Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Softricks !!!

Laughter is the best medicine. – Anonymous

Now more than ever, I acknowledge that a bad memory enables one to laugh at the same joke again and again.

Surprisingly some jokes/anecdotes are too brilliant and have a universal appeal of evoking laughter in spite of recognition. Below I am listing a few such anecdotes/incidents/relates which I always react to.


Before China manufactured electronic items became universally available, Ulhasnagar(*Usa) of Thane, was notorious for its manufacturing of duplicate goods for products like TV/VCR/Mobile phones.  Name any branded product, you could easily locate and buy the same lookalike locally manufactured and made in Ulhasnagar (Usa).

The funniest anecdote related to Usa I heard was about ‘Cashew-Nuts’ scam sold for One-Third of the Wholesale price.

Even today I cannot help laughing explaining someone that it was (groundnut) ‘peanuts’ powder molded into Cashew shaped moulds.  I still cannot fathom how many customers were taken for a royal ride.


One inspiring activity I practiced with my close friends was to let our imagination run wild discussing whacky ways to change the world and its experiences. Those brainstorming sessions practically filled my head with many ideas that a instant recollection or mention triggers a insanely unstoppable laughter.

Today as I read about “Avatar” breaking box-office record collection, I remember the ‘brainstorm’ idea we had discussed to make it even an better experience for the audience. By introducing the 4th and 5th dimension in selective IMAX theatre’s where moviegoers apart from experiencing the vibrations of explosions and take off and landing seat reclines, it would be enthralling to experience ZERO GRAVITY along with some sequences of dragon flight.

For me, the suggestion of my friend, flooding the cinema hall with knee deep ice water during the sinking of Titanic in the movie always makes me roll and laugh.



…. To be Continued Later.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Guest Post by my Bro – Vj – About Sathabhishekam

It was a grand gala event celebrated at my Home known as Sathabhishekam and also another celebration of Sashti Purthi.
Last weekend, I had the good fortune to attain my Uncle's (Attimber) 80th b'day celebrations & 60th b'day celebration of my Cousin and it was a fun filled event. It was an occasion for the entire family to gather around the great relatives.
Events as taken place:
21st Jan 2010
2030 hrs: I Reached Home (Roha)
2100 hrs: Dinner (wow dinner on Banana leaves). Made me remember the marriage foods
2200 hrs: Mehendi program for the couples and relatives (Me the art maker: Four members for Mehendi and I completed all in almost 15 minutes….without thinking for perfection just finishing the work..)
2300 hrs: sleep
22nd Jan 2010
0400 hrs: Woke up its Good Morning and celebration & ceremony time.
Rangoli Time: Radha Attai wow instantaneously drew a rangoli of a Raath (Chariot as it was raathsaptami day) & other kolam.
0600 hrs: Kangal event (Washing of feets, Oil bathe, aarthi & so on done to the couples)
0700 hrs: Getting Ready. Everyone was busy in getting things ready.
- Cleaning the room
- Moving the Dewan to other room (making space)
- Vijay mama arranging the flowers and others materials needed for pooja like sweets, garlands, dooruva, fruits, & so on
- Dad went to get milk and other small things
- ME trying to capture all images
0730 Hrs: Getting ready for occasion.
- Typical cultural style.. Truly worthy & awesome.
- Need patience to dress up and carry on till program ends..
- Dhotar and Navvari Saadi
Check with snaps.
- Dad was dressing Uncle's & Mohan Anna.
0800 hrs: 2 Brahmin arrived, one came after 10 minutes and last one in 20 minutes (lost)
They were dressed in Dhotar's ekdum Brahmin style for puja)
0810 hrs: Pujari making preparation for puja
3 Puja ceremonies was Fixed:
Wedding Ceremony:
Hawan: the smoky hours:
SatyaNarayan Puja:
0820 hrs: Bringing the bricks, Sand for havan, asking for almost everything needed. Just like a Bazaar around
- Bricks & sand for Hawan.
- Ghee, Rice, Supari, oil, Prasad,
- Flowers, garland, Wooden seat,
0830 hrs: chanting and preparation.
It was amazing to see the Brahmin preparing for the Puja. All well adjudged and perfect work of them.
- The Rice rangoli's for Ganpati God, the Nav Graha & others
- The Supari's resembling the different God's, Goddess & devotes where amazing
- The Wooden small Mandap where decorated by them
0845 hrs: The first Puja was the wedding ceremony
- The Bride Groom where asked to sit in front of all this Rangoli's
- The Brahmins started Enchanting the different Sholka's and Mantra
- One of the Brahmins was guiding the couples to follow the instructions as narrated like
- Zaapa
- Some mantra to say
- Touching the
1020 Hrs: The groom ties the sacred 'taali' on the bride
It was really a great time please doing see the video of this event..
1115 hrs: After Tea for Brahmin they started for the next Pooja
Homa or Havan: Lighting of the sacred fire
- The Pujari lights the sacred fire in honor of the nine planets and the gathering keeps the fire ignited by pouring 'ghee', along with other scared wooden and other materials.
- The fire was not allowed to go off till all the ceremonies were completed; Nor was it burnt fully. (This made a smoke all around the home. it was very Smokey all over, no one dared to be neither in that room nor even in kitchen room. everyone tried to sneak out of house to catch some clean air..though peeping into get the ceremony glimpses..ME too did the same and missed to take videos of the further event)
- The Enchanting of mantra's continued for another 2 hrs
- With couples making appearances on Puja place for few minutes
- The Havan was receiving the different materials for different peoples to keep it alight like Dad, Mohan Anna and Brahmin's.
1300 Hrs: The Havan Puja was finally over and the smoke was clearing now. It could be seen that everyone was dying for hungry. but still a Puja to Go
- Everyone kept Patient for Food to Arrive(It was ordered to one the Brahmin's who was doing the ceremony.)
- The Cleanness was carried out like moving the Havan to another room and other stuff to make place for next puja.
This was quickly wrapped up like cleaning the floor, sweeping & so on.
- The Two Brahmin left to collect the Food and remaining Brahmin made the needed preparation for the Satya Narayan Pooja.
1330 Hrs: The Pooja started
- Ranjani Akka and Attimber were asked to sit for Puja.
- The Pooja was started and enchanting of Mantra's was what we could hear.
- There were as many as 5 stories narrating the different stories on Satayanarayan and reason behind this Pooja.
1420 Hrs: The Food arrived along with the sweet aroma of taste and made us eager to Eat
- The Puja concluded with Aarthi's..Satyanarayan aarthi and so on
- We took the blessing of the God and Couples took the blessing of the Brahmin who has conducted the Pooja Successfully.
1445 hrs: Food Round One:
- It was Marathi Brahmin food. Wow..
- Poli(Sweet Roti) with Ghee
- Dal, Rice, Aamti(lller to Sambar)
- Papad, Kooshibir & so on
- Everyone was enjoying the good food
- Mom, Dad, Anna, Radha Attai everyone one was serving
1500 Hrs: Round Two
- It was my turn and almost those remaining along with the invited guests:
Aunties: Kunal Mom, Supriya's Mom, Ankur Mom
- I glutton the food in minutes...Yummy Kya!!
1515 hrs: Everyone has finished the food and there was last puja still to be done(astoundised naa..The pooja to do the disassembling of the Pooja)
- it was done in few minutes and the small wooden table with SatyaNarayan was moved an inch towards right.
1530 HRS: Blessing and Gifting time
Blessing was going around. Everyone was trying to get the blessing of the elders
1645 HRS: Mom had her Friends came for Bhajan's
- Hear some recording in the videos
It was real true and auspicious time.
Latter on visited some temples in Roha from Dhavir Mandir to Hanuman temple to Sai Baba mandir in our Area.
Snaps Link:
Video Link:
Do forward to others whom i missed

