope you enjoyed reading this story.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fighting poverty - inside & outside

Referring to something I saw, I just made a very casual statement that morning: આપણે એટલા ગરીબ નથી કે... [we are not that poor that... (we can't afford something)]

To this my philosopher sister blew me away with her answer. She said: માણસ મનથી ગરીબ હોય છે [humans are poor at their minds/hearts].

Those words really made me think, not just on that morning but since then I have been thinking about it. Her words have been imprinted in my mind and my heart ever since that day. We (majority of us, including myself) truly are poor at heart because even though we have so much, we don't realize what we have, we don't appreciate it, and we still keep wanting more, more than we can ever use/consume.

Right now, at this very moment, there are people out there, who actually can't even fulfill their needs, let alone wants. They don't have food to eat, don't have a roof on their head, don't have a piece of clothing to cover themselves. Their hardships are actual hardships; If we, who already have our needs and much more, can help even with a tiny bit, it will make a world of difference to them. So today, I have decided that I am going to help in whatever way I can to those who need help, help to survive, help to live life.

It is Blog Action Day today. I had said to Cuckoo yesterday that I will make a post about something related to poverty. I wanted to write something else but this one came out as I started typing. Just wanted to share this with everyone and spread the word. Let's do our part, as much as we can, regardless of how little it is, for it can make a big difference to someone.

Childhood beliefs

Do you remember as a child how you thought something to be true but only to realize that it wasn't the case as you grew up?

For me, it wasn't a santa or boogie man (I don't even know what that is but I've just heard a lot about kids believing in it) because I didn't know that they existed. I mean at that age, you know. :)

I find these thoughts so funny, ridiculous, crazy and sometimes serious too, but the interesting thing is they do eventually become part of us and just sit there in one corner of our minds until they're prodded again. So I thought of doing a fun exercise to list the ones I could recall and share it with my fellow grown up kids. So I'll go first. :D

I had some really weird beliefs back then as you'll read below.

I thought...

  • that tigers lived in the dark (just about everywhere there is dark) and pounced on people at night. One of the homes we lived in had a bathroom outside and every night I'd have someone accompany me because I was just too freaked out of those silly tigers.

  • that after the heart beats slow down, they eventually stop. You got to jump up and down and keep them beating faster all the time.

  • that foreign countries were on another planet and that's why you had to fly there.

  • that babies are just born at certain age and the parents have to make sure they get their daughter married before she reaches that age.

  • that "sleeping" with (this was after I learnt about that but was still too young to know all of it) more than one man kills the woman. :P well, most of the times in Hindi movies the heroine either died some how or committed suicide after it so that's what I thought.

So what about you? Any crazy funny beliefs of yours that you no longer believe in?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yet another kind of marriage proposal

This one where both of them are news anchors on national TV. Check out the video of Matt Laubhan proposing to Emily Leonard. The expression on her face is so funny and him so adorable.

Full video link:

PS. That's the first time I saw an American name with 'bh' in it. I thought they were never able to pronounce that sound. :P

Friday, October 10, 2008

What would you do?

If you found out you only have 24 more hours to live...

Friday, October 03, 2008

How to Make Mumbai Airports Nicer?

Here's my free advice to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport officials to whom it may concern:
  1. Please put the baggage carrying carts in a vending machine where people pay money to get a cart. Have those vending machines on every block of the airport.

  2. Either merge the two airports or don't give passengers flights that arrive at one and depart at the other within 5 hours or less.

  3. Fire those employees who have invented the modern panchaayat at the airport to chat for hours at like 2 AM in the morning when passengers are frantically asking around for crucial information affecting their flight schedules.

  4. Educate the information booth employees to know what the flight schedules are, even better is to fire them and put self help LCD screens instead of those time wasters who are good for nothing and will wave their hand in some random direction saying "I don't know" when passengers ask them for small information such as where is the counter for a certain airline.

  5. There's construction all over the place, which I'm really happy about because things can only get better from here. High hopes? I dunno. Any how, while you're at it, put some of those LCD screens at every gate so that passengers know where their next flight departs from.

