A Swedish Winter

Postcards from Sweden: Stockholm, Täby, Kiruna, Nikkaluokta and Abisko National Park (November 2016)

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Riksdagshuset (The Parliament House), Stockholm

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Strandvägen, Stockholm

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Gamla Stan, Stockholm

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Nordic Museum, Stockholm

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Stockholm City (Photo: Sagar Behere)

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Fika‘: Coffee, Rulltårra and Pepperkakor

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Life as usual: Grindtorp, Täby 

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Ride on a sled to school :  Täby 

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‘Snow lamp’ :  Täby 

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‘Snow tulips’ :  Täby 

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View of LKAB mine from Kiruna 

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The LKAB museum: 500 meter under ground (world’s largest underground iron ore mine)

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The LKAB museum: 500 meter under ground (Photo: Sagar Behere)

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Town Hall, Kiruna (Kiruna will be relocated two miles to the east in perhaps the most ambitious urban relocation project so far this century)

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E10 from Kiruna to Abisko

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Train station, Abisko

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Abisko National Park (Photo: Sagar Behere)

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9Northern Lights over lake Torneträsk, Abisko National Park (Photo: Sagar Behere)

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America …it’s different!

American dream is, ” that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone” as described by James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America (1931). Well a lot of data and analysis will be needed to figure out if the dream has been realized but living in the USA one can definitely say America..it’s different! and this is how it is different.

As one enters the United States (while still in the aircraft) one starts experiencing the difference as crew member announces landing of the aircraft and informs outside temperature in Degree Fahrenheit.

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Degree Celsius ….> Degree Fahrenheit  

Vehicles take right side of the road so the driver sits on the left side of the car unlike India where the traffic uses left side of the road (well 65% of the world populatin drives on the right side of the road).

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Distances are measured in miles and speed in MPH (miles per hour).

20161101_151346Speedometer (mph) and Odometer (miles)

Likewise  (mass in technical terms) is quantified in pounds (lb) and ounces (oz) versus Kilograms (kg) and grams (gm); volume in Gallon versus liters.

Chocolate slabs lb and milk half gallon

There is no standard selling price.For instance, same grade of petrol or gasoline is charged differently by different companies. Same grade of gasoline from a particular company is charged differently in different locations within the city.

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Gasoline prices from gas stations across the street

The manufacturer does not specify date of manufacturing but a ‘sell by’ date is mentioned on perishable goods like milk, egg, bread etc.

20161101_155955A ‘sell by’ date

Also some of the day to day words and phrases are different here. For instance a take away or parcel meal is ‘to go’. A speed breaker is referred as a bump, a manual transmission vehicle is referred as ‘stick shift’ (denoting the gear shift lever).

America …it’s different but different for all those who have some other country to compare it with. In fact each country is different in its own way, it is the people who look at it with different perspective.

 

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Unique Marathi Literature From My Memory

Marathi literature is a treasure. With a history of over thousand years, here are some of the precious jewels I had an opportunity to behold.

*: Translation in English available

  1. Children’s Literature

skjxsManache Shlok* (A dialogue with the mind): Simple, effective and powerful shlokas (verses) to introduce kids to have dialogue with mind. Composed in 17th century A.D. by Samarth Ramdas, the 205 verses train the mind to deal with different emotions like fear, anger, sorrow, happiness and can help improve emotional quotient. Traditionally kids in Maharashtra have been reciting Manache Shlok every evening, at twilight, sitting in front of a glowinglamp.

Sampurna Panchatantra* (Animal Fables): This book consists of original Sanskrit text (composed around 300 B.C.) by Vishnu Sharma and its translation in Marathi by V.B. Tamhankar. Through animal fables, the book educates children in niti (wise conduct of life). Panchtantra are believed to be perfect bed time stories for kids to understand, reflect and contemplate on righteous behavious.

Balgeet (songs for children) :Toddlers are introduced to literature through balgeet. These songs explore nature, relations, animals, birds, places, things and emotions as relevant to children in fun and lyrical way. Balgeet stimulate children’s imagination, curiosity and observation. With technology balgeet are available on YouTube, App store and Google Play.

Novels –’Faster Fene’* a series of novels written by B.R.Bhagwat in 60s narratedetective and adventures of a kid named Banesh Fene with nick name Faster Fene. Plot of each novel takes Faster Fene to different parts of India with different mysteries to solve. Like solving mystery of ghost in Gujarat, terrorists in Kashmir and smugglers in Mumbai. The stories are full of adventure, humour, omprobable escapes and anxiety.

Shyamchi Aai* by Sane Guruji, Bokya Satbandeby Dilip Prabhavalkar,

ComicsChintoo by Charuhas Pandit and Prabhakar Wadekar.

MagazinesChampak, Thakthak, Chandoba

2. Performing Arts:kathakcostumemogul

Hindustani Sangeet Paddhati (Treastise on Hindustani classical music): A detailed study and discussion of the fundamentals of music, notation and technical explanation of 150 ragas of Hindustani music were documented by Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande in the early 20th century.

