Roasted Idli

pictures of Idli steamed in steel bowls by Arun Shanbhag
Meera loves idli (steamed rice cakes) or PoLo (dosa). Any given day we have one of these ready at home. If we have idli, than the next day M would make roasted idli (or also called idli fry). Simple roasting on a pan, transforms the idli taste dramatically. Continue reading “Roasted Idli”

Meera turns Five, with Amma

Picture of Meera with Amma by Arun Shanbhag

A picture is worth a 1000 words. You can see the unconditional love and trust they share in this candid shot from Meera’s Fifth Birthday. A split second later their eyes were open. What a different pic. See Meera with Pappa. And, boy do they grow fast. Continue reading “Meera turns Five, with Amma”

Meera in the Blizzard

Meera Pics from the Blizzard of 2013 by Arun Shanbhag
Meera ready to go sledding in the Blizzard

We survived the Blizzard of 2013! Ended up with about 2 ft of snow. The hopper on my snow blower is only 20 inches high and it was a challenge to cut a walkway in the snow pack. The snow came in from the East and our East-facing home got a wallop. I opened the garage door, turned on my snow blower and faced a nearly 3 ft wall of fine powder. Worked my way around and cleared the front, so we could open the front doors. Took me a few hours, to clear the walkways and sidewalks of a few of our elderly neighbors. Continue reading “Meera in the Blizzard”

Meera turns Five, with Pappa

pictures of Meera turns five by Arun Shanbhag
We celebrated Meera’s fifth Birthday in Boston. It took us a while to get here, but thankful for all the grace (anugraha) we have been blessed with. Here are pics of Meera with Amma on this day. Continue reading “Meera turns Five, with Pappa”

Meera in Fog

Pic of Meera on way to school in fog by Arun Shanbhag

On Tuesday when we stepped out of the house, the fog was thick and visibilty down to 50 ft. Meera first was thrilled at the fog, then exclaimed, “Pappa, there is fog! How will we find my school?” I offered, “Hold my hand and I will show you the way.” Hand in hand we started down the hill. Along the way, Meera kept “phooo, phooo-ing” trying to blow the fog away. Here by the Minuteman bikeway we took a few silly pics to share with her Amma. Continue reading “Meera in Fog”

Meera at Seva Mandal Ganapati: Worth her weight in … bananas

pictures of Meera on the scales at the GSB Seva Mandal  by Arun Shanbhag

In a Hindu tradition called Tolay Bhaar families celebrate life events by offering their weight in fruits to the divine. These fruits are then served to devotees as prasad. At the GSB Seva Mandal Ganapati, this tradition takes on mammoth proportions where 1000’s of devotees offer everything from the more traditional coconuts, bananas or modak/appams (the sweet dollop made during Ganapati festivals), to gold or silver jewelry.

During the past year, we got a wonderful opportunity to perform Meera’s Tolay Bhaar (roughly translates to: scales are full) at the GSB Seva Mandal in Mumbai. The weighing scales are setup in front of the Ganapati murthy, giving the devotee an unimpeded darshan. Despite my concerns, Meera sat quietly and (eerily) focused in darshan, the entire time she was on the scales. Continue reading “Meera at Seva Mandal Ganapati: Worth her weight in … bananas”

Meera Visits the Harvard Museum of Natural History

Pics from Meera visits the Harvard Museum of Natural History by Arun Shanbhag

A couple of weeks back, I took a day off and brought Meera to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. HMNH is quite small, but packed with an amazing collection of dinosaur skeletons, stuffed large animals, skeletons of whales and many other species, including a sizable bird and small animal grouping. I had been here before and throughly enjoyed my visit. Continue reading “Meera Visits the Harvard Museum of Natural History”

Meera loves Jalebis

Pics of Meera showing off Jalebis from Sukhadias NJ by Arun Shanbhag
While visiting family in NJ, we shopped at Edison and bought jalebis at Sukhadia’s. When we got home, Meera ripped open the box and dug into the jalebis, even as we were unloading the car.


Other Indian Desserts:

Way Home

Grass lined path on way home in Boston MA by Arun Shanbhag
The days are long now. As I walk back home, the yellow hue lights up the house across the street. Grass unbounded by the fence reminds me of life’s urge to remain unconstrained. And, once I get home, Meera will drive the same message. Live!

