Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

I spent the entire week for some “Brainy” inspiration for this theme but the time ran out and nothing really crossed my mind. I do not want to be left out for this challenge and simplest thing I could do was to upload the picture of our living room/hall.Living Room/ HallMy husband being in defense services, we get posted to different places across the country and every time I have to pack up my things and redecorate the new house at new place. The government houses that we get are always of a different layouts and sizes and it becomes a challenge to fit in things which we have collected over the years in every new house. I decorated this house with a lot of love and I know that another few months and we will wrap up here too not knowing where we will be next posted to or the house that we will get.

But, that is okay as long as we are together as family.


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

All things yellow….the bright, shining, gleaming, golden, sprightly, joyous, spirited color!!



Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

I know I am very late for this post….the whole week is almost over! To be honest I had lost interest in weekly photo challenges because I observed that I was not writing any thing else and whole week went off waiting for a new photo challenge and the comments from fellow bloggers. Though it was fun…in fact some good bloggers boosted my spirits by nominating many awards  and that was soooooooo satisfying ! But I was not getting new visitors…..that was making me seriously doubt my writing ability. And so I stopped participating. However, a few months back a mail from eof737 asking about my well-being and the concern made me feel perked up (thank you so much “eof737”) . I realized that by not writing I was not only loosing out on some probably new visitors but also the ones who were reading my blog!! Now I am again trying to reach out to bloggers old and new with this weekly photo challenge.

Lunchtime is one such event at our home when the three of us are seldom together….my daughter does not come back from school till around 2:30 p.m, my husband has no fixed time of returning home from work. All of us eat at our own convenient times. Today was one of the rare times when all of us sat down at dining table and had lunch together. Even our dog “Buddy” stretched down near the table content  that all were at home and safe!

The lunch menu was simple regular home-made food : dal (lentil gravy), paneer-simla mirch(capsicum and cottage cheese), bathua raita (plain home-made curd or yoghurt with white-goosefoot/pigweed leaves), chapati/roti (indian wheat bread) and basmati rice. Though  there was nothing out of the ordinary in the menu but it became special because we all were at home!

I am fairly good cook and quite proud that I can cook not only Indian food but can manage a few of the Chinese, Italian, Mexican and Thai recipes too! I like watching all food channels ( and I am myself surprised because a decade back I loathed kitchen and all chopping and cutting and forever upset my mom!). But taking advantage of the photo challenge today I am posting not only the photos but also the recipe..

1. Capsicum and Cottage cheese:



1 large onion(  finely chopped)

2 large ripe tomatoes (finely chopped)

2 medium capsicum (cut into big chunks)

150 gm cottage cheese (bite sized squares)

1 tsp garam masala (1/4 tsp cloves, 1/8 tsp cardamom, 1/2 tsp black pepper ground to a powder)

Heat 2tbsp oil in a wok. Cook onion till transparent. Add tomatoes, 1/2 tsp turmeric and ground red pepper powder and one slit green chilly. When the oil starts separating add capsicum.  Once the capsicum softens add cottage cheese, salt and garam masala. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve!

2. Dal :



1 tbsp of each split black gram (urad chika), kidney beans (rajma), split and skinned bengal gram ( chana dal), pink lentil (masoor) soaked overnight and cooked till soft

3 tbsp paste of 2onions,2 tomatoes, 3cloves of garlic, a small piece of ginger

1tsp garam masala

Heat oil and fry the paste till oil separates. Add the cooked lentils salt, garam masala and 1 cup water( or more) Bring to boil. The dal should not be very watery nor like a paste…. more like a thick soup. Heat a little butter and add 1 tsp of cumin seeds till they splutter. Garnish with this butter and cumin  and chopped fresh coriander.

3. Bathua Raita:



2 cup curd/plain yoghurt

2 tbsp blanched and pureed  pig weed leaves

rock-salt, powdered sugar, salt, black pepper powder roasted cumin powder (to taste)

Mix all and chill. Serve with rice or naan or any Indian bread.

4. Chapati/Roti:



1 cup whole wheat flour

1tsp oil


Knead the flour to make soft pliable dough with water and apply oil. Make small rounds and with the help of a rolling-pin make a 6 inch flat  thin disc . Roast on hot plate. Serve hot with clarified butter.

Today’s lunch was quite satisfying and I look forward to more such lunches with the family…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through

Life throws many challenges and we are constantly striving to pass through those tough times unscathed, unblemished, untarnished….. trying to win always! And with whatever knowledge that we gain by those experiences we try to make everything easy for our children…. guiding them away from difficulties.

But what do I do if my daughter has decided to pass through most weird pathways that come across when we are holidaying???

She saw this dried up tree root, hollow in the center propped up near another tree. She went through the hole many times just to prove that her clothes won’t get dirty if she crawls through it!!

Through the roots of a dried up tree...

