Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Rembrandt's Night Watch at Rijksmuseum Netherlands by Arun Shanbhag
For as long as I can remember, a visit to the Rijksmuseum was on my short list. For nearly a decade, it was closed for renovations. When it reopened a few years ago we started planning a long trip. We planned an entire day for the Rijksmuseum. Nothing else would do it justice.
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Keukenhof Gardens: Tulips Overdose

pic of tulips at Keukenhof Gardens Lisse Netherlands by Arun Shanbhag
When we were planning a trip to The Netherlands, I was thinking of immersing myself at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, while M was dreaming of the tulips, i.e. the Keukenhof gardens in Lisse, a quick bus ride from Schiphol Airport. Of course we did both, and much more.

It was a bright, cool day in early May. Apparently they have more than 7 million tulips over ~80 acres of well maintained grounds, and they were all in bloom! The colors and fragrances were simply overwhelming. I was close to getting a “Tulip induced migraine!” For a break, we stepped into the gift shop(s) and of course, more tulips.
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Thanksgiving In Boston

pictures of M & Meera at the Seaport Hotel Boston Thanksgiving Brunch by Arun Shanbhag
This year we chose to spend a quiet Thanksgiving enjoying a sumptuous and beautiful brunch at the Seaport Hotel in Boston. We started with the breakfast menu of warm croissants and smoked salmon, then crazed on argula salad and gigantic shrimp cocktail; delicious clam chowder, home made mashed potatoes, the bestest dry roasted brussel sprouts and salmon grilled in olive oil, lemon and capers (wow!). We did not venture near the traditional meats. Continue reading “Thanksgiving In Boston”

Meera goes to the Mall

Meera trying out an outfit at Pantaloon in Phoenix Mall by Arun Shanbhag
Meera loves visiting the Phoenix Mall in Parel, Mumbai, particularly one of their stores which has a huge toy section. The Pantaloon store has a small but nice collection of Indian outfits for little girls. Reasonably priced too. Here Meera is trying one on before we bought it. Continue reading “Meera goes to the Mall”

Meera with Amma

picture of Meera
Thank you M for the best years of my life! Happy Anniversary!



If you are in the mood for a Meera-thon:

Meera Sleeping

meera shanbhag

This tiny girl amazes me! She’s got me completely wrapped around her little finger – twice over. She only has to coo and I start babbling baby talk like a blithering blidiot. I love it! When she is a sleep, I gaze at her. What is she dreaming? Is she happy? I wonder at this miracle and our good fortune to be enslaved by her.

Here, she is napping after her bath, which as you have all witnessed is a chaotic experience. She smells of Mysore sandalwood soap which has bathed scores of the Shanbhag clan. I cannot help but breath deeply. I had to memorialize this. As I reach for the camera, M berates me not to use the flash – it might awaken Meera!

I agreed and proceeded to compose the pic. M, ever suspicious of my acquiescence, waits and watches, hands on her hip; ready to pounce and tear me to smithereens. What do I do? Of course, I don’t use the flash! My survival instincts are definitely honed!

I am glad, the natural light diffusing in the room cast Meera in a soft glow. M was right, but don’t tell her that!



Previous Posts on Meera:

Mother’s Day

Mothers Day
Sculpture at the start of the Western Express Highway, Mumbai

Somewhere in our Sanatan Dharma (Hindu) scriptures I had read that the birth of a child awakens “matrudharma” – or motherhood in a woman. Then, they were only words in a book. Now, how amazingly and beautifully I see the transformation in M. It is a pleasure to see M coo-ing and chasing Meera getting her to eat; cleaning each toe during her bath, patiently convincing Meera to take the vitamins; how lovingly she cleans and dresses Meera, and a 1000 other things.

And how unsurprisingly, innocent Meera recognizes her mother’s love and whole heartedly seeks her. Meera may have fallen and in real pain, but once she is in her mother’s arms, she’ll always stop crying. We fathers can just see, and deep down can’t help but feel a little jealous.

To a great mother, M
and all you Mothers out there!
A Happy Mothers Day!

::a::

Meera’s Bath

Meera’s day starts with a tael malish (oil massage) by Suvarna maushi. We routinely use Dabur’s Lal Tael, for the massage, but have also made our own by infusing a red bark (ratanjyot) in coconut oil.

For about an hour, while Suvarna maushi cleans the rest of the house, Meera waddles around, impervious to her body slick with oil.

Bath is usually a long drawn out process with Meera sitting nicely on a traditional wooden paTh (a low wooden seat) while Suvarna maushi pours scorching water and takes turns soaping. Meera is understandably not in good spirits and bawls her head off. I disappear to an inner room.

M couldn’t stand it and has now taken over bathing Meera. Using merely hot water, Meera enjoys the experience. She plays with the soap and rubber duckies while M painstakingly cleans every toe and sq inch of her body.

Here, Meera bawling as she is bathed by Suvarna maushi.
pics of Meera's bath by Arun Shanbhag



Meeras Posts:

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