Meera at Legoland Boston

photos from Legoland Boston by Arun Shanbhag

What could you do with three million Lego bricks? Build a city of course. At the recently opened Legoland Boston, the highlights are a few of Boston’s iconic buildings, painstakingly assembled with Lego bricks. The attention to detail is amazing and they have captured the main sights including a miniature of Fenway Park filled with mini figures. Pressing a button releases a ball over the mound and with a single pin ball flipper at home plate, you could try and swing for the wall. Very nicely done; apparently took 60,000+ pieces. And Harvard Yard, Widener Library, MIT Dome, Boston Statehouse, Custom House, a road accident with flashing lights and rescue vehicles, and a lot more. Meera was awestruck; we spent an hour peering through the city. Continue reading “Meera at Legoland Boston”

Meera goes sledding

pics of Meera sledding in the snow in Boston by Arun Shanbhag
We all complain about the snow. Yes, it’s usually a big mess. But after it has all been cleared and the sun is out, Meera loves to play in the snow. Here we are out sledding on a nearby hill, with one of our neighbors. Everyone had a great time. Here’s Meera after last January’s blizzard. Same outfit, but the jacket is getting tighter.

Meera: When do we grow

pictures of Meera in Boston by Arun Shanbhag

On her annual visit, the doctor told Meera how much she had grown over the last year. That night Meera comes to me, her shoulders are hunched and a concerned look on her face. Continue reading “Meera: When do we grow”

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 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”

Amma coming to Boston, July 2012

Mata Amritanandamayi Amma Devi Bhava Arun Shanbhag
Amma in Devi Bhava during her Boston visit in 2011.

Dates for Amma‘s (Mata Amritanandamayi) Boston tour have been announced and Registration is now open for the Retreat. Here, you can read about my fabulous, life-altering experience with Amma. Hope to see some of you there.
Continue reading “Amma coming to Boston, July 2012”

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”

On Walden Pond

On Walden Pond pics by Arun Shanbhag
I started the New Year chanting Lokāh Samastāh Sukino Bhavantū at an Amma Satsang. Then after a short nap, drove over to a friend’s and chanted the Hanuman Chalisa, seven times; then walked around Walden Pond. What a beautiful day to experience the magnificent.

Walking Yoga, circumambulating the emerald blue stillness. A time to quiet the mind and observe thoughts in action (or inaction). Don’t try to understand, don’t judge, just be the silent observer. Like the still waters, tall trees and blue sky. Just be. The Universe will carry on. Om!

Lokāh Samastāh Sukino Bhavantū
May all be at Peace

Continue reading “On Walden Pond”

At the Cape: Chatham Bars Inn

What a writing snob. I can only write sitting at my desktop computer and post pics shot with my Nikon. This has to change. So here I am at one of the most fabulous resorts on the Cape, and have to blog about it. Downloaded the WordPress app for the iPad/iPhone, and let’s see what breaks.

The gorgeous view from my room at the Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham, MA. My sixth retreat here and love this place (all pics from iPhone).
Chatham Bars Inn, Cape Cod, Arun Shanbhag
Continue reading “At the Cape: Chatham Bars Inn”

Video: How to do a Pec Fly & Chest Press

I don’t do weights! But my trainer friends urge me to build muscle tone. “It will help your running,” they argue. I do anything which helps my running.
Continue reading “Video: How to do a Pec Fly & Chest Press”

Update: Nesting Red-tailed Hawk in Boston

Fascinating to keep up with this Hawk’s nest. Even after I got back from Mumbai, the Hawk babies were still in the nest. Now the babies are larger and ready to fly out. Also, tragedy.

I am updating this older post with new pics as the Hawks grow up. So please visit often.

And for Father’s Day, A tribute to Mr Hawk!

Nesting Red-tailed Hawk in Boston Thursday, June 17th, 2010 For Father's Day, My Tribute to Mr Hawk for taking care of his young ones! I hadn't seen any adult stop by the nest. This morning, the male (father) stopped by the nest, dropped off something, hung around on the rails for a few minutes and then flew away. What a magnificent bird. It appears the chicks are nearly as large as the adult male. Two of the bigger birds in the nest appear to be female. The third is a smaller fe … Read More

Nesting Red-tailed Hawk in Boston

June 30th and July 1st, 2010
Of the three chicks, there was the biggest one who started to flex its wings and hop on the railing first. The second one followed within a week. The third was little and 4 weeks late to even flapping its wings. I managed to get them all on the railing on the same day (July 1, 2010). While the older two were practicing pirouettes, the runt was happy to just get on the railing. You can notice even the hair on the head and the maturity of the wings is different in the runt. I tell the chicks apart by the pattern of the spots on their flanks.
Pictures of Boston Red-tailed hawk, Birds of Prey

