Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ornamental Earth

Which woman doesn't love jewellery? And when it comes to earthy terracotta jewellery, many more hands go up.
This humble material, terracotta, that is used to make household utensils can be fashioned delicately to make exquisite jewellery to adorn a woman, be it for a family outing or a fashionable party. Terracotta ornaments like necklaces, bracelets, pendants, and chokers were commonly used in the rural and tribal societies.

Colourful options
But nowadays, the terracotta costume jewellery has emerged as an exotic dressing style and very popular among both the young and old fashionable crowd. It can take up various earthen colours such as red, pink, brown, rust or gray creating a rustic appeal. This eco friendly material is used to create ethnic and striking jewellery pieces.
The malleability of clay allows it to be moulded in whatever shape or size we want. The designs are numerous and the terracotta beads are stung together to make delicate pieces of ornamentation. If properly paired with the right kind of cotton saris terracotta jewellery appears fashionable.
Have our Indian women forgotten the traditional gold jewellery? I would say ‘No'. “Youngsters have not forgotten our tradition, but they are more into temple jewellery and Kundhan ones. They no longer prefer long necklaces,” says Ramanathan, owner of Abirami Jewellers, T.Nagar.

“We youngsters are not attracted to gold jewellery. We prefer ethnic and elegant (namely terracotta) jewellery even with traditional wear and we feel that terracotta jewels add to the look. These are found in shops like Kalpa Druma and Sundari Silks at affordable prices,” said Sunitha, a college student. There are many workshops conducted by Dakshina Chitra, Chennai to teach people terracotta jewellery making so that it will help them design their own jewellery. The jewels are also displayed in many exhibitions conducted.
Though women get more excited about gold jewellery, the spiralling price of gold doesn't seem to excite them. This has made youngsters opt for fancy jewellery made of terracotta, paper, beads, gems and even plastic.
Photo Courtesy: K. Anantha ( THE HINDU) 

Adventure, wildlife and fun!

Planning a quick getaway from Manipal? Take your pick from these choices.
Manipal in Karnataka is located in the rocky hinterland of the West Coast of South India, a few kilometres from the Arabian Sea. From its location on a plateau, it commands a view of the Arabian Sea to the west and the Western Ghats to the east. There are plenty of interesting places nearby, some popular and some not quite...but all worth a visit.

Jog falls
India's highest falls are not too far from Manipal. The best time to visit is from August to September as the flow is restricted by the dam during the rest of the year. The Sharavati jumps from a height of 875 ft forming a glorious waterfall, splitting into four different tracks. In summer when the water level is low, one can actually walk down to the bottom of the falls. One must also visit the Linganamakki Dam; about six km away from Jog Falls has a major hydro electric power plant in Karnataka. The height of the dam is 1819 ft above sea level. The dam is constructed across the Sharavathi river.

Info: About 175km from Udupi. Many package tours are available from Udupi.

Honnemaradu is for the adventure seekers. Situated on the backwaters of the Sharavathi, it is famous for kayaking, surfing and other watersport.

Note: alcohol, gutka and non-vegetarian food are banned.

Info: About 125 km from Manipal

Murudeshwar can be visited on the way to Gokarna or Goa and is famous for the huge statue of Shiva. The sea surrounds the temple on three sides. Two life-size elephants stand guard at the steps leading to the temple. The Murudeshwar temple dates back to a few centuries.

Info: About 100 km from Manipal

St. Mary's Island
The group of islands are accessible by ferry from Malpe. The islands are just a few scattered projections of rock rising out of the Arabian Sea around Malpe. It's a place to relax with facilities for swimming, boating or fishing.

Info: Malpe is about six km from Udupi

Kaup Beach
Not very far from Manipal, this is not a very crowded beach. The lighthouse is the main attraction here. Built by the British in 1901, it is constructed on a rock with an 89 ft tower.

