A well-meaning close relative once remarked, “You shouldn’t look at sunsets for too long. They bring on dark, negative thoughts which lead you into black, bottomless spaces of destruction.”
This is very good advice indeed, But being a poet, my heart wins over my mind and I choose to ignore it.
As soon as I step out of office in the evenings, my eyes instinctively search for the setting sun. That’s when something snaps within me and I feel absolutely free. Liberated from tight deadlines, politically correct atmosphere, made-up faces, and artificial smiles, my thoughts become mine alone as I head towards home, sweet home…
While the clouds play with the sun and create their own paintings with different hues of yellow, orange, blue, and black, my thoughts turn into characters of a drama in the backdrop of those divine paintings in the sky; together, they create sagas of their own…
Here are some of my recent evening shots…
It feels great when you manage to leave office on time and you find the good old Sun glowing quietly in its pristine glory, casting red-orange shadows on the steel and glass of the buildings nearby…
Somewhere on NH24, near Ghaziabad, a town in Uttar Pradesh, there are several Bougainvillea plants with flowers of different colors, magenta, orange, and white. They look glorious and their colors seem to get brighter when the morning sun light falls on them. Their presence on the highway adds a special touch and cheers you up. I noticed this recently on my way to work. May God bless the gardeners who planted these lovely shrubs…
I don’t know for how long these flowers are going to be around because soon the harsh summer would take over and destroy them completely till the next season.
Here are the pics.
About 5 years ago, our gardener Ram Kishore brought for us a new potted plant. We accepted it nonchallantly, without any enthusiasm, just like so many other cactus plants he had planted in our terrace garden earlier.
A few months later, little green fruits began appearing on it in great abundance. When they started ripening and changing to golden orange, I sighed and wished they were real oranges. I thought they were poisonous and their only purpose of existence was to add glamour to our balcony.
One day Ram Kishore overheard me when I mentioned this to my husband and he said, “Didi, these are Chinese oranges. They look like oranges, but they are sour like lemons. Why don’t you make a pickle out of them? You will like it. I am quite sure.”
I was pleasantly surprised and I replied, ” Alright, let me see.”
A couple of days later, when I had gathered about 200g of these fruits, I made a simple version on a tentative basis with just salt, black salt, ajwain, and black pepper. It turned out to be very good and the best part of it was that these mini oranges were fresh, straight off a plant, as in a farm house. For a landless city dweller like me, this is indeed a very exciting thing!
Here is the recipe along with the pics.
1. Wash the oranges well and allow them to dry in a sieve.
2.Remove the seeds and keep them in a ceramic or glass jar.
3. Add salt as per taste.
2. Add coarsely ground black pepper.
3. Add some black salt and ajwain.
4. Close the lid and shake it vigorously to let the spices mix properly with the sliced oranges.
5. Keep it in the sun for 2-3 days. In case of cloudy weather, you may keep it inside and shake up the container a bit everyday.
6. The pickle is now ready. Enjoy! Happy pickling!
Just the other day, I noticed these orange-colored flowers blooming over a house. They looked absolutely ravishing and their color seemed to match with the orange of the setting sun. I still don’t know their name though.
I hope Mayank Austen Soofi, my favorite blogger, writes about them very soon. His is generally the last word on any subject because he always puts so much thought, emotion, and poetry into everything he writes that nothing more needs to be written on it.
At Uttam Nagar Traffic Light, West Delhi, India…
For one moment, the traffic stood still. The Metro rails paused to catch their breath and the pedestrians scurried about. But the Sun continued, relentlessly, its daily parade with great fanfare in its lovely orange attire…