December 9, 2010

My chocolate Santa's gifted me an oven!!!

Always wanted to own a decently large oven and finally my sweet heart obliged and bought it for me today as a pre-Christmas gift. So finally I own a 40litre Morphy Richards oven and I just cant wait to bring in all the celebrations around the next few weeks.

I am so looking forward to some 'Happy Baking' times!

December 7, 2010

8 important ornamets for Christmas and it's significance

Well, it is that time of the year when we celebrate the most loving team of the year...Christmas!!! I have always wondered the significance of use of ornaments on the tree and was delighted to chance upon the reasons.

Holly leaves symbolises Jesus crown of thorns and the red berries is his blood. According to the Roman culture, Holly symbolises the Sun God, Saturn, which keeps the Holly leaves fresh even during winters.

I love the way they smell...

Angel depicts the birth story of Baby Jesus and the Legend in which the angle plays a very important role in the birth of Jesus Christ. Angle had heralded the birth of Christ. Angel is often placed on the Christmas tree.

A tree without the shining angels looks so incomplete!

Star is the symbol of the guiding star which took the magi to the birth place of Jesus Christ.

Fir Tree is the second colour of Christmas and symbolises the omnipresent light and life. The needle of the fir leaves points at heaven.

Bells are to guide for the lost sheep to get back to the herb. This symbolises that for Jesus everyone is equal and he wants to guide all his children to the right path.

The light of candle is the symbol of the starlight which guided the magi to the birth place of Jesus Christ.

Christmas gifts are always tied into a bow and represent the strong bond among people.

Mistletoe symbolises peace and joy and also ensures a good next year. It is also believes that if a couple stands under the Mistletoe, they are supposed to kiss, to bring good luck to their relationship.

Of course, to top this if we have a beautiful chimney as part of the decor Santa sure feels easier to get! :) Ho Ho Ho.....Merry Christmas!!!!

November 25, 2010

Bloggers who inspire me...

Almost 7 months into active blogging I am now a big fan of a few extremely talented blogger. I thought that writing a small post on them is the best way to extend my appreciation towards their work.

Aesthetically written articles (home or artifacts or spaces or personal grooming) seems to be my foremost topic of interest and who else can but make an impact other than Kamini from Once upon a tea time as well as Frangipani Decor

My fatigue buster blogs are DeezdenA cup of chaiArt n Light, Habitually chic, Amitpatty, Matsya and so many others that keep me company through the days.

When it comes to food everyone of the blogs is so yummy but of them I guess 3 hungry tummies, Kitchen tantra and Bong mom's cook book help me put together a meal effortlessly!

There is so much talent around each of these blogs that one can't stop at just 'being inspired' but keep blogging further...

It has been the most exciting blogging journey thus far and I am so looking forward to more in the future.

November 24, 2010

Graam Baangla

Speeding through the Kolyani Highway with Bhatiali gaan in the background and lush green scenery interspersed with the eclectic view of diverse pukur’s (ponds) marked the memorable road trip to Mayapur.

Having a toddler (my 2 year old son) and a set of highly creative women (my mum n her sister- ex Shantiniketan products) as my fellow passengers added to the excitement of the trip.

Originally a 3 hour ride, we converted the journey to a daylong affair. The drive out of Kolkata was a bit annoying with all the crazy busses and of course the broken down roads thanks to urban development but 30 minutes of chaos finally opened up into a delightful scenic drive from thereon…

Graam Bangla is so pure and rich. All one can visualize when this word crops-up is ‘WET n GREEN’. Acres and acres of land tilting rice crop, variety of leafy vegetables, coconut trees and ponds with not just ducks but people with fishing nets trying to get the catch of the day! What a sight!

Our first stop was a breakfast halt at roadside shacks made of clay and straw. Both sides of the road were lined with them. Roll your windows down and the smell of ash from burning coal in a handmade chimney welcomes you. Bio is a way of life in this region. Walk through the shacks and each has something different to offer to you. I settled at a shack where we got ‘duck eggs’ while my mum and her sister chose the one where they could have ‘alloor dom and kochuri’….

My son perhaps saw a pig sty for the first time in real. He was in splits to see the pigs grunting away in their sty. This visual tactic helped us get down breakfast really fast for him. Just when he was through his first few morsels we spotted a kid at a distance. We went along and played with the kid for a bit…perhaps my first encounter with a kid as well! I was delighted to caress the little being and Adi found great courage to do so too!!!

With breakfast break through we continued the journey yet once more. Probably another hour into the journey my aunt recalled that we were closer to a small town called Hallishohor (my mother’s mama’r bari and a place I have frequented innumerable times as a child). The star attraction was ‘Gonga-e snaan’ (bathing in the Ganges) and since we were so close we didn’t want to miss it at all. We were parked at the river bank for a couple of hours just soaking in the beauty around the place. Being kartik ekadashi day there were many people dropping by to take a holy dip in the river. It was fun hanging around looking at the locals do their deeds while we clicked snaps and occasionally dipped our feet in the cold water.

