Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award from Saikat :)

February is the month that has lot of love in the air . The Valentine's month fills a lot of excitement in hearts young and old. I am not a Valentine's Day person. Though I always contemplate over  turning a florist for one day on February 14 every year. However this February I have been showered with some fellow blogger appreciation and love. First the unexpected Liebster Award from Nuktaa and now it's the Versatile Blogger Award nomination from Saikat  (whose blog ironically says a scribble art a day keeps doctor away :D )

Thanks a lot Saikat for nominating me for this award . I hope my blog could live up to this "versatile blogger"award .Now its time to follow the rules of this Award.

Rules : 

1. Nominate only 1 fellow Blogger.
2. Inform the Blogger about nomination
3. Share 7 random things about yourself
4. Thank the Blogger who nominated you.
5. Add the Versatile Blog Award picture to your blog post.(FLEXIBLE)

Well first seven random things about me. Wow I have a terrible time writing about myself . Anyways lets try...

1. As a kid I was a totally happy with myself ... most people tell me I was fond of rhymes and when alone could be easily caught singing something.

2. I have a disturbingly good memory at times ( Well helped me get through medical school with flying colours but I have a tough time forgetting things which can have it's own drawbacks.)

3.I love nature and I am totally myself when surrounded by the beauty of nature. I am bonded with the SUN since birth astrologically and psychologically so I am prone to mood swings if the sun hides for long. 

4. I am a natural with children ... takes me a jiffy to bond with them . I strangely get along very well with younger and older people the only trouble I have is getting along with peers :P.

5. Love reading and buying books . Can't imagine a life and home sans books.

6. I have great REM sleep cycle and I remember almost all my dreams and they are really vivid. The only time I didn't remember my dreams was three killing years of Residency program. I felt like a broken Robot that switched on and switched off .

7. I am a learner to the core. As am growing older that zeal to learn is increasing. 

Now it's time to nominate the one blogger who I think is entitled to this award. After much contemplation I nominate Anukriti's Blog .

Thanks again Saikat  for this !

An experiment with Glass...All in a day..

I was in my third year of MBBS when I developed a fascination for glass paintings. They entralled me. One day I found a sheet of glass at home when I was back from college on a short holiday. I visualised a dancing girl and a guy with a 'dhol'. However that could not be materialised so I settled for a dancing girl Gujarati or Rajasthani mainly for their colourful appearance. I aint good at sketching so my extremely talented brother came to my rescue and made a dancing girl on a tracing paper. I bought glass paints and liner (which I thought costed me a fortune).Impatient and determined as I was I ended up finishing the whole deal by evening. 
As I said I had no idea about the nuances of glass painting I had naively chosen a very thin sheet of glass and framing my 'master piece' became an ordeal and ended up costing me more than the entire cost of painting itself !! Reminds me of a short story by Jeffery Archer (in his short story collection 'A quiver full of arrows'). I took this picture today I guess its been 10 years now. It needs some restoration but I guess it still looks very interesting specially cos it was made purely out of instinct.

My Favourite Deity

This is a very amateur attempt with oil paints. I always wanted to paint Lord Ganesha. This was started some four years back and saw it's final form recently.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Shahi Paneer Recipe ...

Well this one was written  last year and I just found it on 'My notes' on facebook(where I shared it with my friends ). Felt like sharing it here ... Since I am not exactly a cook I haven't precisely given the directions and quantities ...this  was cooked randomly and surprisingly tasted well to everyone's relief :P.

My way of 'cooking' is let it be free spirited and blend in everything that you feel can add magic to the usual. So this one is not an ideal one and you can have your own version. 

To begin with I had the main ingredients  fresh paneer (cottage cheese)... onions ... garlic... but my kitchen was devoid of tomatoes .... my mom had a wonderful idea of preparing a thick gravy by replacing tomatoes with apples!  Now these were sweet sour juicy part green part red apples, the kinds which have an awesome refreshing taste. So the first step was making an apple and onion plus garlic paste in the mixer grinder ....that part done... I cut the fresh paneer is small cubes (after thoroughly washing it) .

