N-N-1 October 31, 2017

So we had our N-N-1 challenge again hosted by Barb. This challenge actually drew a lot of people from different places and there were so many contributors. But the one common thing between the pictures was fall/winter! Even the picture from the Southern Hemisphere seemed cool-tinged to me! I noticed that all pictures were suitable winter-hued thanks to the shorter and colder days! Also, Halloween!

The View from a Drawbridge

This was a fun post to write, because it took a village. In an atmosphere of increasing divisiveness, people from all walks of life, from all over the world, got together to do one thing: Take a photograph at 6 pm (their time zone) on the 31st of October. If you’re mathematically inclined, in N-N-1 the first N stands for the number of participants, the second for the number of photos (because those numbers should be the same), and the 1 stands for one time. These photos were sent to me, along with 50-100 words about them, so that we could share them all with you.

What I love most about this project is that we are all seeing different things at the same point in time. The world is so varied and nuanced, as are our lives, and yet we are all part of the human race. Thirteen responses…

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N-N-1 7-16-2017

Here we go with N-N-1 again, this time hosted by Norm.

I took this picture while out and about at Newport Beach in the middle of a dolphin and whale watching cruise. We did not see any whales, but we saw a number of dolphin pods gamboling and playing in the boat’s wake. But I found these sea lions(dogs) most amusing.

“You can’t sit with us!!”

Sea Lions can be such ‘Mean Girls’.

Check out rest of the pictures in his post.


Classical Gasbag

Once again N-N-1 has brought a variety of pictures and thoughts from different parts of the world. If this is your first view of N-N-1, the first N stands for the number of participants, the second for the number of photos (they should be the same), and the 1 stands for one time. All of the pictures were taken by the participants at 4 p.m. their local time on Sunday, July 16th.

We’ll start with a new voice who has joined our N-N-1 family. Natalie Garvois from https://wildriversrunsouth.wordpress.com sent us the following:

I was walking along the bank of the ‘Little Elbow River’ at 4 p.m on Sunday. I was admiring the trees, and the idea for this poem came into my head.

By the Little Elbow

The trees stand stately

And true by the Little Elbow River

That runs through my town.

They witness the good and the bad,


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N-N-1 again/ The 200th!

This is my 200th post, guys! Whoa, I really did write all that?


It was N-N-1 time again, and Norm was hosting it. He asked us to send in a picture that we clicked on Saturday, Oct 8th at 2 pm. By a fabulous stroke of luck, a wonderful story and picture fell into my lap! It’s a wonderful story of love, hopes, dreams, life and happiness. And the makings of a bridechilla.



We wondered about them when they had accidentally ‘disappeared’ during the Halloween party. We were almost sure when we saw them bonding in the research lab. We had called them out during the Christmas Secret Santa party when they both went to the room ‘tired’. K5 and I had ended up as neighbors in my last year at SDSU and CT was there a lot! It all became superbly clear after he moved in. Chadillac Thrills thought he was being sneaky! Haah! After 5 glorious years of friendship, love, game nights, Grad school, traveling, pizzas and boba tea, parties, camping, hiking, they are getting ready to spend their lives together, officially as a married couple. The anticipated engagement did not happen during their Europe trip, although there is an adorable picture under the Eiffel Tower tagged #didnotpropose. But it happened in true Chadillac style, calmly and sneaky-ly, where they started playing Sunday night games and there was the diamond in the Lego sets. I am glad to have witnessed the making of this amazing couple, right from the inception of their relationship. I am even happier that they consider me close enough to be a part of this beautiful journey. Last Saturday afternoon, at David’s Bridal, I helped K5 try on different shades of white, as she took on her role of a bride-to-be. There were tulle and organza, sweetheart necklines and mesh capes. There were pearls, lace and sequins. There were Zac Posens and Vera Wangs.
And, so it begins…

PS : Please pray that I can RSVP “Princess Butter + 1” for this August 2017 wedding…


Rest of the pictures and stories are linked below. Head over to Norm’s blog from here!

Classical Gasbag

It has been about three months since the last N-N-1. Rather that let it fade in to a mere memory we’re doing it again. One of the things that I love about N-N-1 is how people from different parts of the world connect electronically to share brief moments of their life. We see differences and recognize similarities. To me, it shows once again that while there are billions of people in the world, humanity is a singular noun.

