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Monday, April 28, 2014

Travelogue: Yosemite trip 2014

Last week, we visited Yosemite National Park after 3 years. We had booked our rooms at the Tenaya Lodge, near the south entrance to the park.  The establishment derives its name from Chief Tenaya of the Ahwahneeche tribe, who was killed in the valley, in a dispute, in the summer of 1853.

We drove a little over 3 hours from San Jose to reach the lodge in the quiet of the evening. We had already dined on our way at Fresno in a Persian restaurant called Aria. The rack of lamb I ordered was soft, juicy and complemented the saffron rice marvelously. I like it when I enjoy my food, it gets me into a very agreeable mood.

We registered ourselves as guests and found our way to our room which was on the ground floor. A sliding door opened into the lawn and the outdoor swimming pool. I discovered later that there was some drilling scheduled during the day for reconstruction of the premises. We had a neighbor named Paula. She barked a lot. Very suspicious of strangers.

The next morning we had our breakfast at the buffet; then we got dressed and headed for the park. You get a 7-day pass for $20 and an annual pass for $40. Through the curving roads, we entered the Wawona Tunnel, turned a sharp left at the end of it and parked at a vista point to get some pictures.

We drove down further to see the Bridalveil Falls up close. After a short walk, we reached the base of the falls. I sat on the rocks and enjoyed the mist on my face. The Ahwahneechee tribe believed breathing in its mist improved the chance of matrimony; I will have to remember to relay that to all my marriageable friends.

I have come up with a feasible explanation for the belief: when you are sitting at the foot of the falls,  happy in the embrace of nature, with a goofy smile on your face- people tend to think that you are friendly and strike a conversation. If you are both looking for love, chances are, it could lead to something.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I grew up in a household where if I said 'I'm thirsty' aloud, someone would rush with a glass of water - whether I wanted the service or not. But my father made it clear to us that life is not always going to be the same. He disliked it if someone pampered us silly. He preferred we eat with their own hands even when we were kids.(Parenting ideals were different in India) 'Let them be self-sufficient' he would chide our mother.

It is another thing entirely that I did not like being fed. My mom had a habit of pushing my neck with her left hand while she fed me with the right. I abhorred it and hence preferred eating on my own.

Years later, I can thank him for another of life's lessons. There is no shame in doing your own work. Good domestic help is hard to come by where I live now. I hired a cleaning service once and she chatted away for two hours for which I paid $120. At the end of her visit, I still had to clean my own house.

It is a good thing that SG helps a lot. In fact, he does most of the cleaning when we are expecting guests, while I cook. And people always seem to appreciate our efforts. Once, we had a role-reversal, when he cooked a specialty and I cleaned. Consequently, I began appreciating his contributions even more. Personally, I find cooking easier than cleaning.

I think it is fortunate that I have seen two extremes in my life and I am happy with my present state of things. The best feeling, however, is when my parents say how proud they are of me shouldering my responsibilities so well. Here, I should also mention my MIL who is an inspiration. She always tells me that no matter how educated I am or how big my paycheck is-I have to manage my house well, life is going to be a lot more easy for us. I agree. যে রাঁধে  সে  কি আর চুল বাঁধে না ?

Maybe if I own a big house I'll hire a gardener, a cook,  and a housekeeper to help me out. Until then, the sweat is sweet. (Though the back hurts from mopping. :D)

P.S. I am looking for an efficient house cleaning service in and around San Jose. Recommend if you have any in mind. 

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Perfect 365

Okay, I discovered this app called Perfect 365 that I can use for a virtual makeover. This is a good way to gauge which make-up suits you, without really putting it on. I tried a few looks, a few quite outlandish. Here are some samples. Vote for your favorite.

1. Noir

2. Minnie blue eyes