Recently Captured :)

Our long weekend will be ending in about 5 hours from now and what a wonderful weekend it was. S, I and couple of our friends went to Blemheim Palace near Oxford City. Except for the cloudy weather and the elaborate history on the life of Sir Winston Churchill at the Palace, it was excellent. The gardens were beautiful. Apparently, the current resident of the Palace is John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough (No…I didn’t by heart the whole thing…I cut and paste it :D) and how lucky is he to be living in such a beautiful place.

The pictures below were taken in one of the palace gardens’ called the ‘Secret Garden’…sounds mystical doesn’t it? And it is equally beautiful. Two of the pics below…

PS: I thought the pictures looked good in Black & White. If anyone wants to take a look at the coloured ones….let me know 🙂 Hope you guys like ’em.

I will also be posting some pics of Jousting.…sport of the rich and noble 😀 If you don’t know what I mean…watch A Knight’s Tale starring the late Heath Ledger. So Stay Tuned….! 

8 Things About Me You Didn’t Know :)

Thanks Liju for tagging me on this one 🙂 I love writing about myself. So when I was reading Homemaker’s blog about some of the things she likes…I decided to write one for myself and that is when Liju tagged me:)

I am doing this whilst watching Law and Order – Criminal Intent. So if you find some irrelevant stuff…please ignore! 😀

Here goes,

Eight things I am passionate about

  1. Travelling
  2. Photography
  3. Movies
  4. Music & Dance (Since they go together)
  5. History
  6. Books
  7. Social Work (Children and Women)
  8. and most importantly My Family!

Eight things I want to do before I die

  1. Skydiving. I am an Acrophobic.…so me going Skydiving is a BIG DEAL!
  2. Learn to ride a Bicycle and graduate to riding a Bike. I know. You guys might think I am pathetic…not knowing how to ride a bicycle? I fell once while riding on a slope and I haven’t given it a try since….and I was 10 yrs old then. The same goes for Swimming. So basically, I want to try and accomplish all the things I am scared of and overcome my fear
  3. Involve myself in the upliftment of abused, destitute and vulnerable Children and Women…not just by writing cheques but my including in person with the various NGO’s working for them at grassroot level. God Willing, one day, I will set up one of my own
  4. Travel the whole world…from the Americas to Australia…From Iceland to South Africa. To keep it simple….wherever there is Oxygen and Water 🙂
  5. Go on a tour of India. Discover the various temples, mosques, churches and many other religious places my country is the birth place of…the wonderful beaches, the ancient architechture, the ghat sections, the sanctuaries…everything!!!
  6. Get a body like Deepika Padukone 😀
  7. Watch my country ruled by politicians who have B**** to say NO to the West. Indian public who will treat everyone equally and a Governemt which will not divide us on the basis of Caste and Religion. Upliftment of the scores of people who still live under the poverty line and see the Capital Punishment being implemented on convicted Rapists and Paedophiles (This list will go on…so I will stop here until the next person tags me on this 🙂
  8. Last but not the least..work in the NHS. It’s been long avoiding me…but before I leave this country, I’d want to work….even for a month…and say ‘Mission Accomplished’!

Eight things I say often

  1. Mentlaa (as in Mental’aa’)
  2. This is called S*** with a Cherry on Top 😀
  3. Waste Fellow
  4. Chaaaa…..Nijanganaaa
  5. Antha Scene Ledu
  6. Over actionoddu (as in Over Action Vaddu)
  7. Bore Koduthundiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii 😦
  8. and the classic South Indian expression – Ayyayyoooooo  (my all time fav) 😀

Eight Two books I have read recently

  1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  2. Days That Changed the World by Hywel Williams

Eight songs I could listen to over and over

Eight’s a little difficult…’cuz I got loadzzzz of them…but I will try and reduce it to eight with a mix of Hindi, Telugu and English Songs

Eight things that attract me to my friends

I can think of one…for the rest….you’ll have to ask them 😀

  1. My ability to continuously blabber…..sense and nonsense!

Njoy!!!

Weekend Dhamaka and Disappointment!!

I have been feeling so jealous lately!! While browsing through some of the blogs on my blogroll, I happened to ‘bump into’ some very wonderful blogs written by women…just the regular stuff really…about life, love, food, books etc etc. That was what I wanted to do…that was the intention for me to start this blog and  either my adopter gets screwed on a timely basis or I am too lazy to switch on the computer and write.

