All posts by Prasi

A lottery win!

Google defines lottery as “A process or thing whose success or outcome is governed by chance: “the lottery of life”.” This is the very chance which every person looks forward to taking advantage of in life. The success does not necessarily have to be materialistic but in majority of the cases it is about the money. Many people I know are against lottery for personal, religious and other reasons. I am not for it or against it. One thing I can say for sure is that it has changed my life. The Green Card Lottery is a wonderful thing. What is your stand on lottery?

It’s Spring!

Its spring time in the northern hemisphere. We experienced summer like temperature last few weeks in NJ. This week is back to spring temperatures again. šŸ™ We were surprised with the temperature jump from winter to summer like weather conditions. The plants and trees might be confused with the crazy weather I guess. When I went on recent photo walks, I took some pictures using my iPhone. Below is one I would like to share.

Ā This tree amused me because of the number of flowers it had. I think it is a cherry tree of some kind. It was an amazing site to see the spring blooms in a row. Some areas have a heavenly feeling with the blooming flowers. When I think about my favorite season, I believe spring spring would be my be.

Over the weekend I attended a HDR workshop. I learned a lot about processing photos and the different techniques. More over the valuable lesson is post processing could make a good picture look better. Other than the few apps like Photoforge2, color splash and painteresque, I have not used Aperture on my iMac yet. Keep an eye in my next post for my experience with Aperture and the minor tweaks to my photographs.


As we were anxiously waiting for the arrival of my second born this party was a pleasant surprise for my family. I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to all my friends who gave us a special surprise on Saturday. The planning, decoration, entertainment, gifts, video messages, etc were all amazing. It was a memorable event and you all made it a very special night for us.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my manager and colleagues at work who gave me a surprise baby shower party last week. It was very kind and thoughtful of my team to arrange this for me. It gives me immense pleasure to think about how my family, friends and colleagues treated me for the arrival of the new born. I feel I am lucky in many ways. Thank you all again.

Worked in a mine?

Brakpan Power Station (Courtesy Eskom)

Have you worked in a mine? No one Ā has ever asked me this question before. I worked in a mine while I was studying my bachelors. South Africa has many mines and I had the opportunity to work for an automation company which had contracts with coal mines. There are strict regulations and medical certifications that one has to get before getting the permission to work in the mines.

A Miner in Uniform

There is a specific dress code that has to be worn by miners when entering the mines. There are many safety protocols that is followed at the work place. My work responsibility revolved around the control room or the brain of the mine. It was a very interesting experience and I had/have great interest in automation. One of the few drawbacks I experienced for this job is the long travels to the area where the mines are located. There are other safety procedures that can be time consuming so a lot of patience is necessary. Preparing for work can be a tedious process unlike a regular white collar job.

From my short working experience at the mine, I am not experienced enough to provide any detailed analysis of long term medical effects or possible work place accidents. However it was a really cool work experience and I would love to do it again.

My Daughter Abi – 1

Appa and Abi at Virginia Beach, VA

Being a father is different from being a husband or brother or son. The additional title of fatherhood comes along with immense responsibilities along with enjoyment. My daughter means the world to me and there is a special feeling to be around my munchkin. There are various occasions where I wish I could spend more time with her. No matter how much time I spend with her, it is never enough.

Appa and Abi at Mt Snow, Vermont

The past 21 months has been a transition for me. This transition has been a big change of my attitude, patience and the way I view the world in general. When comparing generations, I saw a similar transition over the years of my parents and grandparents. Even though the period is different the parental care remains the same. My parents saw a little of them in me and I see a little of myself in Abi.

