Sunday, September 19, 2010

Eventful So Far!

Returning back to have been slow; It took me a week to get rid of my jet lag and all the uneasiness that long distance travel does. Mother cooked delicious sambhar out of the first harvest of Malabar spinach.

The best part of the week was arrival of my sister and her four students came from Mumbai for a science exhibition. Preparing for the exhibit, bicycle rides and movie Dabang made up the three evenings. The kids are very talkative and the girls kept pulling boys leg and the boys kept complaining about it to me. It was fun! The boys were over thrilled to see my bicycle and tried wheeling on it and they assured me that they would buy one as soon as they get a job. :-) One of them would carry a small pouch with him that contains basic tools and cards. He has it belted around his waist where ever he goes; I think that’s a very good thought and his exhibit is a survey valence camera fit car that can capture images from disaster areas and non accessible regions. The other kid was very impressive in his narration of any event, he could make any simple event very attractive to be heard, and he has an art in him. The girls were very hardworking too in preparing for their exhibit that displayed the working of cell phones.

To get the first servicing done on my new car, I had to run 1000 kms at least on it before two months, my travels and learning had not allowed me to do it so had to drive the car daily to office and it was fun, taught me many driving lessons that India needs and is different from two wheelers. :-)

Yesterday was day of shuttle badminton. In between the completions (Our sports day) we played and it was great fun. Sometimes there were four people on each side of the court. :-)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Summarizing Colorado!

When I first came to Colorado Springs in Aug-2004, I knew no one here and no one knew me! Peggy was the in charge of all the administrations related to us. From apartment, to food supplies at home, to transportation to office or grocery to driving classes, it was she who helped me and other Indian colleagues with absolutely full dedication. We had no issues and only one name occurred to us for any question or help. From that day to today, things have changed, she is no more with the company, her husband Mike, died in a car crash but I am glad that there is something that is in our control- our friendship!

So I made sure I meet her during my visit. I met Peggy at her house on a Sunday and I rode with her on her BMW that speeded from stop to freeway speed in absolutely no time! After a nice burrito lunch at Chipotle we drove to her newly bought house, where two of her friends are renovating it for her in return for allowing them to live there.

We visited Mike at the church. I am glad she allowed me to drive the BMW and it was a cool experience. Her dog Sarah is a sweet little bego.

Every evening, I would visit new hotel for dinner – Ethiopian restaurant was really ice. I tried injera and veg platter. The owner was nice enough to give me a sweet called catiaf for free. I went to the hobby store and went crazy! I bought a painting kit with several paints, brushes, pencils, canvas and much more all in a box that converts as an aisle. That followed with many more things like two wooden puppets, wood for carving, wood carving tool set, gardening book, vegetable seeds!

One of the days, a colleague J arranged for a Barbeque lunch for me. He also invited couple of other employees. J’s wife Kat cooked amazing vegetarian options for me such as stuffed capsicum, zucchini, bean burrito and carrot cake. It was fun time discussing gardening, food, and cultures and playing with the pet Opy.

I met my ex-Boss Alan; he is interested in writing and is currently working on some creative writing assignments on web. We had good discussion on writing, work and India.

Peggy is currently studying and one of the classes she has to take every semester should be out of the usual curriculum and she has chosen sculpture class. I was excited and when I showed interest to join her for the class, she quickly go the permission from the instructor and I was there one evening. The class is between 4:30 to 7:oo and in that we took a walk outside, collected fossils and other things for making impressions on the clay, formed the mold, prepared plaster, poured them on to mold and allowed it to dry so to form the final shape. It was amazing and I was full admiration for the style in which the class was held, much laid back and allowing students to be themselves. It was fun.

Rest of my free time was spent trying various cuisines. That is one of the best things in the US; you can try food from all over the world. This time, I mainly tried my favorite Mexican at chipotle and 3 Margaritas; Thai food at Thai Basil; Vietnamese at Saigon, Ethiopian at Uchenna and noodle & company.