Christmas 2009 – A nice memory.

Hello Folks,

First of all…..

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas !!!!!

May God bring the joy and happiness in your life.

This Christmas is so special for me as I am in a place where this festival is very famous. Christmas tree, jingle bells, Santa clause, Snow fall, Lots of gifts and decorated houses are the symbols of Christmas time in US. I saw all these things in Hollywood movies (like Home alone) back in my childhood, but now I am watching them almost everyday. Everybody here decorates their houses in their own way during Christmas. Believe Me!!!! some of those decorations are great and you can not take your eyes off from them. Fortunately, In my place, I have seen quite many of them.

Snow on the road-side trees is a real token of Christmas beauty in US. I spent lot of time to capture that beauty with my Nikon D5000, but was just able to capture a part of it. However, this picture can not completely explain how beautiful are these trees (Especially the day after the snow fall). You really got to see that once in a life time.

Snow filled Christmas tree outside my apartment

To see the Christmas beauty, we decided to go to Newyork, which also clubbed with other plans like receiving a friend from Lagaurdia airport, visiting Flushing Ganesha, Sai Baba temple and watching AVATAR movie in IMAX 3D. It first started with a temple visit in Flushing. It is almost 6 months that I visited any temple. It is totally a different temple I have ever visited. We had a hard time in leaving the shoes outside the temple and walking in to the temple on the bare foot. Our foot were almost frozen by the time we entered the temple. We also visited Sai Baba temple which is no different than a house except that a house doesn’t have such a big idols of Baba. But then I thought, “Take it easy..This is how the temples in US will be.” 🙂 We also had nice breakfast in flushing temple.

We then went to IMAX 3D theater to watch AVATAR. I heard a lot about this movie and few of my friends are even watching for the second time. This movie is simply Unbelievable. Don’t let me speak more about this…. If you let me, I will keep on talking till you get bored. I will just say

The movie is awesome, and Its my very strong recommendation to watch this movie in IMAX 3D. Just Don’t Miss It.

Finally, as planned, We reached Newyork central park on Christmas night expecting lot of Christmas activity in it. But unfortunately, we didn’t find much. However, We started enjoying the decorated trees and other stuff there. We visited few decorated Christmas trees and public gatherings. We saw few santas driving a decorated Christmas car playing music and  distributing gifts to the public.

We then reached the very famous Time Square, which is one of those places that none of Indian movie directors miss if they happen to take a picture in newyork. This is place is simply dazzling with damn wide digital billboards playing something or other 24/7. With its lighting, time square on the 53rd street of 7th Ave can be easily visible from at least 20 streets on both the sides. I stood in the center of the time square, kept my eyes little above the straight line and slowly had a 360 degree turn to see the dazzling beauty of time square (Like I saw in some of the Indian movies). Its simply .. Wowwwwwwwwwww!!!! That gave a great toast to my eyes on that moment.

This Christmas was really joyful for me. To summarize,

Went to a temple after a long time….

Had a nice food there ……

Saw an american street that was just like an Indian street. Also saw a bill board on that street that reads “Pichayya and Co.”. 🙂 …..

Watched a great movie and enjoyed 500% of it….

Experienced underground Subway travel in NYC (which was in my Wishlist for a long time)….

Saw Time Square…..

Took some nice pictures with my NIKON D5000…..

Last but not least…. Saw the Christmas beauty in NYC……

Thats all for today folks……

Have a Great Day,

Durga Prasad.

Mood: Room is very dark (Light is not working). Hearing the wind blow leaked from my bedroom window (like in horror movies). Listening to “Give Me Some Shine” from 3-Idiots. (I fell in love with this song).

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The Oldest, Yet Strongest affection.

Hello All,

A quick re-play of last one invisible month in my life.

My Sister’s Marriage went on very well and the young pair enjoying their married life roaming around different places.

There is actually a lot to write about my last sentence, but I couldn’t as the time doesn’t permit me to it. :(. I hope you all are doing well.

Coming to the subject of this post, I would like to talk about a special person that attended my sis’s marriage. He is so special that every body was very much astonished with his presence and was very happy. I still can not believe that a person of 74years age had travelled a very long way using different means of transport reached us to give the blessings to my sister. 🙂 Well, I am talking about My Grand-Pa. I mean My Grand-Ma’s (My father’s mother) brother.

Its a very big story to start with. My Grand Ma’s was a very poor orthodox Brahman (Iyyer) family with Tamil origin. After her marriage, She took her younger sister along with her to Andhra to be a companion. Though she doesn’t know Telugu then, She struggled alot to communicate with the people over here and finally was able to mingle with the people here. Her younger sister Visalakhi, had literally dedicated her life as a bachelor to our family. She is always been called as “Visala Akka” (Visala Sister) by every one in our family starting from the grand-old-Generation to the younger generation. She love to be called so and won’t allow any one to call her Grand-ma.