  6. A piece of 2x2 sq ft paper stuck on a counter by scotch-tape/cello-tape with airlines name hand written on there does not count as an airline counter. Please, spend some money to get the airlines' names up so that people who walk from 15-20 ft away can see the counter they're looking for. Sheesh!

  7. Either merge Jet airways and Air India or merge their flights going from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. What's with the ridiculous flight schedule that says all the Jet airways and all the Air India flights between these two cities would depart from the domestic airport except for the very first flight of the day by Air India - the one in early morning departs from International airport. I do understand that Air India guys are trying to be more considerate to the passengers by having them not change the airports but those id10ts at the door send everyone to domestic airport without looking at the airlines they've tickets for. And if you don't plan to do anything about this, at least put up those LCD screens I mentioned that say what airport and terminal the flights depart from. God!

  8. Please please please start fining heavily to the passengers that remove any baggage that does not belong to them from the baggage claim area and put it aside in a corner. If you didn't realize, this wastes very valuable time of the affected passengers and thus in turn making them miss their next flight.

  9. What's with the labelling and stamping of each security scanned baggage? I mean come on, where did you get that from? Sounds very lame practice and to be honest, no one even checks that except for the guys who put it on. FYI, this is a big time waster.

  10. Control your hyper employees who start acting like high-class coolies for the passengers who just got off their flights. Some passengers prefer to spend a little extra money to buy their spinner baggage and don't really need your help to push their baggage; you guys are not realizing how miserable you're making the already tired and thoroughly annoyed passengers for some lousy amount of money. Did I already say this? Yeah, putting the carts in vending machine will solve this as the airport will make the much needed money and the passengers won't have to deal with the stalker airport coolies.

Thanks for reading. Hope this list would help make better plans for your future projects. Hopefully, I will be able to break my promise to avoid these airports at any cost in future.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

dainik praarthanaa

Navratri is here and so are the pious days of prayers. I wish I prayed to mata ji and other Gods like this all throughout the year instead of nine days. But this is a start. As I think of olden days, I am reminded of the daily prayers we used to say as kids. Though I never attended gharshala (Bhavnagar), I know most of these prayers were part of a daily routine there, and others we used to sing at home while growing up. Wish we too had all these same prayers in Vallabh Vidyanagar (where we had completely different set too, which I'll share later), but nevertheless, here it is. Gujarati prayers.

ish nu aa raaj chhe aakhu je je aa avani vishe
tyaagi ne bhogavi jaaNo vaanchho maa dhan anyanu
asatyo maahe thi prabhu param satye tu lai jaa
unDaa andhaare thi prabhu param teje tu lai jaa
mahaa mrutyu maa thi amrut samipe naath lai jaa
tu hiNo hu chhu to tuj darasanaa daan dai jaa
om tat sat shri naaraayaN tu purushottam guru tu
siddh buddh tu skand vinaayak savita paavak tu
brahmamasd tu akaL shakti tu isu pita prabhu tu
rudra vishNu tu raam krishna tu rahim taao tu
vaasudev gopi swaroop tu chidaanand hari tu
adwitiya tu akaaL nirbhaya aatmalinga shiv tu

sarvadaa sau sukhi thaao
samataa sau sam aacharo
sarvatra divyataa vyaapo
sarvatra shanti vistaro
om shantihi shantihi shantihi
aarati kije shri raghuvar ki
dasharath nandan jai siyavar ki
aarati kije raam
shri raam shri raam
shri raam shri raam
jay bhole bam bam bhole
tum raam daras maarag khole
jay bhole bam bam bhole
tum raam daras maarag khole
jay bhole bam bam bhole
tum raam daras maarag khole
shri raam jay raam jay jay raam
o ishwar bhajiye tane moTu chhe tuj naam
guN taaraa nit gaaiye thaay amaaraa kaam
het laavi hasaav tu sadaa raakh dil saaf
bhool kadi kariye ame to prabhu karje maaf
raatre vehla je suve vehla uthe veer
baL buddhi ne dhan vadhe sukh ma rahe sharir

For Gujarati scripted versions of these prayers, please see here.