Category Archives: Daily Post Challenge (15)

Entries from me towards wordpress Daily Post challenges

New Year, New Growth


My first blog of 2018 is an entry on ‘growth‘ by Daily Post challenge. Here’s wishing all my readers a Happy New Year!

A year of growth in strength:physical, mental and spiritual.

In growth there is positive energy.

In growth there is a change.

In growth there is a new beginning.

Here is the link:

‘Growth is the only evidence of life.’ John Henry Newman.

Our apartment window sill is home to two warm pigeon eggs. It’s exciting to see them grow and be incubated.Though pigeons are a nuisance, to see the eggs hatch will be interesting.

‘All the flowers of tomorrow, are in the seeds of today’. 

Chinese proverb

Our kitchen garden gives us plenty of exciting opportunities to witness growth. As a new leaf sprouts, we await the flowers. As the flowers bloom, we await the bees. As the bee arrives we await pollination. Growth and change. Soon the flowers will turn into seeds ( pods of broad beans in the photo).

How do you plan to grow this year? What new beginnings are you undertaking? 

Dated: 23/1/2018

Fellow bloggers and friends requested for a more recent ‘growth’ photo of the hatched eggs. Here it is…..still growing. I decided to add it to this same post.

hatched chick

older chick

Daily Post Entry: Structure


Here is my entry for this week’s Daily Post. To see more see the link below.

Paani puri , is a favourite evening road side snack, almost all over India. Also known as Gol guppas or Puchka, it is made of wheat based puri or fried base then laced with a concoction of tangy, sweet, chilli chutneys upon boiled potato and sev.

However, the conical bamboo stand holding up the food set up is hardly noticed. Being light and convenient, the vendor carries it everyday from home to the roadside stall and setting up his business.

Notice the structure

Conical bamboo stand holding bags of pani puri

Details in Hand Embroidery and Crochet


 Here is my entry for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge.

Dictionary meaning of Detail is: specific feature, attribute, characteristic or element of an item or fact.

Whether in Nature or man made items, to create details involves extra time, effort and craftmanship. I salute all artists, weavers and craftsmen today as they  work on creating finer details in their hand made items.

Parsi Kor  borders showcase exquisite embroidery. Highly priced or kept as rich heirloom pieces, these borders are done with a cross stitch. A  variety of coloured threads in silk or cotton are used. The borders are then attached to sarees or wedding gifts like table linen.

Parsi Saree with traditional Kor / Border

Parsi Saree with traditional Kor / Border

Traditional Kashmiri designs are another example of detailed work.  Men and women, both work as Karigars or weavers. Thread colours used here are white (safed) and turquoise (firozi). Common motifs used are: paisley, delicate chinar leaf, saffron, narcissus and lily flowers. Just as in Nature, twirling creepers and lines add delicate element.

Kashmiri embroidery

Kashmiri embroidery

In crochet and knitting the details of design and stitch add that extra element. The picot stitch can be used in the border or in the body pattern (as I am using here). Picot adds a bit of charm, especially when used in borders to create a pointed effect on the line.

Crochet: Picot stitch

Crochet: Picot stitch

 if you want to produce something above the normal, just work on the DETAILS !

Landscapes – Natural and Man made


In my entry for Daily Post Photo Challenge :Landscape, I bring out two  perspectives, natural and man made.

The dictionary meaning of landscape is:

  1. The detailed view of geographical terrain like rivers and mountains.
  2. A branch of Art dealing with representation of natural scenery like trees, grass, river streams etc. (landscaping)

The word itself originated from Dutch or German ‘landskap‘ (wherein terrain or region is land and its state is skap).

Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery.’        

John Ruskin

Mussandan, lies at the northern most tip of Sultanate of Oman. It’s geography is stunning! The rugged Hijjar mountains rise up almost 2,000 ft. from the sea level. A small strip of coastline separates them from the emerald blue waters of Straits of Hormuz (Persian Gulf). Many an archaeological site is hidden in this barren landscape.

Dolphin watching at Mussandan, Oman

Dolphin watching at Mussandan, Oman

In contrast, the man made landscaping in the Gulf region is very specialized and time consuming. The extremes of the climate immensely affect the performance of the plants, often which wither away. Gardens and plants also need a high level of maintenance and the soil irrigation. Transforming the beauty of vast expanses of sandy terrain in to a lush green landscape dotted with Date palms comes at a steep price and effort!

