Book Launch: Low Fat Low Guilt: Recipes & Lifestyle by Dr Namita Jain - Last month, we had a society meeting, the members requested the society to serve ‘*good snacks’*. What they meant was that they didn’t want to eat the ju...
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
It is unfortunate that I cannot do any fine work with my right hand for some time and all I can do all day I reading or writing or watching TV. Normally my days are occupied with various activities such as making dolls or stuff toys or any other handicraft stuff. I love to be surrounded by my own art work and keep adding them. I love to share my own artwork with my family too. My presence is visible through my art work and I feel good. Here in Spain, my brothers house is filled up with some of my works. Like this painting in oils This ship made from straws, cloth, twine and glass pieces and painted in bronze and red This collage of paper, cotton and wool and painted in acrylics This vase made in decoupage, This still life also in decoupage This portrait of my nieces and nephew in crayons and markers Birds in thread work A wall hanging in wool Guru Nanak in black and gold I hope to make more, there are still empty walls here waiting to be dressed up, if only my lazy right hand cooperates. ps: To view more of my art world visit http://chat-with-pushpee.blogspot.com/2007/06/my-art-world.html and http://chat-with-pushpee.blogspot.com/2008/03/woman-of-leisure.html from my archives
Monday, 28 July 2008
¨¨I don’t wish to go too far, a small drive will do¨ I tell my brother as I make myself comfortable in his car. We drive through the steep slope, pass through ancient Drago trees, a rich agricultural landscape and descend to the sheltered harbour down to San Marco beach surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Tenerife’s beaches have got the lot with plenty of nudist, black sand and golden sand beaches off the beaten track to suit; provided you know where to look…and Playa San Marco is the beach very close to my house, although quite far from the city. The peculiar thing about San Marco is its black shiny sand. The weather is cooler in this part of the island and therefore it is less crowded than the other beaches. It is mainly visited by locals. Some 70’s style apartment blocks on one side of the beach don’t make for the prettiest of vistas, but this small beach, beside a fishing harbour and backed by fish restaurants, has a certain charm. These restaurants are well known for their fish and Spanish rice dish called Paella It’s set in a sheltered inlet, which makes it suitable for kids. Although it is late evening, there are many people still soaking in water. Stunning vistas always impress; however, they’re pretty much an essential of any decent walk. The real ‘well I’ll go to the foot of the stairs’ moments are the unexpected surprises, especially when they’re to be found only a hop, skip and a jump away. Slowly and carefully I walk down towards the even path to reach the restaurants. There is a small church tucked between the restaurants. My niece informs me that it is regularly visited by locals and during San Marco fiestas, there is much activity here. We wait for a coffee as we watch the sun set down into waters, behind the hills. I glance in my watch, the sun has disappeared and the sky has all shades of red and blue and it is 9 30 pm.
Sunday, 27 July 2008
Last evening, I was invited for music, poetry and story-telling performance by a famous group of Tenerife called Sol Y Sombra. After dinner, we went to ´´Casa de Los Caceres´´ which is a heritage building, in Icod de Los Vinos, made of wood and stones. During day, there are many art exhibitions held in this place which exhibits the art and culture of Canarias. The show was held in the patio of this cultural centre and we were greeted with a glass of iced-gin tonic with basil leaves, and we sat there under the open skies, sipping the drink and watching the show. The patio, which is in the centre of the building, is surrounded by wooden windows of all the exhibit rooms, and it was from one of those windows, that we heard the musical voice of a singer, we looked up and saw him move from one window to another with a candle in his hand, his song resonating the patio as he walked down the steps behind the patio and he finally emerged the patio to present the show. The mood was set. There were musicians playing guitar/piano and the two artists who kept us captivated with their songs, poems and animated stories. There was a good interaction between the live music and the song. After each performance, the actors and musicians kissed each other expressing their gratitude and there was loud applause. The audience clearly mesmerised, wanted as many story telling performances as they could get. One could see that each artist performed with great passion, showing stunning melodic creativity and an ever fertile imagination. Although I am not too fluent in my Spanish, I could still follow the story from their powerful expressions. Such was the show that has clung to my memory and I am still relishing the tunes…..
Friday, 25 July 2008
The lyrics of the song “Pappu can’t dance sala” of the film 'Jaane tu..na Janne na..(sung by Blaze, Mohd. Aslam, Tanvi, Anupama Deshpande, Benny Dayal,Darshana, Satish Subramanium) is getting quite popular and has everyone dancing on its music except Pappu and it has interesting words too that is something like... Pappu is Popular, a muscular, a bachelor, spectacular Driving girls crazy With blue eyes, like English man In fast cars A Rado watch A Gucci perfume But Pappu can’t dance. Oh Halla! Tirkit tana tirkit tana teeri tana let’s dance Tirkit tana tirkit tana teeri tana let’s dance But, What has Pappu to say about that? Should we be careful in selecting names? My friend tells me that people with names such as Pappu or Baby never grow up and it is an embarrassment to their families when they are grown ups, and their childish behavior never change. Few years ago, we had ads on chocolates, in which Pappu had passed his exams and whole town was celebrating his success because he was an adult and had finally passed after many years of failures. All other smarter Pappu were apologetic. Also there was another ad which abused the name ‘Hari’ It said H for Hitler, A for Arrogant, R for Rascal, I for Idiot. One parent complained that his son (his name Hari) was continuously harassed by his peers and he wanted the ad to be striked off the network. It is strange that I have never met any person with the name ‘Pran. Maybe the parents were afraid that their son would turn out to be a villain as the character in films. Media and films have channelled our pattern of thinking. Few months ago, my friend was searching a name for her dark-skinned daughter-in-law, I suggested ´Saloni´ and she refused to talk to me for days….. So, do the names really matter? Does ‘Himmat Singh’ really have courage? Will Relax Singh ever find a job? And how do we say a polite goodbye to Tata in native Hindi language? I'm trying to get to the idea of whether such superstitions exist or are they merely fabrication. You can get many or most people to agree on whether some things are bad or good on grounds of selection of their names. Other things tend to be more difficult to gain consensus on. But the ground of wrong or right, if such a thing exists, must find its feet beyond human judgment. And what about this craze of selecting the brand name? Any close reference to the brand name sends our antenna up. If we cannot afford to buy ‘Sony’ brand, then we will buy Sunny or Sonny….so closely are we attached to the brand names. And finally we have Ekta kappor who Kares not for Korrect spelling and starts all her serials konnected with names strictly with ‘K’ I don't even care whether she's right. I just don't like the idea that someone with so little integrity and such narrow thoughts could hold so much sway. If consciousness does have an independent evolutionary trajectory, we can only hope that this world will one day be no more than fossils in the museum of intellectual history.
Thursday, 24 July 2008
I have been under self imposed curfew for the simple reason that I want to take no risk in hurting myself with one more fall. It ain´´t easy scrambling about, trying to do all jobs with just one left hand, you know. I am spending most of my time watching Canarian news on TV which is quite interesting, but sometimes my brother does take me for long drives through the city. Like the other day he drove me up to Buena Vista, which is about 30 minutes up north of my house in Buen Paso. It is located in the extreme northeast of Tenerife, next to the Teno Mountain range (natural area protected within the category of rural park). This place is visited mainly by tourist who enjoy Golf and by locals who enjoy fishing. This area has mild climate all year round. We drove via Icod de los Vinos driving through Garchico, up Los silos, passing though banana plantations and reached the beautiful spot at Beuna Vista. The golf park occupied a vast area and is mostly visited by German tourist who have vacation houses nearby. I envied those three women friends who had come to fish with buckets and fishing rods. They had prohably spend a long day at the sea, sitting on the rock, sharing gossip and waiting for the fish. they looked quite pleased with many fishes in their bucket and I wished if i could befriend them and enjoy the dinner of fish and chips. There was a nice, flowers hedged path leading towards the beach, with breeze so strong that it is impossible to walk alone. The lovely Canarian restuarant, at the foot of the beach, was quite empty, eagerly awaiting for busy week-ends....
