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Packed days mean that my baking experiments usually start after midnight. Since this is cake no. 3, I'm not the most confident cake-maker, which means that my baking consultants (hi, @bakeworksbakingstudio 👩🍳) are pestered with multiple questions at odd hours, in person and via WhatsApp (with pictures for their reference).
. ❓ "Do you think the recipe is asking for too much sugar?" .
❓"Does the batter consistency look okay?"
. ❓"Do you think I should take it out of the oven now?" .
💭 Once the cake is out of the oven, I glare at it closely (every few minutes, like it will magically change), and it's back to the questions: .
❓"Does it look okay?" .
❓"Why is there a pale spot on this section?"
. ❓ "How do I get rid off the pale spot?" .
❓ "How to make it look pretty?"
❓"Does it taste okay?"
But despite all that doubt, baking is fun! .
@cheesy_is_good , watch out! I've added you to my consulting team and I'm going to try cream cheese frosting soon 😬
P.S.: Why doesn't Instagram let me format paragraphs? 😢 --- Thank you, @mockcurry
Confession: I'm a stationery hoarder...I've been stacking notebooks, glitter pens, planners, journalling material, stickers, from the time I was in school, because "they are too pretty to use". 🙄
But NO MORE! HA!
P.S.: Know anyone who would like Disney stickers and Stick 'Em Stones? 🤓
You know that Oscar Wilde quote which says "We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars"? I had a very literal experience of it just now.
I went for a walk and found a pretty tree-lined galli. There was this particular tree, with a dense canopy of leaves and filtered sunlight, and I was so busy looking at it all, that I didn't notice the gutter next to it and *ooops*! Luckily it was filled with dry leaves, not dirty water. 😅
So I must remind myself to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground while looking for stars 😂 at Bangalore, India
I don't know my neighbours, but their clotheslines give me clues.
For example, I know that there is someone who lives in the house above who likes delicate, printed chiffon saris - they billow gently over my window every morning to say hello, sending wafts of freshly-washed clothes my way and giving me tinted views of the sky while I drink my chai.
Reminiscing about the glorious days at @mica_schoolofideas where one could wander around in cartoon-print pyjamas 24×7, and thinking about how much life has changed.
The one thing that hasn't changed though, in this journey from the campus to 'office-office', is our ability to be perfectly at ease with talking and cackling loudly even though we are no longer in a hostel room... It's a wonder that the folks at that nice cafe didn't chuck us out!
Looking forward to the next time! at Third Wave Coffee Roasters
1. The driver's socks are on point
2. #sockswag exists
The world can be a delightful place 😀
Have a good week! at Bangalore, India
(5/365) ----- 05.01.2018 🙈
I didn't take a picture today - I spent the day glaring at my laptop. So annoyed with myself! AND I realised I messed up the date after posting.
So here's a #latergram of some rather angry-looking street art from Bandra (which pretty much reflects my mood today), on the wall of Hawaiian Shack.
I wonder if it is still there. at Hawaiian Shack
Guest appearance 😄
Thank you, Professor
You know how some books become old friends? Their spines have deep creases from visits over the years. With them, familiarity doesn't breed boredom or contempt. Their words still hold meaning and evoke feelings, even though you know what their pages are going to say next.
Today is the twelfty-sixth birthday of JRR Tolkien, the gentleman who gave me one of my oldest, dearest friends - 'The Lord of the Rings'. This particular copy has been by my side for sixteen years.
Thank you, Professor.
Which book is your friend? at Middle Earth
Feeling at home
This year really does have a lot of new, and it made me think about when one starts to feel at home in a strange house.
It's not just about me trying to put my stamp on the place...removing the previous resident's bindis from the bathroom mirror, dusting off old cobwebs and stains, and filling up empty spaces with my furniture, my books, my souvenirs.
It's also about making friends with the house, becoming familiar with its nuances and quirks...which switch turns on the light, the angle at which the stubborn wardrobe door shuts, the time of day at which sunlight floods into a room.
It is an interesting process, this, learning to feel at home. at Bangalore, India
I like to imagine that she woke up on the first day of the new year, and picked a sari with a floral motif and in a shade of yellow that mirrors the heap of bright chrysanthemums, and paired it with a blouse that matches the bunches of crimson roses.
