Xīnnián kuàilè!!2017

29th January was sunny, chilly Sunday morning. We headed towards the Chinatown International District by Bus no. 522 from Bothell to Downtown Seattle. The best way to explore any city is to travel by its public transport. Packing our favorite tuna sandwiches and cottage cheese rolls, we were set to explore Chinatown and Hing Hay Park. To capture the moments of Lunar New Year celebration and  to draw live sketches for the occasion. Being my first time with Urban Sketchers Seattle, I was enthusiastic, nervous to sketch and meet all new people. Though Architecture is my background but almost for 10 years I was focused on Product designing and detailing. Going back to the roots and feeling the composition of blocks(building structures) around, overwhelmed me. My perspective turned from products to building elevations and Urban planning.

The grand entrance to Chinatown welcomed us with massive colorful gate. The lamp post with dragon caught my eyesight. The Urban sketchers meet was at Hing Hay park. Unfortunately I missed the first meet with sketchers but later saw many of them engrossed in capturing the moments on paper. I too grabbed my spot, at the corner of Hing Hay Park and started with my work. It was heavily crowded and no wonder to stand for hours at one spot in cold and scribble on sketchbook was bit challenging. Kids were either standing on trees or on shoulders of their dads, to get the perfect view of happenings.

Though I took glimpse of Lion dance but glued myself to sketching. The experience of involving yourself into your creativity is like meditation. My husband and daughter too accompanied my passion and left no chance to traverse and enjoy new experience. They tried to capture Chinese cultural dance by Tanya woo and Japanese Taiko drumming. The beats of drums motivated me, getting into rhythm of sketching. The firecrackers were giving festive feeling. My first sketch was of the notice board where all the schedules were tagged and surrounded by dozens of people. Though it was sunny in the morning but as the day was passing it became cloudy and windy. Many eyes were viewing my sketches, though awkward state but deep inside was feeling happy and contented. The popcorn smell, hot corns and lemongrass barbecue was tempting me, but hands and brain was simply drawing.

The dragon mural on the buildings took my focus and I tried to get every bit of it. It was difficult to change my perspective and position to get better wider views. The Chinese dragon is a symbol of power, strength and good luck for the people. The Hing Hay park structure is a combination of yellow(gold) and red. Red symbolizes joy and good fortune while yellow is a beautiful neutral color. The entire town was lit with red lanterns. There was huge queue at food stalls.

 The temperature was dropping and hands were getting numb. I winded my sketches by single liners and texting, as we were to head Starbucks for the Urban Sketchers meet and exchange views on our drawings. It was incredible experience to view so much talent and meet different people from different background. Each sketch was special and different. Use of various mediums, thought process, lettering skills, literally bowled me away. I am feeling fortunate to get associated with them. Meeting new people through your travel and listening to their views truly inspires.

Xīnnián kuàilè!!2017(Happy New Year in Chinese) a wonderful experience indeed and perfect way to start truly my New Year with Usk Seattle.

“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” – Michael Palin.

The most awaited day came to an end with lot of motivation by genius people and doodling again with new thinking hat.

 

 

 

 

Bonds of today

Early morning as per ritual I grab my mobile and daily notice more than 100 messages on Whatsapp. I scroll my mobile which always rests from 10:00pm – 6:00am giving me my own space for slumber-land. Taking my first sip of tea, I go through each group on Whatsapp. I am amazed to view the discussions happening. Family groups discussing of reunion, finalizing marriage dates, what costumes to be wore during thread ceremony of boys, anniversaries of loved ones etc. where as College/school groups kick about tags ‘Lets catch up! Guys’, ‘Milte Hai!!(Let’s Meet) and lots of forwarded messages. Considering availability of each person in the group plans are chalked out with in few minutes. Few years back the technology was telephone, letters and long days of wait, to make decisions.

Following through each conversation I pondered, is there really no bonding between families or family member. Everyone is busy in their own world, but this technology is also getting people closer. The younger generations making use of Whatsapp, Skype or IMO similarly the elder ones too learning and being part of it. I appreciate all their efforts and accepting the mobile world. Our parents though not techie, but make full use of video calls, sharing their snaps and events attended through Whatsapp or Skype.

