Happy birthday sister !

Featured

Tags

, , , , ,

Happy birthday Anu!

Today Ambika, my niece, sent a beautiful video of her mother which she specially put together for her mom. Daughters are special. The video brought out so many memories which tumbled out like Christmas ornaments stored in the attic when you are spring cleaning !

For the best memories are those which belong to the spring of your life just when you are about to springboard to adulthood and dive into the concerns of the world of livelihood and living the daily grind of life .

Those are the best years of our lives, burnished gold with wonderful memories just like the sepia tone of old photographs. How we long for them to come back but they never do because time when, once gone , can never come back except in the way of memories. And those memories are photographs that my niece very creatively put together so we could time travel all the way to the past and back to the future !

But, since it’s all about her mom and my sister it would be appropriate to say a few words that will enhance the wonderful memories of days past. Though, of course, we didn’t think that when we were clawing each other’s face and pulling each other’s hair for reasons I don’t even remember that the orderly ( my father was an officer in the Indian army !) had to call my mother to separate us. Or the time I was playing the savior when she was attacking my brother and he was wrestling her to the ground . For my sister was always spunky and it was that spunk that drove her to build an empire of software companies that spun millions of dollars, employed many and kept her gainfully busy for so many years .

But it was not only spunk that kept her going. Anyone can have spunk and many do. But everyone is not successful in what they do. What kept her going was her detachment from her own success . She never attached herself to the material benefits that her wealth brought her. They were just by the by. She only valued them for the comfort and joy they brought her family and friends . It was a gift to be shared by all and to be enjoyed by all.

So that’s Anu, my sister and Ambika and Aryan’s mom who should be rightly proud of her. And grateful. For surely, she will put them on the right track too.

Oh yes, did I mention, she has a great sense of humor, enjoys having fun and leads with a firm but kindly hand ! Happy birthday !

DIET AND DECENCY

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

It is said , you are what you eat . And if you take a gander at the human specimens all over the world you will get my drift . Too much meat , aggressive and anal 😂 , like the carnivores; vegetarians relaxed and happy; all those carbs floating in the body and increasing the serotonin quotient, like the cows they worship !

Now, a thought exploded in my mind while I was peacefully, happily , thoughtfully lounging around ( I’m an omnivore so I between teeter frenetic activity and relaxed thought processes 😂! ) Why are people from south of India so smart without being aggressive about it .

Surely it must be the diet. Of course , you are what you eat . Then it must be the fermented food they eat , fermented lentil crepes ( dosas ) with a lentil soup with vegetables including drumsticks ( said to increase your libido – I saw that in Bollywood movie ! ) , fermented rice cakes ( idli ) . And lots of home made yoghurt , again fermented! Add Coconut chutney to the mix and you have a wholesome and nutritious meal that probably serves to increase your smarts as generation after generation partake of this repast !!

That is Tamilnadu for you ! With people who are smart and decent ! So next time you are in a gathering of folks , check them out !

Clockwise from left , Dosa ( fermented lentil crepes , idli, ( fermented rice dumplings ), coconut chutney, curd rice and idli again

B for ball balloon baby

Featured

Tags

A ball wants to be a balloon ! But he changes his mind when a baby arrives and everything changes on the baby’s birthday .

https://youtu.be/BXspIwQs1AI

Once upon a time there was a ball who wanted to be a balloon. He wanted to fly high up in the sky so that he could look down on the world and watch everyone from above.

BALL

He did not like to be kicked around or thrown or lie in a corner when no one was playing with him. All he wanted was to be outside, flying, floating gently in the breeze, just like a balloon does.

BALLOON

One day there was a new guest in the house. It was a baby. A chubby, cooing, cute little baby. When the baby became a little bigger, it started to crawl around. It would bump it’s body against the ball and move it. Sometimes it would sit on the floor and somebody would hand it the ball. Then the baby would hug the ball and hold it tight against its heart. The ball could hear the little heart beating, thump thump, and it’s own heart also went thump thump. It loved the baby.

BABY

Then the baby grew up a little more and started to toddle. It would toddle slowly and when the ball got in its way it would fall on it and clutch it with its tiny hands. The ball just loved being held by the baby.

