When in US 2012

It was in 1993 that I visited US for the first time. It was a business trip. I could stay with Rakesh for few days. Alpana was in the university in Dallas. I was there in her school and its library one day for quite some time. It made me going back to 1961, when I had passed out from IIT, Kharagpur. If I would have been a little smarter, I could have got into some US university.

After retirement, we have been coming to US since 2005 and staying for longer time. I used to spend a lot of time in the book shop-Borders. I read more than I did when even in college. Unfortunately, the chain of bookstores had to shut its door. The outlet of the only left out one- Barnes &Nobles is not conveniently located. The US visits changed our life styles even though we live a retired life. I learnt to be less dependent on servant, though we keep one. Now I love to help Yamuna in her kitchen. With help of toaster, microwave oven and rice cooker, I can manage the emergency. We have also learnt about trash management and the use of plastic bag for safe disposal of kitchen wastes.

I enjoy and insist on doing everything possible while at home so that we don’t become burden on the kids (still for us though in their late 30s) as they are very busy in carrying out their professional and domestic tasks with no assistant available here as possible in India. And all elderly persons must do that to remain fit and till they remain fit.

I do also like and ensure that the kids don’t get their privacy encroached by our presence and actions. And that also provide opportunity for us to have better quality of life. I try to give more time for Yamuna, as she needs it too.

While I do get into intense conversation and discussion with the kids on many subjects of common interest, my intention is always to try to learn as much as possible from their knowledge instead of thrusting my views. I have learnt and now endeavour to remain within my limits.

USA provides huge opportunity to observe, appreciate and learn from its prosperity all around. Sometimes I wonder if ever, we can have some similar clean ambiance to live in India.

Let me give two examples of the way I keep my quest of learning going. I observed a new addition in the front lawn of Anand’s house this time. Shannon has placed few fancy solar lamps and artificial flowers along the walking path. These items get on charged with the sunlight in the day time. In night, it emits light. The flowers change the colour too- red, green and then blue controlled by some timer. I don’t know the name of the product developer but as Shannon informed, these are all from China and are available at very cheap price. The 10 lamps did cost $25. The flowers are a little costlier. Interesting, I read an article in Mint today in the morning that tells that these are available in India too now. I did not know about it and its technology when in India.

As another example, I can mention is about the mulch used in the flower beds to retain moisture and may be to provide some nutrients to the planted flowers plants too (Images). Interestingly, the community landscaping uses the pine needles to cover the bare earth work along the road or around the trees as mulch. It retains moisture and protects from the scorching sunlight. It also stops the generation and spread of dust if the clay top surface are bare. I wonder why can’t in India we consider this technique to at least control the dust generated and spread through wind.

I hope I have been able to convey what I keep on wondering and engaged.

And find below- How do Solar Powered Lights Work?

The concept of solar powered lights is simplicity itself. Inside a plastic case are a battery, a solar cell to capture the sun’s energy and convert it to electricity (a smaller version of roof top solar panels), an LED and a photo resistor to detect light or dark that acts as a switch to turn the solar light on and off. Since all the power for a solar light comes from the sun, you never need to worry about connecting wires to lights, running wires between the lights and finding an unobtrusive way to plug the light string in.

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