Landscaping of a residential compound

Landscaping of a residential compound


All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) Please see copyright disclaimer


Circles: Daily Post Challenge 2016

Circles and spirals in Art: Rangoli floor design

Welcome Rangoli floor design: Art representation in Circles

                   Happy New Year 2016.

Circles add meanings and interpretations in our daily life. Circle denotes continuity, eternity, revolutions.  As a New year dawns, it ended another. A circle of new beginnings and endings. 

Let’s visit more circles with reference to

Circles are the most common shapes found everywhere: In the universe (Sun , Moon) Nature (flower centres, tree girth rings) Math (geometric shapes, wheel), Art (domes and designs), food and cooking(plates, containers and round fruits), at Kindergarten Circle time activities, toys and sport (ball, hoops, rings), etc. They lend a meaning in spiritual life too (cycle of birth and death, drawing of Mandala, magic circle of life, God is everywhere in the  circle of Universe).

 Maynard James Keenan wrote, “A circle is the reflection of eternity. It has no beginning and it has no end – and if you put several circles over each other, then you get a spiral.” 

Photos from my archives speak about circles.

Cooking on circular boards

Cooking on circular boards


Food and cooking: Soaked apricots in a circular steel vessel

Circular utensils and food items


Traditions and Spirituality: Chinese zodiac sign

Traditions and Spirituality: Chinese zodiac sign


Aesthetic Math: Palm straw hats

Circular shapes in everyday articles


Math makes sense: The Wheel

Math Shapes and circles


Using Circles in Architecture. Backdrop of circular cloud formations

Architecture uses circular designs and Circle shapes in Nature


Significance of circular designs and ritual plates during ceremonies

Significance of circular items in rituals and ceremonies


A new dawn. A new circle of life

A new dawn. A new circle of life

What are your interpretations of the circle?

Daily Post Challenge Close Up: Parsi Saree Borders


This week Brie Anne Demkiw, from the Daily Post posted a challenge to  get up close to some object, look at its intricate details, and take a lesson in Macro photography – seeing the world in new light.

Here is my entry for the Daily Post challenge. For other stunning entries click

Over a cup of tea at my friend Firoza’s house, we talked about her community and the elegant Parsi saree borders or Kor. The detailed embroidered borders are heirloom, mostly belonging to her mother. Such intricate work – the texture of embroidered Kor, the fineness of Art, colour choices of embroidery thread and the elements of floral design.

Hours of patience, labour and creative talent! Priceless!

This unique artistic tradition of Kor has its roots in Iran (Persia), the homeland of Parsi community. With time, it drew influences from European, Chinese, Persian and Indian cultures, thus adding to its value and artistic part. Indeed, the sarees are worth a treasure and take almost 9 months for completion, the embroidery work being crafted on all the four sides of the saree making it one of the most tedious and intricate tasks.

Here is Firoza’s saree.

Parsi Saree with Kor

Parsi Saree with Kor










And here is a take on Macro photography that bring out the detail of design and stitch.

Embroidery detail on Parsi saree 'Kor'

Embroidery detail on Parsi saree ‘Kor’











Here is another beautiful saree.

Parsi Saree with Kor/ border

Parsi Saree with Kor/ border

Once again, a close up brings out the delicate features.

Detail of embroidery

Detail of embroidery

Which close up did you like ? What did your discerning eye observe?








Vivid Lighting


Another Friday, means another photo challenge from the WordPress team. Here is my entry for the Vivid Lighting

The dictionary meanings for vivid are: brilliant, graphic, colourful, detailed, picturesque, fascinating….and more.

Here are two photographs (courtesy:my daughter) that show the brilliant use of technology in lighting of buildings and monuments. It’s like a painter’s dream. A precise mixture of math, Art, technology and science behind the scenes of gorgeous displays are key to projecting the light ups.

The photo was taken in 2015 at the ‘Vivid Sydney’ annual show. The event showcases creativity in music, Art, lighting, technology, and a great event bringing people and minds together. For the event see here:

Brilliant lighting showcasing Sydney harbour

Brilliant lighting showcasing Sydney harbour

This photo captures the lights in Chicago, USA.

Vivid lighting, USA

Vivid lighting, USA



Daily Post Challenge: Not Here, not There. On The Way


Here is my entry for this week’s Daily Photo Challenge: On The Way.


