Saturday, 30 June 2007
Friday, 29 June 2007
Thursday, 28 June 2007
Allahabad, my city is one of the largest cities of Uttar Pradesh(state).It is situated on the confluence of two rivers;Ganga and Yamuna considered to be holy by the Hindus.The meeting point of these rivers and another mythological river called Saraswati is supposed to possess sin-washing powers.Those who drink its sacred waters and bathe in it during auspicious times and festivals are assured of salvation or least a higher level of reincarnation.Millions of Hindu pilgrims come here each year for sin cleansing.
Tuesday, 26 June 2007
My friend Janet wrote on her blog about her Mom 's cook breaking chairs because of her large size.
Yesterday I went went to a salon to have my eyebrows done and this richly endowed, wealthy lady was having her body waxed.Every time the beautician pulled the wax cloth off her arms the poor gal 's chair (adjustable kind) would sink lower. And we all gasped, but the lady had a good sense of humour and she didn 't mind.She was well aware of her magnitude.
I am not making fun of overweight people because I battle with the bulge too, its just that all this makes life more colourful and musical.
My friend Kate tagged me for 8 facts about myself, so here goes...
1.My birthday is on August 1st.
2.During my early teens I liked wearing boys clothes, like jeans and shirts.
3.I like savoury snacks more than sweet ones.
4.When I was born,my Dad 's workmate who was an astrologer predicted that I would learn the English language very well. Well I have a Masters in English Literature, but I 'm not sure if my English is noteworthy.
5.I learnt German in school.Got a prize for pronunciation. A German nun taught us.Sister JoAnna was a very strict lady, still remember her draconian rules.
6.I like international accents. My favourites are Irish, Scottish and German and of course Australian.When I speak to people from other countries I tend to switch on their accents, (not entirely tho).
7.I like fashion jewellery. A whole load of my jewellery was stolen from my apartment when I was teaching in Woodstock school.Now I 'm into hoops, danglers and earrings with crosses.
8.I wear a mix of Indian and western clothes, so my clothes don 't wear out easily. I like cotton fabric. Synthetic clothes make me hot. Silks and synthetics are for cooler weather.
Sunday, 24 June 2007
My computer is giving me the jitters. I was almost reduced to tears last night. This morning i prayed real hard and at least i could log on. Hope it mends itself and there is no virus inside.professional help is so costly.
On a brighter note. last night after Mama cut her birthday cake I asked her which song would she like us to sing ;Happy Birthday or Nearer My God To Thee (as she keeps telling people maybe its my last birthday). We had a good laugh, she choose Nearer My God To Thee, but we sang Happy Birthday!
Sonia left this morning,Abner didn 't want to leave.
Saturday, 23 June 2007
Left-Kalpana Chawla right- Sunita Williams
Posted by Amrita at Saturday, June 23, 2007
Tuesday, 19 June 2007
Sorry folks this is not a self portrait.
"we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away,they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven-God-made not handmade-and we 'll never have to relocate our "tents" again.Sometimes we can hardly wait to move-and so we cry out in frustration.Compared to what 's coming,living conditions round here seen like a stopover in an unfurnished shack,and we are tired of i! We have been given a glimpse of the real thing,our true home,our resurrection bodies!The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what 's ahead.He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we 'll never settle for less.
That 's why we live with such good cheer.You won 't see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don 't get us down.They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead.It 's what we trust in but don 't yet see that keeps us going.Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us?"
The Message 2 Cor 5; 1-7
Got my cholesterol report. Normal level 200 mine 's 244.2 . Doc 's prescribed me pills which pulled the rug off under my feet because they are so expensive. $ 2 for 10 of them and I have to take one a day. Extra weight on my pocket and mind. But I 'm going to take herbal medicines and switch to a low fat diet so I guess I'll be OK.my blood pressure and sugar level is OK...thank you Jesus.