THE BALL LOVED THE BABY

Some more time went by and the baby was one. There was a big birthday party to celebrate the baby’s turning one year old. Lots and lots of balloons were hung in the living room, The people who came also brought many colorful balloons. The ball was left in the corner. He felt no one was paying attention to him. All the children were grabbing the colorful balloons. Even the baby wanted to touch the balloons. They were so colorful and pretty.

BIRTHDAY PARTY

Everyone sang, ‘Happy birthday to you,’ to the baby. Then they cut the cake. Lots and lots of photos were taken with the baby and the colorful balloons. Suddenly one naughty boy took the fork he was eating the cake with and pricked the balloon. The balloon burst with a bang so loudly that everyone jumped. The baby started crying.

THE BALLOON BURST

The mother took the baby in her arms and took it out to make it stop carrying. Soon the other children followed each carrying a balloon in their hand. They all wanted a balloon. Nobody even thought of the ball lying in the corner. But as one of the children was passing by his foot kicked the ball and it rolled out and lay in the lawn looking at the children holding the colorful balloons.

Suddenly there was a gust of wind and it tugged the string of the balloon. One little child who was holding the string of a red balloon let it go. The balloon floated up in the sky looking so pretty against the blue sky. So the other children let their balloon go. They all floated up and up and up till they vanished from sight. Now the children had nothing to play.

THE BALLOONS LOOKED SO PRETTY

Then one of the boys saw the ball and ran and picked it up. He threw the ball to his friend who threw it to his friend. All the children threw the ball to each other. Then they took the ball and gave it back to the mother because it was time for them to go. They had had a lot of fun because of the ball.

THE CHILDREN HAD A LOT OF FUN

The mother waved goodbye to the children. Then she took the ball and gave it to the baby who hugged it to its heart and cooed with happiness. The ball was happy too. He no longer wanted to be a balloon. Balloons only look pretty, make a loud noise when they burst and frighten babies and do not stay with you if you let go of their string. But a ball is very useful. You can play with it.

IT’S BETTER TO BE USEFUL

A for Apple, Acorn, Aardvark Story and complete movie ! Yaay

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

A for Apple

Once upon a time there was a tree which was laden with fruits, all hanging low that they were easily eaten by all the animals who sauntered and grazed in the orchard in which it was planted.

Many birds too sat in its branches and pecked at its fruits and enjoyed its delicious fruits.

And the bees and the butterflies enjoyed the juice of the broken fruit when they alighted on it.

But the more the birds and the bees and the butterflies hovered around the tree the more fruits it bore. It never ran out of fruits.

Every season it became more and more plentiful. Soon other trees like him also became laden with fruits and the whole orchard smelt heavenly.

One day two people came walking into the orchard. They were a man and a woman. They saw the fruit trees and were delighted.

They eat the fruits and decided they were going to pluck them all and sell them and go into the business of fruit selling . So that is what they did . They plucked each and every fruit from each and every tree, packed them in boxes and sent them to the city to be enjoyed by them.

APPLE PICKING

Now there were no fruits left for the animals, the birds, the butterflies and the bees. Since they had nothing to eat they decided to leave and find another place where they did not have to be hungry. So they left the orchard.

As soon as they left the apple trees stopped bearing fruits. They were so lonely without their friends who enjoyed their fruits but did not finish all of them at one go.

When the trees stopped bearing fruit the man and woman wondered what to do .

They went to a village to consult a horticulturist who is a person who knows all about planting trees. They told him what had happened and asked him what to do.

The horticulturalist told them, “Ah, you have been very greedy.”

Then he took out a seed from his shed and told them, “Go and plant this acorn and wait for it to grow. Only when it is fully grown will your problems be over. Till then do not go near the apples trees”

The man and woman did what the horticulturist had told them to do. They planted the acorn and waited for it to grow into a tree. Now the acorn takes a long time to grow and to be fully grown it takes many years. Many years passed while the tree from the acorn was growing slowly.