The Hawk chicks are so much fun to watch. This was just before they started to hunt. In the cowling of the roof, there was a starling nest. The chicks looked in puzzlement as the birds flew in and out of the nest. Then one day I saw this hawk perched itself right next to the opening of the nest (the irregular triangular opening in the cowling). The poor starling waited on top all afternoon. I don’t know how this stand-off ended. Suffice to say, the starlings were not seen in the nest since. Pic from June 30, 2010. Continue reading “Nesting Red-tailed Hawk in Boston”

Boston Skyline from the Red-Line

From Park Street outbound to Alewife, the Red-Line T comes above ground at the Charles / MGH station, goes across the Longfellow Bridge and then dips back in the tunnel at MIT. A short snippet of the Boston Skyline taken from the Red-Line as it speeds over the Charles river. The trip between stations takes less than a minute, but a superb view everyday! On beautiful days, countless sailboats bob on the Charles River.

Enjoy the best of Boston!

Other Boston:

Kids Who Bring Joy

Since they were infants, I have shot pics of all our friend’s kids. They are a joyous bunch and I love showcasing them. Now, with Meera on the scene, some of my friends wonder if I’ll ever be as passionate about taking their pics. Well, they do have a point :-E|

But for now, here they are.
They make me laugh and they make me cry;
and in turn I spoil them (with Lindt chocolates) ~ while their moms give me the evil eye!

Here is Meghana and Navya. Here they are, the week Navya was born. Time sure flies by.
pics of Meghana and Navya kids by Arun Shanbhag

You have also seen Vibha before A tiny toddler she was, now a shy young girl.
Continue reading “Kids Who Bring Joy”

Spring in Boston

spring crocus Boston

The days that used to lie
curled up,
by penetrating frost,
bit by bit
stretch out
their limbs
now that winter’s past.

~ Sri Dharanidhara

from Vidyadhara’s Subhaashita Ratnakosha
Translated from the Sanskrit by Daniel HH Ingalls, Harvard University Press

The original verses were composed between the 8th and 10th century. Vidyadhara probably compiled these before the year 1100, when he had access to the library housed in the ancient monastery of Jagaddala.
Continue reading “Spring in Boston”

New Year Greetings 2009

Arun Manashi Boston Public Gardenfrom the Boston Public Garden

Happy New Year!
Wishing you all,
A Blessedly Beautiful New Year!

Peace, Health and Prosperity!
(what else do we really want? … ok, good food!)


Our Other New Year greetings:

One more from the Boston Public Garden:

Make Way for Katrina and Brandon!

pics of kids with Make Way for Ducklings in Boston Public Garden by Arun Shanbhag
Last Fall, our friend H asked me to shoot pics of her kids for their holiday greeting. Katrina is such a delight; ever since she was a toddler, every time she saw me she’d run over screaming “alun! alun! alun!” and give me a big hug. And Brandon is such a champ! No doubt I eagerly agreed. We walked over to my favorite place – The Boston Public Garden. It turned out to be a dreary day. While the rains stopped just in time, we missed the golden burst of magnolias, cherry and chestnut trees you see in this post. However, the radiant kids lit up the garden with their own light and color! Here are a few from that day. Enjoy!

Dahlings on the mother duck! Make Way for Ducklings is a bronze sculpture by Nancy Schoen, memorializing Robert McKloskey’s picture book.
Continue reading “Make Way for Katrina and Brandon!”

Ms Vibha

Meet Vibha, darling daughter of our good friends Vandana and Aravind. I shot this pic during a gathering at our friend's place on August 15th. All kids had dressed in traditional garb to celebrate India's Independence Day. Along with her mother and brother they are currently back in Bangalore and Mangalore visiting family. If any of you meet them there, give her a hug from me. And don't forget to remind her of Ayun maam. Kids you know, need to be reminded constantly. 🙂

That big smile and glowing eyes are for her mom. From being outdoors all summer, she's gotten a good tan (compare to next pic).

This pic is from nearly a year ago. She could stand and walk only by supporting herself. Yes! What a doll!

Running along the Charles River, Boston

view of the Museum of Science Boston by Arun Shanbhag

Boston's long winter makes me more intimate with treadmills than I care. With winter's grip slowly loosening, I take every opportunity to test my running legs outdoors. Even though we have yet to see 'warm weather', we have had a good number of running days. Thursday last week was just spectacular. The sun was out, the sky blue and the temperature a cool 60 deg F (15 deg C). Perfect to run along the Charles River. I carried my older Olympus C4040 on the run. Particularly on the river, I like to shoot at the widest angle. The sky is bluer and the vista dazzling. Continue reading “Running along the Charles River, Boston”

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