27 December 2013

A Fruit-load Breakfast

It's been a while since my last post and this time, I intend to keep this blog updated everyday.

Anyway, it's December, winter, and a season for citruses. As you can see, what compose the above plate are citruses, namely: orange, malta, kinno; guava and carrot. These are for two people for breakfast after a small cup of tea. Along with these fruits, my husband and I are munching nuts, too, like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews with raisins, flaxseeds or sunflower seeds.

Funny to include it here but I just want to share one of the usual scenarios that my husband encounters during his usual OPD. Most patients come with common cough and cold and when my husband asks whether they eat citruses fruits they would reply outrightly that they DON'T because these fruits give them cough and cold. Then my husband eventually say, "you're avoiding them and yet you still get cough and cold? How can that be?" And they just smiled or scratch their scalp because they couldn't find any fault in that logic.

Nature isn't dumb. The reason these fruits are available in winter is for us to devour them in plenty to avoid getting cough and cold. Simple as that! When do you want to eat them? In summer? Well, you will miss your chance because obviously, they are not available in summer.

05 August 2013

Fruits & Nuts Breakfast

So this is our usual breakfast. It just varies depending on the season because every season gives different kinds of fruits and other produce. So this time, we got a bowl of pomegranate (sometimes it's more than that depending on the size of the pomegranate); 1 sweet lime or mosambi; 1 or more adho or peach; 2 varieties of apples; 1 mango (it's green but once cut it's yellow and sweet and we generally eat the skin-after thorough washing, of course- which is a very good source of fiber) and a bowl of nuts (almonds, pistachios & cashews - 10 pieces each).

Generally we add cucumber, local (the ones that are very big but very immature on the inside). We like this one better than the usual green which is commonly available in the  market.

Well, apart from a small of tea in the morning, the rest of breakfast is mainly composed of fruits and nuts, with a glass or 1 1/2 glass of blended fresh mango juice. We don't buy juices which are in boxes or pouches. We make juices at home, may it be banana, pineapple, grapes, or mango. This month and the previous 2 months we have had mango juice 3 times a day with banana juice once or twice a day. We also have 1 or two nashpati or I think it's a local pear, a small one but soft.

Like I said, the variety of fruits could be many and so depending on what we get from the market that's what we'll have.

18 July 2013

Rudranath (Gopinath) Temple

This is the front view of Rudranath (Gopinath) Temple which is located at Gopeshwar, Chamoli District, Uttarakhand, India. Once at Gopeshwar (the capital of Chamoli District) market just drive or walk for a few meters and you'll find this temple. This temple is famous around here so everyone can give you the direction quite properly.

This portion, I believe, is the original structure of the temple which is made of sturdy plate of rocks while the front structure is newly added. The temple was closed when we visited so we couldn't go inside (although we don't usually go inside). It just took us 5 minutes to look around the temple area and did some picture taking. It wasn't busy at that time. What I observed though is that the side areas are used by public as an entrance and exit points.

I kinda like the sunflower effect as forefront of the temple so I decided to include this photo here. The background are misty mountain ranges of Chamoli. The weather was pleasant although it was almost 1 o'clcok in the afternoon.

(These photographs were taken on 17th July 2013 at Gopeshwar)

14 May 2013

Bun Burger

Bun burger for breakfast and sometimes for lunch. This one is homemade, except for bun. The bun was purchased from the market. In one pack there are two pairs of bun for Rs. 8, which is sufficient enough for me and my husband.  Now, what I did was this:

First, I made mayonnaise salad which include small and young onion, small carrot, quite a few fine chopped cabbage (carrot and cabbage were soaked in water for a minute after chopping them so they become crispier), 1 lemon juice and 1 to 1 1/2 spoon mayonnaise. Then I fried 2 small potatoes as you can see from the picture. Then one sunny-side-up fried egg. Lastly, I roasted bun in butter then put all the rest together. I also added tomato sauce at the end for much better taste.