ACORN
OAK TREE

The apple trees, meanwhile had got some rest. Slowly they started flowering and then fruits began to appear. The animals, birds, bees, butterflies came back to enjoy the fruits and the flowers. When they came back the fruits also started multiplying. Soon the apple orchard was as before, plentiful.

The apple tree flowered again

But the acorn was taking so long to become an oak tree that the man and woman were too old to work, plucking fruits, packaging them and sending them to the city to be sold. They had become like aardvarks, slow, ungainly and sleepy.

AARDVARK

So they decided that they were no longer going to be in the fruit business but will manage with whatever they could get to eat and spend the rest of their days meditating about the nature of trees.

Soon they were going to find out that you cannot mess with nature or a horticulturist will come and fix the problem and,maybe, turn them into aardvarks.

THE END

THE MOVIE

CHINESE SWEET & SOUR VEGETABLES.. the easiest one ! And the tastiest too

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Ingredients : DICED VEGETABLES like capsicum ( green, yellow , red or whatever is in the fridge ), diced cucumbers, onions, carrots , ( optional – cauliflower , cabbage cut in large chunks ). You can add any vegetable you fancy !

TOFU or INDIAN COTTAGE CHEESE better known as PANEER large cubes or rectangles (refer to your old geometry books if you don’t know what I am talking about )By the way , my cottage cheese looks like globs because it’s home made ).                                                            Three four cloves of GARLIC  and two inch piece of GINGER chopped , maybe more if you want.

FOR THE SAUCE : KETCHUP and who does not like ketchup – half cup, maybe more , use your judgement! SOYA SAUCE – two tablespoons VINEGAR – two tablespoons. SUGAR SALT. CHILLI SAUCE OR CHILLI FLAKES ( depends on how much spice you want ) I , sometimes add, couple tablespoons of maggi hot and sweet ketchup and it’s fine for me ( available in Indian stores and made for Indians , too hot to handle for others ) . CORN STARCH – two tablespoons mixed in half cup of cold water

Ginger garlic in sesame oil

Sauté the vegetables

Make the sauce and add the vegetables

Make the sauce and add the corn starch

Add the tofu or paneer

METHOD : In a pan , heat some sesame oil ( Chinese food tastes better with sesame oil and it’s healthy too ) . Add some of the garlic ginger add vegetables and sauté the vegetables for a few minutes . Remove it in a plate . There is no need to sauté the tofu or paneer. Mix all the ingredients of the sauce in a bowl (except the corn starch) with two cups of water . Now this is important…… which most good cooks do , taste it ! And add whatever you feel is missing or will will make it more tasty . More salt , more ketchup , more sugar .. if you get my drift ! Now heat a few tablespoons of sesame oil , add some more ginger garlic . Add the sauce , cook for a minute or two , add the corn starch mix . Finally add the vegetables! If you like chicken . Marinate some boneless pieces in a mix of egg white, cornflour , salt, pepper and some ginger bits if you like ginger and then deep fry ! Prawns can be just sautéed lightly and added . Enjoy with steamed rice or just like that .

Enjoy with steamed rice !

 

 

CHINESE SALAD BUT MADE IN INDIA !

Tags

, , , , , ,

This salad will establish you as the home chef to beat all home chefs 😀

 

This is a fun, tasty salad that can be a meal. It’s not bland and boring. Of course the spice level should be tweaked to your palate and you can subtract any ingredient that you don’t like, it doesn’t make any difference to the salad because it’s doused in a hot sweet and spicy ketchup and , I guess, that’s what provides the taste!

So here goes !

Ingredients

Cucumbers – 2

Carrots – 2

Apples – 2

Oranges – 2

Boiled potatoes – 2 ( optional )

Green chillies – two- three ( definitely optional )

Onions – two tbsps ( optional)

Salt

Pepper

Chaat masala ( optional – only for Indian palate )

Lime juice to taste

Maggi hot & sweet ketchup or any hot and sweet and spicy ketchup or you can dilute regular ketchup and add sugar chilli flakes in it ( I have never tried this but let me know how it goes !)

All right so we have all the ingredients and now we have to peel and dice all of them .

