my

global cuisine or a globetrotter’s humble dinner?

I didn’t realize at first but that is a freshly baked French baguette served with Israeli olive oil from the Arbel mountains at the Sea of Galilee, sprinkled with Italian seasoning and the famous Californian garlic salt… truly Global cuisine? haha, no, a globetrotter’s humble dinner I would say 🙂
global cuisine - humble dinner

Categories: food, fun, kitchen, my, recipes | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

greatest trick for better communication between wife and husband, men and women.

I finally figured it out and its my responsibility to share this secret recipe with the rest of the world. Whenever a husband communicates with his wife, he must remember these 3 rules: 1) Say it with love; 2) Say it softly; 3) Say it again… I bet you will never have a communication problem again.. for all the marital bliss for eternity.. All the best to you.
greatest trick for better communication between wife and husband, men and women.

Categories: analysis, తెలుగు, emotions, family, fun, life, my, philosophy, recipes, world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

రాగి ముద్ద — ఉలవ చారు (finger millet balls with horsegram rasam)

millet mania continues.. The #sunday #experiment with the finger millet balls and horsegram rasam turns out be finger-licking delicious.

And the 2-tea spoons of rice would keep it all together.
రాగి ముద్ద -- ఉలవ చారు

Categories: తెలుగు, experiments, food, health, kitchen, my, recipes, traditional recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Legume Paradise — బొబ్బర్ల దోశ – ఉలవల చట్నీ — Black-eyed-peas dosa with Horsegram chutney

If you are an energy freak but likes a zero glucose, zero fat, zero cholesterol recipe, then this wonder combination with superb amounts of soluble Fiber, symbiotic bacteria, Iron, Potassium and Zinc will be on your menu, salute the Leguminosae.  You don’t need guts of steel to digest these but the health burst will surely be visible the next time you go for a hike or hit the gym..  Along with that heavy coat of nicely baked onions and ginger, this will also help tune your body to maintain a steady temperature no matter what the weather is..  Try it out and lemme know. Traditional Indian Recipes never let you down 🙂 #sunday #experiment
బొబ్బర్ల దోశ -- ఉలవల చట్నీ -- Black-eyed-peas dosa with Horsegram chutney

Categories: experiments, family, food, fun, health, indian, kitchen, my, recipes, suggestions, traditional recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

మసాలా గారెలెన్నున్నా మామూలు గారెనే మిన్న

తాజా కరివేపాకు ఘుమఘుమల కమ్మటి నూలుపప్పు పచ్చడితో వేడి వేడి గారెల కొండను ఢీకొందాం!
మసాలా గారెలెన్నున్నా మామూలు గారెనే మిన్న

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What is so wrong with “conveniences”?

I didn’t see a better example for something that was running in my mind for many months, what can be so wrong with a cuttable kitchen-ready coconut? 

cuttable kitchen-ready coconutNo, there is nothing wrong with the coconut or the business model that made it ready for the kitchen. You don’t have to worry about breaking it, no hassle with the safety of your fingers, right?

But the problem is its too much of a convenience.  At the cost of what? They cut the coconut in two halves and then drained the actual tasty water that was inside (probably there was another business around bottled coconut water).  Then they sealed the two halves with a hard ‘wax’ after filling the space with distilled water and some air. That water is labelled ‘undrinkable’ and you have to drain it after “cutting your coconut” into two nice pieces with a normal kitchen knife.

So far, so good. If you want a coconut along with its natural refreshing water, then buy a normal coconut and break it yourself.  Or if you want the convenience and pleasure of cutting it with a normal knife, then buy this.

I thought a ‘convenience’ is something that makes my life easy. The ‘cost’ I am paying in return, often goes into fine print and I was made to conveniently miss it.

There are tons of such conveniences in our every day life and we are silently paying a price. Our lives were just good without any of these conveniences but we chose them, we pay a price and we miss something in the process, something natural, something good.