Well, My Grand ma’s brother (I call him Kanchi tata) strived a lot to come up in his life. He used to work in 7 different houses a week for his day food and learn Veda’s in the famous vedic school from Ekambaranath temple in Kanchipuram. Daily he used to work, Learn Veda’s and take shelter in the temple. After a long time of his dedication, he was releved as a vedic pandit (Ghanapati in Sanskrit) to the society. He then went back to his home town Vadamarimangalam, Vellore (Dt) and settled as a Ghanapati.

During olden day’s as it is very tough for a poor family to commute to the long distances, Nobody from the that family used to visit us at andhra. So do we. My Grand-Ma still call’s her home town as another Desham (country). Moreover, The language is a big barrier between the two families. Kanchi Tata, Know little bit of English. So whenever he comes, dad used to speak to him in English. The sister and brother used to speak in Tamil. As day’s passed by we totally lost the touch with their family. My dad’s just a one vague address of kanchi tata.

The last time he visited my home was during my Mom & Dad’s Marriage (almost 27 years back). As day’s passed by, My grand-ma forgot Tamil. We always used to have fun at home, by asking her to speak in Tamil and she feeling shy for it. Seeing my dad’s invitation to the wage address, He called my home on the phone number written on the invitation card. Neither my Grand-ma nor my family member’s were able to understanding what he says. After a long affectionate discussion, my sister’s finally understood that “He will not be able to come to Marriage. But then he is sending his blessings in the form of a money order”.

But, His presence on the eve the marriage surprised us. There is no language barrier this time because of a catalyst/translator called Durga Prasad. Well, That’s me.  Kanchi Tata, was delighted and proud to have me speaking to him in his own language.  More than me My grand-ma was spell bound to see her brother after a span of 27 years.

Believe me, You have to experience such emotions atlease once in your life. I am very much privileged to have that experience during the marriage. He was morally supported all through this 27 years by a neighbour called srinivasan who also came to the marriage. Kanchi Tata always says that “With out Srinivasan, I am not there”.  We were very thankful to srinivasan to be there beside him always.

With this note I would like to take a break from this post. Here are some of the photo’s of him blessing all of us.

Enjoy your weekend.

Durga Prasad.

Grand Ma blessing her bro.

Grand Ma blessing her bro.

My Grand Ma, Her Brother, Her sister (Visala Akka)

My Grand Ma, Her Brother, Her sister (Visala Akka)

Kanchi Tata and Srinivasan

Kanchi Tata and Srinivasan

Back to the childhood to celebrate Pongal.

Hello All,

Let me wish you all a Happy and great pongal. This day is a new year day for Tamil Nadu and so let me wish all the chennites A happy new year as well.

Well, I didn’t get a chance to go home for this pongal 😦 as I am “perserving” my leaves for sister’s marraige. Being alone in the room, I was just thinking of my pongal celebrations during my childhood days. Ofcourse, those were the sweetest days of everyones life.

My memories flashed back to my childhood days of 5-6th standard. Normally during those days the atmosphere used to be very cold than usual becuase of the two lakes very near to my home in Tenali. We are around 6 kids and all are of my age or less than that. Our temple used to be the  playground for all of us. Since our home is located pretty near to farm fields, all the tractors and lorry’s used to pass by my home.

We use to gather early morning at around 4.30 to 5.00 o’clock and prepare a camp fire (traditionally called Chali Manta in telugu) to get rid of cold. More than escaping from cold, we make use of this as a way out to have fun together with lots of silly games. So, Its our usual practice to make a camp fire every morning. But, for us to  make the fire we have to collect the dried grass from different places.

Ofcourse, The best place to collect are the tractors that return from the fields. So, this used to be a very tough competition between those 6 kids. Everybody used to have a very keen motto of collecting the grass on their own and whoever collects more (on that day) will get lots of claps the next day morning during the camp fire. Thank god that all the tractor drivers that return from fields, take a break extactly before my house (Because we have a public pump befre my house :)). Hence, me and my sister always used to crouch in to those halted tractors during the abscense of the driver and steel the grass in it. So, at the end of the day we were the winners of the game. 🙂

During bhogi (the day before the festival of pongal), it used to be a master camp fire (Bhogi Manta) where all our family members would also participate. We, the kids, used to preserv lot of grass from previous three days. Apart of it, My dad also used to ask the farmers to get some from the fields. So, By the next day morning, suddenly a BIG lot of grass appears before us for the camp fire. You don’t believe me, that was the time which we were utmost happy to see such a big amout of it. (Sounds so funny if i think now). Because… More the grass ! More is the time to Burn ! and so More is the fun ! 🙂 🙂

Apart of this, We used to fly lot of kite’s on top my building. We used to go to the small water storages near by for fishing.  We were never successful in catching a fish but were always successfull in geting scoldings from our parents. 🙂

Those were the best days of my life….. (I feel like singing this Brain Adams’s Biggest hit ).

Gone are those days. Now the times are changing with every thing artificial. I am afraid If I will be able to explain to the next generation (my kids) “What is Sankranthi? What is Bhogi ?” etc etc…..!

Whew….! Enough going to flash back. Just Zoom back to present.

Once again Happy Pongal and Have a nice day.

Cheers,

Durga Prasad