Saturday, December 29, 2018

Hope for tomorrow and a new beginning 2019

          Ah, we are in the last few days of 2018. This year has been a year of endurance and test. There were several life-changing events,  my grandmother's died, my neighbor passed away untimely and a friend went through almost death and survived. I saw so closely the unpredictableness of life. Also, my dad being hospitalized a few times and still not well. There were so many times my heart sunk and I lost my cool. At times, I tried to escape in the books, music, shopping and what not, but at the same time learned to appreciate things that I have, and take care of things before it's too late.

     All these difficult times, one aspect that kept me going is hope and hope for tomorrow. Without hope, no one can probably survive. Hope is like a flamboyant river that just knows to flows above all hurdles. With the hopeful hope for 2019 - you, me and everybody, wish you all a very prosperous new year 2019!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Village Rockstars in MOMA , NYC

      The Village Rockstars when just started hitting, the name, I felt the impact and power of it, way before watching the movie. Several nights, I got goosebumps thinking and wondering about Rima Das, how single-handedly she wrote, directed, cinematographed and produce the film with a single hand-held camera. Truly a one-woman show. Indeed  I was looking for every opportunity to watch the movie for several months. On December 17th, Village Rockstars the assamese film was screened in MOMA  NYC. The first Indian film to be screened in MoMA,, I just couldn't resist.

      Village Rockstars, solace and the soothe of being so real and relatable with the great dose of emotional and visual sensitivity.  Set in the quint village of Assam, a 10-year-old little girl Dhunu dreams of having a guitar one day. Away from over drama and the glamorous world, village rockstars portrait little slices of life's hope, aspiration, dream, and resilience. Village Rockstars, breathe and aired in Assamese village, Assamese rice field, the flood of Assam, Assamese folk belief, tradition, tad bit of Assamese culture, hand-loom, Assamese women wearing Thuria, Japi(Assamese hat) etc presented into a global appeal.

      Kudos to Rima Das's direction, without casting any trained actor, the acting of regular village folks looked so real and pure. The admirable lush, serene landscape of the village, there is a natural disaster like the flood that destroys their home, field, and animals every year but not their hope. This is the true aesthetic of the film as hope is higher, the dream is dogmatism. There is the daily grind to make ends meet yet, Dhunu's widow mother thrives to give her joy by buying a guitar. The lack of abundance couldn't take away the beauty of life.  The rain, paper boat, swing, climbing the battle nut tree and hiding the head with colocasia leaves from rain and those carefree days will rejuvenate one's childhood. The wise man in the movie brings back the plethora of memory of my grandfather whose stories we listened to, in our open courtyard. Director Rima Das embraces " Less is more" in the movie, as silence played an integral part of the movie yet said so much. Her acute observation of life in the celluloid is like sheer bliss - a girl playing with a goat, a suspended bamboo bridge, a wide sky with mellow clouds and that half drawn house in flood and eating rice with salt. It will melt your heart away with Dhunu holding the cardboard guitar while sleeping and at the end her mother coming home crossing the paddy fields with the guitar in her hands.   A slow-burning therapeutic heartfelt movie with hope, charm, and affection.

      The Movie ended in MoMa with a round of applause from the room full of a happy audience at the end. We are incredibly delighted and honored to meet Rima Das and can't wait for her next "Bulbul can Sing".

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A visual walk with flora and fauna of Assam

      Holiday has been my favorite season putting up the tree, buying gifts for my kids, baking Christmas cake but at the same time, I love to visit Assam during this time. Probably this year I miss more because my dad is not keeping well. Whenever I feel homesick I take memory walk with photos. The flora and fauna in Assam are so exotic and unique. Without any particular order let's take a visual tour.

       My original homeland Assam bestowed upon every season with natures own delight with flora and fauna. Here I am mostly sharing winter flora fauna. Hope you will like it.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

La Encomienda, Madrid review

I have a thing for homemade and handmade. While traveling, I often look for something similar. While looking for a restaurant in Madrid,  I came across La Encomienda, which I have already heard rave reviews about. Homey rustic La Encomienda, at first glance and gleeful greeting, melted my heart away. A cozy and beautiful interior, a colossal combination of hearty food and most attentive service makes it one must eat place in Madrid. [Madrid Hotels]

Serving in unique cookery, a mileage of Asian and Latin American vegan food with a creative culinary touch, their menu is incredibly unique.

After a great day of sightseeing, we needed a plate of food that is not just filling but also a nutrient, and here came a basket of seeded assorted bread.  Straight from the oven, the bread basket was rustic and delicious.  Then TARTAR OF ANDEAN TOFU, Tofu crumbled with leek, quinoa, and zucchini seasoned with Tabasco and coriander oil. What a unique and delicious combination of crumbly tofu with delicate and delicious coriander infused sauce.

And hubby had HAMBURGUESA TEX-MEX, Hamburger in paprika bread with purple onion, tomato, oak leaf with tex-mex sauce and green mojo. A hearty yet satisfying for your taste bud, hard on the outside and soft inside, made it scrumtamios and has the same taste of burger without the guilt of eating thousand-plus calories of a hamburger plus the benefit of eating all the super veggies.

