30 November 2014

21st Century Diet: A 10-Day Chronicle

From being a thoughtless and heartless consumer of meat and dairy for 27 years, I became a vegetarian for 7 years...and now, finally for the last 3 months, I adopted the most compassionate way of living- being a vegan. And I must say, this is the greatest and most positive act I could do to my fellow creatures who I call friends and family, to my own health, and to my only home-Earth!

But before anything about this diet, a little bit of history...

My husband has given up meat and encouraged his family to become vegetarian when he was 16. He even went vegan for 8 years after that, but somehow along the way, according to him, he got lost or perhaps deadened by the vitamin B12 idea (which now he finds ridiculous and just an excuse) and went back to consuming milk and eggs.

As for myself, I grew up in Philippines, brought up the Filipino-way, followed the Filipino culture and traditions for 27 years without a thought...without question. So when I came to India, without apprehension, I became a vegetarian, too. It was surprising it was a change I accepted so easily (easier when you fully understood the concept behind any change, when the change isn't about you but of something else, in this case, the animals).

I really didn't struggle...a kind of change that many find difficult, even impossible. And that was for 7 years!

Just around late August of this year, my husband and I were into watching documentaries...about health in particular. We watched Fat, Sick And Nearly Dead, A Delicate Balance-The Truth, Peaceable Kingdom, Vegucated, Speciesism. Then suddenly it hit us to immediately stop consuming eggs and milk after knowing what kind of situation every hen and cow and every single hatched-egg and newly-born calf goes through before it lands on our table in a place I call hell -horrifying farm factories/slaughterhouses.

We don't want to be part of such atrocity. Not anymore!

It's not what we know that is important. What do we DO with what we know is!

In other words, the hearts that were deadened for years suddenly woke up from deep slumber and finally embraced the greatest act of compassion towards these sentient beings who we've been calling friends and family. And that was it! We became vegan!

So, to share the kind of food we take everyday, I decided to jot them down....not for the entire year (which I was planning to at first -kind of tedious and mind-numbing just thinking about it). We were already following similar diet -more on fruits, vegetables and nuts but with dairy (milk, eggs, curd) before we became vegan. And a little tip, excluding dairy products in our diet gave the final blast to our weight!

This post will cover 10 days from November 21 to November 30, 2014, although I still continue to write down our foods everyday (our way of identifying which fruits and vegetables available month after month). And I am presenting each day through a poster-like post because the one I made at first turned out to be awful I myself don't want to read through the whole article.

So here's the first day...

"click the image to enlarge"


Here's the second day (whew, "The Making" takes quite a longer time)

"click the image to enlarge"
Notes:
When we eat pomegranate, we make sure we eat the thin white lining in between the seeds (I have never found it's name, though) for they are known to be rich in nutrients too.

When we stir-fry potatoes, they are chopped into small pieces and we leave the skin on (just washed them as thorough as possible). Coconut oil seems the best for this dish.


Here's the third day....

"click the image to enlarge"

Notes: 
We see to it that when we make home made soya milk, it's okara should not get wasted so I make okaralette (okara-cutlet) with lots of mixed vegetables as detailed above so it seems  like it's no longer okaralette but vegetable cutlet instead. I add all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour for firming purposes. I think, it's best to boil the potatoes and mashed them then add to the rest of the ingredients. I am going to try it this way next time.

Here's the fourth day....

"click the image to enlarge"

Notes:
We don't generally have left over but during this time we couldn't finish the entire vegetable salad. What happened was, just a few minutes after Banu came from his OPD at around 1 o'clock in the afternoon we were buzzed by a neighbor telling us that they found a cat, dead at the electric transformer area. So before taking lunch we checked which cat it was since we are feeding 3 teenage cats- Chamie, Limphi, and KitCat, at that time. It was Chamie and she was electrocuted...we could see a few hair at the tip of a live cable. We really couldn't say how exactly it happened but she was dead, her right mouth was burnt, whiskers were burnt. Probably she has gone there before but at that time there was no electricity/power. Then she tried again, perhaps to catch a bird. This time, she couldn't make it out alive. Just a thought of how she died because no one really knows what happened except Chamie. But what a way to die! I just gave her her breakfast earlier that day and she is no longer coming back. Whew! 

