Rent Free Space for your thoughts!

Writing is a great form of expression. Writing helps you relieve stress, makes you creative, opens up your imagination, improves your observation skills and you discover a new you!

Some people find it easy to write. Some people don’t. There could be various reasons for that.

They may:

✎ Not know how to put their thoughts into words

✎ Not sure if anyone would read what they write

✎ Never thought about it

✎ Don’t know what to write about

✎ Don’t want to create a blog

And so on!

Mirchi Laddoo Dot Com presents a platform for these reluctant writers in the form of a contest 🙂

Rules:

✎ You can write about any topic you want

✎ Minimum 150 words, Maximum 3000

✎ Send in your entries latest by 7th May 2016 to [email protected]

✎ Do not copy anyone’s content. The writing should be original

So what are you waiting for?

Write-Away-logo-01-copy-2-324x324PS: There are surprise giveaways too!

Let us make this Earth a beautiful place!

It was once said by a great thinker & philosopher that you are nothing but trustees of this planet.

I agree with this totally & believe that it is our duty to keep our planet as beautiful & serene as it was when created by God.

In the past few centuries, we have grown by leaps & bounds in terms of industrial development & communication. But at what cost? We have exploited our natural resources endlessly.

We are only 1 of the lakhs of species on Planet Earth. But we have crowned ourselves Kings & Queens of this planet. We behave as if everything is made only for us.

If we continue to do so, there would be nothing left for the future generations. There will be no life other than human beings & what kind of life it would be?

Doesn’t look very good, does it?

But this is not an era of despair & disappointment!

All is not lost yet!!

We need not wear tree leaves & go & live in the jungle. What we need to do is take few small steps.

We are lucky to have information at our finger tips. There are articles, books, magazines, websites – all to show what we can do.

Some of the things we can do:

1. Avoid wastage, especially of water. Check that none of the taps at your home / office are leaking. Always close the tap fully.

2.Have bucket bath instead of showers.

3.Do not litter.

4.Plant a tree in your compound so that you can watch over it.

5.Use public transport whenever possible.

6.Think before you hit the print button. Always preview whatever you are going to print.

7.Use Cloth bags. You can design them & get it stitched by your local tailor. Trendy & Environment Friendly!

8.Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.

9.Whenever you are not using, always switch off your appliances. Do not keep them in Stand by mode.

10.Do not buy products which are made by killing animals, especially endangered species.

11.Do not take undue advantage of resources freely available.

Just choose one thing & stick to it. Take a pledge.

Be Aware & Spread The Awareness.

And together we shall make our Earth a beautiful planet to live in – for us & for our children!!!

 

Nap Time > Movie Time

So many movies to watch and somehow weekends pass without watching them.

This Saturday planned to watch one post lunch as a plan of going out got cancelled.

After lunch, I realised parents might want to nap.

I asked them whether they have any plans of sleeping. If so, we can watch movie in the evening.

Mom and dad both denied vehemently. Dad even said even if we feel sleepy, movie will ensure we don’t.

It’s half an hour since the movie started and dad is fast asleep. Total ROFL moment!

Goa – Beyond Partying, Boozing and Sea Food

It had been a long time since we went for a vacation. We, as in myself and my parents.

On mom’s birthday in Nov ’14, I was wondering what to gift mom. (Usually it is jewellery / smart phone)  and then I recalled that how mom keeps saying she is the only one  from the family who has never been on a flight. And voila! a idea formed in my mind. Let’s zero in on places which are not far from Mumbai and which won’t be too expensive!

I had been to Goa in 2010 for a weekend. You can read about it here: Rendezvous with Goa But it was just a sip for a thirsty soul. I always planned to return for a more fulfilling experience.

I booked flight tickets, hotel and planned a detailed itinerary which would suit my parents. Some people tried to dissuade me from this plan saying you all are vegetarians and teetotallers, what would you do in Goa? I was not doing Goa right maybe but I was definitely doing being a daughter right 😉

We didn’t booze, party or go for adventure water sports but we did have fun in our own way!

Brace yourself! A detailed account is coming up! 😉

On D day, we left home at 9 to catch a flight scheduled at 1.30 (Funny thing that we had to travel 150 minutes for a 45 minute flight 😛 ) Anyway, we reached the domestic airport in Mumbai well in time, only to know all domestic flights of Air India do not take off from Domestic but the International Airport (fondly known as T2). Anyway, we took another cab & reached T2. The path leading to T2 is amazing in itself and so is the airport! The airport is done up beautifully including lots of art installations.

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We had a quick brunch at the Street Foods by Punjab Grill (Yummy food, specially the Samosa Chaat) The walk towards the flight gate was too long, be careful if you have people who can not walk much. Arrange for a wheelchair well in advance.

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Since it was an Air India flight, we got free snacks – a cheese sandwich, Frooti & a small bottle of water. Shouldn’t have eaten at the airport 😉

Anyway, so we landed a bit late at the Goa airport as the plane wasn’t getting place for parking (who would have thunk?) Do take the prepaid taxis (booking inside the airport at the prepaid taxi counter) to save yourself from being fleeced. Unless you have an arrangement with the hotel to pick you up.

Our first destination was Vasco, at my mom’s cousin’s place. After a heavenly lunch, sharing stories, discussing politics and a refreshing nap, we headed towards Calangute. The air was filled with scent of trees and you could sense that you have left polluted city far behind.

The hotel, Calangute Grande, situated in a charming bylane was a delightful place (for the budget we were on that is)

Day 2: A visit to Old Goa, Dona Paula & Miramar Beach was planned. Also lunch at Delhi Durbar in Panjim (Amazing amazing food)

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is an enchanting structure with lots of options for photo ops. The Basilica also displays the remains of St Francis Xavier and a hall of paintings based on life of the said Saint. The paintings are a bit dark and the remains can give one the creeps. The backyard of the church has a small garden as well.

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Right opposite the Basilica is the Archaelogical Museum and Se Cathedral. Its a beautiful place and I regret not going inside the museum. Next time maybe!

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We had booked the cab for sight seeing via the hotel and none of us had taken the driver’s number or noted the licence number in enthusiasm (Totally Facepalm moment) Like fools we kept searching where the driver had parked his car. And after a long futile search, coordinated with the hotel for the driver’s number. We were totally exhausted by then. Delhi Durbar here we come! After a leisurely lunch, which included Sula Rose Wine for dad (after all we were in Goa 😉 ) we moved towards Dona Paula. A picturesque place with such a beautiful view! Totally enjoyed clicking pics here 🙂

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Next Stop Miramar Beach. The sand here is very silky and the distance from the beach to the sea is probably the longest.

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Day 2: Dolphin Trip, Fort Aguada & Baga Beach

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Unlike few years ago, there are ample restaurants available for vegetarians, one of them being Navtara in Calangute. We had this amazing Veg Xacuti, a spicy vegetable curry along with hot hot buns!

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We had planned to go for Spice Plantation on Day 3 but somehow dropped that plan and just did some shopping in the morning & a visit to the Calangute beach in the evening. Got inked (temporary) and made dad envious and had an amazing Italian dinner at Over The Flames. Got parents introduced to Tequila, only to be questioned over and over again on what happens if you drink tequila (annoying parents happen that’s what -_-) Note that Calangute beach is more crowded than Baga. Water sports at Calangute are cheaper than at Baga beach.

One thing was puzzling parents that we didn’t see any animals, not even strays in Goa and then look what we found 😉

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My Arm Tattoo 🙂

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On my neckline 😉

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Mom getting inked 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Over The Flames

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One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor!

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Bebinca (Goan dessert. It’s non vegetarian         (don’t tell dad ok?)

And finally it was time to bid Goa goodbye! Sigh! One of the most beautiful vacation I have had. Would go again. I want to explore more on foot. The beaches as well as the beautiful by lanes. Goa is very green and clean inspite of so many tourists. It would be a delight to be here again! Au Revoir!

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Beautiful Art at Goa Airport

 

Junk Mail Vs Junk Food

As I opened my office mailbox, I got a notification saying you have one junk mail.

That made me think about all the junk / spam mails we receive on a daily basis on all of our inboxes, whichever mail client we might be using. Apart from brands selling products, telecom companies, insurance, property, etc etc, we also have some very lucrative mails from Nigerian princes and Cola companies offering us share in a large sum of money or lottery prizes.

These junk mails are bad for our electronic / financial health. We might lose money if it is a scam or it might lead to getting our computers infected with virus (Remember the time you clicked links of hot pics and then you had to get your computer formatted? 😉 )

A small percentage of people (I hear actor Karan Grover was a recent victim) still fall prey to these scam mails. Rest of us prudently ignore (and organised ones like me, shift + delete them)

How different are these junk mails from junk food? Not different really. Just like junk mails can destroy our data / money, junk food slowly and steadily destroys our health and of course money.

Just like we be prudent about ignoring a junk mail, why don’t we try to ignore junk food too?

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Thoughts?

Don’t call me unhealthy, call me fat!

Vogue recently did a photo shoot with plus size models (as opposed to the usual zero size models) A move by the magazine to find favour in the eyes of a larger audience & thus boosting its sales.

As usual the verdict on the shoot was divided in two categories. One side cheered the magazine for its bold move and another screamed to stop promoting unhealthy life style.

I know right? I was as zapped as you are! People who don’t even know what plus size means where shouting their opinions on how fat people are lazy and unhealthy and careless and blah blah blah.

It is time to bust their myth, isn’t it?

A. Plus Size doesn’t mean only fat. People who are well built, with a stout body structure or with a taller and broader frame would be included in this category. Skinny and delicate are NOT the only size God created people in.