In a group, on birthdays though a single person may be remembering the date, but its reminded to all and everyone tries to wish the person. I personally feel the thought given at that particular moment to wish and a second to type only 3 letters ‘HBD’ is worth acknowledgeable. Conveying the wishes and receiving feels special and connected to the person.

Alternate days some birthdays pop-up in the group, sharing of some achievements or even sad news, everything available on our palm with just ‘one click’. Its fascinating to view the entire ceremony of particular event from thousands of miles away. Each and every bit of it can be experienced. Isn’t it good? At times, work or Life’s challenges demand more but no wonder these stunning gadgets makes each and every juncture of Life significant. Capturing moments, sharing feelings and thoughts through messaging makes it simpler and easier. Articles/Blogs are read and reached to thousands of people in one go.

In periodic life its difficult to be connected to all, but yes, this is the finest medium to reach, express views and stay in touch. Relations, bonding remains with thoughts and attachments. Although technology of ‘one click’ world cant replace the joy of personal meets and Live events but it is the best alternative available these days. After all its true intimacy for each other whether it is through ‘one click’ or face to face.

 

Plot no. 50

An ordinary couple, coming from the joint family was searching for a place to be home. Owning a house in the city wasn't very compatible with life's other challenges. The desire to have own space and build a small world for himself was their dream.
Buying a shelter of his own is the toughest thing in this mankind. I don't understand why I am so expensive when God has given abundant space for everyone on this earth. After lot of exploration and to their efforts, I was discovered in 1983. With love and care I was designed by booming Architect at that time. Taking into account the functionality, aesthetics and all Architectural aspects along with family requirements of the couple I was designed and constructed in 1984. I had strong foundation like the willpower of owner(head of family-earning male member). I was named 'Bhagya' (fortune).The couple had 2 lovely daughters, a sweet family of four members. Thinking way ahead of future, my planning was done. Separate rooms for kiddos and beautiful garden, Asoka trees and garage for bicycles and a big porch for four-wheeler and place for swing too. My owner loved gardening and was fond of different plants and flowers in the garden. I was painted, decorated, draped with lovely curtains, a perfect home full of joy and happiness. I witnessed celebration of festivals, birthday parties and get-togethers. With presence of grandparents, affection of other family members I was growing with grace.
But unfortunately in Life's cycle all good never happens, I too had my share of bad phase. The sudden demise of owner and all responsibility of maintaining me was on co-owner and girls. But, I was a loan free property. I was given all attention by three females of the house. I stood beside them firmly.
Girls were getting older, their friends hanging-out, chitchats and studies was in the air. I was getting educated with mug-ups, theories and even girls fight too.
I was assimilating more mess with all Architectural material around me. T-scales, Architectural board, parallel and tonnes of sheets and model making materials spread all over the room. On one side I was learning Architecture and other space was occupied by Chartered Accountant books. Huge in size, bulky books, I still wonder how they study them all? But yes, I took all pressure, force and stood with them.
It makes me nostalgic with aroma of food from kitchen, when the lady used to cook, girls baking cakes and preparing chocolates. Though many sleepless nights went in missing the owner and that void still remains.
I saw childhood of girls, their marriages and even their kids birth too. I was firm as my owner and they maintained me very well. Though standing for 30 years my wear & tear was showing up. A time came, before I need more repairs and patch-ups I was decided to be demolished and get a completely new look of spacious flats and space for more people to occupy. A complete justice was done by new budding Engineer and Construction Associates. With all latest technology, materials and quintessential love I got a complete make over to 'Gulmohar' Apartment, but I still remain Plot no. 50. I am happy as I was reconstructed at proper time. Some decisions are tough in Life to be taken, but if wisely thought of and with support of the family members everything is possible. I am standing today with beauty, pride and strong foundation, ready to provide more shade with love & care to upcoming generation of the owner and other people too. I assume myself fortunate as I am still living my owner's dream and carrying all emotions & memories. Continuing his blessings on me and to live long gives me positive energy in the vaastu. 
I am Plot no. 50, though officially a space in Nagpur but I reside in the hearts of owner and all family members. My Journey begins now!!!
 23rd January 2017

‘Hygge’ moment

Happiness and Joyfulness!
Holiday Spirit and Festive mood!!
Christmas and New Year Celebrations!!!
and frosting on the cake was blockbuster Aamir Khan's movie 'Dangal'. Being Aamir Khan's fan, to watch his movie in holiday season was a special occasion.

