Alhambra Fortress, Andalusia-South of Spain

Alhambra, The Red One or the Red Castle, is a fortress with gardens and palaces in Seville town, Malaga province in the Andalusia region in the South of Spain. The Alcazaba Palace is one of the palaces located in Alhambra. The history, culture, architecture and much more hidden in the walls of the fortress and palaces of Alhambra was fascinating.

Angamaly Diaries: Lush Green Rural Kerala!

On an emergency mission I traveled to Kerala, God’s Own Country, India. At the end of my rather sad mission I was able to experience some tranquility in the pristine environment of my cousin’s estate in ‘rural’ Kerala. Kerala state is a long strip of land on the west coast of India. As we have … Continue reading Angamaly Diaries: Lush Green Rural Kerala!

Spaceship 502-‘Flight of the Titans’-Branson and Bezos (5)

Reblogging ‘Flight of the Titans’ in honour of Sirisha Bandla’s successful flight into space July 11, 2021. ‘Always wanted to explore the sky, moon and the stars’!

Unni-Verse

We had heard exciting news that morning, July 3, 2021: ‘Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson will travel to the edge of space on Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc’s test flight on July 11, Branson’s space tourism firm said on Thursday, beating out fellow aspiring billionaire astronaut Jeff Bezos’. Flight of the TItans, Branson to blast off on July 11 and Bezos on July 20, 2021. Even more exciting was that a young lady of Indian-American astronaut Sirisha Bandla was to be part of Branson’s crew. She would be the second woman of Indian origin after Kalpana Chawla to travel in space! Or was she? If successful these flights would usher in a new era of private commercial travel into space.

Now is’nt that exciting? Of course, but if you have been following my posts, modest ‘Us’ have been travelling in our Spaceship 502 since March 2020! I have been…

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The Magical Holy Land: A Fusion of Cultures

It is difficult to believe that unrest has broken out in Jerusalem. We did feel the tension though all was peaceful and beautiful when we visited the Holy City, holy to all three major religions of the world, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. We first sighted Jerusalem from an Observation Point, high on the hills surrounding the city as we approached from Tel-Aviv. The most striking structure on the Temple Mount in the Old city of Jerusalem is the Golden Dome, Dome of the Rock, Second Temple in Judaism. The Western Wall, also called the Wailing Wall, circles the Dome of the Rock, Second Temple of the Jews and the Al Aqsa Mosque. With restrictions to enter the Temple Mount, this wall is the closest to the Temple and used by Jews to pray. There are separate sections for men and women to pray.
I describe this beautiful Old city in this blog.

Unni-Logs-Travel

The Holy Land is a fusion of cultures. It is the land where three religions of the world were born, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It has always amazed me that these three religions have a common history as recorded in the Old Testament, originate from the same land, the western end of Asia. I could not believe that we had set foot on this Holy Land.
We set out on our first tour of the Holy land with an enthusiastic tour guide who apparently had walked straight out the Old Testament, with a Biblical name Itamor. He introduced himself by handing out a quiz: Who was Itamor? Obviously, everyone failed. Mosses had a brother Aaron, Ithamor was the youngest son of Aaron, nephew of Mosses. Aaron and his male heirs were promised the exclusive rights to the High Priesthood. Ithamor followed Aaron as the high Priest.
We first sighted Jerusalem…

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Calvin’s Wardrobe and Mine

Traveling out of the country to the Western world in the nineties taught me that what you wear is a ‘signal’ and you are judged by it. In the world today where travel is restricted due to the pandemic and meetings and classes are conducted online the ‘dress codes’ have changed. But Calvin is still making a point here!

Unni-Verse

I started writing this blog Unni-Verse in 2016 and the first post I wrote was titled ‘Worldly Wardrobe Woes’. I was at my daughter’s place in Chicago and reflecting on my sense of traditional/ethnic wear and the Western choice of clothes. Today I came across this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon in the newspaper and was reminded of the same, social norms or mores (characteristic customs and conventions of a society) with regard to dress.

Hobbes is stating the norm or mores of the Western way of clothing where in summer everyone strips down to the bare minimum! “Don’t you get hot wearing long pants in the summer?” Long pants out, shorts are in!

In my post of 2016 I recorded a similar ‘Hobbes’ sentiment as expressed by ladies in New Haven, Connecticut. I reflect in my earlier post “In the early nineties, when I was a post-doc at Yale University…

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To market, to market to buy a fat fish!!

I enjoy visiting informal markets, hats (in Hindi), market fairs. In this blog I put together photos and notes on informal markets I observed in different parts of the world. Each is unique in its own way.

Unni-Verse

Lac Bangles, Bapu Bazaar, Jaipur, Pink City
Art Bazaar, Moscow

I am not an etymologist so anything I say on this subject should be taken with a pinch of salt. As far as I understand, the word Mandi in Hindi means a market place. Mandis are named after the products they sell. So a market selling vegetables, sabzi in Hindi, is referred to as a Sabzi Mandi or Vegetable market. The Mandi often gets extended into a local fair with other sellers occupying nearby spaces and selling street food, trinkets and with entertainment stalls for children. Such Mandis or Fairs are also called Haat or Bazaar in rural areas in India.

While the Hindi meaning of Mandi is a market place, it has different meanings in other languages. Mandi in Malayalam means a foolish girl. “What a Mandi she is following that fool around.” A foolish boy is called a…

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