B. Fat doesn’t mean unhealthy: I have seen lot of people who eat healthy, work out and still are not able to remove the excess fat. Have you seen some of the dancers and choreographers who are fat yet dance with grace? All the dancercise should make them thin, right? Being fat does not come only from unhealthy eating. There are various factors which lead to being fat. Genes, metabolism, hormones disorders are some of the factors which cause people to be fat. No doubt obesity leads to various diseases. But it is wrong to say all fat people are unhealthy, while subtly hinting that all thin people are healthy.

I have seen 20 something people cribbing about climbing down the stairs, which doesn’t even require efforts. I have seen them waiting for elevator to reach 2nd floor which they could climb in the same time as the wait time.

I have seen thin people having a huge appetite as compared to fat people and they eat the same food fat people do. Not some healthy no carb no sugar diet.

So even if you think Plus Sized clothes are for fat people, don’t unnecessary give gyaan on how fat and diseases are related. Mind your own business and let fat people enjoy a little bit of fashion too.

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He Expired Phrase Origin

Have been hearing a lot of arguments regarding using expired as a euphemism to convey that someone has died. Also, off ho gaye in Hindi.

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When someone says he expired, people will ask whether he was medicine to have an expiry date? Or when someone says wo off ho gaye, is he mood which gets switched off?

I thought the argument is valid enough. But I also wondered what was the origin of the phrase. There should be some logic to that as well!

Let’s see the first one “Expired”

Expired: Turns out He expired is a very valid phrase. As with many words, expire also has multiple meaning. The word has a Latin origin, which literally means To breath out. He expired would therefore mean he breathed his last. Mystery unveiled 😉

Off ho gaye (Hindi): This phrase has a origin in one of the Indian languages Gujarati, and is extensively used mostly in Mumbaiya Hindi. In proper Hindi, we would say “Wo bhagwan ko pyaare ho gaye” (The deceased has gone to a better place) as it is considered rude to say directly so and so died. The phrase might have originated in the era of telegram when you had to pay for every letter used in the message. Off would use fewer words. This is not a verified reason but purely based on assumption.

If you know authentic origin of the phrase, do share 🙂

Might is Right or Not?

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We all remember this scene from Tom & Jerry, don’t we?

 Tom & Jerry taught us Mouse is scared of cats and cats are in turn scared of dogs.

 In real life though, I have seen cats being scared by mighty rats and dogs being scared by mighty cats.

One may think it is not about the species though. It could be because of the size. After all, might is right, they say.

One scene I witnessed recently made me think about the whole situation though.

I was passing by a market & saw that a pile of meat waste and severed chicken head were lying on the road.

A cat was lapping it up hungrily. Natural, isn’t it?

But what I saw next blew my mind!

A dog was waiting behind the cat as if waiting for her to finish the meal so that he can gorge on the leftovers.

Isn’t it an example of perfect camaraderie?

I would have clicked their pic but it would have disturbed the whole scene.

The memory of that scene would be forever etched in my mind though!

Do share if you have witnessed any such incidents 🙂

Dress to Impress. Yourself!

Recently I read an article where a woman advised women to dress according to their shape and not to show those extra inch (es) of fat. This is not the first time someone has said this. There are countless advices for over weight women on how they should dress.

You will never see these kind of advices for men. Even men have huge beer bellies / lanky legs and not all kind of outfits suit them. Not everyone looks good in skinny jeans / suits where buttons seem to burst from the seams. But then what other option they have? They could wear loose Kurta / baggy jeans though 😉

This reminds me of my growing up years. I was healthy overweight since I was born but I always dressed up in so called western clothes like skirts and midis. As I entered college, I started putting on weight with the speed of a bunny. I was advised to drop the skirts and wear full sleeved dresses to hide my flabby arms, elephantine legs and a bulging tummy.

Of course they made me look more flabby. If you look at my pics of those times, you can see only my face (thankfully no one suggested to wear a mask to hide the face fat) The rest of my body is covered in what I can only call a tent.

When I started working, I saw an overweight woman in my office wearing a skirt. I told mom that she wasn’t looking bad. I got permission to wear one (Of course I had to get it stitched as plus size clothing wasn’t available so easy few years back). Since then there has been no looking back. I started wearing dresses which flattered my shape rather than hide it. All the A line skirts / dresses, short sleeves, etc which were forbidden by fashion gurus, actually made me look slimmer and more importantly, happy!

So my advise to overweight or otherwise, women is, do not listen to these judgemental advices. Not everyone is born with the same shape. Some body parts would be thin and some would be fat. If the fat / skinny parts look ugly to people, it is their problem. Imagine if we weren’t wearing clothes. Imagine the world was a nudist colony. Would these judgemental people ask us to chop away the ugly parts?

And as regards what to wear, wear only what you feel comfortable in. If a bandage dress makes you feel sexy and boosts your confidence, wear it even if you have a bulging tummy. As for tights / leggings, everyone would vouch how comfortable they are as compared to salwars / pants. But the key here is comfort. If you are wearing a sexy tight dress but it doesn’t allow you to breath, do not wear. The discomfort wears your confidence off surely.

There is a proverb in Hindi, Khaiyye man bhata, peheniye jag bhata. Translation: Eat what you like, wear what people like. But I disagree. Why should we wear what people like? We should wear what makes us happy. So don’t worry! Dress up. To impress. Yourself!

Have look at the women in the pics below. Don’t they look just fabulous?? 😀

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The Forbidden Temple

Shani Shingnapur Temple is a famous temple of Shani Dev in the Shingnapur village in Maharashtra. Since childhood we have heard stories about how the people in the village do not lock their doors and yet there have been no thefts. Shani Dev (The God of Planet Saturn) is a very scary God. If it’s wrath befells you, which is for 7 and a half years, you are in for a really horrible time, they say. They being the astrologers and pundits.

Men worshipping Shani Idol

                 Men worshipping Shani Idol

Recently, this temple has been in news and earning the wrath of human beings, for a change. A group of activists, no doubt politically motivated, want women to have a right to pray in the said temple. As far as I know (based on googled knowledge) women can worship, however from far. They are not allowed to mount the place where the idol is placed nor they can offer oil.

I am sure in general, women are happy doing this. As they are following age old rituals. Like not entering temple during menstruation (Which can start a new topic of why menstruating women are not allowed to Sabrimala temple in Kerala). Anyhow, so back to the Shani temple, women wouldn’t mind not being allowed. But the activists have created a furore. And the people who are counter arguing the need for women to enter the temple are giving some idiotic reasoning in my opinion.

Example:

♂ Why activism only against the bias in temples? Why not mosques? Why not fight against lower fees for women actress. ~ Obviously it’s a politically motivated activism. And only they know why they chose this temple issue over other things (To spite BJP would be a major reason)

When Anna Hazare started activism against corruption, who knew one of their biggest supporter would become an ally of corrupt dynasty driven party? After all having a political agenda can not be only a man’s prerogative, right? 😉

♂ If women are not allowed in the temple, why they should even want to go to that temple? Also, is that the only temple left in India? ~ Well, if we accept that argument, and we apply the logic to every fight that has happened in India or elsewhere, no changes / reforms would ever happen. Would you say, if Gandhi was not allowed in the first class coach, he shouldn’t have travelled first class? The so called lower caste people were not allowed to enter temples. So should have they been content? Girls were not allowed to study. Should have they kept quite?

♂ If you do not agree to rituals of the religion, don’t follow the religion ~ Well, if we can not question the rituals of the religion, the origin of which are unknown, the religion should question if it should even exist.

♂ There must be a scientific reason for women to be forbidden ~ This one takes the cake. Someone said radiations from the stone affect only women and hence they are forbidden. Well, I tried finding the exact reason for the ban but could not find any. And if this is the actual reason, warn women. Let them make an informed decision.

In my opinion, if there is no valid and verified reason, there should not be a ban on a woman who genuinely wants to worship the idol. We are “allowing” women to perform last rites today, which was forbidden earlier, isn’t it? So why can’t we change this as well?

It is 2016 and high time that we use our brains rather than blindly following rituals and the dos and don’ts carried over from the stone age.

Lessons of 2015

No, changing of a year does not mean just a change of date. If you think carefully, every day teaches us something and we change every day. A new lesson learnt, a bad experience avoided, an opportunity grabbed.

My lessons for 2015:

✽ Save Electricity. Save Money.

✽ Don’t waste energy in pointing fingers at others. Rather use that energy to be a better person.

✽ Never ever do what your heart doesn’t agree with.

✽ Stop reacting to everything.

✽ Focus on beautiful things in your life. Forget people who hurt you.

✽ Don’t feed attention beggars.

✽ If you are angry with someone, imagine slapping them non stop cartoon style.

✽ Respect your own worth even if other people don’t.

✽ Never stop believing in your dreams. if you don’t, universe won’t.

Top 10 Books of 2015

In the beginning of 2015 couple of people gave me the Reading Challenge.

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Quite daunting eh? It has approximate 52 categories I think. Initially I thought I wouldn’t follow it as it would make reading a task and not the joy it is. In between the year, I thought maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea. It would give me an opportunity to explore genres / authors which I haven’t read yet. I listed the categories in a spreadsheet dutifully and marked books I already read. Also plotted out books that I would like to read. It would have worked fine except that I discovered the joy of e books. All the books I wanted to read, my favourite books of all time, all available in the mobi or epub format. The advantage of e books for me is they are space saving, can be read at night without lights and can be read during breaks too! But this doesn’t mean I have abandoned paper backs / hard covers 😉

Overall I have read plenty of books this year. Most of them good but couple of Duhs too (Aarushi & Anusual). I read most books of Jeffrey Archer, Agatha Christie and Nicholas Sparks, the Harry Potter series, The Godfather, entire Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, Memoirs of Naseeruddin Shah, Novels by Rabindranath Tagore, Short stories of Tagore, Bhisham Sahni’s stories and some more! Phew! 😀

To select top 10 books is a difficult task! Though I will attempt it 🙂

✎ The Pregnant King – Written by Devdutt Patnaik. He describes the emotions of both mother and father beautifully!