Don’t jump into any conclusions yet, but lemme give you few more examples:

  1. We were walking, cycling or taking a public transport to go to a workplace or a museum etc, but now with the transport ‘conveniences’, we go there by a car. Lets not talk about congestion, pollution and global warming now, NOT YET.
  2. We were buying fresh vegetables, or grow them in backyard, or store them for a short period of time, but with all the storage ‘conveniences’, you hardly eat fresh vegetables but just keep them in refrigerator for a very long time, I have seen people frequently throwing away rotten veggies and spoiled meats, almost every week. Lets not talk about the cost of growing and the cumulative loss now, NOT YET.
  3. Many of the families have even given up cooking as a daily activity, with the advent of all cuisine ‘conveniences’, that they just eat out every day.. almost every day. I can’t even imagine myself in their shoes but lets not talk about MSDs, health hazards, carcinogenic preservatives used in restaurants and their lethal impact now, NOT YET.
  4. We were playing outdoor games on a daily basis or spending lot of time outdoors otherwise, but with all the living room ‘conveniences’, we are stuck to TV, I mean your every day entertainment whatever it is.  Tell me what is used more frequently? Your TV or your treadmill? Be frank.
  5. We used to remember by heart, at least 20 phone numbers, another 20 full postal addresses, at least 200 names of people in every day life, people at the vegetable market, grocery store, bus conductors, autowallahs and who not? And the thousands of interactions it triggered, hudreds of relationships and tens of friends. But with all the electronic ‘conveniences’, we hardly remember 2 phone numbers. We don’t go out for shopping groceries, clothes, books at all. The e-commerce is slowly taking it away and yes, there is a ‘one-click’ ordering convenience too. Lets not talk about how many businesses are shutting down in your local area now and the wonderful personal moments you missed just like that, NOT YET. 
  6. We used to go out with different kinds of people and when a true difference came up, we fought, we patched up and then we moved on. We lived a 100 years together in spite of all our differences. But with the advent of friendship ‘conveniences’, you go out with like-minded people. you cut down your risk of getting into a difference. Lets not talk about how you just screwed your mind into a comfy-zone and forever denied it an opportunity to evolve, and thereby run into relationship issues later, NOT YET.

In fact, this list is endless. I don’t want to sound ridiculous or unwelcoming of the modern day changes or the techy pleasantries we enjoy having accustomed to live with.

But I want you to consciously look out and understand the price you are paying for the convenience you are claiming. I am sure it will change your life and lifestyle. 

Thanks for reading.

B

Categories: analysis, entertainment, friends, fun, health, home, life, my, suggestions, urban, world | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Travel log: Utah’s Mighty Five minus one (Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, then Antelope)

2700 miles and 8 days can’t really justify a roadtrip circling the Utah’s Mighty Five (minus one, we couldn’t plan anything in the capitol reef due to lack of time). But the stunning memories of rock and ice beauty would forever be your cherished possessions. Touring the Zion, Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands National parks have certainly elevated my spirits, may be because I personally believe, if I ever have to visualize my heart and mind in a comparative form, that would be rocks and ice in monumental sizes ;):P #cold #rock I would say.. hehe.. Jokes apart, it was a wonderful tour covering so many great geological features and nature’s sheer beauty that its extremely hard to compile it all into a single blog post.

  • My first solo hike in -24°C is the most beautiful so far
  • Kolob canyons made me drive backwards in snow for a quarter mile in the exact track I went ahead. Rear view mirror is your only source. No other option.
  • We did our first family hike in sub-zero temperatures at -7°C
  • We hiked the hoodoos in winter #navaho #loop #bryce
  • We were stuck in a passing snow storm and took 1 and a half hour to drive 2 miles in blinding snow fall with no trace of a human or any tire marks on a valley road. And that so happened on one of the most scenic drives between Zion and Bryce. Not scenic at that time ;(
  • Another family hike to the Delicate Arch, the slick rock, the ridge walk and the slope to the Arch are so very tensively beautiful
  • A family self-rescue on a very slippery icy track to Landscape arch, thanks to my crampons, hike unfinished.
  • Walking the slot canyons will take you back in time by a million years for sure, as we did the Lower Antelope Canyon.
  • Getting away from civilization will teach you the importance of a social life ;):P
  • Driving through the Monument Valley is like driving into a movie set

Take a look at the pics. I better be brief in words but I sincerely wish you take the same journey to appreciate and experience the amazing states of Utah and Arizona.

the beginning of it all..No hiking on first day as all trails were closed.

the beginning of it all..No hiking on first day as all trails were closed.

the famous entrance to the zion-carmel-tunnel, once was the largest of its kind, its thru a solid mountain.

the famous entrance to the zion-carmel-tunnel, once was the largest of its kind, its thru a solid mountain.

where is the road? which way to go? come on... try it.

where is the road? which way to go? come on… try it.

count your last minutes in heat.. Now we know why the Sun is a God.

count your last minutes in heat.. Now we know why the Sun is a God.

