Manhattanhenge

May 29, 2015

Twice a year, around summer solstice, the setting sun  perfectly aligns with every east–west street of the main street grid of Manhattan, New York City.  In an unimaginative spin on the *Stonehenge,this mini phenomenon called the Manhattanhenge.

What in God's name is going on?

Druid, where’s my car?

We missed it last year, but I was determined to witness the glory of the it all this year.IMG_0513

Even though it was too cloudy to see it, a whole bunch of people thought nothing of blocking the traffic and clicking away on their phones and cameras.IMG_0521

Ultimately that made a better spectacle than the celestial-engineering wonder we were all trying to witness.

*Stonehenge is so constructed  by ancient men that when seen from the centre of the circle the sun lines up with the certain stones on solstices.

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Pride Parade 2015

NYC,

June 28, 2015.

This year’s pride parade was extra special because of the Supreme Court ruling  passed the Thursday leading up to the parade weekend. Same sex marriage is now legal across the United States of America. Collages10

The parade was like one big party on the streets. LGBTQ or not, people turned out in droves in a show of solidarity. Afterall everybody needs somebody to love! 

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The day started out cloudy with a light drizzle., but hey how do you make a rainbow without any rain! and you know what else you need to make a rainbow – sunshine! So later the sun showed up.

Pride Parade 2015

I am so glad we got there early. By the time we were getting out, the sidewalks were packed like Bombay’s infamous local trains. In that mad crush, some people thought it was wise to bring along their babies in strollers and dogs. Poor creatures must be convinced they were brought here to show what happens to LGBTQ supporters. Quite the opposite of what their parents/humans intended, me thinks. Pride Parade 20151Meanwhile, somewhere in India..

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Bringing in 2014

Bringing in 2014

We brought in 2014 in a club in NYC with Livea and Nevil. Completely overrated experience. The hardwood floors were slippery with water and ice, and packed with bodies in various stages on intimacy. Please don’t let your imagination run too wild, there was no live sex involved, just dry humping.
I have always preferred house parties and am sticking those henceforth.

Celebrating the Goddess

Golu  or doll display for Navratri is one of my favourite childhood memories.  Appa would get on the high stool to get the plywood and aluminium frame out of the attic. Boxes of  carefully stored dolls and toys, some of which had been passed down through generations, would be lowered with great excitement. The brass would be enthusiastically scrubbed. Appa and I would set up the steps. This is how I learnt what a spanner was, and how to use it.

I think I inherited my love for golu from my grandmother. Back in time, her Navratri sorrow  was that she didn’t have a little girl who would bring her friends home for golu and who would go and invite the neighbours . To cheer her up, my uncle would go out on his cycle to invite the ladies for golu soirees.  How grand those evenings would be! She would deck up in her finery and make chundal by the bucket!  She would unfailingly relate  this story every year.

Once our golu was up,  the battle would begin. She would sermonize on how the golu was sacred and not to be touched. I would insist on being able to play with the dolls and toys on it. My mother would mediate and it would be settled that I could play with my dolls/toys which would be set up on the bottom-most step. Everything on the other steps was strictly out of bounds.

golu 2012

A trip down memory lane – Our setup last year

Last year (2012), for my first independent  golu; my first golu as a married woman, my parents gifted me a lovely  set of clay dolls depicting a wedding.  In the spirit of our wonderful trip to Kenya, I had created a little Hippo pond as a side feature. This year, this fall will be my first fall. In India, atleast in my part of it, we have  only 3 seasons. Summer, Monsoon and Winter. I have heard so much about the colours of fall. This will be the first time I will witness it.  It’s still early in the season, the leaves are just starting to change colours. I am so excited, that I’ve made it this year’s golu theme.

Golu 2013

Our Fall Themed Golu

PS – Scroll over the photographs for details 🙂

Bar Brawl

By the time that the table had slid into another table and overturned a couple of benches there was enough impetus to start the night’s overdue brawl, especially since the big man had a few friends with him. Since no-one felt like attacking the ape, who had dreamily pulled a bottle from the shelf and smashed the bottom off on the counter, they hit whoever happened to be nearest, on general principles. This is absolutely correct etiquette for a tavern brawl.

That above is Terry Pratchett. I witnessed my first BAR BRAWL in the United States of America, on Cinco de Mayo. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bar brawl anywhere before. That makes it my FIRST bar brawl ever.

Cinco De Mayo is the Mexican celebration of the day the French Army, at that time the best in the world, undefeated for 50 years was defeated by the Mexican army at the battle of  Puebla, even though the Mexican army was much smaller in numbers and far less well equipped than the French.

Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for 5th of May.

Every bar around had special offers.

Given the significance of the day, we opted to go to a Mexican place for dinner. Since the place in question was next to  the Husband’s office, it had been tried and tested by him before. But, the carnival atmosphere when we got there was something that took him entirely by surprise.

Mid-way through our dinner, there was a sudden commotion and what do we see. Two men burst in from the outdoor area. Noise, loud voices, a small crowd. One guy runs crazily, pushing table out of his way. The other is being restrained by bouncers.  Bouncers let go of held guy, who moves menacingly towards his target. Some more tables are pushed. Bouncers take another step forward and dissipate the tension.

The party continues !!