Happy 2018 🌻😃 at Bangalore, India
Sarojini Naidu's poem coming to life in the bangle-sellers' lane in Shukrawar Peth, Pune. at Mahatma Phule Mandai
(I wheely need to work on my pun skills) at Pune, Maharashtra
8.45 a.m., MG Road wakes up
Pune at Pune, Maharashtra
Rambles in Kaas, Satara (2/2)
Here are a few pages on the little wildflowers we saw at Kaas - there is so much more to them than what I had initially ignorantly thought of as 'pink' and 'yellow'. I don’t know much about flora and I hadn’t done my homework before visiting, and looking back now, I guess I would have appreciated Kaas more with a guide. I tried to make up for it with some retrospective research. While zooming in to edit photographs, I realised how much I had missed in that moment!
Big lessons from Kaas: Be more mindful while travelling, and instead of randomly taking pictures, notice the details 🙂
On a side note:
Kaas has become increasingly popular over the years and more people are appreciating its beauty, but ah! The paradox of tourism strikes! More people visiting also means that this delicate ecosystem is under greater strain, and several of these flowers are endangered species. So its really important to stick to the marked trails and not trample on the flowers.
I hope you get to see this lovely place and witness the magical annual visit of these little blooms!
#ResponsibleTourism #RamblesAndSuchlike at Kaas Pathar - Valley of Flowers
Rambles in Kaas, Satara (1/2)
Once upon a Friday night, @dwells_in_the_past, @nit88.ravi, @inertiaofrest , @vasuadukia and I bundled ourselves into one of those large Volvo sleeper-buses. We were super-excited: it was the start of the weekend, we had packets of chips and cream biscuits, and it was the first getaway from the first few months of the corporate grind! We were off to Satara (a district in Western Maharashtra, an overnight drive from Mumbai), to see the annual bloom of flowers at the Kaas Plateau!
A few hours + some hunting + a rollercoaster ST bus-ride later, we made it!
The Kaas Plateau is a UNESCO world natural heritage site – its delicate ecosystem is home to 850 species of flowering plants, of which 39 can be found only here and nowhere else in the whole wide world – wowza! The plateau is made of jambha – a porous laterite rock, and a layer of red earth that springs to life in vivid hues in the rainy months from June to October. The landscape appears to almost change colour as the monsoon progresses and the various species of flora take turn to blossom every fortnight or so.
It was a beautiful, fresh, dewy morning and we had a glorious time! I've used up Instagram's gallery limit in this post, so shall spam you with more pictures of flowers soon!
If you would like to see and read more about our morning in Satara city and Kaas, I've resurrected my ancient blog - link in bio. (@musingsofabombaygirl, your lectures were a huge motivation to pick up an old hobby again...thank you!) .
#RamblesAndSuchlike at Kaas Pathar - Valley of Flowers
It's taken me waaaay longer than 31 days to finish, but I'm feeling pretty thrilled that I slayed a personal demon (I'm not very good at finishing non-work-related projects 😒) This last picture of 'daily sightseeing' is also quite an appropriate end, acts as a jhatka to start something new! Only 2 months left in this year...ahhh!
Every time I come back to Bandra, I find changes - rearranged furniture and new cups, a tall building that has replaced a bungalow, a closed restaurant and a shiny organic cafe, fading graffiti and freshly-painted street art. I never know what may change or I may forget, which is probably why I take so many pictures! Some changes are good, some make me feel wistful, and then, every once in a while, I encounter a happy memory that is still standing in the present.
While walking along Hill Road a few days ago, I found that a childhood haunt - Happy Book Stall - was still there! This was the scene of carefully counting saved snack money or making puppy-eyes at the parents, to buy an L.M. Montgomery or Asterix or Nancy Drew or Sweet Valley Twins & Friends or Babysitter's Club. I just had to go in and see what it was like today!
The gentleman at the bookstore (though now completely silver-haired and with a few gaps in his smile) was the same! He didn't know me, but was happy to chat. His name is Rajan, and his father started the bookstore 70 years ago, in 1947 - "We are as old as India's independence!". His son, the third generation, now runs the shop with him. I bought a book as a souvenir, and to my glee, was given a sweet too...what fun to regress to being a kid again!
This little episode reminded me of an article @theforgottenepiphany had sent me - when you buy a book online or on the Kindle store, it is undeniably convenient, but you can't really attach a memory to it...when you look back, you can't pinpoint the moment and the feeling when you made the purchase. And that rings true, no?
This also made me revisit some good ol' book memories - the faded rituals of sitting in my beloved school library, braving the crowds at the annual Strand Book Fair in Sunderbhai Hall, standing in line at 5 a.m. for the new Potter at Crossword, textbooks at Navjivan, sifting through the mouldy shelves of Gopal Book House in Ahmedabad, and the new ritual of buying a book as a marker of the places I visit.
What is your favourite bookshop and book memory? 📕☁
. at Happy Book Stall
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