Today was a good day


When I saw last week’s photo challenge on daily post, it sounded interesting. But I kept thinking what constitutes a good day for me. Just a week before the photo challenge I had the opportunity to click some nice pictures of my daughter playing on patio and in our backyard. It was early evening and we all had fun hanging out together enjoying our new home. I felt good and peaceful spending time away from work, phone and capturing beautiful memories for us. So, when I saw the photo challenge “Today was a good day”, I immediately thought of this day with my family. The more I thought about it, I came up with below list of things that would make a good day for me.

  1. See my little one laugh and giggle.
  2. Relaxing with a good cup of masala or ginger chai.
  3. Making bread
  4. Spending quality time with my family.
  5. Eating tasty food.
  6. Doing something creative – photography, blogging or cooking.
  7. Seeing the forest behind feeling peaceful with birds chirping in the background.

The list might go on but the post really made me think what I want from a good day. Basically, to be happy and remember to appreciate life.

 
A Good day to you 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/today-was-a-good-day/

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Fun in miniature size


It’s been a while since I have held my SLR. To tell the truth, I have become lazy to carry it on my regular evening walks or while traveling. You see I like to travel light and on my evening walks I just want to enjoy the fresh air after working from home almost 9 hours. So, my camera has been sitting in it’s bag throwing tantrums to go out. I have made a promise to it, this weekend is all about street photography. For a long time now, I have been thinking about photographing the streets of Chicago and I hate missing moments such as the one in picture below. I took it from the back seat of a cab with my iPhone 5 camera. It’s quite good but I just missed my Nikon.

Another reason for not using SLR is that I have been thinking about what I want to photograph. Bro always tells me that my photographs are good but they are missing depth. I never understood what he was trying to say until I read “Veil of Roses” by Laura Fitzgerald. The protagonist in this book is an Iranian woman who comes to USA and for the first time in her life feels free, like a bird out of her cage. She see freedom everywhere, in everything and records it with her camera. This made me realize that I want to feel connected to my photos. Even though I am just an amateur photo enthusiastic, I want to find out what I like about photography and why do I want to click a picture. Hopefully, I will find it soon.

Anyways, just look at those two kids having fun. They look so beautiful and happy.

Fun in miniature size

Fun in miniature size

A friend in a sibling


My mother once told me how much I missed her when my brother was born. I was 2 and a half years old and would throw tantrums on every visit to the hospital. Later, I was the one who named my baby brother.

~~~

Didi, wake up. It’s 8am and the cartoon show is going to start”. This is how my brother would wake me up every Sunday to watch “The flying house” cartoon on Doordarshan (India’s national channel).

~~~

As we progressed to secondary (middle) school, we started discussing school and family issues in our kitchen at 10pm in the night.  That’s when we started sharing and supporting each other. Of course, we did not stop fighting and scratching each others faces with fingernails. And sometimes we would just have a pillow fight for fun.

~~~

While growing up, my brother didn’t like to attend family functions. So, I would convince my mom to let him stay home. He was very good at studies (among top 5 students in his class) and was the shining star of our family. I was talkative and less studious than him. Many times I felt jealous of his looks and the fact that he was a boy. As a male child, he was treated like a king and would not fetch his own lunch/dinner plate at home. But that changed once I complained and he listened :-). He has always been a good listener.

~~~

Start of Cartoon Network in India was a disastrous year for me. Our whole summer vacation would go in watching Cartoon Network. Thanks to my lil sibling’s stubbornness, I like action films and enjoy watching all kinds of films from romantic to action to anime.

