The Falls- An Experience

There are some places people (more so, tourists) typically associate with the US- the Grand Canyon, Florida and Universal Studios, New York, Los Angeles and more importantly- the Niagara Falls. Every student wants to visit them the moment they land on American soil. Every parent who comes to the US for their son/daughter’s graduation wants to see the Falls. And everyone who has ever been there will agree that it is an experience of a lifetime!

One of the “cool” things about coming to RIT for my MS was that firstly, I was in THE “New York” and people thought that was amazing, not realizing that Rochester is as New York as say, Latur is Mumbai !! And secondly, I was a 90 minute ride away from Niagara Falls, and THAT was most definitely amazing !! 🙂 And sure enough, that was our first tourist destination, thanks to the wonderful $10 trip sponsored by the ISS. I cannot even put into words, the feeling I felt when I saw the first glimpse of the Falls from our bus. Spectacular is an understatement! It’s one of those places which leave you mesmerized; you cannot help feel amazed at the wonders of Mother Nature. And then come the rides- the Maid of the Mist and the Caves of the Wind! Any visit to Niagara is incomplete without doing both of these. My roommates’ parents had come down last month for their graduation and we took them to the Falls. The look of exhilaration on their faces after the Maid of the Mist ride was priceless! I almost thought they were going to cry! One of the mom’s also commented- “I had been wanting to see the beauty of Niagara for months. Now this visit to the US feels complete!”. As expected, they also took the blue and yellow raincoats and the slippers back to India with them, as souvenirs! 🙂

Hmmm…anyway, there was no real point of writing this post except that I was going through the photo album and felt really happy and so felt like blogging about it! 🙂 Oh, and I really like this snap of the Falls that I’ve taken- looks so beautiful in a picture, imagine what the real thing looks like! I can’t wait for my parents to get here… :):)

And here is a glimpse of the Maid of the Mist boat from the Observatory

People say it looks even better from the Canada side- I honestly don’t know how that is possible! Hopefully, I’ll make that trip soon enough and find out ! 🙂


Music that binds

It is often, very difficult to describe the connection between two people. More often than not, ties that bind people go through a constant metamorphosis until that stability, a comfort zone, is reached. This is true even for people integral to your life’s fabric, people you interact with on a day to day basis. In this case, I am referring to my mother.

There are, of course, a gazillion things that bind us together- we have, after all, spent 24 years in each others’ company !! 🙂 But there a few things that I have and always will associate with “us”- things that have defined our relationship over the years. And one of them is Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. And before you shriek out in horror, let me clarify that I am NOT referring to the Himesss and Bappi da version (Aap ne ye jo gayi hai, bahut badhiya gayi hai !! LOL !!) I am talking about the more authentic, real, Marathi version that airs on Alpha TV. And though I do hate the channel for dishing out “creations” like Asambhav and Ya Sukhanno Ya, I do sincerely believe that it has done the Television and the Music industry proud by managing to maintain the sanctity of the show over the past so many years.

So anyway, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa has always been this one show we both saw together. We stayed up till late at night to see it, saw the repeat telecasts over and over again, much to the chagrin of my dad and sister, and invariably sang along in our loud, slightly-out-of-tune voices !! Let’s just say that it was our two nights of bliss- where music took over studies and work! So as was inevitable, this is the part of our daily routine I miss the most in the US. She does keep giving me updates over the telephone- who is competing, who the judges are, who sang what, who got voted out etc etc. But it’s not the real thing!

But today was different. I happened to call her at the same time the episode was being aired and though she usually refuses to talk to me during such “critical” times, today she decided she could speak to me while watching (note the order of importance :P). And that’s when one of our favorite all time classics by Asha Bhosale came on. My mom immediately put the phone near the TV’s speakers, all conversation came to a halt and for the next three minutes, we simply listened to this wonderful classic. And then out of nowhere, we started singing along too! (Now this was okay for my mom coz she was within the confines of our home, but I was sitting in my Grad Assistant’s office- thank God no professor walked in! :P)

It was just like old times !!

Hats off to the maestro whose voice still manages to bind hearts that are 8000 miles away!

45 lessons

Got this forward from my dad this morning. Now this is a little (actually, completely) philosophical, and it is not in the nature of this blog or its owner to sermonize on a routine basis. But in the current difficult times, this little forward did make a lot of sense to me. So, I had to post it here. Read it and give it a thought! 🙂

PS- I’ve highlighted the ones I liked best of the lot !!

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio :

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:”

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone.. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind..

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ”In five years, will this matter?”.

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.