Happy New Year 2019

Here’s to an even beautiful New Year.

Meera, Manashi and Arun

This year I want to eat healthier (it is more challenging in Manipal);

Stress less & Run more

Devotion is … Flower Market, Dadar

Dadar Flower Market under the bridge by the Dadar Railway Station is one of my favorite places to visit in #Mumbai. It is verily a street photographer’s paradise. Stall owners are super nice, and the flowers are fresh heaped, fragrant and colorful. Loads of #Champae #plumeria (?) delicately woven, melt even the stingiest of heart. I surprised M’s family with a champae stringer.

Entire families of flower weavers live under this bridge. Many generations eat, sleep and weave here.

I love the symbolism in this pic.

What adorns the head of the greatest of Gods is woven on the dusty feet of the street women. She toils away her entire life, but knows deep down that her work is her most cherished offering.

She needn’t climb any mountains, needn’t enter any temple, she needn’t offer any prayers; her work is her most heartfelt and greatest offering. This is Bhakti, and not what cheap, two-bit, fame seeking activists peddle.

Thank you.

Dev barae karo.

#Bazaar #FlowerMarket #BestofMumbai #IncredibleIndia

#incrediblePeople

#Devotion #Bhakti

#LifeUnderABridge

Meera with a head full of flowers

pic of Meera with a head full of flowers by Arun Shanbhag

At a recent ‘munji’ Meera got an opportunity to have her head decked with this woven flower buds. Those are Jaai buds from a village called Shankarā-pur near Karkala. One of M’s cousins brought those flowers. Another relative spent nearly an hour carefully covering Meera’s hair with the flowers.

She was one happy kiddo.

Grand Challenge Udupi

For Innovation to serve the people and move the country forward, we ultimately need to reach the most underprivileged in our society.  This was exactly our goal when we teamed up with the local government – Udupi District and developed this Grand Challenge.

The District officials under the leadership of Deputy Commissioner Smt Priyanka Mary Francis and Assistant Commissioner Shilpa Nag, picked issues they grappled with most.
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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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Banyan Tree at Sitā Cave, Panchavati

Panchavati gets its name from the five giant banyan trees making up the forested area where Shri Rām, Sitā and Lakshman spent a large portion of their exile. This is the first of the five banyan trees situated in front of the Sitā Gufa (Sitā cave) where she spent a lot of time during her exile.

There is a tiny cave where you can slither along, but I wimped out and waited outside while the rest of the family did the honors.

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.
Continue reading “Keukenhof Gardens: Tulips Overdose”

TU Delft – Innovation Starts with Space

Arun Shanbhag TU Delft Industrial design pics

During a recent holiday in the Netherlands, we got a chance to visit the Industrial Design School of the Technical University of Delft, thanks to Prof Jan Carel Diehl. I was struck by the design of their open lobby space and how they had created various nooks and crannies with simply different styles of furniture and lighting. The school building was a reconverted warehouse, so they had maintained the cavernous interiors, high railings and steep metal stairs. Everything on the main floor is movable and yet provides a cozy work environment for student teams.

It was an average Thursday afternoon and you can sense the intensity of the students working. No doubt it’s one of the top design and innovation centers in the world.

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