Recipe

For produce –

Peel and dice cucumbers ( you can slice out the seeds of the cucumber ) , oranges, carrots, potatoes, apples ( you can add the lime juice to the apple now so it doesn’t turn black )

Add a few pieces of onion diced small ( optional )

green chillies chopped – optional ( by and large only Indians can take the heat that’s why they are always in the kitchen !)

Condiments

Add salt , black pepper, you have already added the lime juice , chaat masala ( optional – only for Indian palate ) . Mix

Toppings

Add peanuts , and a savory available in all Indian stores made of chick pea flour, lentils and peanuts ( both the spicy and non spicy variety .

Add the toppings just before serving .Mix.

Tip: If you are not sure of your cooking the best way is to keep tasting as you go along and add and subtract stuff as you go along ! But mind don’t finish it in your tasting journey or there will nothing left to serve . Happens !

This salad was introduced to me by Gunjan ! She is an amazing home chef ! 

Why did the turtle cross the road ?

Tags

, , , , , ,

The long journey to the other side

WHY DID THE TURTLE CROSS THE ROAD ?

A turtle once crossing a road stopped midway to think, why am I crossing the road, what am I going to find on the other side ? What was going on in my mind when I decided to cross the road ? It’s all right for chickens to cross the road because then countless surmises will populate the minds of people, why did the chicken cross the road ? But who cares if the turtle crosses the road ?

The problem is we are too slow. And no one has any time any more. They are in a rush. They will not wait for me to cross the road. They will rather a chicken crosses the road. She is quick. She will cross the road in a hurry and will reach the other side of the road to do whatever it is that chickens do when they cross the road. Usually it is to get to the other side. And anyway, what does it matter, whether she crosses the road or not . She is going to end up in Kentucky or in old McDonald’s farm.

But why am I crossing the road ? And if I don’t hurry up I could be in a soup. The turtle craned his neck and tried to hurry up but you know , even if a turtle hurries, he can only go so fast. Far away, in the distance he could see a huge lorry bearing down on him. It was still quite a distance away but you know the speed of lorries and we are all familiar with the turtle’s speed. He was not going to make it even if he moved his legs as fast as he could . The turtle thought, what if I huddle in my shell, maybe the lorry won’t notice me . The turtle withdrew into his shell and lay quiet as a, well, sleeping turtle.

The lorry hurtled towards the turtle and it’s wheel passed over the turtle’s shell. Lorries don’t think or notice things, especially little things lying on the road like turtles and stones. The 🐢 turtle’s shell broke into little bits but the turtle underneath survived. Unfortunately, he now looked very funny without his hard shell and felt he looked like an 👽 alien.

He crawled to the other side of the road and slowly went back to the pond in which he lived where all the other turtles looked at him in wonder and rejected him. He went to the edge of the pond and sank deep in the mud and decided he was never going to undertake new adventures like trying to cross the road. He had learnt his lesson but it was too late to do anything about his shell. So he got a little vase 🏺, turned it upside down and stuck it on his back. This way he became a new style icon for all the turtles who had boring brown shells . He also gave himself a new name. He was now MING !

Did the turtle make it to the other side in one piece ?

REMEMBERING MY FATHER, COL.B.C.SHUKLA

Tags

, , , ,

 

Our father
COLONEL B.C. SHUKLA

Every morning, when one awakes with the first ray of the sun dancing on one’s eyelids, the first thought that dances inside the head in tandem is what is going to be the figures of corona virus death toll today ? And, without fail, it has surged up like the furthest wave of the tsunami which is slowly approaching the shore and threatening to crash down on our heads with the force and velocity that only tsunamis are capable of doing. It’s just a matter of time.

Some say June will show the spike in the death toll as it does take time for the infection to spread, as states loosen the structures of lockdown in a desperate bid to revive a shattered economy . But what good is a revived economy if there are no folks to enjoy its benefits . This time the trauma of the death toll is likely to be much more devastating. People live with hope that it’s not going to be as bad as the doomsday predictors say, or maybe, God is going to work out some miracles. He does care for his creation, does he not ?

But God is silent on this issue. For him we are not his nearest and dearest. Had we been he would not have blighted us in this way. For surely, we must have gone astray in some manner. And, as a wise person once told me, “God will help you with whatever you want to do, but there will be consequences.”

