‘My Life may be simple
But in my eyes there is a twinkle
That is all that matters’
‘My Life may be simple
But in my eyes there is a twinkle
That is all that matters’
It’s not everyday that you get to visit a magical Global garden like the Eden Project in Cornwall, England (UK). So when I found myself finally standing on ‘Eden soil’ under one of the massive biomes that house the world’s largest rain-forest in captivity, along with other plant species from the Mediterranean,South Africa and California, I was nothing short of mesmerized. Never before had I witnessed a man made marvel nestled in a huge crater also with an outdoor garden spread over 30 acres. Recipient of the Best UK Leisure Attraction award continuously for 4 years (2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011) and the Silver Award for Best Leisure Attraction in 2016, the Eden Project is a must visit destination. What makes the place even more interesting is the beautiful amalgamation of art, architecture, nature and science in one destination.
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At the breakfast table, my son reads out some recent news from his Iphone – “Just eight individuals, all men, own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, Oxfam said on Monday in a report…”Oh really? who are they? I ask goggle eyed unable to suppress my curiosity.”The eight individuals named in the report are Gates, Inditex founder Amancio Ortega, veteran investor Warren Buffett, Mexico’s Carlos Slim, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.” he continues to read.Astonishment apart this piece of news really set me thinking, entering into the age old debate (with my own inner self) on how much money is enough. There is always a constant tug of war between our needs and wants. People often console themselves by saying that love is the utmost important factor in life and money ranks a poor fourth or fifth place maybe, if we were to do some rankings. The Billy Graham quote we held as a gospel truth since childhood begins to rhyme in my head,When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.How true! But the desire to earn or possess more money is omnipresent for many of us poor mortals, isn’t it? And I’m not even talking about people below poverty line here. I’m thinking about ordinary middle/upper middle class folks. we always keep wishing for a better house, a better car, a raised social stature, all of which come at a price; that of being a rich person. But is having loads of money the real meaning of being rich? I get an answer from author Mitch Albom’s book Tuesdays with Morrie. “You don’t need the latest sports car, you don’t need the biggest house….. You know what really gives you satisfaction?What?Your time. Your concern.”
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George Santayana, the Spanish -american philosopher, poet and novelist had rightly said- ‘The earth has its music for those who will listen’. We are all so caught up in our everyday mundane activities or work schedules that we often fail to notice the the abundant beauty of nature which surrounds us. Rather than popping pills for hypertension, break free from the vicious clutches of house chores for an hour or at least a few minutes everyday and choose a path that leads to peace and joy. All you need to do is take the first step. Be determined and step out and take a walk in a beautiful park or lake side. Listen to the earth’s melodious music and be healed and addicted to the soothing goodness for life. Well, I did just that yesterday and went for a long walk to the beautiful Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh (India). I was rewarded with clean fresh air, a spring in my step and some beautiful sunset pictures. This coming new year if you have to make a resolution, open the door to happiness- by embracing nature. Click on the following link to see those beautiful pictures.
George Santayana, the Spanish -american philosopher, poet and novelist had rightly said- ‘The earth has its music for those who will listen’.
We are all so caught up in our everyday mundane activities or work schedules that we often fail to notice the the abundant beauty of nature which surrounds us. Rather than popping pills for hypertension, break free from the vicious clutches of house chores for an hour or at least a few minutes everyday and choose a path that leads to peace and joy. All you need to do is take the first step. Be determined and step out and take a walk in a beautiful park or lake side. Listen to the earth’s melodious music and be healed and addicted to the soothing goodness for life. Well, I did just that yesterday and went for a long walk to the beautiful Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh (India). I was rewarded with clean fresh air, a spring in my step and some beautiful sunset pictures. This coming new year if you have to make a resolution, open the door to happiness- by embracing nature.
Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh
These pictures were clicked with an Iphone 7, and they came out so good that no filter has been used.
George Santayana quote picture source: Buzzfeed.com
There are faces
And there are masks that people wear
Being politically correct
Happy faces, sad faces, pretentious faces
Hiding true self to inner confines.
(A tanka consists of 5 lines and 31 syllables.
Each line has a set number of syllables see below:
Line 1 – 5 syllables
Line 2 – 7 syllables
Line 3 – 5 syllables
Line 4 – 7 syllables
Line 5 – 7 syllables)
Cover picture source:Typorama
Yes dear readers, followers and friends, this is my hundredth post on this blog. I just kept on writing and suddenly realized that today my post is going to be the 100th! Its in deed a time to celebrate and to thank you all for the love and support. There are actually a hundred reasons to celebrate, but I limit myself to listing the 7 best reasons and revel in being a part of the great Blogging Community. These are the reasons that contributed in my personal growth as a writer and also as a human being. Here they go-
I was walking on the side- walk briskly and excitedly. A wee bit anxious too, because I really, really did not want to miss this event and was really looking forward to it. As such what options I had now with me where limited. So I did not really want to loose what little available option I had. In spite of walking fast I was annoyingly trailing behind my family members as they all ran towards the the Royal York Crescent in the the fascinating city of Bristol. So it came really as a surprise to find that at one particular point my feet began to drag and started to become a little heavy. No, it was not fatigue, as we had driven down the road all over the Blackboy Hill, down to the Whiteladies road and finally parked the car in a residential area where we had found the parking with a bit of difficulty as it was jam packed almost every where. So there was no fatigue, yet my feet dragged as if they were pulled by some magnetic force.
