Saturday, September 11, 2021

Coconut scraper

I had two coconuts to grate so I selected a bigger plate for the job. While grating my thoughts kept drifting and I was wondering "is it the same plate?"
Once I was through, I emptied the plate, flipped it and had a closer look at the bottom. Yes, the marking was there. It was 30 year ago that I got this from my employer. They had distributed it to all the employees on the completion of the millionth vehicle. The old emblem also could be seen (The present Tata Motors was known as Telco in those days - Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company) It was very difficult to photograph it as everything was almost worn out after 30 years so I had to dust it with some talcum powder, and then enhance it a bit in Photoshop so that one could read the inscription.
The coconut scraper too was pretty old and has seen better days (about 40 years old) There was a formation of a dent where the metal blade rested on the wood, so I keep a coin there to avoid further damage.
The scraper in this open position reminded me of Mrs Kelkar, our old neighbour in Bombay from the early 60s. I remember her advice to her daughter वापरात नसताना ते बंद ठेवा (when not in use keep it closed) A simple safety advice which goes a long way.
A part of this grated coconut went into our puttu (steamed rice cake) and I made a 20 sec video on it (the puttu)
The song in the video is by Dr Akhila Alexander.
Couldn't help with the train of thoughts while grating.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

A habit like reading

For those who like to read, it turns out to be a habit that sticks on. For many, the morning newspaper is a must. A way to keep yourself connected with the outside world. This is a picture clicked in Dhobi Khanna (Cochin) by Adrian Whittle a few years ago.
The rising sun gives enough light for these flower market workers to read the regional newspaper. This was shot in 2007 by Akshathkumar Shetty at the City Market in Bangalore, India.
The story can be the same in any part of the world, like for instance like inside an Osteria (Tavern) in Italy. (Photo credit Giulio)
Sometimes it could be just a novel, like this horse cart driver in Salzburg catching up on his reading while waiting for his next customer. Maybe he is taking night classes and is going through his text book. (Photo credit Bill Smith)
Sometimes you don't want the story to be interrupted and are willing to continue reading in the tight confines of a Metro in Washington DC (Pic credit:Dale Scherfling)
Libraries are a totally different world for book lovers.You can just sit and browse through a vast variety of books (provided you have the time) (Pic credit: bawtrees)
I like the design of this public library in Seattle. Nothing like allowing the natural light to come in. (Photo credit:Doc SaintX)
A book in hand is always good while travelling, especially when it is long distance. You will never feel "distressed" (Pic Credit: Siakou
Like this village scene. Kids enjoying by the riverside. The common factor? Reading. This is somewhere in Ayodhya (India) (photo credit: Eli)
Here is an interesting picture and this is what the photographer Ameer Hamza has to say: Wife cooked excellent tikka with some gravy, imli ki chutney which was just well made, additional support was provided by hari chutney, piyaz, mirch and kheera. Beautiful. My kids also enjoy this dish so I decided to have my Guria hold this wonderful book. I could not find a better way to photograph the entire spectrum including home made parathas with my early favourite book by master Islamic scholar, A J Arberry. This book must be considered as a classic among studies of Islamic Civilization, a vast, difficult, fascinating subject. So vast and so intricate that few Muslims would know or be able to accurately describe the term 'Islamic Civilization'. Example: A Christian translator working for a Muslim Abbasid King on a Greek manuscript to be translated and annotated in Arabic should be considered as 'Islamic' ? Questions like these are played well. In Pakistan Suhail Academy is at the forefront in publishing such wonderful books. This edition is 2001 printed in Lahore.
I never knew about this bookstall "Shakespeare and Company" till I saw the photograph. What the photographer Craobh Nua has to say :This is quite possibly the most famous bookshop in the world. It was responsible for giving "Ulysses", by James Joyce, its first print run - some were autographed, and these are now reckoned to be the most expensive books of the 20th Century. It was also closed down during the Second World War, when the owner refused to sell a book - Finnegan's Wake, according to legend - to a Nazi Officer. The books are pretty much all in English, and if you buy one you can get it stamped.
