Monthly Archives: November 2012

Happy Children’s Day!!! (But, what is she talking about?)

 Today, thanks to Google, I remembered learnt it was the Universal Children’s Day, declared by the United Nations. I’m sure you didn’t know that!

There are many children’s days in the world. In India, for example, it is on the 14th of November, which is my father’s birthday but Jawaharlal Nerhu’s birthday too…

In France, we don’t celebrate children. At least, it may be a good sign; it may mean that most of French kids don’t have so many problems. On other continents, it is a bit more complicated…

But I’m not going to tell you much about the problems of children in the world in India, or wherever, all of us have heard about children’s labour, selective abortions against little girls and so on and so forth.

Here, let’s just have a look at children, beautiful children, smiling children, natural children, moving children…

These pictures were taken during my only trip in India so far. I didn’t realise there were so many children before selecting these photos to write this post.

Children in Bikaner, 2011

I’m amazed at the way children stare at your camera. They strike the pose, they play supermodels, and they don’t really care to see the result. They just want the pleasure to have their image locked up into a little black box.

Old Bikaner 2011, a broom saler

This photo is blurred but is like a bubble of happiness! Look at the pink walls and pillars, the little girl’s pink dress, and the baby with kajal (kohl) around his eyes to protect him from insects,  diseases and  evil eye! The brooms seem to be magic wands!

पुराना बीकानेर में बच्चा और माता

Village near Bikaner 2011

I don’t like this photo. I don’t know why I took it. For a handful of rupies given by the guide to the people, we were allowed to visit a little village in the area of Bikaner. The children were so used to being the prey of tourists’ cameras  that they lined up like little soldiers as soon as we arrived. These children are really beautiful but they look bored and don’t even look at the camera as if they didn’t want us to steal their souls. It is very different from the warm and carefree attitude from most of the children I had met elsewhere in India.

Little girl in the fort of Jaisalmer, 2011

I like this one! The little girl is smiling and her eyes are full of mischief. She is picking a sweet from the saler’s jar. It seems to be a natural gesture, as if she did that very often. She’s sitting on the edge of the stale like at home. The man next to her is pretending to stop her but he seems to have so much tenderness for this little girl that we know she’ll get her sweet!

Pushkar, 2011

I like the pink veils. The two women are looking at the jewels. We girls are all the same, wherever we were born! I like the little girl’s OM shirt! Very fashion!

Lal Qila (Red Fort) in Agra) 2011

These two girls are so fascinating with their big eyes and their strict haircuts! They are dressed in their most beautiful clothes. Visiting Agra is a bit like a special day to them! I would like to meet them again ten years later. I’m sure they will be very good-looking!

On the road to Delhi

Three boys meeting by chance while our bus was going to Delhi. We stopped to take pictures of a sort of stupid bird in the distance, sorts of heron but these kids were much more friendly! I don’t know what they were doing there. Apart from a flock of sheep and a few stacks of dung cakes, there was nothing. They seem to be wearing their school’s shirts? The three of them, are so, so beautiful and so alive!

Lal Qila, Agra 2011

And to conclude, a future Miss India, or a future Bollywood heroine or whoever! She was an elegant and lovely little Mumtaz in the marble part of Shah Jahan’s Lal Qila.


Categories: India in pictures, Voyages | 3 Comments

Forgotten Indian Art,Exercise Photos

My first reblog! Mallakhamb is also for women! I didn’t know that! It must be lovely! (Marilay)

Ramani's blog

Mallakhamb or Malkhamb is a traditional Indian sport in which a gymnast performs feats and poses in concert with a vertical wooden pole or rope. Mallakhamb also refers to the pole used in the sport.

The word “Mallakhamb” is composed of malla which denotes a gymnast or a man of strength and khamb which means a pole. Mallakhamb can therefore be translated to English as pole gymnastics.(wiki)



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Categories: Sports | 1 Comment

My Heart slipped on your Smooth Waist… WHAT???

