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Ganga Rages in Dev Bhoomi!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lord Shiva getting submerged by The Ganga at Rishikesh--The Statue is 20 ft. high

The Raging Ganga

The Alaknanda--a Tributary of The Ganga in full spate

The Mandakini--another Tributary at Kedarnath Shrine

The Devastated Shrine

The Indian Army Jawans forming a Chain

The Human Chain formed by The Indian Army

Rescue Operations

The Traffic stuck on the Slopes

These are a few pictures downloaded from The internet for my SP Friends.Please pray for the Region as another Cloudburst is expected in a day or two.There are thousands of people trapped in the Mountains and though heroic and valiant Indian Army Jawans are working non-stop,it is still a race against Time if the second Disaster hits as predicted!!

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    I saw a bit of this on the news!
Many good wishes for the people of the villages. While it is very sad to lose the shrines, they are replaceable and perhaps will be well blessed by the gods when rebuilt.

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BOVEY63 6/22/2013 11:09PM

    Prayers for the safety of all.

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LOOKINGUP2012 6/22/2013 12:47PM

    Thank you for sharing the news. That is a terrible loss of property. I will pray for the victims and for the rescuers.

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MILLISMA 6/22/2013 8:23AM

    Between the fires and the floods, there is so much destruction in the world right now. I am praying for everyone. Stay safe, my friend.

hugs...Mary Anne

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CHERIRIDDELL 6/22/2013 1:57AM

    Oddly enough half way across the world we are suffering from floods too and my husband is on flood relief duty with the Canadian military !I will certainly pray for your region.Please pray for my senseless kids who have gone into the heart of the flooded region for a wedding and are stranded tonight .My daughter has the wedding cake and is doing the brides make up tomorrow if they all make it to the site of the wedding !

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JIBBIE49 6/22/2013 1:11AM


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Monsoon Pictures

Sunday, June 09, 2013

The Lightning flashing on Mumbai's Horizon

Mumbai Sky just before the Rain

The Mumbai Monsoon

The Monsoon Rains

The Floods in Low Lying Areas

The Surf at Worli

Rain Drenched Street

The Sea Link

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 6/11/2013 5:23PM

    Amazing photos.

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MILLISMA 6/10/2013 4:12PM

    I had no idea that some of the streets had flooded to that extent. We've been having torrential downpours today and you could float in my backyard. We are also under a tornado watch. No yard work for me today!!! lol

Thanks for posting the pictures. Stay safe and dry. emoticon

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DISP715 6/10/2013 7:50AM

    Wow, that is amazing! It's humbling to think how powerful Mother Nature is and really how helpless we are. Have a great day!

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    I bet it's sticky hot!

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CHERIRIDDELL 6/10/2013 12:56AM

    Thank you for sharing the fabulous photos Komal , I enjoyed each and every one of them!

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MBEHNKEN 6/10/2013 12:06AM

    Wow! emoticon

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CAT609 6/9/2013 11:16PM


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JUDYAMK 6/9/2013 11:10PM

    WOW thanks for sharing the lightning storm!!!! I bet the thunder cracked hard!

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At Last.....Thank You God!!2

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Green Chutney

Kaanda (Onion) Bhaji
There is a slow but steady increase in the Monsoon--still a gentle,peaceful pace but very much there!!The funny thing is that I was only worried about my hip pain worsening---instead surprisingly it has eased a bit !!If I recall correctly the Pain began in April and as the Heat escalated up and up so did the Pain. Now I'm trying to find out whether extreme Heat can also cause the Pain???The reason may anything--Weather,Medication,Excercises--o
r maybe all 3 combined but I AM feeling much better both physically and mentally for being crippled by Osteo Arthritis is not what I want to be looking at!!
I love India during the Rains---the body feels cool and rested and the nights are definitely more relaxed and one does sleep better.The only real problem is mobility because a lot of areas which are low lying turn into Lakes!!In my childhood I'd watch the torrential Rain from my maternal Grandparents Balcony in one of the low lying areas and after an exceptionally heavy downpour the Fisher Folk could be seen plying light Canoes to ferry people across to the Buildings in the vicinity.Everything would come to a standstill---and we'd have a wonderful impromptu holiday---with my Aaji cooking up a steady stream of Food in her Coal fired Kitchen.My Aazoba would want all his favourite dishes for Breakfast and Lunch and the afternoon Snacks would be large platefuls of crisp deep fried Onion Fritters with a spicy Coriander Coconut Chutney---the perfect mating of a hot,crisp,spicy savoury taste!!The Onions would be very thinly sliced into slivers which would then be seasoned with Salt,a pinch of Sugar and some Coriander-Cumin Powder in the morning and covered and left in a cool place to sweat and release it's juices.In the Afternoon ,finely chopped hot Green Chillies and Fresh Coriander leaves would be added to the Mixture along with some Chick Pea Flour to make a dropping Batter--thick enough to just bind the Slivers together and provide a crisp coating.No Water was added for that would thin the Batter too much.Large tablespoonfuls would be dropped into the hot Oil and within minutes platefuls of the "Bhajiyas" would be served--literally disappearing into thin Air within moments of it's arrival!!On the days we did not eat Onion or Garlic,thin finely sliced Cabbage would be used instead---another truly yummy substitution!!
It was only after I began producing an unending supply of the same for my family that I realised the effort it took to churn out these fast enough to keep the baying family quiet---a truly Herculean task!!!Luckily both Aaji and Mummy had Cooks to help out--Aaji did most things personally and though similarly minded, Mummy would have to relegate most of these things to the Cook for Daddy wanted her to sit out in the Verandah with us and enjoy the Weather.In my case I preferred and still do--doing my own work.Despite having helpers in the Kitchen I need things just so--and therefore do some of these preparations myself----which does irritate my Kitchen helpers I must confess--nobody likes to be treated as an imbecile!!However I am now learning to let go of this obsession of mine--with Sudhir not there anymore a lot of things have ceased to matter.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 6/12/2013 1:20PM