Finally I paused, not by choice but almost forced to pause; and found myself standing in front of a small knob-less mahogany wooden door. It stood isolated and embedded in a slate colored stone wall. The door was small and old but exuded a lot of personality. It had a strange magnetic power and was inviting. Hesitatingly I took in the cow webs settled along the hinges and the missing doorknob. Apparently the door had not been opened for years, and I’m a curious cat. I put one foot forward and there was a rustle and a crackling sound as I stepped on the rubble of dry rust leaves and twigs embracing the entrance. I shivered with the sudden sound but notwithstanding edged closer. And then there was a heavy hand on my shoulder! Thud! With a strong jerk I shrugged my shoulders impulsively and almost screamed before looking into the amused and rather puzzled face of my husband. ” What do you think you’re doing? Trying to enter that door without permission would be called trespassing, don’t you know that? You should in fact be extra careful, considering that you are a tourist here”
I was still trying to regain my senses, when he slowly led me away from that door.”Darling if you walk at this speed you are sure going to miss that Balloon Festival you have have been looking forward to all this time. As such we are already late”. (continued)
“Hmm”, I murmured weakly and followed him meekly. Should I, should I not, my mind debated with my heart. One last glance, just once I thought and turned my head to look back at the door one last time and gauge what treasures (or horrors) it held. But I saw nothing, as we had left it far behind. For an instant I felt like going back to check on that door, but then I had second thoughts. I definitely was a tourist there and ought to behave properly.
The mystery haunts me even today, long after I have returned from my trip. Maybe I lost my chance of an entry into Alice’s Wonderland or a garden of enchantment or contrarily was saved from the mistake of opening a Pandora’s box (door in this case). The mystery continues…in my mind…
Have you ever felt anything similar. What do you think was behind that door?
Image Credits: Cover image (Mystery Door)- Clicked by author (Ritu Nanda)
Royal York Crescent image – Google images
Balloon festival – http://www.bristol.ac.uk/city/festivals.html
Balloons in flight – Clicked by author (Ritu Nanda)
Its NaBloPoMo month, and I have committed to make a post every day of this month. Its rather late in the day and time is running short. Yet I feel calm and composed. Its a good day and tomorrow promises to be even better. I open my diary of penned thoughts, feeling happy. A loose sheet falls to the ground. Its my Being Happy poem penned years ago! Very Wordsworth inspired. But I love it and its relevant for me even today. Thanks for the inspiration William Wordsworth.
When I am happy,
Its like my spirit let loose.
Over terraced hills and shaded plains,
Free and boundless,
When I feel happy,
Its like bubbles sprouting,
Over the brink of a glass of soda.
Free again, and boundless,
Dancing in merry excitement.
When I am happy,
I feel the world is beautiful,
Full of so many treasures,
which had hitherto
My son had first tasted Churros at a Christmas market in Paris last year . When he was back from his trip, he just couldn’t stop going gaga over the doughy and chewy, yet succulent taste of the churros with hot chocolate sauce and insisted that we attempt to try making them at home. I looked up a few recipes from the internet and some from the cook books I had, and finally came up with my own version of an easy recipe for homemade churros with hot dipping chocolate sauce which is just perfect for the changing weather. My son gave a helping hand. My family and my son’s friends loved the churros! His friends said that our homemade churros were way better than those available in one of the best local bakeries here in Chandigarh. No not boasting , that’s exactly what they said. Now, as it has again started to become a bit cool, one yearns for a hot snack accompanied by a glass of hot wine which incidentally I also first heard about from my son. So here we go, lets get ready to make some piping hot churros!
For the churros
For the sauce
Add the 1 and 1/2 tbsp of sugar to the water and boil. In another bowl place the flour, salt and baking powder, making a well inside. Pour the 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil into this well along with the boiling water. Mix using a wooden spatula till well combined and there are no lumps. The mixture will look like a sticky gooey mass. Fill the dough into a cloth or plastic icing bag. Attach a star nozzle to the piping bag, in order to get the distinctive lined texture on the churros. The hole in the icing bag should be of at least 1 inch diameter. Let the dough rest in the piping bag for a few minutes. Heat the oil for frying in a wok. Meanwhile prepare the sauce.
Heat the cream in a saucepan, but do not boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Let rest for half a minute. Add the Nutella and whisk till the chocolate melts and all ingredients are well combined and the sauce looks smooth and glossy.
Now hold the piping bag vertically above the hot oil and squeeze till the dough comes out like a thick rope. Cut with scissors to 4 inch pieces and deep fry to light golden brown. Drain and place the churros on a kitchen paper. Next drench them with the icing sugar (to which some powdered cinnamon has been mixed in).Serve the piping hot churros with hot chocolate dipping sauce!