November Nostalgia ……of Payassams and rasams …

November this year began with a Bang , literally right on cue with the ‘FESTIVAL of Lights”. It began with the month promising to add a lot of fun , a dose of spice and much needed rest for us .

It is during Diwali that i usually plan a longish break when i decide to move out , away from the routine at some location where i am with my FAMILY , away from the routine enjoying some quiet solitude and much needed time together .

For the past few years i am being aided in the same by some really special people who are also my close Pals , but this year somehow we were on our own .

I love the planning and the checking out of places and destinations and then the ultimate decision . Of course the advent of the net has made life easier and planning a cake walk . Sitting within the confines of our home or hearth we can literally view the world . Image

We decided to travel to a lesser travelled destination in Kerala ( I can see the questions , KERALA – little known , lesser travelled – that just does not sound right ) . There are places in Kerala which i can refer to as only TOURISTY where in the abundance of natural beauty there is an added shade of the eternal and typical tourist who is out to really see the most , travel the most and really derive good VFM from the tour and the destination .

We chose Kappad beach as our first stop . This is the historic destination where Vasco Da gama the famour portugese explorer first set foot on indian soil … The entire place is resplendant with Blackish / yellowish sand and endless views over the Arabian Sea . The Swaying palms , a book in one hand and a fresh coconut in the other … AAH BLISS … it was a lazy few days where we caught up with the local history of the “ZAMURIN’ and his betrayal and the eventual passing over of the MALABAR region into the hands of the foreigners . We also were fortunate to visit a Turtle conservation farm set up by the government of kerala right alongside the pristine and serene waters at Kasargod and Kollavipallam … However the news is not good for the conservationist as the turtles seem to be dwindling and giving this particualr coastline a miss year after year …

The Malabari Cuisine , the simplicity of the people and the abundance of peace and quiet were the absolute highlights of the visit .

A special mention to our quintessential Ambassador which not only took us all over but also accompanied us on the second leg of our journey and a fond remembrance to Radhakrishna our local guide and chauffeur who i will always remember as the gentle giant .

Leaving the rolling sound and the mesmerising beauty of the Waves crashing on the beach we moved next to Vellamunda in the Wayanad District . the journey was sweet as we moved away from the urban spoils of Kozhikode and started our journey up the rolling hills . This is the land of Pazzahassi Raja ( famous gurilla chieftain who all his life fought a losing battle against the portugese ) and the 1000 armed Asura “BANASURA”.

The place is Green to say the least and it has rolling tea plantations , spice gardens and the largest Earth Dam in the world , the BANASURA Dam.

Our place of stay was actually a spice plantation with a small stream flowing right through the property .

The forest cover was so thick that it would be only about 4.00 PM when we would think the sun has set . The caves , number of water falls and treks complete the beauty of this extremely quaint and fortunately not so popular destination in North Kerala .

For me the early morning spent outside the room , sipping tea , reading a book from the resort collection and listening to the chirping of the myriad birds among the rustling of the greenery was an experience i will cherish beyond this lifetime .

And yes both these destinations gave us abundant scope to spend a lot of time together enjoying the tranquility before returning to civilisation ( ?).

A special mention of the wonderful , ever smiling people of these places , and the simple , authentic and extremely tasty food with the local flavour …

The jaggery Payasam and the Lemon rasam were standout and helped to reinforce the sweetness and the tanginess of the memorable experience that we all shared ..Image



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Socially Awakened — LIVING & LEARNING

To begin by asking myself this question , the unfortunate answer which i got back was that NO I AM NOT . Or to put it in a slightly refined way i am SELECTIVELY SOCIALLY AWAKENED , ie awake when it suits my sensibilities or when it matches my thought process .

Thinking back it was very disturbing to highlight so many areas , events and instances in my lifespan where i have been completely ( KNOWINGLY / UNKNOWINGLY) ignorant of the larger social picture only to satisfy my own narrower pursuits .


I can see a few of my acquaintances Cringe and also some others sharpen their pens / pencils to add rebuttals , acceptances to my writing . Some others are thinking , what is this a self pity trip ? Still others are feeling that having lived a life of  self indulgence is good old Sheel now trying for redemption )))))))…

Let me clarify it is none of the above and all of it at the same time . Paradoxical as it may sound we will all acknowledge that we all have a conscience ( albeit at most times asleep )  and we need a trigger to awaken it .  Mine seems to be waking up from a deep slumber over so many decades and the interesting thing for me to see is where will i be going with it ???

Why am i suddenly talking / writing about this … 

For starters i believe that so many like me have been silent for so long and maybe it is time for us to wake up .

Also to add to it i am of the firm belief that all of us , me definitely included can contribute to each others learning curve and what better way than a public ( Controlled ) platform to educate myself .

So at the risk of sounding self effacing i believe that for me at a personal level this is going to be a LONG learing  journey over which i invite all to join me and enrich my living and my learning …..


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Easier Said than Done ……



Well a lot has been written over the past few decades on Global Warming and the dangers it poses to environment and to the earth at large ….


It has always been accepted that at sometime in the FUTURE there is going to be a crisis which at the very least will devastate our lifestyles and will forever change the face of mankind as we know it ….


I can see a lot of you saying out there one more ‘DOOMSAYER’

But here is an article actually giving a logical timeframe within which temperatures will forever rise and stay risen all across the globe ….



The year 2013 has been especially very obvious in nature giving us a GRIM warning on how the changes we humans have brought out will surely come back to haunt us .

Average temperatures have risen by at least 2 degrees in most major cities of the world .

We have unseasonal thunderstorms , devastating earthquakes and typhoons at a more superficial level ..


But at the more day to day level it is almost mid October and it is still raining in India . Maybe not a cause for worry except for the fact that it is destroying the crops and maybe forever changing CROP PATTERNS .


Well a lot has been written by various experts across the globe and I certainly do not qualify as one . But what this above piece of writing and findings does is that it clearly tells us that WHAT ALL OF US BELIEVED TO BE IN THE FUTURE is now actually here in the present . Maybe our succeeding generations and maybe even some of us will now face the brunt of all the rapacious acts of us and all our predecessors .


Is it reason to panic or is there still some hope ?


I feel and sincerely want to believe that yes there is some hope and that rests very much in our individual hands . Very often our individual thought process is that WHAT CAN I ALONE DO ? . but the situation is so desperate and collective action a pipe dream that we as strong individuals , representative of our families , social groups , work organizations or just plain as responsible citizens have to take note of the denudation being caused by our irresponsible plundering of MOTHER EARTH .


It is time for us to wake up , with eyes wide open proceed in a direction where we can salvage and then gradually , hopefully IMPROVE the condition of our Common mother to make it a habitable place for the generations to come.


I leave u all with a thought about the famous lines ‘ FOOTPRINTS on the SANDS OF TIME ..” I am sure none of us want these footprints to be bloodied and full of terror for future generations .

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Hallo all … I have always ‘SHUNNED” expressing on a public platform , put it down to being introverted or plain dumb scared of being judged , take your pick , today i have broken the so called shackles and have decided to begin this BLOG …

My Expectations from this are not so much external , but more internal ….. there is so much to talk about , write about , but quiet often i have seen( me included ) we remain only on the fringes of most discussions , voicing a monosyllable here and there , but despite our own views seldom contributing to the discussion …..


This i believe purely stems from the fear of being judged and more appropriately the FEAR OF BEING CRITICIZED Publicly .

Well now i am here and am doing that … Do feel free to bring it on through your voices and opinions . Just a request be temperate in your words and sensitive in your thoughts and am sure this journey of BLOGGING will be enriched for all of us .

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment