Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tasik Dayang Bunting, Langkawi

Langkawi is an archipelago which consists of 99 islands and is off the mainland coast of northwestern peninsular Malaysia. Langkawi island has been given the world geopark status by UNESCO. One of the main attractions is the Dayang Bunting Island, which is translated into  Island of the Pregnant Maiden Lake. In the first picture you can make out the outline of the pregnant lady outline(head to the right). Tasik Dayang Bunting is the largest freshwater lake in that area and has a great swimming area. Malaysians believe that drinking water from this lake helps barren women to bear children.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sleeping Buddha

Malaysia is a majority muslim country. People follow many religions here. During our visit we saw many hindu temples, churches, gurdwaras(sikh worshipping place) and buddhist temples. Here are some pictures from the Sleeping buddha temple in Penang.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tanjung Bunga and other attraction in Penang

Tanjung Bunga is a public beach in Penang island . Its well kept and very close to the main part of the city and we went there since Appa had spent many afternoons there in his youth. Following the swim we went to the Penang Butterfly Farm which includes insects and birds as well. The man -faced beetle and mandarin duck photos are some examples.
Since Naga lives on the mainland , every trip to Penang island ended with a lovely ferry ride.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Western Cemetery, Penang

One of the places my father wanted to visit was the Western Cemetery in Penang . So we went to pay our respect to my father's mother, an elder brother  William who died as a teenager and a sister Joyce who died as an one year old, all of whom were buried there. It was a rainy day and Appa related stories of their lives. 
As we were leaving, my friend Naga talked about a well known grave stone  in the cemetery with a dog sculpture . Soon we came across this site and the dog looked very real. The story which is passed on is that,  after the death of the  Andrew in 1931, his pet refused to leave the grave stone and didn't eat and died within days . So to honour the pet , Andrew's family placed a replica of the dog on the grave stone.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Penang , Malaysia

I have come to Malaysia with my father and nephew Viji for 8 days. My father came to Penang as an infant and stayed till he was 14 years and so lots of memories for him .It was great to meet my friend Naga . who is now a Consultant Surgeon at a Govt Hospital in Malaysia. 
On our day 1 here in Penang we got some rest and went to the Pasar Malam(Night Market) in the evening. It was a great introduction to the food culture here in Malaysia. The range of food here extended from fruits and vegetables to cuttle fish and quill. 
Naga tells me that the best food is  one which hawkers cook near the drainage ( waste management site if you would like clarification). So at 11pm we went to the popular drainage site and ate some Koey Goreng( Flat noodles made with pork oil,prawns, eggs and soy sauce). The food was excellent. The photo of the fruits includes the Durian which has an unmistakable smell, and tastes really good.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Deepavalli shopping

Deepavalli - 'The Festival of Lights' falls on Oct 17th this year and is an important festival in the Hindu calender. It's time for new clothes, lots of food (particularly Indian Sweets), firecrackers and kite flying (which had a wide following when I was growing up).
The shopping choices for women is much more than for men . You have stores for sarees, Salwar Kameez, 22 carat Gold jewellery, all kinds of accessories, flowers to be worn in the hair etc.
Over time ready made garments have become the staple for men's wear, though a number of tailors are still doing good business in Chennai. We were lucky to find Bee Aay Tailors, catering to men who like custom fitted clothes. This went a long way in calming my withdrawal from shopping at The Filene's Basement. Have included some pictures when Ashwin had some trousers tailored here in December 2008.
During Deepavalli the fruit shops double as fire cracker stores and you get a wide selection from sparklers to Rockets.Over time bargaining has taken a back seat and many people prefer the supermarket type atmosphere where you can't bargain. To some, this takes away the thrill of shopping. After being in Boston I lost most of my bargaining skills. Maybe that is why I am made to feel like a celebrity in Tana street ; where I do some occasional shopping
However, for the real shopping experience you have to visit T Nagar in Chennai. You have to fight for everything; to park, get in the store, get the attention of the store helpers, eat food etc. Thanks to some new construction and traffic rules there is going to be even more chaos this year.
This year I will be setting off some fire crackers so that Priya and Ashwin could experience it via the webcam
Happy Deepavalli.