Boston Harbor from the Seaport Hotel

View of Boston Harbor from the Seaport Hotel Boston by Arun Shanbhag
Beautiful View of Boston Harbor/Bay from the Seaport Hotel Boston, MA; while we stayed inside darkened rooms and poured over powerpoint slides. (pic taken with my iPhone 4, cropped and saturation adjusted in PS Express). Continue reading “Boston Harbor from the Seaport Hotel”

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”

Charyl Weissbach: Balsam Poplars

Paintings by Charyl Weissbach Balsam Poplars by Arun Shanbhag

Something about artists, they just blow me away. Look at this beautiful piece called Balsam Poplars! Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but as you dwell on the image, it draws you in. Did you notice the depth created by different media the artist uses? As I look carefully, I see more fascinating details. The colors play games with my eyes, and soon, I am in the midst of this psychedelic forest. I am expecting a tiny bird to take flight from amongst the trees and I watch intently to catch it flit away. Continue reading “Charyl Weissbach: Balsam Poplars”

Yoga and Vaastu Workshop

Over the weekend I attended a fabulously enriching workshop on Yoga and Vaastu at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA. It was taught by Sashikala Ananth a noted Vaastu practitioner from Chennai, India. She is also a yoga instructor trained under the legendary Krishnamacharya.

Going into this workshop, I knew zilch about both, but by the end of the weekend I was thoroughly enlightened. I have always done Pilates to help with my running and I find that it is nothing but yoga with the Hindu aspects of breathing and saying AUM erased. 😦

Shashikala Ananth is a wonderful teacher, very patient, full of energy and imminently qualified in all aspects of practical yoga and its integration within our lifestyle. Here is a little blurp from her website:

In the ordinary every day existence of the householder amidst his (and her) commonplace concerns there must be a quality of transcendence and an inner unfolding. Dharma must be discovered and lived in the family and the market place in the midst of a community, in the here and now.

and, she continues:
In a recent interaction with some Feng Shui experts, I was asked this question ‘why do Indians let go of all their traditions without adequate study?’ I was forced to accept this about us – that we do not respect our own past without assurances and encouragement from our colonial masters. Perhaps this is a necessary residue of being a conquered people, or a lacuna in our own psychical makeup.

I was disappointed that I came to learn of this so late in life. Well, its never too late. So, we are planning a two week personalized course with Sashikala Ananth in Chennai, India. In addition to yoga, she will also take us on a tour of the Tamil Nadu temples. With her grounding in Vaastu and general architecture, she will be the perfect guide. We are planning this for early December, in Chennai, India.

And here: M walking leisurely during our hike from Grindelwald in the Swiss Alps (2006). A blissfully wonderful time!

Visiting Innsbruck

A shop window in Innsbruck. Creative and colorful!
Innsbruck, Austria Arun Shanbhag

View from atop Patscherkofel. In the valley below is the town of Innsbruck.
(click image for larger version)

The Complete Travelogue from Austria:

Respite in Nyalam

Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra continues: Respite in Nyalam, Day 4
Nyalam Elevation: 3,750 m (12,300 ft)

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra to Tibet, Respite in Nyalam, written and photos by Arun Shanbhag

After the terrifyingly bizarre events in Kodari, we eagerly continued on our yatra. After crossing the border outpost in Kodari, we got in pre-arranged land-cruisers and our convoy of about 17 land-cruisers, cut through the Himalayas, climbed the mountain range to the town of Zhang-Mu, and onwards towards the Tibetan plateau. Continue reading “Respite in Nyalam”

Colva Beach – Serenely Beautiful

Colva Beach Goa sunset pics by Arun Shanbhag
On our visit to India in June, we paid a short visit to Goa. Starting on the early morning flight from Mumbai and after visiting the Ramnathi Devasthan, we arrived at the beach-front resort in Colva, early in the afternoon. We were so fatigued, both of us promptly fell asleep. The drumming of the heavy rains outside pushed us deeper in sleep. On waking up around 5 pm, and a leisurely coffee, we ambled onto the beach. The rains had stopped but the skies were still overcast.
Continue reading “Colva Beach – Serenely Beautiful”

Boston Public Garden in the Spring – A panorama

Boston Public Garden in the Spring pics by Arun Shanbhag
click image for larger version

On Friday, I stopped by the Boston Public Garden. Blooming cherry trees, and sprouting willows, chestnuts and maples left me breathless. Like if I stepped into a magical world. Spring leaves are lighter and so much more enjoyable than the dark greens of late summer. The SwanBoats paddle tourists around the gardens and are a historic feature of the Gardens since 1877. On the right, notice the Park Rangers patrol the garden on horseback!

