20 Dec 2010

simple, light-hearted reading

I hardly read these days and what little reading I manage includes things like three bears and a girl, a chick called saturday and a rabbit that goes bump bump bump.  I want to change that and this is a start.

16 Nov 2010

Diwali, November 2010

It feels like I have lost a few days. That is the only way I can explain the lagging -behind feeling. I’m always strapped for time and rushing to finish chores that should have been dealt with two days back.  It's no fun!

Anyway, so in a catch up post, here are some pictures of our quiet Diwali celebration. We are not big into festivals, but this time we lit some lamps around the house and did a massive clean up. My Ma-in-law even made and strung a thoran on the front door. We enjoyed a lovely long walk in a nature reserve and had that full and happy feeling by the end of the day. And it was not just from the yummy Thai food we ate for dinner.








8 Nov 2010

new resolve

After letting another bag of fresh veggies rot in the bottom of my refrigerator, I've given myself this simple rule, "buy what you'll use and use what you buy." I've decided this is my mantra and will try to abide by it.

(Phew, I needed to write that down!)

2 Nov 2010

weekend was

rainy and cloudy
 long walk
cleaning and vacuuming
getting ready for a guest
cheesecake brownies
grocery shopping
lots of painting, drawing and jigsaw puzzles
afternoon naps
sitcoms on TV
simple but nutritious meals
Diwal decor in Little India
butterfly photography
picnic by the fish pond

happy and busy.

1 Nov 2010

So confused!

This has been plaguing me for a while. I have a few hobbies, so should I create a different blog for each hobby or just post everything in one blog under different categories?

 One blog and many topics, or many blogs with one topic?  That’s the question. I’m So confused!

6 Aug 2010

Old is Silver

I got an email from a dear friend this morning informing me about the Tabletop August Party at Colors Dekor. I thought it would be nice to send a picture from my new home. This is part of a silver collection that belonged to my husband's grandmother. The bits of yellow in there are gold, I'm told. It has been passed on from generations. It is now ours to cherish until it's time to pass it on to the next generation. I love this tradition!








Linking to Table Top August.

10 Jul 2010

not salad


I thought I’d make a pretty orange salad just like in the cookbook, but soon lost patience with the tedious slicing. Taking photos was much more fun and satisfying. The oranges? We ate them as dessert; they were perfect and simple.

24 Jun 2010

A parting gift so perfect for me. I love the little silver bowl my friends gave me when I left Chennai. It's the right size to float little treasures I bring back from my morning walk. I think of all of them when I see this and feel blessed to have found great friends like them.

15 Jun 2010

Unpacking

Overwhelmed by the number of boxes and things scattered around the house, I sat down for a coffee.  I pride myself on living a clutter free life, but still this seems like an awful lot. We still don't have a TV, bed, sofa, TV table, coffee table and a bunch of other furniture, yet the house seems full. Maybe it is something to do with how small the house is. Once I find a home for everything maybe it will feel roomy and open. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I finished organizing the tiny kitchen and was pleased to note a few empty shelves. I intend to keep it that way. I hate shelves crammed with things. I arranged everything within easy reach, keeping in mind my height. I don't want to be spending more time than absolutely necessary in the kitchen. I also arranged our crockery in our 50 or 60-year-old cupboard and that for some reason made me very happy. Our eclectic collection of ceramics cups and dishes apparently makes me smile.

The thought of going back to the boxes makes me weep. The baby seems a bit cranky today, maybe it is a sign that we both should take a nap and let the boxes remain for a while!

12 Jun 2010

June 12

It is late. I'm tired and almost dropping off to sleep. I had a full and happy day celebrating with the two most special people in my life. Did a lot of mundane stuff for the apartment. I didn't mind because I knew there would be ice cream for dinner.

11 Jun 2010

home


They delivered our stuff to our new apartment today. I cannot describe the joy on her face when she saw her toys and books. It felt good to be surrounded by familiar things. Yes, it's going to be fun turning this house into our home.