We buried her at around 3 PM when we were able to shut down the power of that particular transformer line. From the time we knew her death, we just couldn't have the appetite to eat.

Anyway, the power of electricity is just mind-boggling! And such a fragile life...if we aren't careful enough!

Anyway, here's the fifth day....

"click the image to enlarge"

Notes: Whenever we make fried rice, it always contains lots of vegetables to the extent of having just a little rice...the best way to eat much vegetables. We seldom eat rice and when we do, it's almost always fried rice with mushroom or just plain vegetable fried rice.

These days, unless stated as homemade, we are drinking commercial soya milk -Sofit brand. It's not available in our small town so we asked ITBP truck drivers to get them for us from Dehradun. We are also stocked up with soya beans purchased from a local farmer for Rs. 60 per kilo. Some local villagers-patients of Banu, get us some, too! Because making soya milk leaves us with much okara which we hesitate to waste, we see to it that there's no major stuff to eat in our pantry before making it.

The sixth day, here it comes!

"click the image to enlarge"

Notes: Generally, what's available at the market, that too very rarely, are just beet roots without leaves! People don't eat them! So what we do, we tend to ask for the leaves from the vegetable sellers themselves. Fortunately, they're able to provide us with leaves from the local farmers. The thing is, we are more interested in the leaves than the roots. The leaves are very nutritious and sumptuous I can't understand how people miss to eat them. 


Here's the seventh day...

"click the image to enlarge"

Notes:
We don't usually do juicing because of pulp/fiber wastage. We rather eat the fruit whole but since we want to get most of citrus fruits available this season, we juice mosambi or sweet lime, maltas, oranges, and kinnow when it is available. Sweet lime is no longer available in our market.
But when we juice banana, grapes and watermelon (when they're in season) we use blender to juice them and not the juicer so we will be eating their pulp too.

Our soup doesn't look like "soup". It's more like a gravy dish because we add carrot and lots of ginger and garlic. We also add onion, coriander leaves or spring onion all the time.


Eighth day is here....

"click the image to enlarge"

Notes:
Unless stated "each", everything is assumed to be eaten as half each. For example, if it says 2 guavas it means 1 guava is sliced into 4 parts and Banu takes 2 parts and so do I. Another one is the same. It's always like that unless I don't want to eat a particular fruit.

Okaralette is always made whenever we make soya milk at home and it's always packed with immense amount of vegetables like peas, carrot, cabbage, beans, coriander leaves, ginger & garlic, groundnuts, coconut pieces (not copra, although can be added-I tried once), sesame seeds.


Ninth day it is....
"click the image to enlarge"

Notes:
Malta orange is widely available in the market for a month now and it is sold 3 for Rs. 10 although sometimes we get 4 for Rs. 10. The ones that are sweeter are from the village called Mandal near Gopeshwar and although these Maltas go to bigger cities directly like Dehradun, we are fortunate enough to have one vendor who gets this variety here in Gauchar. 

Our vegetable salad is always composed of cucumber, carrot, parsnip, onion, & tomato seasoned with salt, black pepper, mango powder, and vinegar soaked for 30 minutes at least before serving.


Here's the tenth day...

"click the image to enlarge"

Notes:
To make cashew milk, I soaked 35 pieces of cashews for at least 10 hours and then blended them thoroughly. It's a 1:5 ratio....so 35 pieces is about half of a glass so the water is about 5 halves of the same glass (It really depends on how thick you want your milk to be...try experimenting). The resulting milk is good for two usage for two people but every time I make 1 session of coffee, I use half cup (our mug size) of cashew milk plus half cup water to make it a little dilute. When it is fully soft, there is hardly okara left so there's no need for sieving. I think, among soya, almond and cashew milk, the latter is the easiest, and quickest to make and tastiest too!

The vegetable juice here is fully dominated by beet root, which explains the color. The orange fruit which we added helped to make the juice drinkable. It's not bad at all!

Amaranth curry was made of green amaranth which is growing profusely in our backyard along with my flowers. When we make curry like this, we generally use spinach but since there are plenty of them around we alternate spinach and amaranth green or red. When it comes to parathas or Indian bread, it's seldom made plain like people make rotis. We see to it that we're not only eating wheat flour but also more of the other good stuffs.

Conclusion:

Veganism is about the welfare of non-human animals. It is about acknowledging the fact that this world isn't only mine to inhabit but to share with these sentient beings. It is about giving them their rights to keep their life free from any kind of threats and untimely death. It is also acknowledging the truth that, like me, they too have families and friends, that they can feel happiness, anger, loneliness, embarrassment, pain...that they scream when hurt...that they want to escape when imprison. 

These realizations made me accept that these beings we brand as non-human animals are just like us! So I chose to be their friends rather than their enemy! And I will be their voice in their voiceless and unheard of world...as much as I can!

And when it comes to food, variety is important. Locally produced goods are also preferred. Seasonal are suggested. It's just that, a market like ours, we can hardly find variety and most of these produce come from towns and cities as far as 1000 kms. from here. Some are stored so we avoid them!

Veganism? It is NOT difficult at all! One thing to note though, we are not against eating meat, we are against MURDER...or participating in any kind of violence against the innocent animals. There is no difference between murdering a pig or a chicken or a goat or a sheep or a cow yourself and paying somebody else for the murder of these animals so you could eat meat that you don't need for health nor for survival. So for us, eating naturally DEAD animal is acceptable, not a meat of an animal whose life is forcibly taken...without even a fight!


18 October 2014

Stealing for God


I have been so furious since our Gaillardias at front garden bloomed. Between 5:30 to 7:00 when  we are still in bed, a few people -women and school kids- pluck these flowers as if they have planted them themselves! Made me thinking, have these people not learnt the sense of propriety or is it because in this campus most things are for free (weekly rations) so they think everything else, including those flowers and vegetables that are planted by a particular household, are also free and at their disposal? Possibly...or worse they have never learnt it in their life!



I caught two kids stealing flowers and when asked why, their teacher at school asked them to bring flowers. I mean, really? Such education is being taught to these children? Can this be so horrible? Taking something without asking! But isn't it one of the basic manners that we should learn in life? And on top of this, an adult, a grandmother was with the kids. So much for consenting adults, huh!
So what do you think of this?


On different days and different occasion I have caught 4 women in total right while they were plucking our Gaillardias. When asked, these flowers are for god/to bring to the temple, they replied (all women). 

Horrendous!

God needs offering, huh! But I thought everything is God's so why does he need to be offered with something that is already his? It's like you pay me a visit to my house and give me with something, like a bottle of groundnut oil which is right at our cupboard and hand it to me as a gift or visit offering. Isn't it just the stupidest dreadful thing you can do?


So my husband tried to educate them right then itself asking "how would God feel when you bring stolen offerings to him?" They couldn't answer! "You didn't even ask!  What if I come to your house and take something, how would you feel", he added (even if they ask we won't give flowers). He even told them that if they want flowers they can plant themselves and we will provide them seeds. And guess what, they never came back (to this date) and asked for seeds ( I have plenty because we are moving from this place soon and I always make a garden wherever we land).

And what about the bees, butterflies, and other insects that depend on these flowers? Definitely everyone who pluck, even if it's theirs, or accepts flowers as gift is a willing participant to this act.


We should even encourange planting lots of plants and flowers to every vacant land, no matter how small, to increase the number of insects that would pollinate our crops. Without these tiny creatures, we would have been long a history.

And come November, it's chrysanthemums time (I have pink, red, and brown) and I am certain they will be the subject of these particular people's eyes. Thinking about them plucking these eye-bewitching loveliness makes me want to cut their hands...really! That angry I am!

I have two ideas though that might make them hesitate to touch these flowers. One, install a camera so later on I could print their faces on a street billboard (such a small community it wouldn't be hard to recognize). Two, tie rope of bells onto one hard stem to another so when someone tries to pick one flower it makes sounds so that even if we are asleep or in farther room we can hear it. Haven't tried this yet though.


For most people, flower picking is somewhat not a big deal but for someone who loves flowers for they are not only planted for self purpose but also to encourage insect population, it is a serious deal!

But what else can we do other than trying to educate? What else can I do other than being observant and prevent stealing? Nothing! I can be angry as much as I can but it won't make a difference to the people who are involved in such a hideous act.


Which is why, to live in a community where people are responsible for their own action, where people have high regard on the welfare of animals and insects, to the environment as a whole, would be lovely!

Anyway, looking at the pictures here it's no wonder why they are being targeted. They are just gorgeous, and the more I do deadheading the more they flourish. And for many people around here, this flower is not that common...or maybe, our house is the only house around here where flowers are accessible.

But, really...the nerve of these people to dare steal them...and that too, for God? Nonsensical!!!

Update: Since the last "caught", our flowers (chrysanthemums are also in bloom) have been safe. I have no idea why. Could it be that those people stopped stealing after giving them some sense into their heads or they are not around the campus? But one time, I was told (by my husband) that one of those women turned up in the hospital for cough medicine for her kid. Well, they seem to refrain themselves from turning their path to ours and move straight ahead.



08 October 2014

Granny Square Flower Bag


Inspired by this gorgeous looking bag which I found at this blog, the pattern of which is sold for $8 (around Rs. 480), I was determined to make a similar one my own. I could have purchased the pattern, because I really like the bag, as long as the price is reasonable enough but Rs. 480 for a pattern is too much. So I made one, instead!

The flower pattern seems simple enough, I thought, and the square, well, there must be a tutorial video on how to make it somewhere. So I spent some time browsing the internet searching for a free pattern or a video tutorial. Around this time, I have already subscribed to one of the best tutorial videos in youtube -sheruknitting. So after some time, I decided to use one of her flower patterns with a few modification to serve the kind of result I wanted.

So, here is the result of that determination to make one my own.


Although the model is made of three colors, what happened to mine is that I ran out of yarns and I was confident that I could get more only to be disappointed when the three shops ran out of two colors and the shop owners couldn't tell me whether they could get these colors again. So instead of waiting and not finishing this project, I decided to use different colors. So as you can see in these pictures, there are 5 colors. The only consistent color is the square and the middle part of the flower, which is peach. Well, the bag just turned out lovely!

This is the back side of the bag. There are 8 squares in this bag and 1 one-half square.

This is the front of the bag highlighting the handle, where I attached a folded petal flower, the pattern of which is designed by sherru studio, to give the handle an elegant look. I used two threads together in crocheting the handle for strength.

Take a whole look of this granny square flower bag...took me quite many days to finish this project. But there is something that makes me happy doing it. I have not used it yet, but I will certainly take a photo when I get the chance to use it outside.


This is the side view of the bag to take a closer look of the flower, the square and the stitches that were used to sew two squares together.

Finally, this bag used an acrylic type of yarn. To make a bigger version use a 4mm or above size hook. You can use a different flower design. I just chose the 8-petalled flower to make it easier to start making the granny square.

I put a lining inside just to make sure nothing falls off the bag. As usual, the lining is out of my husband's short pants, old but not used much because he didn't like the clothing...which is actually suited for this lining. It already has pockets so I used those sides of the shorts particularly for the lining where I can keep my phone, wallet and other small stuffs like keys.

I have not written the pattern of this bag but if you know crochet already it's not difficult. Like I said, the flower pattern is by sheruknitting studio (8 petal folded flower) and I just added 8 more petals to serve as leaves.


09 September 2014

Persimmons: A Tomato and Capsicum Look-a-Like Fruit?


This fruit is called persimmon, aka Ramphal (divine fruit) or Kaki in Hindi. I remember last year in Dehradun, around October end, we had our first encounter with this fruit. And knowing that Banu likes to try new things, we bought a kilo of it for Rs. 80. We didn't know what it is, we didn't know how to eat it. We just brought it to our friend's home (where we're staying at that time). When we tasted it? Ughhh, so sappy/fuzzy and I didn't enjoy it. We even tried eating it with salt to no avail. It was a strange fruit...and it was not ready to be eaten! How it looked? - As big as a big capsicum, some are even shaped like capsicum!

So when we arrived home, Banu did some "search and learn" operation on the internet. And there we have it, its name - PERSIMMON. What is it? Click this for more information!

Well, we were left wishing we should have taken some with us! 

Just a week back, while coming back home from a 3-day trip at Kathgodam, Haldwani, Uttarakhand, we found this fruit again. And this time, we knew exactly what it is and how to eat it. The only difference this time is that they are small, much smaller than last year's persimmons. Must be a different variety! They even resemble tomatoes (see pic below).