✎ The Mysterious Stranger – Written by Mark Twain. Each and everyone should read this book. It raises serious questions on morality and superior complex of human beings

✎ Comedy of marriage and other things – Written by Maupassant. It is a fine compilation of short stories resembling society of his times.

✎ Short stories of Bhisham Sahni – Bhisham Sahni is a wonderful writer and this collection is simply enchanting! I wish I had read it in Hindi though. Would have been more joyful!

✎ The Descendants – Written by Kaui Hemmings. It is heart touching and set in a different location for a change, i.e. Hawaii and it showcases the reality of Hawaii rather than focussing on the superficially touristy thing!

✎ The Fan Girl – Written by Rainbow Rowell. It’s teenage romance genre and it still is interesting to read because the way Rowell writes. Rowell gives depth to her characters even without describing what makes them who they are. That’s why you feel one with them.

✎ Chokher Bali – A beautiful tragic novel by Rabindranath Tagore. I could totally relate to Binodini and the climax broke my heart. Damn the sense of morality in those times :-/

✎ The Godfather – Mario Puzo has created a masterpiece! Though this was a re-read but it was after many years and it was like reading it for the first time. The detailing is so beautiful! This is a must read for everyone!

✎ To Kill a Mocking Bird – Written by Harper Lee. It talks about America of a different era. The racism, the cruelty and the subtle heroics of ordinary people is depicted wonderfully!

✎ Rag Darbari – Written by Srilal Shukla. My dad says this is supposed to be the best novel written in Hindi and he isn’t wrong. The writing is gripping and the content seems relevant even today. The detailing of characters is just fabulous!

If you read, I would love to know which books touched your heart this year 🙂

Gajar Ka Halwa

Gajar ka halwa is my favouritest sweet dish ever! Easy to make and yummy to eat! Since the time I learnt to make it, I used to wait for the winters for the red carrots to flood the market. The halwa tastes best only with these ones. 🙂

Since it is the first day of the year, I wanted to make something special. I had planned to make carrot cake earlier but somehow halwa was beckoning me 😀

Ingredients:

1/2 Kg Carrot

1/2 Litre Milk

1 Tablespoon Ghee (Optional) – I used it for the first time today

1 Cup Sugar (As per taste, also depends on sweetness of carrots. If carrots are sweet, don’t add too much sugar)

Pinch of Cardamom powder

Dryfruits for garnishing

How to?

First peel the carrots nicely.

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Then Grate them.

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Add ghee in a nonstick pan and heat it. This is optional. Doesn’t matter if you don’t add it. I added today just to see the difference.

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Add the grated carrots and roast for couple of minutes. Add the milk and simmer on low flame. No need to add Khoya.

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Let it simmer for a while. Keep stirring occasionally. When most of the milk is evaporated and the consistency is semi solid, add the sugar.

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Add cardamom powder. Once the milk is evaporated completely, turn off the gas. Allow it to set. Garnish with dryfruits. I didn’t set it before taking this pic as wanted it to look warm and soft 😉 )

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Happy Eating! And Happy New Year!! 😀

Grumpy and Bubbly

She was the quintessential bubbly girl. Wherever she went, happiness followed. The grumpiest of people smiled when she was around. She was dreamy and a hopeless romantic. Destiny had yet to let her meet her Prince Charming. Yes, that’s what she dreamed of mostly. Prince Charming, Knight in Shining Armour, the un-kissable frog, the unfriendly beast or even the ugly ogre!

He was the King of Grumps. If someone looked at him, they would think, he is carrying all the burdens of the people residing in the world. No one had ever seen him smile.

And one day they met. It was a corporate meeting set up. She was bored and was looking around at the bunch of strange people, from different departments, trying to make sense of the crisis the company was facing. Her eyes landed on his face and smiled. Her fertile imagination started plotting a story. He being the Grumpy hero and she being the Bubbly princess.

They kept meeting, sometimes near the water cooler, sometimes in the cafeteria and more often in the elevator. These meetings would hardly be co incidences. They were carefully planned as he could not forget the charming face who had made his heart restless. She had stirred something deep within his soul. One day he could resist no longer and asked her out, for coffee. She was waiting for this moment! They grew closer day by day and realised how beautiful a contrast they were and yet how they seemed meant for each other. On her birthday, he had taken her out on a beautiful yacht. It was a beautiful day. The sun was setting, they were in the middle of nowhere, sitting on the beautiful deck, just enjoying each other’s company. Suddenly, he rose and said, Lily, Miss Lily..

She woke up with a start. She had dozed off dreaming about Mr Grumps. She looked towards him and blushed slightly. He continued, Miss Lily if you don’t have anything to add to this discussion, can you move out of the meeting room?

She dragged her feet out of the room, towards her desk shamefully. The story of Grumpy and Bubbly had not ended well. She herself was feeling slightly grumpy.

She plonked on her chair and looked at the Disney Princesses poster on her workstation. Her grumpiness melted and she happily carried on with the remaining work at hand. There would be another story, on another day!

Labels

One of my favourite quote is, Your opinion about me, is not a fact about me.

I have been labeled by people according to their convenience, right from childhood. Some things might be true, some a momentary truth but most of them is just a false judgement.

When I was in school, people termed me a Homebody, not mixing with people from the neighbourhood. Truth was I always loved being outdoors. The reason I didn’t mix with neighbours was I never got the right company.

The next label was fat. Wherever I went, I had to bear taunts and remarks of people calling me various names, all synonyms of Fatso. But I was more than just fat. I was emotional, sensitive, ambitious, hardworking, studious, polite, and so much more!

Years passed and I started working. I had to travel in local trains to reach my work place. I used to be harassed a lot because I was overweight. I took half a person’s space more. I never took a seat due to my guilt but even standing was a problem. On some days I couldn’t take the jabs quietly and started hitting back. Verbally as well as physically. I got a new label Quarrelsome.

But this is not who I am. I am a peace loving, confrontation avoiding person. But I also have a severe sense of justice. I can’t stand injustice. And once, when things start getting unbearable, I would definitely give tit for tat. Due to these stray incidents, conveyed in a convenient manner via gossip, makes people think I am a mean or nasty person. This, however, doesn’t matter to me.

My reputation means a lot to me but only in the eyes of people I love and respect. Fortunately, apart from one off cases, they have always stood by me. Not defending me, but at least they believe who I really am. For this I am always thankful.

The moral of the story is:

Dr.Seuss

A Perfect Date

Alan Rickman married a woman he was in a relationship with for almost 50 years. Newspapers reported it as Alan marries Rima after 50 years of dating. Hello! You don’t date someone for 50 years! Date is just an appointment with someone (usually romantic) In my opinion, dating could be only in the beginning of a relationship, rather when one is not sure if they want to be in a relationship. Post that you just do things together with mutual agreement. 😉

Dating is a very exciting concept (Indian men are yet to get a complete hang of it) You meet someone new, get to know them, get to know their likes and dislikes and all this is based on what you are doing on a date. It can be a basic movie and dinner date, a dessert date, an adventure trip, a picnic, a night of stargazing.

A perfect date could be very subjective though. It depends on if the activity chosen is liked by both and how much they are enjoying those moments.

A perfect date does not necessarily mean an expensive occasion. You can have fun walking around the city / sipping coffee doing nothing but talking. You can just share an ice cream together (it definitely brings out the child in you 😉 ) This is definitely what I prefer. Simple joys. 🙂

The purpose of a date is to get to know each other and see how comfortable you are in each other’s company. Small details matter more than showing off of money. Keep it simple but once in a while indulge in something luxurious. Always smell nice.

And girls, don’t let guys do all the efforts. Contribute equally 😀

A Perfect Date!

                     A Perfect Date!

How to behave with a depressed person

Depression is defined as a state of low mood and aversion to activities that can affect a person’s thoughts, behaviour, feelings and a sense of well being.

There are various types of depression ranging from mild to serious.

We usually don’t take the word seriously. Mostly assuming it is attention seeking (which in some case it is) We tend to be patronizing and saying what you need to be depressed about? You have things that other people wished they had. We forget that it is not about what we have but what we want.

A depressed person needs help definitely. But we tend to push the person away from help.

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We push someone away to the extent that they start feeling all alone in the world. Caged in a dark room, with no room for escape. They don’t know how to get out. They don’t know if anyone could help them get out. They fear ridicule.

Granted, it is not easy to deal with your loved one who is suffering from depression. You might feel frustrated, angry and even helpless sometimes. But this is the time where you need to be most patient.

Listing down some pointers which will help you in dealing with a depressed loved one:

♥ Depression is a serious business: Do not belittle the condition or the person suffering from it. You can not switch off depression either. Motivate them to take professional help.

♥ Don’t take it personally: A depressed person will lash out at you. Hurl abuses, say hurtful things. Remember they are not in their senses. Do not take anything personally.

♥ Don’t react: Do not react at whatever they say. Keep calm.

♥ Support: Listen carefully to what they are saying. Be kind. Hug them. Let them know you love them and care for them. Let them know they and their well being is important to you. Show them you will be there for them while they deal with the crisis.

♥ Don’t be a doormat: In the process of giving support, do not become a doormat. Do not let them be unreasonable. Don’t abandon your life for them.

Remember, you can not cure a depressed person. You can only be their support while they recover.

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        Hugs can cure things which pills can’t

Suji ka Halwa and Akhrot ka Halwa

On a fine Saturday morning, I realised that I am not cooking as much as I should / as much as I promised myself.