The first participant is Pins n Ashes.


I was at one of my favourite restaurants, lunching with friends enjoying one of my favourite meals. Poori masala as we call it.

Next is Her Royal Highness Princess Butter with a picture and story dear to hearts of many Princesses. Oh, and thanks to the Princess we now call this process N-N-1 rather than just sticking in numbers that change with the number…

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N-N-1 Picture Challenge

After the last picture challenge that we had, Mr. Norm Houseman contacted me with this amazing thought that I could be trusted with the responsibility to host the next challenge. Oh, bless him! I took up the task promptly, super-excited, because it was the first time I was doing something like this on my blog. I emailed a lot of people from Norm’s and my contacts and I got a good number of people to respond! Trust me, I was beaming with pride when I was compiling all the pictures in the blog post! Everyone has done a great task and got my ‘Evening Vision’ to life in different time zones. As the host, I had the liberty to chose the time and date and I decided that it should be 7 pm on 2nd July. I don’t know why, but I feel the world looks the best in the evenings when it’s a little dark, but also a little shiny. 🙂 Also, it being a long weekend, I knew I would be out. 😉 Sneaky, I know. Perks of being a lead.

So, here are the shots of the evening we all had, that fabulous Saturday.

Princess Butter

The 4th of July long weekend brought along a lot of interesting moments.

From a chance Anuroop date, to depressing hypothetical questions.
From chatty sleepovers with friends, to a fun 9 year old showing me her favorite videos.
From long drives thanks to traffic, to quick stopovers for bagels.
From Kayaking in still bay waters , to being tumbled like in a washing machine by high tides of the Pacific.
From sacrificing our sun glasses to the sea Gods, to dumping truckloads of sand in the bathtub.
From late night pizzas, to even later in the night mangoes.
From having a bachelorette life over weekdays, to having a full happy home over the weekend.
From cool Cucumber coolers, to mad Bollywood dancing to Whiskey shots.
From piping hot Maggi noodles with spicy ketchup, to a super refreshing Trader Joes’ Sangria.
From leaving upset from a previously loved Indian restaurant, to finding an even better place for Indian food.
From loving ‘Muricaaa to missing Indiaaaa.
From glowy sunsets at this gorgeous Lighthouse Café at Newport Beach, to stunning fireworks right by my apartments.
Life is good, my friends. *Touchwood*



What makes for a perfect evening?

Rains. Not the feeble drizzle that’s been going on for the last few days, but a wholehearted downpour. Just the way i like it. And about time too. Weeeeeee.

Hot momos and schezwan chutney.

And a dear friend of 21 years. Aalu and i have spent many evenings fighting over who was taller and whose hibiscus and mud chutney looked more appetizing. Today, we strategize ways to stay ahead of workplace politics and argue about who has hotter boobs, Ros or Melisandre. Obviously it’s Ros, but she just doesn’t agree! Hmph.

(She won the who-is-taller contest. I’ve lost that game to all my friends, except Nish and Shengs. Its very rare for me to be the tallest in any group. So meeting those 2 will always make me grin ear to ear. See, see, im taller than you. Na n na naa na).



I wish I had come up with a better picture,but this is all that I am doing these days. My GRE exam is less than a month away and all my waking moments are either spent in planning the topics that I have to practice or actually doing them. The majority of my day goes in attending college and by the time I am home,I get at the most 5 hours to study. And it is not enough. So,the weekends are spent with my books sprawled all over the place. I prefer to sit on the floor or my bed to study rather than the desk only because I can spread all my books and stationery and sit comfortably.
I have only 3 weekends to go until the D-day and the stress is killing me. So,this challenge was a great way for me to think about something other than the GRE !! Hopefully,the next N-N-1 Picture Challenge will have a more interesting picture from me 😀


Anju Lavina

We’re not the ‘go out and party on Saturday’ night sort of people, but living in an exciting city like Bangkok means we’re either at some new pop up night market or away at some beach in Thailand. As luck would have it, at the time of this N-N-1, we were confined to the house because my partner had a bad case of the ‘cooties’ (he’s a teacher and has to deal with bugs every now and then). I’m not complaining. Our flat is beautiful and has a great view out into town. It also has these huge glass windows and when either of us want to slow time down, we turn off the lights, open up the curtains and just watch the world go by. This Saturday, our ‘wrap yourself in a blanket cloud’ moment was delightfully interrupted by torrential rain. There’s nothing more comforting than watching rain pass. It makes a boring concrete skyline (and passing sky-train in the background) look that much more magical.

