Minneapolis Today!

Though it is bitterly cold today with dangerous wind chill in Minneapolis, the Sun is shining. And when Sun shines in Minneapolis, it warms heart and spirit. The frozen land gets a feel of magic with the sunlight accentuating the shades and curves of the place. See for yourself!

Driving through Downtown Chicago

Last month, we had a chance to drive through Downtown Chicago! The day was not particularly bright but quite pleasant. I remembered Downtown Minneapolis as we passed along the dominating skyscrapers, and compared the cities. If I may personify them, Minneapolis appears as an extremely beautiful ballerina while Chicago seems to be a gorgeous business woman.

We couldn’t spend much time there but here are a few interesting pictures of Millennium park and surroundings.

The Lake, Wild Flowers and Sunset!

Behold how the lake looks this summer after months of staying frozen and white! Yellow, white, purple and pink wild flowers outline the shimmery delight while the departing Sun gently touches it with scarlet and gold. Suddenly, it is full of life with sweet birds, butterflies and insects. Truly, what a transformation!

Below is the lake in winters….

Amazing, isn’t it! Change is the only constant!

Four Seasons through my window!

Last year, I vowed to capture the beauty of Four Seasons through the window of my house in order to blog it for your enjoyment. Today, on a warm summer day, I finally got all the four pictures.

Summer made the outside world look like this.


When it was Spring…


When it was Fall…

When it was Winter…

Did the music of Four Seasons touch your heart? I hope, it did!

A letter to my classmate!

   
Hello,

Hope this letter finds you good. I felt an immediate need to write to you after visiting your facebook profile via our common friend’s profile. I was looking for a tall, gawky person but saw a different man there – aged with lined face and a pot belly. I was aghast! There was no sign of the boy who would enter the classroom bustling with energy, taking on the world in his languishing stride. 

It seems as if time has flown since I last saw him after our board exams (Kabuliwallah syndrome… remember the story?). We were sixteen then… fresh and so full of excitement to take on the world. I had half expected to find the same boy and initiate a chat with him. But for the first time, I experienced how much the world has changed… how much I have changed! In a flash, I felt being transported from teenage years right into my thirties.

He and I studied together from kindergarten till tenth. Although, we were never best of friends! Infact, I remember the boy was mean to me a number of times and I myself was not a model of good behaviour but we were comfortable around each other. I also visited other classmates via your profile but everyone has changed. Most of us have put on weight, have moved to different places, undergone varied experiences. Life truly has taken a toll on us.

I tried hard to find some semblance, something of the past in your picture but …I gave up.  You looked comfortable around your family…a typical man of the world who goes to work in the morning, returns home tired and waits for dinner to be served at night. Your wife is beautiful and kids are cute. One of them resembles you. I am glad life has been good to you. But again, you are so unlike him. He was fidgety and non-conformist. You are a stereotype family man!

He was ambitious, boisterous and haughty but you seem to avoid confrontations. He questioned everything and you seem to accept everything. I like that you are happy and settled but I liked him better – my happy go lucky classmate who would make the class laugh with his pranks. He was non predictable and creative, you are adjusting with what life has offered you. Good for you!

 I smile thinking that once upon a time,  my classmates were an intrinsic part of my world. I had enjoyed their encouragement and would take any discouragement to heart. Many a times, they were harsh and judgemental.

My classmates held the power to make or break me. I didn’t know then that all this would change so drastically. And that I would no longer have to compete with or conform to anyone’s notions. It felt good when I moved on from teenage angst towards maturity but in the process, I took you all for granted. I had never thought I would never find you all ever again…not in the same way. 

I get nostalgic remembering the last parting image of my classmates – excited bunch of boys and girls who loved to chat,  bitch, scream and dream. Where did they all go?

Lately, some of you crept into my memory and reminded me of those sweet-sour school years. Perhaps, wanting to re-live the past encouraged me to visit your FB page.  I wanted to meet you all and have a chat online. But I guess…I have lost the connect.

If my letter encourages you to find him – the gawky teenager, somewhere deep within you, then kindly let him know that I am thankful to him for being a part of my childhood. 

May be, my letter would make you  curious and you would want to check back my profile. But I warn you – you will hardly recognise me – a married woman with kids. You would not know what to say to me.

But perhaps if you let that tall boy visit my profile, he might find the quiet girl who loved doodling and reading. They will connect, have great conversation and laugh together like youngsters do. Please find and send him once for I am sure we all miss the innocent, musical laughter of our wonder years! Then, may be we will reconnect again with our past.

Best wishes for everything,

Your former friend

  
Images courtesy Google

Balloon Full of Colours for You!

  

Green teeth, yellow hair, red face and blue hands…anything can happen during the festival of colours – Holi. With the onset of Spring, this festival, brightens each and every corner of India with love, forgiveness and togetherness. Even, foreign countries have embraced this fun festival with open arms.

Holi always takes me back to my girlhood days. In those days, we had a large field in front of our house and my father would make arrangements for playing Holi with colours and water. We were a huge family of uncles, aunts, cousins as well as our staff. And we made sure no one stayed dry that day.

  
Since morning, soon after breakfast, we would start playing with coloured as well as mud water till late afternoon. And after having a delicious lunch, we would get dressed and play again with dry colours. We would also pay respect to our elders by colouring their feet in the evening. In return, we were given blessings and sweets followed by an elaborate dinner.

The tradition would bring us closer as one family unit. I had taken those days for granted and yearn to go back to Holi of the yore. Things have changed, times have changed, single families are emerging but vibrant and sweet Holi always remains the same. This festival always encourages community feeling and reunites family members.

  
Holi encourages to reach out to others with the colors of joy. It teaches to love and forgive. It teaches to avoid discrimination of any kind. It teaches to be comfortable with each other through pranks and jokes. It is an amazing festival!

This year will be a dry Holi for me here in America. But I will make sure my kids play a little and know all about it.

Meanwhile, wishing you a very happy, colouful and fantabulous Holi!

Images courtesy Google

Madhubala – Fairest of them all…

  Arched eyebrows, classic features, mischievious smile…the Venus of the silver screen was born to captivate the very heart of India! Yes, I am talking about Madhubala, who was and remains the most beautiful actress of Indian film industry.

Her face had an unforgettable charm and expressions were priceless. No wonder, her popularity went beyond borders. She appeared in American magazine Theatre Arts in 1952. The magazine remarked, “The biggest star in the world, and she’s not in Beverly Hills.”

  

The first para says – “The actress with the greatest following, in numbers and devotion, is not to be found in Hollywood, but on the opposite side of the planet – in Bombay, India.” At that time, she was just nineteen. She had joined the film industry at the age of nine and never looked back.

    
Large languishing eyes, full lips and an aquiline nose, the camera couldn’t help loving her. Also, her unique appeal arose from a combination of personality traits – playfulness, sensuosness and innocence. She never looked wanton or cheap in her movies rather dignified and adorable. 

Who can forget her lovely expressions in the following song sequences  – Aaiye Meherbaan, Mohe Panghat Pe, Ik Pardesi Mera Dil Le Gaya? It seemed that she  tantalized the camera with every move. She was truly an actress par excellence.

It was a pity she died young at the age of 36 after going through trying times in personal life owing to break up with the superstar Dilip Kumar. She married the versatile singer actor Kishore Kumar but could not enjoy marital bliss for long as she fell terribly sick due to a heart disease.

  

 Here are some pictures of the timeless beauty, whose face still seems to be attracting fans. She continues to be every artists’s dream portrait and every poet’s muse in India.