What not to do while planting potato??!!

It has been months since I got something to post for gardening to energize the gardener inside me. Ok, let me talk about the tragedy that had happened in my balcony for weeks. Some weeks back I noticed a tiny sprouted potato left alone in the basket. Also, I had one old pot with a withered croton plant. I thought of replacing the old plant with the new sprouted potato with a curiosity of watching how it grows since I have never seen a potato plant before. So I dug to remove the withered plant completely. The soil was hard it was a bit difficult to remove the fully rooted previous plant. Finally it was done and I buried the sprouted tiny potato inside the pot and covered it with some extra new soil.

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You know, I watched it growing day by day with much excitement for the day to dig my treasure to see what has been there so long. You don’t believe I see the plant every morning as soon as I wake up. It grew very fast reaching heights for it couldn’t bare the height and it bend to the ground one day. So, I planted a stick nearby and tied the plant along with it for support. But the curious potato plant grew much faster with no branches and the support which I gave was no longer supportive.

support

There is a saying that “Empty vessels make noises”. It is sometimes true with plants too. My instincts told me that the plant bears nothing inside. I once heard from my dad that the small bushy groundnut plants will only have more groundnuts rather the one that is grown taller and greener to heights. Applying the same here I decided to dig and see what was there inside. I plucked the plant and nothing was there. Though I knew there is nothing inside I wanted to dig to see one potato to get my deposit potato at least. Thank God, I got one from the added new soil above and there was nothing below.

potato

potato1

So, here are the findings:

  1. Use new soil or manure soil for planting.
  2. Use loose soil and not the compact mud.
  3. It needs direct sunlight (I grew it in closed balcony).
  4. Don’t water it much but sprinkle it with little water every day.
  5. Don’t be curious to see what is inside but wait for 10 weeks to harvest.

Whatever is the condition planting potatoes will never disappoint you with nothing but at least one as it happened with me. Happy gardening!!

Submersion and relocation of Hoysala architecture

Photographs can speak thousand words. They sometimes do exaggerate things and this post definitely not comes under the scene rather it is about a true picture of a temple that is submerged, relocated and is now on renovation.

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It was a beautiful Saturday morning. Often I and Stephen, plan for road trips in and around places as we both are interested in travel. We were invited by Vicky (stephen’s friend) to Infosys campus where he is under training. We started early on the roads to reach Infy Mysore campus around 9am to escape the traffic with a little break for tea and breakfast. It was a real cool day as it was drizzling all the way through from bengaluru to Mysore leaving no way for the sun to hit us by any chance.

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We reached Infy campus to take Vicky with us to the nearby back waters. I was n’t much awaited for this since I preferred to visit other known places of Mysore and was least interested about the KRS backwaters. Finally, out of vicky’s suggestion we went there.

Truly, a beautiful place it is. I asked Vicky, “What is so special about this place”? He replied, the submersion of the venugopalaswamy temple (Hoysala architecture) which was originally built in the 12th century in backwaters and its relocation is the special about the temple. Was so surprised to hear that and I laughed at him even. Truly, it was unbelievable. Yet, it is the fact that they have numbered every single stone and took over 16,000 photographs and videos and marked each and every slab to do the perfect relocation.

Numbered slabs

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India is known for its architecture and it all happened before centuries. As we say there is revolution in the architecture and construction industry in the recent years, it cannot be agreed thoroughly watching all these stone architectures beautifully carved and transported even at the ages when cars, trains and trucks and other heavy lifting machines were still centuries away from being invented. And it is a fact that it couldn’t be regenerated any time now in an era of architectures with cement and sand and not about the stone architecture.

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Relocation process is almost over except repairing few damaged stones and the renovation is still in progress. The following generation seeing a stone architecture being constructed is a question as the present generation had already lost the privilege. It is a splendid moment to watch atleast the relocation and renovation of such an amazing architecture in such a beautiful place surrounded by three sides (a peninsula).

Thanks to Vicky. It is a must place to visit for Mysore campus Infy people and I suggest it for other ancient architecture lovers to visit this place. It is just 9km form Brindavan Gardens, Mysore.

On the way back home we headed to shivanasamudra falls. I could clearly note down the reason why civilizations developed along the river beds seeing the beautiful greenery around the flowing water to and from shivanasamudra falls. The falls looked threatening as it the water was flowing with much current. Samudra means ocean and it is named perfectly. With that we ended the journey reaching home. Indeed, it was a complete road trip.