10 Jun 2010

Lazy mornings















It's a lazy morning. The gentle rain outside adds to the mood. Breakfast is eggs, raisins, an apple and bits of cheese. Milk for her, coffee for me. We are still in our pyjamas relaxing. I feel guilty about the laziness. It stays only for a moment because I remind myself to enjoy this while it lasts. In a month or two, I know, moments like this will be hard to come by and I'll be left longing for lazy mornings just like this.


Later::



The rain stops, the sun hides behind a blanket of clouds urging us to step outside and enjoy the glorious weather. We climb the steep steps behind the bus stop and find ourselves in a lush field glistening with raindrops. Then just like that, we find butterflies. Lots of them. I'm happy. She is too, content for a while running around the place, showing me flowers, plants, and bugs. She lets me know when it is time to go and so we walk back hand in hand.


9 Jun 2010

A little girl missing her dad

Her evening routine is to stand on a table below the big wide window and look for her baba returning home from work. She can see a little patch of road through the trees nine storeys below and gets excited when she sees someone walk by or when she spots a red bus. I enjoy the routine as much as she does.



Her dad's away on a short work related trip and while she didn't show any signs yesterday (first day of his being away) of missing him, the first thing she did this morning after she was up was to climb up on that bench and look for baba. I quickly distracted her with her breakfast and told her baba is in office. "Oh baba office" she repeated and nodded as if she understood.


I wanted to capture this moment for him and torture him a little, hence this post. I know he’s missing her too.

She's back on her perch looking for baba as I type this and simultaneously is on a pretend phone call with Kushi, her friend, in India.

Sigh, I have a long day ahead.

8 Jun 2010

Kapi

Trying to ward off a case of homesickness with a hot cup of filter coffee.

2 Jun 2010

Mangoes

Before I left Chennai, I wanted to enjoy more than my share of mangoes because I didn’t know when my next summer in India would be. I was disappointed at not finding good ones. Every shopkeeper just said the crop has not been very good this year. Is this true? Are they available now at least? What about other cities?
Fast forward to Singapore. They are all here! Boxes and boxes of alphonso, kesar, himapasand, sindhri (a new-to-me mango, not to be confused with sindhura) and beganapalli just to name a few. I can’t make up my mind to be happy or sad, so I’ll just stick to eating them. I will be thrilled though when mallika and langda makes an entrance here.

1 Jun 2010

Pizza Story


This is leftover pizza, which has been languishing in our fridge for the past two days. Why is this big deal? Because pizzas are never leftover in our house. We fight for the crumbs even.

We ordered them from Pizza Hut and it tasted all wrong to us. There was no weird taste or smell, but still the overall experience was different. We ordered two different kinds, one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian, and we didn't care for both. I'm sure their menu is tweaked to cater to the local tastes, just like how it is in India, but still it was a big disappointment.

Why did I not throw it out the same day? I don’t know. While I don’t like to throw food in the garbage, it somehow feels easier to throw stale food from the fridge into the trash than throwing something fresh. That way for some strange reason, I feel less guilty!

31 May 2010

Thieves' Market

One of the fun things we did this weekend was to explore the Thieves’ Market here. It is the oldest flea market in Singapore. The place was full of roadside stalls selling all kinds of junk. Apart from items like old clothes, shoes, belts, electronic things, some shops had some interesting stuff like cattle horns, horseshoes, traditional cake moulds, cool looking teakettles (always a favourite with me) and statues of Buddha in all sizes and materials. I was interested in buying a couple of things, but the guys would take one look at me and quote ridiculous prices. The perils of looking too much like a tourist, complete with a camera, I guess.

The shopkeepers were rude and meant business. They were interesting to look at too in terms of their clothing and facial expressions. So different from the fake put on polite faces of the salespeople in the malls. I always ask people before I take their picture, especially close-up shots of the face (one of my self-imposed photography rules) but here I was scared to even ask because I was certain I'd be scolded. So when one of them saw me with my camera and asked me take his picture I was more than willing.

Some pictures from there.

the sunny outdoor market

kettles, coins and other interesting stuff

A certain little person thought the place was a yawn!