Alternate remedies – 1

Thulasi - Ayurveda (Photo Courtesy - Pradeepa Mohan)
Thulasi - Traditional Medicine (Photo Courtesy - Pradeepa Mohan)

Recently when I got the flu, I was asked by a friend to try herbal cold remedies. I wanted to dedicate this post to some of the alternate / traditional / herbal remedies I use in my routine. The alternate or traditional remedy I refer to could be ayurvedic, homeopathic or from a grandma’s recipe. In many scenarios I prefer an alternate remedy versus an over-the-counter or prescription drug. The treatment path I follow depends on the threshold of pain or condition of illness.

Common Cold – I prefer having ginger and lemon tea with honey. This usually has a soothing effect on my throat, helps with the phlegm for a specific duration. If I am going to be on a teleconference when I have a cold, ginger lemon tea is a good remedy that provides me instant relief from running nose and cough.

Cough – Kashayam and cough goes along well. There are various kinds of Kashayams out Ā there but I prefer the one made with black pepper. I stumbled upon this blog on how to make Kashayam. Check it out if you are not familiar of Kashayam and how to make it.

Constipation – Having a toddler around usually means running stomach or constipation. The extremes! Not only for the kids but adults also can have prunes for constipation relief. For bigger infants, prunes can be soaked in warm water and that water is fed because infants cannot eat the fruit itself.

CholesterolĀ – I have been diagnosed with border level cholestrol for the past seven years. My cholestrol levels keep fluctuating depending on the time of the year and what I eat couple days before the test. Overall the levels are between 195 – 230. I do not take any prescription medication for Cholesterol as it is not required for this level. My primary physician and other friends recommended Flax seeds. Flax seeds can be added to any meal or dish and other than the brownish color, there is no taste. Flax seeds has helped me improve my cholesterol health. Since hyperlipidaemia is a genetic condition that can be aggravated by unhealthy diets and lack of exercise, the number one focus should be on healthy diets and regular exercise.

Flax Seeds
Grains with Flax Seeds

I did not intend all my condition be c words. šŸ˜‰ Looking forward to other alternate remedies which you have in the comments.

Changing Seasons – 1

It has been a few days since my last post and as I recover from my viral flu I can focus on the many topics floating in my head. Now that we are in March, I am sure every one of us globally are talking about changing weather. Some may be happy about the change and some not so happy. People in my region are looking forward to spring and the good weather to go out.

Antenna - Freezing Rain 2011 (iPhonography)

We had good weather this winter with less than usual snow. The previous winter we had more snow storms, freezing rains and below freezing days in general. We are still not out of the woods yet. We still have another few weeks of winter before we are officially in spring. When I lived in upstate NY, the expectation of the weather was completely different from what I have in central NJ. There are many things associated with change in weather. Travelling will be difficult with bad weather conditions. Prices go up for some products and more over there seems to be a sense of unreliability. Weather is controlled by nature and no matter how experienced an expert is the predictions can be a failure.


VW Routan Wiper Blades (iPhonography)

The purpose of lifting the wiper blades up during a snow storm has been defeated during the freezing rain storm in 2011. Luckily this winter we did not have any major freezing rain in my area and it saved a lot of time and effort. This is one of the major reasons why many people like Spring and Summer compared to Autumn and Winter.


My Backyard (iPhonography)


There is no good or bad aspect about changing weather. Nature has to take it’s course for the world to keep functioning in a natural order. Even though we as individuals find it difficult to manage in certain ways to do our routine work, there are things that occur beyond my/our knowledge.

Man has lived under different weather conditions globally ranging from the hottest deserts to the coldest deserts.Ā I have heard in various discourses about how seasons can change out of order with the change in righteousness followed by the world citizens.

Photography – My way Part 1

Almost every photography app I came across for my iPhone and iPad interested me in a different way. The apps that I bought are Camera+, Photoforge2, ColorSplash and Painteresque. When shopping around for apps, I try to create my use case for the requirements I have and I might have. If I find it beneficial and useful, I go ahead with the purchase. I will review these apps in another post, one fine day but today I wanted to share my compositions.

