Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Fashion time...

Its Friday Fashion time... and this is one illustration that I had made for a client of mine...
got rejected coz tho she loved it, she prefered another style for her website.
Oh well.... I like it, and as its not technically hers, I am putting it up for you as today's Friday Fashion
Hope YOU like it!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bed-time Monster Stories for Boys!!

We as a family are very fond of reading and am trying to inculcate the reading bug into my li'l one as well... but he's not fond of the kiddie sweet stuff...
its more monsters and terror and mystery...
just a peek what me n my boys are upto at night...

and mayb like this?

Wednesday Winter Comfort Food- Yummy Tomato Basil Soup

Though in my part of the world these days- the hot and dry desert of Rajasthan... winter is receding.
but in the rest of the country, esp in the plains, and the world...its still pretty chilly.
So the best way to eat light and healthy during the winter evenings is binge on some hot and delicious soup...have as much as you want!
Its light and healthy and you can snuggle up in your comforters and pjs- watch a nice movie and sip on delicious soup and crunchy garlic breadsticks.
Today's Winter Comfort Food is home made (from scratch):

 Tomato Basil Soup.

to make about 4-5 cups of vegetable stock:
1 onion-chopped
1 carrot-chopped/sliced
2 cloves of garlic
6 pepper corns (full black pepper)
2-3 cloves (laung)
1 bay leaf (tezpatta)
about 3 inch celery stalk (optional-if available)
5 cups of water
Bring to boil and then simmer of 15 minutes and strain.
(generally one throws away the veggies of the stock but what I do is that I puree the stock veggies and add them to the soup to thicken it and also so that my kids have more fibre in thier diet)
but you can just use the stock and not the vegetables- totally your call.

Ingr. for the soup

10-12 medium tomatoes (chopped)
2 tablespoons fresh basil or tulsi leaves chopped coarsely
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
1 onion (chopped)
3 cloves of chopped garlic
10 freshly ground peppercorns
1 tbsp double cream+1 tbsp heavy yoghurt mixed together till smooth
4 cups of vegetable stock
salt to taste

1- Heat oil and butter, add onion and saute till it turns transparent/light pink but NOT brown.
2- Add the tomatoes, garlic and vegetable stock and season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper
3- Bring to a boil, and the simmer on low heat for twenty minutes. (cover the pot partially so that it doesnt splatter)
 Cool the soup.
4- Add the shredded fresh basil and then puree the entire mixture with a blender. (This is where you add the stock veggies)
Strain the soup into a fresh pan.
5- Check if the soup is too thick, if so, then add some more stock to make it the consistency that you prefer.
6- Check seasoning 
7- Add the yoghurt and cream mixture and simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes.
Make sure it doesnt come to a boil.
8- Serve hot, garnished with a flourish of cream and topped with fresh basil leaves.
Accompany the soup with some yummy Cheese+garlic breadsticks ( breadsticks were devoured so quickly that I forgot to take pictures of them.)
Will make them again and post the pictures.

So slurp and enjoy!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saturday Art School: How to Draw Ariel

Its been a painful last month-losing a parent is a void that can never be filled...and we all still havent yet come to terms with it.
To really sit together as a family and grieve- we havent been left alone  long enough for that...
Writing about what a wonderful man that my father was in my last post (click here) was kind of like convincing ourselves that he is no more and celebrating what he was in our lives... and in the community...
Life moves on and now we are all trying to limp back to normalcy and get back to what our lives were before.... with some small little things that happen everyday that bring his memory forcibly back for a few moments...
and make us smile.
Like this sketch of Ariel was one of the drawings that my paint-brush happy youngest sister had made on the entire bathroom door of my father's room... yes- bathroom door!
and instead of getting angry- he let it remain there because it brought a smile to his face every time he looked at it.
so this step-by-step drawing of Ariel is dedicated to my younger sister Zoya, my father and all the little princesses out there who love to draw!

I had made these drawings yesterday 'coz yesterday was Saturday and after all it is a Saturday Art School lesson, but yesterday I was at a loss for words- I didnt know what to write...
I postponed the post to the next day-but I am still numb today...
So i'll let the drawings do all the talking.








and here is the sketch all clean and ready... to color!
(you can even print it out for your little princess to color)

I hope you enjoyed this cute little mermaid princess!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Ode to My Father....

The end of an Era and a homage to a "beloved son of the soil"

Syed Qasim Hasan is no more.
And more than a mere father who gave us wind beneath our wings…
He was a legend,
A mass leader,
A person whose word was the law in his land,
A man who stood by his ideals and believed in fairness and honesty…
A no-nonsense personality whose presence in any gathering was enough to draw the crowds and act like a magnet.
This tribute is not only for a beloved father, but for a politician and a son of the soil who was above the politics of religion, caste, money or status of society.
Syed Qasim Hasan fought for the people because he believed in them, and they believed in his ability to hold thier hand when needed....

