Is Something Wrong With My Brain?

There is a delay in extending my hand for a handshake whenever I meet or greet someone and I am afraid people may think I am rude. Things became serious when at a recent function I met a bunch of people and this delay in extending my right hand was evident….EACH time!

Was something wrong with my brain or the nervous system or with my hand?

After a lot of OVER thinking I realized the delay was not in greeting people because my hands would instantly take ‘Namaste’ position; but the delay was in extending my hand for a handshake.

20170929_130635Greeting with a ‘Namaste’

Why do my hands take ‘Namaste position’ whenever I meet or greet someone? Initially I thought it could be a habit, with time it would change and I will get use to a handshake or a hug! It took me two days to be comfortable with left hand drive cars driving on the right side of the road in the US. So I assumed my hands and nervous system were working fine. Now the entire focus was on the brain as it will be two years now since I moved to the west, must have met over 2000 people and yet I experience a delayed response from my hand for greeting people with a handshake.

To solve this problem I drew a ‘journey map’ for this meet – and – greet scene.

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Journey Map (ha ha ) for meet – and – greet

STEP 3 eeeee!!! Found it! It was step 3 that was taking time. Logically either the brain was slow or there was a bug in processing a particular situation or it was processing some huge data.

With some copyright testing methods;) here is the conclusion… DIRECT…  I figured out that my brain runs an algorithm that scans possibilities of where the person’s hand or my hand would have been before a hand shake (seems like my brain is working on machine learning principles..yay!!!) and from the pool of over thousand images, here are a few samples it process…(rest left to the reader’s imagination)

2            Image source


Image source : Wikimedia Commons


Image Source :

1 Image Source :


Image source: Flickr

Scanning all these images without taking microseconds my brain sends signal to my hands for the best possible way to greet – Namaste … my hands follow…BUT …when the other person extends hand, there is this external stimulus that takes a few microseconds to reverse everything.

May be the problem with my brain is despite so many instances it still gives signals to execute best (most hygienic and healthy) solution; not learning like machines –  that we are humans 🙂



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हमखास जेवण करायची गोष्ट :१

“टीव्ही समोर असल्या शिवाय जेवतच नाही”, ” जेवण करायला खूप वेळ लावते”, मुलं जेवताना तुम्हाला जर अश्या समस्या असतील तर ही गोष्ट तुमच्या मदतीस येऊ शकेल.

हमखास जेवण करायची गोष्ट :१ हिमेस आणि कांताबेन


एक हिमेस असतो. तो हिंदी चित्रपटाची गाणी बनवत असतो. तो लहान असताना कांताबेन त्याला सांभाळत असते. एक दिवस त्याला एका गाण्याला संगीतबद्ध करायच (music द्यायच) असत. पण त्याला काही केल्या चाल (music ) सुचत नाही. तेवढ्यात त्याला कांताबेन ची आठवण येते. तो लहान असताना जेवायला खूप वेळ लावत असे आणि मग कांताबेन त्याला जेवण भरवत असे. जेवण भरवताना ” अरे हिमेस आ कर आ…आ….आ………….” (मुलांनी आ केल्यावर पटकन एक घास भरवा) एक्दम त्याला आयडिया येते आणि तो गाणं बनवतो – आ आ …आशिकीमे ‘तेरी….. जा जा …जाएगी जॉ मेरी (परत आ केल्या वर अजून एक घास भरवा). …आ आ ….आशिकीमे ‘तेरी….. जा जा …..जाएगी जॉ मेरी

काही दिवसांनी त्याला एक नवीन गाण बनवायचा असत पण परत त्याला काही सुचत नसत. पुन्हा त्याला कांताबेन ची आठवण येते. तो लहान असताना ती त्याचा अभ्यास घ्यायची आणि १,२,३,४,५,६,७,८,९,१०,११,१२ ( बारा ..आ नंतर एक घास) झाल कि त्याला पुढे आठवायचच नाही. मग कांताबेन म्हणायची, ” अरे हिमेस बारानंतर तेरा तेरा तेरा”. (तेरा ..आ…अजून एक घास). मग हिमेस ला एक आयडिया येते आणि तो गाण बनवतो – दिलकी….सुरख दिवारोंपे …नाम तेरा तेरा ..नाम तेरा तेरा… नाम तेरा तेरा आ आ आ ..नाम तेरा तेरा (तेरा अजून एक घास).

