09
Mar
10

Hello world!

Dirisha nafsi … literally window to the soul in Swahili … portrays some of my photography works and my feelings while clicking these pictures … hope you enjoy seeing the pictures and reading about them as much as i did while clicking and writing about them … cheers … Sups!

28
Jan
16

The Carnivor’Us

absolute bbq.jpgIt wasnt just a dinner at Absolute Barbecue last night … It was a door to a whole new culinary world for Anv!

For a 4 year old who loves to eat it was a pure delight of a gastronomic spread at the barbecue table when she was served succulent chicken kebabs, prawn skewers, mutton seekh and fish tikkas.

But when the server brought us, what they call, the wish-grill her eyes became wide in excitement, chin covered in baby drool! There was rabbit, quail, emu, shark and octopus (among others) and my carnivore child wanted to taste it all!

As the near-veg mommy cringed at the mere thought, daddy and daughter headed for the kill. While she expertly tackled an octopus tentacle (or was that rabbit ear?!), I looked at her wondering if I had really given birth to that kid across the table. Just then the daddy licked his fingers and pushed away his plate, with a satisfied smile stuck to his face … clearing all my doubts!

For my camera, they posed with a ‘shark face’ just so I remember this day for all the years to come! (Like I would forget!!)

28
Jan
16

Noodle dee dum

noodlesFor a SAHM by day and a professional writer by night (once the baby sleeps), Maggi is a very vital pantry essential … Or so I would like to believe, since that gets me through the midnight hunger pangs just around the writer’s block!

So when the sister announced her wedding, I decided to take a break from my long standing steady relationship with the noodles just so I could buy the sexy partywear that I’d been eyeing in the boutique.

Now, there IS a way to stay away from those addictive atta snakes … Just 3 easy steps

1. Tell hubby to buy maggi from the supermarket and trust him to pick some replica yellow pack of noodles that has no ‘Maggi’ word on it … esp. when they are on a buy-one-get-one-free offer! (It was yellow – a good enough reason to pick it from the shelf!)

2. Keep these ‘big mistake’ packets right in the front of your pantry shelf where you can see them all the time.

3. Go to the supermarket and hold the maggi packet lovingly in your hands … And then remember the packets in your pantry … Keep the maggi back and return (no am not spending on noodles when I already have them in stock .. Yeah even if its Maggi we’re talking here)

One fine home-cleaning day, I forgot to cook lunch before starting and ended up opening one of those duplicate-noodles packet … It was a miracle that I liked them! In fact so much, that I ended up slurping ’em all within the next couple of weeks! Never thought I would like anything besides Maggi you know … And no … Maggi will always be the one … After this stock is over that is … But for now, bring on the XL size please … Grrrr

07
Oct
15

The Good Samaritan

My husband always says … there are two thoughts to choose from in life – one, everyone is good till they prove otherwise, and two, everyone is bad till they prove otherwise! The husband and I (try to) follow the first principle and it has brought us a lot of happiness, helped us make great friends and given us moments we cherish even today! I say ‘try to’ because more often than not, the devil side pokes its head up and instigates the mind to look at things from his eyes – and admittedly it seems the most convenient thing to do isn’t it? It takes efforts to think with a straight mind … or so I feel!

On a recent holiday, we walked over hills, through clouds and among tea-estates of the very pristine Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. Some friends told us it was a very touristy place and the locals preyed upon visitors, ready to loot their loot! Having decided to go by the first tenet, we shooed off the thoughts and headed to the hills … and it was a decision we would never regret!

After a leisure mid-morning spent soaking in the flavors of the terraced mountains adorned with delicate tea leaves, we headed to the tea-tasting section at Highfield Tea factory. There was ginger tea, masala tea … even chocolate tea! The hot steaming liquid, the crisp misty air … colorful homes perched on the cliffs … it was straight out of an artist’s canvas – pretty, primeval, perfect! The cold palms automatically hugged the cup … the soul warmed and the lips murmured “jannatein agar kahin hai … to bas yaheen hai”. Hills have that effect on you … they cleanse you, calm you, compose you. Poetic? Well that is genetic 😉

Experience from all those visits to hill-stations over the years told us not to indulge our pockets on tea-shopping. Nevertheless we bought a pack of each flavor … some oils … some chocolates and some other local produce just because experience also tells us that friends and family should be gifted something after a holiday! Resting our shopping bags near the counter, we opted for another cuppa – chocolate tea being my current favorite – and let the wafting steam create dreams and make the heart soar!

It was past lunch time by the time we finished clicking pictures, praising the tea and admiring the scenery – the grumbling choohas in the tummy brought us back to reality! “bhaiyyaji, yahaan accha restaurant kaunsa hai? Accha matlab clean washrooms!” I asked the leather-jacket clad dude at the counter. If he was offended at being called a ‘bhaiyya’ he didn’t show it on his face! He gave us the directions and we got into the car and sped off to have lunch.

As we disembarked at the restaurant entrance, we saw a bike arriving and the leather-jacket guy waving to us. Wondering what he was doing here we waited for him to cross the street to our side. ‘shayad apna commission lene aya hoga restaurant se’ we joked as he huffed and puffed the few steps carrying a big green bag that I recognized was similar to the one our tea-estate goodies were packed in. “Madam … your tea packets! Ye aap wahin bhool aayi thi” he smiled … a simple genuine smile someone would give a friend. Perplexed, I took the bag and peeped in … and to my surprise, my 1200 rupees worth loot from the estate shop was in there! It was something I would perhaps only realize on return to Bangalore and unpacking my stuff! A mix of guilt at leaving behind my stuff, idiocy over the incident, shame at having laughed over his presence there and a sense of gratitude … I was enveloped with everything at once and for once, I was at a loss of words. His mate had turned around the bike by then and the guy hopped on pillion. Still overawed, I managed to mutter a ‘thank you so much’ as my husband thanked him profusely for his extraordinary efforts. The bikers smiled, waved us goodbye and went off … like two black birds swooping off a tree … careless, burden-less, happy souls. As I write this, am sipping on some gorgeous masala chai … yes from that same bag … and counting my blessings! It is people like them who restore faith in nobility.

