Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier!!!

Sounds strange title!! This is the name of the most expensive still life painting. Since the artist Paul Cezanne was from France which was the heart of the world famous art and paintings, the name is in French language.

Painting photo is taken from Wikipedia with thanks

It translates to Jug, Curtain and Fruit Bowl which aptly described the painting. A curtain hangs from top on left side of painting and partially rests on a wooden table. There is a large jug and fruits like apples and oranges are scattered on the cloth.

Paul Cezanne was the master of still life painting. He also created another version of this painting. He is considered as the transitional bridge between his predecessors and new art form called cubism.

The painting was auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York in 1999 at a record price of $60.5 million. It is now owned by an individual.

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Ashure or Noah’s Pudding

Every living things requires energy to be alive. Our bodies continuously spend energy to do work. Food which consists of carbohydrates, Oils and Fats, Proteins are primarily food classes. There are other categories of food like fruits and vegetables which provide micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. All of these are required for a normal body to be healthy.

When these items are available, human beings evolved recipes to make the food more tastier and delicious. Different regions of the world have produced different kinds of categories depending on the ingredients available there.

Those recipes are even better which contains maximum nutrients. These are wholesome foods. One such recipe is Ashure or Noah’s Pudding. It has its origin in Turkey. Noah’s name has a story related to it. It is said when Noah’s ship landed with survivors they didn’t have much left. They had some grains like whole wheat, chickpeas, and the like.

The recipe consists of boiling the whole wheat and keep it submerged in the boiled water. Wheat is rich in carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins, Legumes which are rich in proteins are soaked and then boiled. These are then mixed with the boiled wheat in water. A thick pudding results, sweetener like sugar or jaggery is added and then dry fruits and nuts are added. The finishing is also done by topping with dry nuts, coconut powder etc.

The ingredients like legumes and dry fruits and nuts can very depending upon the availability.

This dish is a specialty during Muharram and totally vegan. This pudding is distributed in the community and is considered auspicious.

Many videos are available on the YouTube for preparing this recipe. It is very nutritious.

It’s nutritional value is given in the link

Nutritional Value of Ashure

And here is one link of recipe on YouTube.

Note: The picture of dish and links are taken from Google and YouTube.

Devil’s Head in Queen’s Hair!!!

Illusions play a great part in our lives particularly in the childhood. When drapes in the room flap, child may imagine someone lurking behind those drapes. Sometimes we see images of animals and human figures in the clouds.

In 1952, Bank of Canada commissioned George Gunderson of British American Note Company to male the design for new bank notes with Queen Elizabeth II head in the inset. The artist used the picture of queen taken by Peter-Dirk Uys, who was one of Her Majesty’s photographers.

He did great deal of work and notes were printed and issued in 1954. The same year someone noticed that if one looks intently at the queen’s head hairs behind the ear, there is a devil shape lurking in. He informed the bank and all hell broke loose. On seeing the image closely the devil’s shape became visible.

Naturally who done it questions began. Someone has to be the culprit. Was it Mr. Gunderson, or was it in the photo he used and reproduced with complete honesty without touching it ? Or was IRA involved? or Was it some bank employee who played a prank.

Nothing came out and things subsided. Notes were recalled and stamped cancelled and notes without the image created by darkening the portion were reissued. Even today the notes with devil’s head are in demand and fetch higher sums than the denomination.

In 1984 the scandal once again resurfaced when the photographer died and with the recovery of pictures of the photoshoot. This coincided with the release of his memoirs called “Her Majesty’s Image – The Life Of The Official Photographer Of Elisabeth The Second”. In this book he openly talks about his homosexual relations with the hairdresser of the queen. It is also revealed in the memoirs he was one of the disciples of Aleister Crowley who was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer.

Trolls !! Origin of the Term

Today, hardly there will be someone who is on the Internet and not using any social media platforms like twitter, Facebook and YouTube. And almost everyone using social media must be familiar with the term “Troll”.

There are people who intentionally attack others online by posting offensive comments, totally unrelated comments, pictures and memes to deviate attention, distract, demoralise. These are called Trolls and what they do is called “Trolling”.

The victims, when they see their beliefs or convictions invaded get provoked and react with helplessness and anger. The more the person tries to defend himself more they are harassed. What is more is thin some social media platforms comments can be anonymous meaning it is even not possible to know the Troll.

Some Trolls do this for amusement. There are others who work on behalf of political parties and do the trolling of the rival leaders. For this they use the comments section of the post. Thus they begin what are called Flame Wars.

Where does the word Troll come from?

In the Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore, dating about 1610, A Troll is a class of beings who dwell away from the common people in isolated places like rocks, caves, and mountains. They are dangerous to the human beings and harassed the passersby. Troll in the mythology means an ugly Giant.

Four Leaf Clover: Good Luck Symbols!!!

Since the dawn of civilisations, man has relied on good luck in good measure. When the things don’t go his way despite all the efforts he takes the refuge in the things and omens which has the powers to turn the tide in his favour. Sometimes these things defy common logic.