Our place, Gauchar, lacks a variety of fruits. So, I took the picture above and shown it to our fruit vendor last night and hoping he could get it for us. His first reaction? "That's tomatoes!" Haha! Just wonderful...lol! We know that the chances of getting this fruit here are bleak, not even possible! Even this guy, who gets us some items that are not so in demand, won't be able to get it for us. People here are strange. No taste for variety and new things...as if this fruit is new or imported, when it's not!

Anyway, the trick in eating this fruit is that you have to let it ripen so much that it becomes really soft. When you remove the calyx out, it lifts so cleanly and you can split the fruit easily, then it's ready to be eaten. It is sweet and delicious! It somewhat tastes like ripe chico, except for the sandy texture that a chico gives.

While writing this post, only two persimmons left out of a kilo we bought. We regretted only a kilo we took that day thinking it gets spoiled from 6 more hours journey back home from Bowahali, a place where we bought this fruit for Rs. 100/kilo.

By the way, according to Wiki, we will be getting 127 calories for every 100gms of persimmons. Guess we just finished 900 gms of it!

Well, if this fruit is available near you don't hesitate to grab a kilo or two and choose the riper and ripest/softest ones. You'll enjoy it. Eat its skin, too.

~Slices of persimmon, along with its seeds, 2016 bought~


An Update: (November 8, 2015)

Well, it's persimmons' time again and determined to get a hold of this fruit, we decided to do some marketing at Pauri, Garhwal (19kms of winding road from where we are right now-Khirsu). Luckily, among a handful of fruit shops at Pauri, at least there was one shop who sells persimmons. Unfortunately, the displayed persimmons were already rotting. It looked like nobody dared to even taste one. But we were delighted! Huh, a place like Pauri? Impossible! But they were there. So we took 7 kilos of persimmons for Rs.60 per kilo. We chose ripe, riper and ripest. We are eating around 10 persimmons a day. They taste sweet and juicy! 

Never miss Persimmons!

Another Update: (November 6, 2016)

So we know that persimmons' time has already begun a long time ago, 
but unfortunately, no vendors around here even know the look of the fruit. So as usual, 
we carried a picture of them to show to vendors. Last Thursday, 
while my husband was coming from a medical camp he stopped by at our 
usual marketing place (B.Puram, Tehri Garhwal) to do some shopping and voila!, 
persimmons were there, just getting offloaded from the goods truck. Without hesitation, he told the shop keeper that he wants everything. It was a crate of persimmons, about 17 kilos 
including all the pressed and damaged ones which the shopkeeper 
wasn't planning to sell. So, yeah, when he got home, he and the ambulance driver 
were carrying a crate of persimmons. He got them for Rs.100/kilo, after some negotiation for it was to be sold for Rs.140/kilo, but since we are regulars and that too, buying in bulk, Rs.100 per kilo was settled.
Hope there will be another round of crate before the season is over.

See the picture below.

(This variety can be eaten even when its calyx is hard to pluck out,
just make sure that everywhere the fruit is soft.
And it seems like, when ready, its color changes
from orange to red-orange)

14 August 2014

Pineapple Suite Hat: A Crochet Summer Hat


When I started crocheting, one of the many projects I had in mind was hat -summer and winter hat. So I started searching for free patterns, which are in plenty and easily available on the internet you just know where and what to look.
 I found a number of them including this one from free-crochet.com. So I downloaded the PDF file and at first I hesitated to start this project because originally the pattern is a decorative one and I don't have the exact materials that are suggested in the pattern. But then I thought, "it may not make a big difference if I use the materials I have", because I really like the pattern and I already had the idea of making it in light and dark yellow colors (quite a bad idea though for a decorative hat considering dust). Well, I did it anyway and these pictures show the finished Pineapple Suite Hat project.

To access or download the pattern, you must sign up first then you can dowload other interesting patterns, too.

~ the result is quite big ~

Here's what happened with the project:

Since I didn't have the materials described in the pattern, the result is pretty but not that good for use outside. Here's why!

