All posts by Ancy Abraham

Worked as Magazine and Educational Books Editor, Developed industrial websites, brochures and profiles. Writes about lifestyle topics related to health, food, shopping, etc. Presently writing for Many other life-changing projects are in the pipeline, keep reading, Enjoy!

10 birds in delhi spotted in parks

birds in delhi
Birds in delhi is hard to spot. A friends said she spotted a crow in her balcony after a decade, her children never watched birds in delhi while growing up. The growing number of building in the city has deprived the children of experiencing the beauty of nature while they are growing up. Read how the saptaparni tree  perfumes the air during autumn in Delhi.
Compared to other cities, Delhi has a  better green cover; by putting in a little effort you can help your child watch a number of birds in delhi . While visiting the park you will be easily distracted by the activities and the noise of the people, therefore some level of concentration is needed to spot birds in delhi.
Unlike in olden days when there were more birds than leaves on banyan trees, now you can easily count the birds and there are even fewer banyan trees. While walking through the park you will come across different types of birds in delhi that are either residents of the park, migratory birds or visitors. Some of the birds in delhi that can be spotted in the park are as follows:
  1. House sparrow: Many articles have been written about the sad disappearance of this friend of children of yesteryear’s childhood days. They used to come home to peck at the grains and mothers showed them to pacify crying children. Now those kids, in their 30’s and 40’s, are running campaigns to save the remaining birds in delhi. There are house sparrows in a large number in a housing colony where a few trees are planted together in a yard. Some bird lovers provide bird food and water.
  2. Myna: Kids in olden days used to predict coming events depending on the number of myna that they spot. 1 means sadness, 2 mean happiness, 3 means someone is sending letter, and so on. There are a lot of mynas in the park and their future seem to be secure in the city.
  3. Parrot: They can be spotted mostly when the guavas are ripe. They will have all the guavas in bungalows  and then enjoy the cool air by perching on the trees in the park.
  4. Peacock: Peacocks are mostly found in agricultural fields; sometimes they visit the cities and sit on trees in the park. If  you are lucky you can witness the beautiful ‘peacock moment’ – peacock spreading it’s vibrant wings.
  5. Flower-pecker: She is a frequent visitor to houses with garden, which is smaller than a sparrow and can sit comfortably on a tulsi branch. It’s eggs are as small as lizards eggs and the babies are so small that when four of its babies perch together on a tender tulsi branch, you will mistake it for a big caterpillar. She eats all the bittergourds in the kitchen gardens.
  6. Crow: One of the birds in delhi that was so common in the olden days, now two or three can be spotted in the park.
  7. Pigeon: Known as the ‘lice of the city’, they can survive in any situation. They took the place of crow, and other birds in delhi, and literally make a mess of home and public place with their nests and droppings.
  8. Baya Weaver: The most photogenic variety of birds in delhi; they are colourful, elegant and their  perfectly woven nest are tempting enough to be taken home as a show piece. You can spot their nest on the top branches of huge trees in the park.
  9. White Eared Bulbul: These birds are flycatchers and so their numbers are increasing. they are second in position, among birds in delhi, after the pigeons.
  10. Pied Cuckoo: This migratory bird can hardly be spotted, however their beautiful songs after rain, brings back nostalgia of one”s native place.

Ancy Abraham

Delhi diwali…..The Day after

Delhi diwali

Delhi diwali is the time for celebration, shopping and socializing.  Diwali is also known for the noise of firecrackers. Loud fireworks indicate the fervor of the season. According to Newspaper reports this year’s pollution was less; but noise was more on Diwali. I beg to differ on the analysis. In the area that I stay this years Delhi diwali was a noiseless affair compared to the loud fireworks of previous years. Read this post to find how to gain resistance from pollution in Delhi.

The decibel of the sound of firework may differ from place to place. Our residential area consist of Bungalows with few occupants so the Diwali firework is a low key affair. As the smoke and noise did not penetrate into the house, like other Delhi diwali’s, yesterday’s night was as peaceful as any other night.

