Monsoon adventure

Every monsoon I remember this incident. To begin with, during my high school days my family resided in area around western ghats. I have witnessed wonderful monsoons to “God when will the sun come out” sort of rains. This area is blessed with a good amount of rains. it was common for our school to announce a holiday on days of severe rain. we children did many pranks and thrown tantrums to get a day off and play in puddles.

This is one such monsoon day in my life when I was studying in the sixth standard. it was raining continuously from past 3 days and my school did not announce a holiday, we kids were anxiously waiting for the day off. As usual, we board the school bus. The bus picked us from the house which is about 30 km away from school. we were total of 20 students on the bus. The time we boarded the bus we were half wet though we were covered with raincoats and umbrella. till we reached school we were busy drying ourselves. through the way, we saw a few trees fallen due to rain and wind of the previous night. we wished and prayed for the day off.

reaching school I saw almost everyone was wet, few were shivering. school ground had turned into the swimming pool. water-filled channels. I and my friends were thinking about the ways to pass the day in school and to reach home safely. we had to pass by the tiny forest area which was known for blocked roads due to tree falls in the rainy season.

Fishing morning prayer class began. Rains had calmed down a bit, but we were wetly perched on benches. after the first class, the principal announced the day off. we left school and went in search of our school bus. we did not find our bus. we searched a bit more and asked people around. no one had a clue about the bus.

we decided on to wait for some time. As the bus will return . after 10-15 minutes, I suggested to my friends why to sit and waste time, when we can play in the swimming pool (playground ). My friends agreed, we thought of putting the race to our paper boats and see whose boat comes first. we were quick enough to make paper boats and set them free. In order to make them move faster, we used our legs to bring wave in water. In this move, half of the boats sank and some managed to move 50 meters. Ghosh, I still remember the laughter and thrill.  This game of ours continued for 4-5 rounds and the winner was declared. The noise we created had already reached the principal office.  I think by now you know what principal did the moment she knew.

We were called back to the office and greeted by a dreadful look of principal. we didn’t have any answers or we couldn’t justify ourselves. Uniform was wet and moreover filled with mud. she had by now known our game. maybe she was on verge of executing punishment for us. We were punished and made to write imposition as well. we sat silently in the school bus and reached home, yes cursing the driver. Parents were also informed and special punishment from parents as well, which was discussed the next day. our group yet again was famous.

This blog is a part of the #BirthdayBlogTrain hosted by Gunjan Upadhyay http://tuggunmommy.com/ and Neha Sharma http://growingwithnemit.com/.

I would like to thank Silija Nair from www.vijvihaar.com for introducing me to this blog train and would further like to introduce Amitoj Kaur www.tryingtobesupermom.wordpress.com to share her take on the prompts.

kokum Summer Fruit

The genius kokum fruit is called Garcinia. It belongs to the family Clusiaceae . Garcinia indica is an evergreen, tree. The tree can grow as high as 18 meters. On maturity, the trees attain a pyramid shape. The fruit is an orange size purple color berry with fleshy endocarp. Kokum is indigenous to the Western Ghats region of India located along the western coast of the country. The kokum variety from the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts from the coastal Konkan region of the state of Maharashtra in India has received the GI

Kokum is found in forest lands, riversides and wastelands. These plants prefer evergreen lands, but sometimes they also thrive in areas with relatively low rainfall. It is also cultivated on a small scale. It does not require irrigation, spraying of pesticides or fertilizers.

 

Culinary uses

source-Wikipedia

 

The outer cover of fruit is dried in the sun to get  It is used as a staple souring agent typically in Goan cuisine and some parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Kokum yields a peculiar flavor and deep-red color. As a souring agent, it is used as an alternative to tamarind in curries and other dishes from south India. It is also used in cuisine from Gujarat, where it is frequently used to add flavor and tartness to dal for flavor balance.

Havyaka community of Dakshina Kannada district prepares kokum rasam which is must have a dish in summer. It is relished with brown rice and a good amount of ghee.

Recipe :

ingredients:

kokum – dried kokum kernels 1 cup.

soak them in water for about an hour or until the water turns dark red.

jaggery, salt, chilly powder- as per taste.

seasoning ingredients – mustard, jeera, asafoetida, ghee

method of preparation :

Take soaked kokum kernel with water in the cooking vessel. Heat the soaked water until it boils. Add jaggery, salt, chilly powder as per requirement. boil for 15-20 minutes. add seasoning and relish with hot rice.

