Tag Archives: Life

Photography Instincts: Water Droplets Captured My Way (Part 2)

Last time it rained here in Delhi, it turned out to be a stormy night followed by an equally rain-laden day.

But little did I know that the storm would leave behind a beautiful and serene picture.

It took me barely five steps outside my home to feel the petrichor and witness the lushness of freshly washed and perfectly clean leaves right after the rains in my small garden. And here by garden I mean a collection of plants in some thirty odd earthen pots which is the only way to add some beauty and fresh air to our lives in a multi-storeyed establishment. 🙂

Amid all this view of nature’s beauty, my eyes fell on the sole leaf of a plant that carefully balanced rain drops on its shiny surface.

Delicate and picturesquely beautiful is all I could describe the view to be, a picture of fine balance that could be ruined by the stroke of a feather or the lightest blow of the wind.

As for my camera that is usually stocked in one corner, low on charge and dust bearing these days, an instinct on my part to click a photograph or two charges its batteries almost magically.

Therefore, without any further delay I photographed this absolute beauty painted by the Rain Gods before it vanished and left me with just another leaf on just another plant in my home garden.

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Rain Drops on a Leaf

Isn’t this beautiful!!

It seems that ‘A Homemaker’s World’ just got a little bigger, spreading its wings beyond the four walls of the home and kitchen from where my previous posts on Water Droplets Captured My Way were published.

Have a Happy Time Photographing and Expressing!! 🙂

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Celebrating Ganesha’s Arrival with Art

Ganesha Chaturthi is around the corner. The festival of welcoming the elephant God home is celebrated in most parts of India and is especially popular among the people residing on the west coast of the Indian subcontinent.

It is a 10 day long festival, during which Lord Ganesha, the God of wisdom and prosperity, is welcomed to various households. After worshipping his idols for these 10 days, starting with Ganesha Chaturthi, the idols are immersed in water bodies, symbolic that the elephant God fills the house with happiness and prosperity, and takes away all the negativity with Him, only to come back the next year, with the same fervour and the same purpose.

As the air is imbued with the excitement around Ganapati celebrations, the media is already abuzz with articles related to the festival, the best pandal (Read: temporary shrine) in town, the best place to get modaks (Ganesha’s favourite sweet) to offer to Lord Ganesha, the new eco-friendly Ganesha statue, the best Ganesha sand art, Ganapati Goodies, and the list is endless.

While some people around the world find different ways to impress the Lord of Good beginnings and others try to take business advantage from the current buzz around Ganapati celebrations, I express my love and devotion to my favourite Lord through this simple, yet close to my heart painting.

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Being an ardent deity of Ganapati, His painting was the first that I made when I picked the paintbrush after years (may be only after the school art classes). This painting is extremely special to me and beautifies one of the walls of the Pooja (Read Prayer) room of my house.

Hope you like this!

Close to Nature: Picnic, Promenade and Photography

Purely for my love for photography, I am sharing some pictures from my nature walk with family to the Hauz Khas Lake, which we concluded with a refreshing cup of masala tea at Chaayos to give our aching feet and tired souls a caffeine kick.

Well, the visit to the lake was one of those random plans made early morning because we just wanted to break free from boredom of the daily routine. So we decided to make it into a mini picnic. Instead of going out to eat at one of the theme based lounges and bars, which are in abundance at the Hauz Khas Village, we decided to go the ‘Aloo Parantha and Achaar Picnic’ way (Read: ‘Potato Stuffed Indian Flatbreads with Pickle Picnic’ way), with Kurkure packets as the all time favourite in-between meal snacks and some cans of Coke. Perfect! 🙂

It’s so lovely to just relax on a winter afternoon, close to nature, with family and absolutely no formalities and complete lazing around. Just to clarify, this sojourn I talk about is from the last winters.

Rare are the occasions when we get time for some real outing with family. A simple and absolutely enjoyable date with loved ones during a time when everyone else seems to be rushing to that new restaurant, that newly opened branded showroom in the mall, etc.

So we started off by taking a small walk around the Hauz Khas Fort, which gave us a glimpse of the historic architectural delight. Followed by the much awaited ‘Aloo Parantha and Achaar’ Picnic, the Aloo Paranthas courtesy my lovely sister and homemade mango pickle by mommy dearest.