I added this photograph for the wonderful picture that it is. A good example of a candid picture and the contrast is very sharp. This was clicked at the Abbey of St Pierre in France. (Photo credit: Dprezat)
"Immersed in the book" so to say but not a very safe place to sit and read from the safety point of view. (Photo Credit Francesco Mariano)
This is a photograph of a painting kept in the State Russian Museum at Saint Petersburg.Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky (Shitiki, December 6, 1868 - Berlin, February 19, 1945) was a Russian painter. He painted mostly genre paintings, especially of the education of peasant children, portraits, and impressionistic landscapes studies.     This picture reminds me of Tom Hanks movie "News of the world" where he is a news reader in the 1870s (a masterpiece of a movie) (Pic credit: Gandalf)
Catching up on that reading while the child plays. Like the colours and the composition of the picture. (Pic credit: James Beard)
Everyone is interested in the news. A picture from 1934. Berlin photos from 1920 to 1950. (Pic credit: Janwillemsen)
When it comes to children's books, the illustrations matter. The imagination of a child gets fired by the drawings in a story book and the impression lasts. (Photo credit: Jean)
The photographer from Spain has compiled this and written: (roughly translated from Spanish)  "Today I intend to honor my parents who taught me to read and learn from reading. My father's first love was reading. With Don Quixote I started reading at school. However, at home after doing the usual homework, he always had to read a few pages aloud with them. And I am grateful for that." Reminds me of the Don Quixote stories I learned in school. (Pic credit)
Can imagine the days when people had to read a book to operate the camera. A picture of the fifth edition of the book (June  1956) (Pic credit:John)
Is the girl enacting what she is reading? Does the dog see something? Is he going to jump out? There is a story developing here I suppose. (pic credit:Jon)
The sticker says it all, and the book lovers will agree with this. (pic credit)
Would like to know what happened here. Or is it just strewn around for sale? This is somewhere in Brussels (pic credit Koen Jacobs)
It has been a long time since I have seen a proper globe, and a huge one like this. By looking at the shape of Asia, one can guess how old this is. The magnificent monastery library was built between 1680 and 1689, by Carlo Antonio Carlone. It is one of the great libraries of Austria and contains about 160,000 volumes, besides 1,700 manuscripts and nearly 2,000 incunabula. (Pic credit:LitterArt)
The photographer made an observation that three people are reading at the same time. He says that this is extraordinary and is practically a disappearing image in the metros and trains. This is in Catalonia in northeastern Spain. (Pic credit: Miquel)
In my lifetime I had met only one cricket commentator and his name was Mamma. When I met him in his house at Panchgani (near Pune) what struck me was his collection of books (mostly about cricket) Here is a picture of Henry Blofeld, a retired cricket commentator at Barton's Bookshop in Leatherhead. A proud moment for him with his picture on the cover page. (Pic credit: Monica Weller FRPS)
 Designing a book cover is an art. Trying to catch the eyeballs with minimal art on the cover is the trick. Incidentally this novel by Jenny Erpenbeck is supposed to be an excellent novel on refugees in Germany. (Pic credit : Vivien)
    There is no age bar when it comes to reading. "Retired and loving it " is the title of this picture. (Pic: pensioner Percy)
Young lady trying to figure out a hand written manuscript (Pic credit: Natalia Yankelevich)
And this was clicked in Brussels street (pic credit :Natali Antonovich)
  This picture by Lou reminds me of my school days when I used to pick up the comic paper first and finish all the comic strips. In the words of the photographer : A very rare scene...two young boys sitting in the coffee shop reading the Mercury News. Kids this age normally have their noses buried in an electronic devise.There is nothing like seeing a child engrossed in a story book. Pic credit Lou Alexander
Here maybe the child is trying to explain the story to her grandfather who clicked her in action. (Pic credit: Philip Van Ootegem)
This is something all booklovers don't like to see in a book. Dogears. And it happens when readers fold the page as a bookmark. (Pic credit Yvonne Kluin)
There are so many bookmarks you can select from. As long as they are flat and do not damage the book. (Pic credit:Anna Kristenson)
Some can be funny (Pic credit: Marian Kloon)
It can be the squished rat or the giraffe or the moo moo cow.
I like this huge mural in Germany. There is also a video on how the mural was made. Pic credit: Mhobl
 So let us get to know the world by reading more books. (Pic credit: Carlo)

