Friday, December 26, 2008

Wishes for Birthdays & Holidays

Yet another exciting year completes today and I have immensely enjoyed it over all despite of the low moments.

Thinking back, I realize that I have learned a lot of good things about myself and others along with some valuable lessons. I have realized that:
  • Life is truly beautiful and a blessing.
  • Family is irreplaceable and times spent with them make very precious memories for life time.
  • There are very special people we might have met for only a few hours of our life but they leave a lasting positive impression and we never forget for the rest of our lives.
  • There is no happiness like seeing people around us happy.
  • We become what our habits make us.
  • Praying to God is the only thing that works when everything and everyone else fails.
  • Whatever happens to us is for a reason and for our own good.
  • Letting go makes us feel much better than holding on.
  • One day we will have to leave all this behind and travel the rest of the journey alone and the sooner we prepare ourselves emotionally for it the better.
  • All the answers we seek are within.
  • You and I are here (in the world, on this planet, in blogosphere) for a reason and we have a positive effect on each other.

As I welcome my next year, I pray to God for the good all around and love and peace for everyone.

A very happy birthday to Avadh, Sneha, Nikila, Pooja MP, and me, along with our dear Salman Khan. :) Yup, we all have a birthday on 27th, except for Sneha; her's is today, on the 26th. Wishing all many many happy returns of the day.

To everyone: Best wishes for the holidays and happy new year 2009!

God bless!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Best Christmas Lights... the bay area are by Severns-Pease.

That's right! These guys have about 75,000 light bulbs flashing and dancing to the tunes of music played at a local radio station 104.1 FM. Every evening from 5:30PM to 11:00PM they're on and they're free for our enjoyment.

Some of my photos of the decorations:

More photos of Severns-Pease Xmas Lights are here.

And here's my low-quality video to give you an idea of what you'd see in real, which is so much better than this. :)

So if you're in or around the San Francisco Bay Area for Christmas/Holidays time, don't forget to stop by at this place. They're located at 1164 & 1168 Tangerine Way, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, California 94087.

View Larger Map

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Would you do this when you travel?

I would love to. :D

Check out this fun travel video of Matt Harding.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My favorite rain songs

First, it was this post by memsaab and then my previous rain post... I just had to do this one.

I know there's still a lot many more rain songs out there that I haven't had a chance to discover yet so I've included only the ones that came to mind right now.

Here are 16 of my favorite rain songs in a random order:

  • Most sensual: jo haal dil ka, Sarfarosh
    Aamir Khan and Sonali Bendre - now that's one sight we don't get to see too often. Totally love their pairing, too bad they didn't come in too many movies together. A seductive song in stormy weather. I adore how they match the colors of their clothes in this one.

  • Most scandalous: chal chal mere sang sang, Astitva
    Tabu and Mohnish Behl pair up once again after Hum Saath Saath hai. There's only one word to describe this song - scandalous. So are the lyrics and everything about it. It is the height of seduction, IMO. Sukhvinder Singh has done a fantastic job singing it. The entire song isn't a rain song but at least last minute of it is so I think it does count. Here it's kind of the other way around, he is out there running around in rain and she watches him from the balcony before giving in. What fantastic movie! I adore this pair, totally! They are just awesome together and have a great on-screen chemistry. Do watch if you haven't already for the drama and Tabu's acting.

  • Most playful: bheegi bheegi jaadu bhari.. boondon se baatein, Thakshak
    Yet another beautiful rain song of Tabu. She looks absolutely beautiful, playful and seductive at the same time.

  • Most melodious: rimjhim ke geet saawan gaaye, Anjaana
    I really wish they had picturized this song on someone else other than Babita. Rajendra Kumar looks very handsome as usual and the song is beautiful! Only if Babita was replaced by someone else, it'd have been so much better. I still like the song nevertheless.

  • Most traditional: megha re megha, Lamhe
    I call it most traditional, as it has actually all the signature things about rain: dance, saawan ke jhoole, romance, playfulness, happiness, excitement, sensuality woven in it.

  • Most beautiful: o sajna barkha, Parakh
    The kind of song that I feel like watching over and over again. This one's truly a beautiful song with very beautiful and young Sadhana and the rain almost looks real. Notice how the rains and trees too evoke the feelings conveyed in the music of Salil Chowdhary and the lyrics are of Shailendra. This one's based on raag khamaaj.

  • Most adorable: milan abhi aadha adhura hai, Vivah
    One of my favorite songs of recent times; it's not entirely a rain song but it surely begins in rain so I've added it to the list.

  • Most cute: idhar chala main, Koi Mil Gaya
    Watch it for yourself. Cute is the word. I adore this song for Hrithik's dancing and for the song lyrics/music.

  • Most sexy: tip tip barsa paani, Mohra
    The ultimate rain song! Akshay Kumar and Raveena Tandon set fire in rain in this one. ;) I love the way the singers - Alka Yagnik & Udit Narayan - have sung this one.

  • Most fun: koi ladki hai jab woh hasti hai, Dil To Paagal Hai
    This one really makes me want to just get up and dance. I think that's because of Madhuri Dixit's dancing. One amazing dancer she is in this one and otherwise. Truly an inspiring dancer and actress. It's quite fun to watch other dancers in the song too - SRK and the kids - all of them so energetic in their dancing, it's infectious.