Previous pics from the Boston Public Garden:

Goa Snippets

When in India last September, I made a short trip to visit our ancestral temple Ramnathi Devasthan near Ponda, Goa. The early morning flight reached Goa before 8:00. Enroute to the temple I saw this quintessential Goan field, and had the driver stop. It was a partly cloudy day and the overnight rains had soaked through.

And to the right, this!

And turning back on the road, this!

This tiny store is across from the Ramnathi Temple. Even as a kid, I remember this “Maama” (uncle in konkani) tending this store. Years ago, it was a tiny metal box about 4 feet across, now he has a much larger, sturdy laterite construction. I make a beeline for those bananas, still hanging on the ghadaay. You pluck which ever you want. Reminded me of my abbu's home in Bhatkal. Such ghadaay were always hanging in the veranda, and as we kids ran by, we'd pluck one and feed the skin to the cows. Such fun!

Here's a close crop. Pick one.

© 2005 Arun Shanbhag

Moraine Lake, a few more pics

Picture of Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada by Arun Shanbhag
Continuing my photo tour of Moraine Lake, in Banff National Forest, Alberta, Canada. Another view of Moraine Lake with only a few of the ten surrounding peaks.

On the right, this impressive mountain keeps a watchful eye on the serene lake.
Picture of Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada Arun Shanbhag

Behind me was this 'terminal moraine.' The glacier coming down the hill deposited remnants of rock in a nice pile before receding. Probably from 1000s of years ago. The pile of dead trees in the previous photo were to the left of this pile
Picture of Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada Arun Shanbhag

View from the access road, which closed the day after we returned and becomes a ski trail for the winter.
Picture of Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada Arun Shanbhag

Even the simple evergreen forests of douglas fir, white spruce and pine were breathtaking!
Picture of Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada Arun Shanbhag

From our Calgary Visit:

From our Montreal Visit:

Boston: What a difference the sun makes

view of the Charles River, Boston by Arun Shanbhag
Nikon FM3a, Sensia 100, circular polarizer, for both
A bright and sunny day from the Longfellow Bridge (named after the Boston poet HW Longfellow) with a 24 mm lens.

A few days earlier, from the same bridge; a cloudy day and a 50 mm lens
view of the Charles River, Boston by Arun Shanbhag

Other Boston:

Blue Skies: Ramnathi, Goa

Fields across from the Ramnathi Temple Devasthan in Goa pic by Arun Shanbhag
Ramnathi, Goa: On every trip to India, we first visit our ancestral Ramnathi Temple in Ponda, Goa. On the cab ride from the train station, you are taken-in by the lush fields rimmed by coconut trees swaying in the breeze, beautiful bungalows on either side of the road, with folks just hanging out on the porch watching life go by, and cows grazing in the fields. And every time I think to myself, “I could live this life. I just need a small house, over there by the fields.”

We usually spend a few days at the temple guest house (Rs 40/night; approx $1/night) before moving on south along the Konkani coast. Smack across the temple was this beautiful rice field. I couldn't avoid the trees without actually getting into the field, so I tried framing the field with the trees. Enjoy! or as they say in Goa, Devu baren karo!

August 2002, Canon Elan II, 28-135 IS, 200 ASA Velvia Slide, scanned and exposure adjusted

Posts Related to Ramnathi and other temples in Goa:

Blue Skies: Spy Pond

photo at Spy Pond Arlington MA by Arun Shanbhag
Sept 2003; Nikon FM3a, 50 mm, Manual, 200 ASA Velvia Slide.

Just a few minutes from our home is a small lake, where parents take their young kids for boating lessons and quiet picnics. Also, where I rushed to try out my new, all manual camera. Its a real beauty, solid metal and weighs a ton. The clang of the shutter is so reassuring, compared to the muffled click of the new featherweight digi-cams. [Added in post script (2014): My newer Fujifilm X100T looks so much like the FM3a.]

When I took this pic early in the morning, the pond was calm and serene, disturbed only by the ripples of the gliding swans. A little later in the day, screaming kids will be chipping stones. The turquoise sky and water reminds me of the song, “Neele Neele Amber Per (Alamgir)” from the “Kantaa Lagaa, Remix.” It was this song which inspired me to compile and share my Blue Skies pics.

Neele neele amber per
Chand jab aaye
Pyar barsayae
Humko tarsaye …

Boston after the rains

Boston Landscapes by Arun Shanbhag
Last Fall, we had 3-4 days of continuous rains. On this day, the rains stopped, but the sky was still overcast – see left top of pic. In the evening as the clouds started to clear, the setting sun created this beautiful color. I was on my way out of the office when I saw the scene outside. Turned around and grabbed my camera. It was a beautiful sight. In 10 minutes, the sun had set and so was the light show.

Sorry for the grainy pic. I had a 400 ISO film in the camera which I scanned at 600 dpi.

Other Boston:

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