Shivanasamudra1

shivanasamudra2

Shivanasamudra

Thank you for stopping by. Let your journey begins.

Off to madikeri – The scotland of India

Each friend represents and reflects a part of us. We inherit at least or more qualities from each one of them. Childhood friends are even more special for they know the true us. Yes, we become young and naughty when we are with our friends. It is easy to study someone’s true nature when they are with their best pals. Though the above listed findings are theoretical and known by everyone it can be felt only when we see something of that kind with our own eyes. The above inference was discovered during our visit to Kodagu hills with my husband’s all time childhood friend Anand with his charming wife, Madhu ( she is a real good dancer – certainly a fine entertainer).

It was a pleasant day driving to Madikeri. Lustrous green valley, Madikeri (the headquarters of Kodagu hills) is filled with its own delicate aroma of coffee and fragrance of pepper and cardamom indulged in the air is also called as the Switzerland of India which got attracted to British and was ruled by them from 1834. British also called it as “Scotland of India” for its beauty.

Madikeri, coorg
Caressing rain drizzles, alluring green blanket over the hills, delightful views of the hilly highlands, surrounded by green glowing coffee estates with elevated trees and saluting homestays are the specials about Madikeri. We relished our every moment of travel from Bangalore to suntikoppa – kedakal estate where we planned our homestay which is 10kms before Madikeri. The estate owner himself, Divakar uncle was waiting there in his Jeep to receive us to the exquisite 100 year old bungalow. There waited his wife, Uma aunty with her own special art of smile. The bungalow was maintained clean and was adorned with small pieces of attractive everywhere possible either it is a small planter or it is a simple lantern hanging on the trees in the garden, the art of home keeping can be learnt from there. It was so stunning to see the 100 year old bungalow blushing brightly with all its glory.

kedakal estate - coorg

How will I ever forget the food served by Uma aunty! Thank God we are blessed with scrumptious food everywhere we travel. The chappattis, the veg curries, the poori and the dhal everything was so perfect with no flaws that kindled the hormones to direct a quick message to the brain that the stomach has much more empty stuff to get filled in. I wondered how could this simple known regular food taste this good. Of course, it is homemade and Uma aunty made with love and smile. Uma aunty’s husband, children and grandchildren must be really blessed to taste her food. She was lovely and kind enough to tell us about the origin of the estate and had guided us to the nearest tourist spots.

kedakal esatate
We had a walk around 25 acre estate, watching coffee plants, the tall trees which were hugged by the spreading vine pepper plants throughout the estate, a small water reservoir and the workers living area. And the homestay has a fabulous swimming pool too which looks amazing at night with its lights.

Late evening we headed towards the abbey falls which is 15 kilometers far from the homestay. Of course, the water falls can never be boring instead it will drive us crazy and the abbey falls has little more to see with a few minutes of walk down the hills amidst the green woods in the mild rain was pretty much pleasant. While coming back we felt like we were flying amidst the crowded clouds. Yes, the road wasn’t visible with the fogs whitewashing the entire place. Thanks to our brilliant driver, Stephen who managed to drive us home safe.
The next day morning, saying adieu to the kedakal estate we drove back to Bengaluru visiting a couple of places. The nishragadhama, kushalnagar– an island surrounded by river with a deep bamboo forests where we got lost almost walking around the island for more than one and half an hour without any clue of our destination. At a point we realized that we might get lost walking all the day long and have decided to head back to the place where we started. Thank God it was a good decision otherwise we would have circled the puzzled island the whole day. Nevertheless, we had good time in the deer park and in the zip line.

nishargathama ecological park

And the next place was Baylakuppe Golden temple, kushalnagar- the Tibetan monastery which is famous for its 40 feet statues of padmasambhava, Buddha and Amitayus. The entry to the golden temple makes us feel that we are out of India to Tibet with all the thousands and thousands of Tibetans dressed coded with yellow and red. It is the largest Tibetan settlement away from Tibet as it was established in 1960s with the refugees migrated from Tibet due to Chinese invasion. Yeah, it has its own trembling history of making which amaze us, undoubtedly.

Tibetan Goldan Temple

Finally, back to Bengaluru with few photographs captured as the journey ended with the mindful of memories. The best part of all was it reminded my good old (not very old but recent old) college days with my friends in coorg everywhere. A little change is this time with it is my soul mate which is special about.

