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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April is for Mom...

She called my name in panic and then joggled me hurriedly, "Wake up, you did not tell me you have your economics exam today. Why are you are still sleeping?"
"Please Ma, it's day after tomorrow. Let me sleep." I turned on the other side of my bed and hid my face under the comforter. Last night I had studied till 3.00 am. 
She was annoyed and losing patience, "Your friend is sitting in the living room, waiting for you. I don't understand why you are so careless!", she reprimanded me pointing at the clock "Get up, you should have left by now." It was eight in the morning.
She shook me again,"Get ready in 15 minutes. I am going to prepare breakfast", and she left hastily.
My eyes were wide open in panic- from last few days I had been practicing for my accountancy paper and she said economics.
I rushed from my bed, and ran downstairs to confirm with my friend. I hardly had any time. I would fail, I was in extreme panic. After reaching the living room, she wasn't there.
"I walked towards the dining hall and found my mom gazing intently at the newspaper. She put down her reading glasses and lowered the newspaper, "She is in the washroom." I went near washroom but door was open, and still there was no clue of my friend. Finally my attention dawned upon my sister who couldn't contain herself anymore and started laughing hysterically. She had been fooled an hour ago with the same prank. Now our mom joined in laughing and jumping like a teenager and shouting "April fool, April fool."
This incidence is still vivid in my memories of 1st April among many others. Our mother being a morning person always managed to fool us in sleep or even otherwise. And none of us in the family are spared from her pranks, not even our father
P.S. This year due to my travel plans, I won't be taking part in April AtoZ challenge. Though you can check my previous years' participation posts of April challenge here:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Evenings over the frozen lake

Soon after we relocated to Madison in summers, we paid a visit to lake Mendota that was surrounded by lush green flora that time. During our conversation to some residents there, we gathered that in winters this lake freezes and people walk, ski and do ice fishing on it. And then a wait to witness another version of this lake started. Few months later, after watching hues of fall, came winters. I was finally standing over the lake with no drenching and drowning in water, caught up in the merriment of the moment. Belonging from comparatively much hotter region on earth, skepticism of surviving the chills of winters like these, where even lakes freeze, was extremely high.

​View of lake in winters (above), view of lake back in summers from the same point (below)
I looked at some kids playing on one side of the lake with their parents. On another side my gaze followed a group of men, walking to the deepest points (deepest till 83 feet) without any fear or anxiety. I had heard stories about cracking of ice on solid waters, where sometimes people die of hypothermia. So, I instinctively maintained my proximity to the shores.

Post few weeks, our Italian friend, planned a trek to the lake. He took us to the backside of the same lake, which we had not explored yet. As we reached down to it, there was a stunning white floor all around. It was another view of the frozen lake, much more mesmerizing, much more exciting. We continued to walk ahead. I was extremely cautious and alert of the brittle floors in between. Somewhere I was scared that due to my weight floors may crack and I will drown in coldest waters I have ever known. Past some ten minutes of walking, we saw a truck standing in the middle of the lake and two men ice fishing. My heart sensed a warmer feeling with a sudden sense of safety. My body felt lighter. Talking to one of the men there, we found out that this year ice sealing the lake is thinner i.e. from twenty eight inches thickness of previous years to mere fourteen inches. 'Global warming', I sighed thinking.
​From left to right: Our shadows on the lake floor, my husband and our friend walking ahead,
I am standing beside a fishing hole, ice-fishing in action)

Walking over the icy lake was in my immediate bucket list, and I was happy that my wish had been fulfilled. While coming back we saw a splendid sunset leaving its gleam all over the ice. A feeling of gratification was filled in us for our friend. It was because of him we experienced this beautiful day. Soon as we stepped on to the earth from solid water, he teased me saying ‘you are finally safe’ and laughed aloud.

​Sun going down from the time we started our walk to the time we reached back to that point.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Visit to Limestone Caves, finding God and evolution

My previous year was dedicated to traveling, exploring and absorbing myself in this new western world of East and mid-west in United States. I also spent some time trying my hands at Canvas paintings and polymer clay crafts (that I deeply fell in love with) and will eventually share those works here.

Right at the beginning of this year I visited one of the most beautiful natural sights in Madison with my husband called 'Cave of the Mounds', which was discovered in 1939. The delightful beauty of this limestone cave illustrates nature's intricate handiwork, with many beautiful structures inside. Limestone is majorly made up of Calcium Carbonate, that came from shells of marine organisms on ancient ocean floors. Since these are water soluble, rainwater created cavities in them forming a cave. The water that formed cavities, carried calcium carbonates to other areas creating new formations inside the caves. Many of these formations and structures took millions of years to form.
My previous visit to any such limestone cave was back in India in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, though those caves did not have cavities as deep as this. And hence walking here was a richer experience for me.
Cave of the Mounds, Wisconsin
During our walk, we spotted two places with peculiar formations (specifically to Indian eyes) closely resembling Indian Gods. The first was common and often found i.e. Shiva-ling. The second one resembled Lord Ganesha. With a quiet understanding, we passed a smile at each other. Both of us knew, if it was in India, this would have been a place of religious interest.

Formation inside the cave resembling to Lord Ganesha (above)
and Shivaling (below)
On our way back home, we were discussing about such places in India where devotees go despite the journey being life threatening. And many people each year lose their lives to be at those religious places. Interestingly, many of the relatives of dead consider it to be auspicious when their known die there (since everyone will die someday), believing them to reach heaven. Perhaps it is the spirit of adventure and the hope of finding something bigger than ourselves that makes us go such great lengths.

Since these caves were formed on ancient sea-bed, the limestone here were rich in many minerals and fossils. We bought fossils of fish, which being a biologist’s wife now, is a cherished possession at our home. 
The Ammonites (spiral shaped fossil) were sea creatures that lived from 65 to 350 million years ago and are now extinct.
It is interesting to see how every creature on earth including ourselves, evolved from fishes- you may find the first episode of this documentary interesting – Your inner Fish

P.S. Wish you all a very Happy 2017 :)

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