Monday, November 7, 2011


The cacao tree is small and comes from the forests of Central and South America.The cacao fruit is a huge berry called cacao pod, usually egg or melon-shaped, 5 to 12 inches long and 3 to 5 inches wide. The cacao pod contains 30 to 40 seeds. It takes 20 to 25 pods to get 2 pounds of cocoa. Once the tree reaches maturity, fruit pods will sprout from its trunk and branches. The golden-red to purple fruit pods turn brown at maturity, at which time they are split open and the insides scooped out. Each pod generally produces 20 to 40 almond-shaped cacao beans.
After the cacao beans are removed from the fruit, they undergo fermentation, a process that reduces their bitterness and helps develop their heady aroma. After they are dried the beans are ready to be cleaned, graded, packed, and shipped for processing into chocolate products.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


The Big Banyan Tree of Adyar ( Chennai - India)
It measures 238 ft. from North to South and 250 ft. from East to West. The total area exceed 59,500-sq.ft. This tree is a unique specimen.
This is believed to be the largest Banyan tree in the world. Some say that the largest one is in Kolkata (Calcutta-India).
About 10 years ago, a devastating cyclone uprooted this tree. To bring back the tree to its original position, huge cranes were brought to the scene. A vast pit was dug and the tree was kept back in its position. But all these efforts went in vain. The aerial roots of this tree have become well rooted and the entire tree appears like a bunch of several trees.

Information Source: Tamilnadu Guide

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida ( Brazil)

The Basilica of Nossa Senhora Aparecida (Our Lady Aparecida) is in a small town of Aparecida, about 180 Kms. away from the city of Sao Paulo. It is currently the largest Marian temple and the second largest Basilica in the world. According to recent estimates, about 8 million pilgrims visit every year. Architect Benedito Calixto designed a building in the form of a Greek cross, 173 meters long and 168 meters wide; the tower is 100 meter high, the naves have 40 meters and the dome is 70 meters high, covering a surface area of around 18,000 square meters. It can hold up to 45,000 people. The 272,000 square meters of parking hold 4,000 buses and 6,000 cars.
The statue of Nossa Senhora was supposed to be found by the fishermen.The image has a dark brown color, as it was sculpted in clay (resulting in many of its replicas being painted black) and it is covered by a stiff dark blue robe of richly embroidered thick cloth with golden clasps, and wears an imperial crown which was added in 1904. Only her face and hands can be seen.
( Information Source : Wikipedia)

The image of Nossa Senhora.

Inside the Basilica

The room where devotees light the candles.

Wax images of the body parts are offered by people suffering from any ailments.

Children dressed up as Angels.

Outside the Basilica

Food Court and shopping for souveniers.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Studies have shown that music tends to have a profound effect on the body. Thus, music therapy is a form of healing where music is used to enhance one's physical, emotional and mental health.
Here are some benefits of music therapy.
  • Music therapy is beneficial in treating depression. Research has shown that people who suffered from depression and received music therapy showed a decrease in depressive symptoms as to those who did not indulge in music therapy.
  • Pregnant women can benefit from music therapy as it has the power to ease their stress and reduce anxiety levels.
  • Research has shown that cancer patients tend to cope better with their illness.
  • Children suffering from learning and development problems can benefit from music therapy as it helps to stimulate learning and their creative abilities. It helps in controlling aggression and helps them to sleep better.
  • Music has the ability to lower blood pressure, slower the heart rate, reducing muscle tension and improvement in breathing.
Source- Bombay Times.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


  • Identify your skin tones. you should determine your skin tone before going foundation shopping.
  • Don't try to change the colour of your face by opting for a foundation that does not match your skin tone at all.
  • Look for a foundation that will sit well on your skin. For example, if you have oily skin then look for foundations that have words like OIL-FREE , OIL-CONTROL or MATTIFYING on the labels.If you have a dry skin , then look for words like HYDRATING and MOISTURE-FREE and MOISTURE-RICH.
  • Go to the makeup counter with a clean face. If you go with an 'already loaded with makeup face', it will be impossible to determine whether a foundation goes well with your complexion or not.
  • Try at least three shades of foundation closest to your original skin tone.

Information Source - Bombay Times
Image source - Photobucket

Saturday, July 2, 2011

SALT - (Tips)

1. If you drop a whole egg on the floor, pour salt all over the egg, let it sit for awhile, then use dustpan, the egg will come right up, without all that mess.