Kirtanrangini and Kiratan Prayog Prakriya: Kirtan or Keertan is an art of spiritual teaching or create awareness amongst masses through a peculiar storytelling method supported by music and poetry. Kirtanrangini by Panduranga Moghe includes various Kirtan compositions and Kirtanachi Prayog Prakriya deals with the fundamentals of Kirtan.

3. Culinary Art

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Baravya Shatakatil Khadya Sanskriti: Food and diet in India during the 12th century A.D., its connection with health, and scientific method of preparations of various cuisines has been described in this book by Dr Varsha Joshi and Dr Hema Khirsagar.

Swayampakghartil Vidyan (Science in the Kitchen): Book by Dr Varsh Joshi describes the scientific approach in cooking.

Ruchira*: A definitive guide to Maharashtrain cooking. Author Kamlabai Ogale shares traditional recipes, she inherited from her grandmother, mother and mother-in-law.

4. Mathematics

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Lilavati Punardarshan : Lilavati is a treatise in mathematics composed by Bhaskaracharya II in the 12th century A.D. Prof. N.H. Phadke constructed proof and derivations of several mathematical methods, formulae and translated the Sanskrit Lilavati in Marathi. English translation of this book is available by name Lilavati of Bhaskaracharya

Ganak Yantra Manav: Dattatray KaprekarA book by Prof. Dileep Gotkhindikar on Mathematician Kaprekar and his numbers was recently published. Kaprekar was a mathematics teacher and had discovered results in number theory and described various properties of numbers. The book describes discoveries by Kaprekar.

 

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Unusual Photos

Some funny, some weird, some adventurous, some kind gestures or simply put some unusual photos –

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Brides and Bridegrooms enjoying a quick tea break at a roadside tea stall in Hanoi, Vietnam

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Heard of tree house, first time saw a tree shop, Hanoi

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Shop between rails: A lady selling grapes at Railway Station Nashik, India

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Never thought cars would be so affordable in the USA that they will be used as garden beds! California, USA

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The baggage of making money: A young student carrying an advertisement on his back, Singapore

Free Library: someone put a library outside their home and the plate alongside reads “Keep a book or return it or bring back one of your own Enjoy It” also translated in Spanish. California, USA

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Who needs a ladder to fix a bulb on the ceiling of a petrol pump (gas station)? Nashik, India

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Bumper to bumper : Four cars parked San Francisco, USA

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DIY Eco-conscious Living

Here are a few things I made from corrugated paper boxes and other junk. These are superb in function, easy and fun to make, arty yet cheap and most importantly environmentally conscious products for environmentally conscious people and their lifestyle.

Shoe rack from general packing box

Bedside table from printer box, shelf from cooking pan box

Flipflops from general packing boxes and id card string 

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Dust bin or trash bin from coffee urn box

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Pots for plants from half cut milk can and ‘use and throw’ plastic box

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Pen stand from milk carton

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Letter or bill organizer from partition from a cold drink carton

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Well it does not need  fancy equipment, just a cutting knife, a good tape (I used Gorilla tape and transparent cello tape) a pencil and lots of brain 😉

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Alamere Falls, Point Reyes

Postcards from 8 Mile Hike Alamere Falls in Point Reyes, California (May 2016)

IMG_1551Map: Palomarin Trailhead
2On the trail

3Overlooking the Pacific

4       Walking through shade and sun

5             Bass Lake

7Into the woods

8 Poisonous Oak

9              The final stretch

12              The final stretch

10      The Alamere Fall

11                The Alamere Fall joining the Pacific

13         Seagull

14            Flying together

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Assam and Arunachal Pradesh

Postcards from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh (October, November 2012) – Ziro, Hong Village, Hapoli, Shivling (A.P.), Guwahati, Nalbari, Hajo, Sualkochi, Majuli, Tejpur, Khatkhati, Dibrugarh, Dhemaji (Assam)

‘Here to stay’ A cloud settled in the Ziro Valley

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Rice fields – Ziro valley

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Hong Apatani Village 

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Hong Apatani Village

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Sidheshwar Nath Temple, Ziro

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House in Ziro

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Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati

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River Brahmaputra, Guwahati 

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House in Nalbari

Haju Temple

Hayagriva Madhab Mandir (temple),Hajo

Durga Puja Pandal, Dhemaji

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Tea gardens, Khatkhati

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House in Khatkhati

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Kids, Khatkhati

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Village life, Khatkhati

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River Brahmaputra, Golaghat

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Crossing the Brahmaputra, ferry from Golaghat to island Majuli

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Majuli

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Satra, Majuli

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Satra in Sualkochi

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Exhibit displaying silk weaving, Sualkochi (Manchester of India)

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Garampani Wildlife Sanctuary 

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Costumes from different states of North East India.

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