Anju Lavina.jpg

Norm Houseman

There is a saying here in the U.S.A. that there is nothing more American than baseball, hot dogs, and Mom’s apple pie. You used to here that a lot around the Fourth of July. If you don’t know the history of the U.S.A., July 4th is our Independence Day; the day we commemorate our Declaration of Independence from the cruel, despotic rule of England’s King George III. I’m pretty sure that history books in Great Britain describe it somewhat differently. Since the 4th falls on a Monday this year, we have turned the holiday into a long weekend celebration. I went in search of a baseball game for my picture, figuring that I would find either a baseball or softball game being played at a local park. No such luck! The fields were deserted. No one was selling hot dogs at the empty concession stands. Homemade apple pie? Are you kidding? Cindy did make me a sugar-free butterscotch cream pie. YUM!

Luckily I had gone to the park early, and when I found it deserted I left and drove around town. When 7 p.m. rolled around I was rolling down a quiet side street in Lafayette. This house caught my attention. While there is not a baseball or hot dog or an apple pie (not even a mom) to be seen. There is an American flag on the porch and, for me, a lazy summer vibe about the place. It works for me.


Pin n Ashes

These came my way today. To say I’m thrilled will be an understatement. I’m over the clouds, sitting at the tip of the crescent moon, with an open jar nearly finishing my rainbow cake and brownies.. Somebody just sent me some of my favourite things from my favourite place.

Floored! Absolutely!

Pins n Ashes.jpg

Jatin Haibat

Welcome to Central Pennsylvania! It is warm and sunny here right now, but don’t let that fool you. In winters, all this will be covered in up to 6 inches of snow, and the temperature would drop down to less than -10°C. Until next summer…

State College, PA is a college town. Almost 50% of its residents are students at the Pennsylvania State University, and so am I. Of the remaining population, a large majority of the people are involved in supporting roles for the university. So the demographics tilt heavily in favor of the university. So much, that during college-breaks, even the public transport buses operate on a reduced schedule.

Right now, the summer vacations are on and most of the students have gone back home. The town has taken a very quaint and peaceful appearance. But before long, the students will be back, the paths will be crowded with people walking between classes, and there would be long lines outside the bars and pubs. The place will be buzzing with activity again, until Thanksgiving; when suddenly for a week, the town will be on mute-mode again.

This picture was taken at the university arboretum. In the background, you can see the edge of the campus, and it is just the tip of the iceberg. The sprawling campus is spread over 5,448 acres, and it is a very pretty sight indeed.

Jatin Haibat.JPG


5-5-1 challenge

The moment I saw this challenge on The Girl Next Door’s blog, I knew I had to poke my nose in! This turned out to be a fun task and I got to take my parents to the beach as well. Not bad for a Saturday morning, eh?

Here is my picture and writeup:


I was at Laguna Beach in the morning to get a shot of what represented Southern California living, the Pacific Ocean! But it was so cloudy and dreary. Then, I spotted these guys representing what I think is another aspect of life here that I love.. And I knew I had my picture.

One thing that I find very striking about California and USA in general is the love for sports, fitness and outdoor activities. If I go to the park early in the morning on weekends, I will easily catch people getting together to play basketball, soccer, and even cricket! People will gather even on weekday evenings to play. These people are inspirational. It is easy to say that I don’t have time to do these things and not feel too guilty. But I see complete professionals taking some time out of their busy schedules to exercise their bodies, minds and have fun in groups or with families. This spirit has rubbed onto me as well and I have become one of those people who will look forward to working out in the evenings, and going on walks or swims with friends. I even play in a softball league on Wednesday evenings. The thrill of a win, the high of a happy hour, the playful ribbing for a bad pitching, the excitement of a hustle to the next base, knowing that I have burned some calories and deepened some friendships. I am lovin’ it.

Go check out Norm’s blog and the rest of the pictures! 🙂

After an initial 2-2-1 (two people, two places, one time) and two subsequent 3-3-1 (three people, etc.) we are once again expanding. The original concept was that all of the participants would take a picture simultaneously; then write a short piece about the picture. It worked. But with the addition of more people, in more […]

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