And here are some Favourite Photographs of the trip :

Curiosity at its best

nishargadhama Deer park

Macro - Snail

Thank you for stopping by.

Love moments from Maldives

Coconut trees taking a nap on the lap of the shores, caressing blue-green water waves, crystal clear corals, multi coloured visible sea creatures,  crowded crabs crawling on the coastlines, glorious view of the ocean around throwing into illusion, isolated floating water villas with a view of the underwater through the cut-glass floor where the fishes get attracted to the lights provided there for a stimulating view, galvanizing sunrises, luscious foods of the continents, mesmerizing music in the evening is all about Maldives. It was more like a fantasy island that comes in fiction movies. Maldives, white sand encrusted planet – an ideal place for couples on honeymoon.

I know it’s a bit late to update on our trip to Male yet being a blogger I can’t just skip inscribing the glorious moment of my life. Getting married to a loving person and booking a week on honeymoon to a splendid place like Maldives is sweet and sweeter. Our dream wedding had happened in an ancient famous church in Chennai and we were all set to fly to Maldives on the 5th day of our wedding after tiring travels. We were almost exhausted by the travels and were in need to get some quiet time in a faraway place; and our choice was to fly to the unobtrusive island-Maldives.

Maldives Landscape

Adaaran

Adaaran at night

A private and perfect time for both of us far away from home to an dream island of vision, separated from family, friends and relatives, no frequent calls or notifications on the mobile, no cooking, no official deadlines to meet, no hectic to make a fast move.

Male Here We Come!!

On an early Wednesday morning we packed our stuffs and travelled to the airport and boarded the flight to Male and reached Male around 10:30 am. Then, we were taken in a speed boat for an hour floating in the cutting edges of the majestic Indian Ocean to the resort, Rannalhi Adaaran.

The first three days were calm and quiet as we enjoyed exploring the island with all its endeavours; a walk to the restaurant three times a day and back to the water villa navigating around the island and not to forget about the food; the fish curries, the fries, the spicy omelet, the appetizing mango drink which I had all the 5 days of my stay are all lip-smacking.

Adaaran Rannalhi Food

On the fourth day, a storm came to outbreak the silence(I meant the literal storm); heavy wind trying to strip off the rooftop, the waves started flowing up high very closer to the floor of the water villa throwing water spills inside the villa through the glass fitting, the trees started swinging as like as the car wind shield  wiper reacts to the rain, the wooden walk ways to the villa had repairs breaking some of the wooden blocks and were seemed ready to get sink in the ocean, the villa started vibrating (which indeed gave me a secret message of the coming tsunami). I got terribly terrified and started praying as there was no clue of escaping from the island as the only way to reach a safest place is to travel to Male which is an hour journey again in the ocean which also is not advisable.

Maldives Storm

I was very much worried and was troubling my best half as he was a bit worried about me and not about the storm (May be he was yet he didn’t seemed so). He was a kind of cool and was convincing me and the funniest part is he was taking photographs of the storm. We checked with the reception people about the status and surprisingly they told it is all normal and nothing to worry and they also told us to wait till 5 in the evening and so we waited to get the status normal. Thank God, my prayers were heard and everything came to normal that evening. Indeed it gave us an electrifying feel marking it as one of the haunting life moments. It is undeniably the safest inhabit that I ever seen (Here a :P smiley is supposed to be added).

In the interim time, touched by the intoxicating beauty of the island my best half had already become a poet uttering all the lovely vocabularies of the dictionary. He had his best time of photographing the scenic island. He actually made me feel the luckiest ever girl in the world.

Maldives Honeymoon

Finally the honeymoon was over with stacks of love moments and memories packed along with our snapshots with few things bought on shopping in reminiscence from Maldives.

Maldives shopping

Back from fantasy world to real world…

Cotton Seed Milk – A health drink

Does the title sound weird? Might be! I have to admit it that I couldn’t interpret it correctly. The name might be funny but it is the literal translation of a South Indian health drink. It is popularly known as paruthi paal (Paruthi is “cotton” & Paal is “Milk”) – the milk extracted from the cotton seed. That’s why I named it “Cotton Milk”.

