Sunday, February 1, 2015

Event:Vrukshavali,Thane: Flower & Vegetable exhibition

Good day ppl !
Winter is a great season when people & plants bloom. So when my Mother-in-law(Mrs.Greenfingers) told me about a Plants & Flower exhibition arranged in Thane, I was keen to attend it with her and my toddler.

Click on the images to get a larger view.

The Event name: Vrikshavali. Its a Plants, Flower, Vegetable exhibition. This is its 9th year. It was arranged at Gaodevi, near Thane Station West from 30 Jan to 1st Feb 2015.

The entrance

The entrance with Fountains

 Flower rangoli's
Vithoba in flowers
 My Kiddo took quite a fascination for this one. Climbed inside the barricade & tried to redecorate :p Talk about public humiliation !
Cheerful as daisies

For my MIL being among plants is a super stress buster. I couldnt agree more, apart from carrying my kiddo around to stop him from creating havoc.

Insulin, the star of the show.
 Insulin, This plant was highlighted everywhere, guess the media & medical community have made Diabetes a major demon.

Lot of organisations had set up their plants here such as Central Railways, Hiranandani, Godrej, RCF & nurseries.

Vegetable garden in pots. This was by RCF, Raigad.

Brinjals and tomatoes

Surti papdi
Dodka or Ridge Gourd

In the middle of the exhibition hall was a room which was creating a lot of jam outside. When you go in, you realise why people werent moving fast inside.

Lovely arrangements

Never seen this flower

Vegetable carvings, check the crocodile from Bitter gourd

And the dragon

Flower cake ;)

Roses !

These flowers were entered for a competition
Tea roses, earned Princess of the Show award

The King & Queen of the Show awardees

Lot of beautiful landscaping gardens

Lord Shankar & Shiv linga

Model village

Star attraction

My kiddo checking if there are fishes in this pond


Hibiscus, every year few months before Ganpati we try to grow as many coloured plants of these so that we have a different color flower for Ganpati each day

 Paper flowers. All these are made from paper, cant believe your eyes right?

Each had a couplet written for it

Each type of flower in paper

Flower garden in paper
At the feedback stall in the register  I wrote and asked them to extend the exhibition for more days. But guess it would be injustice on the plants to force them to stay in bloom for so many days.

There were many stalls outside the exhibition area, where you could buy plants & garden accesories. We restricted to buying only a local version of Rose. I was more looking for different types of pots, pot holders, window hangers and the like. Have taken a lot of phamplets from the stalls to contact later. Mostly the stalls are from around Thane, Vashi.

Today is the last day for the exhibition. Our next target is to pay a visit to the Maharashtra Nature Park at Dharavi.
I am thankful that I did Tree walks, now I can recognize more plants than my school & guide scout days.

Happy Green Winter to you all.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Whats that pic-41

Good day ppl !
I may not be able to spot Grammatical mistakes in the books, articles I read but I get quite irritated when I spot spelling mistakes.

When the spelling mistakes are on Shop name boards, I smack my head in frustration.

Here is a collection of shop name boards, advertisements in local trains, menu card of restaurants.

Job ads in Local train.
Now I wish I should have taken a better photo of this ad. The Ads in Local trains can be quite entertaining. From work-from-home, job ads, double your money/energy schemes,  to the black magic baba's & their tall claims.

Somewhere on Andheri-Kurla road. Click on the pic to View in fullscreen
Apart from the spellings, the Hindi to English translation is hilarious :D

Some new version of Mock tails, huh ;)
 Where do these guys get this printed & why cant they use Spell check !

Some more Wacky pictures for you:

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If you see any more hilarious banners, please share with us.
Till then enjoy the Week ahead. Bye.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Activity: Cream cake making class by Cute Cupcake Factory, Thane

Good day ppl !
Firstly HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015 to all of you !

Serendipity: Pleasant surprise or happy accident

I have been encountering these Happy accidents a lot lately. I had done the Cupcake class with Cute Cupcake Factory & my friends, family say I have got a hang of it.

I tried adding frosting to the cupcakes, it was a disaster (look wise), thankfully the taste was great.
So whenever the Cute Cupcake Factory announces Cream cake class schedules, I ignore it thinking its not my cup of tea or dessert ;)

Then CCF announces cookie & 'cake in glass' making classes & they have 2seats remaining. I checked my kiddo's schedule & sign myself in.
This class was on a weekday. There are 14 of us ladies. Everyone has some experience making cakes, I too have tried the basic ones, but no frosting.

We made 2 types of cake bases-Egg less:
Vanilla & Chocolate

If you want a fruit cake, Vanilla base is needed. If you are making any chocolate flavored cake, obviously a Chocolate base is used.

We made:

Strawberry cake
Mix fruit cake

Chocolate truffle

Black forest

Suchita as is her forte explained the fuss free recipe to make the Vanilla & Chocolate base.
For Cream cakes, you need to have layers.
She demonstrated and made us practice the method to cut super thin layers of the base cake. Then each layer was alternated with the chosen flavor of cream.

Everything was super interesting for me. I tried my hand. I could make the layers, but the frosting again was not easy for me.

So I was thinking to myself, when is Suchita going to show the cookie recipe? I went & asked her super cool mom, we all loving call 'Kaku'. She confirmed to me it is the 'Cream cake Class' and not the 'Cookie class'.
I was like 'OMG' ! But she assured me, this is the hot selling class of CCF & I will surely find it useful.