A chance comment by dad on walnuts inspired me to cook something with walnuts in it. I looked for recipes and wondered whether we could make akhrot (walnut) ka halwa just like we make badam ka halwa (only heard, never eaten). The recipes that I found on net required khoya / mawa to make the halwa. Since I didn’t want to make complicated recipes & wanted to use everything that was at home (not well and no inclination to move out of home), I decided to make it just like suji ka halwa I made a week back. (Suji ka halwa is also easy peasy to make)

The beauty of this recipe is, you can use suji (rava / semolina) or akhrot (walnut) alternatively. It is easy to cook, fast to make and can satisfy hunger pangs if you don’t mind eating sweets.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Suji / rava / semolina

or

1 cup coarsely crushed walnuts (2 cups whole walnuts crushed in a mixie)

1 Cup milk

1 Cup Sugar

1.5 ladle full ghee (Sorry calorie conscious people 😉 )

Process:

Add ghee to a pan. Melt the ghee. Turn the flame to low. Add Suji / crushed Walnuts. Roast till pinkish in colour and fragrant. Add a cup of milk and mix well. Roast till the mix is soft and the milk is not entirely absorbed. For suji ka halwa you will need to add a bit of water as Suji absorbs milk fast & you don’t want the halwa to be too dry. Add sugar & roast till the sugar is absorbed. Garnish with dry fruits.

Walnut Fudge:

If you let the akhrot ka halwa sit for a while, it will harden a bit. Tastes like Walnut Fudge. If you want choco walnut fudge, add half tablespoon cocoa powder while it is soft & mix properly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Choco Walnut Fudge is ready!

 

Suji Ka Halwa

Suji Ka Halwa

 

Akhrot Ka Halwa

Akhrot Ka Halwa

Hope you guys try this instant recipes and enjoy them as much as I did 🙂

Eye Witness

Murder of a teenage girl had created too much sensation in the city! The police had no clue regards to who could be the murderer. The needle pointed at the parents but no one could imagine someone killing their own child so brutally. Theories of who could be the murderer were the talk of the town.

People were divided in their opinions. Half of them were on the parents’ side, defending them. The other half said parents killing children wasn’t something new. Look at the cases of honour killing in the country, they said. But these were educated, professionally qualified parents. They could never kill their only child like this! The other half retorted.

The case was in court for trial. The evidences were only circumstantial. Just then someone entered the court and said he was an eye witness to the murder and knew who had killed the little girl. This was unprecedented! No one would have guessed that someone like him could be an eye witness. Everyone present in the court were spell bound. The camera men of various news channels had their camera pointed on him.

When the judge gave him the go ahead, he began his story. His name was Bunny. He met Raina, the murdered girl, when she was 4 years old. Their friendship grew over the years and it made them inseparable. He had seen her growing from a bubbly baby to a charming teenage girl. In the past one year she had changed a lot though. He was not her only companion anymore. Raina’s parents had hired a man, Basant, to take care of the house and Raina. They had started to spend more time together. He didn’t like that. But he had no other option than to watch silently.

On the night of the murder, Basant and Raina were in her room as usual. Raina’s parents had gone out to watch a play. When they returned, they saw a beam of light peeping out of Raina’s room. The door was ajar and they both entered wanting to chide her for being awake. They were stunned at what they saw. In the fit of rage, the father strangled Basant with the pillow. Raina’s mom had shut Raina’s mouth with her hand. The parents strangled Raina’s neck too.

Bunny was scared and watching everything from behind the cupboard. It was his favourite hiding place nowadays. Once the parents cooled down, they probably realised what they had done. The father went to his room and brought some instruments with him. They both slit the throats of Basant & Raina carefully and cracked the skull with the golf club. They dragged the body of Basant outside but he couldn’t see where they had taken him. They arranged Raina on the bed as if she was sleeping and no monstrosity had touched the child.

Bunny had heard people flocking over to Raina’s room talk about her murder. No one knew who had killed her as they had no witness. Bunny realised it was time to speak up. Time to tell the truth. He was not only a stuffed toy for Raina. He was her best friend.

Amidst huge uproar by the people gathered in the court, the judge sentenced Raina’s parents to life imprisonment.

 

Disclaimer: Only the murder part is inspired by a true story. Rest all is my imagination.

Being Cougar. Not.

A 42 year old man marries a 32 year old woman. A 34 year old man marries a 23 year old girl. Apart from child-cradle-snatching jokes, nothing happens. This is considered to be very normal after all.

Now consider the reverse – a 40 year old woman marries a 30 year old man. How would you react? I will tell you. They would say she wants to be Madonna. She would be termed as a Cougar & other nasty words.

Why nasty, you ask. Well Madonna dates younger boys for flings not for a healthy relationship. Cougars are supposed to be predators. Do they have similar word for a man? No.

They say women mature early & hence they want to have a relationship with older man. Let’s assume this to be true for a moment. It might be true in general but what about exceptions? Why can’t a guy be more mature than a woman older than him?

I am not buying that argument though. Why anyone wants to be in a relationship with someone is purely based on how someone connects with someone. Maturity / similarities / dissimilarities do not matter. Don’t we see so many apparently mis-matched couples? If society had a way, they would have never paired up.

My neighbour is way shorter than his wife. I have never seen them feeling awkward while walking together on the street. A woman co traveller in a Mumbai local is very fat & tall. Her husband is very thin. My college friend married a guy who drives auto for living. I can go on and on. All these are of course examples of happy marriages.

The best example is of my rakhi brother. My brother is not much educated, was a mere salesman in a shop when he met my sister in law & has a very dark complexion. The woman he fell in love and married to is fair & beautiful, graduate & from a well to do family and hold your breath! 5 years elder to him! I have been witness to their relationship right from the beginning. And know for a fact that they are still very much in love and living a very happy life. It won’t be wrong to say that their story inspires me. They have taught me that when there is true love, nothing else matters and you can fight all the hurdles if you want to be together.

I am not saying that these kind of marriages / relationships would be always successful. But can we guarantee success of all society approved relationships?

Also, when you restrict older women dating younger men, you restrict their scope of dating to a miniscule number. Young guys are supposed to date only young girls / women and guys their age are also interested in younger women mostly.

Why not give everyone a freedom to date / marry whoever they want without judging them?

Dear women, who are older than the guys you like, don’t let other people’s opinions shadow your happiness. Remember, age is just a number. One life, live fully, love unabashedly 😉

 

 

Go Green Ganesh!

Tomorrow our beloved Ganapati Bappa will be visiting our homes!

Many of us are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Lord Ganesh, the God of wisdom, prosperity & auspiciousness.

On Ganesh Chaturthi, we will bring Lord Ganesh with lots of fanfare to our homes or public mandals. Whilst the Lord is staying with us, we will be taking good care of him, offer him delicious sweets, decorate the place with fragrant flowers & incense sticks.

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We will also say good bye to the Lord in a pompous manner.

But what after the idol is immersed in water? Does anyone think about that?

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Just look at these snaps! Do they evoke respect? Or do they evoke DISGUST???

It is time we show some sensitivity. Towards our lord and towards our planet!

It is time to

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Get only Eco Friendly Idols for your home / mandals. You can easily get information regarding this on the internet.

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Pledge to make the Ganesh Festival a Pollution Free Festival.

Spread Awareness amongst your friends & family & show your true devotion!!!

And Lord Ganesh will bless you with prosperity 🙂

 

Today & Everyday!

Don’t just live mindlessly. Think. Know and understand the power of thoughts.

Cultivate the habit of reading. Reading opens avenues you never knew existed.

Playing games / sports is a good way to rejuvenate yourself. It helps to keep body & mind fit and also helps retain the child within us.

Laugh with joy. Laugh unabashedly. The sound of laughter is the best music!

Gift yourself some silence everyday. Silence from talks, silence from thoughts. Be one with yourself.

Be aware. Do whatever you do consciously. Be aware of your surroundings. This will make you more understanding & compassionate.

Less animosity, less hatred, more friendship, more love. More peace & happiness for you, and everyone around you.

Learn the joy of giving. Selflessly, without any expectations.

Don’t idle away your time. There is a time for work, there is a time for leisure. Use judiciously.

Pray. Even if you don’t believe in God. Thank the universe. Gratitude makes you more human.

Do this today and everyday!!!

Pink-Rose-for-Cica-crozg

My Top / Favourite Posts

I have been posting my writings on this site since more than two years. I have crossed 200 posts and thought to have a post for some of my best posts (IMO 😉 ) Does it sound like I am giving award to myself? 😛

Here goes the list:

✎ My most beautiful post: Always & Forever

✎ My most popular post: The Guturgoo Game

✎ My most controversial post: Let yourself out of the closet (Chose this only because dad refused to read this :p )

✎ A post which I am most proud of: Virginity an issue over a tissue (Inspite of knowing family & colleagues read my posts, I still posted this)

Category wise favourite posts:

✎ Laddoo’s Corner: This page is dedicated to cheer up everyone going through life’s battles. Every post in this section is close to my heart. But this one is most special. It tells us sometimes all you need is a smile to make everything better. Smile & make this world beautiful!

✎ Thoughts: In 2011 taught me I talk about some lessons I learnt in that year. They are universal lessons & very helpful.

✎ Poems: Apocalypse is a poem I just love & can not believe it was I who wrote it!

✎ Personal: Sharing some personal anecdotes here & I just love this 9 reasons a man will get my attention (also a tribute to certain men in my life) 😉

✎ Fiction: Oh goody!! This is my favourite category & I can’t believe couple of years back I was too scared to write fiction. @islejazz has been instrumental in getting me into this genre. I love most of my stories (don’t roll eyes ok? That’s my forte) but A dish best served cold wins hands down. It was my first attempt in this genre and is the most liked story as well 🙂 Although That Red Lipstick Girl is closest to my heart 😀

✎ Funny: Well, I am sorta kinda funny not Tina Fey or Mark Twain kinda funny but I do try this genre as well 😉 Best amongst the funny post would be  Why Mumbai doesn’t need an awesome winter

✎ Love: I am crazy about love. I am in love with love. I am a hopeless romantic. If I could was written with someone special in mind (Don’t ask me who & why ok?) and hence is the most special post on love for me 😀

✎ Movies: Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge movie buff (ok mostly Bollywood) and sometimes they inspire me to write what I feel about them (won’t call them a review, just my thoughts) Aiyyaa was one universally hated movie but I enjoyed & loved it thoroughly and someone I admire a lot praised the review. Hence this one is the best choice for me.

