Lalbagh Fort

Lalbagh Fort (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh.It is the largest city in Bangladesh.It gained recognition in the tenth century.It was the Mughal capital from1608 to 1704.It came under British rule in 1765.The romanized spelling of the Bengali name was changed from,Dacca to Dhaka.

I went to Dhaka from Comilla,a small town in Bangladesh,to study.I loved the city,it was very unique for me.The restaurants,the parks,entertainment centers were all in Dhaka.Although I have lived in larger cities,such as New Delhi,Rawalpindi  Lahore ,London,England.There was something different about Dhaka city.I was able to mingle with the crowd,there was warmth and understanding among the people.

I want to take you on a tour of my favourite city.Our trip will begin with Lalbagh fort in old Dhaka.It is an imposing but incomplete Mughal fort.The construction of the fort started in 1678 by Prince Azam, emperor Auragzeb’s third son.The construction of the fort was later taken up by his son Shaista Khan.According to legend,the building of the fort was suspended due to the death of his favourite daughter.

The next point of interest is Chowk Bazaar.It is located in the old city as well.Perhaps it will be more interesting if you walk,you will find yourself walking through a maze of tightly twisting roads and it will give you the feeling as if you are living and breathing in 19th century Dhaka.

Next interesting building is newly renovated Ahsan Manzil or the Nawab Palace.It was built in 1872 and was named after,Nawab Ahsanullah Bahadur.

The Armenian church built in 1791 is a must see building.

Baldah Gardens in Wari is a Botanical Garden,the beautiful,flowers and other plants,will make you spend a substantial amount of time,especially if you are a botanist.

The city is called a city of mosques,the star mosque,is one of the striking mosques in the city.You will also find the Mughal mosque and the seven domed mosque.

The next important building is the Curzon hall.It was built during the British Rule.The building is taken over by Dhaka university.

There are other interesting buildings for a tourist to see.I will name them and try to provide some  pictures.

Our Cat JD

She was a beautiful cat.We got her when she was a little kitten.I was so fond of her,I would try to touch her,even when she was taking a cat nap.

One day she was angry with me,she tried to scratch me,but I moved away quickly.From that day onward,she found herself a place where I could not disturb her while she was napping.

Then the day came when she had to be spayed.We took her to the vet.,who told us she would call us when JD is ready to be picked up.We brought her home and the vet told me not to let her go up the stairs to avoid hurting herself.I took JD and put her in a room in the basement.I closed the door so she would not be able to come up.

Later that day my husband asked me about the cat,I told him she was in the basement.He was not very happy about it.I told him the vet told me not to let the cat go upstairs until the incision healed.He told me he will have a look ,as soon as the cat saw my husband,she let out a loud cry.My husband picked her up and let JD lie on his lap.He was already disliking the idea of keeping her in the basement.He started to talk to her,he said no one is allowed to keep you here.He took her in his arms and brought her upstairs.From that day JD became his cat.She would sit near the window and wait for him.As soon as she saw the car,she would run down and wait for us.

She was a very smart cat,she would always try to protect my husband and his things.One day a friend of ours came for a visit.It was prayer time,he asked us to get a prayer rug for him to pray.when the friend lay the rug on the floor to pray JD went right in front of him and started meowing.The  friend was annoyed and wanted us to move the cat but she wouldn’t budge.He was irritated and decided to go to another room to pray.

We were enjoying the presence of JD .She I presume liked us too.She liked my husband more.It was the month of Ramadhan,I was not going to fast that day,My husband told me to stay in bed,he said he was only going to have some cereal and tea,which he could fix himself.Suddenly he felt light headed.He bent his head and to his surprise he felt something on his forehead.He looked up it was JD,she put her paw on his forehead,the cat knew,he was not well.

We loved her so much we didn’t believe she would leave us one day.The terrible day came,JD had cancer,we did everything we could but she died.

My husband and I went to the department store and bought a piece of cloth to wrap her.Selina’s friend and his Dad took an hour and a half to dig a grave for JD.Before burying her my husband read the Janaza prayer.We laid our JD to rest and came home.I still miss her,she was such a special cat.

The Sphere Of The Moon

This is an assignment given to us ,it is about ,”Self Development”.On the advice of my facilitator of the course,I have decided to include it on my blog.

Iqbal and Rumi were on their journey to the Moon.Curious as I am ,I decided to follow them.I was sure I would acquire some useful knowledge by following them.

Our first stop was a cave. Before we entered we noticed that everything was pitch dark.Iqbal thought in a place like this even the sun would not be able to brighten it.Regardless we entered the cave,there were a lot of trees there.We noticed the sage Vishvamitra was meditating under a tree.The place was very bright,there was no shadow .When we entered,the sage looked at Rumi inquiringly about Iqbal the poet.Of course I was not visible.Rumi promptly introduced Iqbal   as a poet and wanderer.

