Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ear Ring Holder 1

All those of you who have a big collection of junk / costume jewellery must have faced the problem of storing them. I love ear rings and love them in different materials, colours, sizes and shapes.

I have them in Gold, Silver, beads, pearls, precious and semi precious stones, wood, seeds, bone, glass, shell, thread, etc.

Have you noticed that the ear rings with hooks get tangled up when you keep them all in a box or a case? Most of the time, you will find one ear ring that you want to wear but not its pair, especially when you are in a hurry? I had that problem often. Not any more!

I made a holder / board (for the lack of a better name) on which I hung all my ear rings with hooks. It is kept the board on top of a wall unit, at eye level.

  • From a packing box, I cut out a flat piece of side panel and smoothened the edges with scissors.
  • The ear rings were made into different categories based on their size. I knew how many rows and what distances they should be hung.
  • Drew horizontal lines across and marked points for making holes.
  • With the help of a pointy tool, made holes on the markings.
  • Stuck metallic lace all round for decoration.

Finally I hung up my ear rings on the holder. There seems to be extra space for a few more pairs! 
Now they are easy to remove and put back. They are safe from scratches and breakings!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Is India Senior Citizen friendly?

Is India as a nation, senior citizen friendly?

India is a nation of 1.23 billion people in July 2014. It is a young nation. It is expected to be the most populous country by 2025. Out of 1.23 billion, those between the ages 15 - 59 are 72.9 billion or 60.3%; and people aged 60 years and above are 10.32 crores or 8.6%, as per 2011 census.

What does the census show?
It seems to me that there above 10 core old people / senior citizen as of now, and the number is going to grow rapidly in the near future. Soon we will also be joining the ranks of the 'Elderly', ie. if we have not already.

My questions are:
'Are our urban spaces equipped to cater to the elderly?' 
'Are our public spaces, transport, road and traffic rules senior citizen friendly?
'Are our outdoor spaces, Public spaces and buildings, and transportation  designed keeping in mind the needs and requirements of the elderly?'

If you look around, you do not see many elderly people going about their chores by themselves, in our busy cities. If they are out, they are mostly escorted by a younger person. Why is that?
Because our urban spaces are very unsafe and scary for the elderly! We need an environment which is considerate and supportive.

In a press release issued on 20th. Dec 2010, by Anglia Ruskin University,

'Better Spaces for Older people 
New research reveals that older people need to feel comfortable in urban surroundings to maintain independence

Urban planning needs to consider how older people use walking routes as well as public areas, concludes a Research Council UK-funded research project from the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme. Planning should include a smooth transition between walking, driving and using public transport and should take account of how older people navigate between these. 
The research was conducted by academics from Swansea University, Kingston University, Middlesex University and Anglia Ruskin University.

Initial findings show:
·         Signs are of limited use even in unfamiliar new areas - they were often positioned incorrectly or too high, and without indicating the distance to the destination;
·         Designing outdoor spaces that are more easily navigable and walkable are important in making the environment less stressful and anxiety-inducing;
·         Buildings and landmarks are particularly important as navigational aids, especially churches.

...There is still a need to understand older people's various requirements in their use of space, reflecting their diversity and different backgrounds'.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mixed Lentil Curry

It is my favourite. Instead of using one variety of lentil at a time, and also the taste can get boring, I buy them all 250 gm. each, and mix them up. You can also use sprouted ones.
This recipe gives a lot of proteins, great taste and easy to prepare. 

Mixed Lentil curry

Take any combination of lentils with skin intact,
eg: Toor dal (Pigeon Pea)
Moong dal Greengram),
Urad dal (Black gram),
Chana dal (Bengal gram),
Lobia (Black eyed pea),
Dried Mattar (pea),
Matki (moth bean),
Alsane (red cow peas) etc.


Mixed lentils – 2 cups
Tomatoes (chopped) – 2 nos.
Salt  - to taste
Onion (grated or made into a coarse paste) – 1 no.
Chilli powder – ½ tsp.
Garam Masala powder  (optional) – ½ tsp.
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp.
Ginger garlic paste or garlic paste – ½ tsp.
Oil – 2 tbs.
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp.

Raw Mixed Lentils

Clean and soak the mixed lentils over night or for 4 hrs and more.
Cook them in pressure cooker until they are cooked soft.
Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds. When they start to splutter, add onion paste and ginger garlic paste. Fry until lovely aroma comes. Add chopped tomatoes. Cook them till they become soft.
Now add cooked lentils to the onion tomato mixture. Keep stirring to make sure it does not stick to the bottom.
Add turmeric powder, salt, and chilli powder.
Mix 1 cup water or whatever consistency you like. Add garam masala powder and let it cook for a few min, and switch off the stove. You can add fresh cream if you desire.
It is very healthy and tasty too. Can be eaten with rice, rotis, or puris.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bottle gourd with sweet cum sour mango curry

Summer is the season for MANGOES! I love them; sour, sweet and sweet cum sour! We eat the sweet mangoes or make juice out of them. With sour / raw mangoes, you can use them in cooking or make chutneys or pickles. There are always a few raw mangoes which start to become ripe. What does one do with them? They are not sweet enough to eat, and not sour to cook with. This is what I did ….

  • Bottle gourd – small one
  • Sweet cum sour mango – 1 no.
  • Mustard seeds & Cumin seeds – ½ tsp.
  • Green chilli, cut into small pieces – 1 no.
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Salt – to taste
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp.
  • Oil – 2 tbs.
Clean and skin the bottle gourd. Cut it into 1 sqcm. pieces.
Take out skin from the mango too. And cut it into pieces.
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and then green chilli pieces and curry leaves. When they begin to splutter, put bottle gourd pieces into the oil. Cover the pan and let it cook in low heat. When the vegetable is half done, add turmeric powder and mango pieces. Stir well and add salt. Cover and cook until the vegetable and mango mixture is tender.
Tastes sweet and sour and goes well with rice or roti. 

Salvadordo Mundo Church - Goa

  It was Easter and we have a ritual of going to a natural spring before sunrise and drinking the holy water from it. Since both Jo and ...