Monday, August 29, 2016

August - a mixed month!

August has been a busy month ..

Our house finally got sold ... Thank God for that :) :)

It will be another blog post for why ;)

The month of August and half of July was spent in looking for rental apartments in Edmonton, sorting through stuff, packing and moving .. we have moved into our new apartment and now we are unpacking and trying to go through things that we might have to give up as we do not have that much space .. moving is a pain .. but downsizing is a bigger pain ...

I am definitely missing our last home (house) .. but am happy about the fact ... that the amount of work to maintain the place will be reduced and we will not have to shovel any snow ...

I unpacked my Sarees yesterday and was thinking about draping one this morning .. went to bed after 12 last night and was really tempted to sleep extra 30 minute this morning .. but I did not :)

The mornings and evenings are getting cooler and am not sure for how long - will it be OK to drape a Saree .. it was a bit cold this morning too and I felt it as I stepped out of the building to walk to the train station ..

There was another question in my head while getting ready ... will I be OK taking the stairs down to the station? I said to myself "only one way to find out" .. So, when I was going down the stairs .. had to be very careful .. making sure .. I don't trip on my own Saree ..

The Saree that I draped this morning was bought in 2001, while going through the MBA Program in Anand .. I am sure some of you might have heard about the Tribhuvandas Foundation (TF) .. if not here is some new information for you :)

TF was registered as a charitable trust in 1975 to improve health facilities in rural areas in Kheda district in Gujarat and in addition to that it provides a source of income to women by engaging them in handicraft activities ..

We had to do a study on one of the projects being run by TF and after the meetings I decided to check out their handicraft store .. the store had beautiful bed sheets and cushion covers with patch work and embroidery, bags with mirror embroidery work and tie and dye Sarees .. needless to say .. I bought a lot of stuff including two Sarees .. in two different colors .. one in beige/brown and one in grey .. I no longer like beige/brown color .. but oh well ..

Selfie in the train .. as DH walks to work now and I commute on a train instead of a bus ..


another selfie .. outside the office building .. to capture the beautiful summer blooms ..


I can't really do good selfies .. so asked a co-worker to click my picture .. thank you :)


It was really windy so had to hold on to my palla from it being "hawa me udta jaye"

Not sure if these blue shoes go with the rest of the outfit .. but didn't have too much time in the morning and grabbed whatever I could see ;)

 


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Summer blooms!!!

I usually use the side entrance to enter and exit my office building .. a few days ago I stepped out from the front entrance ...and I was beautifully surprised ..

I loved the color combinations and arrangements .. and know the work it takes to make it look like this ... so really really enjoyed spending some time with flowers, without doing any work ;)

Hope you enjoy it too!!




























Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bhelpuri with a twist!!

What happens when you want to have bhelpuri .. But no onion and tomato .. Simple .. Add celery and blue berries ;)

Sunday Evening Bhelpuri!!!


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bullying

We all have experienced or seen bullying in different forms and at different stages in our life. It could be during school or university years or at our work place.

The bottom line is that it affects the person being bullied at many (physical, emotional, mental) levels.

Last night we watched a movie called "Cuban Fury". The movie was categorized under romantic comedies and there was a bit of romance and comedy in the movie. But for me, I don't really remember the romance or comedy part, what I remember is bullying.

I am still thinking about the movie and one specific character, the Bully - what a jerk!!!

And I wonder
- why does it happen
- how come one human being thinks that he has the right to mistreat, disrespect, abuse (emotionally, physically, mentally) other human beings
- why is the person being bullied not complaining or reporting the Bully
- why, the society as a whole is not able to see those red flags (Bullies) without the bullied person having to report

My work place has strict anti-bullying rules and I have not really seen any incidents, but I have heard stories from other people in different organizations.

I had seen these quotes earlier and think that they are relevant in the context of bullying ..








Friday, July 22, 2016

Huffington Post

Super happy and thankful to share that I have something published on The Huffington Post!!!

Here's the link

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/saree-saat-samundar-paar-saree-across-the-seven-seas_us_57927686e4b0b3e2427c2335

Thank you for reading :):)


Monday, July 11, 2016

Respect



As you all know, we live in Edmonton and if you didn't .. you do now ;)

And you also know that I prefer not to discuss social or political issues as everyone has a different opinion .. some people respect other's opinion and some don't. I do not like getting into confrontations or situations where discussions transform into personal attacks ..