Nearing mid afternoon in true Bong style it was time for lunch. So finally we bid adieu to the ganges and headed forward only to take a brake 30 minutes into the drive at a local restaurant….I am using the word restaurant but it was a slightly more sophisticated shack as they had a few fans hanging along with a couple of tube wells!!!! Man what a lunch it was!!!! Katla maach bhaaja (fish fry), daal, bhaath (rice) and potoler torkari (vegetable). We polished off some 12 pieces of fish fry that afternoon. It was bliss!!! The bill; jaw dropping 120 bucks!

After this our driver decided he’s gonna take us for a drive we will never forget. We drove for almost a couple of hours only to realize that we went around in a circle to return to the same spot again (maybe I am exaggerating here but that’s how it felt) and at that point all the romance around Graam Bangle suddenly disappeared. We had to hit destination and this task was fulfilled with numerous enquiries with villagers followed by another hour of driving. Finally we hit Mayapur a few minutes before sunset…

All in all I can’t wait to explore Graam Baangla yet again! A cherished and memorable trip.

October 26, 2010

Deepening my knowledge on Bharatnatyam

I have been researching on Bharatnatyam and hence Carnatic Music through the web while my Guru directs me with my practical knowledge on the art form through my rigorous riyaaz. Sharing a very interesting read on the oldest and perhaps the most orthodox form of rendition of the art- Bharatnatyam Pandanainallur style.

Pandanallur Heritage

While reading this article I also chanced upon a very well articulated post on Jathiswaram where the writer has simplified the complexity woven around this tukda which requires rigorous training and upasana by the performer through which they can achieve perfection. Take a dekho... I was very inspired!

Jathiswaram made simple

Happy reading! :)

October 21, 2010

Dhunuchi naach: my personal aroti to Durga Ma

The earliest memory of me doing Dhunuchi Naach goes back to as early as being 4. In a pandal near the big lake in Hyderabad, with my Dadu watching over me, I swayed to the rhythmic strums of the Dhaki's and the next vivid memory was of picking up a small silver trophy as a token of appreciation by the Pujo for my performance. I don't think there has been a year where I may have missed an opportunity to perform ever since. Now at 32 when I am asked how does it feel to win OR have I come first I have only one thing to say; this is my personal offering of devotion to Ma, it is not about competing but about being one with her through my dance...
The aroma of dhuno, the resonating sound of multiple dhak's calling out to Ma and that enigmatic face fills me with an emotion which is beyond words. All I can feel at that moment is thumping of my heart, my feet tapping and a surge to sway with the rhythm without loosing a moment. To me it is the sound of victory and the elation felt when good prevails over evil...

With this year now in the past all I can say is: 'Bolo bolo Durga Ma ki; Jai... Ashche bochor abaar hobe!!!'

Pictures courtesy: Mukesh Trivedi- Senior Photographer DNA and Samar Sengupta

October 2010

October 4, 2010

Ganpati bappa moriya...

This was Adi's first year of Ganpati celebration at home. It is a yearly festivity at my in-laws and finally we have got the strength to carry forward the tradition at our home from this year.

Buying the idol was amazing fun. We had a whole load of elphant god's we could choose from but being a toddler home we settled down for a very unconventional look- we brought home 'Bal Ganesha' (toddler elephant god). Our Ganesha was riding a scooty with his lil friend; the mouse, pearched at his feet looking a wee-bit scared at the thought of a joy ride with the Lord...un-charted territories I guess!!! :)

Satya did the Puja as per vidhi's. I made the prasadam at home.

Puliodhare, payasam and modaks (courtesy a friend) both rice n wheat. Post the puja we had friends who joined in for lunch which was served on banana leaves...We tried to make it as authentic as possible!

We had guests all trough the 1.5 days of celebrations.

Thank-you all for all the encouragement as well as being so enthusiastic! It has build up our apetite for a more funfilled occasion for next year...

Ganpati bappa moriya...pudhchya varshi laukar yeah!

August 5, 2010

Kenny Rogers - Lady

In whatever kind of a “race” life may be, I have very abruptly become a finalist.- By Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens is a Vanity Fair contributing editor. Here is a read from his 'First Person' column of Vanity Fair's Culture where he speaks about his discovery of cancer.

Topic of Cancer

One fine June day, the author is launching his best-selling memoir, Hitch-22. The next, he’s throwing up backstage at The Daily Show, in a brief bout of denial, before entering the unfamiliar country—with its egalitarian spirit, martial metaphors, and hard bargains of people who have cancer.

