Monthly Archives: October 2017

Cherry tomatoes.. Our home

Cherry tomatoes grow in bushels in our kitchen garden. They are best eaten raw, in their natural form , the whole tomato is packed with flavour. They contain Lycopene and other antioxidants. 

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The Crow that got into my picture!

Around our home, live beautiful birds……and the others….By others, we mean the sparrows and crows….they often photobomb (unintentionally, I’m sure!) the pictures of the pretty birds….Well, one crow decided it would follow every bird I followed….Instead of twitter or tweet-er, it created a Croaker…..It flew close to and over me….I did not even realise that it had got into my pictures of the Pied Kingfisher till I saw them later…..these pictures are more special as they taught me something….a newfound respect for the determined…..more power to them……I did not crop the pictures, they are a lesson for me not to focus solely on external beauty…


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Value of water

1.8 billion people in the world still use contaminated or unsafe water for drinking. Potable or drinking water is a must for health. Every time you turn on your shower, each time you use 65 liters of water to bathe. The water in your taps and showers can be made into drinking water, and can save someone’s life…..

Children collecting drinking water for the family from a public tap in the Himalayas, India, Imagine carrying it up to a home several hundred feet up.

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Good parenting…Mirage or Miracle??

Parenting for human babies is what allows them to survive…unlike most other creatures on this planet, we nurture, protect and nourish our helpless young from the moment they enter the universe, bawling and unfit to survive on their own, A majority of us think we are doing it better than all the others!!!!! What constitutes good/ great parenting???? Is there a cultural/ regional/ racial difference? Or are there certain Universal guidelines??? Whoever knows can enlighten us, I sure as hell cannot say I am an expert. How do you decide whether or when to be a Darling or a Dragon??? For simplicity, since I have a son, I will refer to the child as ‘he’….Here is what seems to work for our family:

  1. Never compare your child to someone else’s child….what if the child says he wants some other child’s parents??? None of us are perfect, do not expect perfection from the child
  2. “Do your best” was what our parents said to us, it implies that the child is making the best effort he can….that should be more than good enough for you
  3. Do not abuse a child….verbally, physically, emotionally, sexually……….that is the least we can do, we owe our child that…the child did not submit an application to be born in our home, we made that decision
  4. Protect the child from abuse by others…one cannot be overcautious when it comes to abuse…look out for signs of abuse, be aware that it is a global curse, if it happens, do what it takes to ensure the child is reassured and heals without thinking it is his fault, get the offender punished. Educate the child about abuse, without scaring him
  5. Give the best of facilities and support that you can….guidance is a must, there is a fine line between pushing your child and guiding him….do not cross that line
  6. Plan activities that the child enjoys….sneak in stimulation of the body and mind while the child has fun
  7. Encourage good eating habits, but allow junk food occasionally
  8. Talk about the facts of life when he is ready…..allow him to talk about anything to you…..or he will talk to others who may mislead him. Be gentle, do not ridicule him
  9. Respecting his elders is important, teach by example
  10. Never differentiate between a girl child and a boy child
  11. Give age-appropriate freedom, while watching over him. There is a distinction between protecting and stalking……..talk to your child often, letting him let you what goes on in his peer group and his life. Do not be quick to denounce or judge whom he interacts with
  12. Encourage him to bring friends home…it’s better than them hanging out at other ‘joints’
  13. Discuss all issues freely…..drugs, alcohol etc…..respect his queries and answer intelligently 
  14. Do not disrespect your spouse/ partner in front of your child. Do not criticize your partner behind his back, to your child
  15. From an early age, make him responsible for small chores like taking care of his clothes, shoes, room etc
  16. Do indulge the child by buying the best/ latest gizmos and gadgets as he learns from them. That cell phone could keep him safe…add features like ‘track my phone’ etc after discussing it with him
  17. When he is old enough, teach him to drive
  18. Respect for the other sex, domestic help is your responsibility, teach him well
  19. Non-violence and respect for humans and animals is a must
  20. Do not pester him to call or visit when he is away ……he will do all this if your home is a haven and a pleasure to visit………..                                                                                                It is an ever-evolving subject, a never-ending list. The acid test?? The child rushes to visit you, wants to talk to you when away…and trusts you enough to confide in you. Lead by example, he has been watching you since he was born……do not forget to tell him you love him unconditionally and are proud of him, make great memories with him 🙂

 

 


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23 years of partnership

When we decided to spend our lives together, we knew a certificate or ceremony was not important to us, but for the sake of the family and to avoid unpleasant never ending arguments in society, we got hitched the traditional way.

What makes us tick??? A heart that pumps blood, a brain that sometimes functions well and a deep rooted attraction for the mental, physical and spiritual constitution of the other half. What makes the attraction last forever???