But something that I heard last week, has stayed with me and I thought about mentioning it here ..

There is a radio station 101.7 World FM and it is called Ethnic Radio in Edmonton. It plays programs in different languages all through the day. I have that station tuned in while getting ready for work as the program at that time is in Hindi / Punjabi.

Last week, they were advertising about some realtor .. and what made me upset was the way the advertisement was written / scripted.

A husband and wife are having a conversation about selling their house and finding a realtor. The wife suggests a name and husband agrees with it, what I did not like was the husband saying to the wife "that first time in your life, you have said something sensible" or something to that effect ..

I rolled my eyes and thought .. come on guys .. you want to advertise the realtor .. talk about his work, his achievements, how he can help the clients .. why have sexist jokes attacking females .. why pick on some one .. once in a while joke is fine .. we all laugh about those in our homes and relationships .. but have it play on the radio multiple times .. for something totally irrelevant .. is not right ..

This cycle / chain needs to be broken .. kids hear their parents .. brother makes such comments to the sister, boy friend makes fun of the girlfriend, son ridicules his mother .. and the joke passes from one generation to the next .. this kind of stuff is not funny .. women are not stupid or dumb .. we need to have respect in all relationships and for everyone ...


Friday, July 8, 2016

Tofino

I have been meaning to write this one for a looooooooooooooooong time .. better do it before the ten year anniversary of the trip next year ;)

We went to Tofino in June 2007 and that was our first experience of the Pacific Ocean!! Though we were living in Vancouver at that time and Vancouver is a coastal city .. but it is the Burrard Inlet in Vancouver and not the ocean ...

This trip was special in many ways .. Rohit was done with his MBA and started working a few weeks ago, we were doing a weekend getaway with our friends (family) SP and NG for the first time and we met some other people in Tofino who are family now :)

To get to Tofino from Vancouver - one can either take a ferry from Tsawwassen to Victoria or Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo. The drive from Nanaimo to Tofino is shorter, but we did the other ferry and Victoria-Tofino drive is about four hours.

All four of us worked the full day on Friday .. and loaded up the car in the evening and probably got on the last ferry. NG was the one driving both ways, so thank you :)

Road trips are so much fun .. I have lovely memories of this trip .. we were enjoying every moment right from beginning to end :)

We were not in Tofino for long .. just one and a half days and one night .. spent most of the time on Long Beach and experienced sunny, foggy, and rainy weather .. Some of our friends were trying surfing .. but Rohit and I were relaxed or scared chickens .. can't remember which though ;)

Evening ferry .. beautiful sunset .. perfect Bollywood setting ;)



Here is a sunny one with SP and NG on the beach ...


And now some with the fog ..


The water in the Pacific Ocean is always cold .. not even sure how I survived that day ;)

No idea what conversation it was .. looks like fun :)


One of our friends has a good eye for candid shots ... she clicked a few great ones .. thanks SK :)




NG and SP also did all the research on what activities to do and shortlisted whale watching .. this is the outfit that we got for the activity, for protection against rain and wind ..


I do not have any pictures from the actual tour .. did not take our standard camera with us .. NG bought a use and throw waterproof camera and might have some pictures ..

The company had two options - covered vessel or a zodiac - we opted for the zodiac. It is faster than the covered one and also right next to the water .. all that spray from the ocean, the mist, the rain .. it is exciting!! maybe a little bit scary too ..

We got to see otters, sea lions, bald eagles and of course the whales - had multiple sightings of the whales and a calf.

At one point - the zodiac was so close to a whale that we could see and smell the spray ... eew

I had mixed feelings .. all that excitement and adventure but also humbling in the middle of a vast ocean .. wilderness .. choppy waters .. bright sun ..













Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A delicious and beautiful evening :)


One day dear husband was really hungry and groupon had a 20% off sale .. He went crazy and bought a lot of groupons for the places we wanted to try .. And then we forgot about them ;)

He was going through some stuff the other day and realized a lot of coupons are till the end of this month .. That means we will be trying new places in the next few days :)

Instead of going home, I came to downtown this evening to eat at Baba Finks Canteen .. It is like a "stall with shutters" on the street and just four chairs to sit. The food was good though. I do not like perogies that much, find them too dough-y. The ones that I had today were different - over stuffed with potatoes - and I didn't taste a lot of dough. The flavour I picked had butter chicken gravy and fresh cilantro.

