January 31, 2009

Happy Birthday

Wishing you Health, Happiness & prosperity always... Happy birthday Meetu. I am blessed to be a part of your life.

I Got a Pineapple cake & made some special Indian food at home. Invited some friends over for lunch followed by a dinner at our favourite restaurant.

Vegetable biryani is made with Basmati rice and curried vegetables in layers, infused with aromatic spices like Cinnamon, Cloves, Shahi jeera, Mint, Cilantro and garnished with almonds, cashew, fried onions & fried bread cubes. I served this with onion raitha (Onion & yoghurt dip). This is my first attempt at preparing veg biryani, I followed this recipe. Enjoy the picture & come over to celebrate with us today :: Shillu

Attention to details

Shillu :: 9 stone door which is a part of this temple. I love the details on it, espicially the elephants.
VJ :: Terrace Location: The place that I called home- Paris. Fancy a nice home in the French countryside with mouth watering French cuisine coupled with sunny exteriors & tastefully done interiors. This is the terrace of one such house that I resided during my post graduation days in France. Jo, the owner, ensured that the house is clean and well maintained at all time. Her attention to detail and ability to preserve antiques is simply superb!

January 30, 2009

Chocolate indulgance & a sculpture

VJ :: Chocolate Milk Shake: One afternoon, during the summer of 2008, I decided to make something nice for my Sister and Brother-in-law. What next, I scouted the fridge and found some ice-cream, chocolate and milk. I melted the chocolate on a double boiler, added ice-cream to it and blend it with milk. Served it in a frosted glass with chocolate syrup..now, that's what I call too much of chocolate. What do you say?


Shillu :: One of the sculptures on the walls of this temple. This is supposed to be the view inside an elephants stomach, If you pay attention top the picture you will realise that there is an outline of an elephant outlining the God's sculpture.

January 29, 2009

Indian splendor

Shillu :: India is such a beautiful country with rich history. South India is very famous for beautiful temples constructed centuries back. For a couple of weeks starting today I am going to share pictures of such temples from various trips. Let me know how you like them. This is the picture of Chalukya temple in Karnataka
If you would like to know the story behind each of these pictures you can find it here
VJ :: Good Morning! Have you ever seen the sunrise by the beach? I have done it and this is my picture.
Location: Kailashgiri, Vizag
Date: 3 Jan 2008
Time: 5:15am
Mohan, a colleague of mine and I went on a early morning drive to capture the sunrise by the beach in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam followed by breakfast at a beach view cafe. Awesome experience marked the start of a great day.

January 28, 2009

Hot or cold?

VJ :: Breakfast- they say, breakfast breaks the overnight fast- I am beginning to realise that it may be true. This is the breakfast that I had at a cafe at the culinary capital of the world. I will leave you to guess the location. Freshly squeezed orange juice with croissant accompanied by a preservative and chocolate chips with hot n frothy milk. What 's next, a nice healthy breakfast and an instant painting both for the price of one. Parfait!


Shillu :: "A lot can happen over coffee" that's the tag line of my favourite coffee chain in India. I definitely agree. Enjoy your daily dose.

January 27, 2009

Time for a walk?

VJ :: Walking- I love to walk. Especially, when the weather is pleasant and there is a light breeze, its a complete package. I was on roads again with my camera and this is what I captured. On my way from Buckingham Palace to underground station, I found this embedded on to the road. Until then, I saw every passer by walking past this not paying attention, but as soon as I took a picture,people that followed me, stopped here for a moment to see what it was and take pictures. This embedded structure gained instant fame.


Shillu :: I am back from a whirlwind trip where I covered some 1500 miles in 3 days by train (a "super fast" express that was perpetually late). This is what I feel like doing now, laze in a nice pool without any care in the world. This picture is taken at a resort where my team went for an outing.

January 22, 2009

Serene Green

VJ :: An Overcast Sunday Evening - A friend of mine and I went to witness the Mark Rothko's Exhibition at the Tate Modern Museum in London. At the entrance, I noticed these trees standing very diligently along either side of the road paving the way for the visitors to come in.
Shillu :: I love the specks of pink and yellow water lillies in this picture. Too exhausted to write anything else today.

January 20, 2009

Anything is possible

A promise of change
A ray of hope
A new era has begun
Anything is possible!

*This beautiful picture is from my friend-Aanchal's lens

Time for a Game...err..Play

Game : Chess
Location: My Desk @ Home
Bought @ : Hamleys, London
Now what about it : I first noticed a black and white folding board at a friends place during my early teens and ended up getting a free lesson about the various pieces and the way they move. The game trains you to be vigilant of the opponents movements. You can often catch me playing the game with my computer as my opponent. My Fiancé loves the game and has taken a new year resolution to beat my 'experienced' cousins at it. Ask me at the end of this year as to where we are at this game and I will tell you.