Well anyways, coming to the events of the last weekend….it was ROCKING!!! I was off the Shef for the weekend and it was also the weekend when the cultural evening of the Uni of Shef was being held. I studied for my undergraduate course there and I simply love university life. Shef Students Union is one of the best (if not the best) unions’ in UK with students from various walks of life, cultures and religions. It has a very strong student community. The last time I went to the cultural evening was back in 2004 with S before we were married. Four years later, I was back there to get a taste of Uni life…as in the late night partying n stuff 😉

All dressed up, we girls left our place in the cold. I am sure it was freezing temp outside. One of our frnds’ was in the fashion show and the other was dancing for the Indian Society. The job myself and this other frnd was to shout and support the indian society when ever they came on stage; the duty which I gladly obliged :D. The Indian society went onto with the second prize that night for the best performance which I think was totally not worth it! There were other societies like the Srilankan, Tibetan Chinese Society, The Chinese Society, Afro-Carribean Society and the Japanese society who performed exceptionally well. Over the years, I have always watched the Indian Society and the Hindu Students Forum dance for bollywood songs. Apparently, that is what they consider Indian culture to be.

When my parents studied abroad many many years ago, they tell me that Indian students would play traditional instruments like the tabla, veena etc and perform our traditional dances like the Bharatanaytam, Kathakali etc to showcase our culture. Now, showcasing our (Indian) culture means dancing on a couple fo bollywood songs…and that too the likes of Aaja Nachlay and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. As a devout Indian…I will support the society by yelling and jumping in my seat whenever then come on stage…but deep inside my heart, I know I am disappointed about the narrow view of ‘India’ they are showing to the people around them who wouldn’t have been to India atall. The only opinion they will make of India is what what they see in the songs…probably the bright colour of the clothes, the jumps and twists and the bhangra!

After the night came to an end, I told my friends what I thought and they simply said…’this is what sells today…this is what people want to see…and that is what we gave them’. I asked them why the Indian society cannot do more to showcase what comes from the south aswell…like Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi or Kathakali. Why does it always have to start and end with Bhangra or the jhatak mataks of a Bollywood song? Why is not the culture of the south shown to the world as much as of the north and they did not have an answer. I am sure some of them thought I was crazy to think of all this after a night of fun and dance. I am sure they wondered why I was thinking about this so seriously…I was just supposed to watch, clap, yell, jump, dance and then leave. But the thoughts still linger with me. Some of our foreign friends who came upto us and to chat said ‘oh…..your bollywood society did really well and we had to tell them that it was actually Indian and not Bollywood’.

I am scared when I think that in 20 years time the only culture India will end up with is the ‘Bollywood Culture’. We have so much more to offer. What will happen to our traditional musicians and classical dancers if we don’t learn to appreciate what they do? Most of them are arleady living in poverty…not having enough food to eat. The youth of India these days has the money to buy a cd of Eminem or Rhianna when they do not even give a second look for a M S Subbalakshmi, Balamurali Krishna or a Zakir Hussain cd. Remember, the names mentioned above were lucky to be recognised by the public and the government alike…but there are many classical musicians, dancers who have equally good talent but are given a ‘blind eye’ by our society.

I don’t blame globalisation for all this. Being a young Indian woman, if I can appreciate what my country has…why cant others?? Where are we going wrong?

Neelakurinji

PS: Click on the image for its full size

|I took this picture when we went on a tour of a ‘Spice Garden’ near Munnar in Kerala.

Below is some fascinating information for those interested about the flowe in the picture.

The Neelakurinji or Kurinji is a unique shrub species that blooms in Munnar and the hills across Western Ghats. Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) belongs to the family of Acanthaceae. The species name Kunthiana has been derived from the River Kunthi. The genus has around 300 species, of which at least 46 occur in India.

Apart from its beauty, is that it blooms only once in 12 years. The mass flowering and subsequent death of the Kurinji is the subject of hill folklore.

Neela means blue in Malayalam language and Kurinji is the local name of the flower. For those in Munnar, the blooming of Kurinji flower is a reminder that their lives have gone past another twelve years and for those from far off places it maybe once in a life time opportunity to witness the Kurinji flowers covering the hills of Munnar in a blanket of blue.

More about the flower here.

Happy Ugadi

Here’s Wishing all my readers a Very Happy Ugadi 🙂

For those who are wondering what I am on about….here’s further information on Ugadi. Let’s pray for Love and Happiness to all 🙂

I visited the Venkateshwara Temple in Birmingham yesterday and how beautiful it was. I first visited the temple when it was no more than a couple of concrete buildings. It now looks like a proper temple, as if it were in India. I’d suggest everyone to visit it … even if you are not a religious person… simply because it’s peaceful and beautiful. The place makes you forget all wordly matters and lets you unwind.

Here’s just some shots I took yesterday

The Main Temple