The dry whole cotton seed is often known as the best feed for cattle.  In Tamilnadu, especially in Madurai and around places this cotton seed milk drink is very special. You can see people selling the drink in the cycle around the streets in the morning. It is said to be the triple nutrient drink. It has rich proteins, fat and fiber. A tasty, refreshing drink with the soul of Tamil nadu’s own special taste. Whoever visits Madurai should try this drink. The taste will stick to your taste buds. Do you wanna try? Of course you will. Why not try this simple recipe at your kitchen?

Needed Ingredients:

Cotton seed       -200 grams

cotton seed

Raw rice flour    -50grams (I used the red raw rice)

rice flour

Grated Coconut-1coconut (small)

coconut

Jaggery                 – 250 grams

jagri

Cardamoms        -5 to 6

Finally, a pinch of salt( to tone the sweetness too taste sweeter)

Preparation:

Soak the cotton seed in water for about 6-8 hours. Then, grind the soaked cotton with water and extract  the milk. Take the vessel and add 3 glasses of water. Mix the rice flour with water in the vessel. Fire the stove now, and start stirring the rice flour mix at least for 5 minutes. Then add the cotton seed milk extract and stir it for another 10 minutes. Again add the powdered jaggery for sweetness to the mix and continue stirring for another 5 minutes. Finally, for the last 5 minutes add the grated coconut and the cardamom powder to the drink and a pinch of salt. The drink is ready!!

cotton seed milk

Note: Add water accordingly for it serves 10 to 12 glasses. You can also use coconut milk instead of grated coconut. I prefer the grated one since I like the crunchy stuff of the coconut.

Handmade HAPPINESS!!!

mehndi

English: Mehndi or Henna Lawsonia inermis in H...

English: Mehndi or Henna Lawsonia inermis in Hyderabad , India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have heard a saying that Happiness is mind-made. Mind has the direct deal with happiness. It is true. But at times happiness is handmade. Being stuck with very old busy routine of life, I was thinking of some change in routine. I desired for a renewal of soul and mind. My heart was craving for some chillness.

Definitely, Ice cream was not my choice. The cooling herb Henna ( marudhaani) hit my nerves and I picked the henna leaves from my backyard. It was there for a very long time I have never noticed that as I did on that day.

I remembered my old little age memories. For any special occasion we used to have mehndi on the previous days (Indians celebrate it as a special event before wedding). Not just the bride but also the little ones love to get the happiness done at hands, colored so vibrant. It was so special those days.

Today’s mehndi is a tradition inherited from north India. But in south India a different custom was followed. Mehndi is available in ready-made cones. But, I prefer homemade marudhaani ground finely in ammikkal (grind stone) with few drops of lime. It is natural and fresh. I didn’t make an extra ordinary design but a simple very old rough small circle design. I hope many of my south Indian girls would just love to have it now. I bet no henna would give such a pleasant vibrant color as mine…!!! Now, the proud author’s (thats me..lol..) new favorite color is revolutionized!!

God still has a plan for you…

“GOD STILL HAS A PLAN FOR YOU” – I have been hearing this song for a very long time. It did make a great impression on the first hearing itself.
This song narrates the life and feeling of elders who think that all their life purpose is over with all the responsibilities done. But the song with its simple words declares our purpose will not get fade until our soul leaves this world.
It is not that it is written for only elders but also for other younger adults who think everything is over after a failure or facing some disappointments in life. Always remember God Still has a plan for you.
“Don’t count the fleeting sunsets,
Start living in a moment,
Cause young or old, you’re still a price
This treasure he can use”
You blink your eyes and suddenly you realize all your life has changed and if we have time to stand before a mirror and ask, Is my life fulfilling the purpose on the life run? We will see thousands of questions and answers following the one small question.
This song has all the answers for all the doubts and questions.

http://m.itemvn.com/song/?s=552EE45C11

You blink your eyes
And suddenly, the kids have grown and gone
Pictures echo memories
Filling up the empty house
Everybody’s busy getting on
With their own lives
It can feel like you’re forgotten
Like you’ve been left behind

Chorus:
God still has a plan for you
Even though you feel
Sometimes your better days are through
As long as you’re still here
There’s still a work for you to do
God still has a plan for you

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Lookin’ in a mirror
Do you see a stranger’s eyes?
Searchin’ for the ‘you’,
You were before the years flew by
‘Thankful for each blessing
And the wisdom in the gray
Wondering if your purpose
Was fulfilled in yesterday

Bridge
Don’t count the fleeting sunsets
Start living in a moment
‘Cause young or old, you’re still a price
This treasure He can use

Let your purpose be fulfilled!!!!