It depends on the way you interpet this sentence; it can be poetic or disgusting…

Anyway, I am lucky, we are working on this song. The choreography is energetic and sexy. Every Wednesday, I can’t wait to be in my dancing class to know the other steps! I let you see the extract from the movie, Rowdy Rathore (bad critic on that blog…) starring delicious actress Sonakshi Sinha and moustached Akshay Kumar.



Categories: A Piece of Myself, Cinema | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Poem…sort of…: No Time for Diwali

As busy as a bee
Work meetings, copies and Hindi
I have no time for Diwali

No fireworks, no diya,
On the road to Ayodhya
There is no light for Rama

As busy as Delhi
There is no ceremony
I have no time for Diwali

On A Message to India
Where is Lakshmi, where is Sita?
There’s no prasad and no puja

As busy à bee
I have just a freebie
For you, this महिली *


In Thar Desert, Rajasthan

Categories: A Piece of Myself, India in pictures, Religion | 7 Comments

Saravana Bhavan, Canal Saint-Martin, a friend…

The holidays are ending. I enjoyed my last day of freedom with my friend Valérie who learns Hindi with me.

She took me to Saravana Bhavan, a famous vegetarian restaurant, 170 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis. This is a chain; you can eat at Saravana’s everywhere from the Usa to the Emirates. The food is really different from the Indian restaurants I usually go to in Paris. Very few stews, no cheese naans, no lime pickle, no alcohol except Kingfisher beer and of course, no meat! Most of the dishes are from the South; the specialities are dosas, idlis and thalis.


The food is very fresh, fatless, not too salty, refined which is quite unusual in an Indian restaurant. The only weak point; I found the sauces a little tasteless and the dosa was cold. But all in all, it was a good experience and the chai was delicious!

The atmosphere in the restaurant was warm. The customers were talkative and enthusiastic. Most of them were Indian, which is the sign it is a good restaurant. The waiters were smily and elegant. I enjoyed the modern, classy but simple decoration; a mixture of grey, black and white. It was very different from the fake zardosi Taj Mahal pictures, the elephant carvings and the former-Chinese-restaurant chairs that you can see in other Indian restaurants.  From one o’clock pm onwards people started to queue up on the pavement.

For all that you can see in the pictures, we paid 32.50 euros.



If you want to read a nice post about this restaurant, go to the blog Mistress of Spicies.

And then, a walk along the Canal Saint Martin, before the rain!

Canal Saint Martin before the rain

Categories: A Piece of Myself, Kitchen | Tags: | 3 Comments

Good Indian Food for Bad Cooks: The Chicken Tikka Masala Mystery (Part II)

After tasting ready-made Chicken Tikka Masala , I decided to try to cook this dish in a more impressive way: I mean by making some rice and cutting pieces of chicken! So, I didn’t put my apron on because I don’t have any but I found my frying-pan in the bottom of my cupboard and I went to Monop’ to buy the ingredients I needed.

This post is not advertising for Patak!

Patak’s Sauce Tikka Masala

Price: 3,21 euros A jar: 2/3 people

Preparation: About 15 minutes. You just have to cook rice and chop chicken escalopes in a frying-pan. Turn the chicken once or twice, add the sauce and continue the cooking for a few minutes.


The Good Points:

It is nicely spicy and finely hot. (2 peppers out of 3 on the label)  The sauce is not sweet. It is tasty and exotic. I can eat it cold with a tea spoon!  Very easy and rapid. As you cook your own rice and chicken, your hubby or friends will have the feeling you really made some efforts to prepare a nice little meal for them.

The Bad Points:

The sauce is delicious but the taste will be always the same. You can’t use it all the time, it may be tiring. Moreover, it slightly tastes of the presevatives, so it is obvious the sauce is not home-made.

