My home….my haven

Courtsey Google images

….And I love introducing small exciting twists and turns in our story of fifteen years of married life. Yes! I will be celebrating my fifteenth wedding anniversary this year in October.

We fell in love when I was just about finishing my college and he was commissioned as an officer in the Indian Air Force. Our first home where the story of our marriage began was in Srinagar in a small two bedroom house. My husband told me that we would buy stuff to decorate our home once we were posted out of Srinagar. So I made that small house my home with whatever little stuff we had….. Later with the places where we got posted to not being always comfortable and houses always of different sizes, we chose to style our abode in simple no fuss way. Gradually we started building our personal collection of curios, frames, furniture and furnishings.

We both have always loved to have neat organised home. I have mostly decorated my home in whites, off-whites and beige…….it gives a peaceful serene and relaxing look to the interiors.

But now our eleven year daughter is bored with our color choice and wants something bright and boisterous. Since the beginning of this year I too was feeling the need to add a little color and more spice in our comfortable loving relationship…….I felt the need to be ….lets say… “A little naughty at forty!!”(He turned forty this year!) 😉

In the armed forces there are many occasions when the family has to stay separated for some time when the husbands go for some outstation duty. This September my husband will be away from us and I will get that opportunity to have a Home Makeover with little changes to the decor of our home.

I have shortlisted few sites which would help me paint and primp my home and for those extra additions I am glad to have found the site . It is really a go-to site for beautiful decor items be it furniture, furnishings or other accessories.

I have thought about redoing our bedroom as a surprise for him. Retaining the color of walls as white, I am planning to go for a Contemporary style of decor. I have thought of stenciling the white wall behind the bed with little orange birds to add a dash of color in the room and along with that three  additions :

The bedroom set will brighten up the room and break the monotony of white walls. I have thought of putting the glass film only on the central panel of three-panel sliding door so that the glare from sun is cut off  yet too much of orange doesn’t overpower the interiors. An aroma diffuser will be the perfect add on to relax my husband when he returns home.

Sketch drawing of our bedroom

Sketch drawing of our bedroom

Ummm….I can’t help but imagine the smile that would light up his face when he would see the changes. And I know our night will culminate beautifully with the intoxicating aroma spread in the room….

 This post is a part of Makemyhome activity at




Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art


The state of Rajasthan, India, besides being known for its rich royal history, havelis, forts and palaces is also the home of miniature art. Mostly the miniature art depicts the royal processions, besotted royal couples, hunting expeditions, Lord Krishna’s mythological stories. Very few artists dare to create erotic art and those who do, do so in explicit details. I happened to see those paintings but since I can not upload any content which is ‘adult only’ hence I chose these miniature paintings for this photo challenge.

THE ARTIST: Mr. Kanu Swami

The artist : Kanu SwamiMr. Kanu Swami has known fame well now. Besides creating the miniature art of animals, trees, royal processions etc. he is well-known for the erotic miniature art which he keeps under wraps and shows it off or sells only to the genuinely interested people. He says, “People don’t understand the beauty and do not let me paint in peace”. He has sold a complete set of twelve paintings titled ” Kamasutra” for INR 15000 each to an European gentleman who visited his shop within the premises of Jaisalmer Fort. Despite fame and fortune he is quite a humble artist. He though able to afford a better bigger studio/ gallery for his work, is quite happy with his small shop cum work desk.

A little of my art too:

My vanity got the better of me and I am tempted to show off a few of my art work too. 🙂 So here I am with three of my drawings too. The prompt says “Art is not just paintings or sculpture….” but I couldn’t let this opportunity go without flaunting my handiwork.

Art in the nature: The nature is full of beautiful shapes, colors, sizes of flora and fauna. If we really take out time to sit back and appreciate what the nature has to offer, we are dumbstruck by the sheer variety. I got a few leaves, flowers, grass etc framed to capture the beauty and nature’s ‘work of art‘ .

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

In the Indian culture people of all faiths believe in thanking God almighty for smallest of the wish. At some places like the Salim Chisti Dargah at Fatehpur Sikri(Agra), the culture is to tie a thread near the prayer hall and when the prayer is answered the thread has to be untied. At Ajmer Sharif Dargah people offer a chadar(sheet) made of flowers or silk or ordinary cloth according to their means.