The fresh fruit can be preserved with sugar to make bright-red squash that is diluted with water and bottled for sale as a beverage. Kokum squash or kokum concentrate is used in preparing a drink (sherbet) which is bright red in color.

Kokum is said to be great for your digestion and is known to fight conditions like flatulence, acidity, and constipation. A good digestive system is key to lose weight efficiently

Benefits as in Ayurveda 

  • Natural Antacid
  • Anti-Viral, Anti-Bacterial
  • Fights Free Radicals
  • Immune System Enhancer
  • Powerful Antioxidant
  • Gives Relief From Skin Rashes, Infections, and Wounds
  • Cures Diarrhea
  • It Is Anti-Inflammatory

Kokum is a powerhouse of essential nutrients and vitamins in the body. It contains malic acid, citric acid, and carbs. It has a healthy mixture of B-Vitamins and contains ascorbic acid, manganese, potassium, dietary fiber, and garcinol. Health benefits of kokum are great for pregnancy and the developing baby.

kokum does wonders to the body along with satiating taste buds.

#BharatKaZaika is a blogging event conducted by #BlogBoosterIndia. Hosted by Aditi, Mahesh, Pragun, Preeti, Saba, Sanjota, Sudip, Suhasini, Supriya and sponsored by Habhit Wellness Private Ltd.

 

Sponsor

 

Bharat-ka-zaika.jpg

Snakes In The Meadows- Book review

Author- Ayaz Kohli

Genre-fiction

Publisher- Rupa publications

Number of Pages- 278

About the Book

Jammu and Kashmir, 1987. In the hilly village of pathri Aali, where legends appear true, Aslam and ashwar, two young lovers, a dream of marriage and of good things of life. But that is not to be. Unable to cope, Aslam leaves pathri Aali forever. Years later, as men migrate to Saudi Arabia for employment, pathri Aali is populated mostly by women and children. Soon they realize the mujahedeen, who guise themselves as their liberators, are the worst perpetrators, and misery seems inescapable. Ashwar refuses to be cowed down by this reign of terror and is determined not to let it devastate the once-peaceful village. The only one she can Bank on is aslam—and she calls out to him across the distance of time and space, to return and live up to the legends of their village. Snakes in the meadows is a saga of the onset of militancy, and the suffering and the resilience of pir panjal—the ‘and’ of Jammu and Kashmir. 

 

About the Author

Born on 5 January 1977, Ayaz Kohli is a 2007 batch IRS officer, presently serving as Joint commissioner -GST Mumbai. He was born brought up in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. In 2007, he became the first person from his community and region to qualify the civil services. Having seen the rise and repercussions of militancy from very close quarters, and moved by the plight of the people of the border districts of Jammu and Kashmir, he decided to pen down his first novel, snakes in the meadows. His poem titled,” salvage Thy Pride ” has been a part of Exodus magazine released in the UK

Review :

The plot of the book is in the very beautiful state of India -Jammu Kashmir. The state and the people have undergone numerous political turmoil, economic downfall. This itself is a point of interest as to know why and what is the cause !?

The story revolves around Aslam and Ashwar. This book does not belong to a mere love story. Taking love story as base Author has touched sensitive issue and the burning problem of the current generation. This book shows the mirror of patriarchy, misogyny. the book narrates the sensitivity of the young mind and how easy it is manipulating the young brain. 

The story has many characters, I found this on the lower side. TAlking on strong points the book is showing the mirror to readers about the condition of the state. The writing style of the author is impressive. Book connects the reader easily. The book preaches patriotism. The Characters are well weaved between showcasing reality.

The beautiful cover is painting by Muneer Ali Khan which is apt. the cover depicts the valley of Kashmir. The agony, curiosity is very well depicted in the picture. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, this book has kept me on toes amidst my work. A wonderful book for debutant Author. The Book is a treasure and definitely not a one time read. The book left me with various thoughts and it was not easy for me to come out of intriguing thoughts.

my rating: 5/5

disclaimer

* I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Rupa Publications) in exchange of an honest review. 

