May 30, 2013

Disaster

Simmering under a low fire,
                         slowly rising to the surface
making no noise,
                       of it's impending advance

Hastening suddenly 
                       as it reaches the summit
raging loudly,
                    pouring out in a split

Oh! haven't we all experienced,
                        the agony of being late, just by a second 
in simmering down the flame,
                         just as the milk rose to fame

A perfect kitchen spoiler, 

                           nothing short of a disaster
was just waiting to happen,
                          surely a ploy by the Heaven!

----------------------------------------------------
Who has not cried over spilt milk?.It definitely spells disaster on a perfect morning.

 My take on today's promt-Disaster for the Blog-a-prompt


May 29, 2013

Monday blues

I suffered from Monday blues when I had a job. Nothing unusual there. However even now, when I do not work outside of home, this day is never welcome in my life. I just want to skip to Tuesday or Wednesday after a Sunday. A two-day weekend of relaxed schedules and outings with the family and friends leaves me craving for more and I hate Sunday evenings.

Interestingly, Monday next should bring some relief in my life since R's school is slated to open that day. He will be away for a straight 6 hours which gives me enough time to bring in some semblance into my schedule. Of course, this will be the beginning of a new circus in the mornings since R and the husband's schedules begin an hour earlier, as compared to last year's, which means the time deficit has to be managed by advancing the alarm clock by that much time. 

Now, although I'm not exactly someone who welcomes mornings with a smile on the face and spring in the step, I do wake up earlier than most others I know. Even on holidays-I like to sip my coffee and read the newspaper at leisure in the quiet time before the household gets busy. On the work days, I like to finish off all the mundane tasks as early as possible, so that the rest of the day is left for more pleasurable work. Yet, it is never a pleasure waking up (earlier the morning, crabbier my mood) to do a juggler's act in the kitchen; of cooking up and packing away the breakfast and lunch, clearing up the house that always seems like a tornado-struck place in the mornings, putting away the dishes to wash, loading the machine before the maid comes to duty, Phew!

With the husband also leaving for office earlier than before, I'm worried he might not be able to pitch in with getting R ready for school; something he used to do last year, taking off a huge task off my hands. 

So, Mondays now on will garner more mixed feelings. I am happy about the extra free hours after the morning circus but equally wary of the extra acts in the circus. Hmm, weekends should have one more day I say!



A part of the blog-a-prompt. Today's prompt is, of course, Monday.

May 28, 2013

Day 2 -Thirst

I can think of a lot of things for the word, but the foremost that comes to my mind is the story of the thirsty crow that I used to narrate when I was probably in my second or third standard. I would stress on the "r" in crow, it seems. And, it seems the crow used to be my favourite bird too! Guess the story had too much effect on me. 

I was amused to discover that these stories are still around and do read it out to R many a time. Of course, in today's age and development, such stories seem quite silly. Does the water really rise when pebbles are dropped into the pot? Yes, I'm wondering quite late in my life about this story.

I happened to stumble upon the below picture on the net:


Well, crows are smarter than the story writer thought, apparently.


pic courtesy: 7-nature.blogspot.com 

This is my take on the prompt-thirst for the blog-a-prompt.

May 27, 2013

Colour, colour, which colour do you choose?

So, I'm back with a week-long marathon agenda that has daily-prompts, an idea flouted by (who else?) the marathon bloggers, in a bid to get rid of the writer's block that most of us seem to be facing.

Today's prompt is colour

How the world appear if there were only black and white for colours? Dull, sad, cold, morbid even?  Colours bring a certain kind of warmth, sense of prosperity and happiness and smiles on the face.Imagine a fertile land with ample rain and shine. It has the grass always green and the blooms in myriad hues and sheen.



I'm in the process of doing up my home and spend hours on the net drooling over the fabulously done up homes. I love the traditional decor; the warm colours that add warmth and personality to a home. In my learning, colours can be brought inside a home in many ways. 

You can have colourful accessories like throw cushions, rugs, carpets, knick-knacks and wall hangings to complement a neutral color on the walls or have your walls coloured in lovely hues  instead. Green plants in colourful planters and lovely blooms in a well-maintained balcony is a feature that multiplies the beauty of a home. 
 
Another thing I have noticed is how light/lighting play an important role in bringing out a colour or brightening a dull corner of the home.


 I loved the warm hue created by the combination of the beautiful rug below:
Courtesy-Studio Ebony Bangalore

 Pics below are courtesy pinterest.com:

A bold colour on the wall,yet the effect is so stunning


Colourful cushions and carpets add so much warmth and eye-appeal

Greens add to the beauty, don't they?


With so many colours and options around, it is easy to drown and lose focus when it comes to home decoration.