And we are now facing the consequences of our own actions. Just like Hitler was created to weaken the oppressors when colonial exploitation had reached its zenith and weakened them to the extent that they quickly let go of all their colonies so this pandemic has been created so that those who are arrogant enough to think they can persecute and seek to torture and kill those who are harmless, righteous, innocent and simple should realize that they are not as powerful as they think they are. Right now, the richest, the most powerful, the most intelligent, the most holy are all at the mercy of the natural way of life. Nature is wagging a finger at them and telling them in no uncertain worlds, unspoken though they may be,

“Look into your conscience and see if you have done some injustice to a harmless creature and rectify it. “ If not, I am quite capable of getting rid of this world and creating a new one . All in a days’ work for me !”

And just FYI, the wise person who had said,

“ “God will help you with whatever you want to do, but there will be consequences,” was none other than my father, Col. B.C. Shukla. Remember him ?

The peacock who wanted to fly

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

The Complete Movie, finally, about “The Peacock who wanted to fly “


The Trailer

And here is the link to the COMPLETE MOVIE

https://youtu.be/Fv5yjfEbo9Y

Mayura wanted to make the world more beautiful but before he could ruin his beautiful feathers by using them as a dust rag Peekaboo arrived to knock some sense into his peacock brain.

He also gifted him a new pair of boots to hide his ugly legs ! What are friends for, after all , hmmm.

Here is the complete movie about THE TALE OF TWO PEACOCKS ! Or you can also call it PEACOCK TAILS . And, like all Jungle Land tails there is always a twist in the tale !

The quality of the movie may seem amateur- ish ( my editing suite has a mind of its own ! ) but the story comes through !

Of course, there are fourteen books in this series too ! #stories #tales #peacock tails #dance #funnystories #satire #comedy #modernfables

AND HERE’S THE STORY ON WHICH THIS MOVIE IS BASED

THE PALACE WAS GRAND AND MAYURA STROLLING IN THE GROUNDS WAS PREOCCUPIED WITH HIS THOUGHTS.

“WHAT IS THE POINT OF LIFE ?

“DO WE HAVE A PURPOSE ?” “LOOK AT MY FEATHERS, THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL, MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN THE RAINBOW. AND YET, DO THEY HAVE A PURPOSE” “SHOULDN’T ALL BEAUTY HAVE A PURPOSE?”

MAYURA KEPT WALKING, THINKING PROFOUND THOUGHTS. HE ALMOST HAD AN ACCIDENT. THE CAR SCREECHED TO A HALT. MAYURA QUICKLY RACED ACROSS, HIS HEART BEATING AND FLUTTERING JUST LIKE HIS BEAUTIFUL TAIL FEATHERS.

BUT THIS LITTLE BRUSH WITH DEATH GOT HIM THINKING EVEN MORE DEEPLY. “WE ALL LEAVE THIS WORLD ONE DAY. SO SHOULDN’T ONE LEAVE IT A BETTER PLACE, A CLEANER PLACE ?”

MAYURA WAS SO TAKEN UP WITH THIS THOUGHT HE IMMEDIATELY STARTED USING HIS FEATHERS AS A BROOM AND STARTED CLEANING UP THE PALACE LAWNS,DUSTING AWAY THE LEAVES AND PUTTING THEM AWAY IN A GARBAGE BAG. HE WAS SO BUSY SWEEPING AND CLEANING,HE DIDN’T NOTICE ANOTHER PEACOCK SITTING GRANDLY ON A BENCH LOOKING AT HIM SARDONICALLY. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING ?” HE SAID “CLEANING UP,” SAID MAYURA, NOT MISSING A BEAT AS HE DUSTED AND SWEPT THE DIRT WITH HIS BEAUTIFUL TAIL FEATHERS. “WELL, THAT’S JUST FINE AND DANDY BUT WHY USE YOUR TAIL FEATHERS FOR IT ? AND WHY NOT GET ONE OF YOUR PALACE MINIONS ? IT’S NOT YOUR JOB ! “

TO BE CONTINUED….. ( BUT YOU CAN SEE THE MOVIE )