  • Most romantic: rimjhim gire saawan, Manzil
    A very tall and handsome Amitabh Bachchan and Mausami Chatterjee who has THE cutest smile with uneven teeth that remind me of Shashi Kapoor's teeth, for their lovely smiles of course. This is one of my favorite rain songs. So simple yet so beautifully romantic. Love the way both of them hop around in rain and the cheery smiles on their faces and running and hopping through muddy puddles of water holding hands... aah so very romantic!

  • Most crazy: tip tip tip tip baarish shuru ho gayi, Afsaana Pyaar Ka
    I couldn't believe I remembered this one. Only had heard/seen it when it came out and then today. I like Aamir Khan's dancing quite a lot in this one. Actually, I like his dancing at all times, regardless of what movie it is so. :P

  • Most amazing: dil tera deewana, Dil Tera Deewana
    Out of this world! that's the only way to describe this one. It can't get any better. Dripping with romance and the music, lyrics, voices of the singers top notch! Not to mention the actors - Shammi Kapoor and Mala Sinha. I think no other actress of Bollywood has had as many good songs to her credit as Mala Sinha.

  • Most silly: na jaane kahaan se aayi, Chaalbaaz
    It's so silly it makes me laugh watching this one. Actually the whole movie is my favorite so the song has to be in the list of my favorite songs. Check out funny, playful, crazy, drunk Sridevi with Sunny D in this one.

  • Most sad: tujhe yaad na meri aaye, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
    Yup, I find this one the most sad one of all rain songs.

  • Most seductive: aankhon se toone yeh, Ghulam
    Again, it's a partial rain song but awesome one. Aamir Khan and Rani Mukherjee pair up for this hit number from Ghulam.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Leaves close up Originally uploaded by kananj
It was the second rain of the season that day and a Saturday! I felt like a little kid all over again. Made some cute little boats with paper cuttings. I could recall the regular boat, and the one with a little fin thing at the bottom, but the ship, I couldn't make. It was little too complicated to remember, that I know... in any case, I'm still trying to recall that so if any of you remember it, do share. :) The rain waters here in the US don't make big puddles like they do in India, the water recedes. So it was a little disappointing to see no water under the boat in a few mins, but it was good fun nevertheless. I eventually moved the boat to an empty flower-pot. :P

Boat Originally uploaded by kananj

While making the boats I hummed that favorite boat-making kiddie song in Gujarati that we had as poetry:

chaalo chaalo ne ramiye hoDi hoDi

baapu na chhaapa nakkama thotha
kaapi kupi ne kariye hoDi
chaalo chaalo ne ramiye hoDi hoDi...

(It means, let's make boats together; let's cut up dad's newspapers and other papers to make more boats)

Also got to see so many different snails and shoot them from so close, here's one of them. :)

Snail Originally uploaded by kananj

And some more rain drops on the leaves:

Raindrops on leaves Originally uploaded by kananj

The purple/lavender/white colored flowers that snail was roaming around on, searching for food, I think.

Flowers Originally uploaded by kananj
More rain photos here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Remembering Bapuji

Recently, I read that "the best classroom in the world is near our grand-parents' feet". I can't recall where I read it, but I really liked it. Then I realized that it's not only limited to grand-parents but any experienced elder family member so long as we are patient to sit with them, next to them to listen to them. And while I pondered upon that I realized that I had promised to Cuckoo that I will share this story with her.

Dr. Anantrai V. Dave A little background before I tell the story. A couple of months ago, I got this book from Nalinifaiba (mom's aunt, grandpa's cousin). First of all, thank you, Faiba! For sending this one. I didn't even know this book existed until then as it was written in the year 2000 after I left India and didn't know there were folks working on such a book since past few years at the time. It is a book by Shri Moolshankar Jeevanlal Pathak & Shri Kiritbhai Moolshankar Pathak; it is my maternal grandfather's life story. These are the two men to whom I am eternally grateful to for putting this book together because I've got to know more of my grandpa from this book than his life that I saw when he was with us. They've gone around and talked to people and pestered them to share more and more stories they know of grandpa to put this one together. I won't go into the details about that as it would fill up yet another book about how they started writing the first drafts and put together their collected information about someone who was not related to them but touched the deep chords of their hearts by how he lived his life and what he did. Tears well up in my eyes at every single page of thsi book and I feel more blessed reading each and every single story in it - to have such grandfather who is not only an inspiration to the family members but to almost every single person that knows him.

The book and stories are written in Gujarati so I will share that as well as my attempt to describe the incident in English.