Let there be love and happiness – happy new year 2014

New Year 2014

Today, earth has completed one of its journeys of revolving around the sun at a speed of 30km/s covering a distance of 940 million km approximately in 365.26 solar days. For the past thousands of years the earth was repeating the same old journeys. It never stopped. It is a wonder for us yet it is the way of leading its life. We always zoom in our very own lives, our own happiness, our own problems, our own relationships and much more of our very owns. We forget to zoom out our position on this universe. If we do that, we would find us to nothing. But out of all the philosophies, we have a special purpose to be on earth that is to be a blessing to us and our surroundings making the world a better place to live in.

New Year, a special set of hopes is up. We cannot expect every good thing to happen in the coming year but we can hope for one.

Last year, this time I was at my home with my mom and sister hoping for a better year to come. This year I am married and now the moment is with my husband. I have my own family with a new set of friends, relatives and relationships; a new way of life with new perspective; new thinking. Not to forget the travels in adding flavors to our interests – trip to Maldives, road trip inside Karnataka and Tamilnadu was good. Thankfully I was still up writing my blog now and then as it motivated me in everything I do.

Does it all life has? How many changes does life bring in one single year!!! Overall it is all good and it does bring happiness.

One whole year is over. The year had been a year of learning – a year with a mixed range of thoughts and feelings. A year of pain, a year of solitude, a year with Mom and sister, a year of teaching, a year of learning, a year of love, a year to be loved, a year that I got wedded to an amazing soul on earth, a year of hope, a year of comfort, a year of understanding, a year of accepting, a year of knowing self and much more.

2013 was a blessing to me and my family. It is the year that our long day dream of building a new high school has come true and laid the foundation but missing someone who really cared, wished and worked hard for that. Life without dad is tough not only for the mom but also for the children; not only for the young but also for the grown-ups. Yes, we are grown up; we are independent yet in many situations we miss you badly. With lots of hope and prayer we enter into a new year and we wish to add more meaning to the life you lived.

2013 is almost dead except the memories and 2014 is born to be lived to ponder a new set of memories. Thank God for the year 2013 and the new year to come.

Couldn’t believe how the days have flown. The year 2014 is going to be the same. This year is going to be more special as it has much more special things to see. Planning on different things on my entrepreneurship, writing, reading, singing, travelling and much more and this blog is going witness everything I attempt.

Readers, Thank you for all the support and encouragement and hoping for the continued support in the New Year too.

Wishing you all a very happy new year 2014!!!

It’s time for Christmas story

Christmas tree adored with shining stars, blinking lights, glistening candy cane, tiny stockings, glitter embellished snowflakes, glazing  ball hangings, wreaths, pine cone, frosted snowmen, saxophone, drums, swirly whimsical stars and trees, angels, reindeer, plum cake, bells and not to forget the Santa Claus … What are all reminding of? Yes, Tis the season to be jolly and it’s about Christmas; about Jesus and about the cross.

Though it is very famous in western countries, it is the season to be jolly for Indians too. The celebration actually starts from the first of December. This year the first of the joyful month fell on Sunday and it looked sparkling to see the church decorated with Christmas trees.

We have decorated our home too with Christmas tree with all those beautiful accessories, a lighted star outside home and a manger scene set-up to celebrate the season. This year it is going to be more special for me as I am going to celebrate with my husband at my home town with my family.

The good news for the celebration is about the birth of Jesus Christ from the womb of the Virgin Mary, got delivered in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. He was born to save the world, to live a life in earth and to shed his blood for our sins. He is the saviour. And it is a joy celebrating his birth remembering all his love, forgiveness, grace and sacrifice.

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Above all, there is another story about Christmas to be told. It is the story about the cross. It seems the coming Christmas day is going to be the usual day for the carols singing the same list of Christmas songs hark the heralds, we three kings, what child is this, Mary did you know, little drummer boy, hark how the bells, while shepherds watch their flock, carol of the bells, silent night, jingle bells and much more. It is going to be yet another usual Christmas with usual singing and usual decorations, usual celebrations and usual of everything.

Of course, it gives us joy singing the carols, decorating the home, having a happy get together with family and attending the midnight service. It is all good.

But, every time we celebrate the Christmas we are reminded of the good news not only about the birth of Jesus Christ but also about his coming for the second time to the world. Yes, Christmas is not just about the trees, the Santa Claus, the celebrations but about the cross.