Lucky deers.. lots of freedom, lots of snow.. exactly what I want.

Lucky deers.. lots of freedom, lots of snow.. exactly what I want.

Get away.. please.

Get away.. please.

you feel like getting down everywhere, but you can't of course :)

you feel like getting down everywhere, but you can’t of course 🙂

please please get away.

please please get away.

And that one pic for my bumble bee :)

And that one pic for my bumble bee 🙂

lesson lesson everywhere. Too much play in snow is a lesson.

lesson lesson everywhere. Too much play in snow is a lesson.

upclose with the Thor's Hammer at -7°C

upclose with the Thor’s Hammer at -7°C

you would love driving those roads.

you would love driving those roads.

zion to bryce via carmel tunnel is my most memorable drive so far.. so memorable that i drove back there again during daytime after the storm and checked the road that pulled my balls into the mouth a night before. What happened was a bollywood movie plot

zion to bryce via carmel tunnel is my most memorable drive so far.. so memorable that i drove back there again during daytime after the storm and checked the road that pulled my balls into the mouth a night before. What happened was a bollywood movie plot

my first hike at -24°C is the most beautiful so far

my first hike at -24°C is the most beautiful so far.

Don't slip. Stay to your right. Use your poles. Tight ridge walking to the Delicate Arch.

Don’t slip. Stay to your right. Use your poles. Tight ridge walking to the Delicate Arch.

Do you see the Ms.World  2017 in this picture?

Do you see the Ms.World 2017 in this picture?

Kids' 10th hike is to the famous Delicate Arch

Kids’ 10th hike is to the famous Delicate Arch

get away, get away.. pl pl pl.

get away, get away.. pl pl pl.

canyon bed from the needles overlook.

canyon bed from the needles overlook.

noone in a 25 mile radius.. why do such places attract me all the time?

noone in a 25 mile radius.. why do such places attract me all the time?

Monument Valley scenic drive is like a movie set

Monument Valley scenic drive is like a movie set

veiled Woman. More than the rock, its the eye of that artist which first caught it that I admire most. :)

veiled Woman. More than the rock, its the eye of that artist which first caught it that I admire most. 🙂

Sunset at the Rocky Mountains

Sunset at the Rocky Mountains.. another classic from the slots.

the fish

the fish.. this is my best in handling the light shades.. of course the guide will help you with all this ;):P

Laughing Dolphin

Laughing Dolphin

getaway.. getaway.. u.

getaway.. getaway.. u.

Balanced Rock is real and yes unbelievable.

Balanced Rock is real and yes unbelievable.

At 7am in -7°C in 7

At 7am in -7°C in 7″ snow, what the heck do some people do?

We hiked the Hoodoos.. Kids' 9th hike is the famous navaho loop in bryce. Our first sub-zero family hike. Thats lot of, really lot of preparation.

We hiked the Hoodoos.. Kids’ 9th hike is the famous navaho loop in bryce. Our first sub-zero family hike. Thats a lot of, really a lot of preparation.

Categories: friends, fun, hike, my, national parks, outdoors, roadtrips, travel, utah | Leave a comment

What the heck do kids learn outdoors?

For fun they played in snow
In pain they cried in snow
The contrast taught them a lesson which they don’t realize now

Take your kids to the great outdoors and face the elements, let them handle the inconveniences and they will quickly stop crying and start thinking solutions.

You can’t give them anything better as a parent… Anything.
    
what the heck do kids learn outdoors?

Categories: california, entertainment, family, fathering, fun, hike, kids, my, national parks, outdoors, roadtrips, winter | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What do you want to be? happily rich? or richly happy?

What do you want to be? happily rich? or richly happy?

Categories: family, fathering, fun, kids, life, my, philosophy, urban | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Log: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Dead Sea

310 miles of my recent road-trip in the heart of Israel is a definite experience of charm, antiquity and excitement.

