Celebrating Spring with Colors

If you've been reading my blog for a while then you probably know that Holi is not one of my favorite festivals. While I never cared much for celebrating with color and the liberal dousing with water as part of the Rangapanchami or Dhulivandan celebrations, I did enjoy the real Holi a great deal.

Apart from puran poli, masala milk or thandai is a milky treat that is always served on Holi.

I have never attempted making puran poli and when my friend from grad school asked me if I had a recipe for thandai, it occurred to me that I hadn't made that either. My excuse for not making puran poli is that it is daunting, especially the way my mother used to make it. Helping was always easier. As for thandai or masala milk? Well, we are all lactose intolerant. But that also meant that Medha has never had thandai and I felt the need to fix that.

Happy Holi!

Sunday Snapshots: Cham Towers, Vietnam

I'm very sure that Bay, our driver and guide when we were in Vietnam last Thanksgiving, thought we were curious people. We were not interested in the regular tourist spots and I made him pull over at all kinds of nondescript locations. Like these neglected Cham Towers, for example, that suddenly showed up on the side of the highway when we were on our way to Nha Trang from Phan Rang. He couldn't understand why I wanted to stop here when we were headed to the better-known and better-maintained Po Nagar Towers in Nha Trang. Well, that's just it! I wanted to stop because it was deserted.

At least, I thought it was deserted until I saw a young man walking through the grounds, overgrown with weeds, hand-in-hand with a beautiful girl. I almost believed they were an apparition because, after all, these were ruins from the Cham Dynasty, a Hindu people that once ruled southern and central parts of Vietnam from the 7th century to early 1800s.

Cham Tower
Cham Tower