May 2013

Observing the Nature

How often do we leisurely watch the nature around us? General answer will be not often. Do we sit out in the evening and watch the sun going down, its glow becoming golden, and shadows lengthening and blinking through the chinks in the trees? Do we watch the groups of birds flying towards their homes after spending their day in a far off place where the food is available to forage? Why, in the first place, they don’t make their resting places near the food. May be the supply is not available at one place throughout the year and their… Read More »Observing the Nature

Bread: Most Basic Necessity

One’s “Bread and Butter” means the major occupation which provides him the sustenance for life. “Breaking bread” refers to a community custom which is sharing the food and sitting together. It is thus more than eating but a way to bring the members of a community closer to one another. The importance of bread cannot be overemphasized. Primitive man was a nomad and it was the wheat grass for which womenfolk are credited to have grown, which gave the man a reason to stay put at a place and bring the stability in the life which was almost akin to… Read More »Bread: Most Basic Necessity

Chemistry behind the Color of cooked Beans

Cooked green beans can be a vivid green color, or they can turn gradually less colorful, sometimes becoming greyish or brownish.  Generally salt is added to the water before boiling vegetables. The reasons given for this include: It makes them greener It makes them firmer It raises the boiling point of water to make them cook faster It improves the flavor. Chemists studied the truth behind these claims and found that first 3 of them are totally false. Adding salt slightly improves the flavor. The increase in the boiling point is insignificant to make any difference in the cooking time.… Read More »Chemistry behind the Color of cooked Beans

Tropical Fruits

Plants grow best in the soil and climate they have originally adopted. These days with lots of technology available, the optimum conditions can be created at places different from the original. Areas around the Equator have tropical climate. The weather is warm and there is plenty of water due to rains. This weather is suitable for copious growth of plants. Fruits such as pineapples, persimmons, papayas and bananas grow in such a climate. Bananas are number one crop of the world. They grow in more than one hundred countries on the farms called plantations. India is the largest producer. Philippines,… Read More »Tropical Fruits

Eri Silk of Assam, India

Assam and its adjoining stated in the North East of India are famous for silk. Silk was the royal attire of Tai Ahom Kings. These people came to Assam from a Chinese province through Patkai range of hills and enchanted by the beauty of the region, settled permanently and intermingled with the local people. They must have brought the silkworms with them from China. Silk is woven in the homes. It is part of economy of the state. Of many varieties Muga: the golden silk and Eri or Ahimsa silk are most famous. Eri is produced by the silkworm called… Read More »Eri Silk of Assam, India

Thangka Paintings of Kashmir

Thangka are painted scrolls depicting Buddhist deities and their cosmic realities. Although they are installed in domestic spaces as a talisman against all evils,Thangka are intended as navigational aids for the spirit, guiding the viewer in his quest for spiritual realization. It is in their capacity to render the invisible visible through iconographic representation that serve as installations in monasteries and prayer halls or as displays during religious festivals at monasteries. Due to the potency that the paintings are believed to possess, the painter is required to undergo rigorous spiritual and artistic training and in many cases is a monastic… Read More »Thangka Paintings of Kashmir

Wall Paintings of Hazaribagh

Situated at about 2000 feet above sea level, Hazaribagh is a thickly forested region in the heart of the Damodar river valley. Ancient rock art sites have been discovered here,like the famous Isko site in Hazaribagh town. The forms and motifs of prehistoric art of ancient tribes like Khurmi, Ganju, Santhals and Oraons who live here. While entire tribal villages have elaborately painted houses,two varieties are outstanding: Khovar and Sohrai paintings. Much like the bridal chambers of Mithila, Khovar paintings have fertility symbols celebrating union and propagation. Bird motifs,especially the parrots and peacocks,are popular,as are fruit bearing trees. They are… Read More »Wall Paintings of Hazaribagh

Sujni: Traditional Embroidary From Bihar

Sujuni, is a traditional craft of Bihar. It is made by women and depicts the animal, bird and day to day activities of village life. It is technically done by straight running stitch embroidery on layered cotton.Women quilt together old sari and other pieces of cloth with tiny running stitches,and embroider these beautifully. The product is a quilt-cum-bedspread,sometimes stuffed with tattered cloth to give it added thickness. Sujuni is labour intensive-the number of stitches per square inch varies from 105-210. A fine running stitch all over the sheet in the same colour as the base cloth creates the background upon… Read More »Sujni: Traditional Embroidary From Bihar

Phulkari: Traditional Dress of Punjab

It started in Patiala state of Punjab in India. Patiala rose to prominence amongst many princely states of Punjab before independence. Phul means flowers and Kar means the work. So Phulkari literally means Flower Work on the rough heavy cotton.  Throughout the Punjab, in the Hindu,Muslim and Sikh communities alike, women embroider Odhanis (veils) or Chaddar (wraps) ornamented with Phulkar, literally “flower work” and Bagh, garden, a variation where the embroidery completely covers the support material. The support fabric is most often an auspicious dark red, or more rarely, an indigo blue or a white reserved for elderly women, on… Read More »Phulkari: Traditional Dress of Punjab

Mccluskieganj-Little London in India

Mccluskieganj is a village in the Jharkhand. It is situated about 40 miles north-west from state capital Ranchi. It was established by Timothy McCluskie on the 10,000 acres of land he got from Ratu Maharaj who was local ruler. He wanted to establish a place where  Anglo Indians could live together. McCluskie was a property dealer based in Calcutta. He used to visit some villages in the area for hunting, and even built a hutment at a place called Harhu. His friend PP Sahib worked as the manager of Ratu Maharaja‘s estate. And it was PP, who convinced the maharaja… Read More »Mccluskieganj-Little London in India