The sage asked the poet,’How does he prove the existence of God’?The poet immediately answered,”I don’t have to prove anything,He is everywhere”.

After a lengthy discussion the sage continued his meditation and suddenly the poet found that the bright light was slowly fading away.Iqbal realized then that the light he saw was coming from the sage’s inner self.Since he was no longer present in the worldly discussion,the light went back to his inner self.

Rumi and Iqbal and the invisible me continued our journey.Our stop this time was the ‘Music of Sarosh’,here we saw a beautiful figure,she was delicate and looked like the star of the night.The poet saw the light  coming from her brightened the mountains and the fields.Iqbal asked Rumi what was the secret of this Light.Rumi explained that this figure is created in God’s mind.”She  is also a wanderer like us”.

She has come to help the poets  to write poetry that would encourage human beings to be optimistic towards life and all that it brings with it.For example the love of God,to lead a decent life and to have unity among themselves. he went on to say,”that a poet’s nature is like a heart,without it the body of a nation is a mass of dust”.

Our next journey took us to the valley of the prophets.The Angels called it the valley of Tawaseen.This is where the Taseens or the secret codes were inscribed.

We stopped at the valley of Buddha,here he was holding out his teachings. It said,o people nothing is everlasting one should not give oneself  to unseen dreams.His teaching clearly stated that man should be unattached to the beauty of the world.Instead they should devote their time towards beauty of character and good thoughts.

Our journey took us to the valley of Zarathustra.Here the evil spirit Ahriman told Zarathustra not to share his knowledge with the masses.She told him  he would be disappointed like Noah.Besides there were many obstacles he would have to undergo to preach his knowledge to the masses.Zarathustra explained the light of God was the sea and he was the greatest storm born in its bosom.He was therefore determined to share his vision with the masses.

Then we reached the valley of Jesus Christ.Here the Taseen contained the dream of Tolstoy,the nineteenth century reformer of Russia.Tolstoy was troubled with some of the things that happened in the name of Christianity.He saw an unlucky man caught up to the waist in the stream of Mercury.He was desperately crying for help.Instead of helping, Afrangine  taunted him for betraying Jesus to the Romans and this was his punishment.Despite his pain the man yelled out that his sin was not as great as hers for, she had tempted the people to forget God and spend their time in worldly life.

Our fourth Taseen belonged to Muhammad(Peace be upon him)It contained the laments of Abu Jahl,the idol worshipper.He was pleading with the gods of his fathers not to leave him.He complained Muhammad (peace be upon him) has started a new religion ,he told the youth to pray to one God.Muhammad also told the youth everyone is equal there is no distinction between race,rich or poor.In the eyes of God everyone is equal.Jahl asked the idol gods to   break the spell of Gabriel! He didn’t want  the gods to leave him but to stay in his heart.

I have learned a lot while doing this assignment.The words of wisdom by Vishvamitra, the Prophets:Buddha,Zarathustra,Jesus and Muhammad are invaluable for self-development.

weekly photo challenge : inside

When I looked at the picture of your cat ,it reminded me of my cat Thursday.She was named by my daughter.She was a very sweet cat.whenever she did something I didn’t approve,she would look at me and
say meeow! i.;e I did something bad.She died a few years ago.I miss her very much.

Time To Be Inspired

Since I haven’t posted my son’s cat lately, this seemed like the perfect challenge. If you’ve looked at my blog before, you’ll know that Kush the cat LOVES to get into things. Here she is inside a suitcase (helping me pack) and inside a stack of bowls which I foolishly left sitting empty on the table. Obviously that was a perfect nap spot.

luggage cat

cat in a bowlThen I thought I’d share a lovely big tree that was growing right in the middle of a restaurant. The base was so big that at first I didn’t even realize that it was a live tree trunk. But as you can see from the last photo, that tree is growing inside the restaurant. Really.

live tree trunk

restaurant exterior showing treeThis is El Paragua Restaurant in Espanola, New Mexico. The restaurant is historic with a reputation for good New Mexican cuisine. Personally I think they are coasting on their reputation (note the dates…

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Gulab Jamun: Step by Step


1 1/4 cup full cream milk powder

The gulab jamun will plump up as syrup is absorbed. Delicious warm or cold. My daughter prefers them warm. Store in refrigerator.

1/2 cup self raising flour

3/4 teaspoon soda

125 gram packet cream cheese

1/3 cup milk

375 gram ghee

oil for deep frying


4 cups water

2 cups sugar


1.Combine milk powder,sifted flour and soda in a medium bowl, rub in cream cheese until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.