May 19, 2013

The Spy Who Lost Her Head

This is a long pending review of Jane's hilarious debut novel. I came to know Jane (via her blog)  through the marathon bloggers' group on FB. Sadly, I did not get a chance to meet her (or the other bloggers), during her book launch.

Gulabi hails from village called Gayab, but is high on ambition and spirit. Her mummyji wants get her married off at the next possible chance but she aspires to meet her Bollywood hearthrob Sharook and does not care for the uneducated youth in her village. 

She comes to Mumbai in search of her knight in shining armour, also known as Bemba (loved the term-it stands for BE MBA, a criteria that her man must pass) and ends up playing a detective to unravel the deadly mystery of a lost head that lands up accidentally in her rental home.

Gulabi's mastery over the Queen's English makes you doubt your own. Her antics land her in the most incredulous situations and yet it makes you want to play along, feeling for Gulabi in her trials and travails and having in you splits over the funny incidents.

I really liked the unique plot and the way it has been treated. The lingo grows on you (I'm guessing, it is difficult to maintain the flow of such a language throughout and Jane does a neat job!). It's a book you'll like if you prefer/don't mind light reading. Gulabi as a character will not fail to endear you since despite her flaws she has her heart in the right place and is also a strong-willed independent woman who knows what she wants and will not rest until she gets it.

ETA: Details of the book are available on Flipkart here.

May 15, 2013

Conitnuing to be with nature..

My tryst with nature continued with a trip to Lalbaugh last Saturday when my sister-in-law and her daughter were in town. The weather in city turned much better since last week with some days seeing evening showers bringing down the overall temperatures by several notches; a welcome change indeed. So, it made for a lovely evening stroll amidst the vast expanse of some lovely flora and fauna. Fresh from our trip to Munnar, the husband and I were excited with the prospect of spotting the resident birds of the park. 

We started off excitedly by clicking snaps of the homely squirrels that are found in abundance here. A while later, the only birds we could spot were the crows, pigeons and mynahs. We did spot some migratory birds that flew by but could really get to capture them on the lens. We resigned ourselves to just slow walk, breathing deeply and smelling the fresh air, when suddenly the husband called out excitedly at a small figure perched on a near-by tree. It was an Owl. The only owls I have seen are on R's story books and on the pictures posted on FB by nature enthusiasts on a wild-life photography spree. I took several snaps from several angles, zooming like crazy on my point and shoot camera. The owl obliged and even did a small circus act of turning its head almost 360 degrees. Well, not exactly 360 degrees. It seems they can turn their head 270 degrees in both direction, hence the illusion. You can read more here: 

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/02/06/how-owls-twist-their-heads-almost-360-degrees/

After a while, we saw a huge eagle too, but the proud bird was not as obliging as the owl and perched itself away on a tall branch that the lens could not capture. I could sense the adrenaline rush that nature enthusiasts must feel on their expedition. I think, I want to go on more nature and wild-life trips!


Didn't want to leave out the Mynahs..so what if they are not rare!
Can you spot the squirrel couple?

The star attraction of the day

The head does an almost eerie 360 deg turn


 Now, for the video. Excuse the poor quality:

video



May 13, 2013

Garbage mentality

Yes, that's what came into my mind when I came across an utterly idiotic bunch of Indian tourists at the Eravikulam National park. We had to wait in a queue to buy the tickets for the short bus ride that was to take us to a particular point at the hill-top from where one had to take a 2 km trek further uphill to spot the rare and endemic Nilgiri Tahrs. It was a long serpentine queue, it being the holiday season. There was a family of about 10- 5 rotund adults and 4-5 kids in their teens-in front of us. For the entire one and plus hour of waiting time, they ate sundry items- from fresh corn off the cob, to chocolates, to biscuits, to buying and eating many other items from the mobile hawkers around.

Well, what really got my goat was the complete lack of civic sense and disregard for public property. In spite of perfectly operational dustbins placed at regular intervals, the family chose to fling the waste papers, empty cobs and water bottles all around the place. Even worse was the nonchalant manner in which the adults threw the garbage from where they stood to the corner of the road without a care. It made me want to just shake them up by their collars and fling them to the ground.

My blood boiled at the sight, especially when the same energy that went into littering in the direction opposite to the dustbins could have gone into putting the waste into a bin that was right under their noses. They made a complete mockery of the many bill-boards that carried clear messages against littering and warnings of a fine and imprisonment for those who defied the rule. I'd have laughed at the irony if I were not so distressed with the whole thing.

