We were on the bed, laying in our usual position, heads further away but legs tangled into each others. It was something that bothered him at first - my inability to sleep with my head dug into his arms. It is so theatrical, one can't really breathe comfortably that close, I can't breathe I would exclaim. He understood not just the need for physical space, but the space I needed to learn and grow, to fail and concur, to find my individuality as a tender and seemingly unsure twenty year old.
It's that time of the year again. Most of my stories, food or otherwise revolve around our vacation time growing up that we spend in India, usually once a year. The hustle bustle, the vibrant colors, the chaotic traffic and the glorious glorious food were all part of the fun we talked about rest of the year.
Since Tasnim was born this is our first vacation to India and we are mighty excited. Now that she takes a bit of spicy food, we might finally introduce her to some spicier Rajasthani fare! If you don't follow me on Instagram where I post regularly - you might be able to catch glimpse of the fun and food. Meanwhile, here's a tantalising chicken recipe that is sure to be a family favourite.
A while back I photographed for Nutri Juice, which is a smoothie and juice parlour that makes smoothies on order with all natural ingredients and no sugar or additives! I didn't really think I was into smoothies until I worked for them. May be it was because I was adding way too many things in name of nutrient into my jar and/or adding the wrong ingredients. What I learned was, keeping it simple was the way to go for a smoothie.
My grandfather sat on his jute weaved bed under a mango tree, an ice bucket full of mangoes underneath, a sharp rectangular knife in his hand. It was as if he waited for someone to arrive so he could serve them mangoes, from the tree that he sowed when no one lived in the town and the very first bricks of his house where being laid.
I remember him running his knife through the mango's skin so neatly, there wasn't even a a mistakable bit of flesh left on it. He never let anyone stop at one, there would be seconds, thirds and fourth. When one would eat no longer, he would propose them to try another variety of mango that he had planted a few years ago.
As we played around his garden, he would call and give us a thick chewy slice of a mango fruit leather as our 'candy'. As the lunch time rolled, grandmother would get our thali (food plate) to the bed - a simple meal of stir fried okra, roti and aam ras (sweetened mango pulp with a dash of milk or water). And despite our over dose of mangoes, we ate most of the roti in the aamras. Almost through his lunch, nanaji as we fondly called him would call out to grandma to get some aam ka acchar (mango pickle) for the last few bites of his roti. The pickle that's made from the raw green mangoes he plucks himself when his beloved tree begins to fruit, he would say with pride.
A dark brown kernel that's collected from the inside of mango seeds, sun dried for weeks is then handed to us an aftermeal mouth freshener and digestion aid. A hard tasteless candy that you chewy into, but the cooling and refreshing effect is felt once you sip water after it.
I might have mentioned it before, my mother got married very young and had me when she was barely 18. It meant, I have remotest memories of her 20s but 30s is clear as yesterday.
I remember her favourite cobalt blue salwar kameez, the duppata falling perfectly on her slender shoulders,the chiffon sleeves loosely wrapped unto the elbow. Her skin, always complimented as porcelain like, was exactly that but I often marvelled at her rosy lips, one she would intensify with a rosy pink lipstick, the only colour she ever wore. Her gold kissed brown hair tied into a simple pony gave more reasons to focus on her face. A beautiful young woman, who only cooked good food, made sure we had a freshly made juices after school, evening snack before dinner and fruits as after dinner dessert.
Cocoa room hardly needs any introduction of course, but the fact that you get to photograph one of your favourite breakfast places in Kuwait, is a deal to be happy about! Since the last time we had our breakfast there, they have added quite a few new things on their menu like pictured above Turkish poached eggs on garlic yogurt drizzled with clarified butter, paprika and mint served with sourdough bread that totally makes me weak at the knees. Here are some of the shots from the shoot. Hope you enjoy them!