Info: About 15 km from Manipal; 10 km from Udupi

Some 30 km from Karkala is Kudremukh. The name, meaning “horse face”, is derived from the mountain ranges that resemble a horse's face. This is the largest tropical evergreen forest in Karnataka. A hilly region situated 1894 m above sea level, it overlooks the Arabian Sea. The drive through the forest can be both intriguing and exhilarating.

Info: About 160 km from Manipal

Agumbe is a hill station and is one of the highest peaks of the Western Ghats and can be reached by road. The best part of the trip is the beautiful scenery enroute. Plenty of waterfalls — the more popular being Onaki Abbi, Barkana , and Jogigundi — can be seen once you enter the forests. If you enjoy driving, then the drive can be exhilarating as you need to negotiate 18 hairpin curves. You can also spot lion tailed black macaque. The more adventurous can try river rafting on the Sita, a 30-minute drive from Agumbe.

Info: About 45 km from Manipal and 60 km from Udupi

Turtle Bay
Turtle Bay is just a beach resort but if you go a little ahead on the highway, there is a beautiful stretch of road with the sea on one side and backwaters on the other. The scenic beauty of the Arabian Sea, the calm backwaters of the Sowparnika, breathtaking nature walks, treks along the scenic coast, clean water for snorkelling, scuba diving and swimming; that about sums up what Turtle Bay is all about! The resort gets its name from the sea turtles that inhabit the beach during the nesting season from October to December every year.

Info: 150 km from Manipal

Gokarna Falls
Located on the way to Goa just a few kilometres off the highway is the beautiful ‘OM' beach. The name comes from its shape. With narrow streets, traditional houses and temples, Gokarna is the favourite haunt of Hindu pilgrims, Sanskrit scholars and beach buffs. Literally meaning “cow's ear”, this village is formed by the ear-shaped confluence of two rivers. Four other beaches lie towards the south of Gokarna. Kudle and Omam and are around six km from Gokarna along a muddy hill. They are accessible by rickshaw or by foot. Half Moon and Paradise are beyond Om beach and are accessible only by foot or boat.

Info: 170 km Manipal.

Karkala is a famous Jain pilgrim centre. The single stone 42-foot statue Gomateshwara is located close to the centre of the town. Located atop a huge 300-feet high granite rock, the statue overlooks a picturesque little lake. Just opposite is a Jain ‘Basadi' known as Chaturmukha Basadi. It is also built of granite. The monolith formed the nucleus around which Jain maths and basadis developed. They draw three kinds of visitors: devotees, students of history and art lovers. 

 Info: About 40 km from Manipal.

The photo courtesy goes to the THE HINDU photographers K.Murali Kumar, Sampath Kumar and Nagesh Prabhu


The same article about Gemstone facial therapy was published in The Times Of India, Chennai Times. The following is the link for the article


Let your skin choose the gemstone !!

Which colour stone does your face prefer? Bring back a glowing complexion with deep cleansing gemstone facial designed to remove dry and tired skin and to introduce new healthier skin. Quench your skin's thirst with this hydrating process specially designed to restore radiance. Gemstone facials are becoming increasingly popular among people who want a healing treatment that also helps to balance their energy levels. Various types of gemstones have peculiar powers. The Gem Stones such as amber, onyx, ruby, emerald, sapphire, diamond, pink tourmaline, etc., are ground to a micro-fine powder along with a mixture of vitamin rich oils and aromatherapy essences and is applied directly to the skin which helps our face to relax and improve skin texture and tone with beautiful sensory experiences.

Also known as ‘happy stone’, detoxifies and protects your skin from radiation, drawing positive power and energy. It cleanses the skin thoroughly but gently at the end of which the skin feels soft and relaxed.

Onyx is a black color gemstone that is particularly helpful for healing infected wounds as well as fungal infections, inflammation and sunburn too. It completely purifies the skin and also stimulates cellular regeneration.

Red rays of this red stone strengthen and nourish the facial skin, treat skin infections and improve blood circulation. Being the gem of sun it gives luster to the skin. That is not all. It is a good moisturiser and a rich source of Vitamin A which is excellent for an ageing skin too.