Popular Lincoln Square in Bellevue, where generally Hindi movies are released was a hub of Indians. Christmas lighting, decorations, Snow flake lane and the entire mall decorated by Christmas trees was a complete treat to the eyes. Golden and silver along with red and green colors made amazing ambiance.
We went with the mind set that we will surely get the tickets for first day, but unfortunately, all our plans were doomed. 
All shows of movie were running houseful. Now with more enthusiasm and thrill, speculating that indeed movie must be worth watching, we geared up for advance planning and online booking . To our efforts we could get tickets for 3rd day after the movie was released on 23rd December 2016. Huge crowd had gathered for the show and there was long lane to enter the theater. Standing in the lane, surrounded by Indian people, we were feeling radiant. The feel of being in India, though far away from home. We met many known faces, thus realizing the world is so small. Everyone was discussing about Aamir Khan's performance, which made us more curious and excited about the movie.
The theater was jam-packed, there was pin drop silence for dialogues and huge cheers and applaud for Aamir Khan & Geeta Phogat (First Female Indian wrestler to win Gold in Common Wealth games 2010). Our 8 year old daughter completely enjoyed the movie, though Haryanvi language was little hard for her to understand but with subtitles she could make it out. She was completely motivated and engrossed. In fact the movie speaks for itself with emotions and passion.
Gobbling pop-corn, hardly blinking eyes, we were glued to our seats watching the movie.
We were so touched and couldn't stop our emotions, when the whole crowd stood for Indian National Anthem in the movie. The patriotic feeling and memories of our country flashed, which made us more proud for our motherland. The experience is notable because you are away from your country and still you enjoy homely feeling. Women empowerment and patriotism motivated the public. 
For us this entire experience was Hygge time. Hygge (pronounced as Hoo-gah, Danish word, closest translation in English coziness, homeyness) is a very personal and individual thing. Spending holiday time with loved ones, living a life that is truly present and to feel good inside is Hygge. Rejoicing the movie in home away from home with new faces is indeed Hygge.
The Hygge occasion for the day ended with more wrestling talks and other sports followed by dinner in an Indian restaurant.
What's your Hygge Moment??

Fall of the foliage

     

Autumn – Bright orange, sunny yellow, varied hues of reds and browns. These bright colors are full of zest and happiness around. The changing colors of leaves from lush green to yellow, is a beautiful spectacular view to be treasured in memories. The transformation of these leaves and then shedding them off from their main soul, i.e parent tree is Fall of the Foliage. The red fiery trees enlighten the surroundings. The dropped leaves which  luminously shine are on their own, separate from the parent tree. The wind shows direction and takes them away to places. The falling sun rays on these bright colors illuminates the surrounding colorful. Blanket of these maple leaves on ground and cool breeze waving these leaves here and there, makes the view adorable.

   

I wonder if our life could be like these trees, shedding off all the sorrows, grievances, negative thoughts completely and again restart with new fresh positive thoughts always. As we enjoy the fall bright colors similarly taking forward good old memories and leaving behind the unwanted thoughts of life. How easy it could be if we shed off all differences and focus on just positivity, the brighter side of life.

Nature always convey us messages in some way or the other still we overlook its hints.

Maple Trees show amazing color variations and one cannot take  eye away from it.

October month generally is a mix of rain and sunny days.  Its an inspirational period for sketchers, painters and photographers.

   

Autumn is usually associated with harvest, Halloween and end of summer and start of cold winters. In autumn daytime and night time temperature decreases. Shops are loaded with Halloween costumes, pumpkins, pumpkin pies, corn and of course candies and chocolates for trick or treat. The wait is for Holy eve, playing pranks, visiting haunted house and talking all scary horror talks. Children as well as adults enjoy this festive time.
    

The 230 acre Olmsted designed Washington Arboretum is one of the Seattle’s crown jewels for outstanding scenery. The Fall Foliage transforms this park into giant impressionist painting. Besides Arboretum is Seattle’s Japanese Garden full of maple trees. The vivid yellows, golds, reds and oranges are treat to view and to photograph.  Its a must watch park in Seattle during Autumn.