5 Ws

nendo-bottles(1) WHERE do glass bottles depict rain ? ——-  Japanese design studio, NENDO, has used art to capture the several ways of describing rain in the Japanese language.  The variations depend on the condition and time of the rain.  They have used clear glass bottles to showcase it, usually an item, along with raindrops.  A droplet at the end of a branch represents the ‘kismet’ type of rain, and the thick vertical strands of rain symbolise a ‘torrential downpour’, referred to as ‘niwaka-ame’.  The designers have exhibited the bottles at the Maison & Objet trade fair in Paris this year.  From ‘drizzle’ to ‘downpour’, everything has been depicted.  It’s a wonderful way to reflect on the fine nuances and sensibilities of Japanese as a language, reports Design Taxi.
(2) WHY was a documentary made on bunnies ? —— Two photographers have captured the imprints of WW-11 at Kunoshima.  The photographers, who had decided to explore Japan, decided to visit the island simply because it was famous for the abundance of bunnies.  They were astonished when they found out about it being the base of a WW-11 poison gas factory.  Gases produced here were used in chemical warfare as many as 2,000 times.  Pieces of the poisonous past are scattered throughout  the island and documented on a video along with the different kinds of ‘timid bunnies’ inhabiting the place.  The report on Bored Panda also provides information about a museum that was established in order to alert as many people as possible to the dreadful truths about poison gas.
2007-02-05_12-16-13_foss(3) WHAT did 19 ‘munis’ do on a mountain ? —– Mountain uni-cycling is an adventure sport that consists of treading rough terrain on a unicycle.  Mountain unicycling or ‘muni’ has become a much sought after outdoor activity among youngsters.  A group of 19 cyclists unicycled down the mountains of Moab, located in south eastern Utah.  Unicyclists regularly visit the Moab Munifest, a non-competitive event.  Along with bike paths and sidewalks in Moab City, there are actual trails, called the ‘PRACTICE LOOP’ and ‘POISON SPIDER PORTAL’.  You don’t go as fast on the unicycle as you would on a bicycle, but that’s probably because their enormous brass set is weighing them down more than anything else, reports Sploid.
canterbury_tales(4) WHEN did books come with hidden paintings ? —– According to Viral Nova, your old and battered copy of Canterbury Tales may actually have more hidden meanings in it than you thought.  In fact, old copies of the book may contain an illustration or painting hidden on the edge of the pages of the book.  This technique of painting a book’s fore-edge dates back to the 1650s, but thanks to a group called Colossal, we have a few photos of examples of this fleeting art form.  The website explains that by bending together the pages of these books, one can see a hidden story in painting form as well.
221_Ikea-Creates-A-Climbable-Vertical-Apartment_0-f(5) WHO created quirky vertical apartment ? —— IKEA, one of the sought after home furnishing companies in the world, is in a celebratory mood as they open their 30th store in France.  Apart from their traditional log sawing ceremony to mark its inauguration, IKEA did something creative to promote of its next store at Clermont-Ferrand —– a fun furniture festooned vertical wall apartment.  The home furnishing giant teamed with communications agency ‘ubi bene’ to install this first ever rock climbing wall which is a fully furnished apartment with furniture and accessories from IKEA, such as shelves, tables, beds, sofas etc.  Interestingly, the 9m tall wall has been named ‘a wall of inspiration’.  Its layout looks no different from a showroom setup, except that it is fixed in a vertical position.  And for the convenience of ‘climbing’ around, hand-grips and steps are installed on the artificial wall for the visitors.  In addition to a safety harness for climbing, a professional guide will also be at their service to help them explore and try out the furniture in a never-seen-before manner, reports Design Taxi.


Quotes on Patience :
(1) You, who believe, seek help through PATIENCE and prayer.  God stands alongside the patient……. Such will be granted their prayers by their Lord as well as mercy.  Those are guided ! — Quran 2. 153-57
(2) PATIENCE is needed, not just in this respect, but also in all other areas of life.  Only through faith and patience will we receive the opportunity to learn, to gain understanding and to attain peace in life. —- Sri Sakthi Amma.
(3) PATIENCE is a precious virtue; it costs nothing.  You have to train yourself to control your emotions. —– Maulana Wahiduddin Khan.
(4) One moment of PATIENCE may ward off great disaster.  One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life. —– Chinese Proverb.
(5) PATIENCE is a virtue, and virtue is a grace —– both put together makes a very pretty face. —– Anon