  • Tel Aviv’s traffic, skyscrapers and sandy beaches reminded me of Mumbai but the Jaffa old city stood out uniquely.
  • Floating like a cork ball in the Dead Sea gave me an unbelievable experience of buoyancy apart from burning my eyes and nose.
  • Jerusalem and its ancient remains inside the walls of the old city
  • the surreal religious fervor at the Stone of Anointment in the church of Holy Sepulcher
  • the Semitic orthodox doctrines and rituals, the Mezuzahs and the Golden Menorah
  • the hummus, khuskhus, polanta and other typical vegetarian food  & the kosher restrictions in the kitchens
  • the Ferrari museum
  • the Dead-Sea scrolls in the Israel Museum
  • the Nano-Bible
  • Masada ruins and Qumran caves (I couldn’t locate them by road and didn’t get a chance to go back again)
  • and more than all, the warm welcome and cordiality of colleagues and citizens alike

… Its a long list 🙂

A rainy morning in Tel Aviv

A rainy morning in Tel Aviv

“Talent, Warmth and Success” personified

the Nano Bible -- its the small dot in the middle of the white panel

the Nano Bible — its the small dot in the middle of the white panel

Tel Aviv from the Jaffa beach

Tel Aviv from the Jaffa beach

Tel Aviv night lights

Tel Aviv night lights

still unknown why these copper 'tools?' were made a thousand years ago

still unknown why these copper ‘tools?’ were made a thousand years ago

Jerusalem in the first temple period 1000-586 BC

Jerusalem in the first temple period 1000-586 BC

the closest I can go to the Temple Dome

the closest I can go to the Temple Dome

Al-Aqsa glowing in the night

Al-Aqsa glowing in the night

the Western Wall also known as the Wailing Wall

the Western Wall also known as the Wailing Wall

the Golden Menorah

the Golden Menorah

mezuzah on every door

mezuzah on every door

the Stone of Anointment -- a definite place of intense religious fervor

the Stone of Anointment — a definite place of intense religious fervor

ancients streets of the Jaffa old city

ancients streets of the Jaffa old city

Everything vegetarian on the table :) at the famous 'The Old man & the Sea'

Everything vegetarian on the table 🙂 at the famous ‘The Old man & the Sea’ (thats just at the beginning) 😉

Guess what? This is an F1 steering wheel :) yes.

Guess what? This is an F1 steering wheel 🙂 yes.

car wheel with spokes? yes they already thought of it and made it too :)

car wheel with spokes? yes they already thought of it and made it too 🙂

Dead Sea is 34% saline that it leaves these salts on your skin once you are out of water

Dead Sea is 34% saline that it leaves these salts on your skin once you are out of water

Dead Sea and its the Jordan visible on the other side

Dead Sea and its the Jordan visible on the other side

Dead Sea beach filled with salts, of course :)

Dead Sea beach filled with salts, of course 🙂

Jerusalem old city miniature

Jerusalem old city miniature

vegetarian noodles and french fries ordered with vodka

vegetarian noodles and french fries ordered with vodka in the Sheraton Tel-Aviv

Categories: my, office, outdoors, roadtrips, travel, world | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Raitha specialist I am ;):P

Raitha specialist I am :):P

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To the bottom of the great Grand Canyon — South Kaibab and Bright Angels trails

Awesome! is only a word and no camera, no photo, no blog nor any article can ever justify the true beauty of this geological marvel that is actually visible from space. You should see it with your own eyes..um if only you love rocks ;):P  Yet another bucket-list item coupled with months of preparation, a solid plan, plenty of water, salts n food in your backpack, a very steep trail that takes you all the way down to the greenish white waters of the Colorado and then another UNENDING trail that winds all the way up again to the edge of the rim.. all these make another dream coming true for me.

DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AS A DAY HIKE or you must be very well prepared with thorough training, proper exposure to altitude changes, clear understanding of the odds and a super strong will to push yourself to the limits without risking your own safety.  Do your research before you take your first step.  YOU are WARNED.

Every year, scores of unprepared hikers, lured by initially easy downhill hiking, experience severe illness, injury, or death from hiking in the canyon.

We took the South Kaibab Trail  (SK) which almost ‘slides’ you into the colorful canyon with its red white yellow brown black crimson walls of sliced rock but trust me, not a piece of shade from the scorching sun right from the morning. And there is NO WATER available anywhere on the SK.  Reaching the ‘Black Bridge’ is exhilerating for sure with the all the stunning views you have already captured.  Feel the the cool and flowing Colorado waters and brave your heart for the actual journey you need to take back up.  Don’t forget to gift yourself a quick nap, it would give you good mileage when you are coming up.

The Bright Angels Trail (BA) is probably the most under-estimated trail in all of the discussions I read so far. Don’t get fooled to read that its not as steep as SK. Thats a language trap. BA is easy most of its stretch and there is lots of shade but when its tough, its really tough. It has two sections that are EXTREMELY difficult for a novice hiker that can stun/surprise even experienced folks. Reaching the Indian Campground would take all your juices away… And then starts your actual tussle with the Canyon. After hiking almost 14+ miles , you will stand before the last piece that challenges you and breaks you down properly.  I bet you will forever remember the last 2-3 miles as one of the valuable stretches of walking you have ever done on the Earth.. seriously.