Again at Ooty, she came across this gap in the fence and she squeezed through it …..her ways of adventure I guess!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

An unusual thought came to me……. what if I stopped participating in the weekly photo challenges? Will the recent friends that I have made in this world of blogging still visit my blog? Will the traffic that I have enjoyed since last few months continue to grow? Will whatever I write make it eligible ever for the “freshly pressed post”? Do people really enjoy reading what I write?

This train of thought sent its feelers into my other relationships too… My relation with fellow bloggers may take a downward slide off and on, but what about the people whom I have known all this time? Will my younger sister ever again need some advice and help from me? Will my husband always stand by me? Will my parents agree with my decisions? Will my daughter understand my concerns? Will my friends forgive my occasional annoyance? WILL I EVER KNOW WHETHER THEY REALLY NEED ME? IS MY PRESENCE OF ANY VALUE? DO MY OPINIONS COUNT? 

Will I be able to make a mark in my lifetime or will I be a faceless entity on mother earth like these :

It is unusual to sit like this with our eyes not knowing where the path leads and such people lose their identity…. lost on others, their absence not affecting people around them… No!! what would that life be? I do not want it  like that.

Amid all this depressing state of mind, a sudden query from my daughter :

“Mamma, why does God create difficulties for us? Doesn’t HE love us?”

And my reply brought some sense back to my disturbed mind. I told her that God always loves us but just keeps testing us about how we handle ourselves in different situations, whether we are prepared for much more difficult problems. Its our responsibility to emerge successfully from trying times all the while keeping faith in HIM that he will not let us falter. HE will find some way to make our existence useful. We will flourish and enjoy attention from our dear ones just like this unusual palm tree:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Distorted

Britishers came to India posing as innocent traders and slowly spread like cancer throughout the country silently taking control over so many small kingdoms and looting the property and killing innocent people. They thought the natives were uncouth, uneducated and uncivilized. Thus they took upon themselves to improve the natives disregarding the faith and emotions of people. They introduced the English language besides Christianityrailways, British architecture and systematic armed forces. In fact the English language also  has a lot many words with their origin in India. Jungle, jute, cummerbund, dacoit, curry, nirvana, guru, karma etc are few such words.

The people of India have always adopted and adapted to all sorts of influences and personalized it to great extent. Even words of English language have  taken an Indian twist.

However sometimes those who do not have the privilege of attending schools interpret English in their own way. This gives rise to some very weird, funny and distorted English…

Can you guess what this placard says??? I bet you will be surprised to know that it says:

“Chilled Fresh Juice”

The sign was displayed in a wayside kiosk. The owner with his limited knowledge of the language and phonetics put up the sign to attract foreign tourists…. he got the spelling of “juice” right though!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful

On the moonlit beach
the crinkly sandy frowns,
by the sneaking silvery ripple,
Now its only me, the ocean
the silence and the moon!!
Oh! So Peaceful………….
I sleep over my troubles,
And as the night crawls,
I like to think…..
The conjurer of all
Ambitions and desires,
The failures and worries,
is a mind so unrestful….
Even when it knows..
only in Thy presence
will it be absolutely

Weekly Photo Challenge:Launch

In the beginning of the year I missed out on the Photo challenge “winter”, not only because there wasn’t much cold that week but also because we were “launching” ourselves on a ten days vacation to north-eastern parts of the country, mainly the Kaziranga Reserve forest and Shillong. Had I known the next topic would be ” launch” I would have clicked some pictures of airport and the plane.

In that part of the country the internet connectivity was almost nil and I could not really know about the new challenge till yesterday after returning back to New Delhi. And then I didn’t want to miss this one but I really was stumped as to what to include in this challenge.

I came across this one photo taken on the beaches of Andaman Islands two years back. My daughter along with her father wanted to make a hut of her own from the leaves of palm and the vines lying on the beach. With hardly any know-how of hut making, this simplest wish seemed a herculean task to meet. But they “launched” themselves any way because the holidays are meant for all sorts of adventures…..

Having posted this picture, I thought of sorting the photographs of our latest vacation trip and I sure came across some pictures which could fit the photo challenge of this week. We were excited to begin our early morning jungle safari in search of the one horned rhino and what is better than ride on the great Indian Tusker to launch on this adventure….

The Indian elephant though smaller than its African cousin but it still demands  lot of respect and no animal dares to cross its path. One loud trumpet by the beast makes all animals back off…. This one Rhino was lazing around and did not pay heed to the visitors atop the elephant. The trainer of our elephant coaxed it to trumpet and the rhino launched itself finally to move away from the tusker and our prying eyes …..

The elephants, rhinos and their babies were a treat to the eyes and our trip to the national reserve was a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.

I guess that is what holidays are supposed to be…. enjoyable, adventurous and relaxing!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Opportunity

The woods implore,
To travel and explore,
To find what awaits,
on this road to infinity….?
grab the OPPORTUNITY….
Hunger drives away all fear,
And I let humans come near!
For want of this morsel,
I forget all enmity,
and grab the opportunity!!
A best friend,
always has an ear to lend!
Sharing something witty…
We grab this opportunity!!