 Now you can have any shape slices but the idea is keep them equal sized.I prefer cooking in olive oil so first thing in the pan was olive oil and when it had reached adequate temperature I added about 5-6 peppers and cloves ( kali mirch and laung) and some dried leaves of Kadi patta ( I am fond of masala in solid form as it gives little bursts of flavours while eating...plus I have a weakness for south Indian fav kadi patta and crushed coconut). Then I poured the gravvy paste in the oil and let it brown. Added salt to taste and a slight hint of turmeric powder alongwith meat masala ( you can use pre prepared sabzi masala ...as per your choice)... I kept the masala thing less in quantity just for the flavour. 

Then added paneer cubes ..... followed by fresh cream and milk .... one important tip is while adding fresh cream and milk make sure that you are constantly stirring otherwise the thing may go curdy and the smooth consistency of the gravy may not be there....Let it cook for around 15 minutes on simmer and later cos I did not add tomatoes and shahi paneer has a slight sweet taste ... I added some thick tomato ketchup.... after it had blended in ...it was ready to serve....I am not giving quantities cos it shall depend on how many people you cooking for. 

Since I was trying to keep it low on calories so I did not add dry fruits. Cashew and badam can be added in the gravvy paste as well as it can be cut into pieces and put in the gravvy later while cooking ...adds to the rich taste... 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Determined Danseuse:The Journey from Dying to dancing through life.

I was flipping through the pages of my personal journal of 2005 and I came across a few pages that I had ripped off the Reader’s Digest issue of March 2005. It was an article about an extraordinary girl who fought her illness and went beyond to become an inspiration. Well I googled by habit and found a link that said she has survived 25 years of kidney failure.

Niketa Ghiya is the second person under the label Featured on this blog  after Tejaswee Rao. Niketa was diagnosed with Renal Failure at the tender age of 15. She went through renal transplant when both her kidneys failed. The post transplant steroids turned her into an obese 20 year old with hirsutism crushing her self-esteem. She did her graduation but following that it was just managing her health. Her breaking point came when she developed cataracts and was operated at the same time as her grandmother was being operated for cataracts .... she failed to find a reason to live and the next blow was the beginning of failure of her transplanted kidney.

Luckily the medication worked and Niketa was in much better health.  Dr. Rajapurkar ,the Director of the hospital where she was getting her dialysis , brought a turning point in her life when he rebuked her “Why is a young ,educated woman like you wasting her life . You are now well enough to do something useful”. Those harsh words made Niketa retaliate but when she learned that Dr. Rajapurkar suffered heart attack at 29 and despite going through several surgeries did not give up on his profession she was determined to change things . Dr. Rajapurkar ‘s words transformed an ailing fragile body into a determined soul.

“Yes living with simple pleasures of life is difficult but I do not believe in being idle and living on sympathy”.

Niketa did not take long to discover her passion and destiny. She had learned Bharatnatayam in her childhood and after her first performance (arangetram) she was diagnosed with renal disease. She took back to dancing , found a teacher who though worried about her health was totally spellbound by her determination. Her first performance was at the Annual Function of Dr. Rajapurkar’s Hospital. Despite the fragility of her body she sailed through. Niketa decided to raise money for poor kidney patients who do not have money for dialysis . She has been doing that for the past 10 years . People have been inspired by her courage , determination and talent. Help poured in from all corners to raise funds and arrange funds for her noble pursuit. The lady of courage refuses to tone down her performance as she does not believe in compromising on it.“I want people to see a proper performance , not a patient “Her spirit to live “a useful life for as long as I live “ has made her survive the disease for 25 years.

The last lines of the article in the magazine quoted the song “Har pal Yahan , jee bhar jiyo ... Jo hai sama Kal ho na ho”. For some reason I had written those lines in my diary in February 2004 and I had found only apt to rip off those pages and stick it adjacent to that page.

Niketa is a true inspiration , someone who does not inspire through preaching but by practicing. She raises funds through dancing her way against adversity but more than that she raises hopes in the eyes of those who are suffering the hell she has conquered. Hats Off to you Niketa... I am inspired.

Blindness (a dystopian satire with black humour)

‘Blindness’, by Jose Saramago, a Portuguese author and a 1998 Nobel Laureate in Literature, was an intense read. Originally written in Portuguese the translated version was interesting in the sense it lacked the interruptions of punctuations and the dialogues were free of inverted commas yet the flow was so marvellous that not for once I was confused over what was being said and by whom. The Observer called it ‘extraordinary’ and a critic called it  a ‘dystopian satire’. I bought the book in December 2010 at Mumbai Airport and finally finished it yesterday.