हे दोन्ही गाणी सुपरहिट झाल्यावर हिमेसला वाटतं प्रत्येक गाण कांताबेन ला आठवूनच बनवावे. मग तो अजून एक गाण बनवतो ऊऊऊऊ हुजूऊऊऊर तेरा तेरा तेरा (तेरा आ – घास भरवायला विसरू नका) सुरुऊऊऊर, … तेरा तेरा तेरा सुरुऊऊऊर.

असच एकदा गाण बनवताना हिमेसला आठवत कि पाहुणे आले कि कांताबेन त्याला सांगायची,” हिमेस या म्हण या आ आ”. आणि हिमेस गाण बनवतो आशिक बनायाआ आ आ …आशिक बनायाआ आ आ ..आशिक बनायाआ आ आ ..आपने.

असे गाणे बनवून हिमेस ची झाली गोष्ट आणि भरल तुमचं पोष्ट (खरोखरच).

Disclaimer / अस्वीकारण : गोष्टीतले सगळे गाणे खरे असले तरी पात्र काल्पनिक आहेत. हिमेस चा हिमेश रेशमिया शी काहीही संबंध नाही. हि गोष्ट फक्त मुलांना जेवण भरवण्याच्या हेतूनेच लिहिलेली आहे.


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Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon and Zion National Park

Postcards from Kanab, Zion National Park, Page, Antelope Canyon, Powell Lake, Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon (North Rim), and Pink Coral Sand Dunes State Park.


LowerAntelope Canyon , Page

20170711_075009LowerAntelope Canyon , Page


Coming out of the Canyon (photo: Sagar Behere)

20170711_103900Antelope Canyon by boat, Lake Powell


Horseshoe bend (couldn’t capture the lower arc of the Colorado)


Horseshoe Bend (photo: Swapna Mirashi)

20170711_140217 (1)Glen Canyon Dam hydroelectric power plant

20170712_121510Grand Canyon North Rim view from Bright Angel Point


Artifacts by Native Americans and Indians at the North Rim visitor center shop


Amphitheater at the North Rim campground (we attended a talk on Condor by Ranger Matt)


Wild Flowers at Cape Royal, North Rim


Pink Coral Sand Dunes, State Park, Utah


Desert Bighorn Sheep near Checkerboard Messa in Zion National Park


Narrows, hiking through the Virgin river, Zion National Park (photo: Sagar Behere)


Highway 9 from Las Vegas to Zion National (photo: Sagar Behere)20170714_170204

Sculpture by Vladimir Kush at the Kush Fine Art Gallery, Las Vegas

Screenshot from 2017-07-18 16:05:05

Route: Day 1: San Francisco flight to Las Vegas – Kanab (drive through Zion National Park); Day 2: Kanab – Page( Antelope Canyon, Powel Lake, Glen Canyon Dam, Horseshoe bend) – Kanab; Day3 : Kanab – North Rim Grand Canyon – Kanab; Day4: Kanab – Zion National Park – Las Vegas flight to SFO.

Something Interesting: We booked a tour of Lower Antelope Canyon (Page, Arizona) scheduled at 8:20 a.m. and started driving from Kanab, Utah at 7:15. According to google maps it would take around one hour eleven minutes to reach Page which is about 74 miles east of Kanab. We were afraid of being late! As we reached to the tour office, lady at the ticket window asked if we would like to go for a 7:30 a.m. tour? When I asked her what was the current time, she replied 7:25 a.m.! This was quite fascinating for us as we drove east and yet gained time.

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हामखास झोप येण्याची गोष्ट – १

लहान मुलं झोपायच्या आधी ‘गोष्ट सांग’ असा हट्ट करतात. एक गोष्ट झाल्यावर अजून एक आणि अजून एक मात्र झोपेचा काही पत्ता नसतोच. मग गोष्ट सांगणाऱ्याला (झोपवणाऱ्या व्यक्तीला जेव्हा स्वतःलाच झोप येते त्यावेळेस) कापूस कोंड्याची गोष्ट किंवा ‘एक चिमणी येते एक दाणा खाते भूर उडून जाते’ अश्या काही गोष्टींचा आश्रय घ्यायला लागतो. असा जर अनुभव तुम्हाला आला असेल किंवा वारंवार येत असेल तर तुमच्यासाठी गुंडप्पाची गोष्ट आहे.