Finally, we made our way to the Hauz Khas Lake, a nature walk with the lake on our left side and dense foliage on the right side. It was a lovely time away from the commotion and pollution of the city life.

The best part came when the day was nearing its end and the soft glow of the sun at dusk time made the lake waters sparkle with its golden rays. As we sauntered around the periphery of the lake, taking in its beauty at that hour, my eyes fell on flocks of ducks and geese that were either languidly swimming in the lake or rushing to the shore to find some food that their audiences kept feeding them at regular intervals.

I managed to capture some photographs and sharing the ones I loved the most with you all.

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Our walk ended with a relaxing cup of evening tea, a few family photographs, lots of talks about how wonderful a day it had turned out to be, and oodles of praises for the delicious Aloo Paranthas by sister dear.

Hope you liked these!

The Henna of Celebrations

In India, the festive and wedding seasons are around the corner and so is the time for celebrations. And the word celebrations brings with it fun, entertainment, food, dancing, singing, culture specific traditions and rituals, dressing up, decorations, and above all thanking God for all the positivity around with lots of offerings in the form of prayers and fasting. I am sure to have left out a long list of things that are an integral part of Indian traditions apart from the aforementioned ones.

But one thing I personally love and can never forget is the tradition of putting Henna (Mehendi) designs on hands and feet during all these celebrations. Be it weddings or festivals, henna forms an important part of celebrations in the culturally diverse land of India.

Tattooing henna designs is such a craze in India that during festive time a visit to even a local market would expose you to a number of henna artists ready to show their skills on your hands and feet for a charge, of course. In fact, it’s a windfall time for the henna artists around this time.

Even women and girls are near experts when it comes to henna tattooing in many households and can dye hands of family and friends in henna with panache and in no time.

People say that it’s very auspicious for women (even the grooms for their wedding day) to put henna on their hands and feet.

Though, putting henna on hands and feet of women has religious link ups, many elders say that henna can change your fate lines and bring good luck. 🙂

Well, as I grew up I came to realize what it really meant when elders said about the fate changing qualities of henna. They say that our entire life’s fate is written in the lines of our hand and feet. Therefore, for me putting henna is nothing but a way of dyeing your hands and feet in beautiful designs and forgetting about all your troubles for those celebratory moments and enjoying them to the fullest.

It’s also a way of distressing and taking a break from the humdrum tasks (especially during festivities), I believe. The gorgeous designs and the fragrance of henna are relaxing for many. The comparison among girls about whose henna design is the darkest and whose husband loves her most, is a common humour related to henna tattooing among Indian women.

As a kid I remember being super excited around the festive season because Mom would put a new henna pattern on my hands. As we grew up, I and my sisters took to making some henna designs after imitating from magazines and now the Internet. 🙂

I love doing henna designs myself. 🙂 Here are a couple of designs I made for some festivals last year and desperately waiting for this year’s festivals to get down to some henna tattooing.

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I know these aren’t the best and there are people who are much better at this. But the idea was to rev up the festive fervour and bring in some feel of celebrations.

Hope you liked reading! 🙂

Hi, I am Rose

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Meet ‘Rose’….

‘Rose’ here is a woman and her love for family and dear ones….

Beautiful, tender and fragrant; pure, unbiased and selfless ….

The layers of the velvety petals are symbolic of the depth of her seemingly never ending love….

The love that withers when the petals of hope, support and acknowledgement begin to fall off….

But this love ends only with the very existence of ‘Rose’.

Hope you like it.

My Soul, My Sanctuary!

What does the word ‘Sanctuary’ bring to your mind at its very first mention? A safe haven, a nature reserve or a place of worship are the meanings that come to my mind instantly. Further, being a homemaker by choice, my home, as for many is certainly my sanctuary, a place where I find ultimate mental, physical and emotional satiety.

But as I think one step ahead, about attaining the satisfaction and feeling connected with myself, the ultimate sanctum sanctorum I find is in my soul and believe that every single human being’s place of hope, satisfaction, and sanctity lies within their souls.