The photo, one from my archives, brings back memories of our drive from Livigno, in Italy to St. Moritz,(Davos) Switzerland, a stunning road trip through the scenic Alps. A day to remember, crossing the borders of countries, was so easy.

Iconic Train arriving at station, St. Moritz

Historic Glacier Express on the way to St. Moritz station.

As the little Red train came into sight, we stopped turned into the parking lot and stopped to catch a glimpse of this iconic, historic train. Once a steam-powered locomotive, with engineering feats to tackle severe winter and steep terrain, the Glacier Express is now a modern-day luxury….literally! The train passes through dozens of small villages and resorts and scenic landscapes.

But between stations…its’ neither here (Zermatt) nor there ( St. Moritz)! It’s on the way..

On a deeper note:

A train journey is often used as a metaphor for our life journey. We are all ‘On the Way’ from one station(birthplace) to another station(End). And, on the way, just like the train, we too pass through pleasant, memorable stations as well as chug through the steep and difficult ones. It is ‘what’ and ‘how’ you do on the way…that will ultimately determine your End station. So, don’t lose control of your life train, be in charge!


Significance of Orange Colour


Here is my entry for this week’s The Daily Post -Orange, Aren’t you glad it is photo time


Orange, is a warm colour. Have you ever been fortunate to watch a beautiful sunrise? Probably while sitting on the banks of a river or doing yoga on the beach front would be an idyllic place to witness the sky lit up gradually. A change of colour from a dark night to the first hues of pink and orange, and then the rising of the Sun lights up almost a Fire in the sky! Orange twilight. A heavenly gift ! 1129 Orange is also the colour of Fire. The base of the fire is a red, bright orange and streaks of yellow radiate forth from it. Here is a photo of the Homam or sacred fire during a prayer. DSC03361 The Sun and Fire have been worshipped by many ancient civilizations and religions. Orange is the main colour in both. Fire destroys or burns everything into ash, symbolically denoted by ignorance or darkness. In Hinduism  and Buddhism, Saffron or bhagwa, as orange is known, therefore is the revered colour, denoting renunciation, removal of ignorance and tyaga – shedding of worldly, materialistic pleasures to attain a Higher knowledge. Thus it is a preferred colour by Hindu priests and Buddhist monks, they wear Orange robes and use orange cloth for temple decorations.

Temple priest wearing orange robes

Temple priest wearing orange robes

Floor decoration or Rangoli done at doorsteps and temple altar generally use auspicious colours : Red, orange and green.

Colourful Rangoli floor design

Colourful Rangoli floor design

Bright orange marigold or zhendu, as known locally in India, are often the most sought after flowers for decorating temple altars, door entrances and wedding mandap or seating. Once again, orange is the auspicious and revered colour most preferred in Hindu functions.

Marigold garlands

Marigold garlands

My garden pots have just begun to bloom with Orange Marigolds, just in time isnt’ it. These are handy for daily prayers.

Marigold flower - Orange blooms

Marigold flower – Orange blooms


This is my entry for The Daily Post Challenge: Scale. A prompt to share an image that highlights a size relationship — that makes us pause, take a second look to understand the scale of the elements in the photo, was the given challenge.

Living in arid desert conditions makes one appreciate the element of Water. Here is a comparison of scale of two important desert fruits: Watermelon and Date fruit.

An explorer, David Livingstone, once literally found vast expanses of semi desert African land covered wildly with watermelons! With an extremely high content of 92% water (and other nutrients), watermelons sustain and provide us nutrition, for over 6 weeks in hot weather. In scale, they range from a few pounds to ninety pounds!

Let’s compare this to the small scale of Date fruit. Truly, this tiny miracle desert food, ranging from 3 cm – 8 cm in size has provided nutrition, health and life to many a traveller across the sands of times! In the lands of Arabia and neighbouring arid and sandy regions where sand dunes and camels live in harmony, the Date Oasis made for a perfect relaxing spot to the caravan traveller. Find more on Dates: Holy Fruit of Middle East, in my earlier post. Caravans often carried large sacks of Date fruit for nourishment on their long journeys. For more information see Wikipedia.

On a scale of 1-10, which desert fruit do you like ? Why?


