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)
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

Monday, May 24, 2021

feel of the vegetables

During the pandemic lockdown, what I missed the most was the forays into the vegetable market. 
Not only is it a welcome sight to "feel" the vegetables, you are sure you are picking up the real fresh ones. You don't get the same reassurance when ordering online. The above picture was clicked at the famous Mandai market in Pune when I had been there during my last visit. We bought some mangoes and kept ourselves busy by making mango pickles. Here is one batch ready to be bottled. 
Last week the yield from our kitchen garden was only two drumsticks, some tomatoes and lots of red chillies, so we bought some more drumsticks from the market and made sambhar out of it. Drumstick is one of those rare plant species whose seeds, flowers, leaves, and stems are edible and extremely nutritious. Moringa commonly referred to as drumstick is treated as a 'super plant' for its unique yet powerful properties that combat different ailments in our system.
Talking of the kitchen garden, the Aloe Vera is growing wild and we have been steadily trimming it down. (in other words throwing it away)
I know it is supposed to be medicinal and used for beauty treatments, but I don't have the faintest idea how it is to be consumed. At times I rub the fleshy part of the cut pieces on the elbows and I did notice that the black spots on the elbow have reduced. Another thing that we grow in our kitchen garden is wheat grass. 
Wheat Grass juice is good for health. It increases the Hb level in the blood and can be taken on a daily basis. The procedure to take the juice is simple. Sow some wheat in a shallow pot (approx 1 square feet) On the seventh day cut the grass and squeeze out the juice which can be consumed immediately. You must have noticed a different type of watermark on the above pictures.It is because of a site known as Dreamstime, where I upload some of my pictures.     It is a picture stock site where potential customers go through your pictures and if they like it they buy it. For example the wheat grass picture has been sold nine times, so I would say it is a win win situation.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Folk song from Nayattu

This folk song from the movie Nayattu is really catchy and it is stuck in my head after I saw the movie.
It is a song at a wedding party and the people who are singing it are also rural folks (as shown in the movie)
The instruments used are also appropriate for the flow of the music
The movie Nayattu is directed by Martin Prakkat and it is one of the best survival thrillers that I have seen. I am not going to disclose the story but I should say that good team work makes a movie click. The director made sure that all the fine details were taken care of, like Kunchacko is a tug-o-war enthusiast and a dark callus caused by the rope is always visible on his right inner forearm.
Or for that matter when the police is trying to frame a guy (on orders from the top) Joju gives the boy bottled water to drink.
Later he uses the same bottle to collect petrol and set fire to the window, but making sure that he holds the bottle by the cap or at the bottom so that the boy's finger prints remain
The casting of each character is very important to make it look authentic.The IPS officer required in the later part of the story was supposed to be someone from North India. So  Yama Gilgamesh was cast as the officer who did not look like a south Indian and her Malayalam accent was nowhere close to a Malayalee.
The photography was beautiful, especially of some places on the Munnar side.
The movie has got a rating of 8.2 on the IMDb and is available on Netflix with English subtitles.  Talking of irony, the writer of this movie is a police officer and the one who acted as an IPS officer is actually a writer. Reproducing the song here.