Mirza Ghalib – A biographical Scenario by Gulzar

I happened to chance upon this beautiful book last evening while i was spending time at a bookshop. Absolutely captivating so much so I was just unable to drop the book for a moment. almost spent a couple of hours at the store reading it and another hour at the hair dresser....still reading it!!! A collectors item in my opinion.

Here is a small write-up by Anuradha Goyal where she describes the synopsis of the read. This was written in 2007.

This is not a typical biography that traces the life and time of Ghalib, but a more poetic anthology, a few defining scenes of his life that give a jest of what Ghalib was. It has 17 chapters or 17 scenes. Book describes a bit of his childhood and his marriage to Umrao Jaan, who remained his only wife all his life, His relationship with her and the faith that she had put in him. They never agreed on their views on many things, most prominent being religion and its rituals, but they still had all the love and faith for each other.

It traces the situations in his that lead him to say most of his famous couplets. Without describing him, it etches out the character of Ghalib very well, who was a drunkard and a gambler all his life and never felt apologetic about it. He lived most of his life in debt. He knew he is a poet and he would not do anything else. He knew he deserved to be the poet laureate of Delhi, and he would not take any other position but that in the court of Bahadur Shah Zafar. He is eccentric, knows this fact, he not only accepts this fact but also enjoys it.

It talks about the courtesan who falls in love with him. She is the only one who predicts that one day he would be Dilli’s poet laureate. When people say he is in debt, she says’ what about the debt that the whole Dilli owes him?’ Ghalib also promises to gift her a shawl if that happened and a series of events take him to her grave, where he presents her the promised shawl.

The whole book is interspersed with poetry in Urdu and translated in English. There is context setting, followed by the couplets and if you understand Urdu a bit, you can simply get lost in the romanticism of the poetry and in his way with the words (andaz-e-bayan), in his ability to question everyone and everything. For example, he would not say that ‘my heart is crying’, but he would say ‘why should my heart not cry?’

Gulzar calls himself the third servant of Ghalib, two others are mentioned across the book and formed an important part of the portrayal of the poet. An easy to read small book, a good reading for anyone who admires or appreciates Urdu poetry.

Read the review @mouthshut

This is where you can buy the book:
Rediff Shopping

August 4, 2010

Some mobile uploads...

These are a few picture I clicked on my mobile in the last few months.

Thanks to 'Once upon a teacup story' and her lil write-up on 'Over a cup of tea- feeling blue' I felt like posting this image of my balcony which I clicked some 3 months back.

Around the same time Satya and me picked up a set of interesting beer glasses which we pull out when we have some special beer drinking friends over.

Already into mid wednesday and soon it will be party time again... :)

Acrylic on canvas-2: Habitat

This is my second painting in the current series. I have named it habitat. This is the stage just before the larger responsibilities in life hit us (my earlier painting post is the stage post this). Life is full of freshness, fertility and aspirations which know no bound. Tried to bring out this feeling with my colours.
Habitat- August 2010

August 3, 2010

Acrylic on canvas

One of my first painting after almost 2 decades. Plan to finish a series of them by September end. 
Inspired by "mother & child", Acrylic on canvas, July 2010

Saffron and Silk: Tabletop Tuesday

Sharing a peek into a fellow bloggers home. This is what I call contemporary...

Saffron and Silk: Tabletop Tuesday: "Today I am linking up with Patty of Colours Dekor for Tabletop August! Check out Patty's blog...its as colorful, cheerful and happy as she i..."

My own Buddha Bar

 have always been quiet intrigued by Buddha and its manifestations. Captured the latest addition of Buddha at home, my tranquil Budha corner...

August 2, 2010

Adi's creation

Adi has been working with building blocks for over 4 months now but his imagination is at its best. He was into stacking up blocks and calling them building for a long while but over the last couple of weeks he has begun demonstrating more creativity.

Building with his blocks.
The creation: Single & Double sofa set!
In addition Adi is also wanting to eat on his own, iron clothes and thanks to all the bug watching that we have begun doing he is extremely innovative with his friend 'Bugsy'. He calls the bugs 'kidah' as in bugs in Hindi and top top it all has words like 'ginni ginni karega' which is equivalent of the bugs movement in his words! :D Check him out in action...

July 30, 2010

Adi's doting grand-parent moments.

With every passing day the bond between Adi, my parents and my sisters is growing beyond words. It's amazing how the human mind identifies and associates with bonds from such an early age. Posting some loveable moments of Adi and his favorites...

Eating an apple with Dumma
Massage time with Dadu-bhai

Masti with Mashi
We share a speacial bond with Mesho

Evening at the park with Pinni & Mashi
Dumma-Adi moment... :D

Full-on pampering!

Dadu-bhai & Adi moment... :D
How much fun is that!!!

At times I wish I can hold onto these moments and not let if whisk past so fast.
Why does growing-up need to come to a human being so soon? ...

If music be the food of life, play on...

Create a playlist at