Saturday, 7 November 2015

Shop Green, Consume Less and Save More!!!

I wrote of five day Green Concepts for celebrating Diwali....good on you here I am all set-up in a much better environment to write on having a Greener Diwali!!!

Needless to say, with the very word of Diwali I find the spirits go high in my Hindu friends...there seems to be an adrenaline rush with time nearing Diwali which one can see in the colours, hustle bustle of the crowd in shopping malls, savouries being spicy and sweet tingling tongue to passerby on seeing the busy road-side shops and winter flowers of all kinds drenching the sweaty smell of the crowd.

Here, I am blessed this year to write a few tips on Green Shopping following the Green Concepts that I wrote last year:

For more, click this Green Shopping link from EPA.

A few things to mind while you do your seasonal shopping to make it "Go Green":

1. Carry your bags - jute shopping bags that you can avoid as much plastic bags as you can in all the shops you shop, save on your time, money, luggage and travel.

2. Plan your shopping to the maximum you can - the least anyone can do is to decide to shop which onectge first to begin and finish your day out with where you dine last, your shopping route - not only saves your day and time, but traffic for others.

3. Try to buy stuff that you will need only and are more "green" - like made from natural products, biodegradable and energy efficient.

Happy Go Green Shopping!!!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Wood Apple This Vinayagar Chathurthi !!!!!

Well, this seasons time for elephants in the wild and in fences to have their "slurps" and "burps!" after eating the yummy nutritious wood apples.... Piles of wood apples Will be out in the market today for tomorrow and maybe a few more days.

Wood apple are the favourite food of elephants and thus finds a sacred place as offering to Lord Ganesha or Vinayagar. Falling in line with this, I remind you once again of the logo competition conducted globally for a local cause: please check on the post:

"My W(orld) E(nvironment) D(ay)ding Plan for 2015!!! LOGO COMPETITION!!!"

Wood apple is also known as Bel Fruits, Elephant Apples, Monkey Fruits and is botanically known as:  Limonia acidissima. The characteristics of this fruit are:

* Tough brown shells that resembles wood,
* Tasty, pulpy brown pulp with white seeds.

How to eat?

1. Scoop out and eat raw like any other fruit;

2. Scoop out, freeze and eat like ice cream;

3. Wood apple jams;

4. Wood apple milkshakes;

5. Wood apple chutney, and

6. Wood apple leaves are used to make chutney.

Nutritional Value:

They are rich source of vitamins (in specific Vitamin C), tannins, calcium, phosphorous, finer, protein and iron.

As I plan to relish a few wood apple this year, I request you to join my quest to raise funds for these wood apple lovers - temple elephants!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

A Turkish Delight For Ramadan!!! BAKLAVA!!!

Here is a Turkey Delight that will water your mouth this Ramadan!!! Wonder where I can taste one and share one with memories that are everlasting!!! Well, the sweet is sweet!!! And, that is BAKLAVA!!!

A sweet delight from the Turkey Muslims prepared specially during the Ramadan season using phyllo pastry sheets, filled with sweetened chopped nuts in sugar syrup and baked to ready to eat!!! And to add flavour are lemon juice or spices and honey with or without rosewater…..Baklava is then baked and cut into different shapes to be served as a dessert.

Melts in the mouth when served hot and is all different when served cold with a scoop of ice cream!!! But for Ramadan, is a hot sweet that is more preferred!!!

Well as I read through various resources, I understand the spread of this sweet savoury to Middle East, Arab, Greek and Albania.

There are different varieties of Baklava:
  • Cinnamon and Nuts Baklava
  • Quick Crescent Baklava
  • Easy Baklava
  • Chocolate Baklava
  • Santorini Sublime Baklava
  • Sezak’s Baklava
  • Pistachio Baklava
  • Fig and Cardamom Baklava in Lemon Syrup

A Very simple way to cook Baklava!!!

Prepare the phyllo sheets by spreading them into the baking tray and spreading enough butter. Layer the fillings and top with some more phyllo sheets and alternate with layers or prepare a single layered Baklava!!! Cut them, bake and when hot top with sugar syrup and with desired flavour before serving…after 12 hours…

To add some more info for how Baklava becomes a tradition of Ramadan in Turkey that my colleague shared: A dish that they used to share with poorer Muslims than them in their country when they break the fast by the end of the day with other food prepared to end the fast by dusk….Furthermore she added that she is not thinking that I am poorer than her but is wanting to share her culture of Ramadan to me….


Thursday, 4 June 2015

My W(orld) E(nvironment) D(ay)ding Plan for 2015!!! LOGO COMPETITION!!!

This year World Environment Day (WED) on June 5th, 2015 is going to be a memorable one if you will all co-operate!

I decided that I can move a step ahead by introducing a logo for my community and thought my valuable members and others who are interested can give a helping hand!!!

My WEDding Plan 2015!!!

Anyone interested can join this logo competition!!! Age is not a bar!!!
Create a logo and send a PDF and .JPEG file to and WIN PRIZES!!!
1. Participants need to register their entry with a small fee of Rs. 25/- per entry submitted.
2. Logo file should not be more than  100 KB.
3. Entries should be submitted as PDF and .JPEG files to my email id:
4. Only registered entries will be considered for the prizes.
5. All entries submitted are sole property of this community and cannot be reproduced or submitted elsewhere.
6. Last Date for submitting entry is before 31st December, 2015 before 10:00 PM.
7. Winners will be announced within 7 working days.


Monday, 1 June 2015



HEAT WAVE strikes this year again!!! Heat wave is a prolonged period of extreme heat and humidity that can slow down the metabolism of the body to maintain normal body temperature. Increase in temperature will result in overheating of the body that results in heat-related illnesses. Some of the heat-related illnesses are heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting) and heat rash. Of all these, heat stroke is the worst that could collapse people instantly.
Symptoms and Signs of heat related illnesses: Increased body  temperature but not fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, lethargy, headache, confusion, fainting, dizziness, muscle cramps, seizures and coma.
Heat Rash: Itchy and prickly skin, a common heat allergic symptom that appears with red bumps on the skin.
Heat Syncope or Fainting: Dizziness and fainting as a result of dehydration, heat and hypotension.
Heat Cramps: Involuntary spasms of the muscles, in general legs with significant sweating.
Heat Exhaustion: Tiredness and profuse sweating due to heat exemplifies as headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle cramps.
Heat Stroke: This is a medical emergency that can collapse individuals and will require immediate attention. Main signs of heat stroke are dizziness, muscle cramps and aches, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, headache or head weight, confusion that finally results in coma when the individual collapses.
Never mind, there are many things that one can do to beat the heat!!! BEAT IT – PREVENT OR TREAT IT!
Heat-related illnesses are more common in children up to four years, aged people above 65 years, overweight people, overexertion due to work and/or exercise, mental illness and in chronically ill patients and under certain medications.
a. Heat Stroke: Immediately shift the patient to cool indoors or shady outdoors to the nearest point and remove restrictive clothing. Blow cool air and shower them with cool water. Wrap in cool sheet and place ice packs in armpits, neck and groin. Keep checking the body temperature until near normal. If the individual is awake provide them with plenty to drink and try mouth feeding. Call doc for medical emergency.
b. Heat Exhaustion: Drink plenty of water, eat few salty snacks, rest in shade, have a cool shower and loosen restrictive clothing.
c. Heat Cramps: Rest in a shady place and drink plenty of fluids like water, fruit juices and isotonic solutions, Good to have something salted. Stretch the muscles and seek medical attention if cramps prolongs.
d. Heat Syncope: Rest in a cool and shady place, stretch and relax and drink plenty of fluids. Will need to seek medical attention if required on repeated fainting episodes.
e. Heat Rash: Wearing loose and cotton clothing, keeping cool to reduce sweating and using powder to dust to prevent sweating and dirt accumulation help to prevent heat rash formation.

Golden Rules During Heat Waves:

1. Try to stay indoors and avoid peak sunlight hours from 10 AM. to 3 PM.

2. Drink plenty of fluids in various forms but cool and reduce caffeine and alcohol; reduce solid food as well.

3. Replenish the minerals in your body using isotonic juices or increasing high-salt food intake.

4. Prefer cotton, white or pale coloured and loose clothing. Use a hat and apply plenty of sunscreen with SPF – 15 or 30 as per the requirement for UV protection (a good one is with moisturiser in specific for tropical climate).

5. Do your chores, jobs and work outside at a slower pace than normal to reduce exertion and energy loss. 

6. EAT SEASONAL FRUITS - The watery ones like melons and citrus to keep you rehydrated!!! DRINK juices, tender coconut, ice-creams than caffeinated and soft drinks!!! 

7. CARRY a bottle of water, if not at least a BOTTLE that could be filled in and on the way!!! - QUENCH your thirst and even better AVOID THIRST!!!

I wish that the next summer will much more enjoyable!!!

Friday, 20 March 2015


Rhinoceros have been one of the oldest species and are endangered in the grim of extinction. There are five extant species of rhino available in the wild, which are:

1. Asian Rhino: a. Javan Rhinoceros (Critically Endangered); b. Sumatran Rhinoceros (Critically Endangered); and c. One-horned or Indian Rhinoceros (Vulnerable)

2. African Rhino: a. White Rhinoceros (Near Threatened) ; and b. Black Rhinoceros (Critically Endangered)

The difference between the Asian and the African Rhino is the absence of teeth in the African Rhino which pluck the leaves (food) using lips. Other food will include fruits, grass and farm crops. The ones that stand out are the Sumatran Rhinos, the smallest of all of them that are dark-red brown with short, stiff and dark-coloured hair.

indian rhino      javan-rhinoceros      sumatran rhino
             Indian Rhinoceros                                      Javan Rhinoceros                                                        Sumatran Rhinoceros

southern white rhino                                                                  black rhino
             White Rhinoceros                                                                                                                            Black Rhinoceros

A general description of any species of the rhinoceros that interests us are their stumpy legs, barrel body with one or two dermal horns (not of bones). Rhinoceros do not attack humans unless instigated and their eyesight is of no use in a fight; however, they have very good sense of smell and hearing. These semi-nocturnal animals sleep by standing or by sitting and love playing in muddy pools and sandy river beds.

What makes Rhino the talk of the town of smugglers especially when banned are their medicinal values and dagger handles. Moreover, Rhino are facing threat to survival for want of habitat, the forests. Thus WWF does their part to conserve Rhino through different programmes like AREAS (Asian Rhino and Elephant Strategy), African Rhino Programme and Wildlife Trade Campaign to create awareness and financial support required for conservation of habitats and the animals.

African Rhinos live for about 35 to 40 years in the grasslands and savannahs with humans as the only predators. They are fast runners galloping at a speed of 30 miles per hour and are strictly herbivores. These thick skinned and small brained animals loves to eat leafy food that could ferment even the usually excreted fibrous materials.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

CyberBullying - A New Leash of Life Thereafter

The increase in the use of technology in today's world has resulted in development of new applications and softwares that could be used for the wellbeing of human kind. However, there is another side in the misuse of technology by nerds. They in pursuit of knowledge and wealth, develop technological applications and softwares for teasing, for fun and for stealing other’s time, knowledge and wealth. All these activities could be grouped as cyberbullying. This has necessitated the need to create awareness against cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying impacts the life of an individual, their family, society and their work life. As an individual, this is very difficult to manage emotions to overcome the cyberbully leading to frustration and affecting the normal work life of the individual. Performance of individuals at work decreases with increasing impact of cyberbullying. Family members who may not be aware and understand cyberbullying will express varying emotions and are prone to fall prey to the temptations of cyberbullies leading to misconceptions and disengagement in family life. This in turn affects the individual leading to disconnected social life like social isolation.

