Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, usa

The year that was…Saguaro Cactus!

How time flies?

leaving behind memories… immortal carvings on the canvas of one’s heart! isn’t it?

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My last post is actually more than two years old…got so busy drinking the wine called ‘life”…in all its hues and forms…that it feels like I’m emerging from a hangover.

Well! Sometimes life demands your full attention and its best to give it to it.

Anyhow! Coming to the picture …these are called the Saguaro Cactus that I found on the highway in Arizona….was on a road trip from Texas to Los Angeles…

Researched about them and this is what I found

  • The saguaros are the state wildflower of Arizona…can be easily spotted in the state especially if you are on the highway traveling from neighboring states.
  • Saguaros live long….often their lifespan exceeds 150 years.
  • These cacti easily absorb and store considerable amounts of rainwater and in the process look gigantic …they slowly use the stored water as needed.
  • When rain is plentiful and the saguaros are fully hydrated they can weigh between 3,200–4,800 pounds (1,500–2,200 kg). Wow!!!

This one sure seems to be waving…a high five!

Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, usa

Mangosteen….Nothing like Mango!

This one has a more striking name than features….

May be not related to mango but it is called the ‘queen’ of tropical fruits

just like Mango is the ‘king of fruits’….

The purple exterior reveals a pure white somewhat tangy fruit…

And again Mangosteen is native to South Asia…

Somehow, never seen it back home.

Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, usa

Lychee’s cousin “Rambutan”

That’s a very unusual fruit again…it looks somewhat like “lychee”,  but this one is hairy on the exterior.

Surprisingly, this fruit is native to tropical Southeast Asia and commonly grown throughout Indonesia , Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

But I saw this first in the US so it features on my list of unique things I’ve found here.

Photography, Travel, usa

Sugarcane in a packet!

Shivani Pandey
Sugarcane

Living in India who has not heard of sugarcane?

I remember having sugarcane juice, ‘Ganne ka Ras’ as a child, which is a rarity to find in Delhi nowadays!

In the good old days, we had hawkers selling sugarcane pieces called ‘ganderi’ outside the school that we used to relish so much…

But I  could never imagine an 8 or 10 inch piece of sugarcane being sold in a packet….

And I always thought India was the largest producer of sugarcane but that’s not true, it’s actually Brazil that produces the highest amount of sugarcane in the world.

 

Photography, Travel, usa

Unique Fruit…the dragon fruit!

 

 

It’s been almost two months of living in the US…and I’m still exploring it  ….I realize that on each trip to the same destination you encounter something different and something unusual.

This time around I have made a collection of quite a few things that we don’t get back in India or things that are done differently here.

let’s begin a series to find things that we do not see or get in our country… and what can be better than food to start with …

here are some foods that are either not available in India or have a different name there….the first in the series is dragon fruit…

this one really caught my eye! Look at the those striking colours and contours ….Must say it’s yummy too and very healthy.

 

 

 

 

Travel, usa

My Exhibition …. Texas, United States

By the grace of God and the blessings of my well wishers, friends and family, I had the good fortune of exhibiting my artwork …what I call my picture paintings on canvas, in Texas, United States.

Its a prelude to my exhibition by the same name i.e “Life…Sa Re Ga Ma”…. planned for this winter in New Delhi.

Life…Sa Re Ga Ma where Sa Re Ga Ma are the Indian musical notes depicting different life forms dancing to the rhythm of divergent tunes of the life song in India. To show such an ecstatic and colourful symphony that comes alive with different elements of nature is what I have endeavoured to create in my current series.

There is an element of life that exists…and there is another element that is not part of the tangible…that which cannot be seen or touched but exists in the subconscious of every such element.

In other words, there is something that you have or that is your reality and there is something that you aspire for or dream of consciously or unconsciously.

As a being, I understand there is a dream consciousness as we all live life in daily existence combating the ground realities. However, I have visualised this three dimensional consciousness for not just humans but also other beings and non beings like birds, flowers, water, the sky and the monuments and sculptures.

My picture collection from all my travels  across India in the past four years or so culminated into this series…. As I travelled to the inner core of life, that is so much living and thriving in the heartland of this vibrant and vivid country called INDIA, I captured many images which depict life beyond needs, life happy in its being, whatever be the circumstance, and life celebrating life!

Sharing some pictures from the event….

Travel, usa

Drive through…Anaheim Hills

Well, sometimes its nice to just drive through a place and soak it in. The roads, the hills, the trees, the sunsets are some of the beautiful things that one can capture during a long drive…well I tried to do that when I was in California, which is very scenic and a very pleasant weather make its even more perfect.