Meera and Spiderman

Pic of Meera's Spiderman by Arun Shanbhag Spiderman has become Meera’s big hero since my brother gave her this stuffed Spiderman several months ago. If I ask Meera to drink milk, she retorts, “Does Spiderman drink milk?”

One of the best parts of my day is walking Meera to her pre-school. On her walk she gets to see new flowers bloom, hear cardinals call, robins searching for worms, sparrows/finches chirping, squirrels scurrying up trees, seagulls cawing, dogs barking behind doors, white tailed rabbits hiding amidst irises, shy cats bounding across hedges and a host of other fascinating events, which I too have learn’t to observe. Continue reading “Meera and Spiderman”

Meera and Sleeping Phlox

Pics of Meera posing in front of a phlox garden flowers by Arun Shanbhag

I have the good fortune to walk Meera to her pre-school every morning. We walk by our neighborhood and cross a park on her way to school. It’s Meera’s field trip (picnic) everyday, and I am her lucky guide. Continue reading “Meera and Sleeping Phlox”

Meera in the Park

Pics of Meera playing in the Park, Boston by Arun Shanbhag

The first week Meera arrived in Boston, I took her to the children’s Park at the end of our street. Thought she’d be shy and I was ready to coax her, but was I surprised. It took her 2 seconds to survey the environs before she attacked the stations and ricochet’d all over. She HAD to try everything in this Park … now! Continue reading “Meera in the Park”

Meera Arrives in Boston

pic of Meera in Boston by Arun Shanbhag
M & Meera arrived in Boston! Took this pic with my iPhone as she waves me off to work. Its been a long road since this, but well worth it. Now Meera is making friends anew and learning English. Continue reading “Meera Arrives in Boston”

Break at a Marathi Village

During our AstaVinayak (Eight Sacred Ganapati Temples) tour, we stopped at a roadside eatery in rural Maharashtra. After a simple meal (roti & sabzi for us, yogurt and rice for Meera), I ambled over to the village square. Continue reading “Break at a Marathi Village”

New Year 2012: Meera Goes to School

New Year Greeting 2012 Meera goes to school by Arun Shanbhag

In the New Year,
May you all be blessed with divine Grace!

Best Wishes for a healthy, prosperous and safe New Year!

Meera, M & A


Continue reading “New Year 2012: Meera Goes to School”

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”

Video: Meera Mimics Angry Face


This girl is smart! Within a few days she knew when i was angry and mimicked my angry look. She had it down to the glaring eyes and furrowed forehead. Every time I gave her the angry look, she’d mimic me. After this, how could I ever get angry with her? (Video shot last summer at Kailash Parbat, Colaba.)



Other Meera Videos and a couple of recent posts:

Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, Mumbai

pics of Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, old Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag
During travels to Mumbai, I often bring Meera to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum), a few minutes walk from our house. Meera enjoys chasing butterflies in the gardens and running around the spacious interiors. (See also Mumbai’s new Terminal T2 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.)

She is invariably awed by the stone sculptures of cows, horses or lions, and loves the Natural History wing. She gets to see animals (stuffed) she only has seen in pictures. She loves the ducks (badak), parrots (popat), turtles (her favorite) and the huge whale hanging from the ceiling. Wild animals scare her. Safely tucked between my legs, she points and whispers, bhalu ( bears), rhinoson (rhinoceros), tigherrr, lion and cheetah. Love taking her there. Continue reading “Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, Mumbai”

Meera: How to Get a Bicycle

Pics of Meera riding a Bicycle by Arun Shanbhag
How to Get a Bicycle? Just ask Pappa.
Pics of Meera riding a Bicycle by Arun Shanbhag
Meera on her brand, spanking new bicycle.
Here is the phone call with M:

M: Just because Meera cries does not mean we should buy her a bicycle.
A: Absolutely right, no bicycle for Meera.
Meera on phone (in soft lilting voice): Pappa, cycle jaay (I want cycle).
A to M: Buy bicycle for Meera!

Just like that, Meera gets a new bicycle.

PS. In a couple of years she’s riding in Boston.



Meera Highlights:

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