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  • 8 Nov 2021 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    A poem by Asha Singh, ISW Cultural and Language School Teacher

    दीपावली की शुभकामना


    झिलमिल तारे नील गगन के

    धरती पर हैं आए ,

    घर आँगन के साथ साथ

    मन आलोकित हो जाए।

    पावन पर्व दिवाली का

    ये शुभ संदेशा लाए,

    है प्रकाश का उत्सव ये

    हम सारे कलुष मिटाएँ।

    खुशियों की छूटें फुलझड़ियाँ

    सौभाग्य सुमन खिल जाएँ,

    शुभ कर्मों से जग में हम

    सुख शाँति के दीप जलाएँ।

    लक्ष्मी गणेंश की पूजा कर

    हम मिल के दीप जलाएँ,

    सबके जीवन में मंगल हो

    प्रति वर्ष ये पर्व मनाएँ।

    पावन पर्व दिवाली का

    हम धूम धाम से मनाएँ


    Best Wishes for Diwali


    The twinkling stars in the deep blue skies

    Have landed on earth

    Lighting each house’s courtyard

    And together enlightening our minds

    They bring happy tidings

    Of the holy festival of Diwali

    These lights of celebration

    And erase all imperfections

    The sparklers lit with happiness

    Open flowers of good luck

    With good deeds we light around the world

    The lamps of happiness and peace

    Together we worship Lakshmi and Ganesha

    Lighting the Diwali lights

    Let your life be filled with fortune

    Every year we celebrate this festival of Diwali

    Let us celebrate this holy festival spectacularly - Asha 

  • 8 Nov 2021 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    by Dhruv Jagan, 9th Grade, St. Johns High School


    Once upon a time, there were these 2 parents who had this crazy idea to drive across the country. Well, these 2 parents just happened to be mine! It happened just a few weeks ago, this summer of 2021. At first, I didn’t really want to go because I wanted to hang out with my friends here in my neighborhood. But after my mom told me that the scenery would be nice, and I could see some cool new places and, of course, the added incentive that I could use the pools at the places we would stay, I decided to go.

    I looked at the map that my father showed and the trip looked LOONNGG! We were going to take the Oregon Trail that traverses the north of the country starting from Massachusetts all the way to Oregon. We were going beyond Oregon to see my aunt in San Francisco. Basically, we had to cover the full 3,000 miles. To do that we decided we needed to drive around 8 hours every day. We also made sure to be flexible and have an open mind to accommodate my 3-year-old sister, Uruvi’s patience for the ride.


    Our first stop: Niagara Falls. When we reached Niagara Falls, we were stayed at this hotel called “Aarya Hotel,” which had an outdoor pool. We were excited to go and play in it. We rested, and the next day, we went to see Niagara Falls. I remember looking at it from the Canadian side, but this time, we looked at it from the American side. The first time I saw the falls I was amazed by Mother Nature! Having seen many smaller falls, this fall reminded me of the impact of the power of Mother Nature. We were about to leave, when my mom decided we should experience the Maid of the Mist ride. I was a bit skeptical about going because I had no idea what to expect. The last time I went on it was when I was 7 years old, so I didn’t remember what it was like. But my mom didn’t give us a choice, so we went. The next thing I knew, I was standing on the top deck of the boat. When we were on the boat, I felt a surge of happiness as we went near the falls and got super wet. It was really refreshing on that hot day. Even Uruvi liked it! I had never expected that we would go so close to the falls! We were so close to the falls that the whole boat was engulfed in mist. I couldn’t see anything but mist around me!! There were moments where I felt like I was in a whole different world.

    Next stop: The windy city, Chicago!

    This article is part of a series that details my experiences on our cross-country road trip across the different states.


    Route to ChicagoOur last night at Niagara Falls, I did a Google maps search of the distance between Niagara Falls and Chicago. 556 miles, 8.5 hours! The big question; will Uruvi be able to handle going to Chicago as well? She was enjoying the car ride and she was overall comfortable. She was also happy and excited, and she didn’t want to go back home because of the swimming pools. Knowing my mom, I was dead sure that she would say “If we start something, we should finish it”. So as I guessed sitting on that hotel bed, without thinking twice, she decided we are going to continue. We got in the car, ready to head to Chicago. I was mainly excited to go because my elementary school teacher and our former neighbor, who is from Chicago, had recommended an awwesssome place to eat the world-famous Chicago style deep dish pizza!

    The drive was uneventful nature-wise as we didn’t see much scenery on this part of the car drive compared to the last one. But it was still fun to see different cars and trucks. We even played a game called the word game, where someone starts with with a random word, and the next person has to say a word that starts with the last letter of the word that the person said before. It was fun, but it got boring after a while. Totally not because I couldn’t find some words….J  Anyhow, I was watching YouTube on the iPad when we had to take a break to eat. We all didn’t know what to eat, so we just got quick subs from Subway. When we arrived at our hotel, we saw that there was this very nice Mexican restaurant just across from our hotel called “La Fogata.” We arrived late, so we ate there.