Today I went a little late to the park, because days break late as winter has set in; and the park, I thought, would be empty after late night Diwali celebration. To my surprise there were people of all age groups in the park and the green juice vendors were busily serving customers. There were some family with children playing on the swings and see-saws.

Walking through the park was a precious experience today, as there were few walkers which meant more space to walk leisurely through the park. To accompany the serenity that prevailed in the park , there was the chirping of birds that still survive in the concrete jungle. I counted alteast five varieties of birds – house sparrow, house crow, pigeon, myna and kite. Usually the birds cannot be spotted in the crowd of walkers and their beautiful songs are diluted in the cities noise. A mongoose fearlessly crossed the paths and squirrels were seen in large number busily nibbling some food.

Even at 9:00 in the morning the day was still young and the sun was slow to make an entry. Today the walk was really perfect as I had no fear of bumping others while walking fast; the calm in the park refreshed the mind. The day after a Delhi diwali was a gift to the walkers!

Ancy Abraham

Saptaparni tree – Sweet Smell; Sweetens Season

The volume of green canopy, covering a large area of land, makes the district park different from the parks in the residential area. The hue and scent of the park changes with the the changing season. In summer the neem trees are bright and full of life. In rainy season the park become greener as the dust from the foliage is washed away by the rain and the grass grows taller. Now the autumn is here and the trees circulate the cool breeze with a tinge of perfume of their flowers. 

I associate the autumn season in Delhi with the ‘Saptaparni’ tree (Alstonia scholaris) also called White Cheesewood, Milkwood Pine, Blackboard Tree and Devil’s Tree. Residential areas have blackboard tree lined on either side of the road. While passing through the roads in the evenings, the cool breeze scented with the strong, sweet smell of the blackboard flowers, soothes the mind. The beautiful smell is a pleasant companion for the festive fervor that is associated with October/November months. 

According to records, the saptaparni was brought from the Himalayas and planted in residential areas in Delhi in the 1940’s. A tree that grows more than 30m in the himalayan forest has a stunted growth in Delhi. 

In some places the saptaparni tree is also known as devil’s tree. There is a superstition that  witches reside on the tree; and the enticing smell is used by the witch to woo passerby’s, so that she can drink their blood.

For me the saptaparni is a natural air freshener that sweetens the atmosphere in the bright and colourful festive season of Diwali and Dusshera. The saptaparni also heralds the coming of the winter season, which is the most favourite season of the year for the delhiites. 

Saturated fat is good for health, claims a new study

Today there was a happy news for all the fatty-food loving people – Someone found out that saturated fat is not harmful for health. So those who advocated against saturated fat in meat,eggs, junk food and hydrogenated oil have to take a pause…

Experts till now said that saturated fat was the cause of heart  diseases, so consumers were advised to read the label on the foods pack before buying. In order to avoid saturated fat many companies promote low or zero fat milk, curd and other daily products.  In all the food tests, the harm of the presence of saturated fat in the food is discussed at length. During comparative food testing of food products in the market, the brand that has the lowest amount of saturated fat are crowned as the healthiest among all the brands. So whom should we believe the old school of thought; or the new discovery! Read about 12 seasonal fruits in Delhi that keeps away diseases.
According to the study saturated fat causes coronary diseases, however the latest studies show that ““low fat” diet showed the greatest decrease in energy expenditure an unhealthy lipid pattern and increased insulin resistance compared with a low carbohydrate and low glycaemic index diet.” 
The new study has raised a number of question:
  • Are the saturated fat only in uncooked foods, like eggs, milk and butter, are good for health.
  • Are the hydrogenated oil – high is saturated fat –  harmless.
  • Can we label as healthy, the food cooked in hydrogenated oils like bread, crackers, cereal, macaroni & cheese, frozen pizza, donuts, and cookies.
The new finding is based is the the first of its kind, and more research is needed to make a thorough conclusion. 
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Lunch box home delivery system