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गुंडप्पा, उत्तप्पा आणि अम्मा वैजयंती

एक गुंडप्पा असतो. तो चेन्नई मध्ये राहlत असतो. गुंडप्पाला उत्तप्पा खूप आवडत असतो. गुंडप्पाची आई, अम्मा वैजयंती खूप छान स्वयंपाक करत असते. इडली, डोसा उत्तप्पा, पोंगल, अप्पम, मेंदू वडे असे वेगवेगळे पदार्थ ती बनवते. पण गुंडप्पाला उत्तप्पाच आवडत असतो. एक दिवस अम्मा वैजयंती इडली सांबार बनवते. गुंडप्पा विचारतो,” पण आज उत्तप्पा का नाही केला?” अम्मा वैजयंती म्हणते,”गुंडप्पा आज नाही रे केला उत्तप्पा, उद्या करीन हं” आणि मग गुंडप्पा इडली खातो. दुसऱ्या दिवशी अम्मा वैजयंती उत्तप्पा, चटणी आणि सांबार बनवते. गुंडप्पा उत्तप्पा, चटणी आणि सांबार खूप आनंदाने खातो.  (जर आतापर्यंत झोप नाही अlली तर पुढची गोष्ट सांगा ).

गुंडप्पा कलकत्त्याला जातो

गुंडप्पा कलकत्त्याला जातो. तेथे त्याला मुखर्जी, चॅटर्जी आणि बॅनर्जी भेटतात. गुंडप्पा मुखर्जीला विचारतो,” मुखर्जी मुखर्जी इथे उत्तप्पा कुठे मिळेल?”, मुखर्जी म्हणतो,” अरे गुंडप्पा उत्तप्पा का शोधतोस?, इथे तुला सगळ्यात मस्त रोशगुल्ला मिळेल.” पण गुंडप्पाला मात्र उत्तप्पाच हवा असतो म्हणून तो चॅटर्जीकडे जातो आणि त्याला विचारतो ” चॅटर्जी चॅटर्जी इथे उत्तप्पा कुठे मिळेल?” चॅटर्जी म्हणतो,”अरे गुंडप्पा उत्तप्पा का शोधतोस?, इथे कलकत्त्यात तुला सगळ्यात मस्त सोनदेश मिळेल”. गुंडप्पा उदास होतो. मग बॅनर्जी ला एक कल्पना सुचते तो अम्मा वैजयंतीला फोने करतो आणि गुंडप्पाला आवडतो तसा उत्तप्पा कसा बनवायचा ते विचारतो. अम्मा वैजयंती बॅनर्जीला उत्तप्पा, चटणी आणि सांबार कसा बनवायचे ते सांगते आणि बॅनर्जी उत्तप्पा, सांबार आणि चटणी बनवतो. गुंडप्पाला तो उत्तप्पा खूप आवडतो आणि मग गुंडप्पा रोशगुल्ला आणि सोनदेश पण खातो आणि शांत झोपतो. (ही गोष्ट ऐकून मुलांचे डोळे जड होतील आणि ते लगेच झोपतील पण ही गोष्ट फlरतर्फार ४ ते ५ दिवस असरदार राहील, मग पुढची गोष्ट सांगा)