    Happy to hear the heat and your pain are easing. As always, I love reading your memories.

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MILLISMA 6/9/2013 10:03AM

    Hope your pain lessens and that you continue to get some relief. Love reading your memories....it's like reading a book. The onion dish sounds so good and would like to give it a try.

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DISP715 6/9/2013 8:07AM

    Wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing, I find it fascinating. You should write a book. Hoping the pain eases.

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LOOKINGUP2012 6/9/2013 7:36AM

    Thank you for sharing about the Monsoons and favorite foods. Hope your pain will continue to lessen.

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CHERIRIDDELL 6/9/2013 1:56AM

    I am so glad your hip pain has lessened.I wish mine would too.It really is not fair that we need to watch our weight.I think what would be delightful is if we could sit out and sip mango lassis while eating onion bhajis (let's not forget the chutney to go with them !) and watching the monsoons. emoticon

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RAIN454 6/8/2013 11:33PM

    Yum! Onion Bhaji..one of my favorites =)
Glad your hip pain has lessened. Enjoy monsoon season! emoticon

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Saturday, June 08, 2013

The Vegetable Market

The Samovar at Kaalaa Ghoda,Fort

The Samovar

The Fresh Catch

A Traditional Marathi Thali on a Banana Leaf
The Monsoon brings an end to the long,hot,sweltering Summer heat---and also brings a lot of Fresh Vegetables and some Fish.The Boats go fishing only when there is some respite from the Gale force Winds but this is when Fish from the Gulfs come in.Mackerels,Bombay ducks and tiny grey coloured Shrimp called "Javalaa" are available for a limited period during the Monsoons.
Basically the four month Fast of the Marathi Hindus also starts during the Monsoons.Some do not eat even Onion or Garlic for the entire four months--but the reason for this Vegetarianism is the belief that the human metabolism slows down during this period and as Vegetarian Food is lighter to digest,it is preferred.Besides the entire period is choc-a-bloc with various Festivals and Religious Ceremonies and that is when Food is traditionally served on Banana Leaves.I used to love those days and yes I used to fast too!!Unfortunately the advent of Diabetes in 1996 forced me to give up that 4 month Fasting period and since then I am battling my weight problem.That period during my childhood was awesome--specially in my maternal Grandparents home in Bombay.We'd be served our Lunches and Dinners ceremoniously with "Rangoli" drawn in delicate patterns around each Leaf by my aunts.The food would be served from left to right beginning with the ceremonial pinch of Salt followed by a wedge of Lime, the Pickle,Chutney ,a spicy Condiment called "Panchamrut" and a Salad.Then there would follow the Vegetable Curry,a dry Vegetable Dish,a Bean Dish called Ussal and then the Dal Curry,a Sweet dish and finally the" Kokum Kadhi" all served in individual Silver bowls.The Rice would be served in the middle in two small moulds--one bearing a simple,sweet tasting Dal called "Varan" eaten with a dollop of Fresh Ghee or clarified Butter.The rice would be flanked by "Papads" and "Bhajiyas" or Fritters and deep fried Whole Wheat Indian Bread called "Puries".The Thali in the Picture also features "Alu Vadi" or a Taro Leaf Savoury made with of Taro Leaves layered with a Chick Pea Flour spicy paste.The Leaves aren then rolled up tightly and steamed before being cut in rounds and shallow fried.The Thali also features triangles of "Puran Poli" made with sweet Chick Pea concoction stuffed in All Purpose Flour dough and rolled out as thin as possible without breaking the outer covering shell.These too are eaten with dollops of warm,home made Ghee dribbled over them drenching these into simply delicious morsels!!In my childhood there would be many more dishes on the Leaf but today we just cook the mandatory Menu specially during the Hindu month of "Shraavan/Saawan" which has the maximum Religious activities!!
For me today the ambience of those days made Mealtimes special--the Incense twirling around in the still Air swirling upwards,the appetising aroma of the Food and above all the bonhomie and the camaraderie that was evident in all the jokes and teasing small talk exchanged between all the Men and children eating while the women served the Food with love and a smile--dressed in beautifully draped nine yard Saries with Gold motifs and borders--oh yes!!those were the days!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 6/12/2013 1:16PM

    The food (and all the colors) look wonderful!