Lunch box home delivery
The ever growing number of kid’s consumer goods, is a matter of concern among parents. Parents are torn between traditional values and peer pressure. As if all the splashy garments and gadgets were not enough, a new industry – the school lunch box home delivery shops –  has entered the kids market segment. Read in this post about the nukkad natak (street play) by consumers about junk food.
The pioneering entrepreneur, of the lunch box home delivery industry, is a woman who wants to help working parents provide kids with healthy lunchbox for school. Place an order in the morning and the lunchbox will be delivered at the door-steps before the kid leaves for school. The menu is healthy; as the entrepreneur, herself a mother, ensures that she caters wholesome and nutritious food for the young customers. Lunch box home delivery is a good substitute for homemade food, once in a while; however substituting homemade lunch boxes entirely with home delivered lunchboxes will be a bad idea. Not only will the children be denied the intake of right amount of nutrition, they will also develop dislike for traditional, staple food. Lunch box home delivery industry is hereto stay. The growing number of time-starved working parents is only increasing the potentiality of the thriving industry, so as to feed the healthy food starved children.
Lunch box home delivery business is its salad days, and it’s growth has to be watched carefully. Since the health of children are at stake there are many challenges that this industry will have to tackle so as to gain the approval of parents and children. Here is a guideline for lunch box home delivery companies to follow so that they earn the patronage of both parents and children:
  1. The lunchbox should taste good when children have the food at lunch breaks.
  2. The food packed should be high in nutritious content
  3. The food should taste like home made food which mama cooks.
  4. Specialize in some recipes that are tasty and nutritious. Too much of variety in menu will help to gather curious customers, however you can only be retained by highlighting your specialty.
  5. Prepare the common dishes of that place. If in chennai prepare more of idli, sambar; and upma. Lunchbox preparing companies should understand that they are appointed to provide the kids with food that contains enough nutrients for the growing period. There is no need of exotic dishes!
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5 Quick lunch box recipe for kid’s

 lunch box recipe
Preparing the lunchbox for children is a challenge for parents. The lunch box recipe usually is bread and jam or cooked instant noodles. The lunch box recipe makes no one happy. Neither the children are happy with the  cold snack, nor the parents are happy with the nutritious value of the food packed in the lunch box. If the children are inculcated with the habit of eating home-made food, they never give up that habit. With some quick trick, and 20 minutes to spare, parents can prepare healthy and homely lunch box recipe for kids. Here are a few lunch box recipes, that will bring smile on the face of parent and children. To know more about lunchbox home delivery system read this post.
  1. Potato tricks: A lunch box recipe that every child will to pack to school. Boil potato overnight; and in the morning add some spices to make it tastier. Use the potato base as stuffing for roti and sandwich. Add some tomato sauce, kids will love the combination.
  2. Cottage cheese magic: A lunch box recipe with lot of calcium. Crumble the cottage cheese and add spices as per choice. You can also add chopped tomatoes, onion and capsicum. Use the base as stuffing for sandwich and paneer parantha. Or else, cut the paneer into 1”inch cubes; cook the paneer using paneer butter masala. Instant butter panner mix requires less cooking time.
  3. Egg unlimited: Kids love eggs; and its easy to prepare, tasty and nutritious egg snacks. Sandwich or roti rolls can be made by stuffing boiled and crumbled egg; scrambled egg or omelet. Whip an egg and pour it over the roti in the pan, flip the roti over two or three times, until the egg is cooked well – Egg Parantha is ready!
  4. Minced Chicken: Any dish with a hint of chicken in it, is inviting. Minced chicken can be converted into limitless number of dishes. On a busy morning you can go for a minced chicken stuffed sandwich or roti. Or, if time permits, refrigerate, boiled and drained, noodles overnight; in the morning mix it with shallow fried minced chicken and other ingredient to make chicken chow mein.
  5. Vegetables Cutlets: A play-way method lunch box recipe that will inculcate the habit of eating vegetables. At leisure prepare and refrigerate ready-to-fry vegetable cutlets. In the morning fry the cutlets and place it between bread slice along with cucumber and tomato slices. The vegetables can be sliced  and kept before itself.
The entire cooking process will take only 15 to 20 minutes. The cooking process is made simple if the dough for roti is prepared and stored overnight.To cook faster utilize all kinds of kitchen gadgets.
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