गुंडप्पा मुंबईला जातो

गुंडप्पा मुंबईला जातो. तेथे त्याला कुलकर्णी, देशपांडे आणि पाटील भेटतात. गुंडप्पा कुलकर्णीला विचारतो,” कुलकर्णी कुलकर्णी इथे उत्तप्पा कुठे मिळेल?”, कुलकर्णी म्हणतो,” अरे गुंडप्पा उत्तप्पा का शोधतोस?, इथे तुला सगळ्यात मस्त पुरणपोळी मिळेल.” पण गुंडप्पाला मात्र उत्तप्पाच हवा असतो म्हणून तो देशपांडेकडे जातो आणि त्याला विचारतो ” देशपांडे देशपांडे इथे उत्तप्पा कुठे मिळेल?” देशपांडे म्हणतो,”अरे गुंडप्पा उत्तप्पा का शोधतोस?, इथे मुंबईत तुला सगळ्यात मस्त थालीपीठ मिळेल”. गुंडप्पा उदास होतो. मग पाटीलला एक कल्पना सुचते तो अम्मा वैजयंतीला फोने करतो आणि गुंडप्पाला आवडतो तसा उत्तप्पा कसा बनवायचा ते विचारतो. अम्मा वैजयंती पाटीलला उत्तप्पा, चटणी आणि सांबार कसा बनवायचे ते सांगते आणि पाटील उत्तप्पा, सांबार आणि चटणी बनवतो. गुंडप्पाला तो उत्तप्पा खूप आवडतो आणि मग गुंडप्पा पुरणपोळी आणि थालीपीठ पण खातो आणि शांत झोपतो.


(गुंडप्पाच्या अनेक गोष्टी :अशा प्रकारे गुंडप्पाला लखनौमध्ये द्विवेदी, त्रिवेदी आणि चतुर्वेदी भेटवा. कबाब, कटोरी चाट, पेठा असे उत्तर प्रदेशातले पदार्थ खाऊ घाला.जयपूरमध्ये अग्रवाल, जिंदाल आणि पालीवाल भेटवा आणि डाळ बाटी, घेवर, गट्टे कि सबझी असे राजस्थान मधले पदार्थ खाऊ घाला.

अहमदाबाद मध्ये पटेल, मोदी आणि शाह गुंडप्पाला ढोकळा, फाफडा, आणि ठेपले खाऊ घालतील. हैदराबाद मध्ये नायडू, राव आणि श्रीनिवास हे बिर्याणी, शीर खुर्मा आणि सामोसा ची ओळख गुंडप्पाला करून देतील. तसेच काश्मीरमध्ये मीर, भट आणि रिझवी हे दम आलू, पुलाव आणि काश्मिरी बैंगन ची ओळख करून देतील. अरुणाचल प्रदेश मध्ये ताशी, ताकु आणि ताकी हे पीठl, पुरा आणि लकसा ची ओळख करून देतील.)




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What Must Have ‘The God of Death’ Said To My Grandmother


“When Yamraj, the god of death will come to take you, you will keep him waiting in order to complete a dress that you would be stitching then”, I would say jokingly and my sister would add, ” No, grandma will see him, and ask him if he got his dress ‘readymade’ from a store? and will say, “It is just not fitting right, give it to me and I will make it perfect for you””, to which my grandmother would agree, laugh for a fraction of second and dismiss us to resume her work – the work she loved till the very last breath – stitching beautiful dresses and doing exotic hand embroidery.


A ghagra made by my grandmother for her great granddaughter. My grandmother was 79 then.

yellogreen parkar1

I loved this ghagra so much that I was impatient to see my niece wear it and hence used photoshop to visualize the look.

Her love for embroidery was such that she would wake up at 4:00 in the morning (almost mid night for people like us) to complete some of the finest designs I have seen.


Hand embroidery

She would make dresses for new born babies to senior women and each of her dress is a masterpiece.

Frocks for little girls

I have been using one of the dresses she made for me for last 17 years and not a single stitch has ever opened. Now it has been passed onto my cousin who is 17!



 17 year old : both the dress and the girl (photo by Puja and Archita Khodke)

 I would take some really complicated designs to her and she would make them real! She was so thorough technically that she would turn some of my really complicated designs and weird imaginations into reality. In one such design of a frock for my niece (3 year then) and her great grand daughter, she used thirty meters of lace without making the frock heavy. This is how it looked:


A frock with thirty meter lace

She would use a thin cotton lining from inside especially for the dresses meant for babies and kids and make all the joineries seamless so that the joinery won’t scratch the tender skin.


Seam the difference: Blue joinery is by my grandmother and red of a ‘ready made’ dress (these days most of the ready made, store brought dresses also come with seamless joineries).

Party dress, head gear and bed sheet made for my niece 

The patch works she made blended so well with the main cloth that 10X zoom is needed to spot the patch border.

A dress with hand made patch work of traditional Dharwad silk saree border, and unorthodox balloon sleeves with broad cuffs. 