2. Soak stained hankies in salt water before washing.

3. Sprinkle salt on your shelves to keep ants away.

4. Soak fish in salt water before descaling; the scales will come off easier.

5. Put a few grains of rice in your saltshaker for easier pouring.

6. Test the freshness of eggs in a cup of salt water; fresh eggs sink;bad ones float.

7. Add a little salt to your boiling water when cooking eggs; a cracked egg will stay in its shell this way.

8. A tiny pinch of salt with egg whites makes them beat up fluffier.

9. Soak wrinkled apples in a mildly salted water solution to perk them up.

10. Rub salt on your pancake griddle and your flapjacks won't stick.

11. Soak toothbrushes in salt water before you first use them; they will last longer.

12. Use salt to clean your discolored coffee pot.

13. Mix salt with turpentine to whiten you bathtub and toilet bowl.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

FRUIT FACTS ( Muskmelon )

  • The muskmelon or cantaloupe is a perfect summer fruit. It's high water content can help take care of the fluid loss that our bodies go through due to perspiration in this season. It also helps to combat the heat in the body and thus, prevents heat-related problems during summer.

  • This fruit is good for people who want to lose weight because it isn't high in calories or sugar, and can work as a great snack for those in-between-mealtimes when hunger tugs you towards unhealthy food items.

  • The fruit is high in dietary fibre and helps people suffering from constipation. This fruit is great for menstruating women as it helps reduce heavy flow and clots.If you are looking for a healthy and younger skin, this is what you should include in your daily diet.Source:

    Source : Bombay times
    Image source : Photobucket

Sunday, April 10, 2011


What is HAPPINESS ? Ever given it a thought ?
Many of us say: if I had this or If I had that .........I would be a happy person.
Is it only the material things like buying clothes, Jewellery etc. etc. that can make a person happy.
We cannot buy happiness. These things can only give a short-term happiness. The inner happiness comes when one realises and recognizes all the good things we are blessed with and be grateful instead of craving for external objects. Only when you have satisfaction with your life you can achieve this. It requires some effort.We are as happy as we make our minds to be.

Here is my HAPPINESS list:
Helping the needy.
Pursuing a hobby.
Cozy meal with spouse.
Listening to music.
Being appreciative.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Dear Lord,

Every single evening
As I'm lying here in bed,
This tiny little Prayer
Keeps running through my head:

God bless all my family
Wherever they may be,
Keep them warm
And safe from harm
For they're so close to me.

And God, there is one more thing
I wish that you could do;
Hope you don't mind me asking,
Please bless my computer too.

Now I know that it's unusual
To Bless a motherboard,
But listen just a second
While I explain it to you, Lord.

You see, that little metal box
Holds more than odds and ends;
Inside those small compartments
Rest so many of my friends.

I know so much about them
By the kindness that they give,
And this little scrap of metal
Takes me in to where they live.

By faith is how I know them
Much the same as you.
We share in what life brings us
And from that our friendships grew.

Please take an extra minute
From your duties up above,
To bless those in my address book
That's filled with so much love.

Wherever else this prayer may reach
To each and every friend,
Bless each e-mail inbox
And each person who hits 'send'.

When you update your Heavenly list
On your own Great CD-ROM,
Bless everyone who says this prayer
Sent up to GOD.Com

I loved this mail forward and sharing with all of you...hope you'll like it too.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Taking care of your hair can be quite taxing, but you have to take out time to do this in order to have beautiful and healthy hair. Hair care is as important as other chores that you perform everyday, so please don't neglect the hair.

  • Oil your hair once in a week. Start at the roots and then gently to the ends of your hair strands.
  • Post shampooing, use a conditioner to smoothen the hair. Avoid using conditioner to the roots.
  • Never use a brush on wet hair. They tend to break easily.
  • Protect your hair from the sun by wearing caps, scarves or hats.

