Sagrada Familia –a symbol of Barcelona

This article first appeared in the June 2015 issue of Valley India Times. Barcelona, the enchanting sea side city of Spain, has a lot to offer to people of all ages and interests – museums, parks, beaches, night life, and historical buildings and monuments. Everything about this city is simply magical that charms you and make you want for more. However, the key reason why I included Barcelona in our itinerary during our Europe trip this April was its amazing architecture. To me, among other things, what sets Barcelona apart from any other city of Spain are its extraordinary architectural … Continue reading

Living in Two Cultures

 This article was first published in the  May, 2014 issue of  “Valley India Times . Some of the most common questions that invariably come up during conversations when people of Indian diaspora get together at dinner parties or at some cultural functions are, “When did you come back from India?” “How often you visit India?” or a more serious question such as “Are you thinking of moving back to India?” In case you happen to meet with someone for the first time, get prepared to respond to a standard question, ”How long you have been in the US?” While all … Continue reading

Gateway Arch – An Engineering Marvel

This article was first published in the August 214 issue of Valley India Times. This article was first published in the August 214 issue of  Valley India Times. Last month, when we visited our relatives in Bloomington, a small town 130 miles from Chicago, the intent was not travel or sightseeing but only to hang out with them, get a break from the triple digit temperatures of Phoenix, and relax in cool weather. We never expected that besides Chicago (that we have already been to), there will be tourist destinations near this small town of Bloomington. We were taken by … Continue reading

American English vs. British English

This article was first published in the  October, 2012 issue of  Valley India Times, When the US athletes and other personnel embarked on their Olympics journey in London, they had a perception that communication in another English speaking country would be a piece of cake.  Their notions, however, were dispelled when they discovered that certain words and phrases in British English were absolutely different from those in American English.  This got me thinking, “Didn’t I share similar perceptions before I moved to the United States at the beginning of this century?” Sure, I did. Growing up in the post-colonial India … Continue reading

Education Matters- India vs. the US

This article was first published in the February , 2013 issue of Valley India Times . Like many other teachers of Indian origin who prefer to remain in the field of education when they move to the US, I, too, opted to remain an educator after I immigrated to the US with two decades of teaching experience in India.  This experience, however, brought in demanding challenges, revelations, and surprises resulting in an immensely steep learning curve.  Full time high school teaching unfolded so many other aspects of the education system which I could not perceive as a substitute teacher in … Continue reading

With Hope for a ‘Safe’ New Year

First published in the January , 2013 issue of Valley India Times. My husband returns home from work on a Friday afternoon wearing an expression of shocked grief instead of his usual relaxed one, “There is a bad news,” he says and before I ask him, he speaks out, “There was a mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.”  “Another one……..little kids?”  That’s all I could utter, feeling my heart stuck in my throat.  In shocked disbelief, I turn the TV on and with bated breath we listen to another horrific, senseless, and unthinkable act of violence. One after … Continue reading

Key West- Hemingway’s Town

First published in the March, 2013 issue of  Valley India Times . A majority of people would refer to Key West as the southernmost town of the US or a town known for exciting water sports and activities, and rightly so. I, however, would remember it as home to one of the greatest writers of all times,  a Nobel Prize winner, Earnest Hemingway, because this is exactly for what we drove 233 miles from West Palm Beach to Key West in February last year.  The drive was picturesque with palm trees lined up on both sides of the road and … Continue reading

A Spritual Tour at “Vivekananda Retreat”

First Published in the September, 2012 issue of  Valley India Times. “Work unto death-I am with you, and when I am gone, my spirit will work with you.”  These words of Swami Vivekananda bear testimony to the tremendous influence his extraordinary personality and teachings had on people all over the world during his life- time and 110 years later. While I and my husband were planning a vacation to New York last month, the first thing that crossed my mind was to Google information about the place where Swami Vivekananda , the first person who brought the message of Vedanta … Continue reading

Paradise on Earth

This article  was first  published in the September , 2011 issue of “Valley India Times” . Jawaharlal Nehru had rightly said, “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” Driving up the Mount Rainier and being there was the most uplifting, thrilling, eclectic and unforgettable experience of my life. That morning I was feeling low and depressed due to previous day’s rigorous travel and was skeptical as to how I will cope with the strain … Continue reading

Jane Austen’s World

First published in ‘Valley India Times’ ,  October 2011 Ever since I did my Masters in English long back in 1975 and submitted my thesis titled ‘Social Realism in Jane Austen’s novels,’ I had cherished a secret desire to make a trip to England and visit those locations where great works of art by Jane Austen, the distinguished woman writer of her times, were composed. However, this dream lay buried under the deepest layers of my subconscious for almost three decades and was on the brink of being realized when we finally made a trip to England in 2006. However, … Continue reading