 

 

Book review – Chaos At Keoladeo

Author – Priya Fonseca

Illustration -Zainab Tambawalla

photo credits -Ansar Khan, Adesh Shivkar, Kartikeya Puri

pages-96

publisher- Puffin Books

About The Author

Priya Fonseca was born and bought up in Bandra Mumbai.from the time she was little, she’s loved nature, the ocean and everything to do with them .priya is writer and voice artist.W hen she is not working you can find her enjoying her hobbies that include scuba diving, traveling, bird watching, trying out all kind of food, reading, astronomy, space exploration, yoga and running. She lives in Mumbai with her husband Hashim, their son Tarun and their huge dogs Rexiblu and Noel.

About the Book :

Sameera, Alex, and Tarun are headed to Bharatpur with UNcle Avi. they’ve heard that Siberian cranes have returned to Keoladeo National park after more than twenty years.

But things just don’t see right at the part. The three young explorers find themselves in the midst of things wondrous and wild as they spot birds and animals, bump into wildlife biologist Rauf Ali and sleuth around mystery along the way.

In the legend of hidden gastrolith gems more than just folklore? who is the strange guy lurking around the park? And where are the fabled Siberian cranes’ everyone is talking about

 

review :

As it is said holidays are for enjoyment recreation and learning through stories is a win-win situation. This books exactly does the same.

Chaos at Keoladeo is an entertaining adventure, travelogue, encyclopedia and birding guide all rolled in one. Three friends go on an adventure with their travel enthusiast uncle and the experiences they go through is the story all about. I liked the detailed travel experience the friends go through. For children, vacations are for fun learning experiments so this brings the gist of the same. this book is a perfect example of learning through stories. what better can explain about birds than bird sanctuary itself. The book is loaded with information of birds around the country, gives the history of the evolution of Bharatpur bird sanctuary.

The illustration of the book is beautiful and catchy. I felt the illustrations and photographs of the book is what keeps the book away from boredom. The photographs of almost all birds are listed in the book are vivid and it is no easy task. I loved the part where the author has mentioned facts along with fiction.  A tiny exercise for drawing a bird is mentioned in the book which is unique to this book. The photographs of reptiles and animals are also beautifully captured. This book can be said as treasurer of birds and their habitat. I totally enjoyed The DOPE Quiz.

Children might find difficult to read in one stretch, this is slow curve learning read. This book is not a bedtime story, this book is sure going to sparkle the interest in national parks. Age recommendation 8-10 years.

rating:5/5.

disclaimer

* I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Puffin Books) in exchange of an honest review. 

Book review – One Lonely Tiger

Book- One Lonely Tiger 

Author- Benita Sen

Illustrations -Sekhar Mukherjee 

Publisher- Puffin Books

About the book 

Whom should a lonely tiger play with if all his fellow tigers have disappeared ??

In the tug of war over living space between humans and animals, where will creatures of the wild go if more forests are cut? One Lonely Tiger depicts this urgent threat of extinction and asks the pressing question: Are our trees, wild animals, birds and insects safe? gorgeously illustrated and thoughtfully narrated, this book sensitizes young readers to pathos and loneliness of wildlife and the ecological crisis we face.

About the Author :

wordsmith and journalist Benita sen is happiest when writing for children. peeping over the decades into her own childhood, she writes all that she loved reading: fact and fiction, prose and verse, biographies, environmental books, and craft books. Some of her creations have won children’s Book Trust competitions. One of her books was shortlisted for an award and somewhere gifted by her publisher to Barack Obama. Her happiest hours are spent conducting workshops and story sessions. Between writing and more writing. She tries to help helpless dogs, cats, and neighborhood birds 

Review :

The story is about Tiger and then grips into major thought on having the environment and ecological system . beautifully narrated about loneliness and boredom the tiger faces in jungle.. the games which Tiger plays to relieve his boredom . in this era of making living space for humans how it is affecting the counterpart habitats is clearly explained. 

This book gives a thought for young reader and children can resonate well with the story of Tiger. The importance of forest and animals can be taught to children through these books.  The illustrations are glorious and greeny matching the color of the ecosystem. protecting forests and animals is what we can give best to our next generations 

The book would have had more rhyming words to attract kids. I would recommend this book for children ages 3-5 years to introduce about deforestation and wildlife. 

