Tag Archives: Daily post challenge

New Year, New Growth

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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: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/challenge

‘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

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Landscapes – Natural and Man made

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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) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

Circles: Daily Post Challenge 2016

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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 https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/circle/

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 Courtesy:bjchina.travel.com

Traditions and Spirituality: Chinese zodiac sign Courtesy:bjchina.travel.com

 

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

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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 https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/close-up/.

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

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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: http://www.sydney.com/events/vivid-sydney.

Brilliant lighting showcasing Sydney harbour

Brilliant lighting showcasing Sydney harbour

This photo captures the lights in Chicago, USA.

Vivid lighting, USA

Vivid lighting, USA

 

 

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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’..as 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)

Ingredients:

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:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78

http://www.top10homeremedies.com/kitchen-ingredients/10-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html

 

Recipes with Turmeric Yellow

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This post is my entry for the Daily Post challenge: Photography 101 : Street.

Thanks to the Daily Post blog – I’m always on the learning curve. The focus is: Street Photography. It’s reminded me to look carefully while taking shots – what is my focus? what is in the foreground or what is the background? Are the colours intimidating or blurring the photo. I don’t use any expensive camera – its’ just my Iphone or Sony. But as a street market enthusiast, and a blogger, I need to stay focussed.

This photo was taken few years ago in Melaka, Malaysia. The subtle colours of the concrete paved street bring out the colourful yellow costume of the peddler. In the foreground stands his regally decorated rickshaw. In the yesteryears, this was a perfect way to navigate the small winding alleys of the historic old town of Melaka. Tourists and passerby fall in the background, the red brick walls and pavement, adding a contrast colour.

What part of the photo catches your eye ? And why ?

Do leave your comments – it’s good to hear another perspective. Keep learning. Keep focussed!

Street Photography: Rickshaw peddler

Street Photography: Rickshaw peddler

A Lesson in Photography.

Earth – Thy Colour is Green

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This post is in reply to The Daily Post challenge Local Colour

Imagine we lived in a world that’s all of a sudden devoid of color, but where you’re given the option to have just one object keep its original hue. Which object (and which color) would that be?

Mother Earth abounds in hues of green – imagine soft green paddy fields on the slopes of Ubud in Indonesia, green grass shoots and shrubs in the desert sands, tall green coconut fronds almost aiming to touch the sky and play with passing clouds, contrast of green surfaces on spiky bitter gourd and smooth skin of bottle gourd vegetables, frilly green lettuce or robust green rhubarb on market shelves. Na, na…don’t you mention that green toad sitting on the lily leaf !

If there is one colour – my option is green! Mother Earth I owe it to you.

Green is the prime colour of the world – and from that all loveliness arises’ 

Here is my entry. Which hue of green is your favourite?  What other green objects please you? 

Apple orchards, Valtellina, Italy

Apple orchards, Valtellina, Italy

 

Shades of green in contrasting surfaces

Shades of green in contrasting surfaces

 

Date Palm fronds bear green cluster of fruit

Date Palm fronds bear green cluster of fruit

So go make your lifestyle ‘green’. Be part of the environment and give back to Mother Nature.

Exercise in the greens

Exercise in the greens

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Dialogue – Extended in Colours and Shapes 

This post is in reply to The Daily Post: Dialogue 

Dialogue is an engaging conversational exchange.

When it comes to photography, dialogue can be perceived as a consensual interaction between two images.

The pink and white colours of fresh flowers took my breadth away at  Ghazipur Phool Mandi, Delhi. Little did I realize there was a Dialogue extended in a fake flower arrangement at home. Thanks to Daily post!

 

A view of some stunning Arabesque designs at the grand Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Mosque that grace the marbled floor. Henna designs, I experimented with extend the dialogue of similar style. Islamic Art extends into Arabesque designs that use repeated floral and geometrical designs. It is popular not only originally in the Quran, but influencing architecture, Henna Art, motifs on clothing and wedding invitations.

Now won’t you have a frothy coffee with me, at the Emirates Palace restaurant and contemplate on the design ?

coffee

Dialogue – Extended in Colours and Shapes