The tradition continues

Secret Santa started as a tradition sometime back and continued to happen this time too. A added an additional rule that each recipient should guess from whom the gift has come.

Last Thursday we distributed the chits among ourselves and agreed to be ready with the gifts by Saturday.

Saturday evening, each of us pasted the chit containing the name of our recipient onto the gift and dropped it in a cover. Eldest to youngest, each of us picked our gift and then did the guesswork.

A gifted FIL a handmade camera keychain made of polymer clay, a handmade cushion for the camera and a small card !

V gifted MIL an alarm clock !

MIL gifted V homemade Gulab Jamun !

SIL gifted me a bracelet and a pair of earrings !

FIL gifted SIL the set of oil pastels !

I gifted A a diary fully covered with fur !

Merry Christmas 😊

Current craze

Combined current craze of V and me is all about soaps.

Barring the regular soaps used at home, we want to try out all other fragrances.

Until recently, SIL, A and me used to visit Sacred space every Sunday for our dance class. It’s an unfortunate thing that our teacher decided to take a break and our dance classes were sadly put to an abrupt end. Coming back to the subject, one of our favourite pastime on such days at the end of the class would be to shop for different kinds of soaps.

On our trip to Vaishno Devi temple, we had good amount of time on our hand at Jammu airport. And guess what did we shop ? Soaps of varied fragrances, Kashmiri tulips, shea butter et al.

Under the influence of V’s new colleague, V joined a week long workshop by Isha, Inner Engineering. And at the stalls they had put up, V made it a point to buy some of their soaps with fragrances like clove.

At every store that we visit for any purpose, I involuntarily keep looking for any different kind of soaps.

We ran almost to the end of these soaps with varied ingredients and I can’t stop thinking about where to shop next ?

Do you try any different soaps ? Have you got any recommendations for us ? We would be glad to try those 😊

Mountain of light by Indu Sunderesan

This is the recent one that I have read and I enjoyed learning so much about the history.

Kohinoor diamond has got quite a long history and this one mixes facts and fiction about the way it has changed hands. I didn’t like this as much as I liked the Taj Trilogy of hers, but the book kept me hooked, making me switch between browsing over the net for some actual facts and myths and legends, and reading the book. I learnt quite a few interesting things in this process.

Some snippets of what I learnt :

  • There are some legends which tell that Samantaka mani which is referred to in the stories of Sri Krishna and Kohinoor are one and the same.
  • Nadir Shah, an adventurer from Persia, invaded India in search of power and plenty and took possession of this diamond from the King of Delhi by cunningly exchanging turbans. It is now known in history as the Turban Trick’.
  • Ranjit Singh was called Lion of Punjab and he held the Kohinoor with him for a very long period.
  • Ranjit Singh married Jindan Kaur, the daughter of a bishti, and she used to wear the kohinoor on her arm
  • Bombay was given on lease to East India Company
  • Dalip Singh, son of Ranjit Singh, held the Kohinoor for a short period, got separated from his mother, went into the custody of a British couple, accepted Christianity and later converted back into a Sikh, tried and failed to re-enter India and finally died in Paris
  • Colonel Mackenson and Captain Ramsay, nephew of Lord Dalhousie carried the Kohinoor to England
  • There have been numerous fights, plots, wars and schemes to get hold of the Kohinoor and so many lives were lost in the process.
  • It is said that the Kohinoor diamond is cursed, unless worn by a woman…

    City of temples

    We had the fortune to visit a select few temples in Jammu. Photography is not allowed at any of the places, so we couldn’t capture any photos.

    Bahu temple

    We visited this on the day we landed at Jammu. Having read that Bahu temple is situated in the Bahu fort adjacent to the Tawi river, I had anticipated to traverse around the fort and go back in time. But the temple and the fort are occupying more or less the same space and there’s nothing much of a fort. The Bagh-e-Bahu garden adjacent to this had quite a number of great reviews, but we didn’t enter it owing to lack of time and tiredness. The temple as such is a small one and can be visited if you are in Jammu.

    Raghunath Temple

    We visited these on our second day and I would say you must visit these temples if you are in Jammu. This one is in the Raghunath Bazaar of Jammu. The temple is very huge, very calming and I loved it. This temple is dedicated to Lord Sri Ram, but there are lots of other mandirs inside it and we found some lakhs of saligrams here. Around an hour of time could be easily spent here.

    Ranbireshwar Temple

    This too is quite close to Raghunath Temple. This temple houses a eight feet Shiva lingam and many other lingams too. Devotees fill buckets with water, carry them into the temple, and offer their prayers, by doing the abhishekam themselves. A wanted to do it by herself and we let her do. This is a beautiful temple and I was glad that we could make it to this place too.