  • Making a list of non-negotiable traits before taking the plunge (for some cheating or dishonesty may not be a big deal, while for others it will destroy a relationship, make your own list of things you can not live with and say goodbye if the other does not agree ). Once you agree on morality and a lifestyle and choices, you have it made. All other things/ qualities are secondary and a bonus.
  • Focusing on the other’s good points.
  • The biggest gift of all is time, make time for each other, which is exclusive.
  • Not teaching each other swimming, driving or how to play a musical instrument.
  • Not sharing a washroom in the morning if you both have to leave at the same time for work.
  • Allowing the other person to pick a vacation spot/ movie/ hotel allows you both to really enjoy yourselves. 
  • Pampering the other on a birthday, anniversary and….on every day you are together.
  • Doing things for the first time on each anniversary ( we went kayaking last year and took a helicopter ride to the Kedarnath temple in the Himalayas, while both were strapped in the front seat next to the pilot).
  • Spending 2 days exclusively with each other at least once a year ( a child will have to be taken care of by the grandparents, which they and the child will enjoy).
  • Teasing each other, flirting and laughing together.
  • Never abusing each other/ fighting in public or in front of your child.
  • Telling each other every single day that you love each other and are in the relationship out of choice, not compulsion.
  • Making each other’s fantasies come true (yeah, about that, if they love you they would want something you both long for).
  • Make your voice heard, you are an intelligent, unique human being who is more interesting because you do disagree.
  • Doing everything with all your energy and passion…be it an argument, a fight, showering love and affection…be uninhibited with each other.
  • Life is too short…walk out if you are in a abusive relationship or are unhappy……Cheers to whatever life we all have left 🙂                                                                Do NOT marry a man because ‘nobody understands him, he’s lonely and he has nobody in his life but you’……You are not his mother, do not try to improve his life or change him. Some other woman may be unfortunate enough to accept him and be content to mother him……..                                                                                                                  Please so not make the mistake of pitying a person and being with them.                          Do not try to change yourself for anybody. There will be plenty of people who need and want you….at any rate, you should want yourself the way you are.                        For those who are bored or dissatisfied with a relationship….end it before cheating with someone else. Remember, if they cheat with you, they will cheat on you too……Most importantly, do not listen to me, I was lucky to meet a great person who is perfect for me….I take no credit for it.                                                                                         When my guy proposed, I wrote him a letter listing all my awful traits. He read through it seriously, then said…’You have left out so many’!!!. He ran before the vase hit him….Choose the one who wants the wicked and crazy in you, that’s what makes life fun. Do not compromise, fall in love, it is all right if you make blunders, it is not worth it to settle down just because you feel it is the ‘right time’.   It;s wonderful to share the secrets of your soul with your mate (all passwords included)….but it’s vital to enjoy your own company and be complete in yourself.                                                                         DSC07855
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The biggest gift of all

Humans are unique.. thank the powers-that-be for that! There are people who love gifts and those that do not .. rarely is a gift something that a person really wants… what works for you? Here is what works in our family…

Time spent together is the best gift hence we all try to make time for each other .. exclusive moments

There are no gifts exchanged on special occasions!! As and when we go out.. if someone gazes longingly at an ‘affordable ‘ inanimate object, it is bought by the other

Either we paint / write a card … or we don’t give one ( yup, we don’t give any now)

Rules apply to family and really close friends as we do not want the ‘inbuilt human assessment of material goods’ to take time away from precious moments together…

Each to her/ his own… we have been giving away things bestowed upon us by well meaning people and returning the favour by giving  presents they don’t cherish  ( I am quite sure of it!!) .. each person should just buy what they want as and when they want to

P.S…. I guess I’m a hypocrite since I have more material possessions than I will ever need!!! They are not gifts though! Except from the family who knows what I want and I try to reciprocate 😊


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Every angle of the UFO in our garden

One of the many UFOs in our garden allows us to get a view from every angle.. here are some pictures.. the one from below was taken when it was resting on a tall rose bush.. it glided over to a smaller plant and we got the landing position and the aerial view!!


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Lady Koel comes to our home!

She lives in our garden, mostly hidden from view….she flies over us when we do not carry our cameras….today she made an exception, she appeared and posed….glory be!!

Her glowing ruby-red eyes made contact….and a connection….


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Passionfruit-our garden

We enjoyed the passionflowers ….now we are delighting in the fruit!

The fruit has a flavour like none other….sweet, tangy….hypnotic even……

The rule that the family has is that…all the individual fruits are shared by all…..the passionfruit has loads of health benefits and is delicious….


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Nandaprayag….Himalayas

There are 5 Prayags or confluences of the Alaknanda River in the Himalayas. I have written about all except Nandaprayag. In the massive destruction which began from around the Kedarnath temple a few years ago, Nandaprayag was the only one affected…..It took some effort and probing to see it, as people have now begun the planning for the reconstruction of a temple at that site…..The Alaknanda and Nandakini rivers meet here….


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