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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Friday, 27 May 2011

Cos they are both Special Boys

Today's post is dedicated to two wonderful men, one lives by my side and the other was the first Prime Minister of India.They are honoured today for their illustrious lives.Both are capable of abundant love. I am fascinated by them in equal measure and whereas the quotes of one are profound and finite the quotes of the other are somewhat cynical but continue.....I have collected a few that I share with you today.
"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

How true for all of us living here.

“Time is not measured by the passing of years but by what one does, what one feels, and what one achieves."

“I have become a queer mixture of the East and the West, out of place everywhere, at home nowhere.”

Even more pertitent for many of us who live disparate existences all over the world.

    I Like this quote I dislike this quote“What we really are matters more than what other people think of us.”

"Life's a bitch and then you die."

"English is a precise language."

"Money is merely a tool".

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Seher and Subash

These are my little choclit kids - they belong to the landlady's driver. The family came from Bihar  because the wife has some health problems which at great cost and a lot of time the driver is trying to solve with limited success it seems. The result it that they have been living on our compound for some months now and they are the sweetest and handsomest children I have met for a long time. Their names are Seher and Subash and their smile and countenance are instantly uplifting whatever your mood.
There was a time that I was concerned that the children were not going to school and that they needed to. I think so much was spent on the wife's medical expenses that there was little left over for school fees and uniforms but also because the children were enrolled to go to school in Bihar.
The end result - no school while they were here and a joy for us all to share. We hopped, we ran, we chased Tara, we bounced on the trampoline and we did crazy kiddie things together which perhaps now that my boys are older I miss and I had endless supplies of "choclit hai ? " I have sat down with them and done lego and looked at books though my Hindi is pitiful and their English not much better but we understood each other perfectly and had fun.
Sadly for me they have now gone to Bihar because it is not usual for employees to have their families living with them and in their father's sadness to see them go I too feel keenly their absence from my life.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Fleeting Moments

My previous post generated a lot of comments and I welcome each and every one of them though I may not agree with all. NIMBY by the way stands for NOT IN MY BACK YARD. My friend N, is familiar with this term as it is something that occurs in every corner of this planet not just India.

Daily thoughts and scenes are always a mixture and in as much as the previous post was critical of the state of affairs here, this post is a reminder of the quirky and the different which is also so prevelant but often so fleeting. 

A morning of dancing butterflies. Went on a wondeful walk with Tara in Vasant Khunj and spotted no less than 15 different varieties of butterflies from irridescent blue, to bright yellow, to flaming orange to whimsical white and ice-blue. Just beautiful.

Watching crows eat melted ice-cream from a pavement. They bend their head and suck in the ice-cream sideways. Hilarious.

Seeing a man riding a bike with one hand along a busy road holding a baby asleep on his shoulder.

Seeing a family on a motorbike as you often do but the little boy was fast asleep on the fuel tank.Uncomfortable. This one I captured for you.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


I was waiting to be collected from a well known shopping precinct. I stood on the corner by a small kiosk that sells sweets and tobacco pouches, both popular in India, and manufactured "singly" so people can afford them. The trouble with that is that men buy them, tear them open and throw the packet on the floor. The kiosk man was busy cleaning the patch in front of his kiosk. He painstackingly moved motorbikes and shifted chairs and swept all the rubbish into a nice pile and then ...he swept it under the parked car right next to the kiosk !

A young man finished his Sprite and simply threw it on the floor as he walked to his motorbike. I was too stunned to protest but patience is a virtue here and as I stood waiting, a woman with a worn and tatty sari came along carrying two plastic bags full of plastic bottles and plastic cups. She scooped up the plastic bottle and hey presto instant recycling.

On my way home I saw a mum lifting her toddler onto a wall and the toddler pooped in someone else's garden.All part and parcel of the state's failure to provide ....

Hence the well known acronym NIMBY. Don't for a moment think this is India's problem only.It happens wherever that selfish gene takes over and shows a lack of responsibility to the community you live in. In India's case one could say there are mitigating factors perhaps because of the states failure to provide.It is all a question of education and collective consciousness but you would have thought that 60 years was long enough to get this sorted.
Can you guess what it stands for ?