CCF & the cream cake class

So the next week was my youngest sisters birthday and she wanted a special celebration for it. I informed my mom, that I will bake the cake & it will be a suprise for her.

I made 2-3trips to the stores mentioned by Suchita to get the things needed. Decided to make a mixed fruit cake.

I baked the vanilla base 2days in advance. Frosted the base a night in advance.

Vanilla base with cream to smoothen

I am very bad at piping the frosting. So had bought a couple of nozzles. At 3am tried to test them, it was so much fun, I went on decorating. I needed colours, so went & bought them from Suchita next day.

Im loving the piping process

Then put the decorations a few hours before the special surprise dinner.

Ta..da.. Mix fruit cake

Including me, everyone was pleasantly surprised at the sight of the yummy cake. It tasted yummy, it could have been more soft if I had added another layer. Lesson learnt !

The next weekend went to mom's place. Wanted to bake a batch of Cupcake in her old round oven. Didnt get around to making that, but made a Chocolate base.

Chocolate base in old round oven

On the last minute, decided to make it into Black Forest. We didnt have Chocolate shavings, so decorated it as a White cake and M&M's. My parents confirmed it tasted Yummy & made a great New year special cake !

Black forest

So at my place I baked another chocolate base & turned it into a Chocolate Truffle cake. My family loved it. Friends who saw the pics on FB, thought I had bought the cake from a bake shop.

Chocolate base in Convection microwave oven

Chocolate truffle

Serendipity at its best, I must say ! ;) I am loving it !

Thank you Cute Cupcake Factory for this lovely class. Now making cakes for Birthdays or special occasions  is no big deal if I have the ingredients and a lil time ;)

Please join a baking class if you love desserts. Baking is a new high in my life now. Hmm can be made into a hobby & like my friends are suggesting, I should seriously consider it as a Career ;)

Bye. Take care. Have a Yummy New Year ! :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Event: CodeJugalbandi, Mumbai

Good day People,

Yes, we keep returning after long gaps but we do return, dont we? ;) So after all the Diwali, Alibaug Vacation, winter weddings,...I was thinking of getting back to some kind of routine & upgrading my skill sets as a Software Engineer. I am not a big fan of Java, .Net frankly speaking. I have these mental block which makes me balk at the idea of learning new coding languages.

My sister sent me links to few software meetups, sessions happening on Saturday-Sunday. I have been to Barcamp, GoogleIndia event. These are fun, interesting, give you an idea of the new happenings in the world of technology.

CodeJugalbandi, the name caught my interest, me being a music lover & coder. Read a little about it. The location being Mulund( at The Playce) and it being on a Sunday, got me to register for the event. It is a free event and happening for the first time in Mumbai.

CodeJugalbandi, is a unique session where Jugalbandists-experts conducting the session will propose problems and try to solve them using different instruments-coding languages in this case.

This session was conducted by Dhaval Dalal and Nitish Rathi. We had 15 participants. We began the session at 10am. Dhaval & Nitish started off the session by explaining that Always go beyond syntax, semantics is the base. You can be an polyglot if you understand and follow this. Till late, the industry moved towards object oriented programming, now slowly its changing course towards Functional programming. Functional programming was the main highlight of this session.

Dhaval and Nitish, our Jugalbandists
The session had different Melodies. Each melody is a concept which is explained, demonstrated in different languages and a problem given to the participants.

Serious coding happening, experiments conducted with languages
We had made a list of the languages the participants used to code. Since many of us didn't carry our laptops, we were asked to group up with people using a language we haven't used. This made all of us to know others in the session better plus code in a language new to us.

Some code in Java, Ruby, Javascript

Python, C, C#
We solved 2 melodies. There are many more interesting melodies, you can check them out at It was an intense coding session, a first for me. Everyone was engrossed in understanding the melody and trying to see if they could use or solve the problem in their favourite or entirely new language.

Discussions, opinions

Lot of discussions, new insights, different aspects came to light. We had a lunch break at 1:30pm to fill  our plates with pizzas and have some more discussions, getting to know more people.

We concluded the session by each of sharing what we liked, what surprised us, what we would do differently now that we have a new understanding.

Unanimously it was decided we need more of these CodeJugalbandi sessions. Functional programming needs to be promoted. The word needs to be spread, so use #CodeJugalbandi @CodeJugalbandi on Twitter, Facebook,... Sponsors needed to conduct these sessions.

What I liked about this session:
-It was totally informal. Small in size(was planning on leaving seeing the number of people).
-Everything was explained in simple terms, no rocket science stuff here. So beginners like my college going sister could follow it.
-The Jugalbandists took efforts to make sure everyone was on the same page. In some other sessions, everything is explained in complex manner and they dont bother if you follow, making you feel dumb.
-You actual network with people when solving the melodies. Everyone is happy to help and explain the new language. So there is a mutual give & take of knowledge happening.
-You get motivated to try new stuff. Get a new perspective for handling problems, new ways to use logic.

What I learned from this session:
-One language wont suffice. Need to learn, play around with new languages.
-Syntax shouldnt stop you.
-Object oriented isnt so bad after all ;)
-There is soo much more to know in coding! Roll up your sleeves and go play!

So if you are into software learning, I would recommend you follow up for more upcoming sessions. Its a great way to learn & network.

Bye. Take care until next time.
Have a fantastic week !