Pink tourmaline
It involves much time for the massage process as it calms down the skin and soothes it by maintaining the correct level of moisture in our skin. It also calms our mind and promotes harmonization.

Emerald is a powerful high energy stone. It is considered as the best gem for its anti-ageing and repairing skin damage properties. The emerald ash infused (soaked without boiling) in the cream helps to rejuvenate and tone the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It further strengthens the skin and increases elasticity, prevents pimple formation and removes excess oil from the skin.

Do you need a youthful glow? Opt for a sapphire facial. The sapphire content helps to soothe, deeply hydrate and protect the skin making it appear clear, smooth, rejuvenated and youthful. It removes dead cells, restores and maintains the ideal skin and safeguards it from harmful environmental effects. Also, the blue sapphire treatment is believed to induce sleep and wipe away depression.

Diamonds are m
ostly used for skin lightening process. By having a sensitive skin type, do you complain about discolouration of facial skin or blackheads or skin tan or dryness of skin?  Diamond facial is the only answer for this. The procedure is also used to diminish white heads and stretch marks too.

“Though it consumes more time for the therapy, it is worth it as the massage process makes us forget about the time factor. Especially the pink tourmaline soothes and rejuvenates our skin. However tired you are, you will feel absolutely fresh at the end of the process” says Asha, working professional.
Some of the other major benefits of gemstone facials include: balancing out an uneven skin tone, promoting healthy circulation, supporting our skin with its renewable process, reducing the wrinkles, giving an instant glow to the skin and toning up of our skin cells.

La' Dolce Vita Fulfilled !!!

Italy is not only about pasta and pizzas. Italy brings to mind many more things. Such as Bruschetta, Risotto and Mushrooms ’ la grecque. Today, at Cappuccino (Park Sheraton Hotel) began the Cooking Fiesta. Rohit Ghoshi, leading chef from Kerala along with Roy, chef of Park Sheraton started the fiesta with the demonstration of new dishes from the Italian cuisine.

The hall was packed with women of all age groups who were interested in cooking. The evening started with the demonstration of the making of the light starter, Fresh Tomato Bruschetta. It’s a new dish which could be tried by any person at home. This wonderful appetizer is easy to prepare and makes a great snack. The main element of the dish is the tomato rich mixture on the crispy baguettes along with the garlic flavour that drew the attention of the ladies.

The Rosemary and garlic flavoured Mushrooms a’ la grecque was well demonstrated by chef Rohit. Many substitutes for mushrooms were also suggested by the chef.  When asked about the garnishing, chef said “Garnishing depends on our imagination. Be it palak or cheese or green olives, you can use any edible elements suiting our taste buds.”

Chicken nugget is another usual dish prepared by chef Rohit in an unusual way. This dish is prepared with less oil making it healthy with barbeque sauce to make it juicy. Chicken could be replaced with paneer, vegetables and mushrooms.

Risotto is another dish prepared with Arborio rice, Parmesan cheese, peas, chopped onions, etc., which triggers our taste buds due to the presence of white alcohol which gives you the original taste.  “This is the fifth time Cooking Fiesta I am attending and my interest levels keep increasing every year. I am looking forward to know about more dishes this year also” says Jyotsana.


‘Idhaya Geethangal’, a musical event in the aid of Sri Sankara heart Foundation (a trust which helps to conduct surgeries for patients afflicted with heart illness), will be starring the two evergreen singers Padma Bhushan Dr S.P. Balasubramanyam and Padma Shree Dr. K.S. Chithra. There have been many occasions for which these eminent singers have performed. But, this is for a valuable cause they will join hands to entertain the audience giving them the option to select their favorite songs to be sung. Lakshman Sruthi will render the orchestration. This fund raiser will help the foundation to reach more needy people with serious heart ailment and for their medical aid. The Foundation provides treatment to people who are afflicted with serious heart and other ailments. It has been conducting awareness programmes and medical camps in rural areas. “Anytime any help, we are present. I am happy about being a part for this valuable cause” said singer Chithra. Support the cause along with blending your souls with the music.