There is no place of worship in the world that can miraculously deliver the desires of your mind and heart, unless you soulfully embrace the desired and put every possible effort to attain what you really wish for.

I may not be in a position to say that I have achieved whatever I desired till date, but the purity of my soul, the satisfaction with what I have in life and the hope that the future holds something better for me and my loved ones, keeps me going and growing.

God had been really kind to me till 28 years of my life. Lovely family, perfect education, a job that carved my personality to finesse, lots of friends and well wishers. But then I lost my dad five years back, the first loss of life in the 28 years of my being was soul shattering. Losing a parent feels like getting a limb chopped off from you. If this was less, within six months of losing my father, I was faced with the near loss my second parent, when Mom had a heart ache and finally had to be operated to get a fresh new heart and life. That was the time when I became the Messiah for my family because I could rush from work to save my Mom by getting her the best possible medical attention in time. Pheww…those were trying times.

That was the time I really found myself growing up. A time when I had to play the role of a mother, a daughter and a friend to Mom, the phase of getting her back to normal life after losing her life partner, of recovering from a major surgery and of remoulding her from being a doting wife and parent to taking charge as the head of the family, the decision maker.

The phase was a life changing one for me as I decided to devote 100 percent of my time to home, from becoming a workaholic to a homemaker within 3 months. This was a decision I had never ever dreamt of taking in my life. And here I am today. Proud to be the person I am; prouder of the decisions I took and above all satisfied to the core.

This was a very small phase of my life, a very personal level decision that I took. But when I look from the perspective of how lucky I am to have been able to take this decision of quitting everything for my family (read the pressure of financial challenges that would not allow millions of people to take such a decision even if they wished so), I see a dawn of relief and contentment. This is what matters the most.

This was a tiny example, which may not be as hard hitting for most. But the purpose of narrating these few years of my life was to share that small decisions lead to big ones and how being answerable to one’s own self is what matters in the end.

Here I am today writing a blog, which is nothing but a sneak peek into my ever so changed, but lovable life and I am proud of it.

My soul, my sanctuary, which helps me take the most balanced and best decisions of my life, has won over any other meanings of a true sanctuary for me. Now I am aware, no matter what the future holds for me, I am sure of my decisions because I know where to go to seek help, it’s me, myself.

Ever pondered over the simple phrase, “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves” from this angle? Think about it and help yourselves.

Hope you like this.

Art and Emotions in One Frame

A few days back, when I was busy completing yet another craft project, my mom came up to me and stretched out her hand to give me something and said, ‘Can you make something for this?’ On realizing what she was handing over to me, my eyes welled up with tears. It was mom and dad’s first photograph after marriage.

They had kept it preserved since 1965 and gleefully narrated the day they had gone to get the picture clicked at a famous studio in Connaught Place, Delhi (India). A few days after their wedding mom and dad went to get their first professionally clicked photograph as a couple. On that day, dad adorned his favorite black suit and mom wore a pretty orange sari, along with her wedding jewelry. I love this photograph of mom and dad and till date we tell mom that they made for the most charming couple we have ever seen.

After we had refurnished the house some years back, the photograph had been taken off the photo frame and kept safely in a plastic wrap to make space for new show pieces and other family photos.

Ever since we lost dad a few years back, mom had very rarely mentioned to us about dad and how much she missed her life partner. That day when mom handed me the photograph felt as if she was asking me to help her revive and relive her long forgotten moments and feel dad’s presence in her life.

I could not have let go of a chance to get some positive vibes to mom’s life and especially when she was the one keen on that. That’s when I decided to make a photo frame for the picture, rather than purchasing one.

Some online tutorials and my creativity helped me create a lovely cardboard photo frame to fit my favorite photograph. I added to its beauty by using quilling art and some Fevicryl Golden Glitter Glue to decorate it.

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I was the most satisfied when the best feedback for the picture frame came from mom when she said, ‘tune to char chand laga diye humari photo par’ (An idiom used in Hindi to tell that a thing looks prettier that before).

The Photo in its frame sits beautifully on a showcase in the living room of my house and usually gets an appreciative notice from the guests.

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Hope you like this.