I didn't use two strands of thread and the yarn (acrylic) I used is not what is suggested so the hat is not stiff enough that it sags and bounces when you wear it. So I added a floral wire, which I single crochet around, at the edge (as seen in the above picture -darker shade) to stop the rim from sagging or flapping. But still the result is not very good for outside use.

~ the pinapple-look is made of popcorn stiches ~

Therefore, if you make this project it is compulsory to use the kind of materials that are suggested in the pattern to have the perfect result. You can choose the color of course, but I recommend that you use a yellow shade for the pineapple and use a different color for the rest to give a better result.

As with this project, I might use it as a ceiling decor.

While writing this entry, I found the same project at Instructables and there the author suggested to boil flour with sugar to stiffen it. I will defintely try it and update you the result.

07 August 2014

Crochet Flower Bag


This is the first crochet bag I have ever crocheted. The tutorial pattern of this bag is by Meladora's Creations. There are two separate videos for this tutorial, one is for making the flowers and the other is showing how to connect the flowers and how to do the handles.

This bag has 63 flowers in all because I made a bigger one. Each flower is about 3 inches. The finished connected flowers will look like a rectangle and so the longer side would be your front and back and the shorter sides would be the sides of the bag.

I think if you wish to make a much bigger than this one, you can just add 2 or 3 more flowers horizontally and vertically. What's important though is that when you start single crocheting the first row of the upper part towards the handle, be consistent! I mean, the number of single crochets in one side must be the same for the opposite side.

~ the button could have been covered but I think it looks good enough like that ~

This particular pattern requires an inside lining because it's "hole-ly". Aesthetically, this pattern is very nice but safety wise, not very much, unless the lining is really thick that you will feel comfortable enough to carry your wallet, cellphone, and other important things in it. It also cannot carry heavy loads.

The lining I used is my old wrap-around skirt and it's 23 X 29 inches so I have a good amount of space for stitching...I did hand stitch because I don't have a sewing machine with me.

Meladora also has a video on how the seamstress did the lining, which I followed. I also stitched a smaller pocket inside with a snap so I can put my phone there itself.

~ up-close image of the bag ~

It's made from acrylic yarn and I used an over-the counter steel crochet hook number 10, well that's what it says in the hook. I paid Rs. 8 for it.

You can try it out yourself!

04 August 2014

Tablet Cover Case: Entrelac Crochet/Chess Board Design


Finally, a crocheted tablet case or bag for my husband's tablet. He chose the color combination without a design or a particular stitch in mind. When I consulted him about the design he suggested a design that would look like a chess board (he likes chess, he has downloaded chess applications like Fritz and Chess Genius and been playing against them in his free-patient time...sometimes he plays with his patient cum friend, Jagdamba Prasad, a 62-year old man who keeps getting us produce like sponge gourd, mushrooms, mangoes, figs, peach, etc.).

Anyway, a chess board like design? Well, it's internet so it must be there somewhere! One of the best things about internet is that you'll always find people who share knowledge for free. Thanks to them! 
So I kept searching.  At first, I found a set of crocheted chess board and pieces but patterns are not available for free so I continued looking. Until I stumbled on How To Entrelac Crochet by Mikey. I don't even remember how I stumbled upon his video...I just did. So I downloaded the video and started crocheting (a portion of my free time) what I call "chess board-like crochet design". 

Watching the video seems so easy but I find it quite difficult at first. Since I was using a 10 size steel hook the result of a few squares together was a little messed-up....the stitches are not even and the squares are small and I was thinking, oh no, it would take me months to finish the project and it may not worth the time (I only have one more hook and it's size 12), so when I showed the result to Banu, he felt the same so he asked whether I could make it bigger. Bigger? And my hook doesn't have a comfort grip, something that blocks the thread from going all the way, so it would be tough! 

But I tried anyway. The results, well, not perfect (because of the hook) but it looks pretty nice and Banu likes it. Jagdambaji likes it, too...and even suggested to add a sling to it. 



