Raavan Dahan at Austin Hindu Temple

We hadn’t ever seen a Raavan Dahan. So, I took the 3 boys to Austin Hindu Temple to see it yesterdat evening.

Raavan Dahan means burning effigy of Ravana. Vijayadashami is also known as “Dussehra ” is one of the most important festivals celebrated in various forms, across India. Dasara/ Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit Dasha-hara meaning “remover of bad fate” meaning remover of ten heads of Ravana’s.

Happy Diwali!

Raining in Austin

Flash floods, high winds, pouring rain…all that and more in Austin.

The only thing Austin is missing is Amitabh+Moushami walking around and Lata Ji singing Rim Jhim Gire Sawan in the background.

I am waiting for my very own Amitabh to show up (after a week long work trip and battling delayed/cancelled flights) today evening and share a cup of hot chai with me.

Stay warm.

My Love Affair with Rain

I grew up in Chennai (called Madras a few years ago) in South India for the first 18 years of my life. I then lived in Trichy (also in South India) for the next 4 years of my life. The weather was like this – hot, hotter, hottest. Hot summers lasted a long time. Monsoons would bring some rain. But, not a lot.

That rarity in the rain might explain my current love affair with rain.

There is something about the rain….how it makes us feel…the sounds, the smells, the sights. Does it not?

Austin is soaked in sheer beauty today. Lightning, thunder, pouring rain.

My heart is soaked.

Candid Footage of the Hail Storm that hit Austin

Our very own resident journalist Adi brings you candid footage of the hail storm that hit Austin yesterday evening between 9-10pm CST.

The last time I encountered hail was in Summer 2010. Hail hit us hard (literally and figuratively) in the wilderness at about 12,000 feet as Kumar and I were trying to race towards Mt. Whitney’s peak at 14,500 feet. We couldn’t find a place to hid and save ourselves from the hail. Well, that is another story.

Yesterday’s hail storm was loud, but much less dramatic given that we were safe at home.

Here is how the 3 boys reacted to the hail storm:

Ari kept asking me the following questions: Why ice was falling from the sky?  Could we taste the ice?

Adi grabbed the umbrella camera and went about shooting pictures and videos.

Kumar worried about what was going to happen to our cars that were parked outside.

Exploring Austin – Hiking Mount Bonnell and 360 Bridge

It has been over 3 months since we moved to Austin. During Thanksgiving weekend, I wanted to go check out the best view in town. So, we headed to Mount Bonnell.

Mount Bonnell, also known as Covert Park, is a prominent point alongside the Lake Austin portion of the Colorado River in Austin, Texas. It is about 750 feet. It is a hill more than a mountain. You have to climb a long staircase. Then, you get rewarded with a beautiful view of Lake Austin and vicinity.

We also climbed up a little hill to get a good view of 360 bridge.

360 Bridge in Austin - Ambal Balakrishnan