ગરીબ કુટુંબ પતિ-પત્ની, બાળકો માંડમાંડ ગુજરાન ચાલે. વેતરાં અને ઢસરડાને કારણે પત્નીને ક્ષયરોગ લાગુ પડ્યો. મોડી ખબર પડી. ઍક્સ-રે જોઇને કુટુંબના દાક્તરે આશા છોડી દીઘી. સલાહ આપી થોડા દિવસની મહેમાન છે. થાય તેટલી સેવાચાકરી કરો. ભાઇને માથે તો આભ તૂટી પડ્યું. ગરીબ સંસાર ચૂંથાઇ જશે, બાળકો કેમ ઉછરશે વિગેરે ચિંતામાં તે પણ અર્ધો થઇ ગયો. કોઇએ સલાહ આપી કે 'દાક્તર અનંતરાય દવેને બતાવો'. દાક્તર દવેએ એક્સ-રે અને બીજા રિપોર્ટ જોયા. પત્નીને ઝીણવટથી તપાસી ગભરાવા જેવું નથી હવે તો ક્ષયરોગ કાબૂમાં આવી ગયો છે. જિંથરી ક્ષયની હૉસ્પિટલમાં લઇ જાઓ. હું ચિટ્ટી લખી દઉં છું. ખર્ચની ચિંતા ન કરતાં. બધું ગોઠવાઇ જશે અને બધું એવું ગોઠવાઇ ગયું કે એ બાઇ અત્યારે દિકરાના દિકરાને રમાડે છે અને સવાર-સાંજ ભગવાનની સાથે સાથે ડૉ. અનંતરાય દવેનું નામ લે છે.
Source: સમાજ સેવાના વ્રતધારી ડૉ. અનંતરાય વી. દવે, જીવન કથા (Life Story, Dr. Anantrai V. Dave - the one who vowed for social service)

Needy family, husband-wife, kids were barely surviving. Because of overwork and no proper care, the wife was diagnosed with tuberculosis. It was too late. The family doctor looked at the x-ray and gave up all hopes. Said nothing could be done now, just help the wife spend rest of her remaining life as best as they can. The husband was suddenly overtaken by this great misfortune. Suffering thoughts of how his poor family will be tormented, how will the kids be raised, bothered him. Someone suggested 'take your wife to Dr. Anantrai Dave'. Dr. Dave looked at the x-ray and reports and performed a detailed check-up. He said things seem to be in control. Take your wife to Jinthri TB Hospital, I will write a note. Don't worry about the expenditure. Everything will be fine and everything became fine such a way that today the wife has become a grandmother and day and night she prays to God along with to Dr. Anantrai Dave.
And today's fortune reminded me of Bapuji even more. It says "To be simple is to be great". May God bless him to be in a better state wherever he is and for me to be more like him.

God bless.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The sound track of my life

After I came across several sound tracks of lives for some of my fellow bloggers, I decided to give this one a try.

Pitu's was on her favorite semi-classical numbers and Memsaab's was on black & white (only!) Shammi Kapoor songs and then TBF's on Aamir Khan songs. So I wanted to specialize mine too.. but couldn't decide for the longest time, I started out with Shammi Kapoor's and then got bored of the categories and then came Rajendra Kumar. He too was so very charming but ran out of good songs of him that I really like for each of those categories.. so then I thought of HIM! That's right.. the Hunk of Bollywood - Salman Khan! I asked myself, who else could be better than him? Answer was NO ONE! So here goes, sound track of my life with Salman Khan songs. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :D

The task: For situations described, come up with song(s) that would apply to them in your life.

You'll have to get used to the fact that this guy is super cool and super hot so for some of the categories I've had to pick more than one song. ;)

Opening Credits: bechain hai meri nazar, Hum Aap Ke Hai Kaun

Waking Up: albela sajan aayo re, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Pehli Mulaqat: pehla pehla pyaar hai, Hum Aap Ke Hai Kaun

Falling in Love: aate jaate jo milta hai, Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega & kuch bhi nahin tha, Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar

First date: dekha hai pehli baar, Saajan

Tenth date: tum par hum hai atke yaara, Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya & keh raha hai, Baabul

Wedding: tere ghar aaya... saajan ji ghar aaye, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai & jaan-e-bahara jaan-e-tamanna, Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa

Love Scene: bahot pyaar karte hai, Saajan & mere rang mein rangne waali, Maine Pyar Kiya

Fight Scene: sau dard hai, Jaan-e-man

Breaking Up: jhonka hawa ka aaj bhi, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Getting Back Together: dil deewana dhoondh raha hai, Chaand Ka Tukda

Average Day: ek garam chai ki pyaali ho, Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega

Life's OK: kabhi tu chhaliya lagta hai, Patthar Ke Phool

Flashback: tum se milna baatein karna, Tere Naam

Deep Thought: jiye to jiye kaise bin aap ke, Saajan

Mental Breakdown: tadap tadap ke is dil se, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Learning a (dance) Lesson: chha raha hai pyaar ka nasha, Chandramukhi

Driving: tum se milne ki tamanna hai, Saajan & yeh mausam ka jaadu, Hum Aap Ke Hai Kaun

Partying: yeh dil to mila hai, Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa

Songs on Rain: aankhon mein bandh kar loon, Sangdil Sanam

Happy Dance: oh oh jaan-e-jaana, Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya

Sad Dance: dil deewana bin sajna ke, Maine Pyaar Kiya

Kid Song:I couldn't find a kids' song so picked this one that came closest to anything like a kid song - pehli pehli baar jab, Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai

On Leadership: not really but sort of.. kahe tohse sajna, Maine Pyaar Kiya

Death Scene: no death scenes, this hero deserves no death on screen so putting up a parting one - mujh se juda ho kar, Hum Aap Ke Hai Kaun

End Credits: are you kidding me? no way... I give you the silliest and most fun number - bum bum... do mastaane, Andaz Apna Apna

Anyone who's a sport to take up this tag, please do so and share the link on here. I'd love to listen to your favorite songs. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A person's character

I've been thinking whether this is at all true or not.

You can know a person's true character by how they behave during a critical time in their life.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Tag Full of Quotes

Took up this tag from Sandeep's.

