Monday, May 31, 2010

Travelling by Train

I am travelling once again, but hopefully on a very short trip. It was quite hectic for me for the past one week preparing for this trip and organising every thing in my home so that it runs smoothly during my absence.

I enjoy travelling by trains. Its some how romantic. As a child I always was fascinated by trains and still am. India has one of the largest network of routes connected by trains. There are coaches with AC and those without AC. It is so difficult to travel in the hot summer months without the AC. But many people do so who cannot afford it, or who could not get the tickets booked in time or those who have to travel on any emergencies.

There are the general or unreserved coaches, where the people just buy the tickets an hour or two before the train leaves and travel. Such unreserved coaches are packed tightly, many squeezing in on the seats, many standing, or squatting on the floor of the train or sitting near the doorway, mothers with little children or the senior citizens and travelling for long distances. One has to fight and struggle to find place for standing on at least one feet. Yes it sounds so horrifying. Its difficult even to imagine such a travel, let alone endure one that too in hot summer. But sadly, most who cannot afford travel that way.

In summer months,  most students across India have two months holidays. So families go out for sightseeing or visiting near and dear ones. This is an auspicious time for marriages and other ceremonies. So families travel foe these ceremonies. This is also the right time for visiting many temples and shrines in northern India especially situated in Himalayas which reels under cold waves and snow falls in winter months and severe rains and landslides in rainy season. So many embark on these pilgrimages. One can see huge groups of senior citizens on pilgrimages conducted by Tours N Travels.

So it is interesting to meet people from various backgrounds and traveling for various reasons. Each coach is a mini India carrying people from different cultures and regions, talking different languages. I love to interact with them and every time I do so, I am further educated. I learn a lot about their life styles, their way of living, their culture and so on. Sometimes we become friends and keep in touch. Its exciting and fascinating. It is also fun to watch the villages and towns, people going about their daily lives, the changing landscapes and the scenic beauty. So I don't miss an opportunity to travel in trains.

I want to share with you some of those moments when ever I can....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Feel so tired...

I feel so tired these days, with the season so hot. Moreover the activity of making pickles and all other such items involves lot of time and hard work. Once this hot summer days are gone and monsoon sets in, we cannot do all these preserving of fruits and vegetables.

So, by the end of the day I feel tired and don't feel like doing any thing at all. I have so many projects in various stages. Daily when I get up in the morning I think, today I will do this and I will do that. But by the end of the day I do so many things but not the ones I thought of doing.

I am lagging behind in TAST 2010 too...Will give it a try till this week end as I have to leave yet on another trip during the week end...

I have bought a new sewing machine. But am yet to get my hands on it properly. I can stitch 50 or something stitches on it. Need lots of practise on it.

And I have a quite some interesting projects lined up. I think I will finish at least two or three and post them for you... perhaps even do tutorials...

So keep an eye on my blog dears... You may be surprised...Till then...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rangoli 27

Here are two more designs using 13 to 7 dots...

So how do you like them? I think they are easy. Please let me know......

Thursday, May 20, 2010


It has been a while I posted some Rangoli designs. The problem is I have so many from my Mom and Grans' notes, but they are all in tatters and I have to understand them and draw afresh. While doing so I also get flashes of creativity to create my own designs. All this takes time. Then I have to photograph them. Cutting and editing them again  is rather time taking. Any ways.... Here are some.

These two designs have been drawn using 13 to 7 dots. You can see the black dots in the designs.

Hope you like them. I have still loads n loads to share. But I want to group them now like say Lotuses, conch shells, birds, swans, fishes, elephants, kites etc. So its taking time...Bear with me please....

This, That and Typhoon LAILA

I sometimes feel I am jinxed..? :) :)... First I don't have much time to blog. Then when I create some time, I have some emergencies or the other to attend to at my home front or my system crashes. Hmmmm..This time when I have taken a break to take a breather, I thought I could post on various techniques of Indian embroideries. I have done only two or three posts on them and I have much more to share with you all but could not as I have been away touring extensively and had no time at all till now.

Something happened to my internet connection and I had to run from pillar to post to get the problem rectified. This took me almost a week and I could not keep any thing for over a week. Boy I was so frustrated. I was fearing the fixing up would take much longer. Thank God.