@ Nehru Indoor Stadium, on June 30 at 6 pm

Tickets available at landmark (all branches), Naidu Hall (all branches), Lashman Sruthi (Vadapalani), m6 (West CIT Nagar, Near Nandi Statue). For corporate and bulk bookings contact 9841907711, 9841907744, 9941922322 or mail to info@msix.co.in. For online booking log on to www.msix.co.in , www.lakshmansruthi.com, www.ticketnew.com, www.bookmyshow.com, www.undianstage.in.


New Language of Colors

Painting is the mode of creative expressions. When passion and dedication goes into it, it becomes marvelous like the works of C.Rajarajan, who has exhibited his works in our city. The comfortable mediums for this artist are water color, oil, acrylic, pastels, pencil, charcoal, color pencils on various types of papers, canvas etc. “I paint what ever I observe. I don’t restrict myself to any theme. The main source of inspiration and motivation has always been Artist A.Z. Ranjith”, says Rajarajan. He has also showed off his other talents in his Ad films such as Tamil Valarppom, Littering and Child sexual abuse. “My journey started in my 10th grade of schooling, when I won the Painting competition in Madurai district which motivated me to put up the first exhibition in 2009” he adds.  With continuous hard work and creativity, he continues his artistic journey.

Check his exhibition cum sale till June 30, at ‘La Galerie D’Expression, Hotel Ambassador Pallava, Egmore. For details call: 9840614061

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Brace yourselves

GYM GYAN There are many germs that can attack your skin while you exercise. Tips to ward off the germ attack. HARINEE RAVIMARAN 

While you are trying to lose those extra calories by going to the gym, you may be actually exposing yourself to a range of dermatological risks. Dermatologist Dr. Gomathy, talks about about the gym germs and ways to tackle them

Fungal foot
The most common disease lurking in the gym is the Athlete’s foot, a fungal skin infection. The main cause behind it is excessive sweat in the body pores. Symptoms include cracked or blistered skin along with burning or itching sensation. Solution: wear clean and dry socks and shoes. Never walk barefoot in the gym.

Miliria or sweat rash is another common problem. Often visible in the skin folds, its symptoms are an intense prickling sensation and itching. Solution: Have a cold shower after a workout to cool down. If you know you’re suffering from miliria, avoid taking a steam or sauna as it will cause more sweating.

Wrestle the jock itch
‘Jock itch’ is a fungal infection that usually occurs in women who sweat a lot or wear tight synthetic clothes. It mainly occurs due to friction of the thighs. Solution: keep the affected area clean and dry. Use a separate, clean towel for that area and apply anti-fungal cream.

Protein shakes
Most trainers suggest protein shakes. But if you indulge in substandard ones, they may contain steroids or medication that cause acne-like lesions on the chest and face. Solution: Consult a dietician or a doctor before taking these protein powders and shakes.

Bandage those blisters

Weightlifting or running on the treadmill can often cause blisters on the palms and feet. Solution: Apply petroleum jelly on the blister and keep it bandaged. Wear gloves or moisture-wicking socks to avoid blisters.

Dos and don’ts
  • Wipe gym equipment before use. Some gyms provide disinfectant spray but, if you’re really particular, carry your own. Always cover the seat of your bench with a towel before using it. This reduces the chance of infection.
  • Use a clean workout towel to wipe off the sweat. Never share your towel; it’s the easiest way to catch infection.
  • Breathe correctly while exercising. It is important to breathe through the nose when working out as it is more effective in trapping airborne germs than the mouth.
  • Before joining, question the management about hygiene standards. And once your checklist is all ticked, get on with those fitness routines. Consult a dietician or a doctor before taking these protein powders.


This is my lifestyle article on Gym germs attack. It was published in Nxg, a supplement of THE HINDU newspaper. Hope it is useful for my blog readers too