Painteresque - The Gazebo

I was amazed with the painteresque app and really enjoyed seeing the outcome of the images from this app. Not all photos will be suitable for this app. I found the gazebo interesting in this view. It is a nice place to sit and eat on warm days. The near by pond and the absence of building on the one side gives it a relaxed atmosphere. This might appear concealed for those who dont venture behind Panera.

Panera Meal

Panera Bread is a chain restaurant and is one of my favorite places to eat near my work.Ā I like the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich combo with the creamy tomato soup. On a recent photo walk with my colleagues I thought this combination on the left could be interesting.




Painteresque - The Walk


This is a narrow pathway near my work and recently some of my colleagues and I have been spending some time here during lunch to experiment our photography skills. I would like to thank two models in this pic. šŸ™‚

Color Splash - The blue pond


Playing with the color splash app. This was my first attempt with working on color splash. I dont think I got the outline of the pond precisely. However it is work in progress and it will get better with experience. I am particularly excited working with such compositions.


Looking forward to the reviews and suggestions for improvement.

My Macros – 1

I have always wanted to put together my collection of Macros and other photographs categorically but that again is a pet project for one fine day. I thought it might be a good start to display a few unedited macrosĀ as my first official photography post.

Captured in Canton, MA. I think it is an Africanized Honey Bee.

While visiting a friend, I was attracted to his back yard and captured this worker bee hard at work. As per my quick research, it seems to be an Africanized Honey Bee. If any of my blog followers areĀ Entomologists or bee experts pleaseĀ can confirm this.

Mill Pond Park, Montgomery, NJ

I have learned from some experts to get close to my subjects and as close as possible. It makes a big difference when compared with a similar image above zoomed in. I also prefer my images with a person or character. It gives more life to a picture. I believe the guy sitting on this plant is a field fly.

Mill Pond Park, Montgomery, NJ

I tried to get a bug/character on this image as well but it was too fast for me and I lost the patience to follow it after few minutes. Besides my family and friends walked way too far away from me in the park and I was afraid I might not catch up on the conversations. My intentions to visit the park was multi purposed one and the macros were a plus. Looking forward to the critics. šŸ™‚

Back Yard Barbecue – Grilling Veggies

Appa Grilling on Dad's Day 2011

I tried something new in 2011 and it turned out that I love it. One of our favorite summer activity has become grilling. I bought a small grill and did not wanna invest in a big, expensive grill because it was my first time barbecuing. I found it to be a great activity and it also gave my wife a break from the kitchen ;). My buddy helped me assemble the mean machine and we parked it in my back yard. It was gas operated so I also had to get a gas cylinder.

Now that I bought the grill and have it assembled, the next question that arose was what am I gonna grill?!? It was puzzling initially because I am a lacto-vegetarian and I thought my choices were limited. On visiting my local supermarket, I was surprised to see the available options. I also had to buy the associated tools to help me with the grilling process?

Close up of the grill


Now coming to the menu, I liked the combination of veggie burgers, veggie kebabs and corn. These became my all time favorite. There are various types of veggie burger patties that I chose from. I prefer organic masala veggie patties. It throws a little spice apart from the different organic veggies. In my area, I can get them from Trader Joes or Whole Foods. The veggie kebabs requires some preparation. My wife helped me soak the veggies and paneer/pannir inĀ yogurtĀ and some spices like chilly powder, black pepper, etc for few hours. I preconditioned the Ā skewers / sticks in water so it does not burn when it comes to contact with the fire in the grill. The soaked veggies and paneer are then pierced on the skewers. I prefer using olive oil when grilling because of the taste and health aspect. Warning: Grilled food can be low carb or very rich in high calories. It all depends on how we want it to be.

In addition to the meal aspect, I find grilling as a great way to socialize and entertain guests. It has been a good family activity and a different routine to dining without the table in the back yard. If you have not tried grilling, I would strongly recommend that your try it. If you have grilled before feel free to send me your tips in the comment section below.
Happy Grilling!!