Simple yet yummy breakfast or lunch, whichever you prefer! Try sometime!

13 May 2013

ITBP 8th Battalion Campus Ground

What you can see is a road that leads to Officers' Mess from the main gate through the Administrative building. On the left is the gym (building not visible), to the right is the ground where you can see a paved area which is also used as a helipad. That ground is mainly for PT and other activities in the campus.

This is ITBP - Gauchar (8th Battalion) campus ground.

30 April 2013

Tiger Lily: A Beauty That Never Hides

One of the many species of Tiger Lily, this  is a two-colored one. Some are plain in colors, some are with dots on the petals which give them a very enchanting look and others are combination of both - dotted and tri-colored. I can't say most beautiful flower because all flowers are beautiful.

This photograph was taken at ITBP-Dehradun campus on 15 April 2013.

I think this is a red-white version of Lilium Oxypetalum. Wiki says that this variety is native to North-West Himalayas. Then I think it really is!

26 April 2013

Monkey: Cooling Itself With An Ice Drop Candy

Monkeys in and around Rishikesh are in abundance. The reason is obvious - they have come where people are for food. And they're right! There is plenty of food around here. People get breads, pakodas, bananas, etc for them. And not only these types of food.

Take this picture, for example. A monkey holding a half eaten ice drop candy on Lahksmanjula bridge. We found him slurping it without minding the people passing him by. Whether this candy was given to him or he has snatched it from a kid or an adult, we couldn't say.  Look at him, he seems so happy and relaxed to get hold of a cooling candy in a mid-hot noon day. This bridge is a good place for them to get fed indeed!

People must be careful also because there are monkeys that are quite aggressive and would grab anything in your hand, even your purse or bag. 

25 April 2013

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple: An Offering Business Hub?

This is the side view of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple located around 20 kms. from Lahksmanjula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India. It is one of the many nearby temples around Rishikesh that invites several hundreds of visits each day.

I was one of these hundreds, along with my husband, on that day 16th April 2013. We are not devotees but curiosity drives us there.  We were curios what the temple looks like (found out it's similar to other temples - nothing much new and extraordinary) and how are the surrounding areas look like. 

A few meters before our jeep came to a halt we already witness the long line of parked jeeps and cars and, of course, all those commercial stores which offer all sorts of goods eatables. What struck my husband that day, as we proceeded to walk farther to get a glimpse of the temple area, was that people -those who called themselves devotees and went there for personal reasons, suddenly realized to buy some offerings to offer to the gods. I mean, have they not thought about it before leaving their own house/place? Their visit could have been more authentic (in the sense that they have thought about it already) if they have prepared something as an offering to the gods, right? When we visit a friend or a relative it's courteous to bring something from home, isn't it? And what kind of idea it is to offer  the gods things that are already his/hers/theirs.  Everything on earth is his, isn't it? So, what these people do is purely nonsense to us!

We observed further. People taking lunch and what were they doing? Throwing left-overs, wrappers/plastics/papers/bottles anywhere they please. So you see, the action is horrific!

The surrounding areas of the temple itself is full of plastics and other wastes. It literally stinks. Could there be a god sitting there and waiting to be worshiped when all he (the god -if he exists) could ask for is to make his place clean and livable? Nah, all people do is destroy everything not minding the impact of their actions.

Could there be sense in carrying something to offer to gods and whatever covering that offer has goes directly through the river or ground - just like that thereby making the place look ugly? Zero sense...

Anyway, to reach Neelkanth Mahadev Temple you have to cross Lahksmanjula Bridge. After crossing the bridge go left and walk a few meters then you'll find taxi/jeep stand. Each passenger has to pay Rs. 100 for both ways -same jeep will be your ride while coming back. There is also an ambassador taxi which you can hire for Rs. 700. The journey takes around an hour to go there, another hour to stay at the temple area, and around another hour to come back. If you are bringing your own car, then you have to divert your way from Haridwar to Rishikesh and not the usual highway - remember the bridge to cross? Yeah, only two-wheeler vehicle and people can use it!