Friday, March 4, 2011


The spices you eat daily don't just add flavour to your food - they serve a healthier purpose. You will be amazed at the health benefits that spices possess.
  • Most herbs and spices help protect against chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes and even heart disease.
  • Herbs like basil, parsley, oregano and thyme and spices like cinnamon, chilli peppers, turmeric, garlic boost health levels.
  • Fenugreek (methi): The Fenugreek herb has been known to help reduce fever when taken with lemon and honey, since it nourishes the body during an illness.
  • Turmeric (haldi): Turmeric is one of nature’s most powerful healers. Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
  • Black Pepper (Kali Mirch): Black pepper is a spice that has the potential to make food more beneficial when used in various recipes.It has good anti bacterial properties and that too, without side effects. It is very effective in curing bacterial infections in mouth, colon, digestive system, urinary tract etc.
  • Cardamom (elaichi): Cardamom is the “queen of spices”, it is one of the most valued spices in the world. Cardamom isn’t just healthy, it’s tasty, too.
    Ground cardamom seed mixed with ginger (adrak), cloves (laung) and coriander (dhania), is an effective remedy for indigestion.
  • Cumin (jeera): The seeds themselves are rich in iron and are thought to help stimulate the secretion of enzymes from the pancreas which can help absorb nutrients into the system. It has also been shown to boost the power of the liver’s ability to detoxify the human body.

Researchers say that using seasonings in your food also plays a positive role in controlling your weight.Active compounds found in herbs and spices degrade with time . Store them in airtight containers that shield them from heat, moisture and sunlight.

Information source : Bombay Times

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


It is said that coconut water is the purest liquid in nature after water. Coconut water has innumerable health benefits that most of us are unaware of.
  • Coconut water is known to help in regulating the body's temperature and keeping it cool...hence an excellent drink in summer.
  • It is known to be a healthy electrolyte liquid as it contains no cholesterol. It is low in calories and fat, and a good balance of potassium, calcium and sodium. It re hydrates the body well when consumed.
  • It reduces urinary problems.
  • It also contains lauric acid which is beneficial in treating digestive and intestinal problems.
  • People who suffer from kidney stones are advised to drink coconut water as it helps in breaking down of the kidney stones and help to flush them out.
  • It is also beneficial when one is suffering from malaria, typhoid fevers and vomiting. Coconut water supplies the body with essential nutrients.
  • Coconut water is good for controlling diabetes.
  • It is also a great way to detox one's body.
  • Coconut water is said to be a good hangover remedy.
Majority of the population are unaware of these health benifits and limit themselves to drinking coconut water either when they are hospitalised for the purpose of recovery or sharing a coconut with a loved one on a beach. One should drink it regularly.
Image - Photobucket
Source of information - Bombay Times.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


It is never too late to live with richness, purpose, joy and love.
No matter how much time you feel you have wasted or lost,
it is never too late to make the most of the moment you are in.
No matter how many mistakes you think you have made,
it is never too late to start moving in a positive direction.
The instant you choose to fully live,
the past no longer has the power to hold you you back.
Where you are now is precisely where you need to be.
With gratitude in your heart for the journey that has brought you here,
choose now to make the most of where you are.
Starting from this place you can go in any direction.
It is never too late to choose the very best direction you can imagine.
Dig down and get in touch with the real substance of your most treasured dreams.
For what matters most, is always within your reach.
Move right on past the disappointments, the frustrations,
the regrets and the negative assumptions you have accumulated.
It is never too late to fully become the real, authentic, unique and valuable person you are.

By - L. Ron Hubbard
Loved these lines ...thought of sharing them with you .

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Add a few drops of water to half a tablespoon of the powder. Apply the paste all over the face, neck and wash off after 10 minutes. This reduces the wrinkles and fine lines while fighting acne and oily skin.
Mix all the three ingredients. Yogurt can be used in the place of lemon juice. Apply all over the face and let it dry. The acids in the lemon juice treat dark spots on the face clearing the complexion. Turmeric brightens your face.
  • MILK
Milk is an excellent oil-free cleanser and it does not dry out the skin. Wash your face with milk so that the pores are not clogged with sebum/oil.
Not only dry skin but oily skin too needs moisturising. Honey is an excellent natural moisturiser. Apply a thin layer of honey all over the face and wash off after 15 minutes.
Take one tablespoon of multani mitti, mix about three tablespoons of rose water. Apply to face and neck. Wash face when the pack dries off completely. This is a unique pack containing valuable herbs to give you an oil-free, smooth and clear skin.
Information Source ... Bombay Times
Image ........... Photobucket