    The next morning, my mom had another 5-hour meeting which she needed to attend undisturbed . My dad saw this natural history museum near us, so we decided to go there. We arrived and it took us a while to find it (somehow) because it was a little bit hidden. We paid for our tickets, and as soon as we entered, it was like a WHOLE DIFFERENT WORLD. There were so many dinosaur skeletons, bugs and beetles, and even an underground, ancient Egyptian maze! We first saw all different kinds of bugs and beetles. They were all so creepy and crawly, I would probably get nightmares if one of them came into my bed. After that, we wanted to go see a presentation about history, but you had to pay again to go through it, so we just went through the Egyptian maze. It showed us many things including King Tut’s golden covered tomb, how they built the pyramid, and more! After that, the gem exhibit. A rare GemstoneThis one contained all the different kinds of gems, shiny, and non-shiny. I personally liked the ruby and the blue sapphire the most, since they were my favorite colors. My brother liked the diamond and, well, my sister liked everything! We didn’t want to eat there, so we went to this very big hall, in which many people were taking pictures with dinosaur skeletons that couldn't fit in the normal exhibit. There was a giant brachiosaurus and a T-rex.

    Chicago Skyline and my momSelfie with BrachiosaurusWhen we arrived back, my mom had set us up for a boat ride at the Navy Pier, which was just going to do a big circle in Lake Michigan. I was a bit tired from the museum, but my mom dragged me out. When we arrived there, we got onto the boat and saw an amazing view of Lake Michigan. It didn’t take long before the boat was on its way. When we were about halfway through the sail, the sun was setting, and we saw the amazing skyline of Chicago. At that exact moment, my friends facetimed me!! I answered and told them I was on a boat, and I also showed them the skyline. They told me that it looked sick and told me don’t drop the phone.

    Deep Dish PizzaAt the end of the day, we decided to have some yummy, mouthwatering deep-dish pizza at this place called Gino’s Pizza. It was recommended by my 4th grade teacher and former neighbor, Mrs. Spangenberg, who hails from Chicago. You could actually write your names on the wall, so no one can forget that you were there. My father kept listening to songs from the Blues brothers, an old time Hollywood classic which highlights Chicago with the song “Sweet Home Chicago”. I kinda liked the tune but after a few times I was done! And that, my friends, is what we did, in the amazing city of Chicago.


    Well, we’ve gotten to Chicago, why not just keep going ahead? We are all feeling fine and not overly tired, and so it was decided that we would soldier on. What’s the next stop though was the question? My dad mentioned he had read about a waterfall in South Dakota that was kinda fun stop. At first, I heard it as “So falls”! I was intrigued that a waterfall could be named in that way, but a quick search proved me wrong. The word is Sioux Falls!

    Reading through the history of the falls, made me really want to go there. For all you geography and history lovers, the Sioux falls is an important geographical attribute of the Big Sioux River and formed 14,000 years ago! It seems the early settlers had found the land close the falls very appealing. So we embarked on our drive to South Dakota, to see Sioux Falls. Our drive was the same, nothing different except for the amazing sunset I captured from the car. We reached our hotel on the outskirts of Minnesota.

    The next morning, we drove to Sioux Falls. At the entrance to the Falls, we found a engraving that said that a time capsule lay there and would be opened in 2064 to mark the 125th anniversary of South Dakota. I really want to come back then to see the opening of the time capsule. I will be 57 years old, HAHA! The Falls also had a nice park to play in, and there were many rocks inside of the ground! The rocks were emerging from the ground and my dad told me the rocks were quartzite. They were bright red in color. It was crazy cool! We wanted to take as many pictures as we could, and we were doing the most unique poses on the rocks. Some nice people offered to help take some of our pictures, and that was very kind of them. Uruvi was showing off my mom's sunglasses to everyone and everyone smiled and loved her.

    There was also a small waterfall that was in the middle of it. It was a blistering sight to see a bright waterfall in the hot weather. It was scorching hot that day, so we decided to take some pictures with the waterfall and the geese that floated inside of it as quickly as we could. There was a small bridge over the river that led to the falls, that connected the park and the restaurant. My mom went into “photo frenzy mode” and I lost count of how many pictures she took ON THAT BRIDGE. There was a restaurant just next to it, but we had already eaten before, so we didn’t go there.

    Uruvi, of course, didn’t want to go back in the car as she actually wanted to swim in the lake! She is sometimes such a whiny girl. We had to drag her across the park, just for her to get in the car and bawl her eyes out. We gave her the phone, and she immediately stopped crying. It's as if she knows that if she cries a lot, we will go to our last resort and give her the phone. Arush and I were a little annoyed that she was getting everything and anything she wanted.

    We still had 4 hours left of our drive, and our arrival time was already an hour late. We couldn’t find a fancy hotel near our next destination, so we had to stay in a simple motel called “Super 8.” Arush and I kind of wanted a fancy hotel, but we were caught by surprise by how comfy the MOTEL was! It had big beds, an even bigger TV, and they had an amazing breakfast! We were happy and had a good night's sleep. The next morning, it was very sunny and hot, so we got up earlier to quickly get ready and on the road to North Dakota. Stay tuned folks!


