The Journal

Explorations, expeditions and experiences


Poems and Articles

Kanishk turns ONE

In my thoughts, you were always there.

In my dreams, I have hugged you with care.

In May last year,

on the bright Morning of fifth,

you were born, my dear,

bringing my life’s most precious gift.

Your father shed tears of joy,

hearing your first cry, my little boy.

His happiness knew no bounds,

your first sight was so profound!

Your grandparents were ecstatic,

seeing your twinkling eyes full of magic.

They were all enthusiastic,

to welcome their grandson, Kanishk.

As I held you in my arms, my Son,

I knew, a new journey had begun.

I felt so strong like never before.

Becoming your mother, I am so much more!

Today, as you turn ONE, my Son,

I wish you a life of laughter, joy and fun.

Grow up fearless. Be bold.

Be kind, with a heart of gold.

Be brave, to let your dreams unfold.

Make new stories that haven’t been told.

I will be there, as you prepare.

I’ll cheer loud, as you fly and fare.

My Appu, you have answered many prayers.

I will always love you. I will always care.

Pooja Shivanand

appe midi Ankola

This write-up narrates the memory of summer holidays I enjoyed in my maternal grandparents home in Ankola, typified by appe midi back in the 1990s

Introduction to Appe midi

Known in the Kannada language, these are tender unripened mangoes. A variety of wild mangoes found in the Western Ghats (malnad) and Coastal (karavali) Karnataka, predominately in the Uttara Kannada district. They grow in places of heavy rainfall mainly on river banks. They come in an array of different aromas, taste, size and shelf life. Pickle industries have added a commercial value to the commodity. Pickles made from this variety offer a heavenly delight, mostly enjoyed with rice meals. This genetic variety is recently dwindling. There is a need to create an awareness to conserve this unique mango variety and develop sustainable methods for their cultivation and harvest.

Continue reading “appe midi Ankola”



Ambuyat  – The delicacy of Brunei.

Ambuyat is the traditionally indigenous, calorie-rich carbohydrate staple of sago starch. This gluey-starchy dish is made from sago powder (ambulung) which is extracted from the pith of Sago Palm (Metroxylon sagu). As part of the Global Discovery Programme by Dr. Yabit Alas in Universiti Brunei Darussalam, I had the opportunity to visit the Ukong Sago Factory in Tutong District managed by Mr. Yong Ming Leong. The bark of the sago tree is debarked using an iron rod. These pieces are grated by a machine. The mixture is washed with water in pulping process to separate the starch from the fiber. This water is then collected into a tank where starch settles down at the bottom over a period of 24-48 h. Starch sediments are dried into powder form . This powder is called ‘Ambulung’ which is packaged and sold in the Market. Ambulung is cooked by continuous stirring into a homogeneous mixture in hot water until it becomes glutinous. This translucent glutinous substance is edible and locally called ‘Ambuyat’ and is a local delicacy.


Haikus from my coffee-table


Hot coffee, chocolate cake. Fresh haikus I bake. – PS

The guitar strings playing music, remind me of my mother. Not too tight, not too loose. – PS

Shore embraces sea, sea cleanses shore. Separate and connect. – PS

Raw mangoes on the tree. Rain droplets on my cheeks. I smell home. – PS

Strong and quiet, the tree gives me shelter. Dad seldom speaks. – PS

Tranquil night, I face the moon. My shadow falls behind. – PS

Oxygen enters me, carbon dioxide comes out. I am worth it. – PS


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