Some of my favorite quotes are:

"It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." -Albus Dumbledore

"You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"That best portion of a good man's life, - his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love." -William Wordsworth

"Every minute of every day is an opportunity to learn something new. Sharing what we learn with people around us is one of the best ways I know to give thanks for our ability to be educated. Books are great for sharing all kinds of experiences." -Ananda Lewis, RIF spokesperson and MTV VJ

"Be kind. Remember everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -John Watson

So what are your favorite quotes?

When Aishwarya emailed this morning...

It read as follows:
how are you doing today? I am sorry I didn't inform you about my travelling to Africa yesterday evening for a program called "Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Lack of Education, the program is taking place in three major countries in Africa which is Kenya, South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire . It has been a very sad and bad moment for me since yesterday.

As I am talking to you right now, I’m really stranded here in Cote d’Ivore. It happens that I forgot my little bag in the Taxi where my money, passport, documents and other valuable things were kept on my way to the Hotel am staying, I am now facing a very big hard time here because I have no money on me.

I am now owning a hotel accommodation and feeding bill of $250 and they wanted me to pay the bill tomorrow evening else they will have to seize my bags and hand me over to the Hotel Management, please I need this help from you urgently to help me back home, I need you to help me with the hotel bill and I will also need $250 to feed and help myself back home next tomorrow or next, so please send me $500 immediately to sort out myself because I am in a terrible and tight situation here, I don't even have any money to feed myself for a day which means I will be starving, so please understand how urgent I needed your help.

I am sending you this e-mail from the city Library in Abidjan here and I only have 30 minutes, I promise to pay back your money as soon as I return home so please use this information below to forward me the money or anything that you can afford right way through Money Gram or Western Union .

RECEIVERS ADDRESS: Immeuble Jaceda Plateau,

Please don’t forget to send to me sender information’s as stated below as soon as the transfer is made to enable me receive the funds.


Looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible
Best Regards,
Aishwarya Bachchan

Actually, Aishwarya and I went to school together for more than 8 years and ended up discovering each other (thanks to google, of course!) after more than a decade only to find we live less than 20 miles of each other! That was a couple of years back and we've been in touch via all kinds of media since then. So the first thing I did when I read this email was "WHOA!" then I call up Aishwarya at her home number to make sure she's really in Africa before I wire her the much needed money. Guess what, she hasn't even dreamed about the Africa trip yet. It appears someone has hacked into her account and sent out this email. I gave her my share of tips and forwarded the email back to her telling her exactly what has happened.

The email had her actual full name but did not include my name, only my email address. Also, all the dollar amounts had bold face font, then she did not have her usual style of writing and then I had not even talked to her yesterday evening, all of that and more led me to think it might not be her, but I think if I didn't care enough I could have been fooled. So now I want to spread the word... please guys, change your password to something that's not in dictionary and beware of fake Aishwaryas that are going around. Here are some of the tips I had shared last year. But I got to tell you, this email I got violated the second point in this tips post.

Be safe and keep your email account safe!

PS. The name of my friend has been changed to not reveal her identity.

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


© Tom Wilson

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.

Monday, September 29, 2008


For it sweeps you off like pile of hay
Altering the course of your life
Tomorrow will be yet another day
Ever not imagined than you've today

September 29, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Prem is back!!!

No, it's not Salman Khan or Shahid Kapoor this time, but the hottest new dude in town - Sonu Sood. And does he look handsome or what! *swoon*

The film Ek Vivaah... Aisa Bhi is coming out in November this year. yipiieeeee!!!

Check out Prem's signature dialog in the film: "saat janam... kaafi hai na?" on here.

Can't wait to listen to the new songs of Ravindra Jain. Here are some of them:

Song 1:
aaj ke imtehaan ki fikr nahin
jeet kar hum yahaan se guzarenge
asliyat to pataa chalegi jab
ishq ke imtehaan se guzrenge

Song 2:
mujh mein zinda hai woh
us mein zinda hoon main

Song 3:
mandir hai (3) ghar yeh hamara
mandir hai ghar yeh hamara
utna hi paavan utna hi sundar
utna hi pyaara pyaara
mandir hai ghar yeh hamara (2)

Click on the link above for trailers and other info. Long live Rajshri!

Image rights: Rajshri

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gujarati Couplet

gujaare je shire taare jagat no naath te sehje
gaNyu je pyaaru pyaaraa e ati pyaaru gaNi leje

By Shri Balashankar Kantharia

ગુજારે જે શિરે તારે જગતનો નાથ તે સહેજે
ગણ્યું જે પ્યારું પ્યારાએ અતી પ્યારું ગણી લેજે.

Bear the sufferings that are given to you by the master of universe.
Consider that it (the above) is liked by the one who is liked by everyone (God almighty) and accept it happily/gladly.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Road Adventures in India

January 25, 2008

As I look forward to my next India trip, I couldn't help remember my last one of early 2006 and the roadside adventures that I got to experience back then. And on top of that, after I read Aspi's The great Indian license trick, I just had to write this up!

Plane close up
Originally uploaded by kananj

It started from the airport. Fortunately, the custom folks didn't even look at me or my baggage more than a glimpse so I was very pleasantly surprised and still thank God for none of those hassles that I have heard horrid stories about.

