Sunday, 27 January 2013

PATRIOTISM/ CREATIVITY

The picture below is taken at a local crafts fair. While not entirely sure that crafts fair is the right word, it's the closest I can get to describing it. On display were scores of booths with (mainly) women hawking their wares, from spices (masalas) to hand-woven saris and bed linen to various savouries and sweets. These were people from the interiors/ rural Maharashtra, and the idea of this fair (it's an annual event) is to promote the artisans and their craftsmanship. While I (sadly) did not take any more pictures, here's one that struck my eye, as it was only a couple of days post Republic Day.

The Indian tri-colour you see? It's ingeniously made of papad, a wafer-thin, crisp lentil cake that is typically fried and eaten as an accompaniment to a meal. These are three variants - red chilly, plain with cumin and spinach.


Those tubs in front of the display? A smorgasbord of pickles! Yummy! 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

CHAI!

Of the green, healthy, full of anti-oxidants variety, but chai nonetheless.

Yes, my first love IS coffee - and always will be - but chai's also a good thing to have. (No, having to change the name of this blog has nothing to do with the continued liking.)

Which reminds me. I have these wonderful (or so I'd like to believe, since I was behind the lens) pictures of a visit to a tea estate/ factory in Sri Lanka. Hang on a mo while I dig deep into the innards of my laptop and unearth those pictures... Or maybe have a chai until then.

SQUIRREL IN THE CITY!

Not something we see too often. :)



Tuesday, 8 January 2013

ONE WEEK DOWN. ALREADY.

Who'd've thunk it?! Before we knew it, 2013 was upon us, and even sooner than that, we're one week into the new year. Whoa there, over enthusiastic twenty-thirteen!

Reminds me of when I was in school (no, nothing about those 'good old days' is coming up, so you can stop reaching out for that mouse already) - Moral Science class called for a list, one that was importantly full of New Year's Resolutions. In capitals, and heavily underscored too. I'd never know what to fill in, and invariably wind up every year with a very sketchy compilation, to be embellished after - casually, of course - taking a peek at the neighbour's laundry list. And maybe the person thankfully seated behind me. Or even two rows ahead. Anything, really, to plump up a list that would vaguely be along the lines of:
- I will clean up my cupboard without Mum reminding me to.
- I will do my homework every evening before I go out to play.

Guilt (from the aforementioned plumped-up lists) would then make me add:
- I will help Mum set/ clear away the table at dinner (which the sister and I did already, just that it made for good copy. Also added a halo or two.)
- I will dust the furniture.
- I will not fight with my friends.

Gawd. You'll realise that making resolutions was never my forte. Let's not even get into discussing actually sticking them out. That does not make polite conversation. Believe me.

Growing up (and with Moral Science class behind me), the easiest thing to do was to politely ha-ha them so-what-will-be-your-resolution-this-year-then questions away, something I continue to do even today.

It's a far better deal to pitch in with the good stuff as and when you see the need for it, isn't it, instead of a stuffy old resolution that you are (possibly forced to) keep, with no real result at the end of the day. 

That said, wish you a very happy 2013 (seeing that clearly the world didn't end), and have a wonderful year ahead. Cheers!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Friday, 4 January 2013

ARE YOU SEEING THINGS? OR MERELY VIEWING?

You know how when you're on vacation you're trigger happy? I'm not saying it's a bad thing; I'm one of the gang. I've been known to take a crazy amount of pictures - in high resolution, no less - that have on occasion resulted in a frantic search for additional memory cards. A mad dash to the nearest store in whichever city, and then only do I breathe a sigh of relief. Actually, not even then - I almost always run out of battery towards the end of a long, happily satisfying sightseeing-y day. Of course, Murphy being Murphy, I'll miss the best photo ops just then. Sigh. Such is life. To combat that, I learnt to bring with me a fully charged cell phone; that way there's a (possibly feeble in terms of quality) backup, but a reliable one nonetheless. But just to plug the iPhone here (and no, I'm not getting paid for this), rest assured that the iPhone 5 does an awesome job. Not remotely feeble. 

But back to the topic at hand.

I was in the middle of taking the most breathtakingly beautiful pictures at The Twelve Apostles, alternately gasping in awe (yes, it's that awe-inspiring) and peering through my (camera) lens. That's when I realised: do you really see as much as you should? Or do you merely view through the lens? Get the difference? While it may sound like merely a subtle nuance, I'm now thinking otherwise. In our rush to capture the image for posterity, do we then wind up actually seeing it only when home, while sorting through the myriad pictures? Would I have seen more, remembered more if I were to see the place, take it all in, absorb its magnificence - albeit sans a camera? I'm not saying no pictures, all I'm thinking out loud is, maybe a little less camera and a lot more eye.


So at The Twelve Apostles, while my camera did a fabulous job, my mind and eyes worked still better: those waves lapping at the rocks, the pristine sand, that wallaby in the wild, the gull soaring effortlessly into the blue... not all on the camera, and not stuff to be forgotten in a hurry.

HOOKED ON TO ENID BLYTON?

If you were, in your childhood (and much, much beyond, as in my case), you'd have loved this afternoon tea as much as I did.

Here you go, a pot of tea (not in picture), with the most scrumptious fresh, warm scones with copious quantities of whipped cream and jam. Staggered out of the cafe probably definitely (much) fatter, but oh-so-much happier. Sometimes, you shouldn't make calories count. Or count them yourself.


ALL-DAY 'BREAKFAST'?

Then why is it called 'breakfast'? Why isn't it just a meal? 

Sure, I get the point that maybe the items on the menu are those that are typically served at that morning meal, but still... It's not like you don't have say, soup and salad at lunch and/ or dinner. For that matter, miso soup is a staple at many? most? South East Asian breakfast tables. So why isn't it an all-day lunch?

Here's the yummiest all-day breakfast I've had recently, at a cheerful, bustling cafe in Melbourne: