Thursday, 14 April 2016

Enjoy festive season's positive energy

Today we in Kerala celebrated Vishu. 

Vishu is an important festival in Kerala. This day marks the first day of the New year according to the traditional malayalam calendar. In olden days harvest took place during this festive season.

The yellow flower that you see on the GIF image is 'Kanikkonna' ( Cassia fistula ), the most important item when we arrange " Vishukkani", for everyone in the family to see very first on that day when they get up early morning signifying prosperity and God's blessings through out the year.

I have written in detail about Vishu last year; please check :

I wish you a very happy Vishu !

  • Festive season brings joy, peace and elevates mood. Such occasions bring lot of positive energy. Celebrate it ! 

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Sunday, 27 March 2016


Awesome cupcakes...!

Anjali, my daughter's friend started this baking venture recently and we were more than happy to order all these delicacies from her the other day. Yummy...!

These beautiful cakes were a treat to our palates. The chocolate cupcakes were topped with a bit of both ganache and whipping cream. The texture of the cakes was spot on, flavor great and the presentation was brilliant ! 

She makes so many cool flavors like this and we are planning to get more from her asap :)

Check her facebook page for more info :

Highly recommended :)

We wish this young entrepreneur all success :)

Some pictures sent by her are also included here of her creative beauties...enjoy !

  • Creativity originates from a passion about something. Coupled with dedication, perseverance and a right positive attitude an entrepreneur can make things happen.
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Wish you a very Happy Easter

I wish all my blogger friends a very happy Easter !

Enjoy Easter bunny chocolates, yummy eggs and celebrate the joyous occasion with your loved ones!

  • Believe in God. He loves you unconditionally. He takes care of you even if no one loves you. You are always welcome into His open arms. Need not be ashamed to go to Him even if you are a sinner. May God bless you all !

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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

International women's day

International women's day is celebrated on March 8th every year.

This year the theme is 'pledge for parity'. Celebrate the social, political, economical and cultural achievement of women.

Equality, acceptance and gender balanced leadership are essential for the continued and better contribution of women to the betterment of the world.

  • Such celebrations serve as an eye opener to the various important issues that might not get adequate attention in the hectic day to day life of people. Such occasions stimulate us to take actions.

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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Why some people pick up only negatives ? How to tackle negatives in life? How to be positive ?

Negatives and positives are two sides of the same coin. A coin exists with these two aspects and they are part and parcel of it. There is no existence to the coin without these two facets. Everything connected with life in general has these two aspects.

We cannot simply turn a blind eye towards the negatives. Likewise, stressing only the negatives also is foolish. In a place where yummy dishes and drinks flow freely somebody may think only of too much Cholesterol and Sugar and may discourage others not to touch anything and that amounts to absolute negativity but a warning not to indulge would be okay and cannot be termed negativity.

Try to analyse the situation. Find out the positives and negatives. Analyse how to balance both. Make a plan to reduce the risks, negatives or take calculated risks. Likewise the positives too need analysis. Will it tackle negatives ? Are these things that we see real positives? Are we taking lightly the negatives and over stressing positives ?

Always listen to gut feelings, always...! 
Never, ever ignore this emotion, never !
Listen to inner talk, take some time and listen intently to what our subconscious mind is telling us...!

I am telling you this from my experience. In instances where I ignored what my real inner self was trying to tell me, I had trouble.  I am sure you all can relate to this fact.

There can be some instances where we can sound totally negative and being perceived as pessimistic. This usually happens when someone we trust betray us, when we get trapped in some tricky situations, forced to work with bad employers, when we get bullied, in the presence of manipulative parents, relatives, our loved ones and in front of Authorities. Even naturally positive persons become pathetic in such situations. The manipulators will try to instill negativity in your mind and will accuse you of being negative. This is a cool trick ! A person who is of the same league like them will not yield to such cunning tactics, but he / she will not fall prey to such things in the first place :)

Please look at the above scenarios carefully. Almost always, people who get bullied, cheated, trapped etc., are 'soft souls' who perceive the world as only black and white and turn a blind eye towards the grey / shady / dark areas. This world and the people that inhabit here have positives and negatives. Some are crooked, cunning and expert manipulators. They know how to exploit people, how to manipulate them for their gains, how to sugar coat poison, how to satisfy their lust pretending love and in a nut shell they know 'how to 'manage' ordinary people ! They psyche their victims and these poor souls think that everything is their fault. Bullies will target someone emotionally mature than them and soft-hearted. Those they are sure who will not resist or fight back are easy hits. They assume that the target, their parents, relatives, friends or well wishers are weak / afraid / reluctant to complain or exert resistance. Anger, violence and character assassination are their tools. Those who are bullied think it is all their fault, they are 'psyched' into this attitude by the bullies. Countless examples of such reality situations are there in front of us ! Joining a Company which has bad reputation, signing deals with cunning people, falling ( often foolishly) in love with crooks, buying a product just by watching a colorful ad, ignoring bullying and not nipping it off from the bud itself, living foolishly allowing ourselves to get exploited by 'relatives', suffering silently in a bad relationship, not asking for help, refusing the help offered, not identifying being abused etc.

We have to be aware of the fact there are good and bad people in the world. There are criminals, murderers and cheaters. The so called 'good' people may turn bad if they allow themselves to fall in company of bad people. Many people have 'layers'. There are many with no principles, morality or compassion. We live in such a complex society. Be aware of the fact that it is not all black and white everywhere; don't think that others too have the same thoughts of goodwill and pleasant feelings like we have about the things in the world.

  • Be assertive. This does not mean that we have to be rude, stubborn or sign up for martial arts. You are a human being like others and you also have rights. 
  • Listen to the inner voice. 
  • Say NO if you would like to say NO. Never say YES if you want to say NO. Need not respond curtly, try to be tactful, diplomatic and cool in saying NO. 
  • Join support groups. Web is loaded with tons of info regarding many such emotional issues. There are so many online counselling sites. Share the problems with a trusted friend and never hesitate to consult a certified Mental health professional, if needed. This is difficult because such issues weaken the person making him indecisive. This makes them difficult to go to a professional all by themselves. If the problem is identified early this may possible.
  • Rather than getting confined into our own comfort zones get involved with groups that tackle such issues in Society. This will help us to know better about them and the peculiar issues. If by any chance we land up in such situations it will help us to face it better.

Such issues are difficult to face all alone. It brings loneliness. They make people totally negative, their vibes become negative and their friends and well wishers get repelled from them eventually driving them into much more misery.

If you are a true friend, offer help immediately if you detect such problems in their life, be with them.

Finally, don't think that the bullies and manipulators are the real winners. They are psychologically sick, they will perish, eventually. What goes around, comes around ! Anyone moving against Nature, its laws, its energy will lose, one day or the other, no doubt whatsoever. It is only a matter of time. There are convincing examples for this fact in history, classics, personal experiences and in the present day world !

  • Getting bullied, exploited and abused cannot be considered as the result of a weak personality. The so called 'sensitive', 'weak' personality is the result of manipulation, fine tuning and cunningness. Negativity results from encounters with negative people. 

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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Smile :)

Smile, smile, it is something that keeps you pretty
Bright ! it is sweet, sparkling and lovely
Beautiful you, make others happy, smile again
It is the prettiest smile I have ever seen, lucky me !

I notice, you smile more often, speak few words
You listen more, alert, smiling more and more
Make things around lively, killing boredom
It is the prettiest smile I have ever seen, lucky me !

It is a wonderful talent, gifted you are, I envy you,
The smile, sweet, lively, sparkly, wonderful you !
Even when you nap I notice it, remaining subtly
It is the prettiest smile I have ever seen, lucky me !

No need for words, essays, explanations, replies
Your smile conveys everything, crystal clear...,
It is wonderful to look at you, joyful, lovely and happy
It is the prettiest smile I have ever seen, lucky me !

The power of smile:
A smile is a powerful tool God has blessed mankind with. The art of smiling is something that has to be learned by diligent practice. Smile often; it makes us and others feel better.
It is sad to notice that even children nowadays smile less. As adults most often our smiles turn into something uncool probably due to the stresses that we experience in the modern world.
We feel comfortable in the presence of someone with a beautiful smile. Likewise we too can make others feel better if we smile nicely.

  • Smile is a God given blessing intended to be used as much as possible to bring us joy and to make others around happy.

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Monday, 11 January 2016

Imported from China, past and present...


It is 21:12 here and as I am preparing this post I glance around the room to count all the stuff that is made / imported / finished ( assembled ) in India with components from China. The very laptop that I am using, my smart phone, the Samsung TV, home theatre system, the beautiful flower vases, the wind chime, LED lamps, the ceiling fan, the aircon, the vitrified floor tiles...hmm...! Probably the teakwood furniture minus the upholstery, windows and doors made of teakwood, the ? curtain cloth...are pure Indian products.

There is a Chinese touch now-a-days to everything, everywhere !

Well, not really, in the past too we have embraced many things wholeheartedly from China. Nothing is mentioned concretely in literary history about the things that probably were brought here by Chinese traders and travellers, but these items bear the connection with China in its' names.

You might have identified the Chinese fishing net ( Cheena vala in Malayalam, our local language ) from the picture at the top of this post about which I have already blogged about. A lot of debate is going on about the introduction of these nets and why they are found in plenty around Kochi and not in Kozhikode ( Calicut ) in North Kerala where many Chinese traders frequented in the past. However, there is a connection with China as the name in Malayalam suggests. Similar nets to catch fish can be seen in Manipur in India, Thailand and many parts of South East Asia. I have also seen Cheenavala at Kumarakom and Thanneermukkom in Kerala.


The picture on the left is Cheena Bharani, small and large sizes. This is a ceramic vessel traditionally used for preparing pickles in Kerala. I have fond memories of yummy 'Kadumanga' ( pickled tender mangoes ) at my ancestral house. Sadly that exquisite taste and flavour are missing in present day pickles.

The picture on the right-hand side shows a small saucepan made of iron. This is called 'Cheenachatti', in Malayalam. Traditional vessels were made of clay and this metal utensil found its way to our kitchens bearing a Chinese touch to its name. The clay vessels are called 'manchatti', 'mankalam' etc.


You might probably remember my blog post about Koorkka or Chinese potatoes, a very popular tuber in Kerala. Please check the links below.


This small, fierce green chilli is called 'Cheenimulaku or Kantharimulaku' ( Bird's eye chilli ). 'Mulaku' is the Malayalam word for Chilli.

I need not elaborate upon this dish that you see on the right-hand side. Tapioca ( prepared with a little turmeric and salt ) and red chilli pickle. Tapioca ( Maracheeni ) has another name here, 'Cheenikkizhangu'.

Recently a Chinese delegation has shown keen interest in the revival of Chinese fishnets at Kochi. Hope with their help this tourist attraction will become much more popular. The other day I read in the paper about some historians from China visiting Calicut to research about traders who visited six centuries ago, particularly the great Zheng He. He, as you may be knowing, was a great mariner, explorer and admiral of the early Ming dynasty.

  • It is hypnotic to dwell deeper into the historical aspects of things that fascinate us because this exercise helps in augmenting our understanding about it by adding color and glitter. 

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Sunday, 3 January 2016

Picturing fireworks

Perfecting the technique of picturing fireworks is considered a specialty among photo enthusiasts. Using a tripod, tweaking the camera settings and subsequent editing are all important, as you all know. I took these pictures some years ago using a mini SLR Canon camera, no tripod was used and these are raw pictures, no photoshopping done.  

Night photography as such is difficult. The noise itself is nuisance. The timing of pressing the button is important.

These were taken during DSF some years ago at Dubai.
  • Experimenting with technology is thrilling. It need not be complex or expensive but give it a try, that is what is important. Keep things simple !

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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Pepper spray for self defense

For a long time, I have been reading a lot about self-defense strategies and related products. Many such products were available abroad but in India, these were not at all popular, needless to say, they were not available to the needy.

Things have changed in the past years with many shocking incidents taking place that prompted terrible hue and cry nationally and internationally. People have become much more vigilant now-a-days. Even in small villages in Kerala, you might see CCTV cameras installed in homes ! Law and order authorities are urging even the small business owners here to install CCTV on their premises even if the threat level is low. It is common knowledge that miscreants and thieves tend to avoid or will be reluctant to commit crimes in such places; these gadgets will play the role of a deterrent. A skilled thief can easily disable such devices but they always target places less guarded. Moreover, the time factor also is important for a thief. Rob, avoid getting caught, get away asap, leaving no traces of identification are the key components of a successful robbery. So even if the area is crime free it is always to have such gadgets; prevention is always better, you know.

Likewise, personal security is of paramount importance. Things like pepper sprays may come in handy if a situation arises, at least, it may act as a deterrent. I have read somewhere people are using it as dog repellent too. Sometimes dogs can attack during morning walk. From the body language itself, one can easily come to the assumption if the individual is security conscious or not. If you project such a strong picture that you are well aware of the surroundings and is confident, no anti-social persons will try to attack you. It also includes avoiding such situations as much as possible. Walking all alone in a crime prone area especially during night time, wearing expensive jewelry particularly in tourist spots etc. are some of the situations that make us prone for attacks. It is always better to sign up for some classes where they teach how to tackle such situations. Unfortunately most places teach martial arts as the sole solution for all these problems. Counter-attack is not an easy defense strategy; it has to be perfected over a long time with continuous practice. But if you get the courage to take the spray out of your handbag and use it effectively you are ok :) and that is what you must have ! On an average about 70 % just freeze on the spot ! So find a place where they teach simple things like assessment of problem situations, creating a spatial orientation while in public, identifying people who are likely to invade personal space, critically evaluate people, anticipating troublesome behavior, simple tricks to defuse the situation etc. No harm in getting some training in martial arts and some physical self-defense techniques also, it instills courage. In short, try to learn mental self-defense strategies as well ! 

There are many websites that deal with security products. Personal alarms, luggage alarms, travel security items, home security etc. are interesting. There is no need to install elaborate, expensive and technically complex gadgets. I have heard a story that the inmates forgot to push the button on of such a comprehensive installation one night when a thief coolly entered the mansion :) So what is the use if people are not security oriented. Just a door latch is enough but you must put it securely before opening the door ! 

  • Safety is of paramount importance. Safety and security can only be successfully guaranteed by the co-operation of everyone concerned. The best security system is a vigilant human being.

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