Different civilisations have different symbols of good luck. For example, whenever a Hindu household starts a new venture , Lord Ganesh is worshipped. Three legged toads are a symbol of good luck in Chinese civilisation. Similarly in Christianity Four Leaf Clover is one of the good luck symbols.

Clover plant are extensively used for green fodder. There are about three hundred species of the clover. Clover leaf are generally trifoliate. This means the 3 leafs radiate from the single point of the stem.

But sometimes clover has a quater foiled leaf. These Four Leaf Clovers are very rare. It is estimated that there is only one 4 leaf clover against 10000 three leaf clover. This means chances of finding a 4 leaf clover are 1 in 10000. These are held in great esteem and are considered very lucky. They are believed to bring good luck especially if found accidentally.

The Usual 3 Leaf Variety
Four leaf clover

In Christianity, it is believed that when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Eden Garden, Eve brought with her Four Leaf Clover. So anyone in possession of the leaf is considered blessed with heaven. It is also believed that anyone in possession of four leaf clover has ability to see fairies as well as evil spirits.

In 2014 Australian daily telegraph reported that a lady named Suzi Mekhitarian has stumbled into a patch of good luck and collected 21!! Four leaf clovers from her front yard which seems to be mind boggling. Some scientists don’t believe it. They say that plants might be genetically modified to produce 4 leaf clovers.

Note: The images used in this post have been taken from the different websites through Google search. These are not being used for any commercial purpose.

Drupe!!!!!

here are many fruits and nuts which have a stone or pit inside which has a hard shell and encloses the seed inside and fleshy outer part. Such fruits are known as Drupe. While in some of them we eat the fleshy part and discard the stone, while in others fleshy outer part is discarded and the seed is edible. This way the tree does not expose the seed to the world. Examples of the first category are avocados, mangoes, peaches, apricots, and plums, etc. Nuts fall In the second category called Nuts which the world loves for their nutritional value. They are full of energy and minerals. Examples are almonds and walnuts. Some pictures of Drupe. Please note that pictures have been saved from the Internet for illustration purposes.

Drupe Examples: We eat outer flesh.

Drupe: Of which we eat the seed or nuts

Purple Sunbirds: Wonderful Creation of Nature

From the time of the year when winter starts fading away here in the North India, plenty of plants and trees begin blossoming scattering the landscape with vivid colours. The pollens and nectars attract bees and birds alike. Everyone is in win win situation. Plants and trees lure the bees and birds with nutrition of pollen and nectar and in the process they utilize this process for cross pollination which is essential for robust seeds.

During these days, one bird which attracts your attention is Purple Sunbird. Males are in there full glory as they are in their breeding plumage. They are hovering over the flowers in search of collecting the nectar which is their major diet these days although they also catch insects to make up for their protein requirements.

They are very tiny in size and very active. They almost never sit still. Taking their pictures is an task which demands patience. Here are some pictures by me.

What was there in the beginning ?

In the Beginning there was nothing………

Man came into this world after so many living beings. From aquatic life an odd animal slithered onto the adjacent soil. Amphibians were born. Then chance gave some to evolve and mutate into purely land dwellers. The some species looked to the skies and slowly evloved into the birds.

Amongst the land dwellers there must be some physically weaker which learned to climb trees because the trees provided safety from animals on the land. At last humans ancestors evolved and then homosapiens. In the beginning it was only an animal thing and requirements: Safety from predators and food for survival. After eons, we came to the stage of becoming agriculturists. This made it possible to stay put at one place and pursue some other activities like tool carving in the leisure time.


At first there was vast flat land with nothing on it. Nothing….Privacy, curiosity, uncertainty…..Nothing. A person standing at any place in it had no problem in locating the others. Nothing was hidden, everything was obvious. Then groups of people began to form and created walls. Privacy was created. what they thought was not to be shared with others was behind the walls. Now each group became curious and wanted to know what the others were doing being as careful as possible not to expose themselves. Curiosity was born. Walls obliterated the clear view and roads and paths were created. Uncertainty was born. At the blind corners they unexpectedly ran into groups they wanted to avoid. Fear was born. Can I go on like this forever? ….

What does “Dog Days” means?

A movie called “Dog Days Afternoon ” starring Al Pacino in lead role was released in 1975. It is about a bank heist which doesn’t go as planned. What does the phrase mean?

Dictionary defines it as very hot days during July and August. It means it refers to the bad patch in life of a person.

It doesn’t have to do anything to the dogs. It refers to the Dog Star or Sirius which is the shiniest and largest star in the Canister Major constellation. During these hot months it adds to the heat from sun as it is in the same part as sun in northern hemisphere.

So it also refers to inactivity or stagnation due to problems in the life.

World’s Biggest Hockey Stick

Recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records is a hockey stick 205 feet in length weighing a staggering 28118 kgs. It got this recognition in 2008. It was built in 1985. After taking part in an EXPO in Vancouver it was dedicated to Cowichan Community Centre in 1988.

It is 40 times the actual hockey length. It’s Shaft and blade is made in sections with steel reinforcing Douglas Fir beams.