✎ Laddoo Cooks: 2014 gave me chance to cook a lot. I thought I will post some simple recipes which don’t take much time but would win more accolades than fancy ones. *hides face & hopes to die* coz haven’t posted more than two 🙁 Anyhoo, try How to cook Rabdi & win hearts of everyone. Easy to make. Have gulab jamuns / jalebis as accompaniments 😀

✎ Travel: I love travelling and visit new places. Though mostly I don’t get opportunities or be simply lazy hence I don’t travel much. This New Girl in the Old city is a very special post because this was first time I was exploring a city on my own. Bangaloreans have shown lots of love to this one 😉

Hope you all read them and enjoy as I do. You can also tell me how did you like them or not like them 😀

Happy Reading!!

 

 

A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Truth is stranger than fiction they say. And sometimes truth matches so much with fiction that it amazes you.

Manasi was 10 year old when her parents died in a car accident. She was an only child. Her father’s kins were not very keen to take her to their home. They asked her mother’s brother to take her responsibility in exchange of a fat sum.

Her life was not very different than Cinderella after that. She was treated as a maid, beaten & abused at the drop of a hat. Only solace was they had continued her schooling. She was timid by nature & the shock of her parent’s death had made her further drawn into a shell. This went on till she was 16 year old. After she finished her schooling, she thought she would join a college, get a job & be free of this life. But alas, it was not to be. Her maternal uncle & aunt didn’t allow her to join college. She was barred from further studies. She cried her heart out for couple of days but then accepted her fate.

Years passed. She was now 19, an adult, but her life had only worsened. Her once shining eyes had now turned blank. She had no hope, no dreams left. She was scared to run away. The thought of wolves outside her home, if she could call it her home, deterred her.

Today was probably the worst day of her life. She had mistakenly put a bit extra salt in the curry & her aunt had burnt her face with the hot pan. She ran into the back yard & started sobbing. Her tears did not go un witnessed though. Harsh, 14 year old son of their neighbours got a glimpse of her from their window. There was something about her sobbing which touched Harsh’s tender heart. He had heard stories about misfortunes of Manasi whenever his mom gossiped with other neighbours. Today he saw how bad it was. He looked again at the tender face of Manasi & took a pledge there & then.

It was 7 years after the incident. Harsh was 21, a hopeful engineering student. Manasi was 26, still being abused by her relatives. Harsh, meanwhile, had become her good friend. He used to share food with her, cheer her up when she was low & always tried to build her confidence. He used to get her good books to read as he knew Manasi was fond of reading. Harsh was the balm for her painful wounds.

Harsh had been selected for a top IT company during the campus interview. The day had come to fulfill his pledge. He rushed home. He wanted an opportunity to talk to Manasi. As usual she was waiting for him in the verandah. He jumped from the wall of his house to meet Manasi. Today was not the usual chit chatting day though. He took Manasi’s hand in his hand and told her that he was in love with her since the last 7 years. He wanted to share his life with her. He asked her if she would do the honour of becoming his life partner.

Manasi was shocked. She would have never dreamt about such a thing! She tried to resist him. But he was as determined as the day he had taken a pledge that he would rescue Manasi from the clutches of her evil relatives.

Harsh had not only to fight his parents but also Manasi’s own insecurities & her apprehensions about their differences. He fought singlehandedly & emerged a winner. They both were disowned by their own families in the process.

Today, they both have created their own family and they lead a happy life together. Manasi thinks she was lucky to have Harsh to rescue her from hell while Harsh thinks it was due to Manasi he got a purpose in life.

I am privileged to know both these beautiful people. Their story inspires a hope. A hope that, true love, conquers everything. And you can find a fairy tale in the midst of an ordinary life. ❤

happy

Faces

They said it is not news when a dog bites a man but it is news when man bites the dog!

They weren’t wrong but not right either. Dog biting a wealthy businessman’s wife had become news of the day! Everyone was wondering how a pet dog could bite his mistress? The dog was termed to be mad and put to sleep. The media went gaga over the story! There was a touch of romance! The companion of 10 years was sacrificed for love!

They were also keeping a tab on the wife’s health. Her face was so badly mutilated that she had to undergo plastic surgery! Money was not a problem anyway. But if everything went hunky dory, what would be life, eh? There was a terrible glitch in the operation & in the process the doctors gave an entire new face to the wife!

After the wounds of the wife were completely healed, the couple returned home. The husband had not left her side even for a day! They were tired of giving bytes to the media. Once home, they heaved a sigh of relief! The husband smiled at his wife and hugged her, whispering “Glad no one checked for your fingerprints”

 

Disclaimer: This story is based on a real life incident of a dog biting Raj Thakrey’s wife. Everything else is my imagination.

A weekend in Pune!

This year I had decided to not waste my weekends lolling on the bed. I finally made it to my first weekend getaway last week!

It feels weird that there are so many places to visit near Mumbai itself & I have never been there yet! Anyway better late than never, right? I decided to start my journey with Pune. (For more than one reason 😉 )

Booking tickets was not a new task for me. But hotel reservation was. I had planned to reach Friday night so that I can start early on Saturday. Had thought to meet couple of friends on Sunday & leave for Mumbai at night. Hence booked only from Friday to Sunday. Big mistake it turned out to be. Plan of meeting friends fizzled out. Had to walk around the city along with my luggage. Only if I could stow away my luggage I could have had a fruitful Sunday too! Anyway, the hotel was chosen based on the best deal Clear Trip offered & it turned out to be a pretty good deal. The room was quite spacious & I was happy to have a room of my own even if it was only for couple of days 😉 And a perfect mirror for MIRRORFIES!!! YAYYY!!!

German Bakery Date

I had heard the name Deccan Queen since childhood but never travelled in one! I was super excited! The train journey took almost 3.15 hours and the view from the train was amazing!

Deccan Queen

 

The hotel I had booked was near the legendary German Bakery! I was already looking forward to visit other legendary places. 🙂

The climate in Pune was very cool & air condition is absolutely unnecessary. I was feeling chilled even with the fan on! Woke up early as decided & had yummy coffee & pancake at The Yogi Tree, which was incidentally next door to the hotel I stayed.

Yogi Tree 1Yogi TreeFirst on the agenda was to go to Osho Ashram. It is situated in Koregaon Park (referred by Punekars as KP). While on the way I had darshan of the German Bakery from outside :p Lane no.1, where the ashram is situated, is surrounded by trees on both sides. It is a walker’s paradise! Earlier, they used to have a tour of the ashram. But they have stopped it now, unfortunately. If you want to visit then you would have to buy some costly day packages. 😀

After the ashram, moved on to the Aga Khan Palace, which has been turned into a Gandhi memorial. The palace is surrounded with breathtaking greenery! It is a photographer’s delight!

Aga Khan PalaceAga Khan Palace 1

It was humbling to walk around the place where legends have walked!

Moved on to Raja Kelkar Museum. The museum is a tribute by Dinkar Kelkar to his son, who passed away at a very young age. He along with others, collected unique items of daily use. The creativity is amazing!


Kelkar Museum

Kelkar Museum 1

 

Kelkar Museum 2

Ivory Door, part of the museum collection

Erotic Nutcutters, Interesting

Erotic Nutcutters, Interesting

Though I loved the entire collection, the musical instrument section was the best! They play classical music in the section & it was so soothing & charming! I got a book about the museum & DVD of the virtual tour for my parents (So much for the resolution of no shopping, no increasing baggage!)

After I left for the museum I remembered I needed to get couple of things. Had a chat with the shopkeeper couple, who knew immediately that I was new in the city. They told me inspite of living walking distance from the museum they had never visited it. I urged them to do so. 🙂

My spirits were high & was off my way to the next stop Shaniwar Wada. The GPS told me it is quite nearby & since I was in a mood to explore the city on foot, I walked towards the fort. By the time I reached the fort I was utterly exhausted. I couldn’t explore the fort much & came back to the hotel.

Shaniwar Wada, a heritage site

Shaniwar Wada, a heritage site

After a quick lunch & a short nap, I was raring to go out again!

Wasn’t in the mood to have anything so just sipped on ice tea at German Bakery. I just loved the ambience! From German Bakery I moved to Goodluck, the much revered Iranian Cafe. I ordered for tea & bun maska, but I wasn’t actually hungry & also was a bit disheartened, so just had the tea. It was delicious!

Famous Bun Maska

Famous Bun Maska

So that was Day1.

Next day, I decided to have some nice spicy puneri breakfast. Pataleshwar caves was the only one on my agenda. It is situated on Jangli Maharaj Road & I found a very nice restaurant there which serves yummy & spicy misal pav. Day = made!

Spicy Misal Pav

Spicy Misal Pav

The Pataleshwar Cave Temple is located on the main road. And is an interesting site. Not much to see though. But the stone construction & banyan tree at the entrance enchanted me!

Pataleshwar

Banyan Tree

Banyan Tree

I was clueless regarding my next stop. So I just roamed around. Walked till Deccan Gymkhana, bought some goodies for home & team from the very famous Chitale Bandhu, walked towards FC Road but then it was too hot so I went to Phoenix Mall, Vimannagar, which is very far from the city & getting a return auto from there is very difficult. I spent couple of hours in the mall for the AC & then returned to the city. I wanted to visit the Sambhaji Garden, but it was closed for the afternoon & there was plenty of time left for it to reopen. I had fresh hot corn on the cob & some coconut water. That was my lunch for the day 😀 I walked around F C Road, in & around the smaller bylanes. But I got pretty bored & wanted to sit for a while. I wanted to visit Vaishali restaurant, but it was jam packed! I also wanted to visit Starbucks Cafe at F C Road as I had heard so much about it!

