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Amazonia

A world without worries..Simple living..with nature..where only the Moon and the stars , the quiteness of the nite..reign. The music of the hissing of the jungle animals ..the chirping of the familiar voices of the birds entertain…where smiles, laughter and happiness reside !!! The life in a Amazonia village.!!!

Am I 73 years old today?

I was awoken by a phone call this morning with ” happy birthday” wishes. And I realize that I am 73 years old today.. ” Old” ..me..No way. I am as young and healthy and active as I when I was some years back. But then why do I have these rotational cuff shoulder pains, knee pains,not remembering words and forgetting names, and getting tired after just few games of badminton.

No, no..no..I am not getting old. Just a feeling and may be people around me keep on reminding me that I am an older guy. I think the same way I used to. My feelings and emotions are the same rather I have more experienced in all aspects. So who is getting old?

But at the same time denying aging is a failure to accept an important aspect of our being.

I met my school friends recently. Some looked the same and some I could not even recognize…altered by time and circumstances.

Age is an issue of mind over matter..if you don’t mind it does not matter.

I feel aging and old age should be taken in good spirit and we should be proud that we have achieved so much by way of experience and wisdom…We are like old wines, aged cheese and antiques.

Happy birthday to me !!!

Who cares about the age ?It is just a number anyway..

Long live old agers!

Iquitos- the Amazon’s !

The Amazon River and the rain forest …The Iquitos city is located in the Great Plains of the Amazon Basin, surrounded by the Amazon, Nanay and Itaya rivers.

The Northeast area of Peru..18 hours boat ride to Colombia and 6 days in rio Amazon to Manaus,Brazil.

Relaxed and refreshed as never before after a cold shower in the 37degrees C heat. Believe me it has a far better feeling than a hot water shower in freezing weather.
Half a million residents in Iquitos, the only city in the world of this size without any road connection. Only accessible by Water and air.
Once attracted prospectors from Europe for its Rubber and petroleum.
Amazon’s fascinating jungles and the magic of the expanse of world’s largest water volume, in the Amazon River is very enchanting.
Staying with a most hospitable welcoming family ( friends )has added to the joy of the visit. Family of 9 siblings ,grandparents and children. Even tonite’s birthday of one of the sisters….Mila…had a family gathering of over 20.
Eating home cooked food after a long time is a blessing.
Ceviches, the raw fish dish with a delicious lemony sauce, red onions ,local  beer and the world’s hottest littlest habanero was the best meal of the trip at Marjorie, Jaqi and Manual’s home…Susan’s (from Lima)aunt.
A visit to the Susan’s grand parents ( in their 90′ s) was so humbling. Sharing of beer with the grandfather was so fun.Stories  of their parents immigration (1915) from Spain were fascinating.
Every day has been so enjoyable.Amazon boat ride, Sun set , passing thr a village..dancing with indigenous folks and the markedo street food just awesome.
A morning walk thr the Belen mercado in Iquitos was fun..tasting the freshest home cooked local meals from soups to ceviches. Fresh cut meat, fillets, steaks, chicken cut to your taste.  Almost as interesting as the jungle itself, Belen is the center of an incredible variety of Amazon products; tropical fruits (the likes of which I have never seen before), fish of all shapes and sizes, turtles, birds, frogs and herbal medicines.
In Belen’s floating neighborhood.. for a few dollars one can take one of the small canoe-taxis for a tour of the waterways, some being paddled by small children eager to practice their English….as water level were so low we could not do it.
Walter ,our host warned us of pickpockteers. No cameras, no bags, no watches … just a little money to be taken to the marcado . But frankly I did not see any robbers.
37 degrees C a minute ago and now a really fast brust of rain. Walter and me walked for an hour in the rain. Childhood memories came back alive.
Although I have been to Amazon jungle before in Colombia, I still went to the Zoo and took a boat ride in the Amazon River where River Nanay converges..two water colours …… just awesome.

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Didi

Didi, is no more.

Sisters are connected heart to heart, distance and time cannot break that bond.

While I sit thousands miles away all those memories of childhood and growing up come alive. But we felt much closer  at this stage in our lives.

Those fights, arguments, criticism, taunts, fights over bathroom, monopolizing radio volumes,bedroom sharing, family feuds, jokes and secrets, sharing our joys and sorrows…..

underlining

 all these was 

Love and compassion hidden.

I remember her knitting,

all night, a sweater for me when I was leaving home for the first time for cold Kashmir.

She was so worried about Maneesh’s diabetes that  she created her own powder with over ten herbs.

When I was left alone in Delhi after Suniti’s demise,she opened her doors for me to live as long. The money I gave her to stay was returned with folded hands. I still remember her tearful eyes.

And I remember the shine in her eyes when I surprised her by coming to her wedding during my exams…she kept my Kashmiri pedestal lamp for years.

In recent times, I have been fortunate to have visited her many times. And to the surprise of Charley she could recall all those events, happenings in our lives. 

We still cherish her visit to Vancouver and Winnipeg.

To the outside world we all grow old…but not to sisters and brothers.We know each other as we always were.  We  knew each other’s hearts.

Didi, we will miss you for ever !!!

 A visit to the realm of Abstract..Vancouver Art Gallery


A  visit to the art gallery  is always  brain storming your abstratt and contemporary thoughts.Today was no different where two modern artists trying to contemplate relate their art to the world famous Emily Carr’s creations.

And the raining Valentine’s nite ended in the Japanese Kishimoto restaurant on commercial…with Nitasha and Ajay.