I did it all so you can too. But don’t kill yourself. please.  
Route 66 — Are you too obsessed with the road numbers?
Route 66 -- Are you too obsessed with the road numbers?

Switchbacks — is probably the sweetest word in Dictionary 😉
Switchbacks -- is probably the sweetest word in Dictionary ;)

It takes to understand why the Grand Canyon is Grand.
It takes to understand why the Grand Canyon is Grand.

i love ridges with slopes on both sides..
i love ridges with slopes on both sides..

Finally! The Black Bridge… yey!
Finally! The Black Bridge.. yey!

I did it.
I did it.

Thats the cute little bridge you will remember forever.
Thats the cute little bridge you will remember forever.

Plan your timing to avoid mid day heat.
Plan your times to avoid mid day heat.

the suspension bridge with the black bridge in the background
the suspension bridge

Indian campground
Indian Campground

I couldn’t take any pictures beyond this point. I waited like hell to reach this place and then the actual hell broke loose and then the darkness of the night surrounded and then the temperatures started dropping (like from 93F mid afternoon to 38F midnight)..

We took 5 hours to go down with many breaks and photoshoots.. and then another 10+ hours to come back up. Please note there is water available at Indian Campground and one emergency resthouse at 3 miles from the BA trailhead and another one at 1.5 miles from the same trailhead. You will thank NPS for keeping a 911 landline there just in case you bump into any emergency when you are about to finish a hike of your life time.

Lemme conclude: Be careful and be prepared for the last 4 of the 17 miles.

Thanks for reading and happy hiking. Go figure out why the Grand Canyon is Grand.
-balu

Categories: 2016, friends, hike, my, national parks, outdoors, sun, trails challenge, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

bring China home

with crispy noodle minestrone soup, veg spring rolls and spicy hot wheat-chowmein fried with garlic, onion greens n mushrooms and all served with fresh carrot cuts 🙂

Bring China home

Categories: chinese, family, food, fun, kitchen, my, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

hiking Rose Peak in Sunol Wilderness (only for advanced hikers)

This marks my personal best record of 19 miles, 4k elevation in 10.5 hours.. yey!

And this just happens to be the tallest publicly accessible peak in the Alamada County. Hiking it is very strenuous, the heat just kills, any amount of water is not sufficient (drinkable water is only at the visitor center, for emergencies there is untreated water at Hawk’s Nest) and the long distance would seem to be never ending. Trails are well marked but you better carry your own gpx as you can get lost at few places, but overall we enjoyed hiking this. Never try this alone. We hardly saw any people there and its not worth risking your own self in the vast wilderness. This is meant to be for advanced hikers, but of course I did. 😉

Golden Valleys (with fire hazard warning ‘EXTREME’ of course)
golden valleys

Touch the clouds
touch the clouds

Hawk’s Nest campground
Hawk's Nest campground

You should hike 11 miles to get to this humble flagpost.. aah
you should hike 11 miles to get to this humble flagpost.. aah

thanks for reading. Don’t try this alone or without proper planning.

B

Categories: 2016, california, hike, my, outdoors, state parks, trails challenge | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Half-moon bay beach camping on a full moon day

My kids were camping for the first time and I wanted them to start big 🙂 so whats better than a beach front on the night of a full moon?  Book your campsite on the Half-moon bay, arrange for lots of food n drinks, carry a ton of firewood, plan your barbeque ahead, pitch your tent,  exhaust them on the sand, split the woods, fire the pit, show them how to manage fire, make a few smoking corn and let them avoid burning their lips, lights on, open the sleeping bags, teach them how to go to bed comfortably… All this when the waves of the great Pacific ocean are splashing heavily just a 100 yards away, with a chilling breeze making your fire most valuable.. 🙂

Enjoy the life with most basic amenities and appreciate the value

The cozy small place to stay for the night:
our tent a 100 yards away from the Pacific waves

Thats all you have:
car camping

smoking corn for the evening:
smoking corm for the evening

good night with no electricity:
good night

Thanks for reading, hope this inspires you to go out into the nature.

B

Categories: california, family, kids, life, moon, my, outdoors, roadtrips, state parks, summer | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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