The road is fine, tarred, winding and hilly -of course! It's nice on the way only to be a sore in the eye when reaching the stop to the temple.

The worst temple area we have visited, so far -not that this one is different from the other temples we have visited. We didn't even go inside the temple. We just passed by. I just took this picture and we're gone. That's how disgusting it was!

We just went ahead to a road that leads to a cave (about 3 kms), they said. But because we didn't have much time to trek we decided to just climb a little farther and came back to the place where our jeep awaited.

20 April 2013

Canna Lily: In Big and Bold Yellow

Canna or Canna lily, although it's not  a true lily, comes in varied colors may it be red, peach, yellow, pink or a combination of two or more colors. They are perfect for your alley, along your fences, the edges of your ponds or corners of your garden or just right at your gate.

This is my first bloom a few weeks before winter last year. I uprooted them from ITBP hospital garden. Wondering what's the color gonna be, since nobody seems to notice their flowers, I planted them in five places around the free space we have here, which I already converted to flower garden -well, portion of it because some areas are very rocky and a little difficult to dig the soil. Although not everyone gave blooms this one yield pretty much. Another one more gave quite a number of blooms near our compound wall but monkeys just couldn't get their eyes off them so they didn't last long. This year I'm hoping to see some more flowers. I have uprooted and replanted some Cannas to different places to avoid overcrowding.

A few information about Canna Lily are:

  • The name Canna originated from a Celtic word for crane or reed.
  • For the best foliage color and greatest number of blooms your Canna should be planted in areas where they receive full sun.
  • The rhizome of Cannas is rich in starch.
  • The seeds are used as beads in jewelry.
  • Smoke from the burning leaves is said to be insecticidal.
So if you decide to include this beautiful bloom in your garden, here's a quick link for you to guide you more about Cannas. Good luck!

13 April 2013

ITBP Gauchar Residential Areas

Those buildings are family quarters of ITBP personnel and their family and SO's Mess, the  first long building (middle) right at the visible road. The above flats and the lower ones are separated by Rishikesh-Badrinath highway -you can even see half of the bus just on the power lines. 
There are two gates here. 

The first gate (from Rishikesh to Gauchar direction) goes directly through the Officers' Mess, Commandant's House and Type 4 family quarters where officers of assistant commandant rank are housed. 

The main gate, a few meters ahead the first gate -on the same direction, directs you to the ITBP Administrative Block on the left and to the Unit Hospital, SO's Mess, and Type 3-1 family quarters on the right, which is shown in this photograph. 

The last buildings are of Kendriya Vidyalaya School. There was a huge old tree at the middle of the school which the forest department got it cut, for what purpose, I can't say. All you can see in this picture are logs cut from the said tree.

The river is almost always dry all throughout the year except during the rainy season.

ITBP Gauchar, is the 8th Battalion of the ITBP Force Organization. It is situated around 2 kms. outside Gauchar.

More pictures of ITBP will be posted here so keep visiting. My goal is to show to readers how places look like so that they'll get ideas of what and how they are before they decide to come permanently or temporarily.

12 April 2013

Statue of Lord Shiva

This is the statue of Lord Shiva located in the city of Haridwar in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places to Hindus. Haridwar stands for "Gateway to God" - Hari means god and dwar means gate. And true to its name derivation, Haridwar is indeed a gateway to reach Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamonutri pilgrimage centers.

This staue is situated at the river banks of the River Ganga and along the highway - Haridwar to Dehradun or towards Rishikesh.
This statue enthralls hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world every year.

This photograph of Lord Shiva statue was taken early morning in May 2011 on our way to Badrinath, during which for the period of 6 months my husband was assigned as one of the Medical Officers under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Uttarakhand.

11 April 2013

Pomegranate: A Perfect Grenade?

This is pomegranate bud, still about to turn into a full-grown flower. Whether it matures into a fruit, we still yet to see for  quite a number of monkeys have an eye on it and the others along with it. Many would have seen its full-grown fruit. Many would have eaten its juicy sweet seeds but none would have seen how a delicious fruit turns when it's youngest stage.