Monday, 21 July 2008
I normally avoid walking, especially if I am injured. Had a minor accident, broke my bones, was hospitalised for a day and now in plaster on my right hand for one month. But no problem, I can manage with my left hand….. I asked my brother to take me for a drive and we drove up north towards Garachico, which is about 20 minutes from my house in Buen Paso. After a drive through a sixty-seconds long snake-like tunnel that had large circular window facing the sea, we reached the town of Garachico In the fertile lowlands of Tenerife’s North West tip, Garachico is officially one of the unluckiest towns on the planet. In its short history Garachico has endured Bubonic plague, floods, storms, fires, plagues of locusts and volcanic eruptions, the worst of which in 1706 destroyed a large part of the town and the source of its wealth; the harbour. What remains is one of Tenerife’s prettiest destinations with cobbled streets, beautifully restored churches, coastal sea water swimming pools hewn from volcanic rock and a steadfastly traditional Canarian character. Even though, I was just perched in the car, I could still enjoy the cool air of the sea, playing against my hair, tickling my face. There were many people walking in a festive mood. There was a stage put up near the shore, in the plaza de Libertad, where music and folk songs were being performed. Further up, in the church compound, there were couples dressed in traditional Mago clothes, dancing to the Spanish music. There were mobile stall selling hot dogs and Churro de chocolate. On our way back, we stopped by a restaurant and packed a dinner of carne de cordero (lamb meat, which is very tender and was cooked in sauce), papas arrugada(small potatoes boiled with their skin in salty water) and salchitas (fried sausages). This is a typical Canarias cuisine that has no spices nor any chillies and is yet too tasty…….
Sunday, 20 July 2008
Tenerife is a beautiful place and over last 15 years, there have been lots of new constructions everywhere. The booming economy needs manual labourers, and many foreign tourists who come to Tenerife, stay back to fill those jobs. Last year, many of Latin Americans who, entered the country as tourist, were given residency permits as the government called an amnesty for illegal immigrants with job contracts. But there are many more immigrants who risk their life and enter the country illegally. These immigrants are mainly from neighbouring countries such as Senegal and Morocco. They brave the high seas in small fishing boats and reach the beaches of Tenerife in pitiful state. Most of them are sent back after they are brought back to health, but some of them manage to creep into the city and live in miserable condition, working on low wages. Is it worth risking one’s life and living in fear in a foreign land? So many of them never reach the shores and many are too weak to go back. Few months ago, when I was in Africa, I saw the locals very contented in their own land. They were poor but they all had a smile on their faces. They seemed happy. Being with our own kind gives a great pleasure but economic needs, if not satisfied in our own country can give us so much pain. I have noticed this everywhere, that the foreigners always make more money than the natives. Maybe we are careless in our own land but are wiling to work hard for others. I think if the government paid more attention to their own country men and created more incentive for their own people, nobody would find the need to cross the borders to decorate the neighbour’s lands.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Early Tuesday morning, I came with my brother to the store at Calle San Sabastian. My brother has tourist biz n it is fun when there are shoppers. The street is spotless, cobbled-stoned with broad tiled footpaths. Every alternate days, they clean the roads with soap n water, at 5 am…so it a pleasant feeling to walk in these clean streets so early in the morning. One by one, I see the other shops opening and all are busy cleaning their shop windows and sweeping their shops and the spotless foot paths outside their stores. They greet every passer by, sharing the latest news. Nobody is in hurry to reach any where and they love chatting, if there is no topic to discuss, then they will talk about weather….. There are very few cars at this hour of the day, but nobody honks, it is so peaceful that you can hear the footsteps of every pedestrian. Only the friendly conversation kills the silence in the air.