Starbucks FC

But by the time I entered the cafe I was pretty much bored & in pain what with carrying all my stuff around with me! I decided to end my journey. Last Checkin: Swargate Bus Stop 😉

Overall I had good fun. I need to plan my trip in a better way. There are many places in Pune I have missed out on. I hope the next experience turns out to be a better one 🙂

Metamorphosis!

Today I wore the same t shirt I had worn 2 years ago. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I couldn’t believe how much I had changed! Even my team members agreed!

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This change is not only due to weight loss. Of course it plays an important role. My attitude and belief towards myself have changed for the better. I am more confident and sure about myself. I don’t carry the burden of always being rejected anymore. I know I am beautiful and this reflects in my over all appearance.

I have also realised that while we give importance to inner beauty, we forget to take care of our physical beauty. There is no harm in grooming ourselves, looking pleasanter and having an attractive body. Not for anyone else but for us!

I know this is just a beginning of the journey. I need to get fitter and slimmer. But the journey so far has been very satisfying. I feel very happy looking in the mirror, getting appreciative glances, getting loads of compliments from friends and family! This keeps me motivated 🙂

Thank you for everyone who has helped me make this possible, specially V.

Automatic Teller Machine

The queue was getting restless. They were getting bored and tired of waiting for their daily quota. The man inside the machine room was taking hell lot of time today. After a while he came out and everyone started asking him questions about the machine. Wasn’t it working properly? They were worried they would have to return home empty handed.

The man replied, No, instead of one word, I entered 50 words. I needed a longer story as I am going away for few days. The crowd heaved a sigh of relief and formed a queue again to collect their 140 words story. That’s what they got in lieu of entering a word in the Automatic Story Teller Machine.

MY BFF Devil!

I love meeting people & making friends. But I have rarely found girls / women whom I can call my BFF!

The one I am talking about, calls herself devil but she is far from being one.

She asked me to list down her nice qualities & here is the surprise for her 😉

❤ She is an amazing daughter, sister, wife & mother but best of all she is a truly amazing friend! (She removed someone from her life just because they were being mean to me)

❤  She is pretty but she never boasts about it. She is not vain that way

❤ She makes my life interesting & fun in more than one ways! (You would totally enjoy her fun repartees & cute pics she shares of ghosts & demons)

❤ She makes me feel comfortable enough to share everything. (Her whatsapp must be overloaded with my whining & pining about my crush)

❤ She doesn’t tolerate nonsense & isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade (She isn’t gonna make a good poker player)

❤ She gives practical advices (too practical sometimes, but that’s ok)

❤ She is a good listener (but you have o tell her, don’t judge, just listen)

❤ She is one of the rare genuine people who don’t fake feelings (I wish sometimes she was a bit emotional though 😉 )

❤ She is trustworthy & dependable (She can keep secrets)

❤ She has immense patience (I left 100 messages for her once & she read all of them)

❤  She is someone I would gladly take a bullet for! (Sorry for stealing your line but hey jo tera hai wo mera hai, right? )

I love you Devil so so much! And I am grateful to have you in my life! You are my much needed pillar of strength! I don’t know what I would do without you! I wish I had met you sooner.. my life would have definitely been different! Thank you for being there & hope you be there forever!!

bffs

A Special Love Letter!

No one has ever written a love letter to me. So when Tanzila asked if anyone wanted a love letter to be written to them, I immediately said yes. The result was overwhelming to say the least. Whenever I feel low, I re-read it, just to boost some confidence in myself. 🙂

Sharing this here to know that words matter a lot if you find the right way to say them 🙂

ll

 

Thank you to everyone who never lost their faith in me. Thank you for loving me as I am. Thank you for being part of my journey.

Eating Healthy

The most common new year resolution is to lose weight / get fitter / eat healthier / say no to junk food.

We keep on procrastinating until one day we receive a wake up call like sickness of self or others.

And we finally decide to take matters in our hands. To regain our health & fitness.

We might have to change our lifestyle completely. But it is not easy as it sounds. I too have been there done that.

It is difficult to form habits, specially good habits, but we need to remember that nothing is impossible.

All you need is dedication, perseverance & eye to the goal.

And most importantly to be SMART!

❤ Make two lists – What you should eat & what you shouldn’t. This would help you in shopping smartly.

do-dont

 Don’t give up on your favourite food completely. If you give up entirely, after a short time you will be back to your old diet.

lazy-dog-cafe-westminster-ca-lazy-dog-burger-and-fries-610x407❤ You can not make temporary changes. Unless you are sure you can do this for lifetime, do not try any fad diets.

before after Do not tell your family & friends that you are going on a diet. Chances are you will be force fed things you wouldn’t want to eat. (Arre ek din khane se kucchh nahin hoga, etc etc) Rings a bell, doesn’t it? 😉

images Increase intake of your favourite fruits and nuts (not fruit & nut chocolate & not salted / fried nuts, ok?) They are definitely better than desserts and processed foods.

fruit-and-nuts Start cooking for yourself. Lesser calories taken, less expensive & infact you BURN calories while cooking! Win Win right?

Handsome man cooking at home preparing salad in kitchen. Don’t forget exercising! A healthy lifestyle is the one where everything is balanced. You can start with whatever you are comfortable with. Yoga / Walking / Gymming / Sports / Dance! Grab opportunities to increase your physical activity!

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And when you can walk / run / jump effortlessly, start fitting in clothes one / two sizes less than you usually wear, and get all sorts of compliments, these changes these would be worth it!

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So what are you waiting for? New Year / Monday / Birthday? Don’t! Do it now! There is no better time than NOW! 🙂

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Dreams of Sunshine and Rains

It was the 100th time she was trying Rohit’s phone & it was still unavailable. His assistant had no idea where he had gone to after work. She couldn’t believe Rohit would do this on their anniversary. Anniversary of the first time they had met. The date was etched on her heart forever. 10th June. They both loved rains & it always amazed them that destiny had chosen that particular evening for them to meet.

The city was caught by surprise with the sudden rains. It was pouring cats & dogs & there was no auto-rickshaw in sight. On top of that she wasn’t even carrying an umbrella. The love for rains had temporarily been replaced by the worry of how she would reach home. As she stood there thinking, a car halted in front of her. A guy popped his head out of the window & asked if she needed a lift. She was horrified at the thought. Lift from a stranger? She straight away said no. He nodded his head and drove away.

She started walking towards her home hoping she might get some transport on the way.

It had started raining as soon as he left office. Thank God he never forgot to carry an umbrella as soon as June approached. A habit, which had helped him, to meet Madhavi 10 years back. He still remembered the day vividly. As if it happened yesterday. He was standing at the bus stop waiting for the bus, when it started pouring heavily. He saw people scampering around in search for transport or shelter. The sudden rains had caught everyone unawares. After a while, as the crowd dispersed, he saw a girl still standing in the middle of the road. She was completely drenched & looked lost. Her innocent face pulled a tug in his heart & he felt like helping her out. It seemed he was not the only one though. A car approached her & the driver started talking to her. She knew the driver perhaps. He knew he should avert his eyes, but he wanted to keep looking at her. He breathed a sigh of relief when the car drove off without taking her. But then she started walking away. His heart said no no no no.. you can’t go so soon! I don’t even know how to find you again! And he rushed towards her.

Excuse me, she heard someone speaking to her. She looked up and saw a handsome looking guy with the nicest eyes she had ever seen. He was asking if she needed the umbrella. Somehow she felt like trusting him. She refused saying she was already drenched. The guy looked disappointed. And she didn’t like it! This was so unlike her! He then asked her which way she was going & if she liked he could walk with her as it wasn’t safe to go alone. She nodded her head and started walking again. It was a long walk & talking was the only option to make the journey less tiresome. They didn’t know then but they had fallen in love with each other by the end of the journey.

That was then & this is now. She sighed. Rohit had changed after all. Since some days he had started working late, grabbing his phone if she went anywhere near it & today was the limit. There was no sign of him anywhere! She started thinking all sorts of things that could have happened & started feeling uneasy.

As if on cue, the door bell started ringing. She hoped it was Rohit & was ready to blast him with curses. As soon as she opened the door, she saw an open umbrella, with the collage of all pictures they had taken over the year on 10th June. She couldn’t help smiling. She took the umbrella from his hand & kept it aside & embraced Rohit with the tightest hug possible.

The sun awoke her from sleep & she looked outside the window. It had rained last night. The entire night actually. And right now the sun was shining brightest. Just like their love.

Fashionable and Me?

Some years back, Me, S & her friend were going for a movie. I was meeting S’s friend for the first time. I was wearing a short striped kurti & patiyala with an abstract pattern. I loved that dress and felt very cool. Not that anyone told me that ever. That I was cool that is. Also I usually dressed in tent like clothes to cover up my excess fat. The days where I used to wear only midis and skirts seemed like a distant dream.

Next day S told me her friend said I carried myself very well. And I was like WHOA! Do I? And that was the moment I decided I would get more such clothes in my wardrobe. Bye Bye ugly tents 😉

Over the years I lost some of my excess weight and also better clothes for plus sized people were available in the market. (steeply priced though :-/ ) Anyway, I started wearing skirts and western clothes again. My dressing sense was appreciated very much & it was flattering as well as overwhelming. Suddenly people were asking me tips on what to wear, where to buy clothes from, etc etc

What was happening? How did I become a fashionista? I never followed trends. I only wore what I liked. And my mom can vouch that my shopping doesn’t take more than 5 minutes :-p

That is the key I guess. Wear what you like, what you are comfortable in. With CONFIDENCE! It doesn’t matter what brand your clothes are or how much they cost or are they trending or not. Create your own trends. Be a fashion icon rather than follow fashion icons 😉 Be Cool!