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DISP715 6/10/2013 7:53AM

    Wonderful! Makes me want to try each and every bite!! I am so sad that I am in an area that I can't get authentic Indian food, I would love to try it someday. You photos are beautiful. Are they your?? Seriously, you should be a writer, I hang on to every word!

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MILLISMA 6/8/2013 7:53PM

    You make me so want to visit Mumbai! What great pictures and wonderful memories.

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RIDMYCOCOON 6/8/2013 2:06PM

    Oh how lovely! Simply LOVELY! Gorgeous. I wish I could have been a little friend of yours back then! What a glorious memory.

emoticon for the pictures too!


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At Last-----Thank You God!!!!!-1

Friday, June 07, 2013

The Drenched Vegetable Patch this Morning

Fresh Java Plums--in Season now

The Mumbai High Court--The Place where Sudhir practiced Law

The heady scented "Chaaphaa" Flowers

Intoxicatingly perfumed "Bakuli" Flowers
At last,finally last night the Weather broke !!There was a heavy downpour--not the usual one with loads of Attitude--the clashing,flashing kind but a much gentler,quieter steady downpour--and that really has brought up our spirits!!Of course I missed the awesome and glorious Fireworks but then the Heat and Humidity reduced considerably ---for which I'm immensely grateful as this makes for a very pleasant Climate change.There is still a long way to go for the Summer Heat to cool down to just warm---but the sweltering,blistering Heat has lessened!!
The Rains bring out all my hoarded Songs--Saxophone,Guitar and Piano instrumentals as well as the Oldies of Harry Belafonte,Frank Sinatra,Cliff Richard and Hollywood Film Themes.Both Sudhir and I loved "Singin' in the Rain" and that song would play at top volume after the first Showers all through the day.During the Rains we had a tradition of going out for Soups and the places we loved eating these was at The Wayside Inn and opposite it The Samovar---both situated at "Kaalaa Ghoda" so called because a statue of King George astride a Black Horse stood there before Independence.That the name has survived despite the removal of the Statue long back shows the kind of tendency we as a Country have of clinging to both our History and Past!!The one place I really miss visiting in the early days of the Monsoon is The Taj.
Since childhood Apollo Bunder or the Gateway of India has held a special place in my heart.Vacations in Bombay meant rides in the Horse drawn carriages called "Victoria" along the promenades of Apollo Bunder,Cuffe Parade and Marine Drive. The Marine Drive ended at Nariman Point and this was a long strip that stretched into the Arabian Sea.Here there was an open Air screen that showed various Documentaries.Next to it was a Stall selling yummylicious Vegetable and Chutney Sandwiches,Ice Creams,Cold Coffee and Sweet spiced Milk known as Masala Milk.Later the Land was reclaimed and by the 1970s the World Trade Centre complex and the Oberoi Sheraton--today called The Trident came up.
Atya,Sudhir's mother was my paternal aunt and they lived at Kemp's Corner while Gopal Kaka, my paternal Uncle lived in the Colaba----both being part of South Bombay--today called SoBo. Many of my evenings have been spent walking the Promenades,riding Victorias and eating the fabulous Mutton and Chicken Patties as also the excellent Fish and Chips at the Taj.Those were the days when the remnants of Colonialism still held sway.So Formals were a regular part of dressing up--casually dressed people were often than not turned away by the Hotel Durbans at the doors themselves!!When Sudhir and I got engaged we'd spend most of our evenings at the Taj or a tiny new Eatery called The Samovar.This was then a new addition to an Art Gallery called The Jehangir Art Gallery and was an arty affair set up in the long corridor like Verandah. The Verandah was completely open on the side facing gardens of The Prince of Wales Museum--and even today the ambience of Samovar in the Monsoons is awesome.
Sudhir and I would sit there for hours---holding hands under the table ( he didn't like to display emotion in Public) gazing out at the view of the heavy Rains turning the the parched Grounds into slush!!The huge Gardens are filled with many varieties of Flora and Fauna--and seeing the Water cascading off the folded leaves of the Rain Tree always made us smile.The Air would be redolent with the Scents of the wet Earth mixed with richly perfumed Flowers and wet Greenery was a deliciously intoxicating interlude!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 6/12/2013 1:18PM

    Beautiful pictures and memories. So enjoy reading them!

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RAIN454 6/8/2013 11:36PM

    Java plums look a lot like blueberries....any similarities?
How sweet about Sudhir and his secretive PDA emoticon
Such a cutttttttte story :)

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MILLISMA 6/7/2013 3:21PM

    The pictures are beautiful! Today we are having a heavy downpour from a tropical storm. We've already had 2 inches of rain and there is still more to come.

Thank you for sharing your stories. I only wish I could smell the flowers. lol

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LOOKINGUP2012 6/7/2013 1:18PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MESSENE 6/7/2013 8:31AM

    How Lovely! Love the pictures too. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAASHA17 6/7/2013 7:06AM

    Its raining here too but its not the same I will tell u that..esp living in a concrete jungle...luckily we have some greenery in our apt complex to enjoy..but cant wait to move further into the suburbs and get our own place with a yard and flowers...will definitely try my hand at gardening then:) start a vegetable patch:)

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