Monday, April 28, 2008


My body had gotten into a nice rhythm. A breeze sent a heavenly waft from the citrus blooms along the running trail.
I came to the narrow sidewalk under the bridge. I disliked this patch - it was very narrow, barely wide enough for two people to walk comfortably. Many times there would be a water puddle or contents of a discarded cup lying around. This would require me to slow down and watch my step. I imagined bats lived here, in the dark corners, where light wouldn’t reach. As I passed by here, I would be concerned that a bird would send its poop on me. I disliked it even more when I would see a dog owner walk with a mean looking dog from the opposite direction. I would slow my pace as the duo approached, fearful that the dog might grab my ankle if I were running. But the dogs here are too well behaved; it would pass by without even sniffing and I would heave a sigh of relief. My breath would quicken when I would spot a hulky male coming from the other side. On such occasions, I would try to recollect some prayers, only partially meet his eyes and move away as quickly as possible, always checking my shoulder. The road under the bridge was usually busy with traffic and there wasn’t a remote possibility of anything happening. But such is my mind….
It is on this queasy patch that I saw her. I came across a chubby kid first. I wondered why he was alone without a guardian. Then at the far end of the tunnel, I saw a tall figure entering. “May be that’s his mother” I thought. But in a flash of a second I realized that she was THE 'snake girl'. I bolted…
She is fair, blonde, tall and walks gracefully. The two times that I have seen her, she was wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Slung across her shoulder like a backpack was a snake, a python I think. A friend had pointed her to me when we were driving, but I didn’t see her then and it probably didn’t register.
After a few days, I was walking back home after my evening walk. I saw a girl walking towards me. From a distance it appeared like she was carrying a backpack. She was probably 20ft away when it hit me that it was a snake and not a backpack. It was more out of disgust than fear that I turned around and ran to find my friend, eager to tell her what I had just seen. I was a little excited that evening after this episode, but I laughed at myself as I recounted the incident to many. I decided I would stop, talk to her and have a good look at her snake the next time our paths crossed. I far from stopped during our 2nd encounter, I probably ran faster than before.
Every time I am under this narrow, dimly lit bridge or approaching a blind corner, my mind turns to this girl and I worry - will she emerge?

Friday, April 18, 2008

AN EVENING TO REMEMBER what the evening of 1st June will be, given that the maestros are performing!

Monday, April 14, 2008


No false promises, hidden charges or anything in the fine print. For details click here.

I'd appreciate if you could spread the word :)

Point Reyes National Park, CA

....the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can't eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours—all you can do for eight hours is work.....

—William Faulkner

Friday, April 11, 2008


I sit slouched on the couch, laptop on my lap, meaninglessly surfing the internet and refreshing my email page every five minutes or so. I look back at the clock on the wall. It is 5 o’clock. On any other day, I would be outside my apartment complex waiting for you to go to the park for a walk or a run. But today is different - I ignore the clock’s toll and sink even deeper into the couch. I don’t feel like heading out; not yet. 45 minutes later I have overcome my inertia and I head out. I consider carrying my iPod along but instead take my cell phone.
I take a deep breath and start walking. I pause briefly outside your apartment, as if waiting for you to emerge – silly me! I have an idea; I call your cell phone, only to reach your voicemail. Just as I am telling myself to gear up to be alone henceforth, you call. We chat for a little bit, then, you hang up and I am alone again.
I don’t spot many familiar faces on the trail today. But when I do see one, I smile at them eagerly, hoping they stop me and ask about your absence. None does. With no one to point new flowers to, or share the excitement over spotting a new bird, or exchange notes of domesticity and satisfy the inherent girlish (or womanly) need to babble, the trail seems to stretch longer than usual. I try to focus my mind on something other than our times together.
I get back home after an hour that seemed painfully long. No extra gossip time at your apartment steps today, nor any beseeching to stop by for a cup of chai. Hmm..I’ll brew my own chai or even better, make myself some lemonade from the lemons you left for me… :)

Monday, April 07, 2008


We went hiking at Point Reyes NP this Saturday and ended up doing the Woodward Valley Loop (~13mi./21km)! We hadn't planned on a particular trail and took up trails hoping to catch some wildflowers or seeing the ocean and thus ended up doing such a long hike. Bear Valley Trailhead was where we started our hike. The trail was wide and foresty with occasional meandering streams along the way. But what fun it is to hike on a level trail!? So we climbed up the Meadow Trail to Sky Trail. We continued to Woodward Valley and then went down to Coast Trail. As we traversed hills, the blue ocean views only got bigger and bigger. We took a break for lunch and then continued on our hike. We got back on the Bear Valley Trail on which we took another short break at Divine Meadows. We spotted a herd of deer at a distance. I was hoping they'd do some sprinting for us, but they were in no mood for that, since they did not budge. The hike wasn't too strenuous (no drastic elevation changes); of course we were exhausted after being out all day, but it was all worth the wildflowers, deer we spotted, the bird songs we heard and the clear views of the ocean.

I wish I had taken many more flower pictures, oh well...I need help identifying the 1st two flowers in this post. These we spotted on the Bear Valley Trail, two bright little things all by themselves. They were right next to each other and kind of similar yet so different....I'd appreciate if you could point me to their names....

Sky Lupine
Indian Paintbrush

Blue eyed Grass

Iris douglasiana (Douglas Iris)

P.S. - We avoided the restroom at Divine Meadows, hoping to use the ones outside the Visitor Center. But that was a bad idea, since the Visitor Center was closed and the restrooms locked by the time we got there! (6pm-ish)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


We were hiking at the Henry Coe State Park last Sunday. The drive to the park is beautiful. The surrounding mountains were green from the earlier rains and in patches dotted with yellow and orange wildflowers. The last part of the drive was along a narrow winding road that kept going up steadily and offered some lovely views.

Newspaper articles about the possible abundance of spring wildflowers this year had gotten me quite excited. So we chose trails that promised us wildflowers. My ideas of floral abundance were not quite met, but maybe we were too early for them. Our camera batteries conked off just a little after we started taking pictures. Anyways, here are a few that we managed to capture...

California poppy

Miniature Lupine (?)

Mountain Violet