As an eastern Indian, my love for rice is never ending and here we had MAFE OF VEGETABLES WITH SMOKED TOFU AND RED RICE,  Stew of vegetables and smoked tofu with tomato and peanut base served with red rice. I loved the consistency of the gravy, it was as whippy as Indian butter masala curry yet infused with some great flavor.

 Portion size was too good and you can share if you are not single like me. Then we headed for the sweet treat. Here came the surprise Creamy of peach, cashew, and coconut, ice cream with sesame tiles. How I enjoyed the velvety and luxe ice cream with crunchiness and nutty flavor of sesame. Good food is what you carry months after months and years after years after you had consumed it and your taste bud refuses to forget. It was something like that and will stay with me for years to come, the memory of the evening with good food and the most gracious service.

Address: Calle Encomienda, 19, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Hours : 
(Feast of the Immaculate Conception)
Hours might differ

Saturday, December 1, 2018

A photo walk of Cordoba

A seamless blend of touristy and history, once the capital of today's Andalucía region during the Muslim reign, Cordoba is considered one of the hottest city in Spain and of course one of the most stunning city. Situated on the hills Cordoba is vibrant, you will almost feel like entering into the festivities with winding Spanish alleys, patios decorated with flower pots, shops and full of life and there is some kind old world charm surrounded by the grand Mezquita. Unlike Toledo mileage of three culture Moorish, Roman and Jewish make it more enchanting and unique. Cordoba is in full bloom of culture and esthetics when celebrating the Patio festival in May but you won't regret visiting it without making it to the festival like us there are a lot more to soak in.

Highlights of Cordoba

1. Appreciate the architecture.

2. Get lost in the history

3. Shop and cherish

4. Explore the aesthetics of the city.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Grain free corn muffin with jalapeno and onion

Hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving. I had a fabulous Thanksgiving with whom I call family away from family. We celebrated it with good food and good conversation. Festivity always brings good food to our table. I love how the sweet aroma of food floats around the house. Doesn't aroma and flavor bring and bind people on the table?  cranberry sauce and baked beans, Cornbread or muffin those are my absolute thanksgiving favorite food. Imagine a crumbly piece of corn muffin, ah delicious and add a hint of cranberry sauce, out of the world. This weekend I love to share my grain-free corn muffin recipe. I added Jalapeno and onion for delicious flavor.

1. 2 cups of almond flour
2. 2 table spoon coconut sugar
3. 2 eggs
4. 8 tablespoon butter
5. 1teaspoon baking soda
6. Salt to taste
7. 1 cup of yogurt
8. 1 medium size onion finely chopped
9. 2 jalapeno one for the muffin and one for the garnishing (depends on your taste bud, how much you can handle)
10. A few red chili flakes for the color totally optional

1. Let's start. First of all, preheat your oven to 375 F.
2. Now in one bowl mix almond flour, coconut sugar with a pinch of salt and chili flakes.
3. In another bowl break two eggs, yield the yogurt and butter with it and mix gently. Make sure that your butter is melt before adding to the mixture. You can keep it in the room temperature before cooking.
4. Now, add the egg mixture with almond flour mixture and gently add the onion and jalapeno.  Gently mix everything.
5. Once you are done pour the mixture to muffin baking tray.
6. Now, bake it for 30 minutes or until it is done.
7. After 30 minutes check with a toothpick, if the toothpick comes clean then you know your muffins are ready.
Enjoy and let me know how you like it.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Top 5 things to do in Madrid

Every city in the world has its own tale. When we visited Barcelona on our Spain trip, loved its cosmopolitan and multicultural vibe, loved its gothic and contemporary Sagrada Familia and got mesmerized by Park Guell and got lost in the museum the Picasso. When we entered in Madrid, a whole new tale different from Barcelona awaited us. Bespoke yet dynamic, huge cultural heritage, flavorful food, art, street life, and shopping are some aspects of Madrid and a whole new way of rediscovering Spain.

Plaza Mayor:  Grandeur and pompous, nested in the heart of the city, Plaza Mayor is the most worth visiting the iconic landmark. Hustle and bustle this ancient market place is surrounded by full of artist, shops, and cafes. Taking a stroll and enjoying a cup of coffee or tea gives you a good insight into the lively Spanish culture. It could feel like you are in a time machine or enjoy your people watch..

Parque del Retiro: When we entered the park Retiro, it felt like the gentle breeze of air, while the city is busy and bustle. Here people are walking, jogging and doing yoga at their own pace. Paddle in the lake, visit the picturesque garden with numerous trees, sculptures, and pretty fountains and take an Instagram worthy photo in the glass castle or bask in the Sun. Nothing is less than awesome and easy breezy.

The Prado Museum: A Madrid trip can't complete without paying a visit to Prado, not just a visit but get marveled by some great artist and their surreal muse. Exhibits include  Francisco Goya to  Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and Diego Velázquez. The museum has a collection of  Art from different era and times and is considered Spain's main national art museum.

Puerta Del Sol:  The hustle and bustle and full of life this cool square offers shopping for every budget. Here you can also taste the local cuisine and enjoy the performance of local artists and get a sneak peek of the Spanish cultural dose.

Royal Palace of Madrid: This elegant and magnificent architecture is the official home of the Spanish Royal family since 1561. The impressive architecture attracts so many tourists every year.

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