Friday, 16 March 2018

Utsha Foundation, Bhubaneshwar

I was in Bhubaneshwar at the beginning of March for a meeting. Stayed another day to visit the Jagannath temple in Puri.
A young designer, a former student of mine took me to the Utsha Foundation to see some ceramic work he had done. 

 A delightful place tucked away in a quiet green neighbourhood. Quirky bits of art in unexpected places.These coconut fiber and yarn forms descend from the ceiling.
 A plug attached to a short length of wire, part of that wire is simulated with paint. Can you spot the point? 
 Doorways which lead to so many possibilities.
   Palm leaf puppets.A traditional craft of Odisha.
The library where we spent an hour in fruitful discussion. 
A portion of the garden used for performances.

Sunday, 11 March 2018


 At around 7.30 every morning a man calls out 'Iddiappoo' and at two minute intervals you hear him call out again 'Iddiappooo'.
He makes the rounds of Kilpauk Garden Road, Kilpauk Garden Road 1st Street and Mandapam Road morning and at around 8 in the evening selling soft lacy Idiappams.

 I'd heard heard the call Iddiappoo most mornings and evenings while visiting my parents and was curious to see this enterprising person and sample the idiappams which neighbours said were good.
On a recent trip home I decided the idiappams had to be sampled when we were trying to decide what to have for breakfast. 
I chatted with Azhagar Swamy while my mother got a bowl for the idiappams. He's up at two every morning making idiappams. He makes about 300 to 400 idiappams and sets out to sell them around 7 in the morning. he wears a plastic glove on his right hand so he can take out the idiappams from a large stainless steel container  tied to the back of his bicycle. From the handlebar of his bicyle hangs a  woven plastic basket in which is a small device which repeatedly calls out 'Iddiappoo'. Azhagar Swamy switched it off while conducting transacting business. Three idiappams for ten rupees.   

Breakfast at your doorstep.Delicious and inexpensive. Eat it with leftover fish or egg curry. If there are no leftovers and you have neither the inclination or the time to make fresh coconut milk and the last tetra pack of coconut milk was used up to make the fish curry, put the idiappams in a shallow bowl, pour some warm milk over it,sprinkle sugar and relish.  
Got more string hoppers the next day and ate them for lunch with chicken stew. There must be a number of people eating Idiappams for dinner because Azhagar Swamy is back doing the rounds at dinner time.
I was curious to know what Azhagar Swamy did with the leftovers. He dries them out in the sun and makes them into vathal or vadam . Vathal are fried in hot oil and are crisp and crunchy and is one of many accompaniments to a South Indian meal.

I'm posting in Take Diversion after a year I think but I'm going to be posting more regularly going forward. Cheers!     

Sunday, 1 January 2017

2016 - Week 53 - December 26 - January 1, 2017

Last week of the year. Friends came to stay and introduced us to the board game Catan ,made us a rum based Gorkha Punch and gave us a pamphlet to help us identify birds in our environment.  
Marinated chicken, paneer and vegetables for a barbeque on 31st night for guests. The menu included potato salad with bacon bits, mushroom soup, pork saugages and caramel custard for dessert.
Made these little paper boxes and put pieces of chocolate in them for the guests.

53 weeks.It's been a good year 2016. What a coincidence that 53 weeks have come to an end on the 1st of January 2017 so I can wish you a Happy new Year.  

2016 - Week52 - December 19 - December 25

Merry Christmas.A traditional Christmas tree in our house hung with ornaments which have so many memories associated with each of the ornaments. 
Warming ones feet at the bonfire. Nights are chilly and perfect for a bonfire and a barbeque.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

2016 - Week 51 - December 12 - December 18

I started colouring in
The modern Christmas tree  at Welaro. All the kusudama made while visiting my parents have become the ornaments on the tree.
I had my birthday this week. The waiter arrived with this cake and candle at the end of the meal. A wonderful surprise. Thanks to hubby dearest and the restaurant didn't charge us for the meal. That was a wonderful surprise for both of us.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

2016 - Week 50 - December 5 - December 11

My mum's page in the colouring book - Escape to Wonderland - A Colouring-book Adventure.
The page my dad's begun to colour. I have a copy of the same book which I shall start colouring now that the Christmas ornaments are done and despatched.

We drove to Chennai for a meeting on Monday and to spend a day with family. On Sunday 4th December it was announced that  Jayalalitha had suffered a cardiac arrest. So our meeting was cancelled as the worst was expected.
Stocked up on essentials and as expected her demise was announced close to midnight on the 5th. Tuesday her funeral was held at 4.30pm and there was no untoward incident.The end of an era.
 Rusty the new addition to Bethsara, keeps my mum and dad company on the verandah. my dad's new best friend.
Thanks to demonetisation we could pay all the tolls with our debit card, at all the toll booths from Coimbatore to Chennai.  

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

2016 - Week 49 - November 28 - December 4

A month of tireless crossing stitches and the twenty one Christmas ornaments are ready. So satisfying.Mission accomplished. It's been dispatched to Hong Kong, hope it's there in time for the little ones as the term comes to an end.