Now since we had to switch the airports at Mumbai from international to domestic, we had to take the shuttle bus. So this driver or the shuttle bus helper guy shows up, and even before I say anything and without asking me, he starts picking up my baggage from carts and starts loading it on the bus baggage storage area, so I just thought he was being nice (yeah right!). After he loads up all the baggage, he gives me a begging face look and asks me for some money. I said I don't have anything and that since I didn't ask him for any help in the first place, I didn't owe him anything. He kept going on about it... and to be honest, I didn't keep anything but a twenty dollar bill with me, which I didn't want to give for some guy who volunteers to act like a coolie. So I told him looking into his eyes that I did not have anything for him and that he stop asking for the money. Finally, I ended up giving him some chocolates and candies that I had in my purse, as that was the only thing I could give but that experience taught me one thing - as soon as these guys see it is female passengers from the US, they try to act smart and make money off of us. I don't like people who cheat like that to make money off of innocent travelers. Beware of these *nice* guys.

Traffic at Tran darwaja
Originally uploaded by kananj

Another one was driving around with my uncle in Ahmedabad. So his car is an early 90s make; some of them don't have the seat belts and the drivers are supposed to carry around this proof of what year the model is in car so they can prove that their car is excused from having no belts. That evening we were getting late to reach for a dinner and this cop pulls us over. My uncle doesn't have the little piece of paper that this police officer needs, so he starts talking about a Rs. 100 ticket for him, but my uncle who is a professor in a reputed school in the city, starts apologizing and telling him where he teaches and what, etc. And then the officer sees rest of us in the car and thinks over and finally lets uncle go with a warning. I was pleasantly surprised we didn't even bribe him and he let us go. Key to not get a ticket, have a whole bunch of innocent looking passengers in car, tell them how big your workplace is and finally... apologize. Tada! no ticket for you.

Yet another incident happened in Ahmedabad, it was a friend of mine who was driving me around and we almost ran a red light at a big intersection at rush hour. And how can a cop miss that who's standing like right in our faces? He came right up to us and pulled us over. My friend admitted she hadn't seen the red light and apologized and promised it won't happen again. He warned and let us go without the ticket. :) yoo hoo! more money for shopping. ;)

Btw, did you know, the seat-belt requirement is only for the driver, not the front seat passenger! :D I still wonder why... if you know the answer, do let me know.

This one takes the cake. It happened in Rajkot. So my cousin, who also happens to be a professor in a reputed college in the city, was driving us to a book store which is quite far from home. And since mom and I had to go shopping afterwards, he said he will give us both a ride on his scooter. In hurry, he forgot to remove his hat and wear a helmet instead. So right in middle of an extremely crowded intersection, a cop comes running in the middle where we are trying to balance the two-wheeler with three of us adults' weight and such slow speed, or rather no speed at all. The cop removes the scooter keys and runs back to the curbside in corner. So we have come to a complete stop in middle of jam packed intersection. Imagine the scene... traffic is already bad and there is a scooter with three adults on and not moving at all. Hahahaha! For a moment, I didn't even realize what had happened as I was too busy watching the traffic. I mean come on, it's so much fun to watch that kind of traffic - that too from being in middle of it - when the only kind of traffic you get to see on daily basis is bumper to bumper cars on a five-lane freeway. In any case, eventually I realized we had come to complete stop because my cousin started getting very upset at what had just happened. It's humiliating to have been stopped by a cop in middle of cross roads, that too if you're a professor! I was feeling bad and funny at the same time. Finally, another cop, who wasn't blowing his top, came back with the keys realizing that there was no way we could pull over on the side without the key. And we moved on the side. My cousin was too busy getting upset with the polite officer about what the other officer just did (that is to remove the keys like that). He said they do this because a lot of people don't even stop and run away from such crowded intersections so they started this new tradition of removing the keys to keep crazy drivers from running away! LOL I like that idea... wish they tried it some time here in the US. I think the cop will get a ticket for doing that. ;) The most fun part now - so the nicer cop says he must write a ticket as we were riding three adults, which for some reasons is illegal? (not sure whether that's true at all as I saw four adults on a motorbike in Ahmedabad just a couple of days back before this happened) and that the driver isn't wearing a helmet. So we had to pay the fine for a ticket. Then he asks us whether we were going to be driving around like that for more time and when we said yes, he told us he will write us a paper ticket so that next time around when a cop stops us, we can just show that to them and they won't give us another ticket. Hahahaha! Apparently, the paper ticket costs Rs. 100 and non-paper ticket is Rs. 50. We took the paper ticket paid off the fine and went about our shopping trip. When I told this story to a friend of mine in US, she told me about how another friend of hers got two tickets within less than a few minutes for not stopping at two consecutive stop signs in a residential area.

And a couple of more photos to add to the series!

In India, pedestrians are not the only ones who have a right of way.

Cows crossing the road
Originally uploaded by kananj

Traffic goes which way again?

Driving from Paravadi to Damnagar
Originally uploaded by kananj

Were these adventures enjoyable? You bet!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

They call themselves Drum Girls

Out of the world choreography, excellent reflexes, strong legs and cute smiles, not to forget A LOT OF practice and the result is:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

And the award goes to...

my songs blog 'Lyriks I like'.


That's right. :)

My HFM blog has been awarded that aakha blogistan mein famous Brilliante Weblog Premio 2008 award by none other then Neha! And I'm delighted to accept the award, Neha. ;) :D THANK YOU SO MUCH!

As the tradition must continue now it is time for me to choose 8 of my favorite blogs to confer upon this same award to!