This and That

(1) Hatred and Love are both BLIND EMOTIONS.
(2) Bright people do not usually cast reflections. 
(3) He who smiles and retains a cold judgement —- when he most hates, is most likely to vanquish his opponent.
(4) You should treat a cigar like a mistress, put it away before you are sick of it. —- Disraeli.
(5) Love is a gift, not a possession —– You give it, you don’t take.
Love-Marriage-AstrologyLove in marriage is love indeed, because it means a giving
A sacrifice of freedom, and a selfless way of living
Sharing whatsoever comes, each other’s burdens bearing
Compassionate in sickness, with a patient, tender caring
In health, the gay adventure of enjoying things together
Growing closer with the years, come bright or stormy weather
Honouring the Sacrament of Marriage ——- failing never
To fulfil the promise, made the day you said ; Forever
The day you took the step and said the word that bound you two
And vowed to be forever faithful and forever true. –Patience Strong.
(7) A broken reputation can always be repaired, but people will always keep their eyes where the crack was — VOA, 1979
(8) A hypocrite is one who pats your back —– in front of your face, and slaps you in the face —- behind your back.

Monday’s child —- loyal and affectionate;
Tuesday’s child —- optimistic and independent;
Wednesday’s child —- vivacious and entertaining;
Thursday’s child —- frank and artistic;
Friday’s child —- loves all that is beautiful;
Saturday’s child —- alert and industrious;
Sunday’s child —- warm, generous and luxury-loving

(10) Papa loved Mama
Mama loved men
Mama’s in the graveyard
Papa’s in the pen.
(11) I wish I could drink like a lady
2 or 3, at the most
But 2, I’m under the table
And 3, I’m under the host.
(12) Today, in restaurants, the food is poison, the waiters fresh.
Funny-Quotes-humor…-Best-Most-Funniest-Quotes-collection(13) Slogan in drive-in Church : Come as you are, pray in your car.
(14) Of course she attracts men.  It runs in the family —- her father is a STEEL MAGNATE.
(15) Have you heard about the cannibal who came home late for dinner ?  His wife gave him a COLD SHOULDER,
(16) “Life is a grind”, said the EMERY  WHEEL  “It’s a perfect bore”, said the DRILL  “It means nothing but hard knocks for me,” said the NAIL, to which the SAW added, “You don’t have to go through as much as I have.”  “Let’s strike,” the HAMMER.  “Cut it out,” warned the CHISEL.  “Here comes the Boss,” and AWL were silent.

Cook like a pro

Masterchef Australia 2013 contestant —- Rishi Desai, dishes out his expert tips for amateur chefs to Kasmin Fernandes :
SEASON AT THE START :  Correct seasoning is as much about adding salt at the start (so you can adjust the proportions often) as it is about how mush you season dishes.  If you happen to over-season, try to bulk up the dish with a neutral ingredient (like barley), balance the salt with a of dash of vinegar, or neutralise it by adding some butter.
MANAGE MULTIPLE CUISINES :  Whether you plan to work in a professional kitchen or appear on a reality cookery show on TV, both involve high pressure environments.  To prepare, time yourself wile cooking at home.  Manage multiple dishes and processes single-handedly, and get feedback for the final dishes from friends who’ll not mince words.
DON’T BUY GROUND SPICES :  Always buy spices WHOLE instead of READILY GROUND.  Whole spices stay longer (over a year), and lend more vibrancy in flavour.  It is important to grind whole spices with a pestle and mortar instead of a mixer-grinder.
COOK MOIST OR DRY :  Dry heat cooking includes techniques such as roasting, broiling or sautéing, while moist heat cooking refers to braising, steaming and poaching.  Master both styles, so you can cook practically anything.
KNOW YOUR KNIFE SKILLS :  If you are skilled with knife-work, it indicates that you don’t take short cuts and take pride in cooking.  There are a variety of knife-cuts you can learn, like julienne, dice and brunoise.
PLAY WITH TEXTURE :  Find ways to bring textures to dishes.  For instance, add chopped celery or spring onions to mashed potatoes for a bit of crunch and aroma.  Pasta can be topped with peppered bread crumbs before baking : the crisp crumbs will contrast with the soft cheese and firm pasta.
BE A PLATING PUNDIT :  To enjoy food, one must activate all the 5 senses, and sight is one of them.  This makes visual presentation as important as taste.  While plating a dish, maintain a balance.  However, don’t make it so stark that it looks like no effort has gone into it.  Even a few sprigs of herbs and some sauce, added artistically, can have a beautiful effect.

