Thursday, February 21, 2019


All four major colors highlight the world so beautifully in their multiple shades.  Yet I’d say green is my favorite. Whenever I buy clothes for myself, I examine my shopping first thing on reaching home. It always surprises me to find the prominence of green tints in most of them. Then I realize I instinctively love green hues more than any other color.

Green is a vibrant color loaded with luster and freshness. It is the creation of the merger of two greats: yellow and blue. Green is special because of its versatile symbolism and widespread usage in our daily life. It is the color of nature. It signifies renewal, rebirth, and brilliance. Imagine the intoxicating emergence of greenery showing its lush wealth of myriad shades after the arrival of spring’s queenly presence. The jaw-stopping spectacle of soothing and bright ambiance, which follows, generates an unexplainable tug at the heartstrings.  

The charm of the resurgence of greenery after the merciless onslaught of winter inebriates the senses of the initiated. When the vegetation thrives with the benedictions of spring, the lush greenery gives the message of eternal hope of better days, which always lie in wait. For humanity, green surroundings work like magic to revive the sagging spirits. Forgetting all disappointments the mood is charged with exuberance for the life process.  Plants, trees, flowers and all vegetation buoys our resolves while soothing our perceptions and diluting our prejudices.

Here are some instances of how the color green participates in our cultural paradigms. Green’s inferences are an important part of our phraseology with interesting semantics.

Indian national flag called the tricolor (Tiranga) has three horizontal bands. Topmost is saffron, the middle is white with a dharma chakra in its center and the last is green. Here green embodies fertility, growth, and sacredness.
google images both.
Medical research has made us aware that green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, mustard greens, kale etc. are a reservoir of micronutrients essential for our good health. They contain potent antioxidants, which strengthen our immunity against many serious ailments.

'Go green' is a campaign to preserve and safeguard our environment and plants against dreadful emissions.

'A Greenhorn' is the one who is yet raw and inexperienced. These days business houses train the greenhorns according to the requirements of the job.

The somewhat negative implication has the expression ‘to be green with envy’.  Not a great feeling of course.

You get the 'green light' when authorities give permission for starting some new project to the concerned company.

'Go green or turn green' is a look of sickness needing attention.

'The village green' is an area in the periphery of the village, which is not supposed to be disturbed with any building activity.

'Greenbacks' the name of the currency, which is always in the ascendancy, is slang for the US dollars.

'Green card' to acquire which gives sleepless nights to aspiring immigrants in the US.

I must mention the emerging preference for green tea all over the globe. Its anti-oxidant properties are making it a winner in the fraternity of various varieties of teas.

I admire the perseverance of the people with a 'green thumb' who create beautiful home gardens with utmost dedication.

There’re many more phrases but I feel this much will suffice for now.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Waiting for the colors of spring to inundate our lives with beauty and joy!

On February 10, here in India, we celebrated "Basant Panchami”. It is one of the sacred days in the yearly calendar. People weather cold wintry conditions to take dips in holy rivers and offer prayers to goddess Saraswati.

In northern India, young boys fly kites and make merry as the educational institutions are closed. People wear yellow colored dresses in tune with the golden spectacle of sheets of blooming yellow mustard plants in the fields. The spirit of joyful abandon is palpable in the air. Sweet rice prepared with yellow food color and saffron threads is a traditional dish associated with this festival.
Mustard blooms, courtesy Wikipedia
Culturally it signifies the preparation for the advent of spring and marks the lessening of winter’s hold. People wait for signs of warmth in the air. There is a saying “ae Basant pala udant.” That is when ‘Basant’ comes cold disappears.
Here are some images of marigold flowers attired in their very best to welcome spring, the queen of seasons.

         Image above was captured at 'Nature cure Institute' in Banglore, India.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019


To keep  the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.      -  Buddha

To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. Buddha
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Worryingly a significant number of global populations are in the throes of the epidemic of obesity. It is a modern phenomenon and a huge one. There are hosts of health issues, which are in some way, or the other related to this. In terms of financial, drain on health care systems of the nations it needs prioritized attention.

This leads us to the need for a serious look at what we eat. There is a plethora of websites and medical reports underlining the measures to control and prevent this debilitating disorder. People are becoming conscious but the problem remains unabated. The knowledge regarding the problem is abundant on the internet but the willpower to follow the necessary preemptive actions is lacking. Strangely, a mindset is taking root all over the world of utter irresponsibility on the part of the citizens, while expecting quick fixes from the government or some other agencies.

Popping pills will not work here. It is a complex issue. An observable fact is that people with disposal incomes worldwide are new entrants to the burgeoning numbers of affected people. Unknowingly they promote the spread of this malaise. This segment of society performs stressful jobs and feel exhausted at the end of the day. As a routine, they bring restaurant meals on the way back home. Or simply place an order for a pizza. Now, these restaurant meals loaded with an excess of oils and harmful additives eaten day in day out can ruin your liver, gut health, and cardiovascular system. This apart, rampant alcoholism with its high caloric value, sans nutrients contributes to a host of issues including drunken driving leading to fatalities. The challenge of the living process has been taken over by thoughtless instinctive pleasures.

The question arises what to do about it. The answer lies in drastic lifestyle changes. The urgency of zeroing in on the concept of eating wisely needs to be understood more than ever.

Here are some general guidelines regarding eating a well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight. These are the ones garnered from my experiences, observations, google research and above all my mother's traditional wisdom.

A balanced diet promotes overall good health and protects us from various diseases.  Broadly, a healthy diet constitutes fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, whole grains, beans and legumes, low-fat protein and dairy products.

Proteins provide macronutrients. They are the main source of our energy needs. Lean meats, eggs, fish and fresh or dried beans provide good protein to build muscles, bones, skin, and blood

Vitamins and minerals contain micronutrients for all over good health. To eat well we should consume a variety of foods. Wholegrain bread and cereals, lots of vegetables and fruit. All colored vegetables: pumpkin, zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli, beetroots, carrots, cabbage, avocados, spinach, and leafy greens are storehouses of nutrients. These contain fiber for an easy bowel movement.

Yogurt is a powerful probiotic and helps to maintain gut health. It also helps in reducing weight. Milk and milk products provide calcium.

Stay away from bakery products as they are packed with sugar and saturated fats. Cakes, pastries and butter cookies should be avoided.

Cook with minimum salt and fat. Use herbs, and condiments for enhancing flavor and taste.

All fried stuff contains Trans fats, which are harmful to heart health and contribute to weight gain.

Keep your body hydrated with enough water and other liquids. Soft drinks only give empty calories leading to obesity.

Diet alone is not sufficient to lose weight. A strict regimen of exercise is required for the optimum functioning of our system.

Learn to practice mindfulness and yoga for a holistic approach to good health.

Friends below are a few captures of my kitchen tales promoting healthy food habits and convenience. This was the cooked stuff in my fridge yesterday, which I'm sharing with you!

 Homemade butter, which I prepare each week. Boil full-fat milk. Cool. Keep it in the fridge overnight. Remove cream which forms on the surface. Churn till butter separates from the milk. Scoop out with fingers. Press gently to let the remnants of the milk drop drown. Prepare cheese with the remaining thick milk.

Buy green chilies according to need. Snip the ends. Grind till it looks like a paste. Store in ziplock bags above. Freeze.  So convenient to use the quantity according to taste. Green chilies contain Vitamin C and give a special flavor to the food.  Can use it in omelettes and marinades also.

Spinach cooked with potatoes with the seasoning of onion and garlic. Just before removing from stove sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of all spices and some coriander powder.

Zucchini chunks cooked with light seasoning to retain its original flavor.

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