Cyberbullying is a punishable offence across the globe. While this is not legally acceptable as is affecting the normal life of the individual harming them; cyberbully could also lead to criminal activities like personal identity theft of passwords and bank balance. Cyberbully is also against human ethics as is violating the privacy of the individual and disrespecting their emotions by not gaining consent from the concerned individual who are targeted. When a cyber-activity is harming the individual and one's well-being in the society, then cyberbullying turns socially unacceptable as well.

Thus awareness is necessitated to create awareness amongst public from falling prey to cyberbullying and to prevent them from becoming cyberbullies due to ignorance. Owing to the the pacing speed in technological developments the craving for need of power, lust and money, thus increases the chance of cybercrimes and cyberbullies. Cyberbullying thus has the potential to turn into the buzz word in cybercrimes.

PS: This was a short essay prepared for an online course of academic writing from University of Reading, UK

Friday, 20 February 2015

Bharathanatyam Accessories or Jewels–How do I ask?

The classical dance of Tamil Nadu is Bharathanatyam. This elegant dance of various postures which requires the dancers to balance against gravity comes with lot of vivid and bright colours and expensive glittering ornaments. Here is a list of ornaments that a Bharathanatyam dancer will wear;
1. Waist Belt; These are ornaments worn around the waist region and is called ottiyanam. The various varieties are Golden Lakshmi or Temple Lakshmi or Temple round belt.
2. Bangles; These are ornaments worn around the wrist and when they are not of fixed size and is of a constant length is called a bracelet. But for dancers they only wear bangles that are usually gold or gold-plated and studded with stones, gems and pearls.
3. Arm Band; These are ornaments worn on the arms and could be worn directly or is tied around the arms. They come in metal which is much more traditional and stiff than the pearl studded ones that are generally tied around the arms. They are also called vanki  or bajuband.
4. Neck Ornaments; Generally there are two types of neck ornaments – long chain and choker or necklaces. The long chain usually comes with a pendant and is a chain or is a kaasu mala or other such mala in which many small pendants like gold coins or other designs are threaded together on a gold or silver thread.
5. Ear Ornaments: There are two things worn by dancers in their ears. They are the chain that lifts and bears the weight of the ear droppings or stud. The ear droppings or stud is usually made of colourful stones, gems or pearls and is either flat (mattal) or round (jimikki).
6. Nose Rings and Nose Studs: Nose rings and nose studs are small ornaments worn in the nose together by the dancers. Generally dancers will prefer two nose rings than a nose stud (mukutthi). Nose rings could be worn in the side (valayam) or in the center (nath bullaku, which is more commonly worn).
7. Hair and Head Ornaments: The various ornaments of the hair will include the set braid adorned with ornaments. The end of the braid is tied with a decorative bun called kunjalam, which is heavier and keeps the hair and head straight and a wave while dancing. The braid is decored with braid billai, a circular to different shaped ornaments of varying size (big to small from the top to bottom).
Head ornaments will include those that decorate the forehead and the front of the head. the come as a single strand with a pendant or with many pendants (called step) or in three chains (one to the back of the head, two to both the sides) with a pendant in the front. This ornament is called netrichudi or head band (Indian). This ornament comes with a pair of head pins that could be worn in the gaps of the front head, nearly seven inches apart – one in circular head pin called the chandra, worn on the right and the other a semi circular head pin called the surya, worn on the left.
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The final piece of head ornament is the bun ornament called rakodi. These are big round stone or gem studded grandly designed bun pins that cover the tangles and holds the bun tight.
8. Ankle Bell: These are ornaments adorned in the legs that makes noise because of the big brass bells stitched to clothe or velvet pad or a leather pad. They make noises in synchronisation to the music and rhythm of the dancer’s movements. They are called gunghroo or salangai.
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Thus these are the various ornaments that are adorned by Bharathanatyam dancers and find below a display of antique piece of bharathanatyam ornamental set.