    So here’s the thing about road trips, you get involved more and more as the number of days you travel!. Trust me, true fact! and I vouch for it. As the third leg of the journey finished, I was like where to next! So where did we drive to? Our next stop was in North Dakota, living just only one hour away from Mount Rushmore. I had read so much about Mount Rushmore in my History class, that the idea to see it in person made me giddy with excitement! Believe me when I say this, travelling in the back row of a car with my two siblings, anything would seem exciting! Haha. jokes apart, I do like them but spending a major part of the day in the back row is a test of my patience! We started our drive, and our drive an hour shorter than usual. This was due to the time zone changed. As my father explained, as we go west we gain an hour because they are behind us.

    For this part of trip, my mom was prepared, and had bought some cards to play inside of the car. I wanted to be on my phone, because I wanted to facetime my friends, but she said, “Stop being a teenager and enjoy time with your family!!” I had to agree, so we played war, which is the simplest card game I know. The game was to split the card evenly between the number of players. All you must do is flip the card that's on top of your deck, and whoever has the biggest one gets all the cards. Last person who has cards wins. We played for a little bit, then it got boring because we were arguing which card was worth more. I then watched Naruto for the rest until we got there.

    When we arrived, it was late evening, around 7pm. Our arrival was actually 8 pm, but since we go back an hour, from central time to mountain time, we got an extra hour. My dad checked us in, and me and Arush went to our room, and within A MINUTE, we were ready to go into the pool, oops sorry a WATER PARK! This was the coolest, a waterpark next to our hotel! It was like a dream come true. Dad dropped us at the waterpark, and we quickly got comfortable with all the different kinds of water obstacles. We played around with Uruvi and I raced her for a while. When we got tired, we went back to our room and turned on the TV.

    When Dad and Mom came back, we were excited for our Indian dinner. Indian Food in North Dakota, that was surprising for me. But as my father in his professorial tone (yeah, he is a Professor of Neuroscience) said, North Dakota has a huge immigrant population from Nepal, a country which happens to be India’s neighbor. Hence there is no shortage of Indo-Nepalese cuisine.

    After dinner, Arush and I went to bed early that day, so we could have full energy for the waterpark tomorrow morning. The next morning, we quickly had our breakfast, and changed so we could go to the waterpark. We wanted to get there and spend as much time as possible, because in the afternoon we had to go to Mount Rushmore. There were a lot of people already there, and we decided to start with the lazy river. The water in the lazy river was warm, so it was relaxing to get in on a chilly day. We found a donut float for two people, and almost slept on that lazy river! We went on the waterslides and the normal pool for so long that we didn’t even realize it was 1pm, and we had to go back to the hotel room to leave for Mount Rushmore! We rushed back, relieved that my parents weren’t there, and we quickly showered and got ready. My parents arrived, happy that we were already done getting ready, and we quickly jumped back into the car, and went on our way to Mount Rushmore.

    We had arrived in North Dakota on July 2nd, two days before Independence Day. The whole route was covered with American Flags, and I could hear our National Anthem being played everywhere. It reminded me of school where we would sing it during Morning Assembly. The drive to Mount Rushmore was a short one, but the terrain was hilly and the drive was slow. We arrived at the Gates of Mount Rushmore, which was more than 5000 feet above sea level. When we got there, we had to walk up a few stairs to a walkway that had all the state flags on the side of it.

    At the entrance was a wonderful lady, who was asking all passersby to put a pin on a world map, indicating where we come from. I put my pin on Massachusetts and Dad and mom put a pin on India. The lady was so nice and asked me several questions about school and if I am liking it.

    As we walked up the stairs, there in the middle was the world-famous Mount Rushmore. It was a sight to behold and I for once was left spell bound. My parents on the other hand, were taking picture after picture after picture. Yes, the repeat is to reiterate the number of pictures they took! I also learnt some more historical facts; that Massachusetts was the 6th state to be inducted into the Union.

    When we finally got to the closest location to the monument, we saw how big it was. It was MASSIVE. The faces of the four presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln) looked about 100 feet wide, AND LONG!!! I overheard a tour guide mentioning some very interesting facts about the monument. Don’t ask me to recite what all he said, but a few things I did remember. The whole mountain is made of granite and erodes 1 inch every 10,000 years. The other fun fact that I could recollect was that each of the noses of the Presidents is 240 inches long ! Lastly, the most amazing fact, that if you turn the mountain 90o, you can see another face!! I tried that and did not see any face. If any of you find a face, do let me know.

    We took many selfies and pictures, and I even did a vlog there! On our way down the mountain, we enjoyed some ice cream, and started our journey to the next stop, knowing we would be on the road, only for three more days till we reach California! Till Then, Enjoy!


    At this point, me, my dad, my brother, and my sister were all getting a little tired of all the driving we had to do every other day. My mom on the other hand, miraculously was full of energy and wanted to continue as if we just started. Of course, we were back on the road at 8:30am that day and were headed to Nevada.