About the project:

Yarn: around 2 1/4 hanks of yarns (1 1/4 peach and 1 grey)
brand and type, I think it's acrylic. 
                                   Hook: size 10 steel hook (over-the-counter hook)
Instead of 7 chains as suggested in the video, I used 10+2 for this project to make the square bigger. A little tough and need to do adjustments to make the square more even.
Back finish is  7 X 8 squares (each square is around 1 1/2 inches)
Front finish is 7 X 4 sqaures
Edging: single crochet around
Edging of the Front Flap: 2 rows of star stitch with single crochet in the middle of the rows to give room for button holes.
Edging of the Inside Flap: 1 row of start stitch
Buttons: From old clothings, crocheted covering, and I did it this way by artandneedlework. I would have used grey color for the buttons but I ran out of thread.
How I attached the two sides together: by single crochet around together the back or the underside of both sides.
Finish product size: 12"W X 9"L


I did it and in fairness, although it did take me quite a while to finish this project...3 weeks I think, it was worth it!

Make yours now!

28 July 2014

Tungnath & Chandrashila Trekking Experience

As promised, here is the post.

While heading towards Chopta, we saw a gathering of Langurs (there were about 20 of them including one newly born) along the road. The moment our car stopped, they slowly moved farther away from us. When they saw our cameras out, they even ran away, which is a good thing actually because as much as possible humans have to appreciate their beauty and agility from a distance. And when we got out of the car, the only way to photograph them is to zoom our camera in to its limit. Anyway, this one seems curious enough not to fully hide himself...or was it a she?



~ Looks like flat but think again, this is just the beginning trek
of a continues ascent towards Tungnath and Chandrashila. There are plenty of streams, too, along the road.~

~ The gate through Tungnath & Chandrashila trek. This is the parking/waiting lot and also a place surrounded by small hotels and lodging houses . . . including scattered plastics, too, which is seriously offensive to someone who is a real and responsible trekker and nature lover. ~
~ Zigzag trail towards Tungnath as seen from the upper area of the same road. I think there were 3-4 small hotels/stores all the way to Tungnath. Tungnath, of course, caters lodging, eatery, and refreshment.~

~ Tungnath temple and other "business" buildings as seen from below ~

~Tungnath temple...we wanted to go inside but since we needed to remove our shoes
 right at that gate we decided not to. We are nature lovers who admire, respect, and protect nature itself. We also acknowledge the work of men,  and in this case, 
those who built this structure.

 It's really stupid to go worship a god and then all you can do is destroy the
 beautiful surroundings around you. 
If you've been into these kind of places, I hope you have noticed how dirty humans make these "holy" places are -
.......all sorts of garbage, particularly plastics, are all around (I have noticed Snickers chocolate wrappers all the way from the middle point to Chandrashila itself, whoever was eating it doesn't have the right to throw the wrappers irresponsibly, including of course those who threw their garbage without even a thought); 
.......fat/obese/overweight people (including priests -you would wonder how did they get fat) are in plenty; 
........and really these places are just business hubs aim at looting people, who, by the way, let themselves to be looted, too.~
~The beginning trail from the temple towards Chandrashila. It's quite narrow and precipitous. The place is a yawning fissure, a deep cleft in the earth's surface. When the mist was lifted for a while all you can see are chasms, broken walls of mountains, or split mountains -the sight would really make you feel like you'll be pulled down anytime. 
Standing on one of these made my legs tremble. Whew!~


~ The temple at Chandrashila peak. No one else was there, just the breeze trying to shoo away the evening mist.~

~Cairns: piles of rocks at Chandrashila peak, didn't make one though ~



~A mini-temple made of marble located at the edge of Chandrashila. Looking around was a spectacular and awe-dropping view despite the white background ~

~Well, it's me! That rock is where the above mini-temple is.~

~ Banu passing by swiftly the fallen half-side of the road.~

~A stairway to a temple? There were quite a few of them along the road~

~a charming pose amidst drizzling rain~

~a playful pose while going back, guess I was happier -no more climb!
 Descending is tough actually, you've got to have strong knees! ~

When we trekked Tungnath and Chandrashila, we took local apples to munch on the way.
 I also had Chomp chocolates -the wrappers, of course, came back with us to Gauchar. 

This video shows what to expect upon reaching the peak of Chandrashila. The peak gives an outstanding view of the Himalayas.
Take a look!

So basically, 
we came and left nothing but footprints
we took nothing but pictures; 
we kill nothing but time.

And I encourage everyone to do the same. It's best for our planet!