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Short Vacation Trips


The last two weeks of 2009 are now etched in memory because of ‘planned’ two short weekend trips to Ocean City, MD and Miami/Key West Florida.

December is not an ideal month for a visit to Ocean City. Our trip’s aim was to idle away in isolation away from home. The Hilton stay was exactly what the doctor ordered. A break from the routine. After a year long stressful work, a planned trip really emerges as refresher.

The Christmas weekend trip gave us a glimpse of the summer treat we can expect at Ocean City. The 4 hour drive from our Hendon VA was uneventful. Driving across the Chesapeake bay bridge during daylight is always a sight. The continuous sound of waves as we slid open window glass door soothes even the most shaky nerves when approached with the correct mental attitude. The weather predicted gusty winds made the front door whistle eerily. The picturesque view of Sunrise from the Ocean front hotel room, the Sea gulls flying around, people walking/jogging on the beach in pairs or with surf boards were all impressive. Ocean city, we will come again.

Florida is supposed to be warm,hot and humid during December, the contrast of weather in Virginia. As you can guess it seemed as if we carried our weather all the way to Miami.

The light snow/sleet covering the airplane had a delayed take-off, prompting us to miss our connecting flight. For the patient me it was a leisure time at Atlanta airport, reading off the nook and praying for a safe trip. Luckily for us we arrived in Miami FL to be picked up by my friend SM and his wife who gave us wonderful company throughout the trip.

First evening, we walked around south beach cafe’s/pubs and welcomed new year 2010 witnessing the fireworks display there.

Second day our plan to visit the crocodile lake at gator island got disrupted because of unforeseen thunder/lightning forecast. Alternatively we visited the sunset plaza and watched Avatar in IMAX 3D. The line for Avatar in its third week show was very long. However I thoroughly enjoyed “3 idiots” viewing and it made up for a wonderful stay in Miami.

On Saturday we 4 drove to the ‘southernmost point in USA’ in Key West across the 7 mile bridge. The bluish green ocean and the sunny weather made the drive fascinating.

My Wifey and I parasailed for the first time ever. It was hugely crowded at Mallory point where everyone had gathered to witness the beautiful sunset. The fire jugglers and other street performers were good.

On way back almost every other mile, we noticed a Cop car ready to pounce upon over speeding vehicles. Review of the visit to two Indian restaurants “Imlee” and “House of India” made it to the Yelp which I discovered whilst there.

Sunday the visit to the Sea Aquarium and South beach shore, combined with dolphin show and dance at “Mango” made another memorable day.

Mouth watering and tastiest food prepared by our ‘kind’ hosts made it a fantastic short vacation trip ever.

Looking forward to visiting again.

Oh Yes !!! and here is the link to the Florida trip photos 

Comments are Welcome !

Wish you a Happy New Year 2010 !!!