    Our drive wasn’t any different from the others, but we started to observe that the roads had way more desert-type vibes rather than a normal highway with fields on the side. This wasn’t good, because it meant that there would be no service for almost the whole ride. But, yes there's a But, I knew that beforehand, and downloaded a few episodes of our favorite serial so we could watch it offline.

    I was chilling watching, and my dad went through and exited, and I wondered why. Well, my stomach answered that question. I had totally forgotten that all I had in the morning was 2 waffles and milk, and I was starving. We stopped at a Subway as a last resort, ate quickly, and jumped back on the road. When we arrived at our hotel, we were all tired, and decided to grab some quick Pizza Hut, and sleep as soon as possible.

    The next day we thought that we had come so close to one of the natural wonders of North America, we should not skip the Yellowstone National Park even though it was far from the hotel. Well, the reason for us to stay so far from the park was because of our impromptu nature of going on the road trip. Needless to say, it was going to be the most amazing part of the natural beauty and so all the hotels in the 300-mile radius were all booked. Hence, after a lot of thought we had our lunch and we departed to go see the Yellowstone National Park, which was almost 4 hours away.

    Yep, another long drive. We left at 2, which was late, and arrived around 6:00 pm. When we got there, we had to drive slowly though the wavy and curvy road. When we saw Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring, we were AMAZED. It was a cold atmosphere, but the blows from the geyser warmed us up with some warm and moist air. Pretty sure we took around 100 pictures just at Old Faithful. When we saw the Grand Prismatic Spring, it almost looked fake! It was a very shallow pond-like place, with rainbow colors inside of it! This wasn’t a geyser, it was more like a steaming hot pond, which let off warm air every now and then. We were amazed to see all the different colors inside of it and took many more pictures!

    We walked around more, looking at the big trees that were there. When we looked at the time, we were suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of distress. It was 8 pm, and we all forgot that it was going to take us 4 hours to get back as well! We had no choice but to drive back, and arrived back at 1 am, ending our second to last part of our onward trip!


    Almost there! Almost there! These were the words my mom kept repeating the morning of our drive. Well, we were all excited to be so close to reaching our destination, so we all jumped into the car as enthusiastically as possible. Leaving Reno Nevada was quite a different feeling. No more hotel stays but the comfort of getting to a home was exhilarating. After six nights in hotels and pools, the comfort of a home and my parents yearning for some chai (Indian tea) was a tempting one.

    Our drive was just the opposite as the last drive. Instead of going from greens to desert, we went from desert to greens! This time I was so excited to reach there that I totally forgot I hadn’t eaten, and my stomach was rumbling like a bear! After a quick munch, we drove, and drove, and drove, and drove. Why did this LAST drive feel so eternal?

    The temperatures outside were soaring in the low 100s! I was getting tired, and I got even more exhausted after I found out we were only 3 hours in! Of course, as if it was a habit, I went on my phone and chilled while watching some Netflix and Face Timed my friends. They told me they were playing outside and were going to have a sleepover that night. I was a little jealous, but I didn’t say anything. I mean, you would be jealous too if your friends were having a sleepover, and you weren’t, right? I hope so because sleepovers are the best. Anyhow, 1 hour had passed quickly, so that cheered me up! I told them to have fun and ended the call.

    We finally arrived in San Jose, CA at my aunt’s house. It was early evening, and our little cousin Vilohit was waiting outside to greet us. The house was big, with a nice backyard we could play some mini-basketball in. We all greeted each other and were excited for all the things we would do there.

    Our first day, we had some sausage and eggs for breakfast, and there wasn’t a solid plan of what we were going to do that day, so me and my brother played some basketball with my little sister and went for a walk as well. We went to a beach near our house (Half Moon Bay Beach) as I love water. The water was so warm, compared to the beaches in MA. I did not want to come out of the water.

    As the evening was setting, we decided to visit another very interesting spot in CA. It is called the San Andreas Lake Trail. My uncle (Rajesh kaka) told us about how the lake formed from the earth’s crust via a tectonic ridge called the San Andreas Fault. This geological feature extends all across California and as per reports, causes some of the major earthquakes in that region. The name of the fault is derived from the lake. We walked a mile-long stretch of the lake and of course took pictures! By now, you must know that we are a family of picture takers . It was very serene walking along a lake. At times during the walk, me and Arush would do a small sprint just to see who is fitter.

    As the day came to an end and we watched the sunset near the lake, it was an amazing sight. It was an amazing beach with the sun in the back and a beautiful view. We took hundreds and hundreds of photos and ended the night with some amazing tacos!

    The next day, was nice and sunny weather, (what else can we expect from sunny CA!), so my mom told us to spend as much time as possible playing outside. We got tired after just an hour, so we came in and had some dinner. My aunt is an avid gardener, and we spent time tending her garden that evening. She grows everything from garlic to squash. Having a home garden is so much work but it is fun when you can eat the produce that you are growing. In the evening, we had dinner at a local Indian restaurant. There are many of them there and I found out that CA has the second largest population of Indians outside of India.

