It’s one of the greatest privileges and reminiscences that I affirm with lot of gratitude is to have a balcony facing the West side without any major obstruction like buildings and other structures. With full realization that it won’t be forever, everyday, I’m always in awe of the beautiful compositions on the sky each day. It’s like having a customized subtle and private light show on your window every single day. Some days, it could be foggy and naive, whereas some days it would be a spectacularly vibrant and coruscating canvas on the sky. I captured this amber based theme on a beautiful evening. I wanted to test the night mode capabilities on Netta’s phone as well. I’m taking this moment to have a pause and appreciate what a beautiful blessing it is to just marvel at this scene. It’s one the key aspects of this interim and temporary home that I’m staying. Afterall, what’s permanent in this world ? Every moment, every aspect of our lives has intricacies in it that nudge you to remind of the transience of this world. Even this spectacular view isn’t permanent as well.
Remember our culinary series? ‘Culinary Experiences’ is a series of visual stories that we started on our website for journaling some of our best ambrosial culinary experiences, be it the finest cordon bleu delights of a master chef or a cheesy experimental simmer at our little kitchen. We are trying to scribe it humbly here. This is not intended to be a recipe archive or a cookery show in case if you wondered. We’re only sharing the experience of trying and some of the art behind it.
The dessert below is called Chaina Ram Wala Ghewar. It’s a traditional Rajasthan style Ghevar (a Rajasthani cuisine ) served with berry rabdi on the top. (RabdiorRabri is a sweet, condensed-milk-based dish, originating from the Indian subcontinent ). We tried it from The Yellow Chilli by Sanjeev Kapoor.
“I am starting to think that maybe memories are like this dessert. I eat it, and it becomes a part of me, whether I remember it later or not.”
― Erica Bauermeister, The School of Essential Ingredients
Out of blue moon, I recollected an old trek to Wadi Al Helo with dear friend MHP a couple of years back and I had some visuals and photographs from that visit. So, I tried to play around with it to have a memorable montage of the visit. We started very early in the morning by around 4 AM and could see the marvelous sunrise and we were able to trek through Wadi Al Helo outskirt rocky mountains in the desert. Wadi Al Helo is located off the E102 Sharjah-Kalba Road, 20km southwest of the coastal town of Kalba in the eastern region of the United Arab Emirates. It’s tiring to climb to the top structures, but that’s worth it when you get a breathtaking 360-degree view of the mountain ranges nestled between the Hajar Mountains. This is a protected area for endangered birds, reptiles, and freshwater fish. There is an old fort at the top of the hill. This area also houses some archaeological sites and has a restored watchtower.
A beautiful cobweb style rooftop that I found somewhere near Abudhabi many years back (atleast six!). I’m unable to recollect the exact place, but I remember how the sunset hues diffuse through the roofing. I was returning from a site visit and found this on the way. Nema Al-Araby writes in Remnants and Ashes:
“And the cobwebs of time
dormant, so that the rainbows
of new eras can emerge
Despite the hollowness
We spoke of our drone expeditions recently with AR’O’Dynamics (That’s just a fancy name I made up for dear friend AR who is the pilot of these videos). Both of us are learning and hence the shots aren’t as cinematic as we would love them to be. However, contrary to my earlier convictions of waiting for the fine-tuned version, and on a firm realization that waiting for the ultimate perfection would be like a day that would never come, I’m putting up some of the footage here. Some of the awe-inspiring video creators whom I have been fortunate to have listened to always reiterate the importance of putting up the work into the open once we have an inspiring one. If we wait for the chiseling and polishing looking towards a day of perfection, that’s not gonna come. This is something that I’ve learned the hard way over the past few years. And that’s the reason there is a plethora of video footage that stay buried in my archives. Let’s pop them out for our wonderful audience.
The video is titled “The Circle” inspired by the green and beautiful traffic roundabouts at the University of Sharjah. That’s where we took many of our baby flights. And I’m thankful to AR for meticulously and patiently sharing those huge volumes of drone video footage with me.
“Although I deeply love oceans, deserts, and other wild landscapes, it is only mountains that beckon me with that sort of painful magnetic pull to walk deeper and deeper into their beauty. They keep me continuously wanting to know more, feel more, see more.”
― Victoria Erickson
My colleague’s photograph that I captured when he was capturing the mountains, circa 2018 somewhere in Fujairah, an emirate of the UAE.
Thank you Molten Chocolate Cafe for crafting this elegant piece of happiness!
Here we kick off Ep 1 of our new series – ‘Culinary Experiences’ for journaling some of the best ambrosial culinary experiences, be it the finest cordon bleu delights of a master chef or a cheesy experimental simmer at our little kitchen, we are trying to scribe it here.
Molten Chocolate Cafe is an elegant dessert eatery situated at the heart of Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. We visited it on a fine winter evening and boy it was true happiness experience as they say it. They have a plethora of good European confectionaries. They’re born to satisfy your tiniest sweet tooth through their delectable and rich indulgences. Their culinary dessert assortments range from French crepes to Belgian pastries and waffles tailored to cure the cravings for all things chocolate, a cocoa experience that anyone with the tiniest sweet tooth would remember! We tried Cheetos Chicken which has Focaccia bread, red cabbage slaw, crispy chicken, sriracha sauce and Cheetos crumbs. The dessert we savoured is their molten lava cake which is their signature chocolate cake dusted with icing snow, topped with a scoop of ice cream with a slice of strawberry.
Below is a capture from Al Seef in Dubai. The moon shines bright up high with all its grace and the lighted abra (a traditional wooden boat used in the Middle East) with its lamplight gleaming over the calm waters. That’s some sheer visual poetry in front of us.
The famous photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984) famously said that ” You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
A sunset drenched view of an elegant Dubai skyline captured sometime before 2014. Sunlight is painting.
“ Pilgrims from all over the world were making their way to the place deemed the pearl of the Middle East. The city was reminiscent of a modern-day Persepolis. Its buildings, like towering pillars, tested the sky’s limit. The evenly paved roads belched with the smell of new tarmac, as if a million masons woke up every morning and by hand lay asphalt one grain at a time. People of all colors, ethnicities, creed and social statuses came bearing money, knowledge or experience in order to build their legacies in the new kingdom, sprouting out of the desert. Dubai had arrived. ”
“The sky is the limit for the extraordinary, the universe is not even the limit for the divine.” “The world is young, the sky is old, the cosmos are ancient, but the universe timeless.” “He who owns the sky owns the stars.” “Your mind is your world, your heart is your sky, your soul is your universe.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo
new year greetings! May Almighty bless us to have twenty-20 to be a year to be meaningfully purposeful, thoughtfully worthwhile and consequentially pithy. Your heart is your sky. Cherish every moment as you unlock your destiny & unlatch the divine scheme of things.