Author Archives: Simi K. Rao

Be Kind to Yourself

I know you will say that you don’t have anytime for yourself. Life doesn’t give you time. What with work, family, friends, social media, etc, etc. Yes, maybe you will take a week off to go somewhere someday but now you have to rush, and if you get a minute you will browse posts on social media and cycle through conflicting emotions and live life vicariously even when you know that is unhealthy.

Be kind to yourself and break the chain before it pulls you down. Taking a break can be as simple as going for a walk for half an hour everyday; taking up a hobby such as painting or drawing; read a book; improve your knowledge on various subjects; learn a new language; call and talk to someone.

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods, acrylic on canvas by Simi K. Rao

It certainly is The Garden of the Gods. Located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, about 70 miles south of Denver, this natural park features majestic ancient sedimentary rock formations that once were at the bottom of the sea. Starting in the Pleistocene Ice Age, this area is the result of millions of years of glaciation and erosion. There are many unique formations to see such as ‘balanced rock’, ‘Siamese Twins’ to name a few and many trails to hike and guess what, access is free! What more can one ask for? So, if you happen to be in the Denver area, be sure to pay a visit.

Of Times Past – Weekends

Original acrylic on paper by Simi K. Rao

She was trying to keep up, through a perspective of arms and legs, holding on to her mother’s hand.

Hurry c’mon. We will be late for the matinee!

It was the weekend. Family fun time. They spent it outside…going to the movies, sometimes two shows in one day, her dad being a big movie buff. They started early after a light breakfast of bread and jam, or idlis if she was lucky. Mom made the batter from scratch. Idlis were her favorite and she could have them anytime-breakfast, lunch or dinner. Fluffy soft, white like snow, dipped in savory sambhar with fresh coconut chutney on the side, so yummy and wholesome. She preferred them to dosas- they gave her a stomach ache.

They rush to the theater and get the tickets, they always do somehow.

They were no movie ratings in India at the time, except perhaps an A certificate for the adults-only ones. Rather they were all PG or parental guidance. Her dad took her to them all- comedy, horror, mystery, thriller, good, bad. She rarely got the plot, she was so young. The movies didn’t interest her really, rather it was the moment, the whole act of going out and spending the day with her family. Taking refuge from the hot sun in air conditioned halls, then wandering along the bazaars of Karol Bagh, Jan Path or Cannaught Place, holding tightly onto her mother’s hand, while assiduously licking an ice cream cone. She was proud of her beautiful mother, in her crisp starched cotton sari. How she walked so elegantly without tripping. Because she was a superwoman, her mother was.

Why Stories?

Because I need to tell them and I need to hear what others have to say. I need to get out of my little shell and explore. Because my life isn’t your life nor your thoughts mine. You don’t share my experiences, my way of life, or my religion. There are doors I want to open that I never knew existed. I want to hear new voices and opinions, concordant and discordant. Pretty and not so, often downright ugly. So many worlds exist within this world. I love me a good story.

Maybe you’d like to read some of my stories? If so check them out here.

Plaza de Espana- Seville, Spain.

Site of the 1929 Ibero-American Expo, this grand 50,000 sq meters plaza is a must see for all who visit Seville. It was designed by Seville architect Anibal Gonzalez as the site for the 1929 Ibero-American expo and has a unique palace-plaza structure with four bridges and two towers. It also has a moat like canal surrounding the perimeter that can be traversed by boat. We visited the plaza in the morning briefly and then returned in the evening for a lazy stroll and were wowed as it was lit up and the fountains played. The 49 Spanish provinces are represented by beautiful tiles. Again, we admired the blend of Renaissance and Moorish architecture and walked through the gardens nearby. It was an unforgettable experience. And for those interested in pop culture you can spot the plaza in movies like Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and The Dictator. Loved it!