Thursday, June 3, 2021

World Bicycle Day

June 3rd happens to be World Bicycle Day
Many all over the world can't freely participate in a rally or race due to the Covid19 restrictions that are still in place in some countries. 
The present bicycle has evolved after many trial and error methods during the course of time.
In the olden days the cycles had dynamos. The power generated by it was good enough for the head lamp to light up the road, but the flip side was that it reduced your speed due to the friction of the dynamo on the tyre.
Nowadays you get the strap on headlamp which is more powerful and can be recharged in an hour or so with a USB cable.
You can easily remove it from the handlebar by which the fear of theft can be eliminated.
On a day to day use it was more practical to transport things, like these workers transporting broom.
If you have the right cargo basket you can transport heavier and bigger items
Or a simple basket to transport bakery items.
Whoever thought of this idea of converting a clog into a carrier (pic by  Henk Overbeeke)
Many use the bicycle as a decorative piece for their shop.
Someone had some good design skills to come up with this design as a bike rack (pic by Brian Cairns
Or as an architectural piece to decorate their terrace.
The health benefits of cycling is something that cannot be ignored and this picture explains it well.
The best way to encourage children in cycling is to teach them at an early age.
Taking them for a joy ride is another way.
Safety should be the first priority when you try to transport more kids.
Some countries encourage cycling by providing cycles on hire from point A to point B. It is a win win situation for both the government and the citizens.
In some countries cycles are very popular but they also have the perennial problem of cycle parts getting stolen.
A couple of decades ago one needed a permit to drive a cycle on the roads which had to be renewed every year. In the late sixties that was abolished. The common sparrow taking a break.
Before you venture out make sure that all the nuts are properly tightened. Once I lost my side stand because I ignored the loose nut fastening it and the stand fell off somewhere along the way !!
Don't feel shy to show the age old hand signals. Who knows, it may save you from a broken limb. (Pic by Richard)
If you are venturing out alone, carry some ID. In case of any eventuality, they will know whom to contact.
A simple sketch for those who want to try it out.
Avoid showing antics on the road or sidewalk. It is risky for you as well as for the pedestrians.
The pom pom horn on the cycle has been replaced by the tring bell which is more effective.
Tandem cycling is another option and it is fun when there are two on a cycle. Reminds me of the song by Nat King Cole - Daisy Daisy, on a bicycle built for two.
Another picture of Tandem cycling where the photographer Mary Kay Nitchie has succesfully done a pan shot.
I have seen the bride's entry in different forms, like in a car, or a motorbike or in a buggy, but yet to see one come on a bicycle.
Or the bride and the groom taking off on a bicycle.(Pic by Sven)
If it is Christmas season then we can make it a little colourful.(Pic by Sean)
The happy happy stuffed toys and the sunlight makes this lively but the addition of the cycle gives it a sense of motion, as if to say "we are going places" (Pic by Albert)
It is nice to see a family pedaling down the road together. This was clicked in Central Park in May 2021 by Lardfr1
Romance is always in the air, be it in Black & White or in colour (Pic by Ian Spoard)
Allow your child to cavort on the cycle with his/her friends. They will have memories which will be cherished for a lifetime.(Pic by Rex Deveraturda
We all know how the simple cycle came to the rescue in India a few decades ago.
Finally I must say that if you have the will, then the mountain is the limit. .Photo credit Or maybe just cross the bridge and ride into the horizon (Pic by Yulia)
Photo credit Photo credit 2 Photo credit 3