Saturday, February 19, 2011


  • Thyme is a herb used for culinary purposes as well as for medicinal properties.
    Here is a list of the health and medicinal benefits of thyme.
  • Thymol, the oil present in thyme leavesis used in mouthwashes to act as a breath freshener.
  • The anti-bacterial properties make it an effectiveremedy against mucous membranes present in the stomach and lungs.
  • The antiseptic properties make it an useful remedy for insect bites, burns and wounds.
  • A good remedy for bronchitis, cough and cold is to have fresh thyme leaves along with a teaspoon of honey, two to three times a day.
  • Thyme aids digestion and is especially useful after eating red meat.
  • Women who wish to seek relief fromtheir painful menstrual cycles should eat fresh thyme leaves because they contain anti-spasmodic properties.
  • Thyme oil is known to provide a soothing effect on the senses, alleviate mood, physical exhaustion and reduce insomnia by fostering good sleep.
Information source .. Bombay Times
Image ........... photobucket

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Did you know that loss of more than 15 percent of water in the body can have fatal effects.

You know when you are dehydrated when you feel really thirsty. This happens when there is lack of fluids and/or the increase of some osmolites such as salts in the human body.

The symptoms of dehydration in most people becomes extremely evident after 2 percent loss of one's normal water volume in the body. In addition to thirst the symptoms might include dry skin, abnormally dark urine, tiredness and headache. Around 10 to 15 percent loss of water may result in dim vision, muscle cramps, dizziness.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily to avoid dehydration.

Information source ... Bombay times.
Images .. photobucket.


We all think eating fruits means just buying fruits, cutting it and just popping it into our mouths. It's not as easy as you think. It's important to know how and when to eat.
What is the correct way of eating fruits?

If you eat fruit like that, it will play a major role to detoxify your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.

FRUIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD. Let's say you eat two slices of bread and then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it is prevented from doing so. In the meantime the whole meal rots and ferments and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil....

So please eat your fruits on an empty stomach or before your meals! You have heard people complaining, "Every time I eat watermelon I burp; when I eat during, my stomach bloats up; when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet, etc Actually all this will not arise if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. The fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas and hence you will bloat!

Graying hair, balding, nervous outburst, and dark circles under the eyes all these will NOT happen if you take fruits on an empty stomach.
There is no such thing as some fruits, like orange and lemon are acidic, because all fruits become alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did research on this matter. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you have the Secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight.

When you need to drink fruit juice - drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don't even drink juice that has been heated up. Don't eat cooked fruits because you don't get the nutrients at all. You only get to taste. Cooking destroys all the vitamins.

But eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it. You can go on a 3-day fruit fast to cleanse your body. Just eat fruits and drink fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look!

KIWI: Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.

APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.

STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit.. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.

ORANGE : Sweetest medicine. Taking 2-4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessens the risk of colon cancer.

WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are vitamin C & Potassium.

GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content.. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene; this is good for your eyes.

Image source ... photobucket.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

TURMERIC / HALDI (Know your Spices)

Grown in South Asia, turmeric is called HARIDRA in Sanskrit and its use in Indian cuisine dates back to 3,000 BC. It's botanical name is CURCUMA.
Turmeric was not known to to the western world until the 13th century when it was introduced to Europe by Arab traders and came to be known as Indian Saffron. This spice is the key ingredient in many Persian, Malay and Thai dishes too.
Turmeric is a symbol of purity,prosperity and fertility. It is almost used in all Indian rituals.

A pinch of turmeric is added to the water that is poured on the idols of gods and goddesses temples as a part of abhishekam. Betel leaves,nuts and dried turmeric roots are given to women guests as they are considered fertile and bring good luck. A paste of turmeric and vermilion is applied on the forehead during ceremonies.
Turmeric plays a key role in Indian marriages. On the eve of the wedding,turmeric paste is applied on the bride's face and arms. In some regions, the saree worn by the bride is dyed in turmeric powder. Turmeric mixed with rice is showered on the groom and bride for good luck. The palm of the bride is smeared with turmeric powder as a mark of change in her status.
When the groom ties a turmeric-dyed thread called TALI or MANGALSUTRA, around the neck of the bride,they become husband and wife.
It is extensively used in Ayurveda because of its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-bacterial properties. In Chinese herbal medicine too turmeric has been a vital part.
It is supposed to heal the wounds quicker.
It has the ability to clear the phlegm. A pinch of turmeric added to warm milk helps clear the soar throat.
These days all kinds of turmeric based cosmetic products and creams are available in the market.
Information Source:The speaking tree
(A Times of India Group Publication)
Pictures Source: Photobucket