Friday Freebies: It’s a Birthday

Well the birthday is not actually today but it is being celebrated today at the university where the university library is named in his honor.  His birthday is tomorrow, March 2.  But hey, it’s Friday, party time and I am sure he would not mind.  He most probably would have loved it today, being surrounded by young folks, many of whom must have Continue reading “Friday Freebies: It’s a Birthday”

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Friday Freebies: Necessity is Mother of Invention

Friday morning started cold and rainy. The thought of going down to the cold garage to make some breakfast leaving a warm bed, certainly was not inviting. Now you may be thinking why I make breakfast in the garage. We started renovation work on our kitchen and so temporarily the kitchen was set up in the garage. As the garage was not originally designed to be used as a kitchen, we have our stove in one corner and the microwave in another corner, the space in between filled with knick knacks and furniture from the living room that also being worked on at the same time. Unfortunately there is no drainage in the garage and no water connection, so the sink and the dish washer could not be hooked up. This old body is getting quite a lot of exercise going up and down the stairs to get water and do some small washing and cleaning. We had to be inventive to reduce use of water as much as possible. Unfortunately it results in unwanted wastes of paper plates, paper towels and plastic cutleries that none of us like. But I digress. As I said, we try to be resourceful to manage with the existing situation. We moved the coffee machine and the toaster to our bedroom so I could have some breakfast on my bed. The eggs can wait.

As I was sipping my coffee in bed, some thoughts came to my mind that I jotted down quickly and sharing below.

Necessity is the mother of invention.
She married poverty and produced frustration.
Dejected, she separated and married wealthy and gave birth to consumption.
Not satisfied, she had a live-in relationship with greedy and fostered corruption.
Now all of us live in confusion and waiting for destruction.

I posted it in a few Whatsapp groups and pat came a response back from my nephew in India : necessity is the mother of invention and obesity is the father of starvation.

Not sure if he was referring to my growing mid-riff. Now I am scratching my head, to starve or not to starve is the question.

I can see the sun through the blinds. Time to get out of the bed. Friday is beckoning to fry some eggs.

Thursday Tidbits: Most Surprising Thing

Not the post I had in mind to write when I got up today morning.  However news that I received through social media first thing in the morning last week, not once but twice, and one of them today morning, made me change my mind

Whenever I have faced emotional issues, I have found myself going back to reading the Indian epic Mahabharata.  Its stories had helped to calm my mind, providing solace and answers to many questions I have in my mind. It’s amazing that an epic that was written thousands of years back are replete with stories addressing issues that are contemporary.

Today morning as I woke up and looked at my Whatsapp messages, I was greeted with a message from on of my friend back home in India regarding the death of one of my ex-colleague.  He was in the ICU for an week prior to his death.  Another ex-colleague who was admitted to the same hospital around that time had passed away couple of days. Continue reading “Thursday Tidbits: Most Surprising Thing”

Thursday Tidbits: Two Countries, Similar Issues

Two countries, one is the oldest functioning democracy and the other the largest democracy. One , where I am a naturalized citizen now and the other, my country of birth.  At this time of my life I have lived nearly half of my life in each country.  Both of them are currently embroiled in the question of immigration.

When I left my country of birth, my home state was undergoing nearly six years of protests and agitations to expel the illegal immigrants from a neighboring country that was threatening to change the demography of the state.  Couple of weeks after I left, an accord was signed between the Prime Minister of the country and the agitating student leaders with an agreement to identify and expel immigrants after a certain date.  This date automatically legitimized people who were illegally coming into the country for more than twenty years after the first National Register of Citizens was prepared. When I arrived in the country that would ultimately be my home, I found that the same issue of illegal immigration was being debated here also.  After nearly a year of my being here, the President of the country signed a sweeping immigration reform bill granting amnesty to nearly three million immigrants who were in the country without proper immigration papers.

Both the accord and the amnesty were supposed to take care of “illegal” immigration for all time to come.  Little that we knew at that time that after nearly three decades the same issue would be disturbing the places that I called home.  We never factored in the politicians and their lack of will to solve burning issues or their willingness to push issues to the next generation for political benefits in the short term.