It is very difficult to pick and choose from so many fabulous blogs that I have come across; so I'll try to pick the ones who haven't received this award before.

In an alphabetical order:

  • Aspi's Drift - for all kinds of Entertainments with capital E. Thank you, Aspi.
  • Beth Loves Bollywood - for the best looking header photos ever! and of course for the sincere love of Bollywood. Thank you, Beth.
  • Idle Moments - for the beautiful photographs and beautiful writing from the heart. Thank you, Ami.
  • lifeiscool - for those thought provoking posts and questions. Thank you, Chinmai.
  • Sayesha on the rocks - for the way she shares her moments of life in the most extraordinary way. Thank you, Sayesha.
  • The Little Ranting Reptile and Other Stories.... - first of all, for not going extinct! :P and for the silliest and record breaking number of posts per month and teaching some valuable lessons in them; and that anda-z with how you play with words... ;) Thank you, Stupidosaur.
  • This I am grateful for today... - for the positive energy that is being spread all around from each little post. Thank you, Kashmira.
  • Wanderingmindz's Weblog - for bringing back the Sanskrit literature to my life with extremely helpful translations. Thank you, Medha.

And last but not least, a big thanks to everyone else who writes their blogs, and reads this blog. Though I have to admit, I didn't start blogging for the social value it carries but it was only for myself and now that I get to read my fellow bloggers views, I have been feeling more enthusiastic to write my thoughts and write about my favorite things including those songs. Thank you all!

Friday, September 19, 2008

When mother nature paints...

this is what it looks like!

Some of my favorite photos of cloudy skies.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Disaster's in the air

Nope, I didn't say that. Timon did. :P

I was just humming that Can You Feel the Love Tonight song. Have you heard it?

Timon: I can see what's happening

Pumba: What?

Timon: And they don't have a clue!

Pumba: Who?

Timon: They'll fall in love and here's the bottom line
Our trio's down to two

Pumba: Oh

Timon: The sweet caress of twilight
There's magic everywhere
And with all this romantic atmosphere
Disaster's in the air

Chorus: Can you feel the love tonight?
The peace the evening brings
The world, for once, in perfect harmony
With all its living things

Simba: So many things to tell her
But how to make her see
The truth about my past? Impossible!
She'd turn away from me

Nala: He's holding back, he's hiding
But what, I can't decide
Why won't he be the king I know he is
The king I see inside?

Chorus: Can you feel the love tonight?
The peace the evening brings
The world, for once, in perfect harmony
With all its living things

Can you feel the love tonight?
You needn't look too far
Stealing through the night's uncertainties
Love is where they are

Timon: And if he falls in love tonight
It can be assumed

Pumba: His carefree days with us are history

Both: In short, our pal is doomed! (cry)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Romance in the air at Sakhi’s and as she turned the fan on, I too felt the fresh breeze of that air.

Disclaimer: I am not sure what kind of love we're talking about here and also, I don't know the actual definition of love so please note that while you read the answers.

Here I go:

  1. If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be?
  2. Then it was never meant to be; and if that was the case, better now than later.

  3. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
  4. Detachment from life at all times. Hmm.. now there' something to dream about.

  5. What do you love the most in your lover?
  6. Kindness

  7. What would you do with a billion dollars?
  8. Can't tell right now but would rather share it with others than just spend it all myself. :D

  9. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
  10. Ummm.. it's difficult to gamble so much.

  11. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
  12. How about both? If I had to pick one I'd pick the first one. It is an emotion to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.

  13. How long do you intend to wait for someone you really love?
  14. So long the patience doesn't run out. :)

  15. If the person you secretly like is already attached, what would you do?
  16. Pray to God for good and better things in their life.

  17. If you like to act with someone, who will it be? Your gf/bf or an actress/actor?
  18. Acting? Are you kidding me? But if I were forced to, I'd rather pick an actor/actress.

  19. What takes you down the fastest?
  20. Nosy people who ask personal questions. Just one will do, but it better not be you! ;)

  21. How would you see yourself in ten years’ time?
  22. No idea. Hopefully closer to achieving that dream I talked about above.

  23. What’s your fear?
  24. To not being able to let go.

  25. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
  26. A mysterious gal who is a fabulous writer. :)

  27. Would you rather be single and rich or married but poor?
  28. How about happily married but poor? :P

  29. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
  30. Open the window blinds to let the daylight come in.

  31. Would you give all in a relationship?
  32. Meaning? If it means give it my best, then yes I would. :)

  33. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously, who would you pick?
  34. Pick for what? I already love more than two people right now. LOL!

  35. Would you forgive and forget, no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
  36. Forgive? Yes. Forget? I don't know. I could become indifferent towards them.

  37. If you get to go back in time and fall in love all over again, would it still be with the same person?
  38. This question makes me feel like Basanti.

    Haan to kahan thi main? Haan... Ramgadh ka ek rupaiya aur Belapur ka dedh...

    Phir maine socha, chalo back in time jaana hi hai to hum chale jaate hai lekin agar love all over again karna pade to hum kar bhi sakte hai aur nahin bhi. Aur agar kar liya to phir to wohi baat ho gayi jo pehle thi aur agar nahin kiya to kisi aur se kar lete hai. Lekin us ke liye mujhe Shiv mandir mein jaa kar thode aur somvaar ke vrat karne padenge. :P

  39. List 6 people to tag:

  40. Kashmira

Now here are the rules:

RULE #1: People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

RULE #2: Tag 6 people to do this quiz and they cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by, cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by, and must continue this game by sending it to other people.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

While we're still talking about love, here is a cutsie love song I adore from the I love Lucy show. It is picturized on Lucy and Ricky.