The photographs are of a temple in Nainital where people tie bells of various sizes to show their gratitude towards the God. Hindus ring bells in temples and chant hymns in praise of God during all prayers. Again the sizes vary as per the capability of an individual.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

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




Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

I missed out on the last week photo challenge “Breakfast” though my kitchen was  most active during last few days. Everyday the clank of many pots and pans made the neighbors wonder what we were up to? Pickles and jams of Indian Gooseberry, jaggery filled Indian breads, khus-khus halwa(sweet made from opium seeds…..nothing illegal about it!!), aata-laddoo(wheat flour balls with a hell lot of roasted dry fruits and clarified butter), khandvi, gulab jamuns and lot many things…….all were miraculously appearing from the kitchen. The last fortnight was indeed an overdose of delicacies which normally was made throughout the year to keep us hooked to home cooked food when we were kids. So why squeeze it all in few days? Ah, that is what grandmothers do, I guess, when they come visiting….

Yep, my parents visited us. The love for their granddaughter and inability of their daughter(to make all these traditional dishes) made them to step in the kitchen instead of resting and relaxing!

So what is family?  A place where one is extremely comfortable is home. And the people with whom we can laugh, cry, scream, play, get annoyed, talk, share secrets, tease, hug, have worst hair day and if a stray FART escapes it becomes a matter of roaring laughter instead of embarrassment then that is family!!

I have had hundreds of arguments with my parents since teenage and I still argue on lot of things even today but that doesn’t stop them from loving me unselfishly. Every time they return back to their place after visiting us, there is this emptiness and a nagging feeling of not doing enough for them….

I hope to be of use when their feet are so tired that they need my shoulder to lean on to…. And this feeling is Family!!

And they say a man’s best friend is the dog! My daughter has always been keen to have a younger brother or sister. However, I don’t see that happening for whatever reason God has in store for me. To get over the guilt of not being able to give a sibling to her I got her a pet to play with… And what love do they shower on each other!! She is there to defend him if I happen to scold him and he is there to seek all her attention on her return from school.  He has become an inseparable member of the family. Though I do grumble on finding dog hair sticking to the curtains, bed, clothes and my carpets but nothing can make me to stop loving him because he is Family too!


In-laws are family too whether you get along with them or not! Nobody can take place of one’s own parent but spouse’s parents should be given their due place in the family too( you don’t want to get into sticky situation !!). They are there to lend a helping hand if the need ever arises and they love their grandchildren as much too….


Akbar – Birbal and a Weekend at FatehpurSikri….

A nice cool breeze and light intermittent drizzle does feel inviting for spending the day in open and if it is a weekend …. well what else could  one ask for? Last week was one of the best ones with our day spent at magnificent and majestic red sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri.

Forty kilometers west of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri was commissioned to be built by the great Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar in 1570 as his capital and it took nearly 15 yrs to complete. It is considered the first planned city of Mughals with features borrowed from Indian, Persian and Islamic architecture. However for not very definite reasons, it was abandoned after a short stay post completion.

Driving down the wide metalled road it is difficult to imagine the type of rocky terrain it might have been in 16th century. Since only the sturdier imperial quarters of red sandstone like palaces, courts, mosque survive the ravages of time, hence the exact problems, reasons for joys and daily routines of common people are a mystery….

And the royals….. their apartments are examples of real well thought of housing project , what with the emperor, his many wives, concubines, eunuchs, servants, princes and princesses all privileged to have their own private space yet  a call away from each other! Is it ever possible in today’s age?

What was it like in those royal quarters then…….

The king relaxing, smoking an ornate brass hookah, by the extensively carved stone jali jharokha(windows) of his bedroom, lined with intricately woven persian carpets caressing his feet or his jewel-studded jutis( pointed slippers) and with his view only partly obscured by sheer curtains gently swaying with the breeze. His gaze observing the swirl of lehengas, the tinkling of glass bangles as the women folk of his palace float around the red carpeted courtyards with their merry giggling and clinking laughter reassuring him of happiness and peace in the kingdom.

The evenings hours spent everyday in front of Anoop Talao listening to Tansen‘s renditions of ragas, culminating with the famed “Dipak Raag” sung to announce the time of lighting lamps all over the palace. The queens and king once in a while spending some time together at the Pachisi court serving as a large-sized board game with the emperor’s concubines playing the role of board pieces. And post a sweet win at the game, did the main queen Jodhabai with kohl lined eyes and hennaed hands indulge in cooking Rajasthani cuisine  for her Badshah?