    The week passed so quickly, and it was time for us to pack up and start the journey home. The whole trip to CA was such an amazing experience. Given my initial inhibitions, I am glad we did this road trip. I have memories that I will cherish all my life. In addition, writing this travelogue was fun. It kinda made me relive the moments with you all. I hope you enjoyed it!

    As they say in Spanish, Adios mi amigos!

  • 8 Nov 2021 2:37 PM | Anonymous

    A poem by Asha Singh, ISW Cultural and Language School Teacher

    रूप रस की चाँदनी

    बरसा करे हरदम,

    सौभाग्य की बिंदिया यूँही

    दमका करे हरदम,

    माधुर्य जीवन में सजे

    विश्वास हो हरदम ,

    मनमीत से ये प्रीत तो

    निभती रहे हरदम

    करवा चौथ की विशेष

    मंगलकामनाएँ !


    May beauty and charm

    Always bathe you like the moon rays.

    May the bindi’s goodluck

    Always shine on you

    May you always have faith

    in the sweetness of life

    May your love for each other

    Always continue forever

    Our special good wishes on the

    auspicious occasion of "Karwa Chauth" 


  • 8 Nov 2021 2:26 PM | Anonymous

    This is an English interpretation of popular Marathi Poem by B. R. Tambe. Interpretation by Suresh Dike & Sarita Deshpande.

    घन  तमी  शुक्र बघ राज्य करी

    घन तमीं शुक्र बघ राज्य करी
    घन तमीं शुक्र बघ राज्य करी
    रे खिन्न मना बघ जरा तरी
    घन तमीं शुक्र बघ राज्य करी

    ये बाहेरी अंडे फोडुनि
    ये बाहेरी अंडे फोडुनि
    शुद्ध मोकळ्या वातावरणीं
    का गुदमरशी आतच कुढुनी
    रे मार भरारी जरा वरी
    घन तमीं शुक्र बघ राज्य करी
    रे खिन्न मना बघ जरा तरी
    घन तमीं शुक्र बघ राज्य करी

    फूल गळे फळ गोड जाहले
    फूल गळे फळ गोड जाहले
    बीज नुरे डौलात तरु डुले
    तेल जळे बघ ज्योत पाजळे
    का मरणिं अमरता ही खरी
    घन तमीं शुक्र बघ राज्य करी
    रे खिन्न मना बघ जरा तरी
    घन तमीं शुक्र बघ राज्य करी

    मना वृथा का भीशी मरणा
    दार सुखाचे ते हरि करुणा
    मना वृथा का भीशी मरणा
    दार सुखाचे ते हरि करुणा
    आई पाही वाट रे मना
    पसरोनी बाहु कवळण्या उरीं
    घन तमीं शुक्र बघ राज्य करी
    रे खिन्न मना बघ जरा तरी
    घन तमीं शुक्र बघ राज्य करी

    Look up 'O' despondent soul,
    Behold how 'Shukra' Star;
    Rules in the midst of dark night;
    Smiles in the sky to ignite. ||1||

    Break your shell and burgeon.
    Let your spirit soar,
    Why you smother inside,
    All gloomy and dour? |2||

    The moonless night yields
    to a gleaming golden Sun,
    The crack of dawn gives the birth
    to fathomless rays of the Sun. ||3||

    Lenient offerings by God;
    and merciful life,
    Why conjure up so much
    A boogeyman rife? ||4||

    Flower withers but.
    Fruit gets sweeter.
    Seed disappears
    as the tree extends higher. ||5||

    Oil burns out but.
    the bright flame illuminates.
    In everlasting life,
    Death! it truly ends? ||6||

    Look at the flowers
    smiling amongst the thorns.
    Bright rays shining
    through dark forlorn. ||7||

    Why are you afraid of
    death? in vain?
    It is the door to
    God's mercy, not the pain. ||8||

    To embrace and hold you
    close to her Heart,
    The mother awaits
    with wide open Heart ||9||

  • 26 Oct 2021 11:20 AM | Anonymous

    Hello everyone! My name is Ayan Mishra. Here is the story of how I adopted my first dog, Muffin, along with some tips on how you can adopt yours!

    I’ve always been an animal lover, ever since my childhood. I was in love with TV shows like “Dinosaur Train”, where I learned about ….well dinosaurs. I went on to read more about them and even bought a few encyclopedias. As a kid, I always wanted to have a pet animal. Since I couldn’t get a velociraptor, I settled on a dog! I started pestering my parents for a pet dog since I was 6 years old. My mom always said no because she thought I wasn’t old enough to take care of it. She would always say I could get one when I turned 10. Since she never had a dog before, she felt she needed to get mentally prepared for all the licking and getting used to having another family member. But mind you, my dad had two dogs (German Shepherds) when he was growing up as a kid. I had the majority on my side. It was only about convincing my mom, which took me some time. And when I say some time, it actually took me 4 full years to convince her! Well, as they say, slow and steady wins the race. So did I!