The Loveliest Night of the Year

when you are in love, it’s the loveliest night of the year,
stars twinkle above, and you almost can touch them from here.

words fall into rhyme, everytime you are holding me near.
when you are in love, it’s the loveliest night of the year.

waltzing along in the blue, like a breeze drifting over the sand,
thrilled by the wonder of you, and the wonderful touch of your hand and

my heart starts to beat, like a child when a birthday is near.
so kiss me, my sweet. it’s the loveliest night of the year.

(Lyrics by Mario Lanza)

"loveliest night of the year" starts at 2:40 mins.

Moving in today...

Yup, some of the old posts and comments are moving to this blog today.

Sorry folks, for your feeds are going to be bombarded with some restaurant reviews and photo posts and a whole bunch of old comments. Please bear with me while I'm in process of combining two of my ignored blogs to this main one.

Thanks for your patience & love.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Do you want to go out and play?

I so want to...

You know what I just realized? In India, a kid almost never gets bored. Why? Because we have games/sports that need almost no expenditure. And while I was reading some of the comments on my previous posts, I was reminded of them - the amateur sports that I grew up playing with the neighborhood kids/friends/cousins. My memory of me playing them is good but the rules I've forgotten for some. Here's my best try to recall them.

My lovely readers, I present to you the amateur sports I grew up playing. As you'll notice, a lot of these have Gujarati names and that's because that's what we'd call them.

Note: All Gujarati words are in italics.

dablaa ice-pice: Or is it I-spies? Or I-spice? I don't know. That's what we called it, without actually knowing the reason behind it. In any case, this one requires any old dabloo (tin-can) and a whole bunch of players. I think this one isn't that famous in charotar area because I usually played this with my cousins when I went to Bhavnagar for holidays. So speaking of the rules, they're similar to hide-n-seek and some more; once we had the players and equipment ready, we would gather up in the large front yard or the little smaller backyard. A circle was drawn in the middle of the field that had radius of a person's foot. One person (we'll call him person A) was appointed as the finder, whose daav (turn) it was to find everyone who's hidden - that is all other players. One of the other players would throw the dabloo far away and person A was supposed to go collect it and place it back in the circle. Until then all other players went in hiding. Then it was person A's turn to go look for all these people. If person A saw anyone (say person B), he/she would run back to the dabloo and kick it away from the circle screaming "dablaa ice-pice". Now it would be person B's daav (turn). If any of the other players can sneak up to the dabloo while player A is away from the dabloo, then they come and kick it screaming "dablaa ice-pice". Person A would take the turn again in that case. This exhausting fun game continues for hours.

kho-kho: This one has two versions - beThi (sitting) kho & ubhi (standing) kho.

  1. beThi kho:
  2. This one needs about ten or so players. The official rules say there must be 12 players but I think a few less are fine too. Two of these players stand at the end of an invisible line and rest of them sit down facing alternate direction in between. The ones sitting down sit in the ready-to-get-up-and-run pose. One of the standing players (player A) begins chasing towards other standing player (player B) to tag him/her. Player A can only travel clock-wise and can not pass from in between the sitting players, whereas player B can travel in any direction but of course it must be around the sitting players, and not like 10 ft away from where everyone is sitting down. The trick is, player A can not cross in between the sitting players but can give a "kho" to a person facing the same direction as player A. Since "kho" is given to a person from their back so now the player who received kho (player C) gets up (player A sits in their spot facing the same direction) and chases player B to tag him/her. There is no rules on how soon person C can give a kho to next player so it's up to them to decide. So the game actually tests the players ability of how soon can they can get away without being tagged for the longest time. We used to play the modified version of the game so we didn't have two teams but just one. When a player gets tagged, he/she will take up the chaser role and the tagger will become the future taggie.

  3. ubhi kho:
  4. This one has almost similar concept as the beThi kho, except for the players stand in a big circle facing alternate sides and the chaser is either trapped inside or outside this circle during their turn until they give kho to a player from their back. The taggie can run around almost everywhere within the circle and near the perimeter of the circle without being caught.

langDi or langaDi: This actually means "one legged". More famous during the rainy seasons mostly as the ground would be cool and wet; in summers we avoided it mostly as the dirt would be burning hot as we played this one barefoot. For this one we draw rectangles on ground with a stick or piece of stone about 2x4 ft stacked so that the 4ft side of rectangles touched one another. There would be about 8 to 10 of these rectangles depending upon how much space we had available where we were playing and then at one end of it was a huge round circle. The other end, we will call it the "begin" area. While traveling in the rectangles, each player can only step in it once and with just one foot so they hop from one end of the rectangles to the big circle hopping on one foot. Players can use both feet in the big circle. There was a dice like piece that each of us made with a broken tile or a flat piece of rock. We used to call them kukari or kuki. All the players come up with a sequence of how they will play. e.g. Players A B and C would decide that they will play in order C, A, and B so then person C takes first turn. (There are ways to determine this as well, but we will talk about it later). So now it is the turn of person C. He/she stands at the "begin" area and throws his/her kukari in the nearest first rectangle. After they do this, they skip stepping into that first rectangle and travel all the way up to the circle. While coming back, they stop in rectangle 2 and pick up their kukari and step out with two feet. As long as they completed this successfully, without losing balance and without throwing the kukari outside the circle, they get to go to next rectangle. Thus, they try to complete all of the rectangles and eventually the big circle as well. Once they finish them all, they turn their back towards the drawn area and throw their kukari with eyes closed on it. Wherever it lands, if within any rectangle then that becomes their home. Meaning next time around they are allowed to step two feet in that rectangle. If it lands in the big circle, they have a choice of what rectangle to pick, you can not pick the circle as your home as it is universal home. Once they have picked the home, they get to decide whether they will allow guests to step single foot, both feet or none in their home. The others have to follow these rules, if they don't then they lose turn. If the kukari goes out of the boundaries or the player loses balance, they lose their turn. There are a lot of variations of this game. One of them being how it is drawn on the ground and the other being how the players bring the kukari back to the "begin" area.

