Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Photography: Silhouette shots of my spouse....

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Place: Mary's grotto at Mission San Diego......

This Mary statue located in a serene corner of the Mission San Diego....under a lush fig, surrounded by perennially-blooming flower beds was my go-to place for three years........during my entire residency in San Diego...
This Hindu girl used to go crazy if she did not visit this place at least twice a week....:)
I used to relax on the wooden bench in the lawn, sniffing the heavenly citrus blooms, basking in the beauty of quince, magnolia, jacaranda, bougainvillea, daisy, hibiscus, pomegranate, lily blossoms..while listening to the hummingbirds, warblers.....
Sometimes, I used to remove the stale flowers from the statue and made bouquets from the fresh flowers.....

Another grotto in the same campus...........

It was bliss........
Few days back we left San Diego for our new house in Irvine...and I miss this place the most....

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Photography: Our shadow shots............

When you  don't have a third person to take your picture....and you don't like those facial selfies......:)
Me and spouse, during our hiking.........

Selfie shadow.......

Friday, May 27, 2016

Plant: Mesquite or prosopis........

Mesquite, a Fabaceae family members abounds in arid South West region of the USA...
Thy are one of the keystone plant of the desert landscape...the plant can be of three types..honey, screwbean, velvet....
The plants bloom in spring...bees swarm to pollinate the flowers  and gather nectar....
On a visit to the Anza Borrego desert, we came across these abloom, fragrant plants...what a pleasant sight it was!

Wood of the plant is uses to grill food....
The chartreuse canopy in spring.......

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Observation: California ghost towns................

California state has a number of ghost towns..........once thriving, but now abandoned places........
Some of them are historical sites.......many are mere relics of the mining boom time and now constitute only dilapidated houses...
There are about 250 small-big ghost towns peppered across the length of California.........
En route travel destinations, I have passed by some of them........like Bodie (Mono); Calico (San Bernardino); Cuyamaca City, Stonewall, Julian (San Diego).............

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Learning: My Arabic vocabulary ........

Some Arabic words and their English meanings.....
angelic smile: aibtisamat malayikia
apple sauce: sulsat alttafah
aspen: alhur alrrajraj
autumn: fasl alkharif
autumn leaves: 'awraq alkharif
bay: khalij
Beach: shati
beautiful: jamil
bed: sarir
bed tea: alshshay alssarir
beech: khushub alzan
beer: bayratan
biotechnology: alttiknulujia alhayawia
birds: alttuyur
blanket: btania
blessing: barika
blog: mudawwana
breeze: nusim
brother: shaqiq
call of the widerness: daewat lil widerness
camel: mjamal
cape: alrras
caravan: qafila
carpentry: 'aemal alnnijara
celebration: aihtifal
cheesecake: fatirat aljubun
cherry flower: zahrat alkurz
Christmas: eid almilad
chubby: bidayn
clouds: sahab
coffee: qahuww
coriander: kazbra
cornflakes: raqayiq aldhdhura
cottage: kukh
Country: balad
cow: baqara
cuddly: mahbub
cute: darif
desert: sahra'
dessert: halwaa
dinner: taeam aleasha'
divine: 'iilhi
dovecote: burj alhamam
drought: jafaf
dumpling: zalabia
earthquake: zilzal
exquisite beauty: rayieat aljamal
eyes: euyun
fairy: jannia
fat: dahun
father: al'ab
fences: al'aswar
fire: hariq
fireworks: 'aleab naria
flower: zahra
foot bridge: jisr almasha
forest: ghaba
frail lady: sayidat ahy
fried rice: al'arz almaqalli
game hunting: luebat alssayd
garden: hadiqa
garlic-cheese bread: alkhubz waljubn walththawm
God: alllah
green sweater: satrat khadara'
grilled chicken: dijaj mashawwi
ground: 'ard
hair: shaear
Halloween: eyd alrrueb
handsome: jamil almuzahhir
hawk: saqr
headache: sudae alrras
hill: tal
hill station: mahattat alttll
Hindi music almusiqaa alhindia
horse: hisan
hot rice: al'arz alssakhin
humming bird: 'aziz alttuyur
hurricane: 'iiesar
husband: alzzawj
icecream: bawza
industry: sinaea
island: jazira
jasmine: alyasimin
kids: 'atfal
king: malik
lake: buhayra
latin: latinia
lawrence: lurins
lemonade: easir alllaymun
lentil: eadas
lichen: hizzaz
life: haya
lily pond: zunabbiq baraka
long drive: hamlat tawila
love: alhubb
lovely girl: fatatan jamila
lovestory: qissatan hubb
mall: majmae tijari
mango pickles: almukhallalat almaniju
marriage: zawaj
meadow: maraj
memories: dhikriat
milk: halib
mistletoe dabaq nabb'at ttafili
mob: tajammuhur
moon: alqamar, hilal
moonlit night: yillat muqmara
moss: tahallib
mother: 'um
mushroom: fatar
mustard: khardal
nature: tabiea
New Year: alssanat aljadida
oak tree: shajarat albalut
oasis: wahh
officer: dabit
parade: mawkib
pillow: wasaddatan
pine tree: shajarat alssanawbar
pineapple juice: easir 'ananas
playground: maleab
pretty woman: aimra'at jamila
pumpkin pie: fatirat alyaqtin
queen: malika
rabbit: 'arnab
rain: mtr
rice: al'arz
ridge: qimmat jabal
river: nahr
romantic: rumansy
roof: sath albayt
rose fragrance: airtafae aleatar
rugged: waear
salad: sulta
scientist: ealim
sea: bahr
sheep: khuruf
shop: matjar
silk robe: rada' alharir
sky: sama'
smooth: naeam
snow: thalaj
spectacular: mudhahal
spicy lentil: leads harr
spring: rbye
spring blooms: tazhar fi alrbye
storm: aiqtiham
study table: tawilat alddirasa
stunning lady: sayidat mudhhila
sugar: alsskkar
summer: alssayf
sun: alshshams
sweater satira
sweets: alhulawiat
swimming pool: hammam alssibaha
sycamore: shajar jamiz
tea time: waqt alshshay
toys: alllaeb
tree: shajara
vanilla cake: kaekat alfanilia
vegetables: khdarawat
vineyard: karam
volcano: barkan
wall: aljidar
waterfall: shallal
wedding: hafl zawwaj
white: 'abyad
wilderness: barria
wine: nabidh
winter night: laylatan shita'
woman: aimra'a
woodland: ghaba
year: sana
yucca: alykkat nabb'at