Shillu :: I have been pretty tied up at work the past couple of weeks. No time to click any new pics. We are planning a trip this coming weekend and I promise I will click many pics. Now, here is a pic I took of the Mississippi river when I went to watch a play while I was in the US. What you see here is a picture taken through the window with the reflection of the bridge & river on the glass of the window. You can read more about the play I watched that day here.

January 19, 2009

Heavenly sights'

Heavenly Sights' - One for the eyes, one for the palette
Shillu :: We recently celebrated an important Indian festival - Sankranthi. This is the dessert I made at home as an offering to the God & then for us. Its called Semiya Payasam or Vermicelli Kheer. Vermicelli cooked in milk, flavoured with cardamom & garnished with roasted cashews & raisins. And yeah, In case you are wondering - Yes, I love Ganesha Idols & I have loads of them.
VJ :: Good Morning - In summer of 2007, I was in Paris doing my Post Graduation. One morning when I woke up accidentally at 5:15am, I saw this sight. What next? I caught hold of my camera and captured 'God's Creation'. Isn't it perfect?

January 18, 2009

Fond Memories

VJ :: I took this picture one wintery evening from the Guoman Tower Hotel by the London Bridge. I have fond memories of this place. Three of my friends work for this hotel and I usually come here with other friends and spend hours sipping beverages and looking at the Tower Bridge and admiring it.
Shillu :: Motorboat ride in the backwaters of Pondicherry, India.Pondicherry is a beautiful beach town in south India which was a former French Colony. You can read more about it here.

January 16, 2009


VJ :: Nibbles - Everyone loves to munch. Be it sweet or savoury. As a teenager, I used to love the 'Bombay Mixture' that my mother used to make with beaten rice (chivda), ground nuts, dried curry leaves and seasoning and it used to taste amazing. To tickle your taste buds let me tell you what you are looking at : Roasted-Caramelised Cashew nuts, white chocolate balls and dark chocolate balls. This picture was taken in the London Food Festival.


Shillu ::
Where? Our favourite Thai Restaurant
When? A warm, lazy Sunday afternoon
Why? The menu said "sizzling dessert", we thought "why not?"
What is it? A sizzling walnut brownie topped with a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream garnished with chocolate sauce. If you pay attention you can actually see some smoke coming from the brownie.
The verdict? It disappeared in a minute, luckily I got this pic before it was gone. Lip smacking is the word!

January 15, 2009

Cool blue

VJ :: As a kid, during my vacation, my dad used to take me to the Ramakrishna Beach in Vizag. I used to sit for hours looking at the small and big ships sailing across the horizon. I thought to myself that One day, I will take a closer look at them and I think, I have achieved that. A closer look at the blue sails really is soothing to the eye and makes me think of the beauty man is capable of creating, ' truly outstanding'. I must admit, that I had used my friends camera to take this shot as I did not have a lens of that aperture.


Shillu :: This picture is from our recent trip to Pondicherry (Union teritorry of India) which is a beautiful beach town and a former French Colony

January 14, 2009

Sankranthi Subhakankshalu

Shillu :: Sankranti is an Indian festival that is celebrated beginning of of the harvest season for the farmers. I miss celebrating this festival back in Hyderabad. Tulasi decorates the outdoors with colorful Rangoli (painting on the ground with white powder & other colors), we would all wear new clothes and visit a temple. All the kids would gather on the terrace and have a kite flying competition with the kids from our neighbourhood. In the evening my cousins and I decorate all the Bommalu (toys) in a colorful display called bommala koluvu & invite neighbours to our house.

Yesterday BK & I decorated our house with flowers and made Payasam (dessert made with rice, milk & jaggery garnished with cashews & raisins). The picture you see here is from one of the corners of our house - an urn/urli decorated with flowers & Ganesha holding an oil lamp in his hands. Sankranthi Subhakankshalu (Greetings) to you.

January 13, 2009

Innocence & serenity

VJ :: Recently, I participated in the London Cycling Competition where I had to take some pictures of cycles or people cycling. In my attempt to capture some real life action, Sebastian was caught on camera. He posed for the picture very humbly and also thanked me for taking his picture. I had a great time doing the photographs for the London Cycling Event.


Shillu :: I chanced upon the morning mist playing hide and seek over the hill top and the lake was happy to mirror its reflections. I took this picture during my recent road trip. This lake is on the outskirts of a south Indian village.

January 12, 2009

Warm beginnings on cold days

VJ :: Chai- Garam Chai- When the weather is unbelievably cold and all you see is frost, nature covered in hues of grey and you are enjoying long drive @ speed of 80 miles/hour, listening to your favourite tunes, all you need is a cup of strong ginger tea- to make the occasion memorable.Taken on my trip to South Yorkshire countryside.