Pomegranate is revered to be a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life. Why exactly, you can tell me yourself.

It is known to be native of Persia and has been propagated in various places. It is available in grocery stores and fruit stalls all year round. Although, it is on the costlier side here in India, people tend to buy this fruit for pooja (prayer offering) purposes. While for my husband and I, it is part of our daily breakfast meal - 2 pomegranate fruits every morning along with other fruits like apple, orange, grapes, guava, etc, whatever fruit is in season.

In Philippines, we call it granada, 
(grenade) because of its shape, the word being of Spanish influence.

04 April 2013

Persian Cornflower: A Shade of Pink

Persian Cornflower looks like this while facing the upside basking under the sun. This picture was taken on the same day the blue one was taken. Although I only saw and captured two of its varied colors, the other day I saw one which is purple. I went inside the house to get my camera but when I went back to the garden the monkey already had it. Bad monkey - always has an eye on these blooms! Once it blooms again, it will be an entry here. Promise!

02 April 2013

Persian Cornflower: A Blue Crown?

Persian Cornflower is also known as Whitewash Cornflower maybe because the underside of the leaves is covered in silver hairs.

It is native to Caucasus Mountains and north-east Turkey where it grows on mountain meadows and stony slopes. Persian Cornflowers attract butterflies and bees

Like Nasturtium and Gazania, Persian Cornflower also doesn't need much water so over-watering is extremely prohibited. And to avoid over seeding, removing the dying flowers is suggested then collect the seeds, if you like, for further propagation.

01 April 2013

Gazania in White Dominance

According to readings, Gazanias are grown for the brilliant color of their flowerheads which appear in the late spring and are often in bloom throughout the summer into autumn. They prefer a sunny position and are tolerant of dryness and poor soils. They are indeed, drought-tolerant.

It's my first time to capture its beauty. I have never known its name before.

Gazanias are of different color combination of which I don't know which one is most common. One thing is sure, though, they are beautiful. I am planting it in our own yard. Hope to see it bloom this summer till autumn.

29 March 2013

Nasturtium: Flower Plant That Prefers Poor Soil

On 27th March 2013, Holi day (festival of colors) in India, my husband and I decided to join the officers around here celebrating the festival of colors although we don't celebrate any festivities. Preferring to roam around we clicked hundreds of blooming flowers in early spring around the campus especially the ones near the Officers' Mess. Nasturtium is one of these blooms.
According to readings, Nasturtium is easy to grow. Its leaves and flowers are edible. It blooms well exposed to the sun and like the subtitle above, it prefers to grow in poorer soil. Do not over-water and cutting off withered or dead flowers prolongs blooming.
Nasturtium comes in different colors: orange, yellow (like above), and red.

Note: We were discussing about its name w
hile taking a photograph of it. That day was the first time we encountered this flower up close although we have seen it from afar. When we got home my husband searched the internet for its name, for definitely it has a name. And gotcha, he did found it's name and its NASTURTIUM.

20 March 2013

ITBP - 8th Battalion Administrative Building

This is the left rear view of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Force, 8th Battalion, administrative building located at Gauchar, Chamoli District, Uttarakhand, India.  The road visible leads towards Officers' Mess. The building is best accessed from the main gate where you need to present your ID and state your purpose of visit.
~ The back side (towards ground) of ITBP Administrative Building ~

~ This is how the ITBP, Gauchar Adminstration Building looks like from above ~

15 March 2013

Choco Saying Namaste!

This is Choco, a military dog. He's about three years old. We met him at ITBP Gopeshwar unit. He is trained to sit, lie down, roll and do Namaste (Hello!) although he missed where to face the camera this time (lol). He eats at least 10 chapatis (Indian bread) and meat. He's not allowed to eat rice during winter, he might get some colds -they say (some old traditional belief).

