Author: lovelifeandbeyond

The 216 ft golden statue of Ramanujacharya against a light blue sky: the statue of equality in Hyderabad, India

Things to do in Hyderabad—Statue of Equality

Statue of Equality in Hyderabad is an impressive 216 feet statue is of Shri Ramanujacharya who was a 10th Century Hindu philosopher and social reformer. It is the second tallest sitting statue in the world.
The Statue of Equality complex from the outside looks radiant in the daylight. The golden statue towering above all else is awe-inspiring. The place resonates with positive vibrations with the chantings.
Find out more about things to do in Hyderabad this weekend.

A Summer Sojourn in the Hills of North India 

Summers in most Indian cities are scorching hot. We all wish we could escape to the colder climes of the hills, with beautiful views of snow-clad mountains to cool our souls. My parents decided to do just that this past summer. The advantage of being retired with no one to look after is that you can pack up and leave for a full month, and send enticing pictures to the rest of us sweating it out in the plains.
Instead of staying in one place for the whole time, they planned out a circuit of four towns to visit. They stayed for 10 days in each place starting in mid-May and returning home mid-June. They started with the highest point, which was Pangot, and moved down in altitude to Kasar Devi, Someshwar, and finally Corbett.
It was a good trip and many might want to replicate their experience. You could add or reduce the number of places and activities per your choice. Here’s an overview of their trip.

A Guide To Using Social Media Safely: A Parent’s Primer

Social media has taken over the world in every aspect of our lives. From businesses and social communities to our personal lives, it’s everywhere.
We as adults choose what we want to post for the world to see. But, how about our kids? If they fully understood the concept of social media, would they approve of us posting their pictures and information for all the world to see?
We as parents also reap the benefits of social media, too. It is a great way to connect, de-stress, and have fun.
Here’s what you need to know about how to introduce your kids to social media in a safe manner so you can both reap its benefits without exposing them to unnecessary dangers.

Book cover of The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Nagendra on an iPad screen. It is set on a floral beaded mat with a candle and a glass bottle with a plant stem with leaves

Book Review: The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Nagendra

The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Nagendra is one of those soft mystery books that take you on a journey while investigating a crime. It is the first instalment of the Kaveri and Ramu mysteries set in pre-independence India. The reader gets an inkling of the socio-political situation around the time, providing an interesting background for the story to evolve.
Harini Nagendra is a professor of ecology at Azim Premji University. She writes on issues of nature and sustainability and has published works of non-fiction on the topic of sustainability in urban areas. The Bangalore Detectives Club is her first work of fiction.

White cat and a Kindle on the lap of a person wearing red sweatpants and a black and white striped sweatshirt. The Kindle shows the cover for the crime novel titled Lightseekers by Femi Kayode set in Nigeria

Book Review: Lightseekers by Femi Kayode

Lightseekers by Femi Kayode is not just your regular crime fiction but is based on actual events. Femi familiarises readers with the town, its people, and their history while trying to figure out what went wrong. I’ve been reading books from around the world for the genre. This year, I’m becoming more familiar with other countries and their cultures. This book hit all the right notes, and I recommend you add this to your reading list.
Lightseekers was inspired by the necklace killing of four undergraduates in a university town in Nigeria and is Femi Kayode’s debut novel and the first in the series of novels about the investigations of Philip Taiwo. The book won the UEA/Brown Little Crime Fiction Award in 2019.

Brightly coloured mirror work art called Lippan Art is a traditional folk art from India. this decorative piece in primary colours and geometric pattern is surrounded by house plants

Indian Traditional Art Forms—Lippan Art for Beginners

Indian folk art has so many treasures to offer. Art is one of the things that unites the country.
One such form of traditional Indian art is Lippan art. Lippan art comes from the deserts of Kutch in Gujarat. They can be as colourful or subtle as you want them to be, embellished with tiny mirrors that sparkle and twinkle in the sun or moonlight.
Learn how to make this mirror work art or Lippan art at home. Lippan art for beginners doesn’t need a lot of expertise or expensive materials. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon indoors doing DIY projects with kids.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite with the colour image of the book The Blue Hour by Alonso Cueto on a background of blue and yellow mirror work folk art from India

Book Review: The Blue Hour by Alonso Cueto

La Hora Azul or The Blue Hour is a novel by Peruvian author Alonso Cueto and is translated into English by Frank Wynne. The book looks back on Peru’s history, exploring the aftermath of the Peruvian Civil War.
Alonso Cueto won the Herralde Prize in 2005 for The Blue Hour (La Hora Azul). The book has plenty of themes to keep you engrossed: family secrets; an obsessive love affair; the brutality, misery and guilt of war; and an anti-hero searching for answers.

Translated books are a treasure trove of insights into different parts of the world. I would highly recommend adding this and diversify your reading list.

bowl of pasta with Butternut squash fettuccine with sambal oelek and bacon bits sprinkled with grated cheese

Make it Vegan or Meaty: Butternut Squash Fettuccine Recipe

I love creamy pasta. What I don’t love is all the cream, milk, and cheese that make it so creamy. This butternut squash pasta recipe is the best of both worlds. It’s smooth and creamy without the milk products. As a bonus, you can make this as a vegan dish or sprinkle some crispy, crumbly bacon bits to satisfy your meat cravings.

Butternut squash is from the pumpkin family and is versatile enough to be used in various dishes—from soups to a roasted side dish and this pasta sauce. They are a good source of fibre, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin A. It is not commonly available in India, but once in a while you do find it.
Here’s an indulgent pasta recipe you’ll love.

Art installation of several circular pieces of carved wood and paintings set against a dark blue wall

The Power of Affirmations: How to Manifest the Life You Want

Positive Affirmations and Manifesting your Reality are terms that are thrown around casually in most conversations and interviews these days. At first glance, it seems like wishful thinking or something happening in your life just because you really wanted it to.
However, each of us has at least one thing we really want, but it doesn’t always manifest in our lives. What makes the power of manifestation work for some and not others?
Affirmations become more than wishful thinking when we consciously remember and visualise our goals throughout the day.
If you are new to the concept of manifesting your reality, here are a few simple things to get you started.

view of 3 kids from the back sitting on a beanbag watching a TV screen with a movie playing

Screentime Dilemma: Awesome TV Shows for Kids Approved by Parents

Do you allow screen time for your kids? Or are you able to follow a zero screentime schedule? We figured early on that zero screentime was not an achievable goal for us. Instead, we focused on curating the content he consumes.
There are plenty of fun shows that are also sneakily educational. These would rate higher in my curated list. Our son also loves these shows and will sometimes surprise us with information and vocabulary he’s learned from them.
Here are some of the shows we have loved to watch over the years. There are best TV shows for toddlers to educational and adventure shows for older kids.