Any way I used the time for making Mango pickles, as the season was fast ending and we had the warning for a storm. The deadly LAILA was supposed to be  much more devastating Typhoon in the past 30 years or so. But Thank God! it weakened considerably and then crossed the shore of our State of Andhra. Even then the devastation it might cause was to be feared.

We spent a sleepless night yesterday and entire day today worrying about our friends and relatives living in its path. It is raining incessantly with strong winds since past 24 hours in the coastal areas. Many places are waterlogged. Uprooting of trees, power and communication breakdowns and stopping of transport systems are being reported in the news. 

We do not know the extent of damage it is causing. But due to the much early warnings, the timely action by our Government and other agencies, the loss might be minimum. At least till now there is not much human loss. There will be loss of property and other things which cannot be avoided. Losses of  the fruit, vegetable and fish farms and other crops are feared. But then who can with stand the fury of the Nature.

We all are pooling all our available resources, to help them as the people out there might certainly need it. The first concern would be food water and shelter. Then the other necessities such as loss of their homes and daily lively hood will have to be taken care of. But it is still raining. So we are waiting to hear from them.....We are all praying for the safety of all our brothers and sisters there....

As I am typing this I heard my brother shouting out to me that LAILA is again entering the Sea..OH NOOOOO! If it happens then it will again gain strength and will hit back. But when and where is a million dollar question.Please pray for the safety of all those people there. They need it now.....

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Blooming Cassia

Recently on my travels I happened to stay in a place which was full of these beautiful Cassia trees. They bloom in the hot summers and are so beautiful to look at. I love them. Cassia Fistula-thats is Botanical name, Indian Laburnum, known as Krtamala in Sanskrut, Amaltas in Hindi and Rela in Telugu.

The fruit, seed, pulp, and  even the roots of Cassia, have medicinal properties. In oriental medicine it is prescribed as a mild purgative, reliever of thoracic obstructions, etc. These are also used for asthma, leprosy, ring worm, fever, heart problems, etc. The fruit pulp is a safe purgative for pregnant women and young children. The pulp is supposed to enhance the beauty of the skin too.

Here are the pictures.  The whole tree is filled with yellow flowers and that too in hot summers.
The whole tree is covered with blooms, we don't even find the leaves amongst them.

 A closer view at the flowers.
These are the fruits. I want to make Bonsai of these plants. I don't know how many years will it take them to bloom in pots. But let me try.

Hope you liked them......

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Summer wear for Kids

Well I am back, as usual tired and weary. I need to take some time off for myself. Before starting on my tour, I just thought very firmly that I would try to post at least once in two days. I even carried some of my notes and pictures. But alas, after working for nine hours on computers, my eyes were so tired and my back ached so badly-in fact still aching, I just had to lie down quietly before and after my dinner. I am sorry I could not share any thing with you for the past two weeks.

I had long list of sites to visit and also a very tall shopping list. It was hot there where I went. The place where I was staying and working were very far off from the city. With the hot summers, long distance and also due to the safety issues, I could not go out much shopping or visiting sites I wanted to do so badly. Anyway I did some window shopping and picked up few things. But boy the day I went for shopping I was just drinking lime sodas every few minutes and still feeling thirsty. It was a good lesson I learned that Indian Summers, are not to be dared unless we prepare ourselves properly first. Going out between 11 to 4 in the day must be avoided at all costs. But then, no pain, no gain, right?

I want to share the summer wear for the little ones. Since I shop for my niece, I have only the latest in  girls clothing  to share with you. I will try to post few at a time, as I still need to photograph many of them.
Here is the skirt. It is short, and made of fine cotton. You can see the combination of printed cloth and the plain white. There were many colours and prints, but in combination with plain white. The top has elastic, but also has a string. The skirt is very frilly and has a fine muslin underskirt attached to it. There were many sizes and for children and teens too.
This skirt is also cotton but a bit coarse. The design you see is folk. These were available in traditional colours of blue, red, black and yellow apart from the one above. There were also a variety of prints, though limited. This has coin work at the bottom with few small Ghungroos or the metallic bells in different colours of red blue green and yellow, which make lovely sound when the wearer walks. This has elastic at the top.

This is the Ghungroo.
See the folk designs, a peacock but its beak is like a parrot?

Both these skirts are easy to sew. So why don't you just have a try. I want to but boy I don't have any time at all with the pickling season going to end soon, I need to hurry and pickle the Mango. If not we will have the Monsoons raining the showers on us.....