Rome

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

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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 😉

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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

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Florist and tourists at Campo de Fiori

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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)

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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).

20160619_125409Right Hand Traffic or Left Hand Drive

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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Now even birds have a letter box and a parcel delivered by amazon..err..this is encroachment by humans: California, 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

A pin up board made from corrugated box and used card sheet paper

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A rag or a floor mat made from old t-shirt and denim

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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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