Nostalgic Memoirs (ದಿನಚರಿಯ ನೆನಪುಗಳು)

This blog is an exploration of my unique experiences in life - Memoirs of my cherished memories for my friends, family and all well wishers. Feel free to leave your comments.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Valentine day chocolates

Valentine chocolates
The valentine day brings cheer to me every year especially in Japan, as I get to recieve chocolates from near and dear female friends. This year too I was presented with plenty of them coming from various quarters -work place friends, well wishers, kid friends and the most cherishable - girlfriend.
The concept of valentine day celebration in Japan is different from the rest of the world in that the ladies present gifts (necessarily chocolates) to their guy friends. Recently, in my japanese language class, I happen to learn that this custom exists only in Japan and probably started as a promotion from chocolate making companies. Interestingly, on television I heard that this year some companies also branded their chocolates as '逆 (Gyaku or Reverse) choco'. As the name suggests this was to promote gifting from men to women. I am not sure how big a hit it was. But at least it might profit those companies to some extent.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Year Wishes

Its a little late post wishing for the new year. I thought to end any further procrastination. The past year had been fulfilling on many occasions. Some of them I could document in my blog posts.
The year end parties were euphoric. Among them, the dept. party was a special one and most cherishing as I could sense the same euphoria among my colleagues and supervisors when I disclosed my personal commitments!

How shall I wish you all for the new year? Let me try in languages that I can manage to speak.

ಹೊಸ ವರ್ಷದ ಶುಭಾಷಯಗಳು (Kannada)
नया साल मुबारक (Hindi)
明けましておめでとうございます (Japanese)

Let the new season bring out the new spirits, enthusiasm, peace and love among all. In the wake of it, some make resolutions. Well, I don't vie to make any, for I cannot limit them to few!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Visit to India - My home

Marriage celebration

Japanese restaurant (Harima 播磨) and Lord Shiva temple at Mudukuthere

Most of the days in November I spent at my homeland - India, to attend a special celebration - my sis marriage. Thanks to my prof, I could get a fairly long vacation of nearly a month. As expected everybody at home were jubilant, busy in various preparations and eagerly awaiting for the event. I landed home a week before the actual celebration. Though I expected last minute tasks to be handed over to me, thanks to my dad, brother and rest of them that I didn't have to do anything other than taking photos or videos of pre-marital ceremonies, accompanying them to shopping and inviting my friends. As for me, the pre-marital ceremonies were itself hectic with lots of interesting rituals (Shastra ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ) happening at home. Some of them include dressing the bride each day in a new saree followed by ritual blessings from married women, bangle wear ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ, coconut leaf-roofed marquee (ಮದುವೆ ಚಪ್ಪರ) in front of home, applying henna (ಗೋರಂಟಿ) on hands and foot and so on. Those are some of the most enjoying and memorable moments as everybody in the family and friends come together and celebrate in unison.

The Indian marriage usually comprises of marriage and reception. The marriage is the actual event in which the pair dress in traditional wear and experience ceremonial rituals like tying the wedding knot (Thaali ತಾಳಿ), exchange of garlands, blessings from the attendees and many others. The customs however differ according to caste, religion, and the location. During reception, the groom dress in suit, the bride in glamarous saree and they greet the guests accompanied by series of photo-sessions. In addition two events are associated with dinner or lunch. The event though appears long and tiring for the marrying individuals, is nevertheless worth to cherish once in a life time.

Apart from marriage ceremony, I could make time to visit some of my relatives near and far. I also happen to go for the first time to a Japanese restaurant in Bangalore along with my siblings and cousins. Overall, the vacation was eventful except that I dearly missed going out with my old friends.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Halloween party 2007

Halloween ghosts and Halloween kids

In the last week of October, the yearly Halloween party was organized in a special Halloween train (the local Echizen train) at Fukui. The party is special since the entire train is converted into a disco floor for all sorts of halloween ghosts dancing to loud hip-hop music. The train travels in the evening from Fukui main station to a final stop at Katsuyama and returns back after a short break constituting a rocking ~3 hr journey.