Rating 4/5

disclaimer

* I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Puffin Books) in exchange of an honest review. 

That’s what I Like – Book review.​

Book title – That’s what I Like – AtoZof my favorites

Genre– non-fiction

Author – Romila

The number of pages-55.

About the author

Romila wears many hats – Writer, Blogger, Editor, Author and a
Brand consultant. She is a published author of 8 books. She has been
with paper and pen since she was a teenager. She started blogging in
2004 to continue her passion for writing that she always held,
allowing her to be creative in her own little space on the internet,
and hopefully to inspire, relate to people and maybe even make them
think, feel and sometimes laugh with her words. When she’s not
writing, she is on Twitter, sipping coffee, listening to music, talking
to friends or else sleeping.

To read her more you can check her blog – here

To directly talk to her you can tweet her –here

Review

The author has written about 26 favorite things. Only a pro can write this effectively by maintaining the curiosity in the reader. Yes, the e-book is one stretch read. I felt if this would have a theme or continuation sort it would have been wonderful. Somewhere I was not able to connect in a few chapters.

The chapters are entertaining as well as educating. she has given a historical reference of topics ranging from xeroxing, Kellogg’s, Ikea. she has included her very personal favorite topics in the book including bags, jewelry, quilts, rains. 

This e-book made me think the art of writing the author has achieved by penning about day to day subject in ease. I would say though this is not her best book, but its worth read. 

rating- 4/5

Oxygen Manifesto

Book: Oxygen Manifesto: A battle for environment

Author: Atulya Misra

Publisher: Rupa Publications

About the book :

Oxygen Manifesto is a story of the triumph of ordinary people over the might of the establishment in their battle to save the environment.

Thatha lives in a remote and inaccessible part of Manipur and Ravi is a young IAS officer from the Tamil Nadu cadre. Circumstances bring them together and they create the most effective environmental movement the world has ever seen. They shun the politics of criticism and personal attacks and focus on establishing a new polity based on the principles of environmental protection, habitat conservation, direct civil action, and democratic decentralization.

Oxygen Manifesto is an engaging story about environmental degradation and the impact of the Anthropocene. It exposes the myth around wealth creation and the paradigm of economic growth. It also plants a development narrative that is environment-centric—an idea which is considered fringe in today’s times but is bound to emerge as mainstream thought in the future.

The story also has an undercurrent of minimalism and veganism, as opposed to consumerism and wasteful consumption. A novel concept of taxing goods and services based on their carbon and water footprint has also been introduced by the writer. This is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of human civilization.

 

swaash
reading in bullet train

 

Review: Oxygen Manifesto is a book about Thatha and Ravi Chandran bose. The story revolves on how these people are doing their bit in saving the environment. The importance of the environment is highlighted in the book very elaborately, this book cannot be put into environment movement book ledger. The story speaks about ideology, which is much required to save mother earth.

An IPS officer marks his mission to dig the story Bose, the story is a complete narration of officer. The story entrails upon politics and election. The book also gives an idea of how media works in propagation and making news. On rising pollution how the ecosystem is damaged is very addressed. The methods to combat the same is also given by the author.

The overall politics and selection of party members felt out of reality to me. The short chapters in the book made it a quick read. Well researched book in terms of earth, resources, pollution, and ecosystem . This book in no doubt is gripping story evolving around Ravi Chandran Bose

I would recommend this book

My rating : 4/5.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Atulya Misra is a senior officer of Indian Administrative Services; currently posted as the Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Department in Government of Tamil Nadu. He has earlier worked as Principal Secretary in the departments of Industries, Environment & Forests, and Transport. He has also served as chairman of different organizations, including Chennai Port Trust, Tamil Nadu State Pollution Control Board, Titan and TNPL.

Atulya Misra is an alumnus of Scindia School, Gwalior; Hindu College, University of Delhi; TERI University, Delhi; universities of Texas and Yale, USA; and Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK. He was awarded a doctorate by Anna University, Chennai, for his work on carbon footprint. He has written numerous papers for scientific journals. This is his first book.

disclaimer

* I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Rupa Publications) in exchange of a honest review.