Everything Else

All things that cannot be neatly categorized belong to Everything else. The author would hate to call it uncategorized!

Sunrise, Sunset.

In a few days  the blog sphere  is going to be filled with blogs reviewing people’s 2013. I thought I’d get a head start on mine.

I think the past is past and so lets leave 2013 be.  But 2014 has so much potential. It has 12 whole unused months, oh the possibilities it holds are endless.  We still have a few sunsets   more before we get to it.

Talking of sunsets and year ends tends to make me philosophical.  I feel we should treat every sunset as a year-end. When we see the setting sun we should  make resolutions to break bad habits and  form new ones. With every sunrise we should try to grow a little better, learn something new, try something different , go out and explore.  

So in the coming year may you face every sunrise as though it is the BEST day yet and may every sunset leave you a little healthier, wiser and braver!

And with that I leave you with some of my favorite sunset moments in 2013.











Happy new year all. A brand new sunrise to you all!

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The Communist World Map




This is a picture of an  actual map taken from the textbook of a fourth grader during the time of Communist Hungary.

Every time I look at this photo it just cracks me up. Communist Russia sure had a way of handling its enemies : – convince the world that they do not exist.

Mother Russia is at the center of the world. She dominates the entire world. Poor Australia is squeezed into the right bottom corner almost as an after thought. Maybe the fact that our first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had a socialistic outlook helped in India’s size and position in the  map.

Europe I suppose had to be there owing to the proximity. I mean you could not simply ignore that large land mass next door. Or wait  maybe its because some of the Eastern European countries were communist. Yes that must have been their saving grace.

Poor Africa has been cut in the middle. At least she gets a place ( half) in the map.

Oh dear!  where is South America? I mean understand why North America is not part of this map, but what in the world did the unfortunate continent do other than perhaps have an ‘America’ to it’s name?



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A little of Harry’s magic powder please!

It is ridiculous to have to change  the gear, press down on the clutch, steer the wheel,  nearly miss hitting a cow and drive all at the same time! It’s high time someone comes up with a smarter option of getting from place A to B without having to

a) Use public transport

b) Rely on someone else to drive you around.

What about that powder that gets Harry Potter and his troupe around? Why can’t we use some of that. Could do without the endless traffic signals, jams and honking.

I do not speak for all of womankind but I am not a great driver and have no illusions of being one and nor do I see the possibility becoming one  in the near future.

I pride myself in being self reliant.  So when it came to having to do exotic groceries ( for everything else there is Big basket) relying on autos to get from our home which is a little out of the way turned out to be devastating to my peace of mind and to my wallet. I had to reluctantly grab our car keys adjust the seat till the steering wheel almost became a natural extension of me and  I could use my nose to honk and still have to stretch my legs to brake and accelerate. Oh the woes of short legs!

I have driven extensively in the US, collected a couple of speeding tickets and been pulled over but when it comes to driving in India I feel I have a long way to go before I can change the gear before I hear the engine knocking ( I wonder if I got the terminology right.)   It may be years  before I can think of parking without palpitating and change the gear to reverse without breaking out into a sweat.

Being one with an affinity for trouble does not help my case one bit. There was this one time,  my second venture out into the chaotic jungle all by self when I was proud of parking almost parallel to the road without hitting anything within a 100 ft.  I got out of the car,locked it and rummaged through my bag to call my husband and update him with the achievement of the hour. I never did locate my phone because I soon found myself on the ground having tripped over an invisible boulder and my keys, Oh dear my car keys before my very eyes flew out of my hand and down the only tiny hole that was in the concrete footpath and into the drain below. My spare car  keys were at home and the only set of house keys were safely locked in car.

Without thinking I started grabbing at the concrete  with all my force trying to lift the sturdy block so that I could retrieve my keys from the drain below. There is no need to state the obvious but I tried in vain. Fortunately for me there are some good people still left on this planet. Out of nowhere a bare chested man approached, motioned me to step aside and walked away and then all of a sudden disappeared under a block of cement on the road about 50 mts away.

He came to the surface a rather dirty man but a heroic dirty man for in his hands he held my car keys. He left before I could finish thanking him.

Ever since I reserve the details of my achievements of the hours for dinner conversation when the car key is safely in the key basket at home.

It is great to drive your own car, a liberating experience up until the moment you have to park it somewhere. Worse, park it between two cars or parallel park.   I have found a way around this, I go temporarily illiterate when I see the No Parking sign. I can’t be held responsible of an offence if I am unaware of it, right? I am sure you agree.

Fair warning though that this does not work all the time. I got caught the last time I ‘became’ illiterate. I had to run across the road to run some errands and the only space to park was next to the NO Parking sign.  A cop with a well endowed belly comes up and casually points to the sign.

Teek hai my tickets karidega,” I reply.

Ye lottery jaise ticket nahi hai, karredne ke liye!” he retorts.

What I intended to say was I would pay for the ticket but my Hindi being what it is I said that I would buy the ticket off him at which he took offence and retorted that it was not a lottery ticket which was for sale rather a penalty I should  not be  proud of.

I have not had another chance to test my illiteracy theory after that.

Our car has survived a few small scratches, a couple of long very visible scratches  and dings. Not all of them by me. But our cleaner when he comes to pick up the car keys from J every week smiles slyly and says

” I saw the latest scratches. Madam is fine right?”  One of these days I am going to have to point out J’s share of the handiwork to him.

Oh and by the way the magic powder Harry used is called floo powder. Waiting for it to hit the market!

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My favorite memories of summer include climbing trees, taking a dip in the pond, big family gatherings and Mangosthene among other things.


Mangosthene is an  exotic tropical  fruit originally from South East Asia. It starts off as a small green blob which gradually grew bigger and blacker ( in some cases red!).


A carton of fresh Mangostene.

A carton of fresh Mangostene.





My dad would always tease us when we were younger by guessing accurately the number of cloves each of the  fruit had inside. It did not take us long to catch on. The number of thickened petal like formation at the bottom of the fruit was an indicator of the number of cloves.


A five clove fruit.

A five clove fruit.


To crack the fruit open place it between the palm of your hand and gently squeeze.





Please forgive my pictures. Me being lazy waited till the fruit had shriveled to click this picture.



I always mistook Mangosthene to have been grown for its exotic appeal however I read an article the other day suggesting the healing properties of this fruit. Anti inflammatory,  Cancer fighting, anti tumor agent and a lot more!



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Where is this blog headed?!

Places, Faces and the Journey in Between as primarily been a travel blog. I started it back in July 2010. I had just discovered writing. I enjoyed pouring out all my adventures in the form of posts off and on, sometimes even up to three times a week. I sure did enjoy every moment of it.

Lately I have been falling behind in updating my blog and to add to that I have a few other new found passions to accompany traveling. Experimenting with an Urban garden, composting, Cooking and running to name a few.

The truth is I am finding it a challenge to update a ‘travel blog‘ on a weekly ( often three times a week)  basis . Which brings us to the question : Should I end this blog?

Oh no! I still am very much in love with writing.

On taking stock of things and the life I am living, I have realized that my writing has matured ( and hopefully so have I).

So my dear readers,

My blog will continue. Hallelujah!

But it will slowly mature from a travel only blog to  something else. What that something else entails you and I are going to discover together. I take a pledge to update this blog on a weekly basis.

Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey!




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