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Moet Chandon introducing cousin Mohit Chander

Moet Chandon introducing cousin Mohit Chander
LVMH owned Moet Hennessey India, the importer of Moet Chandon Champagne plans to produce in Nashik a premium version of the French bubbly that might be christened as Mohit Chander (MC), writes Subhash Arora who believes the nick name will be Chandon as in the other non-French countries where the big daddy of Champagnes already produces sparklers under this label.


There is a very funny side to the above announcement but also something terribly exciting about it. Indian wine and wine manufacture is getting bolder every day. I need cheering up and this made me smile.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


This is Chini our Indian stray who we adopted when we moved here. She moves like a gazelle, she has the eyes of a seductress and she is the best guard dog in the world. Sadly we live on a compound with non dog lovers and Chini was returned to the dog sanctuary from where she came yesterday. We are very very sad about this and want her to be adopted by a family who can give her the freedom to roam around and to enable her to be a guard dog.She is happy living in or out and has two half cups of dry food per day. She is at Jeevashram which can be visited and contacted as follows :


Jeevashram Animal Shelter,

Rajokri, Rangpuri, Delhi

011 25064114
Dr Sharma is the Vet in charge and he holds Chinis vaccination sheet which is up to date.
Can you offer her a better home ?

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Kanha National Park

You know what it is like going to a National Park and having that weighted expectation of seeing the BIG ones. Well we dont - we go along and we enjoy the park for what it has to offer and this takes the pressure off for the driver and the guide and makes it a much more pleasant experience. Our interest is not just in the animals but the birds and the butterflies and of course the trees which are truly magnificent in India.
So it is with these same principles that we entered Kanha National Park on a spring morning. Kanha has been around since 1955, just a wee bit older than me, but much larger at some 940 sq Kms.It was not always national park. Some of it was farmed and 27 villages were relocated to ensure room for the animals so you can still see evidence of mango trees and other fruit trees in the park. It is right bang in the centre of India and a bit of a challenge to get to but it has a lot to offer. There are many lovely camps to stay at and I will tell you about the one we stayed at in another blog.
Kanha's size means that there are a lot of routes on offer with varying vistas. Meadowlands, river beds, quite thick sal forest and grasslands. Its tiger population is healthy and on the up but Kanha is famous for having saved the Swamp Deer Barasingha  from extinction. I think it is a wonderful acclaim for any National Park to be able to credit such results and Kanha can. Swamp deer numbers which were in the tens are now rising to hundreds.It has other deer types as well not least the barking deer which we heard bark. They sound just like a dog.

Kanha of course is also good for tiger sightings and we did see one in the distance with lots of other jeeps. So instead of showing you the tiger at this point I am going to show you the jeeps. It is heartwarming to see the ever increasing numbers in the parks.

For a variety of reasons we did not opt to do what everyone else was doing and we decided to take a long drive up to a ridge to enjoy the blooming trees en route as well and the birds aand the butterflies.This is the superb creature that we met en route. She was on the road we were travelling on and she was truly magnificent and we were the only car there to enjoy her as she sat down in the shade and caught her breath, suveyed the scene, and then gently moved off the road and back into the forest.

We had to catch our breath at her beauty and we carried on our journey elated at this fantastic sighting. There was more so here are some of the select moments of our time there for you all to enjoy.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Madhya Pradesh in the springtime

We are drawn to MP like bees to a honeycomb and in this case there was evidence of that as well with these honeycombs all over this kapok tree.The countryside was full of flowering trees and the houses had a very distinct style to them. Swept courtyards, square houses, most painted a very distinct and vibrant blue colour, small upper windows, thatched or tiled roofs.
The trees were a blaze of colour and blooms. The roads, inches deep in fallen leaves, but the surroundings still clung to some green and some watering spots that were favourites with the animals.
This interesting mass is an ants' nest which is made quite high up in the tree. How ants collect and put the leaves together is truly impressive.

More on the National Park and the animals in my next blog.

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Royals

Hopped over to the UK to do a few odd jobs but also to enjoy the spectacle of the royal wedding and even your die hard republicans will agree that it was a grand and lovely affair. Just to give you a small flavour one of the biggest department stores in London called Selfridges had live people in their windows " doing the Windsors". Hilarious but also a sign of a nation that doesnt take itself seriously all the time.