New Year’s Day 2017


It was New Year’s day 2017. We had planned to meet our friends for lunch at Odaiba. We started early to visit a temple at Tsukiji. I came across this temple on the internet and I’ve wanted to visit it for a long time. New Year’s Day was perfect!

Tsukiji Hongwanji temple is a Buddhist temple very close to the famous Tsukiji market. It’s exterior is made of stone unlike other Buddhist temples in Japan. The stone exterior is based on ancient Indian architecture.

IMG_3395

People lining up in front of Tsukiji Hongwanji temple on New Year’s day

IMG_2630

Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple

The interior is just like any other Buddhist temple in Japan. I’ve seen the crowd in shrines and temples on New Year’s Day. But this temple was not very crowded. We waited for just about 5 minutes to get inside.

IMG_2612

Interior of Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple

 

IMG_3388

諦 (tai) means to see it attentively, or to see it as it is. It is a translation of the Sanskrit word, Satya for truth. How rich we can be at mind and heart by seeing ourselves, others, objects and events: everything as it is! I’d like to take this point of view to my heart at this very beginning of the new year.  – Yugen Yasunaga the Director-general, Tsukiji-hongwanji

Card of January [ Calligraphy for the New Year ] – 

IMG_2634

Finally, my favorite click!

Charlie Hebdo


When I first saw the image of Alan Kurdi, I couldn’t sleep that day. I didn’t have the strength to see it again. I’m a mother of a toddler boy almost the same age as Alan Kurdi. I just can’t imagine his final moments. Even as I’m writing this, I feel a lump in my throat. I hate war!! I hate it!!

When I first saw these two cartoons from Charlie Hebdo, I really didn’t know what they actually meant. Still I didn’t feel good to see the little one there again.

Cartoon 1:
Title: The proof that Europe is Christian
Christians walk on water… Muslim kids sink.”

Cartoon 2:
Title: So close to his goal
“Two Menus Of Children For The Price Of One”. (The clown looks similar to McDonald’s Ronald)

Later I read this:

Maajid Nawaz, founder of the think-tank Quilliam defended the magazine’s cartoon: “Taste is always in the eye of the beholder. But these cartoons are a damning indictment on our anti-refugee sentiment,” he wrote on Facebook. “The McDonald’s image is a searing critique of heartless European consumerism in the face of one of the worst human tragedies of our times.

“The image about Christians walking on water while Muslims drown is (so obviously) critiquing hypocritical European Christian “love”.

Source: www.independent.co.uk

But the latest cartoon is totally insensitive and in very bad taste. This has nothing positive in it. It was based on the recent Cologne Sexual assaults. The moment I read the translated text, I started hating it. Why do you want to put the innocent child there?

“What would have happened to little Alan if he grew up?” “A groper of women in Germany.”

160114172243-charlie-hebdo-aylan-kurdi-cartoon-exlarge-169

Source: cnn

There are lot of articles telling Charlie Hebdo didn’t mean it and people like me are oversensitive and are unable to grasp the satire. Whatever! I don’t like Charlie Hebdo!!

 

Pink Flowers


March, 2012: That was my first winter in Japan. I was desperately waiting for spring. It was then I saw this plum blossom at a local park. I felt so relived and happy when people told me that spring is just around the corner.

IMG_1470

Plum Blossom -Tsurumai Park, Nagoya

This is Japanese Camellia (Camellia japonica). I instantly fell in love with this amazing flower. The symmetry of petals is just perfect. It slightly resembles a rose and so it’s called the “Rose of winter”.

IMG_1530

Japanese Camellia – Atsuta Jingu, Nagoya

Tokyo Trip, Dec 2011


These are the photos taken during our trip to Tokyo in Dec 2011. It was my first trip to Tokyo but for GK it wasn’t. GK was living in Tokyo for 7 long years before moving to Nagoya.

That was the first time I saw Mt.Fuji and just couldn’t take my eyes off.

IMG_0113

Mt.Fuji, Japan

We went to Minato Mirai in the evening. I loved the full moon that day. This photo is one of my favourite.

IMG_0147

Minato Mirai, Yokohama

I remember GK took these two photos. The Minato Mirai skyline and Rainbow bridge in Odaiba.

IMG_0173

Minato Mirai Skyline, Yokohama

IMG_0348

Rainbow Bridge

IMG_0249

Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo

IMG_0253

Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo

Finally, a picture of Hachiko at the Shibuya station exit.

IMG_0256

Hachiko, Shibuya

 

Moth drinking nectar


ChikiTiki

This is a video of a moth drinking nectar from the flowers in our garden.The plant is Jasminum polyanthum (Pink Jasmine). We shot this video last spring. Gk spotted the moth and we recorded it immediately with the iPhone 5s we had at that instant. This is something I can’t forget because it was a day before we moved to Tokyo. Now waiting for this year’s bloom. I am seeing some pink buds already 🙂

Place: Nagoya, Japan
Date: April 30, 2015 

View original post

An afternoon stroll on the Nihonbashi bridge


I took a stroll on the Nihonbashi bridge after watching a TV programme which explained the history behind this bridge.  The centre of the bridge is the Zero milestone/ Kilometre zero for Tokyo i.e the distance to other cities from Tokyo is measured from this point. It was interesting to know that the area around the bridge is named after the bridge.