Friday, 18 July 2008
Icod de Los Vinos is a small village in the North of the island famous for its tourist attraction. It is famous for its Drago Milenario, which is a dragon tree believed to be of 1000 years old, and it also has a butterfly centre called Mariposario. Many tourist visit Icod de los Vinos to see these 2 main attractions. There is no big mall in Icod, however there are 2 main shopping lanes in Icod de los Vinos: Calle San Agustin and Calle San Sebastian that are right angles to each other separated by a town hall to its corners. The lanes are full of small shops that cater to the locals. Most of the shops are run by women. It is a small town where everybody knows each other and the shoppers will wait for a long chat if they visit your store.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
Summer in Tenerife means lots of festival and it is the best time to visit tis place. Every part of Tenerife has its own set of festivals. Natives of Canarias believe in Fiestas n siestas. This weekend there was a festival of Carmen celebrated in North of Tenerife at Puerto de la Cruz. This is a fiesta with strong connections to the sea, so water figures highly throughout the day. Huge crowd gathers at the sea front at San Thelmo, playing with water pistols splashing water on innocent bystanders. By late afternoon the area around the harbour becomes a thronging mass and the little beach disappears under a sea of people. Around 6.30pm an excited murmur spreads through the crowd announcing the arrival of San Telmo, followed by La Virgen del Carmen, both carried proudly on the shoulders of local fishermen. As they move with a rhythmic swaying motion which simulates being at sea, the mood of the crowd changes from one of frivolity to religious fervour and devotees clamour to touch the figures for luck. At the lovingly decorated shrine at the top of the harbour, La Virgen pauses to be serenaded by a rendition of ‘Ave Maria’ which sends a tingle down the spine. Only the hardest heart won’t be moved by the sheer intensity of emotion at that moment; all around tear stained cheeks glisten in the sunlight. The strains of ‘Ave Maria’ subside, replaced with cries of “¡Viva La VirgenỊ” and “¡Viva San TelmoỊ” which accompany the couple as they’re carried through the crowd to the water’s edge and the brightly decorated boats which have been chosen to take them on their brief sea cruise. It’s a painfully slow journey. A barrage of fireworks and blaring klaxons applaud their departure and the fact that a good fish supply should be guaranteed for another year and everyone can wander away to dry out before the sun disappears below the horizon. Celebrations take place throughout July and include the obligatory crowning of the fiesta queen, traditional Canarian dances, Jazz and rock concerts, antique car rallies, sporting events and air displays. source: http://www.realtenerifeislanddrives.com/
It took me nearly 24 hours to reach home in Tenerife and that includes flight time and transit time spend at the airports. My route was from Mumbai to Paris to Madrid to Tenerife. It felt like I have never been away although I am returning after three years. I live in a small town called Buen Paso, which is about 45 minutes from Los Rodeos airport in the north. I love the view on route, the streets are clean and colourful, and there is variety of flowers growing wildly on both sides of the road, red, yellow, orange, green, the sight is a treat to the eyes. Tourism is the main industry of Tenerife and every effort is made by the government to make the city worth its name. Road leading to my house View from my balcony. There are row houses opposite my house, each house is distinct from other by color. on left is the view of Atlantic ocean behind my house is new hospital which is still under construction and from my terrace there is a view og Teide, which is a dormant valcano and quite a tourist attraction.
Monday, 14 July 2008
During the last few months I have passed through several airports such as Mumbai, Dubai, Lagos, Accra, Paris, Madrid and Tenerife. Mumbai airport is a complete chaos. Mumbai airport has no sympathy for travellers. On the route towards airport, there is a narrow bridge leading towards the departure, which leads to traffic jam, At te airport, there is no seating arrangement nor any waiting lounge for visitors who come to see off /or receive their relatives, moreover, the airport stinks of strong phenol detergent and the bathroom attendants expects you to pay for the tissue paper that you need to wipe yourself clean. In sharp contrast is the Dubai airport, which spells luxury. It is pleasure to walk through Dubai airport; they have shiny crystal chandeliers, artificial plants and lots of shopping and have the capacity to receive 120 million passengers per year. Lagos and Accra airports are small airports, but they are better than Mumbai airport that there is place to sit with your family in the waiting lounge or in the restaurant while you wait for the flight to arrive or depart. Paris, Madrid and Tenerife are similar in design with glass and steel that offer a panoramic view of the runways and airplanes. In Paris, I loved the waiting lounge which even had easy chairs facing the runways. When there are long flights and there is a transit of few hours to rest at the airports, the passengers respond to their services on offer and benchmark their services against other airports around the word. I saw lots of constructions at Mumbai airport. I am hoping that Mumbai airport will keep in mind the comfort of the passengers and be more hospitable in its attitude towards the passengers to make the wait at the airports more pleasurable and worthwhile.
I have poor memory therefore I tend to forget the good and the bad times easily. What is past is forgotten, each day I try my best that my ...