Sunday, April 22, 2012

3 Ways to keep cool in the Mumbai summer

It is Mid April and officially the hottest summer anybody can remember ! Here in Mumbai, summer means three things, more sun than you need to tan your self to crisp brown, children playing cricket and general noisy games in the street and mangoes!! 

Here are Three great ways to deal with the crazy Mid summer blues you might get.

My bird bath

  • Drink gallons of water, but not from your fridge rather from a Mud pot! Yes I know most of you from the western world might wonder why in the world a mud pot, well here in India, drinking from an earthen ware pot in the summers is very popular. The water stored in the pot cools down considerably as some of the water evaporates through the pot pores. The water also for some strange reason tastes delicious , no kidding ! In fact quite a few shop owners keep a large earthen ware pot outside their stores with a steel glass attached for passers-by to have a little drink. And while you are out buying one for you buy one for the birds as well. I did and have been watching Pigeons, Crows and Mynah birds stop by for a drink all morning ! with the added bonus of a very loud bird song by the Mynah bird ( what more can you ask for ! )
  • Make clay sculptures , well use this excuse and find some clay at your local potters and play around with the clay, hey you might create some pieces or might not but you will have tons of fun and the clay can get very cold helping you beat the heat!
  • Buy mangoes and well of course eat them but also make a cooling drink with them. Here's how: Buy a Kg of Raw mangoes ( we call the drink Panna , so you need to get the mangoes for making Panna , your fruit vendor will know) boil them whole till the outer skin goes a dull yellow . Let them cool , then  make a little slit and pull out the seed and squeeze out the pulp from the skin as well as the seed. Mash the pulp or better yet run it through the food processor , add at least half a kg of sugar, ground cardamom and some threads of saffron, and your done ! To serve take about two large tablespoons of this pulp add water, ice and mix. Do try this it tastes delicious and an added bonus no preservatives !

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fan page cover pic

Cover photo for Fb fan page
© 2012 Nayna Shriyan

For all my blog readers, here is what my Facebook Fan page cover pic looks like :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mirror makeover

       A while back we had a 'Vastu' consultant come in and do a check up of our house, and she recommended quite a few changes, most very practical and did not require major upheaval of our household and also did not entail major expenses, so we were quite fine with it. There was however one thing that meant either calling in a carpenter or some good old fashioned DIY, well you know me so DIY is what it meant!
Mirror with the makeover done
       The 'thing' as I mentioned earlier was that mirrors could not face open windows as they reflected negative energy inside from the outside.(without going into the debate about whether or not this is possible, let me just give you an account of how me and my friend came up with this great design, its more fun any ways :D)
        I first covered the mirror with a very thick coat of wood primer( I found a good sized tin lying in my attic ) Then my friend and I created textures using texturing white and good old wall putty using some palette knives and our hands :D ( Did I mention it was a very fun project !) We didn't actually plan a design but we simply decided to go with some very soothing waves. Most of the textures we created are simple ones. This was left to dry off for 24 hrs. and then, I used two colours in acrylic, a cobalt blue and an aqua green with a tube of white to create tints, There was also some left over crimson red that I used to create the really dark tones that you can see at the top left and bottom right. 
After the base colours more textures were added with some contrasting light and dark colours and of course good old metallic golds and bronzes.
Wish I had taken a before pic of the mirrors but here is what graces my room now and the best part I can actually see it from outside the home and  our house is on the second floor !!