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thought: On wildlife protection...........

It is well-known that almost every animal is endangered due to monopoly and greed of our species.......
Some are at more threat than others, for their body parts that human has learned to consume or trade...some are victims of habitat destruction.....overall, its a SOS call time..
One and all must realize that life on this globe thrives due to a complex network among all living species...
If one link is broken, other will follow suit and  lives, which took millions of years to evolve will perish....
As the most evolved organism and the most evildoer, responsibility lies on humans to amend the crimes done....
Cecil, the lion's hunting created major uproar last year....it seemed like people in this trade will  wake up...but the crime continues unabated...
The Japanese killing Minke whale....to some Latin American countries trading endangered animals as exotic pets....to rain forest habitat destruction of Orangutans for palm oil plantation....to rhinoceros poaching....to rare animal and plants exploited unsustainably for illegal medicinal purposes.....the picture is bleak........

The recent picture of piles of ivory burning in Kenya was a welcome move, but is saddens to think of the gentle giants, who have been brutalized....
St. Francis of Assisi....the protector of animals....

Learning: My Japanese vocabulary ........

My meager but increasing Japanese vocabulary.............
apple: ringo
autumn: aki
birds: chōrui
boy: otokonoko
brother: ani
cake: kēki
camel: kyameru
cat: neko
Cherry Blossoms: sakura 
clouds: Kumo
cow: mushi
daughter: musume
desert: Sabaku
dessert: Dezāto
dog: Inu
earthquake: jishin
festival: Matsuri
friend: yūjin
garden: Teien 
girl: on'nanoko
God: Shin
father: otōsan
fish: sakana
flower: hana
forest: Shinrin
husband: otto
island: jima, Shima
Japanese quince: boke
love: ai 
market: ichiba
milk: Miruku
milk: Miruku
moon: tsuki
mother: haha
mountain: Yama
ocean: kaiyō
orange: orenji
orchard: ōchādo
persimmon: kaki
rain: ame
river: Kawa, gawa
seaweed: nori
sky: sora
snow: yuki
son: musume 
soup: sūpu
spring: haru
temple: jiin
tree: ki
vegetables: yasai
volcano: Kazan
watermelon: suika
winter: fuyu
woman: josei
Japanese words with English meanings..
Chanoyu: Tea ceremony
Hoshigaki: air-dried persimmons
Shishi-odoshi: The bamboo fountain in Japanese garden
Yuzu: A citrus fruit originating in East Asia
Zori: Sandals made ​​from rice straw.

More to add.........

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Thought: On the charade of celebrating Days.........

Has social media made people insensitive? I think so....not little bit, but overwhelmingly selfish and callous...after all, what can  be expected from selfie-crazy Age...
It was mother's day few days back....
Unfailingly all the pages wished mothers...........that's great...mothers are living epitomes of God...they deserve to be hailed, not in a particular day, but everyday.......
but, the vocal show seemed meaningless....
Imagine the feelings of a person, who has lost his/her mother.......getting reminded every now and then is like rubbing acid on a scar..
Same goes for other modern day celebrations........
Valentine's..........the funny fest of rose, balloons and toys.........
How does a person just undergone break-up feel on that day?
Same for numerous other consumer-enticing festivals...

Why nobody shows that enthusiasm or Earth day, wildlife day, forest day, clean water day, sustainability day...
Because they negate consumerism, greed, exploitation etc...which does not go well with the interest of capitalists...
Time to wake up.........and to understand and respect the kernel...not the shell...

Monday, May 9, 2016

Thought: 'Keep so busy that you don’t get time to grieve'....

Despite being meticulous in putting together the threads of life, things often go out of control. 
At such chaotic times, one nugget of lesson from my mentor keeps me going. He would often see me in frowns..for countless reasons…difficulties of a doctoral research..... staying away from home..stray talk of loose-mouth colleagues mostly :). 
One day he made me sit across his office table and advised “I wonder when you get so much time to nurture worries; bury yourself in work so deep, you hardly get any time for entertaining worrisome stuffs. And you will be proud of the result”. I never followed him blindly (much to his chagrin), but this sermon stirred my soul and since been my savior.

Reinventing my life on this philosophy has led me to achievements, I would not have imagined...
Well, in my early thirties, an MS in bioinformatics and a PhD in Biotechnology........and 75+ publications...seems good enough......

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Joy: Our Mission valley neighborhood.......

Mission valley, San Diego........we lived here for 3 years.........
An old callery pear tree outside our apartment and a Torrey pine tree in the backdrop..

I loved to hang out in the old mission and the San Diego river preserve.........
There was an old quaint feel to it that was pleasant.......

A Jesus statue in the Mission.....

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