    When I turned 9, I immediately started searching for dogs; I looked up popular dogs that are good for beginners. Most of the websites listed Labrador Retrievers as the number one dog! I researched about them, what they looked like, what they ate, how big they were and what colors they were available in. After all the research, I settled on adopting a yellow lab puppy. To continue the process, I created a Google document and listed all the breeders all over the East Coast and started calling them for availability. To my surprise, none of the breeders had any available lab pups left. Zero! Zilch! Nothing! Except for one breeder in New Hampshire. I called them up and we got in 11th in line to adopt one. I was excited when I heard this, but also a little disappointed to be so late in the line. I kept looking, and realized some other breeders that I contacted were scammers and puppy mills. Puppy mills are mass breeders that keep their puppies in horrible conditions; most of them are also sick and develop issues later on. Since Labradors were the number 1 dog breed, there were a lot of puppy mills for them. I tried staying away from breeders like those.

    In April this year when I got the call from the breeder, they told me we did not make it in line to adopt the puppy. I was very disappointed and started my search all over again. Most of the breeders for labs were booked until 2022. That was when I realized we had to choose a different breed.

    I realized that I should search for smaller dogs because they need less exercise, attention and are easier to train. I found 2 breeds that I liked - the Maltese and the Shih Tzu. As I started researching about them, I fell in love with these small puppies! After all the deliberation, I chose the (drum roll please) Shi Tzu! The name Shih Tzu means little lion in Mandarin. I found Shih Tzu puppies on; a great website where you can find dogs from the African Boerboel to the Yorkshire terrier. My mom researched while I was at school and I researched after I finished my homework. We found a litter of 5 from one of the Shih Tzu breeders in Pennsylvania. When we called them, we found out only one puppy was left and the breeder named her Muffin. We also saw a Maltese puppy and his name was Ollie. I showed both the puppies to my dad and he recommended calling both the breeders. When my mom called both the breeders, we found out that Muffin was available for adoption but Ollie’s breeder didn’t answer.

    We checked when we could go and get Muffin and it was Memorial Day weekend the following week. We had the time to take the long trip. Woo hoo! Then the Maltese breeder answered, but it was unfortunately too late. We had already made up our minds and were going for Muffin. I was in disbelief that was actually going to get a dog after all these years!!! We had to drive all the way to Pennsylvania and I was ready for it! The day before we left, we got all the important dog stuff such as toys, food, bed, crate, etc. from Petco. I was so excited when we were at the breeder’s doorstep. When we called the breeder she came outside holding Muffin. She was the cutest furball! My parents were looking at the papers and asking questions while I was playing with her. She was running super fast. Then I put her on a leash. She hated it and began chewing on it; running around to get it off. Then she walked up to the breeder’s pet cat because she wanted to play. The cat ignored her and walked away. Then we got her to the car along with her leash, collar, food, toy and papers. We took her outside to go to the bathroom before the long drive home. As it was raining, we had to take a wet dog home in the car. At the beginning, she was a little scared because she had never been in the car before, especially with total strangers. She slept within 30 minutes into the drive but woke up a lot because of the bumps. Then she threw up! We got worried and called the breeder; she said that Muffin was just carsick. She slept again and we gave her some toys to chew on. When we got home, Muffin looked around and got settled. We gave her some more toys and fed her. The first few days, she woke up 1 to 2 times in the middle of the night.

    Now Muffin is fully adjusted at home and sleeps through the night. She loves to meet new people, chew on her leash, my flip-flops and everything else. And she loves to play all the time.

    Before we wrap up my story about adopting my first dog, let me give you a few important tips as you consider your own.

    1.    Start by getting permission from your parents.

    2.    Research a breed you like. Get a few backup breeds just in case.

    3.    Find a breeder on website that has litters. Someone you can trust.

    4.    Expand the radius of your search if you cannot find something nearby.

    5.    Talk to them and confirm the litter availability and pay the deposit.

    6.    Get your essentials ready like food and water, bowls, toys, bed, crate, poop bags, pee pads (need those), a collar, leash and id tags.

    7.    Pick your puppy and take it home.

    8.    Have fun!

    What you need for a Shih Tzu

    Continuing the story about my puppy who is growing up fast….Muffin has now turned 6 months old! She has grown much bigger and learned a lot more commands. She has learnt to follow - sit, come, go get your toy, drop it, leave it and down. She has stayed home alone for 3 hours already! Now that I have had her for a few months and our entire family revolves around her needs, I thought I should talk about what you need for a Shih Tzu Puppy.


    Shih Tzu’s don’t need much exercise, so a short walk every day is good enough. Shih Tzu’s are not outdoor dogs so getting a doghouse isn’t ideal. Muffin loves walks and likes to play on the deck; we do not leave her outside though. They need to be watched outside because eagles and hawks can pick them up, along with small coyotes.