The Anahata chakra

THE ANAHATA CHAKRA or the HEART CHAKRA, is the 4th out of the 7 main chakras, that help you understand the mind-body relationship.—Your HEART CHAKRA is responsible for your relationship with others.  This chakra is located in the chest area, and is, usually, represented by the colour green, the element air and a circular flower with 12 green petals.  It implies that deep beneath our personal stories of suffering and pain, LIES BOUNDLESS LOVE & COMPASSION.
When you are feeling friendly, loving and amicable towards people, your heart chakra is open and well-balanced; when you are experiencing grief, loneliness or feeling anti-social, your heart chakra is blocked.
Says Veerji Sharma, chakrakriya practitioner, “When your heart chakra is blocked, some aspects of your life like health, mind or emotions won’t function well.  You may feel anxious, dull, listless, sad for no reason, or chaotic and caught up in a whirl of unpleasant events.”
Here are a few tips to balance your ANAHATA :——
(1) Things to do at home : Put up pictures of loved ones.  Incorporate vegetables and leafy greens like kale, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, squash, green and herbal teas, and spices like sage, cilantro, basil, thyme and parsley in your daily diet to nourish your heart chakra.  Make use of essential oils, like Rose oil which is a wonderful heart healer, commonly used to combat depression .  Since the heart chakra is associated with the colour green, lighting green candles will help your heart feel at ease.  Chant the brij mantra ‘OUM’ daily.  The heart chakra is associated with this vibrational sound.
(2) Outside the house :  Perform an anonymous ‘random act of kindness’ every day, for a week, and see how it makes you feel.  Volunteer at a pet or homeless shelter.  Spend time in natural settings.
(3) With family and friends :  Spend time with young children and animal companions.  Re-connect with an old friend.  Let them know what they mean to you.  If you have children, hug them and tell them you love them.

God has a reason in every “No”

Some day we shall understand that God has a reason in every “NO”, which He speaks through the slow movement of life.  “Somehow God makes up to us”.  How often, when people are worrying and perplexing themselves about their prayers not being answered, is God answering them in a far richer way ! Glimpses of this we see occasionally, but the full revelation of it remains for the future.
If God says ‘YES’ to our prayer, dear heart
And the sunlight is golden, the sky is blue
While the smooth road beckons to me and you
And the song-birds warble as on we go
Pausing to gather the buds at our feet
Stopping to drink of the streamlets we meet
Happy, more happy, our journey will grow
If God says ‘YES’ to our prayer, dear heart.
 If God says ‘NO’ to our prayer, dear heart,
And the clouds hang heavy and dull and grey
If the rough rocks hinder and block the way
While the sharp winds pierce us and sting with cold
Ah, dear, there is home at the journey’s end
And these are the trials the Father doth send
To draw us as sheep to His Heavenly fold
If God says ‘NO’ to our prayer, dear heart.
When did God take anything from a man, without giving him manifold more in return ?  Is today the limit of God’s working time?  Yet, even confining the judgment within the hour of this life, it is true that God never touches the heart with a trial without intending to bring upon it some grander gift, some tenderer blessing.  He has attained to an eminent degree of grace, who knows how to wait.

10 words you are probably pronouncing wrong

Blast from the past…


7348-pronunciation.png(1) QUESADILLA—-(Kay- sa- dee- ah ).  Straight from Mexico, a QUESADILLA is a flour or corn tortilla filled with all things yummy.  Stuffed with cheese, veggies or other ingredients, it is folded and served in a half-moon shape.

(2) HORS d’OEUVRES—-( Or- derv )  This is a fancy name for appetizers.  Hors d’oeuvres are small dishes before the main course, typically meant to be eaten by hand.

(3)  BRUSCHETTA—-(Broo- sket- tah, not broo- shedda ).  All the way from Italy, Bruschetta is grilled bread, rubbed with garlic and sprinkled with olive oil.  Toppings can be varied ——–from tomatoes to cured meat.

(4)MASCARPONE-(Mah- scar- poh- nay)——Milky-white in colour, and easy to spread, Mascarpone is an Italian cheese made from cream.  it is the ever so popular ingredient in a Tiramisu.

(5) GNOCCHI—(Nyawk- kee)—- These are small dumplings made from flour, potatoes, semolina or a combination of these ingredients, boiled and served…

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This and That

(1) You Are Unique :  Never forget that you are one of a kind.  Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you, in all your uniqueness, to be on this earth, YOU WOULD’NT BE HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE ——— R. Buckminster Fuller.
(2) The stars are just a step away
And the goals you would achieve
Are at your very fingertips
If you will just believe. 