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Be the change. Feel the change.

Since childhood, we are hearing this statement, “Change is the only constant”

Everything in life keeps on changing the moment we are born. One minute we are being fed and clothed by someone else, we are free to potty wherever and whenever we like and then one fine day, we have to dress ourselves, eat with our own hands and later, cook for ourselves.

As we start becoming aware of our surroundings, we also sense the need to change everything. Right from the time of getting up from bed or not, to how the food should be cooked to how the government should function.

We participate in debate and elocution competitions to voice our opinion. We write blogs. We tweet and outrage about how things should or shouldn’t be.

Essentially, we expect someone else to do the dirty work. But is that the right way to change things?

Rights and duties are the two different sides of a coin. While everyone wants the rights, the duties are being flee-ed away from. Like we flee from the Swine Flu virus! Charity begins at home, therefore, applies here more than anywhere else. It is easy to expect other people to change but it takes lots of courage to change yourself. Ask yourself what can you change? How can you improve your surroundings? What thing you can commit to? And remember change need not be a major one. It can be as small as you want it to be. Don’t litter, Stop spitting in public, Do not give or receive bribes, support education of an orphan, do not waste resources, specially public resources.

Be an inspiration to others and see the world changing! Be the Change to Feel the Change!!!

 

Future Perfect!

She was returning to her city after 15 years and was amazed at the changes in the landscape. Tall buildings had replaced tall trees, gardens had been replaced by malls. Everything was shiny & bright but the simplicity and innocence seemed to be replaced by a strange uneasiness.

Sudden halt of the car brought her back from her reverie. After inspection, the driver told her that the car had broken down and would require some time to fix it. The journey from the airport to her parents house was already tedious & the thought of spending more time on the road made her scowl. She looked out of the window to know where they had reached. She moved out of the car & called up her mother to inform about the delay. As she was walking around, her eyes noticed a familiar sign. It looked like the same tea stall they used to frequent back in the golden days when she was still working in this city. She looked around and realised it was the same place. It had transformed so much that she had failed to recognise it. In those days, there was only one factory and couple of commercial buildings around. There was more green cover than now. The green cover was lost, replaced by buildings. The area had more options for food. Earlier there was only this one tea stall which catered to all types of people. She was amazed to be here in the same place on the same date she had been 15 years back.

She went to the tea stall and asked for a cutting tea. The tea stall owner was staring at her. Her clothes and demeanor didn’t gel with the rest of the crowd. She noticed the tea stall owner, or Anna, as they used to call him and gave him a smile. She enquired about him in the same style she used to. Looking at his puzzled face, she introduced herself & told him that she used to work in this area some years back. Anna recollected soon & they started chatting like old friends. She enquired about her old work place and her colleagues specially Mohan. He pointed to the new office & shared stories of people who had left and were still working here. Mohan was now at a big post but still came over for a cuppa!

Talking about Mohan made her remind of the time spent together. The fun at work, sharing of food & outings on Sundays all came back to her. She remembered how she had fallen in love with him and how nervous he used to make her. She had never hoped to have a chance with him as he always seemed to be surrounded by pretty women. On her last day she wanted to share her feelings with him but somehow words never reached her lips. She wondered what his personal life might be now. He would have married one of the beauties and would be father of adorable kids. She forgot all about her husband and kids and was consumed by the desire to meet him.

She informed the driver to wait for her as she was going to meet old friends and moved towards Mohan’s office. She hoped he also would be excited to meet her after all these years. When Mohan’s secretary informed him about who wanted to meet her, he rushed out of his cabin. He looked ecstatic and that made her happier!

They went to the office cafetaria and started chatting. Both seemed to have lots of questions for each other. She told her about her marriage, her shifting abroad and her kids. He talked about work and promotions and plans for future. She hesitatingly asked him about his family life, whether he was married. He was speechless for a moment and replied in negative. She was surprised and wanted to know the reason. He took a deep breath and looked into her eyes and said “I was in love with you but never found courage to tell you about my feelings” 

She was shocked to say the least and almost fainted. She could hear him call her name. His voice seemed to be coming from far. Suddenly she felt water being splashed on her face. She opened her eyes and blinked. Everything looked different. Gone was the cafetaria. She and Mohan were seated on a bench near the tea stall. She was again a carefree 27 year old. She realised she had been dreaming while Mohan had gone to fetch tea for both of them. Mohan asked her what had gone into her. She looked at him and decided this time she wouldn’t wait for 15 years to know what future she could have had. She told him that she loved him deeply and the thought of being away from him had made her emotional. She lowered her eyes afraid to know his reaction. He held her hand and lifted her chin and asked “what made you think I would let you go away from me?”

She smiled her brightest smile! She had done the right thing. She had made her future perfect!

Happy Women’s Day!

Come March and you know woman’s day is around the corner. You are bombarded with special deals for women, discounts, events and what not!

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This way of celebrating is nothing but reiterating the cliche that women are born to shop! This is SO NOT the way! It limits the day to be a symbolic gesture & doesn’t emphasis the actual reason it is celebrated.

The Women’s Day started being celebrated to create more awareness about the issues women faced in the early 20th century. Read more here: Why celebrate Women’s Day!

The issues faced by today’s women are not much different than what women faced couple of centuries back. It is important to not let this day be just about gifts and pampering. Let this day be about making ourselves aware of what we are and what we are capable of. Let men take a moment to appreciate the sweetness in their lives brought by women. Let men understand that it is love and respect we seek and not trinkets and flowers. Let men know that women are human beings too and have every right to all the freedom men enjoy! (Yes, including paying bills without men feeling emasculated)

Be happy that you are born a woman! Be happy about the quirks God gifted you with! Treat all women as your sisters and friends and not indulge in petty power plays!

Wish all women out there a very Happy Women’s Day!!!

hwd

 

Monday Blues

Come Sunday and everyone is cribbing about the Monday looming ahead. In the process they don’t even enjoy Sunday completely.

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The main reason for hating Monday, in my opinion is we laze around so much during the weekend that lifting our bum to go to work seems a horrible thought. But there is a reason we are supposed to work. Not everyone can afford the luxury of sleeping all the time. Also, even if you were a millionaire, you would get bored doing nothing!

It would be better to accept the fact and do our best to not let Monday be a nightmare and be as cheerful as we would be on Friday 😉

✎ Get a job which you love: The excitement of doing something you love will never let you dread going to work.

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✎ Plan something new for Monday: Always try something new on Monday. It could be a new class, workshop, dress, lipstick or even a new menu. Excitement of doing something new would drive away the blues 😉

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✎ Bring out the favourites: If not something new, you can always cheer yourself by wearing your favourite outfit, or shirt or shoes. Wouldn’t you feel happier? (On that note, wish the dress code at work was more relaxed. Imagine being able to wear jeans and tee everyday! 😉 )

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✎ Bring on the Smile: A beautiful smile not only brightens your day but also of the ones around you! Don’t be shy! Smile the brightest and see the blues vanish!!

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This list is not exhaustive! You can think of your own measures. After all you are the best judge of what makes you happy!! 😉

happy monday

 

 

How to melt the cold war?

No, I am not talking about the America Russia Cold War. :p

Though not at that serious level, cold war exists even amongst individuals or groups. (Example Salman Khan & Shahrukh Khan) There is a hostility in the way these individuals interact and behave as strangers with each other though they may or may not have been good friends earlier.

Usually the cause of this cold war is either a fight, a misunderstanding or lack of communication.

cold war

Common enemies of both would enjoy their cold war and even fuel it. But there are two kinds of people who would want this war to end. A. The ones who love to be peacemaker & can’t tolerate anyone not on talking terms. B. A common friend caught in the middle of the cold war who faces the brunt of both sides (remember the famous Ross and Rachel We were on a break war?)

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So how would you go about ending the war?

1. It would not be a good thing to meddle unless atleast one party wants to end the war. You need to speak to them individually. If any one of them shows signs of wanting reconciliation, you can offer to sort the matter out. Speak to both of them regarding the issues they have. Do not defend either of them.

2. You can bring them both to a place which all of you might have frequented earlier. This helps in reviving happy memories and reconciliation becomes easy.

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3. Communication is the best way to sort out any differences.

4. If you see that outcome of this meeting is positive, you can try further. Bring them together in a personal space like home.

5. If the bitterness aggravates, don’t meddle any further. You can do only so much 🙂

Happy Meddling to you! 😉

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Of Impressions First and Otherwise..

It was my second proper job & we were into the second week of training. I was having lunch with the other trainees and I said something funny (I do make people laugh occasionally 😉 ) and suddenly one of the co-trainee said my God you are such a sweet and frank person! I can’t believe I thought you are a snob!

I was as surprised as her. I believed I am a very friendly and non snobbish person! How can I even give that impression? But then I realised I am an introvert extrovert person. I am very shy in company of strangers and more I be with them, more I would open up.

Over the years many people have told me this, that they thought me as intimidating and more they knew me, more they were surprised by my friendliness.

First Impressions are not true impressions about me then. And I am sure not about many other people.

I have come across people who have seemed charming and strong and then realised they are just compulsive flirts / weaklings actually. (This is how we overcome crushes 😉 )

So the moral of the story is don’t get blinded by first impression. Know the other person and give them chance for a second and lasting impression 🙂

Coffees And Conversations

Coffee and conversation are the most cliched phrase ever. However cliched they might be though, they are both stimulating agents. A cup of coffee refreshes you and so does a good conversation. Remember when you are low and you just want someone to talk to you? And when that someone does talk, how pepped up you feel?

You can read various articles on the internet which will tell you how to be a good conversationalist. That is not the point of this post 🙂

A good conversation is a subjective term. People have varied interests and same people could have different interests at different times. The  key to having a good conversation is being interested. Interested in the person you are talking to and interest in sharing. A good conversation is always a two way street. It can not be that only one person talks and other listens.