    Shih Tzu’s are very picky eaters; you need to pick a food they like. Muffin did not like three foods, so we got her a Shih Tzu Plan food which she loves very much. Some dog food companies such as Purina and Royal Canine specialize in Shih Tzu food. When you switch foods you have to gradually switch to the new foods. On the first day of a new food you need to mix 25% new food and 75% old food. Then on the second day 50% new food and 50% old food, and so on until it is 100% new food. I think we have finally settled down on the type of food she likes!


    Shih Tzu’s are very adaptable dogs who are great at living in apartments and big houses. They barely shed, and don’t have to go to the bathroom very often. They often have separation anxiety, so as puppies they should not be kept alone for a long time. They are not yippy like other small dogs and rarely bark unless hurt, hungry, have to go to the bathroom or frustrated. They are great for all ages and bond especially well with older kids (10 - 18) and with the elderly.


    Shih Tzu’s are great companions; in fact they were actually bred to be companions! Some people even refer to them as ‘therapy dogs’. They are loyal, clever, playful, alert, happy, gentle, friendly and outgoing. Muffin has all of these traits. The only cons of their behavior are that they can be difficult to housetrain. They can also be a bit grumpy sometimes. They are definitely attention seeking dogs and love being around you. Muffin hardly used her play pen, and is usually around the chairs near the kitchen island, or below the dining area chairs. I would say that’s her favorite spot. They can be left alone for 8 hours maximum. They also love being around humans and other dogs.

    Before I wrap up here is the simplified version!

    • Shih Tzu’s do not need much exercise, they will get all of it from a short walk
    • They are picky eaters, I recommend a Shih Tzu diet
    • They can live in all environments, they barely shed and they don’t bark
    • They are great companions

    Ayan Mishra is 10 years old and lives in Shrewsbury with his mom and dad. He is going to the 6th grade and is an avid swimmer and likes to play basketball and tennis.

  • 25 Oct 2021 3:34 PM | Anonymous

    By Ragoo Raghunathan

    Following up on our recent ISW-PEN event focused on job search strategies offering perspectives from recruiters and hiring managers, a very important aspect floated up as crucial. Networking!

    A recent article published by the Harvard Business Review, written by Francesca Gino, Maryam Kouchaki and Tiziana Casciaro, points out how it is easy to refrain from networking – saying ‘I hate networking’. However, they highlight the importance of networking, and how you could overcome that aversion.

    The authors have summarized it by identifying four strategies that can alleviate your concerns – Focus on learning, identify common interests, think broadly about what you can give and finally find a higher purpose.

    Check out the full article here

  • 11 Oct 2021 11:18 PM | Anonymous

    In this issue of eSandesh, we introduce a new feature, a series of interviews with ISW Youth tapping into their views on a number of contemporary and relevant topics.

    By Tanvi Gahlot, ISW Youth Reporter

    I recently held an online session with four teenagers to find out their opinions on the impact of Covid, social media and academics on their life. Joining me were Jayant Manem, a sophomore (10th grader), Aadi Dixit a freshman (9th grader), Tanushree Nekenti, a freshman and Prachet Mahawar, also a sophomore.

    How do you think social media has affected teens, either negatively or positively?

    Most of the participants said that they use social media for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. They felt it made teens more distracted and there might be occasions when it might put people in dangerous situations. On the positive side, it was a game changer in being able to connect to people you might never have met before and makes it easier to meet others with similar interests.

    How has Covid impacted your education this past year and a half?

    Jayant: It has made it difficult to get the education I wanted, in terms of understanding what was happening in class. Also, not only was it difficult online, but now that we are in person, it is hard to get back into the habit of in person at school since remote learning and in person learning are so completely different.

    Aadi: Going off what Jayant said, when we talk about remote learning over Zoom it’s more difficult as teachers are experienced and trained to teach in person classes, which are quite different than online classes. This is another factor that makes it difficult for students to understand. Also, even if students were in a hybrid or in person model during Covid, there was a mask mandate. This made it difficult because teachers usually rely on facial expressions to get an understanding whether a class gets the concept or not.

    Tanushree: I think that after having gone through COVID, I can say that in person learning is much easier than remote because we’re more likely to get distracted as online students. Even if we want to focus it’s extremely difficult.

    Prachet: I believe that one is more connected with in person learning than with online. That’s mostly because there is a strong and easier student to teacher “bond” as the teacher gets to know a student well [in person]. Whereas, in an online setting the teacher can’t focus on one student at a time because the whole class is in the same meeting.

    Do you have any plans after high school?

    Aadi: Although I don’t have a plan set in place officially, I think I might take a year after high school to work and then go to college. Alternatively, I might go to college directly, my major will most likely be engineering (e.g., mechanical engineer, software engineer).

    Tanushree: I am not totally sure about what I want to do in college. However, I know that I want to go to college, even though I am unsure of my major.

    Jayant: I agree with Tanushree. I know I am going to college, although I am debating between going into the medical field or maybe the business field.

    Prachet: I know that I want to go to college too, I just don’t have a planned major.

    What is a skill that you believe school should be teaching us, and it isn’t at the moment?