(3) Trust Him when darkest thoughts assail thee
Trust Him when thy faith is small
Trust Him, when to simply trust Him
Is the hardest thing of all.

(4) History is an account —– mostly false, of events —- mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers —– mostly knaves and soldiers —- mostly fools. —- Ambrose Bierce.
Take a heavy dose of EGO
And a good supply of DIN
SELF-CONCEIT, in plenty
Mix some SWANK & SWAGGER in
Lots of GREED, less of HATE, some ENVY
Pour in a lot of GALL
Add a tiny drop of PATIENCE
If it can be found at all
A grain or two is enough
Some ADMIRATION —- self, of course
A large amount of BLUFF
An ounce of COURAGE, ten of SHAME
Be as careful as you can
For now that you have it finished
You’ve got your AVERAGE MAN.
(6) Did you know that the three-lettered word SET has 58 meanings as a NOUN, 126 meanings as a VERB, 10 meanings as a PARTICIPLE-ADJECTIVE ———- that’s a Grand Total of 194 meanings !!!!! A very small big word, isn’t it ????
(7) To make a soufflé, you have to break eggs, to make socialism, you have to break heads.
(8) You can make more friends in 2 months, by becoming interested in other people, than you can in two years, by trying to get other people interested in you. 
699453-bigthumbnail(9) Flattery is counterfeit and like counterfeit money, it will eventually get you into trouble if you try to pass it.
(10) Living in the past, had one thing in its favour, IT WAS CHEAPER.
(11) People who tell you not to let little things bother you, have never tried sleeping with a mosquito in their room.
(12) If meekness is a weakness, TRY BEING MEEK FOR A WEEK.
(13) I have seen flowers in stony places
And kindness done by men with ugly faces
And the Gold Cup won by the worst horse at the races
So I trust too. ——- Masefield.
(14) Jealousy is the most sterile of all emotions.
(15) Love is worth many sacrifices, especially the sacrifice of pride.

Navratri cuisine

NAVRATRI is a time to abstain, yet bountiful in its cuisine.  Celebrating Goddess Durga in her nine forms, the food during this auspicious time is special.
Ingredients : 100gm sabudana; 500ml milk; 40gm cashew nuts; 30gm almond/pista; 100gm sugar.
METHOD : — Soak sabudana in water for an hour.  Boil the milk, and reduce for about 15mins.  Add sugar to the milk.  Drain sabudana, then add it to the milk.  Cook it till it starts to thicken.  Add nuts and serve hot.
Rajgira thepla
Ingredients : Rajgira flour- 2cups; 2 medium-sized boiled potatoes; 1-11/2 tsp chilli powder; 1tsp jeera powder; rock salt to taste; ghee or oil for frying; water for kneading.
METHOD : — In a bowl mash potatoes and mix with rajgira flour. Add rock salt, chilli powder, jeera powder to the flour and make a firm dough.  Add water, if needed.  Then make lemon-sized balls and roll out each ball into a chappati.  Use a lot of rajgira flour for dusting, or the chapatti will stick to the rolling pin.  Heat a non-stick pan, cook the chappati on both the sides.  Then add ghee/oil.  Serve hot.
Ingredients :  2ltrs milk; 1kg coconut powder; 300gm sugar; 50gm almond powder; 2gm cardamom powder.
METHOD : —— Boil milk and allow it to reduce for close to 20mins.  Add coconut powder and keep stirring, till it starts to thicken.  Add cardamom powder and almond powder.  Take it off the fire and allow it to cool.  Start rolling small balls of the coconut mixture and use additional coconut powder to coat them.  Garnish with pista nuts and serve.
——— Chef Rajesh, Spice Terrace, JW Marriott, Bangalore.

Gut Instinct- the Manipura chakra

Blast from the past…



V.N.Mittal sent this article to the TOI on Thursday the 21st of November, 2013.

Many of our emotions are known to originate in the belly.  I remember a phrase that was used during the French Revolution—“Hungry stomachs breed revolution” when the people had no bread and Marie Antoinette, very haughtily said, “If they have no bread, LET THEM EAT CAKES”.  We very well know how she ended up on the guillotine.

So, emotions seem to come from the gut.  We often hear people say,”He/she has guts”.  There are more neurons in the gut than anywhere else, except the brain says Greenblatt, an American psychiatrist.  The gut’s brain known as enteric nervous system is located in sheaths of tissue lining the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon.  Research has shown that there is a connection between the brain and the gut , and a prolonged dysfunction in the gut can affect your immune…

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