My movie companion for Matrix, LOTR and Harry potter, I remember us being glued to the TV every time these movies were On. We watched “The Matrix” almost 10 times and would then have a long discussion after the movie trying to understand it. We were also  fascinated by the action scenes in “Two towers” and wished we knew sword fighting.

~~~

Having a sibling is like having a friend in family. You can confide in them and feel like your whole family is there supporting you.

What do you think? Are you best friends with your brother or sister?

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How do you really know you love something?


My mind was intrigued by this question while sorting recent pictures from our thanksgiving trip. I remembered how happy I was capturing each photo and as I clicked more, my happiness was multiplied which in turn led to new ideas. I had a wide smile and was surprised for every picture I viewed as I did not remember capturing many of them. I felt a tingling in my heart and realized for the first time how much I loved taking photos. Then I thought of the times I have said I loved my job and started wondering if it were true. You see I like my field of work and learn a lot every day. I never get bored at work except when I am feeling lazy and do not feel like working. But I have never felt as happy as I feel with a camera in my hand. I guess I should say I like my job instead of love.

Had a lot of fun while taking these mirrored self portraits. What is it that you love doing and brings happiness your life?

Mirrored Self Portrait take while driving

Mirrored Self Portrait take while driving

Mirrored Self Portrait - husband's sun glasses :-)

Mirrored Self Portrait – husband’s sun glasses 🙂

Mirrored Self Potrait


Digital Photography School” aka DPS is my stop for photography tips. They host a weekly photo challenge & this week it’s mirrored self portrait challenge. It’s exciting to try new styles of photography & below is my submission. I was born into Jainism & this self portrait depicts my belief in the religion. Even though I am not a strict follower, there are many practical applications that I apply to my everyday life. We pray in this pose and believe every life is sacred even the micro-organisms in the air. Hence, the cloth to cover the mouth while chanting mantras.

What is the one thing that you follow from your religion every day?

Mirrored Self Portrait

Vacationing in the middle of the world


You just need to know the words “Ia Orana (yo-rah-nah)” (Hello) & “Mauru’ uru (mah-roo-roo)” (Thank you) in Tahitian to receive a hearty welcome from the locals in Bora Bora. I am reminded of their warmth, smiling faces & island’s beautiful lagoon & greenery while writing this post. I was so sad to depart from this wonderful land in the middle of pacific ocean that I almost cried like a child. It was the best place my husband has ever taken me. I was telling him again & again how happy I was that he decided to take me to Bora Bora for our honeymoon.

A land of changing blue colored water, coconut trees, coral reef & various water activities. I was a bit worried regarding the later due to the lack of swimming skills but once you learn how to float in water, you can go for most of the activities. There are shallow & deep water reefs. So, for a non-swimmer, shallow water reefs are a blessing. You can see different corals, fishes & you can even take some bread to feed the fishes. A bunch of them will come running towards you upon releasing a tiny piece of bread. And if you put your fingers near them, you can feel their sharp mouth as they try to eat your finger thinking it’s food. It’s an amazing experience.

You feel the same when you go for scuba diving. There is a beginner course & you also get a certificate from Bora diving center. I had an incredible diving experience, thanks to my instructor. All you need to do is trust your instructor, remember the diving signs & instructions on proper breathing inside water. We dived 6m deep in pacific ocean & believe me, you forget the world outside. The unknown underwater space will make you curious enough to forget that you are breathing with your mouth using a cylinder. Only after coming out of the water you regret for not having gills.

The Eco Tour was fun as we snorkeled with Stingrays & Sharks & picnicked on a small private island which reminded me of the movie cast away. Our guide sang Tahitian songs playing his Ukelele while driving the boat. I felt like we were part of a movie having this water adventure with unknown people & place.

We also got a chance to do Para sailing. Soaring 300m high above the islands we could see the pacific ocean surrounding the lagoon, a tiny over water bungalow that was our hotel room, uphill & ground level houses on the main island & the small boat that we were hanging from. It was like an open airplane with the same bumpy ride 😉 (bumpy while descending). Overall, we had many new experiences with water activities. My favorite one was my husband teaching me how to float & swim in water. I was afraid of even floating or putting my head inside water. But, after this trip, I have fallen in love with it.

We explored a bit of main Bora island, it’s culture & people one evening. We went for a walk observing the houses with jet ski, cars/bikes passing by, busy walking locals & tourists, kids playing, open spaces with kayaks & boats lying around etc. The weather was humid, houses made with cement & coconut tree roofs, clothes drying on a rope, kids playing outside their house, dance gathering & classes in open grounds, roadside food stalls and the always smiling people reminded me of India. We made some good acquaintances with the staff at Sofitel Private Island hotel. The cook Maia-Rai, the helpful receptionist Celest, lunch lady Leah, Yoga teacher Menuella & Mr. Giovanni the beach manager. We got to know a bit about their life and shared some of ours. For example, Maa-Rai, the cook also plays Ukulele  in weddings, Menuella loved the place so much that she moved from Italy, Celest has a mother-in-law who is an Aishwarya Rai fan & Giovanni has 6 kids (4 girls & 2 boys). We also got to know some hard truth like Celest has a constant job that lasts for only 4 months & Giovanni has a family in another island called Raiatea & sees them once in two weeks to keep his job. We wondered about other locals in similar situation. Inspite of having temporary jobs & living away from their family, these people did not complain about anything. They were happy & reminded me of how lucky we all are who have had good education, good jobs & stable life. Something to think about.

Mauru’ uru! :-).

The beautiful lagoon of Bora Bora

Shell Horn blown by Sofitel hotel staff to welcome new guests.

Main island roads..

And finally…Me scuba diving 🙂

Fact: Did you know Bora Bora does not have any hospitals? Do not panic…they are located in the neighboring island of Raiatea & they have helicopter services for any emergencies :-).