Jun 28, 2012

Canada Snapshots - Thursday Challenge (Wood)

Today's Thursday Challenge is  WOODEN (Furniture, Buildings, Crafts, Trees,...)

I saw these in a shop in Canada and fell in love with them ! 
I guess you can call this wood craft :P
Cute aren't they ! 

Jun 25, 2012

Canada Snapshots - A thousand Islands !

One thing I really enjoyed during my trip to Canada was the boat ride on the  1000 islands. 1000 islands is a group of more than a thousand islands dotted upon the St Lawrence river. Some of the islands are relatively big and some tiny enough to hold just a small house.The river here actually forms an International border between US and Canada so some of the Islands fall in the US and some in Canada.
Most of these islands have been bought by the rich and the famous and they have built beautiful summer homes there. The houses are so spectacular that I spent most of the boat ride half hanging out of the boat lusting after them and wishing that one day the good lord gives me enough money to buy homes like these.
The bridge across the St Lawrence river with US on one side and Canada on the other.

Some of the islands are tiny enough to hold just one house ! Most of them have flags to show which country the Island belong to ! 

This family owns two islands and have built a quaint little bridge to connect them. How cute is that ! 

Most of the residents spent their summers doing this 

or this 

This is life eh ! 

Jun 22, 2012

Canada Snapshots - Walking the Trails !

 The best thing that I liked about my stay in Canada was that it was a very relaxed laidback time. My two weeks in London were spent in hectic sightseeing and rushing about and I think the only time I sat down in those three weeks was when I boarded the flight to Toronto. 

My brother stays in a small town off Toronto and away from the hustle bustle of the big city. The town had a lot of nature trails and there was one right behind my Brother’s house. At all times, it had people walking their dogs,hiking, cycling, fishing in the small creek or simply 
barbecuing in the open. The Canadians love the outdoors, or perhaps because it was summer in Canada and summer is so much anticipated there, that everybody who can walk or crawl was out there soaking in the sun.

There were a few trails right behind my brother’s house and I had a marvellous time walking them. 

The trail behind my Brother's house ! 

The creek nearby ! 

I loved walking along the creek 
 I spotted a lot of wild life as well. Chipmunks and interesting birds whose names I don’t really know and I could never capture on camera ! But I did manage to capture this cute Bunny ! 

An unusual tree I saw .....

 When I was not walking the trails, I was sitting by the lake enjoying the peace and quiet. ! 

Jun 20, 2012

Hello Ji. Kiddan? Welcome to Kanedda !

I really haven’t written anything about my travels to Canada last year, so the next few posts are going to be dedicated to that wonderful country.

 I landed at Toronto’s Pearson airport after spending two weeks in UK. I had the most marvellous time there and London is way on top of my list of favourite cities. But let’s face it, The British are a formal lot and when I landed I was more than slightly jaded after two weeks of the British stiff upper lip and 8 hours of snootiness by a BA air hostess. The reason that my spirits rose immensely upon reaching Toronto can be attributed to the fact that as soon as I entered the airport, I found myself face to face with an extremely handsome airport official. I was so enraptured by his blindingly good looks that I could barely tear my eyes from him to take the form he was holding out. I was soon to discover the Canadians are as a rule tall, rugged and rather handsome. This revelation off course played a huge role in my stay there being a success! 

Also, I felt as if I had landed right into the heartland of sadda Punjab. The immigration officer was a Punjabi and so were majority of the airport staff along with most of the passengers. I heard more of Hindi and Punjabi at Pearson airport than one would hear even at our very own IGI. And I dare say, the people around me were speaking much better Punjabi than me ! 

After collecting my bags I was looking around for a trolley when I realized that you needed to put a coin in the designated slot to pull one out. All I had with me were currency notes and for some reason, the ATM at the airport wouldn’t allow me to withdraw money. The way to the exit was quite a walk and the prospect of lugging my two very heavy suitcases till there was not a happy one. I looked around for someone I could ask for help. The nearest airport attendant at hand happened to be a Sikh. He was tall and rather plump and his white beard flowing over his ample belly made him look like a benign Santa Claus. I poured out my woes to him. He took one look at me and asked me where I was from. I had the good sense to say Chandigarh instead of Delhi. He gave me a huge smile, took out a key, released a trolley and said, "Koi gall nahi jee, le jaayo Trolley! Welcome to Kanedda !"