2.using hand, knead mixture in the bowl, gradually adding enough liquid milk until the mixture holds its own shape and is slightly sticky to touch.

3.moisten hand with extra milk, roll level tablespoons of mixture in twenty-two sausage shapes.

4.Melt ghee with enough oil to make depth of 5cm in medium saucepan 8 puffs at a time for about 5 minutes or until golden brown or cooked through stirring occasionally;drain on absorbent paper. Prick puffs well with a toothpick. Place into syrup cover refrigerate. Do not microwave or freeze this dessert.


Combine water and sugar in a large saucepan,stir over heat,without boiling until sugar is dissolved,bring to boil,make sure the syrup doesn’t change colour.boil uncovered for 5 minutes.Pour into a bowl.Cool syrup slightly.Put the puffs gently in the bowl.Wait till the syrup and the puffs are at room temperature.Cover and refrigerate.

Measuring out the self-rising flour.

Dry ingredients ready to be combined.

Rub the cream cheese into the dry ingredients.

Incorporate the milk into cream cheese/flour/skim milk powder mixture.

Roll into a sausage shape

Ready for frying!

Add canola oil and let it heat up.

Turn them over with a wooden spoon so that they brown evenly.

When the gulab jamun are a deep golden brown, remove from fryer and transfer to a glass bowl.

At this point, the gulab jamun are almost like oblong donut holes (or Timbits as they are popularly known here in Canada)

Poke each gulab jamun with a toothpick. This will allow the syrup to be absorbed more easily.

Make the syrup. Begin by adding water to a saucepan.

Now add the sugar.

Stir the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves.

Pour the syrup over the gulab jamun

Allow the gulab jamun to stand at room temperature while the syrup is absorbed.

The gulab jamun will plump up as syrup is absorbed. Delicious warm or cold. My daughter prefers them warm. Store in refrigerator.

Keema Paratha

I taught my daughter how to make keema paratha…this was the end result.

My daughter’s first attempt at making keema paratha.

Recipe for keema paratha

Ingredients for the paratha

whole wheat or all purpose flour-2 cups

butter-2 tablespoons

salt – 1/4-teaspoon



mix the butter and the flour in a bowl.Make sure the mixture resembles course crumbs.Add make the dough start adding cold water little at a time,see if you can gather into a ball.if it is too dry add water a tablespoon at a time.when the ball sticks together and is not powdery,it is time to knead the ball.use the palm of your hand and continue kneading until it is smooth and satiny.the ball should not be sticky.When you feel it is soft and smooth.your dough is ready.leave it covered for an hour.After an hour ,divide your dough into 10 small balls .pick the balls one at a time and with the palms of your hands roll the ball into a small even ball.Get your rolling pin and the board,press the ball with you fingers,use your rolling pin and flatten it out.The dough should look like a small plate

put it aside and do the same with the rest of step is the filling.

Ingredients for filling

1.ground beef–1 pound

2. onion–1 small

3.garlic–2 small cloves

4.–ginger–1/2 an inch

5.cayenne pepper– 1/2 teaspoon or less depending on how you can manage

6.curry powder–1 teaspoon

7. coriander powder–1/2 teaspoon

8.cinnamon powder –1/8 teaspoon

9. salt–1/4 teaspoon

10.vegetable oil—-3 tablespoon


Heat the oil in a saucepan,add sliced onion,let it cook until the onion is transparent.Add all the spices including the salt,fry for a minute.the ginger and garlic should be put in the  blender to make it into a paste,don’t forget to slice them into small pieces before putting them into the blender.these two ingredients should be fried with the onion slices.the next step ,add the ground beef stir it properly,cook it until there is no trace of pink.Cover and wait for atleast 7 to 8 minutes.Cool.

We are now ready to make the paratha.Get your saucer shaped dough,place one on the board,take one and half tablespoon of ground beef.put it evenly on the saucer shaped dough,cover it with the other dough.The size should be the same.Press the edges of the filled shaped dough with your finger.hold one part of the edge and try to fold it,this will seal it .Keep holding and folding until the whole circle is complete.

Use a fry pan to fry your paratha,you can use butter or vegetable oil for frying.Use about two tablespoon at a time to fry each paratha.When they are golden brown,it is time to fry the next one,fry on both sides.You should have five parathas.You can eat them with chutney or plain.Depends on how spicy you want.

Don’t get discouraged when you read the recipe,it is very simple,the only part that can be tricky would be rolling the dough into a round circle,it will come with practice.

Good luck and have fun making this delicious paratha.You might want to get your daughter or son to help out,if you haven’t reached that stage yet a friend will do.