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Entries in celebrate (14)


Tamil New year 2019

Another year rolls by.. and this year I had to explain to kids why Tamil New years day is as important to me as Jan 1st. They saw it as something less to celebrate.. the world turns irrespective of our celebrating and all these days are random markers in time .. birthdays, new years based on different dates.. etc.

I had to tell them about the history of New years on Jan 1st and how things have changed just in 2000 years with respect to Jan 1. The Tamil year system is more complex but the new Years is April 14th. 

We went to the temple yesterday given it was Rama Navami and decided to stay put at home today. There is 4 temples in the area and they are all super crowded. So we prayed for a good new year on "new year's eve" I guess! 

We were glad to have some friends visit us for lunch. The highlight was San's friends parents who came and blessed us with all their heart. To me, that is always what I miss about Tamil New Year here. When in India, you go to older relatvies and get their blessing.. Here I look around and realize that I AM the older relative!!! (when my MIL is not around). 

My MIL was happy today as well as she was superseeded by folks who could bless her! 

and what is a new years post without a family portrait?!

I am not exactly jet lagged but tired. It was time to turn on the sprinkler system today and I have not spent much time in the backyard in ages.. so went to check on things and ended up pulling out a lot of weeds.. some of them got to me. So I had puffy eyes for the pictures.. 

My saluations to all the elders on New Years and my blessings to all my younger family members.. Yes, I am now old enough to start blessing people as well as receive blessings.. 

This years name is Vihari, which is the 32nd of the 60 year cycle.. Wikipedia may not be the best source for this information (whenever westerners get to write or rewrite history..  a lot is lost in factual accuracy and translation)..but for what it is worth here is the link..

Given 2019 as a year did not start well for me.. counting on Vihari being a good year for me.. we can always count new years different ways, no?! 

That alone tells you that it really does not matter where the count starts. It is a good reason to celebrate, thank your stars and more importantly thank your elders and make sure you understand your responsibility as an older person to set an example for the young ones on this pretext.

The earth continues revolving and that is a good thing..


Holi hai!

This year we knew that if we did celebrate, we would go to Foster city for a repeat of last years celebration. This event is very well organized with a nice DJ, great music and a lively crowd. We were not sure if the weather would co-operate. Even though it was raining in Cupertino when we left, it was nice and pleasant in Foster City. 

A sea of people celbrating and dancing together to music.. 

and the colors! 

did I say "sea of people" ?

although I pulled off this shot, the idea to make her lie down on the floor full of color was not mine. It was her friend Anika's. Any good photographer should always copy compositional ideas.. with pride! 

I have one child that co-operates for photos and another one that does not even show up to the celebration because she is going through a "photo-aversion" phase of life! It was heart breaking for me to miss the little one this Holi. Will wait for her to turn around.. 

My 5D Mark ii saw its toughest time today in the park, with fine color powder flying everywhere.. some kid threw powder directly into my lens. Still managed a lot of good pictures for the day (some of which will be shared in the events FB page). Spent a good 30 minutes cleaning the camera after coming home. It was a good thing that the 70-200 never even came out of the bag. Took everything with the 24-105mm.

The iPhone never came out, but wanted to try the portrait mode and got this shot in the parking lot.

Not happy with the way it defined the edge to cut portrait. Had a shot with the 5D that Jr. took just before we exit the park..

Used refine edge (to be fair spent 20 minutes on this image) but the end result is way better than the iPhoneX. Apple has to improve on the Refine edge algorithm to get smooth edges for shirts and sharp edges for hair sticking out..

There is no family portrait this year, but there is always next year...

Wishing everyone a happy Holi! May your life be filled with joy and color!


and these are a few of my favorite things!

Birthday draws to a close. I am close to getting AARP membership. Another year whizzed past. It has been a good year or I have started seeing good in everything. Either way it is good.

Went to work bright and early. All my colleagues sang happy birthday as part of lunch and that was very touching. 

A visit to BYSJ and giving it everything - Check

A visit to Bhavikas and giving the stomach and taste buds everything - Check

A trip to the movies watching superheroes - Check

Must have good karma to be able to go do all these things that made my day with family and friends!