IMG_0552

Nihonbashi

日本橋(Nihombashi/Nihonbashi)   –>日本 (Nihon)- Japan, 橋 (Hashi)- Bridge.

IMG_0548

The first Nihonbashi Bridge was made of wood and was completed in 1603

 

IMG_0570

Nihonbashi 2015

 

IMG_0529

Zero Milestone in Japan

Nihonbashi Bridge was built in 1603 and designated by the Edo Shogunate government as the starting point of five major roads in Japan. The present Nihonbashi Bridge built in the Renaissance style in 1911, is a double-arched bridge made of stone. The calligraphy engraving “Nihonbashi” on the plaques on each of the four newel posts is based on the work of Yoshinobu Tokugawa, the last Shogun. In 1972, the original “Zero Milestone of Tokyo City”, formerly located in the middle of Nihonbashi Bridge was transferred to this square for preservation and replaced by a memorial plaque. The characters “Zero Milestone of Japan” on the plaque were taken from the writing of the then Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Eisaku Sato.

Both “Zero Milestone of Tokyo City” and Nihonbashi Bridge, which celebrated its eighty-eighth anniversary in 1999, are designated important cultural assets of Japan.

 

IMG_0568

Nihonbashi Bridge built in the Renaissance style in 1911, is a double arched bridge made of stone

 

IMG_0545

Lion at Nihonbashi Bridge

 

IMG_0544

Kirin ( a mythical creature) at the Nihonbashi Bridge

 

The engraving “Nihonbashi” in Hiragana and Kanji

 

IMG_0533

The original “Zero Milestone of Tokyo City”, formerly located in the middle of Nihonbashi Bridge was transferred to this square for preservation

 

IMG_0528

Zero Milestone of Tokyo City

 

IMG_0540

The memorial plaque in the middle of Nihonbashi Bridge

The highway built above definitely spoils the beauty of this stone bridge and also the river below. It’s now dark with no sunlight. This highway was built hastily before the 1964 Summer Olympic games. It is said that, before the construction of the expressway, the Mt.Fuji was clearly visible from the bridge. There is a petition from a number of people  for the removal of the highway.

IMG_0573 copy

The first Mitsukoshi department store

The first Mitsukoshi store was started near Nihonbashi bridge. It was founded by the Mitsui family in 1673 and was formerly known as Echigoya.

Here are some interesting pictures of Nihonbashi:

NewlyBuilt_Nihonbashi_1911_Tokyo

Nihonbashi 1911

Source: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihonbashi

 

Nihonbashi_in_1933

Nihonbashi 1933

Source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C5%AB%C5%8D,_Tokyo

 

Sto1001

Nihonbashi after 1945 bombing

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihonbashi

 

Taar Taar up pa..!!


Taar taar up pa..!

Taar taar up pa..!

(Star.. Star..! Up there! )

My LO was pointing upwards to the (imaginary) star. He loves the rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle little star” and the line “Up above the world so high” is his favourite.

“up pa… up pa..”

We had bought him a pack of radium stars for his room ceiling and it was lying idle in the shelf. I thought its high time to decorate his room with those stars. He was super excited and kept telling “taar taar” all the time until I finished.

It was getting dark outside. I pulled the curtains and closed the door. I felt a gush of happiness when I saw the stars above. It was stunning. My LO who was shouting suddenly lowered his voice to a whisper. He sat down and started admiring its beauty and I was moved.

I left him there and checked out the sky. It was a clear, no moon night with stars. I switched off all the lights and took him out to the balcony. It was dark and I pointed the real stars to him. He was still whispering “taar”. We both sat there for a while and I was lost in thought.

My childhood memories came flooding back. Those unwarranted power cuts, lying flat on the terrace gazing at the stars with my brother, pointing out all the constellations we knew and the quiet time we got. No worries except for the next day’s homework or the class test. The memory of Hale-Bopp and the enthusiasm we had in learning about planets, comets and meteorites is just awesome.

I wondered when was the last time I quietly admired nature and got immersed in its beauty. I grew up in Hosur, which is known for its pleasant climate. I remember those rainy days when I used to sit on a divan near the window with a book. Reading the book while listening to the subtle sound of raindrops outside is such a great feeling that can’t be expressed in words. I remember reading the novel, “His Name Was Not Listed” by Boris Vassilyev on one such beautiful rainy day. It’s still close to my heart.

As we grow older, the commitments and responsibilities are so overwhelming that we fail/forget/miss to look at nature through a child’s eyes. Childhood days are always the best. We need to create an environment where our children get an opportunity to experience and admire nature.

Still sitting in the dark, I found my LO sitting quiet. I wondered if he fell asleep. To my surprise, he smiled at me. It was a calm and serene smile.

** LO – My Little One – My baby