Friday, December 28, 2007

Bird on the wall


While I was pottering about in my garden, there was a little flurry of feathery sound and this bird landed on the boundary wall. For fear of scaring it, I stood still but she seemed dazed and was in no hurry to fly away.I bounded inside to get my phone and my son got the camera.Here she is, poised calm next to barbed wire and shards of glass. We took several pictures then I came back inside the house for some grains of rice but when I returned to the spot she had flown away. I left the grains on the ledge and this morning they had vanished.Maybe she did come back......

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Floral thoughts

Came across this lovely crossword clue for 'blooming' the other day. It was -' euphemistic expletive'. I thought that was a good one. While on the subject I'd like to mention that I'll be posting pictures of blooms from my garden. The bougainvilleas are about to burst into song but the symphony will happen in three weeks or so. Worth the wait.

Orange Musings

Talking about oranges again, I come from orange country and the fruit reminds me of langorous afternoons, of basking in the reluctant warmth of a pale wintry sun, gorging on oranges from Jatinga. Apart from the world-famous mystery of the birds, Jatinga then had the most luscious oranges with sprawling orchards in the foothills of the beautiful Barail Ranges. We normally did not buy the fruit from the market because the women from Jatinga would come all the way to town carrying their wares in bamboo baskets.They would sit on the verandah while my mother sorted the fruit and they would talk about the yield, the weather and every generation's
favourite topic- the signs of the times! The colour of oranges did justice to their name, the same that one would associate with vibrant sunsets..."The sun was an orange ball of fire..." By late January I will have gorged on my fair share of oranges. The piquancy will have gone but maybe next winter I shall catch the magic in the same transcient smell in a crowded place. That will definitely put the zing and the tang back into the start of another orange-flavoured season!

I was walking across the market when I caught the piquant smell of an orange being peeled. And in the midst of multitudes, the whiff of the much-loved fruit reminded me of little orange eating pleasures. So what's so special about an orange, one might ask. But when the fruit first makes its appearance, it's wonderful. Like the watermelons, lichees and mangoes of summer. In fact you don't even think about the fruit until one fine day you see them spilling over baskets, lining the markets; orange and green, rind and segment, pip and pith...And you know they have finally arrived as the flavour of the season!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fireside Thoughts

I lit the first fire of the season the other day.Over at the backyard, where the green of banana- leaves remind you of eternal spring and the supple bamboo, of its myriad uses. Years ago I had piled up some bricks for a basic fireplace and this is fuelled by clutter from the garden---dead branches and dry leaves. The backyard has its own magic. On a sunny day you chance upon a lizard with a tinge of red on its back or the black ones, lazing. In the afternoons when it is quiet, the moorhen comes a-foraging. She quickly goes about her business ready for take-off should any sound distract her!Getting back to the fire... stoking the flames reminds me of relationships. Even a crackling fire if left unattended, dies. With New Year just round the corner it's time I called and got in touch with old friends and people whose lives have touched mine, in some way, at some point. A lot of bonfire nights will happen elsewhere but my little fire in the backyard gives me the spiritual connection with my piece of land and certain thoughts to reflect on!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Dew on the Bamboo

I came across these beautiful lines some time ago.It was written by an 11th century Chinese poet.

Softly, slowly on two bamboo twigs,
The sweet dew nestles among the leaves.

Plants and trees have sprung to life
Yin and Yang have now combined.

The deep-set hills and confined vales,
From age to age remain unchanged.

From "Dew on the Bamboo"

Vive la home made brews!

I was initiated into the art(?) of making the simplest of brews, recently. A friend said," Just put some pieces of fruit in a bottle, add some hot water, sprinkle some sugar and keep the bottle airtight. With the kind of humidity that we are subjected to, you can start quaffing in four days or so." It sounded too good to be true and since I had some bananas on the verge of their sell-by-date, I quickly did the needful. And after four days...voila, ambrosia cometh! Pale yellow, sweet, but not overly so, with the punch and kick firmly in place!
Well, I'm no stranger to home made brews. I come from a culture where making rice wine is a tradition and no social ceremony is complete without it. But that takes some time and effort but this is great, considering how easy it is.
Since then I've been scouring the net for recipes. And as I write this, in my kitchen cabinet, sits a bottle of pear liqueur-in-the-making. Choicest pears cut into pieces, vodka poured in till it reached above the level above the fruit. Steep, filter and let it mature. By November, this will be ready. Of course there'll be others in the production line--pineapple and oranges. Till then, I'm glad my glass of banana brew sits pretty, waiting for me!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog.The word "Yaoglai" literally means handiwork in my tongue which is Dimasa.Would love to share sights, sounds,thoughts unbound. Here's to me in cyberspace!
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I love....

  • Dew on the bamboo, yellow flowers and orange sunsets, the sound of rain...the whistle of the wind, the rush of flowing water, the smell of woodsmoke, the crackle of a wood fire,the moon in all its phases.......

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