13 March 2013

Uttarakhand Government Hospital in Bhatoli

This is Uttarakhand Government Hospital situated in Bhatoli, around 13 kms from Karanprayag. It's in Karanprayag-Garsen road. Since there is a heavy shortage of doctors in Uttarakhand, this hospital is mostly run by a pharmacist and a ward boy. Doctor is available for 6 months after Badrinath  Temple closes. Water is available 24 hours although there is almost always power cuts everyday. At this time, there is no phone or mobile services around the hospital area. One has to climb back to the highway, which is a few steps away, to find a signal. The surroundings are green. The air is cool. And it is located quite far from villages so it's almost always silent except for a few sounds from vehicles. It's a nice place. There is a river down the place. (We have stayed here for a night.)

11 March 2013

Look Who I Found!!!

Look who I found happily sitting and napping? Droolee! This tree has just blossomed after it lost all its leaves in winter. Droolee is not a usual sight on this tree but this time it's different. She just wouldn't want to come down after a much bigger cat chased her. Her history with this big cat is not pleasant for she was attacked by this big cat inside our house napping. So, today Droolee seemed to have found a nice high haven thinking the big cat may not be able to find and reach her ever. (Lol)

07 March 2013

Tithonia Rotundifolia: A Sun-like Orange Flower

When I took this flower using a  Sony Digital Camera 2004 model, macro mode I really didn't know its name. For a while after taking so many photographs of blooms around here my husband started an operation: "search-that-flower-name" on the internet using various ways like typing "sun-like" flower, or "orange flower". Any descriptive words that might help finding the correct name for a particular bloom.

This one, I found its name myself, just a while ago before typing this caption because this was posted as a Nameless Beautiful Flower at first. Using my husband's technique I was able to find its name. The power of internet, the interest of the unknown people out there who posted similar threads and the persistence to know did all the magic. 

Tithonia Rotundifolia, or Tithonia, since its easier to remember this way, comes in different colors like red, orange or yellow. 
Now I know its name and from now on I will never forget it.

Looney: The Fluffy-Eared Pup

His name is Looney. Our friend, Dr. Rana (in-charge of Badrinath Government Hospital) got him home a month before Badrinath Temple closes.  But before he was sent down to Haridwar, my husband and I took care of him for two weeks. He's a very cute pup who was always busy chewing on a bone he found just outside our house, where he spent most of his morning days when the sun is out. Later we found out that he was never sent to Haridwar. Instead, Dr. Rana's friend took him and he is now staying in Devprayag. He is now around two years old!

02 March 2013

Coonie: A Yellow-Brown Cat

Meet Coonie, our third cat! We got her from a restaurant here in Gauchar when she was about two months old. She has never given us any scratches and bites. She's very gentle. She sleeps with us at night. Her diet? Mostly rice and egg with curd. When she likes to go out? She meows like there's no tomorrow. Recently, she fractured her hip bone (I think) and for about a month she was limping, we needed to carry her to the bathroom to do her "things", which she never does anywhere else-either outside or in the bathroom. We didn't give any medicine to her. We just let the body do the magic. All we provided was care and affection.

Droolie: A Himalayan Jungle Cat?

Meet Droolie, our youngest kitten so far. Her mother left her to us after realizing that there is food in our house and that she will be safe with us. Mother cat always does this. Before the time her kittens are old enough to be on their own she will find a place where food is available and safe for them then she'll vanish and leave her kittens in that place. This is the story of Droolie. We named her Droolie because she likes Drools (cat-food, urhrmm, dog food actually) very much. She was a feral and hardly we could touch her but now she's our pet and a friend to Coonie, our third cat.

Alaknanda River @ Karnaprayag

(Shot at Pokhari-Karnaprayag Road)
Alaknanda River (river that is visible) at Karnaprayag (the town in the middle), which is situated at one 
of the five confluences of Alaknanda River (Alaknanda and Pindar River). The road (left) goes to Badrinath and the snaky road on the right goes to Pokhari Nagnath.