Thursday, January 31, 2013

Herb and vegetable garden in containers

It is my dream to have a kitchen herb garden and a vegetable garden of my own since ages. I don't live in a bunglow so I don't have a space to create a garden of my own choice. We have a terrace garden and it houses plants like Palm, Tulsi, White chrysanthemum, and some flowers.

Then I came across this blog Geek Gardener, by a person in India who writes about growing gardens in pots and containers, that too on the terrace. I was thrilled! He has written about almost everything that I ever wanted to plant. There are cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, coriander, chillies, eggplants and so on. He was a vast experience in  growing plants. What encouraged me more is that since he is located in Bangalore, he writes about Indian seasons, plants, sowing time, seeds and all. It will be much easier to find the required tools and seeds that he mentions.

So, after wondering a lot, I finally sowed my first plant - Coriander, yesterday. Now begins the wait for the germination and the actual plat. I am so exited. If this plant grows the way it is written in the blog, I will move on to the next plants such as mint, basil, and eventually may even try bigger plants such as tomatoes. I am crazy for tomatoes and I would be on seventh heaven the day I pluck a ripe tomato from my own garden.

I feel so anxious and impatient. Eager and exited...let's see what happens in a couple of days.

Here's a snapshot of my terrace garden.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Athavani



I have a wonderful group of college friends. We are together for more than 10 years and I love these people. We fight, we yell, we laugh, we even sometimes cry together. We are there for each other. We may not be able to attend someone’s wedding, we may not be able to go and see the first baby in the group, but we are there. Just a phone call away.

Today morning I and another friend of mine we were talking about how it’s been a long long time since we went on a trek. And the very mention of the work trek opened a box of memories. This poem is an outcome of those nostalgic moments.

तुझ्या अंगावर शहारा 
माझ्या डोळ्यात पाणी 
अशा कशा ह्या कॉलेजच्या आठवणी...

माझ्या मनात उठले आठवणींचे पूर 
तुला गवसले कवितांचे सूर 
त्या सुरांमध्ये गोड वेड्या आठवणी 
ज्या दाटल्या कितीवार्षांपासून आपल्या मनी...   

दोन वेड्या मित्र-मैत्रिणीने रचलेली कविता  – Ranjit Ahire and Shweta Hardikar



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rhydhun

I can spend hours listening to each of the track in the album by Taufiq Quereshi - Rhydhun.

It's been years since I was introduced to a complete different genre of music by Taufiq Qureshi. I am not someone who has studies music, neither am I a big fan of classical music. However, Rhydhun is beyond classical, it's mystical. It speaks the language of rhythm.

Taufiq Qureshi belongs to a legendary family, with a father like Ustad Allarkha, and a brother like Ustad Zakir Hussain, it is not easy to retain your individuality. However, he not only retains his individuality, but creates a different genre of music.

His music has no barriers of language, country, region or religion. You are definitely transported to another magical world when you hear the sounds and rhythm.

My favorite track in the album is Nand. It has soft and beautiful music and enthralling vocals by Geetika Varde - Taufiq Qureshi's wife. Her voice is too beautiful to be called haunting, but I am lost for words now. I have tried scouring the internet and music cafes for more vocals by Geetika Varde. That she should only sing for Taufiq makes her voice even more precious.

If you have ever seen Taufiq Qureshi perform live, in front of hundreds and thousands, you will notice that he is an out-an-out entertainer. He does bit's and pieces of percussion in between just to entertain you. His train music emitted only out of a tabla is legendary. Conducting a live performance that comprises only rhythm based music is not an easy task. But with Taufiq and team, two hours seem so less.

I have not attended a program in a long time and now yearn to listen to new music by a legend in itself. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Makar Sankrant


This is not a post about what Makar Sankranti festival is all about. This is about what Makar Sankranti was to me.

I grew up in Nashik so the first thing that reminds me of Makar Sankranti is the kites. We used to start flying kites from December onwards and on this day the sky would be so full of kites that you could hardly make out that it’s blue. We had only one guy in my building and rest all 10-12 girls. I remember I used to be his crony for holding his chakri while he flies the kites. He taught me how to tie a thread to the kite, in a fashion known as ‘Mangalsutra’. I always wondered why we would call it ‘mangalsutra’. Obviously the analogy of the thread being tied to a kite, which was essential for the kite to fly high was attributed to the holy bonds of matrimony.

Kite flying was more competitive that even our exams. We used to get together on our building terrace and there used to be a huge competition on who cuts other’s kites. We used to should till our voices became hoarse and till it becomes so dark that you can’t see the sky at all!

I never learnt how to fly a kite. I was always the ‘chakri’ bearer.  Even when a group of college friends started flying kites, all I could get was to hold the kite for either soaring it high above or getting to hold it for 3 minutes when the kite was high in the air. For those 3 minutes, I would be ready to run around to fetch the fallen kites, get more thread, hold the kite tight and leave it in the air so that someone can fly it higher and what not.

