Category: Zen (Personal)

Summer Colors ~ Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea in the Frontyard
Royal Purple Bougainvillea in a Pot ~ Coloring the Frontyard Garage Space

A brilliant performer, bougainvillea does well in hot Houston summer. Passionately colorful, passionately vibrant, passionately floriferous – they remind me of bright, eye-catching, gorgeously swirling Rajastani dresses of Bharath.

Kittaya in the Backyard



Kittaya Playing in the Backyard on a Beautiful Spring Day

In Memoriam of Panditji Ravi Shankar

Garden Goddess ~ Radha Manoharam

Rangoon Creeper
Quisqualis indica – Radha Manoharam (Telugu), Madhumalti (Hindi), Rangoon Creeper

We had Radha Manoharam growing up in Nandyala and I wished one for my Houston home garden too. Luckily I found a small seedling this March at Fort Bend Master Gardeners’ Sale. I planted it in the backyard, near the patio column, hoping it would cover the column and eventually make a nice arbor between the columns. It thrived in that spot and draped the entire column in just five months with vigorous growth. It started blooming in late August. Right now, the whole vine is adorned with hundreds of pretty flowers.

The flower buds open in the evening in pale white color. On the following day the bloom changes to pink and then gradually darkens to red and deep magenta by the third day. The clusters of blooms usually open few flowers at a time, so in blooming season multiple colors – white, pink and red are always visible on the plant making it visually very appealing. The flowers also seem to stay fresh at least for a week on the plant. I have noticed that during the day, pink and red flowers are visited by a wide range of visitors like bees and hummingbirds for the flower honey, and in the evenings freshly opened white blooms are visited by moths. The flowers have a pleasant fragrance that scents the air we breathe. So beautiful and divine, no wonder the plant is named in Telugu after the celestial romantic pair Radha and Krishna.

Another must have for fragrant flower lovers, heavenly Radha manoharam is my autumn garden goddess.

Rangoon Creeper
Radha Manoharam

Indian Party Menus ~ Navarathri Bhajan Bhojanam

Some delicious options for different occasions, that’s Indian Party Menus. In the hope that you would find this new series helpful when planning your party food menu.

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From a beginning of handful of people last year, my community women’s group, Sindoor Sangham, has grown to 30 member strength now. For sharing ideas and activities, and for keeping the communication open we also have a private website. These days I spend considerable amount of time and energy in developing and maintaining the burgeoning Sindoor Sangham. We plan and do different activities throughout the year. For this year’s Navarathri, we had Sri Lalitha Devi Bhajana sessions on each day of 9 days at a sindoor’s residence. At my place the bhajan session was followed by bhojanam. Had to put an extra effort for preparations, but it was worth sharing and celebrating the festival and the feast with Sindoor members.

Here is the menu for the Devi Navarathri bhajana bhojanam.

Devi Navarathri Bhajan – Bhojanam.

Theme: Dasara Luncheon
Guest number: 25 Sindoors
Time: for Lunch
Venue: Home
Preparation: Homemade

Bhajana Bhojanam Menu:

Buttermilk from homemade yogurt

Carrot-Cucumber Kosambari
Brown Chickpea Guggullu (soaked, boiled, lightly salted)

Peanut chutney
Potato Kura with fresh coconut seasoning

Bise bele bath
Lemon chitrannam
Daddhojanam (yogurt rice)

Papads
Dahi Mirchi (majjiga mirapa)
Murukulu

Moong dal – poppy seed payasam (pesara payasam)
Jujubee Fruits

Thambulam:
Haldi and Kumkum
Apple and banana
Mysore Pak and Murukulu

Spring is in the Air

The birds are chirping, bees are buzzing and seeds are sprouting. Spring is in the air. What a joy to experience the seasons in the sun again! It feels good to be alive.

We had couple of day-long rain showers in February. Houston needed that soaking rain after last year’s drought like conditions. Thanks to the rain and pleasant weather, my garden space is coming alive with plenty of new growth. Here are some garden goddesses that are in smiling bloom.



About to bloom ~ A Red Rose Bud


Pretty in Pink ~ An Azalea (Autumn Carnation)


Golden Beauty ~ The Chrysanthemum


Petal Perfection ~ The Red Camellia


A New Addition to The Garden ~ Tulip Magnolia (Jane)

Home as a Hobby ~ Clay Diwali Diyas

Clay Diwali Diyas
Homemade Clay Diwali Diyas

Sindoor Sangham, our neighborhood mahila sangham had a Diwali Party this week. One of the activities we did was make clay diyas. I made those two and jeweled them for that festive Diwali feel. It was a nice thing to do with family and friends.

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Indus Ladies, the popular women web forum has compiled a Diwali Sweets and Desserts e-Book. Recipes are contributed by food bloggers around the world. You can find my recipe “Almond Burfi” in page 65. It’s a free e-book and you can download from: http://www.indusladies.com/100diwalisweet.

Indus Ladies Diwali Desserts E-Book

Dasara Celebrations

Dear family and friends – Happy Dasara.

Dasara Celebrations at the Meenakshi Temple, Pear Land, TX
Meenakshi Kalyanam ~ Navaratri Alankarana at Meenakshi Temple, Houston

Dasara Celebrations at the Meenakshi Temple, Pear Land, TX

Dasara Celebrations at the Meenakshi Temple, Pear Land, TX
Bommala Koluvu for Dasara ~ Meenakshi Temple, Houston

Vinayaka Chavithi Celebrations

Vinayaka Chavithi Celebrations
Bala Ganapathi with His Favorite Flowers and Fruits


Vinayaka Chavithi Celebrations
A Virtual Flower and Fruit Prasadam to All Our Family and Friends,
Vinayaka Chavithi Shubhakankshalu!

Goddess of the Garden ~ Kanakambaram

Kanakambaram ~ the sacred saffron!
Kanakambaram ~ Divinity in simplicity!

Goddess of the Garden ~ Zinnia

Button Zinnia ~ A bright and beautiful shade of red
Button Zinnia ~ A bright and beautiful shade of red and an elegant arrangement of harmony!

Zinnia ~ Multi colored and multi faceted: A beautiful sprinkle of color
Zinnia ~ Multi colored and multi faceted: A beautiful sprinkle of color

Goddess of the Garden ~ Althea

Althea ~ Translucent petals through transforming light
Translucent petals through transforming light
Althea, The Rose of Sharon in Bloom from My Garden

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