It was not just the beauty of these Anaheim hills that fascinated me while I stayed there, it was also amazing how so many freeways and highways interlinked together eased out the huge traffic leading them in various directions…the landscaped roads and secluded houses on the hills made me think how every small thing adds up to make life easier, comfortable and more pleasant for people in a country.

I wanted to appreciate the engineering behind these freeways, the maintenance of a very clean environment with a lot of natural beauty, the landscaping around the cities and ofcourse those beautiful houses far far away on the hills.

While I wait for another time when I will be fortunate enough to travel to this place again… I thought I will share with you some shots from that picturesque drive through the hills.

Travel, usa

States Unlimited…Newport Beach, California

Well its both embarrassing and encouraging to start with my new post today… embarrassing, as I have been missing forever from blogging and encouraging because of those who have commented, followed my blog and some who have liked my facebook page. Well I’m so charged after coming back here.

To begin with…a lot has happened since my last post…getting used to the American life for the past few months…well it seems like I’ve been living a life of contrast.

It is not so different since the big cities like Delhi in India are very fast…the traffic, the malls, the movies, the big buildings…however, I usually travel many times to the rural areas of India, which are so different and completely opposite of the Western life; and even in the cities you can never pretend that things are completely like in a developed country.

There have been many instances in the US that have moved me to think of those still suffering in the developing world in more ways than one….There is lots to share from this rather long trip that I have taken to the United States…however first things first…my last series has to complete and so I bring to you pictures from Newport Beach, Los Angeles, USA.

Now that I have experienced both the pacific ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, I could tell you if you wish to freshen up especially during the summers with chilled water, then head to the pacific. On the other hand if you wish to stay longer on the beach and play with the waves without worrying about catching cold then Gulf is best suited for you since the water is so pleasantly warm.

However, coming from India which is hot most part of the year, I would prefer the pacific like in Newport which was icy cold though the warm water of the Gulf had me immersed in it forever….those pictures are yet to come….may be in the following posts.

Travel, Uncategorized, usa

States Unlimited – New York City

Well the vibrancy of New York City is so infectious that you kind of get into the rhythm pretty fast….and need I say it literally lights up in the evening….huge billboards changing with the blink of an eye are all pretty interesting to watch with gorgeous models with enviable figures selling colas to gadgets…its cool ..its fast.

I was rather surprised to see a huge gathering of people doing yoga right in the middle of Times Square may be the central park would have been a better choice, though it did make a very nice picture ….as for the cops they were pretty friendly and did not mind getting clicked with tourists….United Nations building was very guarded and had a stringent security check just like at the airport….and the most interesting thing was the glass building of a news studio in Manahttan…the anchor smiled (guess when they took a break during the shoot) as he saw us outside getting clicked with him in the backdrop one after the other….I do appreciate his focus and skills as he kept on with his job unperturbed….I loved NYC and ofcourse the variety of ice creams that I had from the vans parked all across the Manhattan area….I missed the sundaes and soft serves with sprinkles when we moved to other states…wonder if that is NYC exclusive??

Travel, Uncategorized, usa

States Unlimited….

Blast from the past if I can say that…

Here is a series that I am creating for those interested in coming along on a USA trip with me….especially those who wanna see the most prominent and outstanding places here( not that other states are not happening however when you say States to a foreigner people think DC or New York or Los Angeles or may be Chicago … San Francisco too …atleast in India)

The first few posts we will travel across the very vibrant and effervescent New York.

The place had a very strong pulse to it…its got that typical vibe of a fast paced city…though that was mostly in the Manhattan area… places like Soho which I happened to swing by seemed quieter.

My first conversation in New York was with my cab driver who thought we were a lucky bunch visiting the best of USA in one trip….we were coming from DC and planned to visit Niagra while on the east coast and then off to LA….

First stroll on the narrow pathways of Manhattan, cabs running around, black,red and and a few strap sandals pacing down the blocks , walking tirelessly from one block to the other,  waiting on the signal and then quickly resuming…. I felt everyone had so much to finish by the end of the day that they wanted to quickly rush to their offices (this was ofcourse in the morning)

New York apparently had the best breakfast options and it seems no one really bothers with fixing the first meal of the day why would you when you have the best cuisines from all across the globe.

Considering that most of my assignments in India were based on a rural or atleast a semi urban setting this seemed like a striking change.

Also since it was summer time people from across the globe thronged the place especially the Times Square area.

The gallery includes the oh so special icon of freedom, the statue of liberty, and the Brooklyn bridge area…up next is Times Square.