Needless to say, a very auspicious start to my stay :P 

Jun 18, 2012

What’s in a Name!

My overwhelming desire while I was in London last summer was to see a traditional Pub with oak furniture, fire burning in the hearth, draught beer drawn from a keg and perhaps a game of dominoes being played in a corner. Unfortunately most of the pubs I came across were modern establishments but I did come across something interesting – Unusual Pub and restaurants names!

Here’s one on Convent Garden, ostentatiously named after the famous Puppet Show.

And my all-time favorite, I saw this near Westminster.  Perhaps its frequented by detectives ! 

And I suppose even writers must eat ! 

And finally a Pub in Windsor named after Royalty. It was initially called The grapes, then the Knight Tavern and Finally renamed the Duchess of Cambridge Pub.
Oh heck I suppose even royalty needs a pint now and then :p 

Jun 15, 2012

The two kinds of Sunshine

Delhi summers, 2.30 in the afternoon. Hot enough to make you feel like a baked potato (or a fried chicken) even inside an A/C car. Tired after driving the whole day through horrendous Delhi traffic and running errands in the heat, all my thoughts are on reaching home as soon as possible.

I try zipping through a green light before it turns red but it changes before I can cross it and so cursing under my breath, I stop the car. I am on the dreaded BRT corridor so I know I am in for a long wait. The sun beats down mercilessly, forming shimmering mirages and almost melting the tar off the road. There’s not a single soul in sight, it’s so hot that even the beggars and the people selling fresh coconut slices refuse to budge from under the shelter of the trees. I increase the car A/C to full and thank god for the black tinted car windows that I have neglected to take off even after our honorable supreme court asked us to. I try to turn my mind away from the heat and think of other things but I am too restless and impatient to do so. 

Suddenly there is a knock on my window. Expecting a beggar I turn towards it with a frown. A small boy of about 11 stands there, holding a bunch of glossy magazines in his hand. He asks me if I will buy a magazine. I can hardly hear him through the closed window but anticipating what he is saying, I shake my head in a No. He asks me again, this time showing the magazines to me one by one. I turn my head to look in the other direction. After a while I notice, or rather sense him still standing there. He is there all right, still holding up the magazines. Catching my eye he smiles, white teeth flashing against brown sunburnt skin and waves the magazines enticingly towards me. Once again I shake my head in a firm no. Not one to be deterred easily, he shows me the magazines one by one, Health, Femina, outlook, India today, some travel magazines. He sees me glance almost involuntarily at the travel magazines and immediately flicks one open to show me the different articles, his smile making his face look almost impish. Again I shake my head, this time gesturing with my hands for him to leave, but I can’t help smiling back a little.  Undeterred by my refusal, or perhaps egged on by my smile, he continues to stand there.  I find myself observing him. His clothes are faded but clean. Scrubbed face and hands and neatly brushed hair, he doesn’t really look like a beggar or a street urchin. I notice that his eyes crinkle up mischievously when he smiles.  

He keeps imploring me to buy the magazines and I keep refusing, but his smile is contagious and I find myself laughing back as I shake my head ruefully. Finally I start fiddling with the car radio, and pretend to be busy changing channels. I look up to see him still standing there patiently. He holds the magazines in one hand, wiping the sweat streaming down his forehead with the other. For the first time I notice that his shirt is clinging to his back and shoulders with sweat and his eyes are almost screwed shut against the harsh glare of the sun. He notices me scrutinizing him and his face breaks into a grin. Grinning back, I finally give in. I roll down the window and buy a magazine and I am rewarded with a smile sunnier than the sun above and an enthusiastic “thank you mam !”

I honestly don’t know why I am writing this here. But something about that little imp of a boy and his smile appealed to me and I just had to blog about it. When I think of him it’s not with pity for a small boy trying to make a living in the heat, but rather of an cheerful, enterprising soul who early in his life has learnt never to be deterred by something as trivial as the summer sun or  a no from a cranky lady sitting in a car !

Jun 5, 2012

If I may preen a bit ...

Remember this post I wrote on how much a Punjabi Loves their paranthas? Well it’s been picked up by Life365, a Newspaper published from Pune and has appeared in their today’s section on Travel and Food. 
Here is the article. Pliss to be reading! 


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