Shillu :: Raagi Malt - The perfect drink for foggy winter mornings. Tulasi makes a ready to use powder and gives me a batch whenever I visit her. She adds some additional pulses to Sprouted Raagi & makes this powder. Raagi (Finger millet) is rich in calcium and Iron. The additional bonus is that very tasty & flavourful.

January 11, 2009

Red & Pink

VJ :: ' Spicy'. Red chillies have been my favourite subjects for sometime now. They appeal to me and now, my camera too. I took this picture on my first visit to Borough Market in London. My colleagues at office told me that, if I was interested in food photography,I must to go there.
Shillu :: Flowers brighten any girls day, they brighten any room. I love decorating my house with Flowers in Urli's/urn's. This tiny urn is on my desk in front of a couple of God's idols. I try and decorate it with flowers everyday. It brightens my desk & I love the freshness and color it brings to my busy desk. You will see more of my Urn n flowers pics in the days ahead.

January 10, 2009

Gods canvas

VJ :: A section of wheat field, seems ready for harvest. My instant reaction to this site was 'wow'..I had never seen something like this in India so closely. The weather was just perfect and the light was just right. Hence the picture. This picture was taken on a sunny evening at Hertfordshire, an hours drive from London, on the way to a scenic lake.
Shillu :: On my way to work everyday, I pass this nice house where they used this beautiful Hibiscus plant to make a fence instead of constructing a wall. The pink flowers look really pretty - don't you agree?

January 9, 2009

Click - Food photography event

Jai & Bee of Jugalbandi host a monthly food photography event. This month's theme is RED. We have been silent admirers of the event & the wonderful entries for some time now. This month we decided to participate. Here is our "RED" Click.

Caught! red-handed!

January 8, 2009

A thing of beauty...

...is a joy forever
VJ :: London Architectural Marvel- The Gherkin Building, also known as the Swiss Re Tower symbolised the start of a new high-rise construction boom in London. Located in London's main financial district, this building is 180 meters tall.
Shillu :: Shopping in India is an exciting experience for me when compared to shopping in the west where all stores have similar merchandise. Don't get me wrong - I love shopping anywhere in the world (I did my bit last couple of months to American & French retail stores by shopping madly)! Whats different about India is that each store is very colorful, you could shop in one area for years & you will still discover new treasures tucked away in some corner of some galli (By-lane) that you will swear was never there. Whats more, You can bargain with the vendors.
The vibrant picture below is of Bandhini silk sarees (Tie & Dye) from Jaipur.

January 7, 2009

Over the horizon

VJ :: This picture is taken from my desk at work. I believe every person looking at the setting sun has a story to tell about the day that is about to end - about how his day was and how tired he is and how he is looking forward to tomorrow.


Shillu :: I have other thoughts on my mind looking over the horizon. I am a little worried with all the news about war, financial instability. I am hoping tomorrow is a better day with peace and happiness for everyone. On a lighter note - This picture reflects my retirement plan. A small cottage by the beach or lake with BK by my side :)

January 6, 2009

Random Pictures

VJ :: A random stranger watching the boats go by near the Millennium Bridge near the TATE Modern Museum in London .
Shillu :: This is my 4 year old bamboo tree which is a gift from one of the guys I trained at work. According to fengshui this brings luck when gifted. When I received it, it was just 4 inches tall. Look at it now! It adds a refreshing touch to my desk at work.

Mondays! Huh!!

VJ :: Watching a live game is everyones dream- be it cricket or football. I got an opportunity to watch my first game where Chelsea played New Castle in the Barclay's Premier League Championships. Awesome experience even though the game ended -Nil-Nil. :)


Shillu :: I am not a fan of Mondays, hence to movitate myself for a busy week ahead [my appraisal is due :(] We went to this beautiful food court close to our house. Had a refreshing cup of Frappe & came back all set to face the world!

January 4, 2009

Flavours of the season

Shillu :: I am turning out to be a decent cook thanks to my favourite food blogs. I made this Capsicum Masala rice & everyone loved it!

VJ :: Sale- The current season in London- Sale, Sale and Sale everywhere....

January 3, 2009

Sky scrapers

VJ :: The view from my walk way....the second tallest building in UK
Shillu :: This is where I worked the last 3 months {away from home :(} and this view is from my studio downtown. I tried capturing the moon over the building.

History in stones

Shillu :: Gingee Fort, on the way to Pondicherry, Tamilnadu, India. I had a great time enjoying the holidays with "Bk" & friends
VJ :: CTR- Circle, Triangle and Square- the basics of life. This is the shape that is fixed into the wall in a small park behind my house - reminds me of my school days

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Shillu :: Buddha from Ganga Ramaya Buddhist Temple, Colombo
VJ :: Cute Ganesha from Vj's Collection