The funny thing about a good conversation is that you don’t necessarily have to be talking all the time. When people get comfortable with each other, the conversation can also be with body language and silence 🙂

It is rightly said a lot can happen over coffee. Only thing needed is your willingness and interest 😉

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Little Bites of Heaven!

Mung ki daal (Green, split) is such a multi tasker! It can be used to make daal, It can be combined with rice to make khichadi, it can be used to make pakode & also the ever healthy snack mung ki daal ka chilla!

After Rabdi, my dad loves the mung ki daal ke pakode I make. It is easy & fast to cook. Except that it requires 8 hours of soaking daal.

You can make it even on weekdays to spice up your day!

How to make the yummy pakodas:

1. Soak one cup moong daal (Enough for 2 people) overnight / 8 hours.

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2. Remove water from the soaked daal, put it in a blender, add 2-3 green chillies, salt as per taste and grind into a smooth paste. You can add red chilli powder to the batter instead of green chillies. I use this trick for emergencies. Add half a tsp of black pepper powder for that extra zing!

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3. Make small balls of batter with your fingers and push them into the frying pan with the help of your thumb.

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4. Fry them till golden brown on medium high flame. Pro Tip: If you cook them on high flame, chances are they will remain raw from inside & crispy outside.

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5. Yummy pakodas ready to be served. ^_^

DSC_0572These are amazing to have with Hot tea. These can also be used to make Dahi Wada. You can serve ketchup or tamarind chutney on side or eat them just like that as the pakodas are moist enough.

So what are you thinking? Make this pakodas and give delightful surprise to your family / friends 😀

Not just a wishlist!

So many books to read / blogs to write / places to travel to / movies to watch to / music to listen to and so little time!

There are reasons I haven’t made any bucket list. A. I am too spontaneous to go with a planned list. B. Don’t want to spend my life ticking off items to complete. You can read more here: Kick The Bucket

But there are certain things I really want to do in this life and would be happier to see all the items checked.

✎ Be kind

✎ Bring smile to someone who really needs it

✎ Change someone’s life for better

✎ Not give up on dreams

✎ Not to seek validation from anyone

✎ Be more forgiving

✎ Be brave and face fears upfront

✎ Not to indulge in self pity

✎ Talk less and listen more

✎ Live every moment

✎ Love. Just love with all my heart

Its my life, not a drama stage. I will not seek audience. I will live for myself.

Letter to my younger selves

Dear 16 year old & 24 year old me,

You are dreaming about your prince charming & knight in shining armour. This is the age to be dreamy eyed I guess. You are young and full of hope and influenced by romantic books and movies.

You have in your mind carved out the picture of how your soul mate would be (Of course you don’t refer to him as a soul mate coz you don’t understand the concept yet but I assure you one day you will)

Whatever the picture is in your mind, one day you will realise that there is no prince charming or knight in armour for you.

And there is nothing to be sad about coz you don’t need a prince or a knight.

What you need is a living breathing human being. Who is not perfect and doesn’t need you to be perfect. He might not have a liking for books but doesn’t mean he isn’t worldly wise. He might not be a man of words but he will be a man of action. He will not write eloquent poetries for you but he will ensure that you are never sad. He will fill your life with sweetness which is missing in your life right now.

He might not be the one you want, but he will definitely be the one you need. He will be the ONE, your life partner in the truest of sense.

Whatever happens, don’t lose Faith 🙂

Love,

<Ahem  Ahem> year old you

The virtue of cleanliness

The dictionary defines cleanliness as a state of being free from dirt.

As individuals we are obsessed with cleanliness. We shower twice a day* (atleast once where there is a water shortage), we wash our hands before and after eating meals, we sweep our homes and mop it with water. We do not allow even a trace of chocolate wrapper on the floor at our home.

This is the keyword. Home. We keep our home and ourselves spic and span. It would be an insult to us if someone were to visit our house and say it resembled a pigsty. (Not that I know how a pigsty looks) Anyway, the point here is, cleanliness is often restricted to self or home or rather where we get credit to keep everything neat and clean.

Once the responsibility ceases, we stop being the cleanliness freaks. We throw waste papers, wrappers & fruit skins out of the vehicle we are travelling in, we spit anywhere we please (to keep walls spit free, we need to put up pictures of God), we even pee and poop in public places without a care. Inspite of dustbins available easily, we have a tendency to through garbage where it is convenient to us. It seems like there is a challenge as to who throws garbage the least number of times in the trash can.

And then enters the Swachh Bharat Mission. I am principally against this mission. It is a sign of good citizen to keep his / her surroundings clean. But if we clean up the mess others did, for free, when would they take up responsibility for their actions?

The number of paid professionals to do this task as compared to the population is very less. We can reduce their burden by using the trash cans wisely and not go littering around. It is not that difficult either. We just need to be alert of our actions.

True cleanliness won’t be achieved unless people don’t wait for credit to not litter / not create a mess. It will be achieved when people realise their responsibilities. People need to clean their thoughts before they are expected to clean their cities.

A awareness to the need for overall cleanliness would lead to be a Godly experience for everyone for sure!

 

*necessity of living in a tropical country

Words..

Where do the words go when we have said them?” — Margaret Atwood

We speak so much during the day! Lots of words leave our mouth and get spread in several directions.

Where exactly they go?

Some words are so fickle, the fall on the ground and mingle with the dust. Some words are so light, they dissolve in the air.

But some words are listened carefully to. They get mingled with the heart beats and in the veins where blood flows. These words become a part of someone else’s existence!

Did your words become part of someone’s existence today? 🙂

But..

He: I love you..

She: But?

He: My mom says no inter caste marriage

He: I love you..

She: But?

He: Marriage is not for me.

He: I love you..

She: But?

He: Mom says you are too old for me.

He: I am so much in love with you!

She: But?

He: But? You are so cynical! I love you unconditionally!

She: *rolls eyes* But?

He: We are not meant to be together

You see there is always a but when someone says I  love you to you.

But once in a lifetime you would get to hear I love you without any buts..

And the search continues..

The Year That Was.. The Year That Will Be!

The nightmare that December brought is finally over! This site is a home for my thoughts and it being invaded / blocked was such a distress! More distress that I could not write anything and didn’t know whether I would get this place back. Quite similar to your real home gutted by fire I guess.

It is so great to see that mirchiladdoo logo and the red jazzy mirchiladdoo page again (BRB Hugging the Laptop) 😀 😀

Apart from this incident, 2014 has been an AMAZING year, workwise or otherwise. This year was full of awards, accolades, reconnecting with family, amazing friends and most importantly love. 🙂

Resolution wise I am happy that I got my passport this year, read more books than ever, published more posts than ever, baked a cake & did lots of cooking 😉 I have also given two titles to myself this year. Selfie Queen (I think I click amazing selfies) and Rabdi Queen. (Please don’t disown me, ok?)

This year I need to carry forward the awesomeness of 2014. (And stop using the word awesome so much :p)

In 2015 I wish to:

1. Take care of my health big time.

2. Do more cooking and cook more dishes than I did in 2014.

3. Bake cakes and cupcakes from scratch.

4. Spend less money (Too much being spend on autos & eating out)

5. Better leave management (Travel was supposed to be on this year’s agenda but how do I do it without leaves in my kitty, right?)

That’s about it. No fancy things. Just simple basic rules to follow 🙂

Wish you a happy healthy & prosperous 2015! May you achieve everything this year that you wish to! 🙂

Belonging!

This is not written by me but it seems this was written for me. Each & every word. Nothing could be better for my 200th post ^_^

She didn’t belong anywhere and she never really belonged to anyone.

And everyone else belonged somewhere and to someone.

People thought she was too wonderful.

But she only wanted to belong to someone.

People always thought she was too wonderful to belong to them

or that something too wonderful would hurt too much to lose.

And that’s why she liked him– because he just thought she was crazy.”

C. JoyBell C.

Hugs!

The most positive picture floating around internet these days is this one:

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Two people holding each other, one being the comforter and other being comforted. This should be such a natural expression to share happiness, sorrow & love. Though this is a very common form of expression in the west, I don’t think it comes naturally to Indians. I have never witnessed it in my family or amongst neighbours. When we meet we usually say hello / namaste which is very formal.

My first tryst with a hug was with my mom’s christian friend. We met her at a railway station and she just hugged me, when mom introduced us. I still remember how awkward I felt and didn’t know what struck me and how should I react. That was the only experience in a long time.

Circa 2012. Welcome to Social networking sites. I learnt to give virtual hugs by quoting *hugs* and used to wonder what would happen if I meet those person in real? Would I be able to give them a real hug?

Circa 2014. Mom started staying at sister’s place and by then I had become a compulsive virtual hugger so much so that I didn’t have any qualms in hugging people. In public. Be it my colleague who I met after years & mom, who is usually not expressive about her emotions.

And you know what? It feels good. The warmth of friendship & love gives you a comfort which nothing else can. Not even chocolate.

Also, recently I got to hug someone (@islejazz) whom I used to send virtual hugs the most & my question was answered. If you really love the person, hugging comes naturally & feels great. ^_^

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Friend-zoned

You must have heard / read / talked about this term lots of time. Friend-zoned. Friend zoning is nothing but putting an invisible line between you and the person who wants to be more than friends with you and you don’t.

It is heartbreaking of course. Suppose you fall in love with someone and that person hasn’t. They are happy with the status quo and don’t want anything more from the relationship. It is tough to see them and to control your feelings. You are angry too as they are not responding to your feelings. You might then stop interacting with them and move away.

But remember you are not the only victim here. The other person is losing a good friend. Its equally heartbreaking for them if you vanish from their life.

No one is at fault here. Yet both of them suffer. Sigh.

PS: No, there is no point of this post.