Thanks to everyone for the wishes!


Celebrating Deepavali in India 

It has been 25 years since I was in India for a Deepavali ! You can celebrate all you want in the US of A with family and friends, but somehow nothing comes close to being in India on Deepavali day!

On a whim, got last minute tickets to go to India straight from my business trip and spent the weekend in Chennai. I have spent 3 days with my parents in the last two years and made a promise that will go see them even if it was a solo trip without wife and kids and even if it was only for a weekend. Glad that I made it.

San got me tickets on Air Asia. That was an interesting thing in itself. These guys take the Airbus flying quite literally. It is like a local "bus" ride in the "Air". They take this "low cost airline" concept to an all new level. An unnecessary security check within their own gates to throw out my water bottle and then charge for water on the flight! It was an all time low on my flying experience list. Once I reached Chennai and got a bear hug from my niece, that was temporarily forgotten. 

Then I got to see my dad, which was one main reason for going. He has tremors now and is conscious of it. So he doesn't come to the phone or skype often. That said, he manages it pretty well. He knows when he cannot talk and stays silent and is very meditative. When the tremors subside, he is normal and goes about his usual activities. 

He asked me to take pictures of him this time...

Then there was our second failed attempt at recreation of the old picture routine.. 

Lots of fireworks! 

Lots of fireworks.. 


I taught my nephew how to hold an oothubaththi to a Kuruvi vedi and that experience alone was priceless. The poor kid had fractured his arm and was just out of his cast, but was so hyped up that he was running around the terrace with me in all that excitement. 

He reminded me of someone all the time... me!

My niece did my hair and make up as part of Diwali and I sat through it patiently thinking "my sister used to comb my hair for hours, then my kids did it.. you are probably the last one to get the experience of combing my hair as there is not much left to comb these days!"

Fireworks are not the same anymore from when we were kids.. They sell these fireworks where each piece is like a long tube and they are like 4th of July fireworks, expensive and fancy. 500 rupees for just one piece but very nice. The entire city was lit up with these things! It was non stop from every roof top. Just an amazing sight to watch. The smiles on the kids faces.. it is something to see when every kid you walk by is just all smiles! 

Here is a video composite of the whole fireworks experience.. this doesn't even come close to being there!

(WARNING : the background noise in this video is very high !) 

Then there was the sweets and savories. My mom made sure that 177 yoga classes for the year were nullified in 177 minutes. To summarize "she kept me well fed" for the three days. By day two, I started saying "enough" before she even put anything on my plate, because she would continue to pile it on my plate for a good two seconds after my saying stop! Some things never change. Had just told my brother to lose weight and go do some yoga and he gave me a look and a smile that said "if you live with mom in the house, no amount of yoga is going to get your weight down". He was right. Have put on a good 5 lbs in 3 days!

If you are wondering how come I have eyes only for San.. look no further.. think there is a gene for that which gets passed on.. 

It has been one hectic but memorable trip! 

Heartfelt wishes, belated as they may be, for everyone's lives to be filled with light and happiness! 


An equal opportunity blog that needs new names

Jr. is all grown up.. obvious.. 

but the little one.. she makes us realize every minute that she is growing up.. this one is not creeping up on us silently. She makes a bold statement with her presence every waking minute. 

While it was a big day for Jr., the little one had her own big event in the morning. 

They had a "Clap out" for the fifth graders on their last day at elementary school. In case you are wondering what a Clap out is.. here it is!

There was also a small display of the kids and their projects.. 

Her teacher made me cry by telling me what a sincere and hard working kid she is. 

I begged her for a selfie or photo with her, having rushed straight from the airport to the clapout.. but she is going through a "Nofie" phase. Grandma managed to get a snap.. 

Finally after 9 years we will not be visiting this school that frequently anymore.. we will still go biking in the track around the playground every now and then or go say hi to the teachers on teachers day, but as far as this family goes, we are officialy out of elementary school! 

We are now be back to the middle school, with the little one. 

Jr. is still my junior and the little one will always be our little one!

They have grown up and I was thinking of new nick names for them, or maybe it is time to just start mentioning them by their name going forward?!