Burden of Disappointments


I wandered only as a cloud carrying the burden of disappointments that hang around my neck like an albatross. I trudge the mountain with them oscillating between hope and hopelessness. The harsh rugged terrain and the jagged rocks all beneath my battered feet. The cold merciless rain pelts my body. I have to go on this aimless forlorn path for that is the only path I have. The endless journey and the bitter truth of the endless miseries punctuated by fleeting dreams of good times, fair weather, and joy. The howling winds pick up, their gale force throw me off my feet. I hang on to the ledge, hanging on for life. The winds strips me of hope, of love, the soft pillowy, fluffy dreams all fly away like splinters in the wind. I am left bereft of joy just with the burden of my disappointments still hanging heavy around my neck like an albatross.

My path is set, I have to do this all alone, on this cold ominous black mountain; gather more misery, collect more disappointments, and yet face the world with a happy face.
I have to go on this path till my time is no more.

DC at Dusk


The sun was setting on an unusually balmy March evening as we drove to DC. The cherry trees along the tidal basin were laden with buds eagerly waiting to bloom. Over the growing darkness the light of the sun was melting and dissolving in the dark waters of the Potomac. People walking along the tidal basin and the cherry trees lined along the bank seemed like silhouettes. We took our camera out and clicked away, capturing the fading dusk and the famous landmarks over the growing darkness.

Pompano in Mustard Sauce (Shorshe Diye Pompano)


I like fish a lot! Given an option between chicken and fish, I would gravitate towards the later without a second thought. I blame my bong genes that make me crave fish ever so often.

A while back at the fish section of the ethnic grocery store I had struck up a conversation with a middle aged gentleman from south India. He recommended that I should try Pompano. As I am always up for trying new variety of fishes, I gladly went with his suggestion. The silvery Pompano with undertones of black looked like a distant big fat cousin of the Pomfret.

To say that I was thrilled with this fish would be an understatement. It now ranks high in my list of favorite fishes and has become a regular at our dining table. It is meatier than the Pomfret but they both taste very similar. This fish is oily and oozes a lot of oil when pan frying. Also the fish does not have any scales making it easier to clean.

I have tried baking it and also making a curry. Both have yielded delicious results. My mother usually makes Promfret curry with mustard sauce (shorshe bata) and given its similarities with the Pompano, I did just that. Begun (eggplant) and shorshe (mustard) are match made in heaven, so I usually add pieces of begun for more flavor and body along with potatoes.

The Pompano pieces are rubbed generously with salt and turmeric and pan fried in little oil. I prefer to use mustard oil for that authentic taste and to add more pungent kick to the mustard base. White oil or a mix of white oil and mustard oil also works just fine. The pieces of eggplant and potatoes cut in wedges are also lightly pan fried and kept aside. Once the oil in the pan turns hot it is tempered with kalonji seeds followed by addition of finely chopped onions. When the onions change color some finely chopped tomatoes are added followed by turmeric, salt, and slit or chopped green chillies. As the tomatoes get cooked the mustard paste (made from either black or yellow mustard seeds) is added and allowed to cook for a few minutes. Water is then added to get the desired soupy consistency along with pieces of the fish and vegetables. The pan is covered and the contents are allowed to cook till done. As a finishing touch the jhol is garnished with some chopped cilantro.

Window Gazers


Since moving to our third floor apartment I was missing all the gardening that we had been doing each summer. Instead of growing vegetables in containers I decided to grow some indoor plants. The big kitchen window that gets plenty of sun made it a perfect place to start my indoor plants. The ornamental corn plant (Dracaena Massangeana) seems to be thriving in its new place. I love to see the plant sprout new waxy green leaves.

I picked up a Hypoestes or polka dot plant along with a colorful croton and an African violet from a supermarket. The bright pink and red spots of the hypoestes are eye-catchingly beautiful and the crotons add a wonderful splash of color with their brightly colored foliage.

The african violet seems to be thriving too and I love the deep violet color of its flowers. I plan to add more african violets to my collection given that they are so easy to grow.Just keeping them evenly moist and feeding them once a week is enough to get some beautiful blooms.

I have had this peace lily for sometime now. But this is the first time that it has flowered.
I have a few more plants in mind to cover the window sill. Something fragrant like jasmine or colorful like begonia.

Plants are a perfect way to add color and cheer to any space. They bring positive energy and a sense of joy and warmth to our hearts.

Signs of Fall


The heavy rain that Nicole brought in its wake has ushered in much cooler temperature. There is certainly a nip in the air and signs of Fall everywhere.

The sky is clear blue with wisps of cottony white clouds floating by.

The leaves are beginning to change colors.

The pumpkins are ready to be picked and so are the apples. Enjoy this beautiful time of the year, the colors of nature, and the outdoors while it lasts.