        Syed Qasim Hasan comes from an illustrious line of learned Hakims(doctors), Maulanas(religious scholars) and Freedom Fighters.
His lineage can be traced back to the time of Sultan Iltutmish when a person called Salar-e-Rome Shahabuddin or the “leader or Chief” of Rome migrated to India with his full tribe from the Middle East via Europe.
       The Sultan gave this learned tribe of Hakims and Scholars some land in a place called Bramsala which was in the middle Ganga Jamuna and is now called Sultanpur.
       The descendants of this tribe settled around the area- spreading the word of God and establishing schools and madarsas….
Some putting down roots in a Fort now called Baqar Ali and some in a place called Kora Jahanabad.
       Of the few well known descendants was Maulana Hakim Abul Hasan Sahad who served as the vizier of Murshidabad in Bengal and was also Syed Qasim Hasan’s grandfather’s grandfather.
        One of the maternal uncles was Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi who was also the founder of the islamic college in Lucknow known as Nadwa.
Maulana Hakim Syed Nusrat Husain, Syed Qasim Hasan’s grandfather was an active member of the freedom movement called the “Reshmi Rumaal Tehreek” (a part of the Khilafat Movement  against the British) during the 1916
This particular freedom movement spread from one Islamic School to another and in which the secret coded messages were sent through the Reshmi Rumaal (silk scarf) that the maulanas or the scholars wore on their shoulders.
Maulana Hakim Syed Nusrat Husain was arrested in Mecca with his cousin Maulana Hashim, along with Maulana Husain Ahmad Madni, Sheikhul-Hind, among others and sent to “kaala pani” i.e imprisoned on an island (Malta) in the Black Sea, where on his demise was given the title of Shaheed-e-Malta.
(the details of this freedom struggle and participation is given in this book here)
       Syed Qasim Hasan’s father and uncle were also active participants in the Freedom Struggle against the British, although one was with the Congress and the other with the Muslim league.
Politics and serving the people, their awam was in the blood and after India’s indepedence, Syed Qasim Hasan’s uncle, Syed Shabbir Hasan, being a close friend of the then U.P. Chief Minister-C.B.Gupta, won the Kora Jahanabad seat a number of times.
        Infact after India’s Independence when the small “town areas” were called Gram Samaj and the elections were held by raising your hand…
…since then and until now- the Town Area Chairman seat has always been with the family.
         Syed Qasim Hasan or “Bhai Sahab” as he was always fondly called started his political career in 1974 where he was given the ticket by C.B.Gupta himself, after Syed Shabbir Hasan (uncle's) death.
And though he lost that particular election, there was no stopping the tall imposing personality with the booming laugh and a humble persona after that!
He won his seat 5 times since then, either standing from his home turf, Kora Jahanabad, or from Fatehpur.
          While he was in power, or in the opposition, or even when he lost his seat, Syed Qasim Hasan never lost his perspective.

He worked tirelessly for the betterment of his people, his awam, whether it was arranging health camps, building roads and public amenities or making schools...
          He established a school named after Maulana Hakim Syed Nusrat Husain- Shaheed-e-Malta School that just runs completely on charity.
His dream was to have no illiteracy in his constituency with the minimum of fees (Rs 30 presently) with about 40% children whose schooling, fees, uniform and books are free.
This school runs with the love and welfare of the people as its main objective. Other than that, he, along with his wife, established an NGO called Ashiyana that catered to the needs of the poor, the infirm, the widows and the orphans.
              People didn’t just love my father or turn to him for no reason- he was actually a law unto himself…
Whether it was a property dispute or a love affair gone wrong- his people did not want to go to the police or the court-
They all knocked on “Bhai Sahab’s” door- which was never ever closed to them.
He solved all the disputes to the best of his abilities with sometimes even a few choice swear words and a stern reprimand for the offender and everyone going home satisfied with justice well served.
            Syed Qasim Hasan lived life king-size and when he finally passed away on the 30th of December 2013, my father, the Sher-e-Fatehpur was given a king sized farewell.
There was not a single dry eye on the Shaheed Malta School grounds where thousands had gathered to bid him farewell.
Syed Qasim Hasan was sent off from this world in the same style that he had lived in- with trumpets and Guard of Honor and the Chief Minister in full attendance.
              It is said that you get to know a person’s worth when he dies and Abbu, I have never been more proud of you and the fact that I am your daughter, than when I saw you for the last time being put to rest and the multitude of weeping janta lining up to put a fistful of mud on your grave and bid you a last farewell.
May Allah(swt) give you maghfirat and grant you an esteemed place in the Jannat.


some pictures of his last journey on the Shaheed Malta School Grounds...

standing together for the Namaz-e-Janaza

the U.P Chief Minister paying homage.

the Guard of Honor 

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