 She was so cool! She maintained a book in which she kept miniature dresses of all kinds of dresses she made. At 80 she would use Facebook, Whatsapp and Google like a pro!

<photo of the book>

Once when we were discussing design of a new dress, I got a phone call that I received hesitantly. After a few haan and hmm, my grandmother got annoyed and said, “switch off your phone and don’t waste my time”. That very moment I wished I want to age like her. That dress she unstitched and stitched for four times, and when I said it was good, she gave me a sharp look and said, “but not the best”. And in her signature style she made the best possible dress even if it meant doing it for the 5th time!


A Japanese Kimono style kurta made from Valkalam Silk Saree and salwar made from khan fabric. Note the bell sleeve and its border.

She would not let a single piece of cloth go waste. Once she made a dress for me and from the remaining cloth made a beautiful frock for my niece.


She was the reason, I loved to design dresses, because no matter what I designed her magic wand would make it look beautiful.



When my grandfather passed away, people would say that she will get back to her work and she did. She was rock solid and started her work again. She was not just a great artist but also an amazing teacher. She started her work and teaching tailoring to the girls in her neighborhood. On a fine morning she was teaching the girls the nitty gritty of tailoring, when the death god appeared and without a slightest effort she dropped the scissor and went with him, leaving the girls shocked and awestruck at the same time.

When I got the news, I wondered if she would have made him wait? But may be looking at her work, the god of death must have said,” Your husband has been complaining about our dresses, we need you to make the best dresses for us in the yamlok (the kingdom of the god of death). Will you come along?” and she must have instantly obliged 🙂


Nirupama and Sharad Godbole, my grandparents (flowers in the background are painted by her ;)).

I Wish we had photographed all the dresses she made, and it would have been a nice catalogue.

 P.S.  I hope to receive my grandmother’s skills and temperament in virasat (as heritage / inheritance).


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Rome wasn’t built in a day. Indeed! From Pantheon built in 126 AD to Trevi Fountain 1762 along with new buildings that are being constructed today, the city has so much to offer. Along with her history, art and architecture, this blog post attempts to capture the liveliness of this beautiful city.

Postcards from Rome (April 2017)

20170413_182507The Pantheon Dome from inside

20170413_174656Selfie time: Tourist at Piazza Navona

20170413_152546Julius Caesar and a Seagull

20170411_202342Temple of Augustus

20170412_172617St. Peter’s Basilica

20170412_174727From the terrace of St. Peter’s Basilica

20170412_130032Sphere at the Vatican Museum replicating the one on the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica (dome seen in the background)

20170412_180536Two in a crowd: kids enjoying at a fountain in St Peter’s Basilica


The School of Athens’ by Raphael .

The artist portrayed his contemporaries to represent ancient Greek philosophers. For example he portrays Leonardo da Vinci as Plato and Michelangelo as Heraclitus. At the extreme right of the painting the person looking towards the audience (us)  is the self portrait of Raphael.

20170411_200031Capitoline Hill

20170411_191635Windows Outlook: Looking out of the window 😉


Space for a quick chat: Gentlemen enjoying a chat over an ice cream in the middle of a street

20170414_162407Chasing the bubbles: Piazza del Popolo


Florist and tourists at Campo de Fiori


Fountain at Campo de Fiori. (There are many water fountains like this across the city that provide excellent drinking water. The water in these fountains flow continuously thanks to the ancient aquaducts ).

20170413_161014Market at Campo de Fiori

20170413_174303A street

20170413_164215Foodies welcome: Food displayed at a local restaurant

20170414_163556Street musicians 

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A Swedish Winter

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


Riksdagshuset (The Parliament House), Stockholm



Strandvägen, Stockholm



Gamla Stan, Stockholm



Nordic Museum, Stockholm



Stockholm City (Photo: Sagar Behere)



Fika‘: Coffee, Rulltårra and Pepperkakor



Life as usual: Grindtorp, Täby 



Ride on a sled to school :  Täby 



‘Snow lamp’ :  Täby 



‘Snow tulips’ :  Täby 



View of LKAB mine from Kiruna 



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



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



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



E10 from Kiruna to Abisko



Train station, Abisko



Abisko National Park (Photo: Sagar Behere)


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

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