If we don 't have God in our lives our days can turn out to be
Posted by Amrita at Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Sunday, 17 June 2007
Posted by Amrita at Sunday, June 17, 2007
Saturday, 16 June 2007
The most wanted rains usher some unwelcome guests inside the house.Last night I discovered a leech clinging on the bathroom wall.it must have entered through the drain.I got into my pest control mode and sprinkled it liberally with salt.The blood-sucking,Dracula minion melted away in no time. Allahabad has a very low leech population so our pest control works.
Salt is the best ammunition against leeches, this I discovered in Mussoorie, up in the Himalayas.During the monsoon season the whole mountain-side was crawling with leeches and we were cautioned against them.One evening while taking off my shoes I discovered a large patch of blood on my socks.I knew it was a leech, and since it was my first encounter I wanted I scream, and do a tribal leech dance but I restrained myself as I was all alone in my apartment and no one would rush in to rescue me. Further examination revealed that the vampire had had its dinner and left.So I cleaned my foot and applied a Band Aid. At least I had a story to tell to the nations.
Later on when I took my students for a hike in leech country we stuffed our shoes and socks with salt.Kids are very good at spotting leeches,specially when they want to scare their teacher.Anyway we took it all in our stride.
My Iranian friend 's mother (living in Mussoorie) invited leeches to bite her as a remedy for arthritis.That 's ancient medicine.I could never try that.
We are happy that the monkey did not return, maybe it prefers pop-corn to corn on the cob.
Its global, but in India you encounter wild life up so close that it brings out the 'national geographic ' in you.Makes life interesting.
Friday, 15 June 2007
The monsoon rains have arrived in North India. We 've had a good bit of rainfall since yesterday A welcome respite. Although its very humid, the temperature has come down.And we had a very long power cut.
Our construction workers are worried as the rain washed away some of their concrete work.The garden looks bright and green. Our handyman, Juggernaut (Jags for short) is putting down seeds in the garden.
Aunt Sybil 's (84 yrs) feet are swollen so I 've asked a pathology technician to come and do her blood work and mama 's too.You just ring up the lab and these people come and take your blood etc. samples, test them in their labs and send you the report.Then you can go to your physician with the report.
You can do it the other way around. First consult a doctor then have the tests done.But to save time I 'm doing this, as I have a transport problem.
I 've got my Dad 's old car, but I can 't drive. During emergencies we get someone to drive it for us. But maintaining it is quite a hassle and expense.The car is dead right now and to get it going would be too hard on our pocket.
Praying that the test results would be OK. Every cloud has a silver lining.
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Rhesus and Langur monkeys.
Romeo is one of the langur monkeys hired by the administration of the Delhi University to keep a host of rhesus monkeys away from its main campus.the rhesuses are bold enough to march around the campus and lounge in buildings, damage car windows and scare students. A bunch of them jumped into the Science library and tore up periodicals and books.
Romeo and his brothers have been hired for 6 months at a fees of $4914 to clear the campus of his offending cousins The simians have a guest room on the university campus where they live with their keepers. After a hearty breakfast of fruit and vegetables Romeo and co. are taken round the campus. They strut around moving on buildings and in the corridors and parking lots.The scent of the langurs is enough to keep their rhesus cousins away as they are scared of them.
DUNSTON CHECKS IN
Yesterday a rhesus entered our garden and made off with a bunch of corn growing just behind our kitchen.Now from where am I going to get a langur to guard my corn and bananas.We have covered the bananas with a cloth, hope he is not clever enough to remove it!
Once I was attacked by a rhesus on my morning walk.He attached himself on my leg, biting it through my pants and socks.I shook it off and came back again.When the other joggers came to rescue me, he got away. Might is right...law of the jungle.
I am happy to tell you that since yesterday the weather has improved. Its cloudy and rained a bit. The Lord has sent us respite from the dry heat.These are our pre-monsoon showers.
