‘Harini and Harsha’
We are a mother and daughter duo, and this is the space where we share stuff – vegan recipes, travel experiences, opinions on anything ranging from books, movies, TV series, to random musings about life. We will also be publishing articles from guest writers.
When we migrated to this new domain (hariniandharsha.com) from our earlier space (tongueticklers.com), we decided to do away with all posts that we do not connect with anymore.
A lot about me because I am by nature open and a bit verbose – perhaps? – Harini
I have been writing a diary from a very young age, updating it rarely these days, than I did before. Sometime, as a 14 or 15 year old, I had jotted down certain skills I wanted to learn when I ‘grew up’. Every birthday I leaf through it. On my 35th, I realised that most of the components still needed to be ticked off. So that birthday I set a new goal. I’d retire by 45 and work on that list; the ten year plan was to help ease financial constraints that would follow. I did retire as planned, am now poised to explore new limits and meet challenges — physical, financial and mental. I look forward to living to the full — living fit, travelling wise and well, reading more, eating well, resting well — and opening my mind to new possibilities.
My interests apart from the cooking include knitting, crochet, painting, photography, reading, writing, watching thrillers, travelling and story-telling. Nothing is excluded.
My creative-writing journey began with Tongue Ticklers in early 2008 as a journal where I’d share food-experiences and recipes I learnt through life. By 2011, I knew I had more to tell than food-stories; hence this space.
Update in 2020 w.r.t what I have written above;
I carry my diary around but don’t update it anymore. It is amusing though and makes for a very good read, just seeing how my interests and perspective have changed over the years. A few components remain to be ticked from that list I wrote about.
There is a lockdown going on due to the COVID pandemic and I realised that since my retirement I have spent maximum time resting and sleeping; happily. I’ve been cooking and experimenting with ingredients but am not half as enthu as I was earlier, and I dare say this but yes, I seem to be losing the interest to photograph or even blog. I have become fanatical about cleaning – probably making up for all those years when I worked and couldn’t find time for thorough cleaning. I have been traveling quite a bit – actually it’s mostly shuttling between two states. Of late, I have got more satisfaction playing with my yarns, threads and needles (that were in hibernation from the time Harsha was a baby to the time she turned fifteen). Yes! that long! Using them up doing crochet, embroidery and other such stuff makes me feel terribly productive and less wasteful. I have been reading too but sadly I find that I am not as eager to finish any book as I was about a decade back. I seem to have become a very visual person. I watch and re-watch films and series – a LOT!
I got out of Facebook. Somehow excessive proximity and intense activity in social media has made it a pain. I have taken a preference to Instagram so I can simply like and move on. Very often I demonstrate my ignorance of the app as well but it’s pretty fun as it’s also resourceful. So, well, am not exactly challenging myself as I thought I would. I got eating well and resting well part absolutely right though!
I also do not collaborate or promote or do anything commercial so I have removed that paragraph. I have realised that I can no longer be restricted by dead-lines so this intermittent-blogging pace and laziness works well for me. The icons are there though as I value reader inputs and occasional banter.
What you see in this blog is done for joy. I miss my ‘why vegan’ page so that will soon be updated and added. Hope you will read it. I have stories, anecdotes and memories to be told and hence the blog remains. That’s about me and it seems a long read. Out of curiosity – did you actually make it this far?
A bit about me – If, you managed to make it this far – Harsha
Aspiring philosopher, director, amateur photographer, and eternal optimist.
Growing up, Harsha was a massive bookworm. From pretending to know to read at age 3, to teenage weekends spent reading Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events, along with the occasional Artemis Fowl. It was at age 13 that she fell love with film, realising it was another way to tell stories, that seemed to capture everyone’s attention more so than pages and ink ever could.
Now, she is figuring out the path of her life, falling in love every week, consistently searching for adventures and amazing people – to find the most compelling story to tell.
She also enjoys capturing moments, discovering new places, and writing in third person.
We are inviting guest writers with whom we have had association and who we have realised are experts in their own right on specific topics. They will be added here if they become regulars with us. As of now you can find out articles by individual writers by clicking on the author’s name in articles or the tags at the bottom of each article.
Food stories and philosophy (from Harini)
Our food section features vegan recipes with many gluten-free options, mostly made from scratch, and mostly written by me.
Most recipes though authentic in procedure, are made with locally available ingredients. In the process of converting conventional vegetarian or non-vegetarian foods into vegan recipes, I have often adopted unconventional ingredients and methods to achieve a similar end result. I believe that improvisation combined with intuition is often the key to achieving good results in cooking. I encourage you to do the same with our recipes though it is a good idea to stick to the recipe the first time, to gather the flavour-profile and character of the dish.
I prefer saying I share ‘food stories’ and not ‘recipes’ as eating is an experience for all our senses, often triggering emotional responses stemming from memories, and because food serves us in many ways besides physical nourishment. It is often an ice-breaker between strangers, a window to different cultures and their past, and a wonder-filled science activity and learning tool for children and adults alike. For the cook, it is akin to meditation and a way to nourish the soul. A meal is about people, places and many such factors that make it memorable, even if it may not totally serve the palate. My recipes often stem from a train of thoughts or memories, and I re-live a thousand lives in those minuscule moments. Not sharing the memories feels like serving a naked cake or a dish without salt or flavour. Some of my fondest food memories are from my friends’ lunch boxes. Many relate to books, characters from books and movies, even songs! I hope my recipes find a place on your table and make new memories for you.
Lifestyle articles, musings and reviews
Harsha and I are both passionately addicted to books, TV, cinema and several other earthly indulgences. I often need to be torn away from books and the TV as I can carry through the night on a book or watch my favourite programmes over and over again, until my eyes go red. Early retirement has only worsened my addictions. It is therefore natural that I should keep you in the loop with what’s good on the telly or suggest books to read, right? I hope we will be able to connect through our favourite characters and stars, and through places I visit on my travels.
Harsha and I strongly advocate conscious living and this is our platform to share ideas related to our lifestyle.
Please click on the icons for different social media platforms on the top of the site.
Harini: Networking via social media just isn’t my thing, though in person I am very different. Please email at harini [at] hariniandharsha [dot] com.
Harsha: @harshap69 (send memes)
Our photography gear
Harini: I started with a Canon 350D. Over the years I changed to a 7D to a 5D Mk II, settled for a Sony alpha 7 (mirrorless DSLR) in between, and also use Harsha’s 5D MkIII. I use 35mm, 50mm and 85mm lenses when using the Sony and a 24-105mm with the Canon. I love Sony best for treks as it is light to carry and takes excellent photographs but it’s mostly with the male offspring who stays away from home.
Harsha: Uses Canon 5D Mk IV and is addicted to lightroom. Swears that it is often not the camera but the person behind the camera that matters.
Prints and photographs
If you like a photograph that’s on the blog or one shared by us on the web, and would like to use it, do get in touch.
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Harini: harini [at] hariniandharsha [dot] com / email@example.com
Harsha: harsha [at] hariniandharsha [dot] com