It’s a fable about a white blindness that suddenly strikes a man and spreads over the city to whoever comes in the vicinity of a person struck by the ‘white blindness’ (the person sees everything white rather than black ). The first reaction of the government  to this mysterious blindness is to quarantine the blind . The quarantine turns into a trap where crime spreads . The rationed food is confiscated by blind hoodlums who first extort precious possessions and money and then are taken over by lust leading the women inmates to turn into offerings and subjected to orgy. Then comes the point where one of the oppressants is murdered and the blind gather courage to revolt and a fire set to kill the hoodlums shatters the gates of the quarantine releasing the inmates into the city which has turned into a greater  hell of endless blindness.

Amidst the spreading unexplainable blindness an Opthalmologist’s wife never loses her sight and witnesses the moral degradation ,destruction ,misery and hopelessness while she tries to keep her group alive  . The novel puts forward how easy it is for humans to turn into animals , how fragile our social systems are. The most basic needs like drinking water and having a place to defecate could turn into such luxury and blessing. As the author says “ A glass of water is such a marvellous thing “.

 A stench of rotting food , faeces and the dead spreads around the city .Groping in the white blindness people still try to hold on to wealth , an old lonely woman feeds on raw flesh,a solitary woman chooses to die on the streets rather than lonely in her apartment ,a young beautiful girl learns to love an old man and a dog learns to wipe tears when humanity is dying in the luminous blindness.The blindness actually is not about the sight its rather about the ability to “see”. “ Blind people who can see but do not see”. The author so beautifully pointed at the blindness that we carry through our lives unable to see a fellow human and respond in a human way. It is such a disturbing  but wise tale .”Blindness” shows up every now and then all over the world when societies are stable and when they are not. Amid all this it is hard to predict human behaviour as the author wisely says...

“You never know beforehand what people are capable of , you have to wait give it time, it’s the time that rules, time is our gambling partner on the other side of the tableand it holds all the cards of the deck in it’s hands , we have to guess the winning cards of our lives”

‘Blindness’ is an eye opening book.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Liebster in German means Favourite. 

This is my first blogging award by Nuktaa.(http://nuktaa.blogspot.in/2012/02/liebster.html) Thanks a lot for liking my blog .

The rules of accepting the award are as follows

1.Link back to the person who gave you the award

2.Pick 5 people you want to share the award with and notify them on their blogs

3.Post the award on your blog and spread the love

Now its  my turn to disclose my Liebesters :)

1.My Scribble art                  http://saikatscribble.blogspot.in/

3.Lightscapes                   http://santoshnc.blogspot.in/

4.Wanderer's Eye            http://aniruddhahd.blogspot.in/

5.Pensive thoughts         http://jumble-rumble-thoughts.blogspot.in/

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Big Blank theory...

This post is to capture the process of doodling I have been working at for around two years. Its a leisurely activity I indulge in  particularly during  stressed out times and is more a form of meditation for me.Helps me take a break from my otherwise multitasking tendency.I titled the post as 'The Big Blank Theory' as it all starts with a blank ... like the universe came out of nothingness ... through my doodles I learn that there is an intricate relationship between 'nothing' and the creation of 'everything' ... the link being the ultimate resource called imagination .

My doodles start with a blank page and a blank mind. So I took an art sheet and an orange ball point pen.My hands moved in random strokes.

Then I began following the process and joining the free ends.

I stopped when I had the feeling that now  it's time to figure out what is emerging out of the randomness. It's something like watching the clouds and letting your imagination figure out forms.

Nah .... nothing ... so I rotated the sheet...

Hmmm... needed one more rotation....and I gazed until I saw it....

It was time to outline what I figured out....

Now my hands worked in the direction for materializing what I had seen in that random chaos of lines...some water color and black sketch pen came to aide...

Filling up the background is my favorite part and the most absorbing....I pick up a black pilot pen and work on the details of the background...

 More colors and details...I guess now you can see the form I saw...

By now I am wondering about the title and the verse and it's building in my mind as I work on the details...

Finally after about and hour and a half It's finished ....

The wounded warrior


He falls on his knees
Victor? ... vanquished ..?
now matters the least..

With a blood stained body
and a tattered soul....

He wonders at the purpose..
shaken to the core...
petrified at the sight of
that sea of blood and gore....