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My entry for the weekly photo challenge: Elemental

ashus photography-Al Qudra Lake
ashus photography-Al Qudra Lake

ashu 🙂


This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is Admiration.

For this WPC I have selected two photographs that were clicked by me outside a temple in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

These old grandmas (I prefer to call them this)with their eyes speaking volumes of the long life journey they have covered were earning a livelihood, selling the flower garlands that they made with their hands. I have great regard and admire these noble souls who are the continuous source of inspiration for us young adults.

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These old women were selling flowers outside the temple, both sitting next to each other and who could talk only in Tamil, which unfortunately I do not speak nor understand. But it is true, one does not always need to know the language to converse. These loving grandmas were so warm and friendly and were so elated when I was asking them if I could click a picture of theirs. They instantly agreed, smiled and laughed with childlike innocence, and gave me the moments that I so fondly cherish today.

Meeting them I remembered my better-half’s late maternal grandmother whom I admired and have always looked upon with great respect. She was a very strong personality, a young widow who lived alone and took care of her rice fields, and made a living for herself independently. I have some great memories of the time I spent in her company.

To view other entries in this photo challenge, click here.




Christmas special Dry Fruit Cake


Today being Christmas,  I decided to bake a cake using dry fruits and a cup of red wine.


1 Bowl each of raisins, apricots, fig, dates, mixed peels, and sultanas

½ bowl of Almonds, ½ bowl of Walnuts.

1 cup of Red wine.

25 gm butter/2 tbsp castor sugar (use fine sugar)

225 gm Unsalted butter

225 sugar: firmly packed Dark brown Muscovado sugar

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1-2 tsp spice ( I used nutmeg/cinnamon/clove/pepper/cardamom )

250 gm All purpose flour (Maida)

5 eggs.


  1. Chop and combine all the raisins, sultanas, dates, figs, apricots, and mixed fruit in a bowl.
  2. Place the castor sugar in a thick sauce-pan over slow heat until sugar melts, add 25 gm butter and 1 cup of wine . Stir it.
  3. Add the 225 gm butter, the brown sugar, and the mixed fruits, and stir so all gets mixed, bring to boil and remove from heat.
  4. Transfer this into large bowl, stir in the bicarbonate of soda and cover the bowl to let it stand overnight at room temp. (pic#5 show how it looks)
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 150 °C (fan assisted). Grease and line the cake tin with parchment.( I used 2 cake tins, different shapes)
  6. Beat eggs in a bowl, add the spice to it and then mix it with the fruit mixture. Add the nuts. Fold in the all-purpose flour into the mixture.(pic#6 shows the batter after adding the eggs)
  7. Pour the batter into the lined cake tin and bake for 1 hour and 30 mins.
  8. Cool the cake on wire rack.

Fruit juices can also be used as an option instead of wine. The Muscovado sugar imparts a nice color and flavor to the cake, hence I used it for this cake. I had fun baking it, go ahead and try it out.IMG_4528