As if the entire day spent like vagabounds was not enough, we would take a 180 degree turn in the evening. Evenings were for visiting friends and families, dressed in best clothes and eating as much of til gul as possible. It was also an occasion to eat all sweets in plenty. Inni and my mom would make ladoos and gul poli and all the sweets and I would actually get a scolding for eating too much of sweets by the time it was evening.

While I sit at my desk and write a blog remembering old times I feel fatigued. Somewhere in the race to make a living for myself I am missing out on all these things. This feeling does not come frequently, it’s days like these, when I should technically be outside shouting on top of my voice and flying kites, meeting relatives and eating sweets till I can stuff up no more, that’s the time I realize that I am not going anywhere. I am at my desk. Trying to work, imagining all my friends who are flying kites. Yet, I know, none of my friends are out there. They are all inside, making an honest day’s living, no sweating in the heat, no sore throats, no red eyes and no frolicking around.

We are what we chose to be and I chose to sit in the office and dream about the sky filled with kites outside!  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Everything at once


Things I wish to do today...

As sly as a fox, as strong as an ox
As fast as a hare, as brave as a bear
As free as a bird, as neat as a word
As quiet as a mouse, as big as a house

All I wanna be, all I wanna be, oh
All I wanna be is everything

As mean as a wolf, as sharp as a tooth
As deep as a bite, as dark as the night
As sweet as a song, as right as a wrong
As long as a road, as ugly as a toad

As pretty as a picture hanging from a fixture
Strong like a family, strong as I wanna be
Bright as day, as light as play
As hard as nails, as grand as a whale

All I wanna be oh, all I wanna be, oh
All I wanna be is everything
Everything at once
Everything at once, oh
Everything at once

As warm as the sun, as silly as fun
As cool as a tree, as scary as the sea
As hot as fire, cold as ice
Sweet as sugar and everything nice

As old as time, as straight as a line
As royal as a queen, as buzzed as a bee
As stealth as a tiger, smooth as a glider
Pure as a melody, pure as I wanna be

All I wanna be oh, all I wanna be, oh
All I wanna be is everything
Everything at once!


What lessons will I teach my son ~ a thought over what's going on in my world

There are a lot of debates over the recent Delhi rape case. Some blame the police, some blame the government, some blame the girl, and some blame our films, our culture, and our society. I am tired of the blame game. It's time for some serious action. We are all a bunch of professionals, yes, even a bus driver is a professional. We should have an action plan now.

I have an action plan of things that I will teach my son, and they are:
  1. Women are not objects. Neither are men. Treat everyone with the same respect.
  2. Women and Men are not equal. You cannot compare oranges and spinach. Each has it's own reason for existence. 
  3. There is no work which is meant to be done by only men or only women. If you think cooking is a woman's job, you haven't heard of Sanjeev Kapoor. If you think being delicate and graceful is a woman's forte, you haven't seen Kelucharan Mahapatra dance. If you think running a country is a man's job, you have never lived under Indira Gandhi's reign. If you think women can't fight for the country, you haven't been at the receiving end of the women's fight over the water pump. 
  4. Being educated does not mean you ignore the ills in the society. You are to be blamed if you simply watch women being troubled. 
  5. Being physically weak does not mean women can't hurt you more. Read the news where a women castrates her abusive husband and you will understand. 
  6. It's one thing to like a girl and propose her. It's another to force her to accept you. While the earlier is acceptable, the latter is punishable. 
  7. Do not blame a woman for your thoughts. If a mini skirt entices you, you can always look the other way. Never tell anyone what to wear. Women don't rape men who walk in their ganjis and shorts. 

New year, new resolutions!

I love making new year resolutions. But before I begin, let me wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year!

So, with the formality over, I am eager to share my new list of resolutions and here it comes...

My new year resolution is....no no..wait..let me think..what was that I had planned..oh! What the heck! let me read my last year's post again..http://shwetahardikar.blogspot.in/2011/12/new-year-begins-on-sunday.html

Hmm...so I had decided to do few things in the last year and I managed to complete some of them, for instance, my cupboard is cleaned, tidied and all wonderful now, without me having to pay someone to do it (now that's a real achievement folks! No kidding).
Well, I am working in my home, cooking and cleaning and wiping and swiping and stuff, so that's done!
Finances...err..umm..aah...well, I have one more year to continue working on that part.

To come back to the topic of resolutions, well, I haven't made a single resolution this year. The reason being, I always tend to focus more on the resolutions and forget to have fun. Last year I did so many new things, had so many wonderful experiences, met a lot of interesting people and hence, I have decided not to stick to resolutions.

Happy no-new-resolutions year!