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Monks at the Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal

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Mata Amritanandamayi Amma Arun Shanbhag


Here is the main post on the Pashupatinath Temple in kathmandu, Nepal. In a little pavilion outside the temple proper, I noticed several sanyasinis (female monks) resting and enjoying meals in an ancient stone portico. Here donors arrange free meals for monks and the needy. Loved the colors!

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Meeting Amma in Boston

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Mata Amritanandamayi Amma Arun Shanbhag


Prema rasāmrta varshini mātā amrtānandamayi |
Prema bhakti sandāyani mātā amrtānandamayi ||


Showers us with immortal nectar of love, mother;
Grants the capacity for love & selfless devotion (bhakti)
Mother Amritanandamayi ||

Two weeks ago, I got the opportunity to experience darshan of Mata Amritanandamay, better known as Amma. What started as a casual email invite, turned into a life fulfilling experience. Below, I have used my tweets to supplement my notes.

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At the Cape: Chatham Bars Inn

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Chatham Bars Inn, Cape Cod, Arun Shanbhag


What a writing snob. I can only write sitting at my desktop computer and post pics shot with my Nikon. This has the change. So here I am at one of the most fabulous resorts on the Cape, and have to blog about it. So, downloaded the Wordpress apps for the iPad and iPhone and let's see what breaks.

The gorgeous view from my room at the Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham, MA. This is my sixth retreat here. love this place (typed on my iPad/iphone, all pics from iPhone).

Salmon dinner at the Impudent Oyster. The place for seafood on the Cape.
Chatham Bars Inn, Cape Cod, Arun Shanbhag


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Don Meera

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Pictures of Don Meera, Mumbai 2010


When Meera was a baby, every time I wore my shades, she would reach for them. I would then mime Main Hoon Don, Don, Don! Soon, Meera came to associate dark glasses with Don!

When we passed stalls on Colaba Causeway selling dark glasses, she'd point and say, Don, Don, Don! SO I had to get her these oversized shades. She'd wear them all the time.

Here is Meera at a gathering in Mumbai. It was well past her nap time and she was super tired, but she persevered and did not get cranky. Verily Don Meera!

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Parsi Dairy Farm - Still the Bestest

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Parsi Dairy Farm


True Mumbaikars know the place for delicious sweets, desserts and even milk is Parsi Dairy Farm on Princess St, Mumbai; at the ramp for the Marine Lines Flyover. Milk was delivered by their dudhwallahs in khaki shorts and cobalt blue shirts. They'd balance the handa (milk pot) on their thigh and carefully measure out the milk.

Their sutarfeni (sweet, shredded, flaky, rice dough, topped with almonds & pista) helped with many celebrations. To this day I am partial to Parsi Dairy sutarfeni, despite many of our family's shifting allegiance to D Damodar (see earlier post).

As Meera grows up, I want her to experience the little joys I had. Thus on every visit we retrace the steps of my youth. On my last visit, I took her to Parsi Dairy. Their offerings have changed slightly and now include misti dohi - sweet curds (or yogurt) set in tiny clay pots.
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Dayaram Damodar for Sutarfeni in Mumbai

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sutarfeni indian dessert DDamodar Dadar


Hope you have all tried Sutarfeni - the sweet, shredded, flaky, rice dough, topped with pista and almonds. What a dangerous agent it is; melts my self-discipline, and like a slobbering idiot I empty a pound of this "buddi ka baal" in no time.

Growing up, Parsi Dairy Farm on Princess Street, Mumbai were the purveyors of the best sutarfeni in town.
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Butta, Roasted Maize at Elephanta

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roasted maize, corn, Elephanta caves, Gharapuri


During this visit to Mumbai, we took Meera on a day-trip to the Elephanta Caves at Gharapuri, Mumbai (see Google Map). I worried how Meera will take to the hour-long boat ride. Nothing to worry, she was her curious self and a real trooper. Meera pics in another post.

While we carried snacks for Meera, we were hungry and ended up eating butta - slow roasted the maize (indian corn) on a open charcoal shekdi (grill). Rs 15 each! Bestest!


A few more pics!

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Meera Tames Wild Animals at the Kala Ghoda Festival


First, apologies for the delay in cross-posting here on LJ. To see my latest posts, may I recommend:
1. Sign up for Email updates. Go to http://arunshanbhag.com and at the top of the right sidebar, you will see a "Email Subscription" box. Enter your email address and you will receive a short notification of new posts. Easy!

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In addition to minutiae, you get my "hard, edgy" opinions on just about everything. Ha ha! Now, back to Meera ...


Kala Ghoda Festival, Meera

Meera at the Kala Ghoda Festival 2010

Meera was thrilled and shrieks at the sight of the towering giraffes!
Kala Ghoda Festival, Meera



Rest of the post with more Meera pics!