nadi ke parvat: The exact translation is "river or mountain". This was again one of those games that I played a lot more with my cousins as our grandparents home had a huge yard and lot of steps/oTalaa around. I don't know what oTalaa are in English but it's a raised platform like area touching a house, about one or two feet high. So for this one, one player would take a turn (player A) and then everyone would stand around player A (not within their reach, of course) and ask "nadi ke parvat?" Once player A declares whether they want nadi (river) or parvat (mountain) they would get to stand on either the ground (being the river) if they asked for nadi or on the platform areas (being the mountains) if they asked for parvat. The goal of other players (player B) is to try to step in the area where player A is standing and if player A tags them while they're in that designated area, that player B loses. Player B takes their turn next.

pakaD daav: This is the typical game of tag. The more players the better and the bigger the field the more fun the game!

sangeet khurshi: This is our traditional musical chairs. Let me know if anyone wants to know more about this one. I think almost everyone knows how this is played.

satoDi: This is the game they show Aishwarya Rai playing in song "man mohini" of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and all of them playing in milan abhi aadha adhoora hai of Vivah (@ 1:45 mins). There are two teams with equal number of members. Seven round flat pieces of wood or rock are needed. These could be bought out in the stores as well as made at home from old broken tiles or stone pieces. Also, a ball is needed; an old tennis ball, a cricket ball or any other ball that can bounce and dismount the seven flat pieces would do. Be sure to choose the right kind of ball as it's also thrown at the team members. :P So to begin the game, the seven flat pieces are orderly stacked (smallest on top) in the center of the grounds and a circle is drawn around it (about the size of one foot diameter). Then there is a line drawn about 8 to 10 ft away from it. Say team A takes turn to throw the ball at satoDi. One team A member will stand behind the line and throw the ball towards the satoDi to make the stacked pieces fall apart. As soon as at least one of them gets thrown away from the stack, the game has begun. Team A runs away from the ball to try and re-stack the seven pieces back in the exact same order they were placed before. The goal of Team B members is to throw the ball at eachother while hitting one of the team A members with the ball before the satoDi is stacked back to normal position. Whoever finishes first, wins the game. Once all the pieces of satoDi are placed back in a nice pile, one of the team A member screams "SATODI" to let everyone know they've managed to meet their goal. If team B member manages to tag any team A member, they scream "OUT". That's when the game ends. The winner gets to throw the ball at satoDi in next round.

thappo: This is one silly old hide & seek game. The only difference was, we would draw a big circle on some wall with a chalk or a piece of orange brick or a piece of black coal at about 5 ft height from the ground where the person whose turn it was (person A) to shut their eyes would rest their head and hide their eyes behind their palms. This made sure they weren't peeking out to watch where everyone's hiding. They were usually forced to count up to 50 or 100 before they could open their eyes. Once they found someone, they'd rush back to the circle on wall and slap their hand on it screaming "thappo". If some other player sneaked out before person A could see them, they'd run to the circle to do the same before person A got there. In the latter case, it person A would yet again take turn to shut their eyes and recount until everyone hid again, otherwise whoever they found would take the turn.

zoo: The silliest game we ever played and the most fun! We used to play this one in our extra wide living room that was somewhere around 20x20 ft size. But you can play this one practically roomy place with clear ground. A wide belt is drawn on the ground about the size of 5 ft wide to 20 ft long. The player taking their turn (player A) stands within this belt. All the other players stand on one side of the belt and their job is to cross the belt without getting tagged by player A. Every other player must make at least one round trip on the other side of the belt (side B) and back (side A). While other players are on side B, player A can even tag them if they're within their hands' reach or while they're crossing the belt. So then what's the "zoo"? Well, that's the sound other players make while crossing the belt. I think that has been in place to draw attention of player A that there's a player crossing. This gets most fun when only one player is left on side A who still needs to cross over and come back and player A won't let go but face them at all times. The game can go on for hours.

gilli DanDaa: I didn't really play this much as it wasn't too famous around the neighborhood, but do know how to make the gilli and DanDaa and how to play.

gulel: This is our typical game of slingshot. While playing this one, better make sure the neighborhood uncles and aunties are not watching when the flying objects go into their glass windows or car windshields. ;)

I think for the indoor/sitting down games of paanchika, chopaaT, patta, and other similar games there would have to be a separate post some day.

So which one of these you're most likely to play? Or played? Do share.