Patak’s Sauce

Patak’s Curry Paste Tikka Masala

Price: 3,10 euros A bag for 3 or 4 people

Preparation: (Everything is explained at the back of the pack)

Chop onions and brown them.   Add the paste and mix it to the onions. It looks ugly but don’t be afraid!  Add the pieces of tomatoes. (I didn’t peel them) Pour half a glass of water because it is very sticky and bizarre. Let it simmer. I added the chicken a bit later because I didn’t want it to be too dry. When the chicken seems ok, add the dairy cream and mix. Prepare the rice!


The Good Points:

It is really cooking but you don’t need to be a specialist in spicies and masale. The dish is good. It is not very hot but to my mind, it is not a good point so you can add chilli.

The Bad Points:

The result is impressive but the sauce is finally a bit too fat and the taste too strong despite the cream. Next time (if there is a next time) I’ll use more tomatoes and ligher dairy cream.  Don’t forget the rice or it may be sickly!

Mark: 6 /10   (let’s say maybe I need to practise and improve the recipe)

Patak’s Paste

Categories: Kitchen | Leave a comment

IDEAT Design Magazine: a colourful trip to modern India

Today, I want to talk to you about a very beautiful magazine. Its name is IDEAT. This magazine is about Design, Modern Art and Architecture. I’m not really fond of that kind of magazines but when I saw it was a Special India Issue, I didn’t hesitate to spend 5 euros ( 300 rupies!) for it.

Trop beau! The pictures are colourful and make you travel. The articles introduce trendy artists or designers from India. The texts are short, so you never get bored and you have pleasure reading them. I learnt and saw a lot of things in this magazine. It is like visiting a Modern Art Museum in your sofa.

Click on the pictures to see them bigger or pass your cursor on them to get information.


IDEAT – november 2012 – Travel in India and visit the main cities in the country – The trendy places to go shopping or to visit exhibitions – Nine French people who have worked in India talk about it – What’s your favourite city: Marie-Hélène de Taillac, jewel designer: Jaipur; it is the capital of jewels and gems; 3 million people work in this industry there. – What do you miss when you leave India? Normal Studio, Design Agency: street food and bazars – Strength and weakness of contemporary India? J.François Lesage; furniture embroidery: India can organize its chaos with a feeling of energy and freedom but they are too eager for modernism – Sangaru Design Studio makes practical objects with bamboo – Satuendra Pakhalé, the Indian Philippe Starck – Doshi and Levien make glass objects and colourful sofas – Kama soap, organic cosmetic – Tata Dinasty – Manish Arora and his world of coloursDesigner Arjun Bhasin shows his home in MumbaiArchitect M.N. Sharman, the man who built Chandigarh with Le Corbusier – Hotels and shopping in Delhi – Discover Bollywood and Victorian architecture in Mumbai – Shanti life in Pondichéry – Auroville – Indian art: Anish Kapoor, Rina Banerjee, Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher – Selection of music – Indian shopping in Paris…


Categories: Bookshelves, India in pictures, Library, Museum | Tags: , | 1 Comment

A Sikh Kid and a Bleeding Building!

While going sweating in a gymnasium in the East of Paris, you can discover worth seeing things! That’s why yesterday, I found a bleeding building and a sikh child!

In Bercy Parc, near the Palais Omnisport de Bercy, – a place where people can see tennis championships, Madonna Concerts, surfing contests or sumo wrestling – , I met strange creatures standing on the lawn.

These still silhouettes are bronze sculptures by artist Rachid Khimoune. They were made in 2001 with pieces of streets such as paving stones, pieces of curbs, non-slip plates, manhole covers and so on… These kids have been lined up on the lawn. Each of them has a name and represents a country. The artist raised the matter of children’s rights for the twenty-first century.

Unfortunately, the sculptures are continually subjects to the weather and people’s bad tendency to damage street furniture. However, if they’re made of street stuff, where else could they be?

(Other pictures on this site)


Another thing drew my attention while I was passing on an elevated railway train. A bleeding building! I would have found this idea horrible if the district and the building itself hadn’t been so common! This flashy painting dripping along the façades conveys a bit of joy in all this urban sadness.

Categories: Museum | Tags: | Leave a comment

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