Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gifting Idea For Tea Lovers

If you do not know much about tea, and you are looking for a gift idea for someone who loves tea, look no further.

Blend of Tea is an online curated catalog of fine tea. They offer free shipping anywhere in India. Read more about the thinking behind this unusual project over at Subho's Jejune Diet

Friday, July 12, 2013

Become an Eco-Family: How to save water in the home

Even those of us who live in the city don't need reminding that India's water supply is endangered and that water pollution prevention is incredibly important. But families can find it tricky to minimise their water usage. However, a busy household can still save gallons per year by implementing a few small changes – and even some bigger changes, if you have the resources. Here's how to go about becoming a super-efficient eco-family with very little effort at all.

In the kitchen

Modern kitchens often have two sinks, so to cut down on water waste while washing dishes, fill one sink for rinsing, or simply place dishes on the rack and wash away the suds with a pan of water. You could also use a spare sink for soaking burnt-on food stains or grease, without changing loads of water every few minutes. Households with one sink can still set aside a basin or bucket full of water for soaking.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Talking About Art With WeChat

If nothing were impossible, I would like to be a part of an adda with Leonardo da Vinci, William Blake, Pablo Picasso, Abanindranath Tagore, and Andy Warhol. I would want this chat to take place so that I could see how these visionaries think together. I would like to see what they feel about the place of art in our times, how art can repair the damage we have done to ourselves.
Leonardo was a polymath if there was ever one. He was also far ahead of his time in terms of creative thinking. His application to the Duke of Milan not only enumerates his usefulness as a war strategist and inventor but also supplies a plan B, listing out how he can contribute during peacetime. He laid down most of the basics of representational art that we now take for granted. His use of light and shade is stuff that legends are made of, especially in the context of 15th century art. Along with Bacon, Michelangelo and Galileo, he redefined the place of man in the context of creation, and created the concept of the renaissance man.

Vitruvian Man - drawing by Leonardo da Vinci
William Blake, born three centuries after da Vinci, was a visionary in the truest sense of the term. Not only did he have visions as a child, but he went on to document his worldview in words and paintings that his world was not ready for. He was outspoken and mystic at the same time, and even today, much of what he meant is only slowly realized by readers and viewers. Known more for his highly allegoric yet uplifting poetry, he was also a brilliant artist. His views on love, sex, religion, and society earned him some distrust from his peers, but in time, he was recognized as a pathbreaker.

Pieta by William Blake

If there are two names that one must take when speaking of modern Indian art, and if one has already mentioned Ravi Varma, the other has to be Abanindranath. Little known to the contemporary world, he was the man behind the creation of the Bengal School of Art. His greatest contribution to the emergence of modern Indian art was in the way he blended contemporary perspectives with the traditional Mughal, Rajput and Buddhist schools of art. Like all the others in this chat session list, he was not only a great artist, but also a gifted writer.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Kitchens of India Weekend Party

Friends and family have both been redefined for me over and over during the course of my life. This thought struck me as I decided to write about a weekend party for friends and family. Today, my friends and family are those who accept me as I am, who stay in touch in spite of their hectic lives, who worry if I don’t respond to their calls or emails, who encourage me in the dreams I pursue. Somehow, the friends and family that I have today challenge the conventional definition. These are people I have met as I chose to find meaning, and to create meaning with my life and - you know who you are – this post, this virtual party is for you.

Where shall the party be? We live in a very small apartment in the middle of the city. We chose this place after a huge search. It is small and airy, and we have a zoo on our neighbors terrace that we can view from our balcony. We have cane seating that has nails sticking out so that no one gets too comfortable. And we keep open minds most days of the week. This is where the party shall be.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Stay Healthy Even on Vacation

Traveling is one of life’s great joys. Many of us spend months dieting and upping our workout schedules to fit into new vacation clothes. Unfortunately, traveling can also make it challenging to keep up this good behavior while on the road. Here, Cole Millen, guest blogger, has compiled some easy tips on how to stay healthy while on vacation. Cole is an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life's best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate "experiences."

On the Plane
Plane travel can be uncomfortable and the food available on planes or in airports can be questionable at best. A great idea is to eat well before heading out so that you’re well fueled before your trip begins. Try packing healthy snacks like fruit and nuts, rather than waiting until your only option is a bag of greasy chips. If you do need to eat at the airport or on the plane, look for yogurt and other fresh options like salads and fish or chicken entrees. Take advantage of a layover to move around a bit. You’ll likely spend most of a travel day sitting in a cramped airplane seat, so take a walk around and explore the airport; many have temporary art installations and other interesting sights.
Finding a Healthy Destination
The most important aspect of a healthy vacation is where you are staying. It is pivotal to ensure that prior to your departure, you have chosen a hotel and area that allows you to maintain a healthy lifestyle while you are away. I have found that reading reviews of hotels, restaurants, and vacation areas to be the best way to find unbiased and truly honest information. In a recent trip of mine, through a little research, I was able to find a site that listed reviews for hotels and included all sorts of information regarding amenities, restaurants in and out of the hotel, and other services provided. The site even offers a travel guide overview for each specific city that you wish to travel to. If you are traveling to a new city you are often in the dark about restaurants, hotels, and things to do so a site like this can be extremely helpful.In my most recent experience it led to the finding of a hotel with a gluten free restaurant as well as a gym and spa within!
At the Hotel
Once you get to your hotel, prepare yourself for temptation. The mini-bar, of course, is the epitome of convenience. But beware! Those easy to reach snacks and drinks are both expensive and calorie-laden. Ask at the front desk where the nearest health food store or market is located and get some fresh fruit, granola, or easy to make oatmeal or instant soup that you can prepare by heating water in the coffee maker. If your hotel offers continental breakfast, take advantage of the fresh fruit and yogurt offerings to start your day off right with an energy-packed healthy alternative. Whole grain is a great alternative to nutrient-barren white bread, and eggs can help you get the protein you need without all the fat.
Where to Eat
While in your hotel room, check out the nearby restaurant options. Many phone books include sample menus for some restaurants so you can plan your meal ahead of time to avoid last-minute temptation. Also, investigate potential restaurants online before heading out. If they have a mascot, steer clear!
Do your best to avoid fried entrees, opting for broiled or baked instead. Creamy sauces, soups, and dressings can also pack on the pounds, so focus on red sauces, vegetable broths, and vinaigrettes. Take a pass on the breadbasket before dinner, as this is a filling yet typically unsatisfying starter.
Keeping active and selecting the healthiest food options while traveling will help you enjoy your vacation without breaking your diet!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hair Like He Wore It

I am not a great fan of blogging contests. I find myself challenged, and on more than one occasion, my experience with blogging contests has been very discomforting. Hence, I have no clue what I was thinking when I clicked on the Indi tab for this one. As a matter of fact, I had quite forgotten I had clicked on it till I got a call asking whether I had received the gift pack. When I said no, the lady said okay and hung up. A few days later, I got a carton in the mail, with a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of conditioner.

I hurried back to Indi to see what it was all about. I realized soon that the ramp ready hairstyles were not something I was going to be able to come up with. I decided I would use the shampoo and conditioner and share the results instead. The shampoo-conditioner kit I got was a hairfall control variant, and that interested me. But first I needed to be taught how to use a conditioner. No, it is not like Araldite or M-Seal. You need to wash your hair with the shampoo, then apply the conditioner to the rinsed hair, read a chapter from whichever book is gracing your bathroom shelf, and then rinse again. That is for all of you who, like me, did not know this till now. I did this for a few days. I remembered to take a before picture so that you can see the difference.


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