    Jayant: I believe we need more courses on business and subjects that wouldn’t necessarily be covered in high school; this would help extend people's knowledge on what each career field could essentially look like. Basically, more career-oriented courses in different fields.

    Aadi: I think a big course that we should be learning is “how to pay your taxes” because in all honesty most high schoolers don’t know how taxes or personal finance works in general. Another possible course would be “job hunting” which could include how to write a resume, and how to perform well in interviews, because it is essential for getting a job otherwise what’s the point of going through schooling if you can’t find a job.

    Tanushree: I think another big one would be time management, although it’s difficult to teach. I think it would be a good course for high school or even middle school students to take because it would help you as an adult.

  • 11 Oct 2021 10:58 PM | Anonymous



    कठिनाई से घबरा ना कभी

    ना शोक तू दुख का मना,

    जीवन मिला सौभाग्य से

    शुभ कर्म से सार्थक बना।

    एक दीप आँधी में जला

    तू रात में उत्सव मना,

    आना ही होगा सूर्य को

    विश्वास ये मन में जगा।

    चाँद की उँगली पकड़

    तारों से आँगन को सजा,

    महकेगी जीवन की बगिया

    आस की कलियाँ उगा।

    धैर्य धारण कर के तू

    फिर हौसले अपने बढ़ा,

    हर तिमिर को चीर कर

    आएगी सुबह खुशनुमा।

    10 .5 .2021 आशा


    Don't be disheartened of difficulties

    Nor grieve of the sorrow,

    Life is a fortunate gift

    Make it meaningful by good deeds.

    Light a lamp in storm and

    Celebrate the festival in the night,

    Sun will have to arise

    Awake this belief in your mind.

    Hold the moon in your hand

    Decorate courtyard with stars,

    Your garden will be filled with fragrance

    Grow the buds of hope

    Raise your courageous self

    By having patience in side,

    A pleasant morning will arrive

    By ripping off all darkness.

    10 . 5 .2021. Asha

  • 11 Oct 2021 10:54 PM | Anonymous

    By Rajesh Khare

    You or your family members might have some unclaimed property in the custody of the Massachusetts State Treasury and it's easy to search and claim. We will tell you how.

    How is that possible?

    Maybe someone sent you a check to your old address or a wrong address. Perhaps it was a rebate check, class action settlement, gym refund, employer reimbursement or something else. It could also be stocks or dividends, insurance policies, or the contents of safe deposit boxes. The state holds such property until the rightful owner or heir claims it.

    How do I get it?

    1. Go to the website of the Unclaimed Property Division of the Massachusetts State Treasury

    2. Scroll down to "Top actions & services" and click on

    3. Click on "Search for Unclaimed Property" on

    3. Search for your last name. The search is not pretty but it works.

    4. If you find your name, click on "+ CLAIM" and then "FILE YOUR CLAIM".

    5. Follow the instructions to initiate the claim.

    6. In a few days, you will get an email with instructions from the Unclaimed Property Division.

    7. Complete the prefilled form and gather the documentation requested.

    8. You can mail it or upload the documents online. Online is easy and fast.

    If your claim is approved, you will get a check in the mail soon.

    Is this legitimate?

    The website link is on (step 1 above), so yes. ISW was able to recover a significant amount of unclaimed money for itself and some of our board members did so too. The checks came from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    And finally,

    If you do recover some money this way, please consider donating a portion of that to ISW.

  • 28 Aug 2021 12:39 PM | Anonymous

    A poem by Asha Singh, ISW Cultural and Language School Teacher

    क्यों भूलता है मन

      कुछ क्षण का है जीवन,

    आशाएँ पूरी कर ले

        कुछ बन सके तो बन

    निज स्वार्थ को भुला कर

       कोई काम ऐसा कर,

    मन की ज्योति जलाकर

        तू पथ आलोकित कर

    दूजे का सहारा बन जा

         लालच से परे हो कर ,

    कदमों में गगन तेरे होगा

        जीवन की डगर  पर

    जीवन के पल हैं सीमित

      सॉसें हैं  गिनी चुनी ,

    सब पाने की चाहत में

         ये बात ना तूने सुनी

    ना जाने कौन सा पल ये

         संदेशा ले के आए ,

    जीवन तो हुआ ये पूरा

          अब मौत  तुझे अपनाए

    दो पल के इस जीवन को

          है सार्थक तुझे बनाना ,

    लोगों के हृदय सुमन में

         खुशबू बन के बस जाना


    Why do you forget,

    That the life is short,

    Fulfill your hopes.

    Be something if possible,

    Do not be selfish,

    Do good deeds for others,

    By using flame of thought.

    Enlighten good path to all.

    Be supportive to others,

    Without any greed,

    And In the path of your life.

    All will appreciate you.

    And to grab everything,

    You did not notice that,

    The breaths are counted,

    And limited are the moments of life.

    Don't know which moment,

    will bring the message,

    That this is the end of life,

    And death is ready to adopt.

    Prove the worth of your life,

    The life of numbered moments.

    By settling down as fragrance

    In the heart of the people.


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