Friday, December 31, 2010

Detective Stories

I just can't keep away from my book reading... The recent one is of a collection of Detective Stories... The weirdest of these was the case where a dying man in his will wants to giveaway all his gold to a person whose weight is equal to the weight of the gold the dying man has. What a strange will!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

I have always been fascinated by the Egyptian culture. The trip to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose was enough to bring back my old enthusiasm for reading and finding out more about Egyptian culture.

The most fascinating thing of all is the embalming of dead bodies into mummies and placing them in ornate tombs with so much treasures in them.

The way the mummies hands are placed signify whether it is a mummy of a royal person on not. If the arms are crossed and/or holding symbols/weapons of power then it's sure to be a mummy of a king/Pharaoh!

This picture on the right is of cover of the coffin in which Tutankhamun's body was placed. It is a replica of the actual coffin.

The inside of the coffins were also full of paintings of sacred symbols or Gods or of After Life. We were totally lost in the mysteries of Egypt.

Below is a picture of a mummy from an Upper Class Egyptian family. Even though this body is thousands of years old, it has not disintegrated much. Curiously, when this body was scanned, the X-ray showed a metal pin at the knee cap. It is believed that while  embalming the body, some accident caused the knee cap to get crushed and the embalmers performed a surgery on the body to hold the knee joint with a metal rod/pin. Even thousands of years ago, these Egyptians had such skills! Amazing!

Before Greeks invaded Egypt, the Egyptian women (on coffins) were painted with yellow/golden faces to symbolize their cow Goddess, Hathor. However after invasion of Greeks, the queens had pinkish faces and hence, from then on the faces on the coffins were painted pink. Below is one such pinkish face.

This is just the beginning. There is so much more to discuss. A separate post on Egyptian culture will be posted soon! :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Knotty Tidbits: 9

Title: Reading out aloud

Lucky are those who love their spouses and luckier are those who share their love of reading. 

Nothing seems more peaceful than listening to the booming voice of the better-half narrating the story of an English boy who wants to be a detective ("When we were orphans") and leading me through the lanes of London; while I lie down with my eyes shut and letting my imagination soar to look at the same London lanes in my mind's eye! I lose myself in the high and lows of his voice and am totally engrossed in the narrative. Such moments in life are precious. They are to be cherished even if they last for just a couple of paragraphs... During those moments of togetherness, there is complete oneness of soul! Ooh! What a bliss! :-)

By the way, this photo is taken in Rosicrucian Egyptian museum, San Jose. We visited the place last week. I have so much to say about the museum; all that will be coming up as a separate post. It could be a series of posts, who knows?!! ;-)

Monday, December 27, 2010


We have been on look out for purchasing a carrom board for long. The sound of the striker hitting the carrom board and the coins falling into the corner holes.. Ooh! I simply love this game! This game was a must during all our holidays. It was a great pass-time.

Little did we realize that the meaning of Carroms on this side of the Atlantic ocean is very much different! In India, the game is played using a large striker made of glass or wood and the white and black coins made of wood. But here in the US, the coins look more like rings and are much smaller and the striker could be a cue stick too! That's quite a shock to us!

We can understand the concept of a game having a slightly different rules in different countries/cultures; but what beats me is the fact that the board itself is so different from what it is in UK/India!!! That's strange!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tandem - A Book Review

These days I have got back to my habit of reading. And I thought it would be nice to post a review of it here. The book is Tandem by Tracey Bateman.

This book is a sequel to a book named "Thirsty".

I got this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for review. Any book lover can register at their website and select books for review. The books are sent to our mailing address for free and we get to enjoy reading them. Then once we post the review of that book on their website, we can select the next book for review. This suits me well! :-)

Now coming back to Tandem...

This book is about a series of murders that happen in Abbey Hills. It is also the story of lives of several people living in Abbey Hills. There are a number of parallel threads in the storyline that makes this novel even more gripping.

Generally, I do not prefer reading vampire story, but this one is an exception. The narrative is not very gory or scary; yet there are some incidents in the novel that gave me goose-pimples. The twists and turns in the story kept me guessing the murderer whose details are not revealed until the end of the book.

The writing style is lucid and crisp with more emphasis on the narration rather than on describing the setting where the incidents take place. At the same time, the simple description of the locales give us a good idea about the landscape of Abbey Hills.

This book can be a good choice for entertaining us during long journeys/travel. And it can be good for people who like fast pace narratives, suspense and adventures.

I can't wait to read "Thirsty"! :-)

Good Old Days - Intro

I have been thinking of starting a new series of posts related to my childhood memories. And this is for what "Good Old Days" section is...

This morning while I was wiping my wet hands with a tissue, I was wondering when was the first time I saw/used one. 

Tissues are basically from western culture. In India, we use water for cleaning and hand towels for drying ourselves. In some ways it would have been better if we had stuck to the same. We can understand why tissues are a nessacity in Western countries; the weather is too cold to use water; but with a tropical climate like ours, using tissues is merely laziness or to flaunt class/status.

During our childhood days, Appa (father) would get us some tissues from the Air India flight. Some of them were wet tissues. We would sniff at their pleasant smell and keep it in some safe place for ages. I also remember stitching a dress for our barbie using a orange and white checked tissue. We would save the pink colored tissues and tissues with cartoon characters on them. Those were the days...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Year without a Summer...

While I wait for the rains to stop, I chanced upon this article about the year 1816. 

This article made me realize the smallness of the earth and how an eruption of a volcano in Indonesia would result in the decrease in temperature in the Europe and the Eastern part of the USA and in turn result in a year that had no summer, followed by a bitter winter and then one of the world's worst famine happened!!!

Surprisingly, this also resulted in a lot of other good things... like... the most spectacular orangy sunsets... invention of the predecessor to bicycle... invention of mineral fertilizers... and some world famous books and paintings...

A note of thanks to wiki that gives me food for thought!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Complaint and a Plea!

Sunny during the week , And rainy during the weekend!

Don't you think it's so unfair?
Yet again, we can't go anywhere...

Try to be more considerate towards us, O Lord!
We beg you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


With V so far from me, I have only one thing to give me company.


It's amazing how music brings peace to my mind... It makes me forget my loneliness...

For past two days, I have been swinging to all my favorite dance numbers in Hindi and Telugu and Tamil... Of course, I would not want to play romantic numbers... They would give me heartache!

When I work, I have a single song run in the background for hours together... It does not bore me at all! In fact, it helps me focus more on work and less on the song!!!

So, for another 3 days, I can follow the same ritual... And then??? And then I will have V with me! :)