But, I'm equally disappointed in myself for not airing my voice directly to the uncouth people instead of just fuming from within and making loud remarks in a feeble attempt to embarrass and shame them into propriety. I thought of different ways of confronting them but couldn't bring myself to directly question them. The ever practical husband too cautioned me against getting into pointless debates and fight. In his opinion, such people cannot be brought to senses by mere remarks and arguments since they have the capability to turn the situation to a disadvantage for even the one who is right and just. So, I just kept fuming and went away from the scene to make life simpler for myself.Sigh! :-(

These people were not poor from the obvious display of chunky jewellery and expensive gadgets they had on themselves. They also didn't seem deprived of formal education. Now, who needs foreign enemies to butcher the country's pride and economy when we have such gems within? On a different note, just wondering, how did the authorities plan to implement the punishment of a fine/imprisonment when all we had was a poor woman attendant, who was obviously ill-paid too, to pick up after these rouges for their cold-blooded crime.

Is there any hope at all?

So, Munnar it was

Ok, now this draft has been lying incomplete for the longest period after a vacation. Even when the vacation has been fabulous. Now, that speaks a lot about my interest for this blog. Not sure why exactly, but I find my earlier passion and near obsession to update this space slowly waning. To add to it, I've been quite busy with work and guests. So, before I lose out some lovely memories of a lovely vacation to lethargy and demotivation, here is a summary of our long awaited break that resulted in a trip to Munnar. 

We had been planning on vacation since March this year but were unable to take off due to some or the other reasons. Finally, the planets aligned well for the weekend following the 1st May holiday. We were a little skeptical about the weather in Munnar in this season since we heard from some sources that with climatic changes every where, Munnar too has succumbed to it and the temperatures are not exactly what you'd expect from a hill-station. Also, since I made the bookings only 10 days in advance, we were wary of any logistical surprises thrown our way.

Aside from little irritants like the bus journey that we undertook to reach Munnar, the entire trip panned out beautifully, in fact better than we expected. The weather was perfect as it rained intermittently for all the four days that we spent there, keeping any chances of the sun piercing wrapped under the cloud cover. Since I had already been to Munnar I had a fair idea of what would be the must-see places and what could be skipped. Trip advisor helped for the parts I was unsure about and we were sorted with just a few must-view sights in our itinerary, having the rest of the time to just relax, rejuvenate and soak in the essence and feel of the place at a leisurely pace.

We took nature strolls wherever possible. This was the first time I actually got a chance to revel in the joys of spotting rare species of birds and insects when not in a specific safari; something that this trip provided in good amounts. We did take a night safari to the Chinnar wild life sanctuary but it couldn't have been sadder with absolute nil sightings, baring that of a lone deer. The safari at Sri Lanka had really spoiled me with great expectations from a safari. Although I kept reminding myself to go easy and have no expectations, I must say I was disappointed. But, the point not to be missed is that the absence of big encounters was more than made up by the sightings of some lovely birds and insects on nature treks, and an overall splendid view throughout. 


The greens taking on a bright hue due to rains




We covered the Mattupetty dam- where we did speed-boating and touristy photographing, Eravikulam national park and a trek to Top station where you can get a panoramic view from the topmost peak point. The Eravikulam park is a sanctuary that houses the endangered and endemic species of the Ibex clan-the Nilgiri Tahr. They almost look like our very own domestic goats, so it is easy to forget that they are an endangered specie and not feel the enamour that is associated with spotting with its contemporaries. A pleasant soft trek of about 2 kms in this national park lets you spot these in many numbers and as you proceed to the very top, you are rewarded with sights of birds like the red-vented Bul-Bul, Grey-breasted laughingthrush, and Nilgiri Flycatcher.




speed boating at Mattupety Dam


Trek to Top station


The peak


One of the views


Misty view from our hotel balcony


Couldn't resist adding a snap of these lip-smacking pakoras that we gobbled along with the view from our hotel balcony



The Nilgiri Tahrs




We were already taken in by the beauty all-round in the first couple of days and couldn't ask for more, but apparently there was more in store with the climax of our trip being a night and half a day's stay at a nature resort called Nature Zone. Situated in the midst of thick plantations, and having options to stay in rooms on the tree top or out in an outdoor tent, this resort is truly a nature lover's paradise. We took the option of staying in the tree house. 


Waking up to the cacophony of sound of myriad insects and birds, surrounded by lush greenery that had a perpetual mist cover even in the peak of May, felt like heaven. A stroll around the resort allows you to have close encounters with colourful crawlies (I surprised myself by venturing near these to get a good click) and smell the fresh air and leaves. We also spotted (couldn't capture, unfortunately) the malabar squirel. We soaked in the bountiful natural beauty by taking a long pleasant walk around the tea gardens and spice plantations and chilling out in the well-maintained lawn gardens. We were left yearning for a little more time in this fantastic location. Sigh! maybe next time.


At Nature Zone resort


Our room


On a nature trek again








Into the spice plantations

I wanted to add many more photos, but will have to stop here since my computer is uploading the photos at an incredibly slow pace and I'm running out of time and patience.  Maybe you could check the space here later to find more.