Next time you are at Coonoor, do visit the Highfield Tea Estate. It is very close to the town, they take you on a short factory tour (cover your nose – dust allergy alert – aakchoooo!) and the estate shop offers some tasty chai, chocolates and more!

25
Nov
13

Creating History

20131014_131217Since moving to Bangalore, weekend getaways have been the obvious thing for us, with so many nearby spots within a comfortable few hours’ drive from the city. One such trip takes us to the Keshav temple ruins of Somanathapura, not too far away from Mysore. The typical 13th century Hoysala structure in warm sunny colours stands tall against a bright blue sky. As we walk about the long corridors listening to the guide’s monotonous yapping, and admiring the intricate carvings in stone we reach the main temple where the Lord once sat on the cool black stone. Delicately we step in trying to cause the minimum possible damage to the treasured piece of history.

The invasions of the Mughals have today left only the stone structure, robbing the riches and destroying the temple’s grandeur in places but the essence of the spirituality still remains. As we enter the cool gabhara and thank the God for relief to the feet from the scorching stone steps, it takes time to adjust to the darkness inside. As I rub my eyes and see more clearly, I find the once smooth black stone floor now carved in designs by more modern humans. Names and initials adorned with heart shapes, cupid arrows, flowers and any other conceivable design that denotes today’s concept of ‘love’ and ‘romance’. These structures … the slice from our past … a part of the process that made us what we are today … are being royally abused to ‘create another history’ … as the blackboard to etch personal memories. We have heard often that this is the legacy that our ancestors left for us … so do we have the right to exploit it in the most brutal manner?

08
Oct
13

Instant Vacation

IMG_20130925_020935On a recent road trip the nature bestowed upon us some finest moments in the form of a sunset hide-n-seek with colorful clouds of the monsoons that had us in awe. As the rays filtered out through the cottony mesh, we passed by a village. The people busy about their mundane activities were unaware of the beautiful backdrop that nature was creating every few minutes. As we stopped for tea to take in the glory of the divine brushes, “These guys take the beauty so much for granted na” I mused. As we got back in the car and inched towards our destination, the bright lights faded, engulfed by the azure sky and I turned my attention finally to the man made wonder – my cellphone. Having nothing better to do, I was flicking through old snaps that had escaped deletion and i stumbled upon a full arc of a rainbow that had appeared for a few brief minutes outside my balcony, its magnificence making the time stand still even as I watched it framed on my 4″ screen and I realized that what I had been seeking on my so called ‘break’ was always around me. So many times in our lives as we get into the daily rut do we forget to really live! We plan the future, make elaborate holiday plans to exotic destinations, see beautiful dreams … and then we work harder each day wanting to achieve those … and in turn losing the moments that are here … today … in the present. So halt, breathe, look around … enjoy that slice of time life gives you … and you have an instant vacation!

24
Dec
12

Dawn syndrome

Image

With the New Year approaching, everyone gets into the mode of resolutions! “So what is yours this time?” someone asked me and I replied back without much thought “I will wake up early”. He laughed at me  “impossible! I would rather bet my money on the Mayan prophecy!” and I shrugged him off. Later as I recalled his words, I wondered if it was really impossible for me to wake up before the sun. A recent article in the newspaper said waking up early or staying up late was all in the genes. There! The culprit was found! But then all my previous generations have been early-birds though I have no idea what they would be like if given a choice. However with a firm resolve to stick to my words I decided to ‘give it a try’ before the actual calendar change … perhaps HE liked the idea too, and as an incentive for more such early mornings HE offered this spectacular view that any camera would fail to capture … especially proletarians such as moi! I still wake up at my usual timings (of course thanks to my genes!) and imagine all dawns like this one … in my dreams!

26
Oct
12

Scioned

‘Once an NRI always an NRI’ someone had commented in a party not so long when we mentioned our plans of relocating back to home land. Examples of how people who returned to India came back sooner or later … mostly sooner … were being tossed about us. Perhaps they wanted us to change our minds or at the least think it out thoroughly before taking the step. Our firm resolve also started showing capillary cracks but the better side said we could make the transition successfully. So filling the putty in the weak gaps we brushed aside the clouds of doubts and prepared ourselves … more mentally.

The D-day came after a packing spree on a war footing and we were ready to bid our beloved Singapore a goodbye … for now the NRI stint was over. No one knows exactly what the future holds for them despite the best of plans … so leaving things to fate we bade a tearful adieu to the bunch of prized possessions called friends at Changi Terminal 2 and walked into our new life, feet little wobbly due to the weight of all those emotions.

Today the Bengaluru life completes about a month. The house is all set and life is slowly getting smoother on the new track. Since our arrival there had been a heavy cloud cover … over the city and over our hearts. Incessant rains and thunderstorms followed. But now the climate is slowly changing. The bright blue sky, the warm shining sun, cool breeze now dominate the sky. Fluffy clouds float by once in a while. They perhaps make the scenery more appealing.  I close my eyes and feel the breeze flow softly through my hair clearing the cobwebs. Bengaluru, I am here to stay!




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