Watches of all brands. Couldn't tell if real or fake

chargers

clothes


Don't miss the picture of Tamil film actor in the corner

Now you know where to find your stuffed Alligator when you lose him!

cameras!

Amruthanjan!

I had a fun time browsing the market, but had to get out before I threw up from the heat. It was hot! I had a massive headache from too much sun and I took a long time to recover from it. Next time I plan to visit, I will ensure I take an umbrella with me.

28 May 2010

Aboard an LRT

A great way to travel in Singapore is to use the public transport. It is convenient, efficient and fast. We've been using the MRT and the bus system (the cool red buses) to go places from the time we have arrived here. Yesterday we tried out the LRT (Light Rail Transit) just for fun. LRT was developed to provide better connectivity with the newer housing areas of Singapore. LRT cars are smaller, slower and less crowded than the MRT. These are some pictures I took yesterday from the window.







26 May 2010

Merly


Say hello to Merly. She's one of the mascots for the Youth Olympics Games to be held in August.
Some facts about Merly:
She is a vegetarian
Is deeply concerned about the environment and wants to become an environmental scientist
Likes to collect seashells so she can return them to the sea
Her paw is shaped like a heart
She likes to explore the seas surrounding Singapore, swim and sing.
She is a great listener and a lovely friend.

I think I'm in love with her!

Source:The Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee

Teh Halia

Tea made with black tea, condensed milk and ginger. It is poured from a height between two vessels to give that frothy top. For this reason it is sometimes called "pulled tea"

25 May 2010

to market, to market

I've always loved open vegetable markets. My earliest memory associated with them is walking with a red wire basket with my mom or dad to do the weekly shopping. The market we went to was large and crowded. I remember the open stalls, with makeshift roofs of gunnysacks or large pieces of tarp, displaying mounds of fresh seasonal vegetables. The people haggling for the best deal, the cows munching on discarded cauliflower heads or cabbage leaves, the lazy dog asleep under a cart occasionally flipping his tail to rid it of the pesky fly (Seriously, these are the images that come to mind when I think of the HAL market in Bangalore.) The smell of rotting produce, overripe fruit and the strong odor of spices was always a constant. It was pure sensory overload.

Years later when I set up a home of my own, I still went shopping in such markets. My favorite was the Madiwala market. The stuff in the supermarket shelves just did not match up to the mind-boggling variety available there. Not to mention the quality and price. I always enjoyed bringing home a new- to- me vegetable armed with the suggestion of the vendor on how to go about cooking it.

When we moved to Hyderabad, I was overjoyed to find Raithu Bazars. I took time from my busy work schedule to stop and get my week's supply of fruits and veggies. Similarly, the farmers' market in Charlotte. I made the trip even if it meant going out of my way. I delighted when I spied a stall set up outside a farm selling freshly picked peaches or strawberries. I always insisted we stop to sample their wares. Then the move to Chennai happened and I still made the weekly trip to the Tiruvanmiyur open market.

Well, why this sudden walk down market lane? I was at a supermarket here in Singapore yesterday and was looking to get something to turn it into a quick subjee for dinner, when the thought hit me. Is there a farmers' market in Singapore? Or am I stuck with the boredom and predictability of buying from the supermarket shelves?

22 May 2010

Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay is a row of restaurants and pubs along the Singapore River, a cool place to hang out. Some shots I took of the place when we went there yesterday. The restaurant we chose had a good view of the crowds and the river. The food? The less said the better!



18 May 2010

No!

From the "fine" city Singapore. This fine system I guess is one of the reasons the city is so clean, green safe and orderly.

17 May 2010

One Week In Singapore

I'm about a week old in Singapore and enjoying the experience of exploring a new city as a resident. The last time I was here I took some typical touristy pictures, so that does not count :-)

Yesterday was hot and humid, but that did not stop us from enjoying a small hike in Bukit Timah, the highest point in Singapore. I thoroughly enjoyed being sorrounded by tall thick trees and the well laid out tracks.