Happy Holidays

Marian Keyes wrote – ” What is life but fleeting moments of happiness strung together on a necklace of despair?”. Dismal beginnings to a post with a cheery headline isn’t it? Bear with me because its not all bad. I do an end of year stock taking, as we all do, and I do mean of life itself during the year. It started well, with trips and the much anticipated move back to the US, work was good and half way down the year it all simmered down and now at the end of the year, its rather quiet. I can’t complain. This coming from someone who is an eternal pessimist is an amazing thing in itself and there seems to be some truth to Marian’s words. The truth is that I choose to focus on the first part of it rather than the latter. You see, I have tried a few new things this year which means that I have struggled, fallen flat on my face and even failed at certain endeavors, but I choose to look at those fleeting moments of good that have made it all worthwhile. Those little triumphs are testimony that I am going in the right direction and somewhere in the future is that big cake with a cherry on top, waiting for me. My failures are guide posts that tell me what not to do and what is sorely lacking in my quiver of skills. At the end of each of those falls, there has been an ah-a moment, telling me how to move forward. So this can’t be a necklace of despair, but it looks to me more like I am still stringing the pearls of wisdom together.

Alright, let me hang up my yoda hat and get back to business. It has been a good year, got pictures published in a book, ran a magazine successfully for a year and  booked a group exhibition for the next year, not too shabby despite a loser second half of the year. And if you will indulge me for one more moment with that aforementioned hat, let me also say it is rather difficult to be sad and/or dissatisfied when the holidays come rolling around. I don’t know what it is about Christmas it evokes the child in me, who is lost in the visions of charlie brown and perhaps even sniffles( if you even know the character!). This time of year is all about near and dear ones and this year has been graphically lucid about the ones I can actually trust. When Christmas swings around, I can’t help myself….I just am happy. You could kick me in the shin and I guess I would still smile!  Something about the season just gets me everytime, I have to bake cookies and send it out to loved ones, I have to write out holiday cards, I have to bake like a maniac for my nephews and I shop a full day for everyone in the family and spend one more day wrapping them with care. There is no time left in the day to wallow! Perfect!

So here’s to Christmas….and putting all your troubles behind and looking forward with educated eyes…

And so I’m offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although its been said many times, many ways,
A very Merry Christmas to you 

And I wish you and yours a very Happy and Prosperous New Year too……and I will see you bright and early next year, if not before. But before you go, thank you for taking the time out to read and look at my pictures, whoever you are, wherever you are. I will leave you with some shots of some of the cookies I sent out this year.

Chocolate clouds - 1 Linzer - 1 Linzer 3

 

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Happy Holidays

Soul Food

There are very few things in the world that are readily available and generously soul satisfying as food. A rainy day, a hot cup of tea and if you are Indian by birth, then perhaps a plate of bajjis and pakoras. There is a reason why there is such a thing as comfort food. It can stir up memories and fill you up with the warmth of the moment that penetrates your very core. But who says comfort food should be associated with just wet weather, summer can be comforting too. The feeling of fresh fruits and vegetables, traversing your gullet and cooling down your system as the mercury rises outside, is just as surreal. For a few weeks in July and August, while school is out, I had my nephews with me. From fresh cherries to shortbread cookies to pies and crumbles, we found a way to incorporate as much fresh fruit as we possibly could into everything we could possibly eat. I love summer for just that reason, its time to be out in the sun, scour farmers markets for fresh produce and gorge on some of the best fruit the country has to offer and not be a closeted gourmand. Now as the winds turn cooler, I still have some fond memories to look back at.

As a photographer, food gives me plenty of subjects of to photograph and the means to combine the two things I love the most – photography and cooking. I am evolving, atleast I hope I am, as a food photographer – I am still at the very beginning of the learning curve on this one, but it definitely isn’t something I will stop doing once I’ve mastered it. The very idea that I can get 10 different compositions just from changing the background is eye-opening to me. Do enjoy my bouts of gluttony, hope I leave you hungry!

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Soul Food