Now in my country of birth, current Prime Minister and the ruling party is pushing a citizenship amendment bill (CAB) to make all people of certain religious communities coming into the country from three specific countries citizens immediately.  This is being done with an eye to the elections to be held soon this year though the government is trying its best to hide its purpose behind the veil of religious persecution of minorities in those three countries. Unfortunately the government had not raised the issue of religious persecution of a certain community in one of the neighboring country at all in last five years in the UN.  My home state of birth is in turmoil now after three decades of the accord being signed for fear that the indigenous people will be reduced to minority if the CAB is passed and made the law of the land.  This is after more than eight hundred and fifty people had laid down their lives for the cause at the hands of their own country’s police and armed forces. On the other hand, President of the country I call home now has vowed to build a wall to keep immigrants out ( and as per his words to make the country safe) and shutdown the government partially to get his wall built.  Though there is no proof that a wall is a viable solution to keep people away who are desperate to make their lives better or a wall will keep people in the country safe (all the 9/11 perpetrators entered the country legally and were from a friendly country), playing to the emotion and fear of his political base the President has made a mess of the whole immigration issue.

Will the Citizenship Amendment Bill in my country of birth or the wall in the country I call home now solve the issue of immigration for all time to come.  Hardly.  If without addressing the root cause of immigration (which may be a topic of future discussion), political expediency is allowed to shape decisions, we will see a repetition of the issue soon.

Unfortunately in a democracy people get the government they deserve.

trumpmodi

A Walk along Los Alamitos Creek

I did a 8 mile walk along Los Alamitos Creek today.  It had been raining here continuously for last few days. Even as I am writing this post, the house windows are being rattled by gusts of wind. The constant drip drip sound of the rain on the roof is putting me to sleep.

Los Alamitos Creek is about eight miles long, originating in the Santa Cruz Mountains and flowing along the eastern side of Almaden Valley.  The creek joins the Guadalupe River after Almaden Lake. Los Alamitos Creek Trail along the creek is about ten miles long.  The creek becomes a trickle during summer but swells after winter rains.  I wanted to see the creek after the rains and was not disappointed.

As I started from my home, it was cloudy with the sun trying to come out from behind the clouds .28e63dac-bd6b-436e-816f-d5a6c5d0b956 The hills including Mount Umunhum in the west were hazy, covered in rain clouds.  The trail itself is well paved for bicycles, hikers and joggers with small detours that lead from the paved trail to the creek banks in many areas.  I entered the trail after walking about a mile from my home.

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Winter rains had turned the meadows near the creek bed verdant green. Trees, bare naked in winter, against the green meadows and a darkening sky was a sight to behold.c46fbf2c-d2cf-40ff-b804-80e8365237e1_resize

 

The creek becomes a trickle during summer but swells after winter rains.  I wanted to see the creek after the rains and was not disappointed. It was full with gushing waters and looked like a small river.5a7199c0-bb35-46d4-916f-d872776fe193_resize

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As I was about to return, the rains started. It was a slow drizzle at first but became a driving rain by the time I was about a mile from home. Then just as suddenly a huge gust of wind blew the rain away though I could still see the heavy rains on the hills.  I hurried home as fast as I could praying my tired legs would not slip on the wet pavements.  Though I was extremely tired after the long walk, my heart was full and satisfied.

Thursday Tidbits: When Icicles Hang by the Wall

Let me make it clear in the beginning, that title is not mine.  It is the title of one of William Shakespeare’s sonnets from Love’s Labor’s Lost. I will explain below why I chose this title.

During last week of December, 2018 we visited Zion National Park.  There, on our hike on Temple of Sinawava Trail and the trail to the Emerald Pools, we saw icicles hanging by the walls of the majestic cliffs.  This brought back memories from my highschool days , and believe me that was a long long time ago,where our poetry textbook had the poem with the title above  as a required reading.img_4044_icicles3_resizeimg_4100_icicle2_resize Continue reading “Thursday Tidbits: When Icicles Hang by the Wall”

Frolicking Guests of Randol Creek

Rain brings the promise
Nature’s bounty in display
Dry creek starts flowing
Invitation to frolic sent away
Guests arrive from far
It’s play time, nature says
Welcoming creek bosom waits
Opening her heart for guests to play

829c1a57-5326-4356-b436-cb76868dfb60Photo by author, December 16, 2018

The visiting mallards play hide and seek with me.  Whenever I have my camera with me during my walk, they are no where to be seen.  When I have my cell phone they will be out there in force.  Today just happened to be my cell phone only day.  With my dog Skooby in toe, I decided not to go too near.  These birds are skittish and fly really well.  Result is a out of focus photo. Oh well. Hope one day I shall be able to take a BOF photograph.