I am impressed!!

Rohit picked a flavour with lots of cheese and I didn't feel like trying that, but he says it was good :)




Rohit had the blazing saddle and I enjoyed the groovy guru


I find that sometimes I am very stubborn when it comes to food. I was enjoying my food and did not taste the other flavour. Rohit tried a bunch of times, but I didn't budge.

And as we were walking, clicked a few pictures of the flowers - either I am paying more attention or the City of Edmonton has planted more flowers as compared to last few summers.








Sunday, July 3, 2016

Celebration!!!

Our friend was planning a surprise birthday party for her husband and we were helping her with it :)

The best part of the celebration was that our friend was really surprised .. He had no idea at all what was going on .. and was super happy all evening !!!

I was going to wear a dress so I could get ready quickly and do stuff easily ...

The day of the party, I had it all sorted out  and just as I get out of the shower .. I see a message from my friend that her mum is draping a Saree ...

There goes my plan out of the window. I start to go through my drawer full of blouses .. tossing some away .. there was no way I would fit into those .. and then started trying the ones I had hope with!! Luckily, I did find one .. imagine me doing a happy dance here :)

Next step was to match a Saree with this blouse .. isn't dressing up fun ??

I picked the obvious Saree that matched .. And then thought to myself ... nah .. That's no fun!!! 

The one that I decided on was a totally different color family and I liked the contrast. Just to be sure, I asked Rohit if the combination looks fine. He said "I didn't know you were planning on a Saree". I said "Well honey, I didn't know either, but now I am".

We were responsible for picking the food from the restaurant and I started to have second thoughts if I am doing the right thing. But then I have faith in my husband  and thought Rohit will take care of it :)

I am glad that I made an effort to drape a Saree and not just wear a dress like I always do!! The fun was tripled when I met with my friend's mum and another friend in a Saree :)

The Saree that I picked had been hanging brand new in my closet for eleven years. My mother-in-law bought this for me. We had gone together to a Saree exhibition held at Aga Khan Hall in Delhi in 2005 and this is a silk Saree from the Bangladesh stall :)

This picture is outside Dil-e-Punjab, where we picked the food from.


This is with the lovelies :)


 
Annnnd with my one and only :)


Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day!!


This is us five years ago at Canada Place in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I love Canada for the melting pot that it is, for the basic freedoms that people have, for its seasons, for its natural beauty, for everything that this Country has given us!!!

Happy Canada Day!!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lion Monument

The Lion Monument is in Lucerne, Switzerland.

We visited Lucerne and the Lion in August 2014. When we were planning our trip and going over things to do, Rohit did mention about it .. but I did not pay attention or read anything about it ..

Even when we were in Lucerne - visiting the Monument kept getting postponed and we went there just before leaving for Wengen

This rock relief was made to honor the Swiss Guards who got killed or massacred during the French Revolution in 1792. For  more specific details, please read here. The Monument is carved into the cliff face and measures ten meters in length and six meters in height. The words on top roughly translate as "To the loyalty and bravery of Swiss" and the words below name the officers and specify the number of soldiers killed.

I am so glad we actually got to see the Monument in person and not just a picture ..when I walked in there and saw the Lion .. I was really touched. The sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen designed it.

The Lion's expressions look so real and the pain is conveyed very well. I almost felt that he would groan in pain soon. I have thought about this sculpture a few times in the last two years and that is the reason I decided to write a post on it.

Right in front of the Monument is a water body but we were so lost in the Lion and did not click a picture of just the Lion and the water.

If you happen to be in Lucerne, do visit the Monument - you will not regret it!






This is what the whole area looks like








Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hidden Gems!!

We were walking by the Grandin Station area one evening and came across this beautiful Church hidden in the multi-rise residential buildings neighborhood ..

The name of the Church is St. Joachim Catholic Church. The building was completed in 1899 and has a strong influence of French Canadian church architecture. It is a red-brick structure with round-arched windows and a symmetrical front facade. Anyone interested in more information can read here .

This church is listed under Canada's Historic Places!
I loved how the sun light was at that time :)








Across the street were some beautiful lilies :)