Scale: Desert Fruits, Big and Small


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2014 in review


This post is in response to this week’s The Daily Post ‘Yellow’

Come winter, seasonal changes affect one’s health and immunity, and the flu and cold bug makes its presence. An ancient, Indian traditional way to fight this is with the use of Turmeric, a yellow powder made from the rhizome of the Ginger plant family. It is locally known as Haldi or Manjal.

The plant’s botanical name Curcuma longa, is found abundantly in India and Asia. The deep colour of the powdered, dried rhizome, not only adds colour and flavour to food, but has immense health benefits. There is hardly an Indian curry or vegetable, cooked without a liberal addition of Turmeric. Yoga abhyaas or study strongly advises using ‘one spoonful of turmeric in cooking everyday’ it is known for its anti inflammatory and antiseptic properties.


Turmeric powder also known as Haldi or Manjal

Turmeric powder also known as Haldi or Manjal

Chinese, Malay and Indians have long been using Turmeric for its medicinal properties. It is used to treat flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, toothache and colic. Every Indian and Malay bride will recall their ‘Haldi’ ceremony prior to the wedding, where the bride is anointed with a paste of Turmeric and sandalwood – a traditional way of rejuvenating, cleansing and perfuming the body.

As a young girl, I remember my mother applying Turmeric powder on our bruises and cuts. And come winter, she would boil milk with ginger and turmeric.Ah…can you smell that strong aroma of turmeric as it fills the kitchen?

Recipe for Turmeric Milk:

1 cup milk

1 tbsp. turmeric powder

1 tbsp. ginger powder

1 spoon honey

In a small vessel pour the milk, add turmeric and ginger powder and simmer /boil for few minutes. Remove any scum formed. Pour the milk into cup /glass, add honey as desired.

Sip away to health and beauty!

If the cough or cold persists:

Boil 2 cups of water in a large container, add 2 tbsps. of turmeric to it. Inhale this steam, covering your face and neck with a towel/cloth. Let it reach your open mouth and warm the area. Be careful of the hot water and steam!


Yellow coloured Milk

Yellow coloured Milk

For yellow rice: see here


Pulihoara - Tamarind rice

Pulihoara – Tamarind rice

Here is a light snack, perfect on a rainy day or winter with a cup of Chai. Or invite friends over and offer in individual bowls, peppered with finely chopped onions and garnished with coriander. Crunch…

Puffed Rice Flakes Chivda (Savoury)


2 cups thin white Poha /Rice flakes

2 cups murmura /puffed rice

For seasoning:

1 ladle cooking oil

1 -2 tbsp. Turmeric powder (yellow)

1 tbs. mustard seeds

1 tbs. saunf / fennel seeds (optional)

1/2 cup roasted peanuts (without skin)

1/4 cup roasted Bengal gram

1/4 cup raisins + cashews

2 sprigs of Curry leaves

pinch of Hing /Asafoetida

Salt, chilli powder, Aamchur /dry mango powder and powdered sugar adjusted to taste.

Remember! many of the above ingredients could be optional ( except salt, chilli, oil mustard and turmeric).They add colour, texture and enhance flavour. Experiment as per availability.

Rice flakes Chivda with Turmeric Yellow

Rice flakes Chivda with Turmeric Yellow

Method:    Lightly toss and roast the Rice flakes till crisp. Set aside. Lightly roast the puffed rice. Keep aside in plate.

In a large pan, heat up oil add lightly fry peanuts, cashews, raisins and remove aside to cool. Add mustard to oil till it splutters. Quickly add Turmeric, fennel seeds, curry leaves. Lower flame to minimal.

Add the fried nut mixture. Gradually add the puffed rice and rice flakes, alternatively. Keep tossing entire mixture lightly, till evenly coated in seasoning.

Put pan away from flame onto kitchen top. Add salt, powdered sugar, Aamchur powder, chilli powder as desired. Cool mixture evenly.

Store in airtight jar upto 4-10 days for freshness. Or serve immediately in paper cones (like in street food) or bowls. Garnish with finely chopped onions and coriander and a slice of lime. Enjoy!

Chivda -Savoury with puffed rice

Chivda -Savoury with puffed rice

No Indian recipe is spared from the traditional use of Turmeric. So, buy a packet, check its freshness, store in a bottle away from sunlight. Use some everyday, while cooking or gargling.

Live life healthier with just a spoonful of yellow Turmeric!

For more read:


Recipes with Turmeric Yellow