Were his pensive moments spent discussing with his ministers in the now lifeless pavilions, preparing for the next conquest or overpowering the next rebellion. And the light banter and brain-teasing sessions with Birbal ….are the stories real? Was Birbal so witty that he earned the admiration and love of emperor and was gifted with a house in the palace complex? (Witty stories of Birbal

The largest gateway Buland Darwaja commemorating Akbar’s victory over king of Gujrat, on completion must have made him swell up in pride and being a religious man, the emperor must have paid visit to the Salim Chisti‘s dargah and the Jama Masjid bowing in reverence through the Badshahi gate. Did he then, ride on an elaborately decorated elephant in his bejewelled royal seat  with his queens following in equally decorated palkis from palace to the dargah?Did he go barefoot to the doors of the prayer hall?

The Diwan-i-aam, Din-e-ilahi court, Diwan-i-khas, Panch mahal, Birbal’s house, Jama Masjid  and numerous small and big structures all stand mute today, leaving us to imagine the grandeur of those days.

Long after the tour of the entire complex, I sat there mesmerized by the larger-than -life size of buildings pining to know much more than the history books in school taught me. I wish there was a way I could travel back in time and see everything happen in front of my eyes….Though the tour left me asking for more but overall the weekend was the best spent and the place worth visiting again.

(The details of some structures can be read at


All things yellow…

 The golden-yellow morning sunlight slowly crept up the sleeping button roses waking up every bee and butterfly from the previous eve’s inactivity. For me, however it called for a hot cuppa, which I promptly made for myself and sat sipping lazily on the hammock like woven seat in my favorite yellow mug. Curled up thus, in an absolutely blank mind, I was surprised when out of nowhere a thought cropped up: that of the presence and importance of colour YELLOW in human life.

And, come to think of it, I can actually recall more of yellow coloured things than any other colour.

Let’s see…

To begin with, our day begins with that bright warm orb of sun. Then those who believe in God mostly light a lamp or a candle which again has a blessed yellow glow. Most of the fruits turn yellow on ripening, the honey is golden-yellow and the bees are yellow too! The Indian homes mostly have the yellow turmeric which has much importance because of its antiseptic and skin toning qualities and also it is one of the ingredients of food preparation. Jaggery again is a muddy yellow( sometimes brownish too), the egg has yellow yolk too. The leaves wilt and turn yellow and yellow flowers are more common( at least I have come across more of yellow ones ).

And, if you ask a woman about the colour yellow, the most likely answer would be her gold jewellery which brings a golden-yellow glow on her face!

According to colour psychology, the colour yellow can have both positive and negative effects depending on its shade. The positivity of yellow is friendliness, optimism, creativity but the negative emotions it may arouse are fear, anxiety and depression. As per the physics of optics, yellow is the most visible colour because of more reflecting qualities and hence we notice yellow things more. Though Yellow  irritates the eyes most yet it is the most cheery colour of the light spectrum.

Since yellow attracts more attention hence the taxis use yellow number plates, I guess, to attract more customers.

So, people, if you want to use yellow, use sparingly and preferably the lighter shades. We surely do not want to be depressed or irritated Cheery is better!

And, while I was busy writing last few lines of this post, my daughter quickly changed into a yellow t-shirt so that I could include her picture too along with the others that I took. I saw all these flowers at a resort in Nathuwakhan, further up in hills beyond Nainital. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to find all yellow things for the post .


चल मेरे घोड़े…..

चले मेरा घोडा,
टिक, टिक,टिक,
चलना उसका काम,
मैं भी खेलूँ,
करना नहीं है आराम !
दौड़े मेरा घोडा,
करूँ ऐसी सवारी,
और करूँ हवा से बातें,
है मेरी तैयारी !
लक्ष्मी बाई की सुनी कहानी,
नहीं था उसका कोई सानी,
न होगी डर की बानी,
अब मैंने भी है ठानी !
तो, दौड़ मेरे घोड़े,
टिक टॉक टिक,
मत जाना तू,
रुक, रुक, रुक !!
पार करले राह के रोड़े,
दौड़, दौड़ बस दौड़
मेरे घोड़े !!!