Tuesday, 12 June 2007
Friday, 8 June 2007
(L -R) Niece Mahima with Abner, younger sis Namrita and adopted sis Sonia (Aug. 2006)
Today I got a call from Sonia saying she is coming with Abner tomorrow.She will stay for at 2 weeks till after my Mom 's birthday on June 23rd. Had to get the house ready and do some shopping before that.Since the past 2 days we hardly got any electricity during the day. Couldn't watch an interesting episode of Indian Idol (it was the first time I was watching). Today was better but the broadband snaps because of fluctuating voltage.Anyway its all a part of life, so no use complaining.Helps to make you more patient.When we look at those worse off than us we count our blessings.
My e friend Kate asked for a recipe of Palak Paneer which is a very popular dish in India.It is made with cottage cheese and spinach.
Spinach.....2 large bunches (abt. a pound)
Cottage cheese (paneer)...half a pound (200gms)
Garlic 8-10 cloves (if you don 't like garlic you can reduce the amount)
Cooking oil.....3 tablespoons
Cumin seeds....half teaspoon
Salt as per taste
Lemon juice....one tablespoon
Fresh cream.....Four tablespoons
Method of Preparation
1 Remove stems and wash spinach under running water.Blanch it in salted boiling water for 2 minutes.Refresh in chilled water.Squeeze out excess water.Grind into a fine paste in a food processor.If you are using tinned spinach you can prepare it likewise.
2. Dice paneer into 1"x1"x 1/2" pieces. Chop garlic and keep aside.If you want you can deep fry the paneer pieces until they are golden brown like I do, to give colour and added taste.
3 Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. When they begin to change colour add chopped garlic and saute for half a minute. Add the spinach puree and stir.Check seasoning. Add water if required.
4 When the gravy comes to a boil, add the paneer pieces and mix well. Stir in lemon juice. Finally add fresh cream.
5 Serve hot with rice, or Indian nan bread, or any type of bread, even pita will do.
Paneer is available in Indian shops but if there are none around you can make it at home (or substitute it with a non melting cheese)
HOW TO MAKE PANEER
Plain unflavoured yogurt or curd...3 tablespoons
1 Heat milk when it begins to boil add lemon juice.
2 If you want to make the cheese softer,add 2 or 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt to the boiling milk along with the lemon juice.
3 Remove from fire when cheese separates from the whey.
4 Put the cheese in a muslin cloth and hang it up for an hour till all the whey is drained out. I save the whey to use in soups or any gravy dish.
5 Put the cheese on a chopping board and put some weight on it.
6 When it sets cut in small pieces as desired.
Paneer is low fat and we like it a lot. You can cook it with green peas, tomatoes, bell peppers, baby corn, mushroom etc. Or pop it in rice. I make pizza topping with it. In fact for Sunday dinner I am going to make paneer Chinese style with bell pepper, onions and tomatoes and seasoning it will go well with pea pulao (fried rice)
Thursday, 7 June 2007
Pictures of modern Hindu temples in India
roofing. We were hoping
Sunday, 3 June 2007
Got up early in the morning to bake chocolate chip cookies to serve after church this evening. I have to finish all my electricity related chores before 10 am when the power goes off till 1 pm or after. Got everything ready only to discover that my chocolate wouldn 't stay chipped, it melted. I don 't have the correct chocolate, I just bought the ordinary chocolate slab thinking it would work. So I made some iced cookies and some choc. cookies. The chips are missing...cry...cry.I was doing this because the chocolate chip cookies available in the shops are so expensive , I thought I 'd make my own to economize.But this is the way the cookie crumbles.
Saturday, 2 June 2007
The top picture is a view of room coolers fitted in windows (ones on the right side) This picture is a close up of a window cooler (American one) but we have similar ones.This is a portable room cooler which we have in our living room. We have a window cooler too.
It was 43*C close to 110*F today and the hot wind called loo was blowing making everything dusty. The evaporative window cooler also sucks in dust
This is my younger sister Namrita and her sons Rayguel and Myshell (named by their north eastern Dad...the north east people have ridiculous names BTW)
Ray (6 yrs) won a painting competition and got Rs 100 as a prize.He is a budding artist. Myshell likes to write stories and jokes and sports activities.
Posted by Amrita at Saturday, June 02, 2007