Eco study tour on September 2007

Aerial view of Shirakawa-go town and Close-up of Gassho zukuri houses

My eco study group and Japanese paper (Washi) in the making

Its been a long time since the last post. In the last week of September, I and few of my friends had joined for the Eco study tour visiting various interesting places in neighbouring Gifu, Toyama and Ishikawa prefectures. It was my first time to participate in the event and I could enjoy it very well. Our first visit was to Shirakawa-go town in Gifu prefecture which is popular for ancient houses called Gassho zukuri . Together with that of Gokayama in Toyama prefecture they are designated as World heritage site by UNESCO. The walk to Gassho zukuri houses guided by local school children was good fun. The event was a 2-day trip during which we had hiking, group discussions, making japanese paper and so on. Overall the event was splendidly organized and kudos to Hokuriku JASSO group for their elegant effort.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sojourn at Manila, Philippines

The Beautiful "Taal" volcano and Mall of Asia

Tricycle rikshaw and Our Group

This November I happen to visit Philippines, my first entry to the country of my beloved. Though I had landed in Manila airport in January as a part of transit, this was my first visit inside the country. I was fortunate that the timing of visit was appropriate. My friend Kath, from Manila had just gone a week back to her home and was expecting my visit. My first impression of the country as I got out of the airport was "feel-at-home", since I found similarities to India. The baggage delivery area, the conduct of customs staff and the airport exit area were reminiscent of those in India.

On exit, I was very much pleased to see my friend and her family. I was glad to note the sense of cordiality from all their family members which made me feel-at-home once again. After the introductory greetings, we headed to their house. En route my friend showed the various popular streets, places, malls and also highlighted about the sightseeing trips for the next 2 days.

During my stay, I visited the famous 'Taal' volcano, the smallest active volcano in the world. It is nearly 50km from mainland Manila and has some spectacular views from nearby hilly regions. Though we couldn't reach near to it, the scenery from the far was good enough to capture vivid photographs.

The visit to a water park resort was another interesting one where I could chill out in the various water sports such as swimming, boating and others. Of notable interest was "Beach wave" where in water waves similar to ocean waves were artificially generated. The water sports were thoroughly enjoyable.

I happen to visit some of the popular shopping malls in central Manila. The biggest of them, in fact the biggest in Philippines, was "Mall of Asia" which sprawled a huge area just near to the Manila airport.

More than the places that I visited, the kindness and the cordiality of my friend's family members and her friends were the ones that impressed me and will stay in my memories for long time to come. Thanks to Kath for the way it was organized!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My first post in Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಥಮ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ಪೊಸ್ಟ್)

I just now explored the way to input kannada in my computer. Its simple and easy. Just follow the instructions given here. In order to install phonetic Kannada script one needs to download Indic input IME from Its amazing and works superbly.

ಗಣಕ ಯಂತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಥಮ ಭಾರಿಗೆ ಕನ್ನಡವನ್ನು ಬರೆಯಲು ಈಗಷ್ಟೆ ಕಂಡುಹಿಡಿದೆ. ಮೇಲೆ ಆಂಗ್ಲಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದಿರುವ ಹಾಗೆ ಗಣಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೊಫ್ಟ್ ವೇರ್ ಇನ್ಸ್ ಟಾಲ್ಲ್ ಮಾಡಿ.

Friday, October 05, 2007

My first Baseball experience

My first Baseball batting and M-chan batting

The pitcher and Our Baseball Group

Recently, I had an opportunity to try playing baseball, a new sport in my repertoires of sports. To play baseball was a fascination that I eagerly awaited since I arrived in Japan. In fact, I knew little of the game before coming to Japan and always thought of it as a variant of cricket in this part of the world. In the initial days I never bothered to know it seriously until a friend from Cuba, another nation hugely popular in baseball apart from Japan and US, explained the rules of the game. Baseball, as a game is so popular in Japan as is cricket in India. Though the game tools are similar to cricket (bat&ball), the rules of the game are quite different. Unlike in cricket where the bat is flat, baseball bat is a cylindrical stick which is swung horizontally to a fully tossed ball. A batter should however, not only make contact to the ball but also has to hit in the right direction to score runs. Look here for more rules. My first experience of playing it was quite good. A baseball game was organized as a send-off event to one of our lab member. It was good fun as we had included even the kids of a member of the lab staff. I was glad to make the opening score for my team.