Inspirations

Birds of Happiness…

Time flies even before you realize it. You are in this moment, you blink and it is already past, you are in present and thinking of future already.It has been three marvelous years of my wedding life. My husband’s earnest efforts to keep the relationship going, his love and tender care, the diligent friend in him and the patient lover has made this fatalism work. I shudder on the thought that would it have been possible without his constant efforts? Might be… but then, I love the way he handles every moment and situation. He loves me for what I am and not what I should be! Isn’t that all I can ask for and love him more for this?

I always wonder that isn’t there a story behind that particular song humming or listening to which your heart suddenly swells up with happiness, when you admire yourself into the mirror gazing at yourself in that particular dress which reminds you of a thousand happy moments, when your feet suddenly starts jiving to an anonymous tune in your head? Isn’t that love? The love which brings lots and lots of happiness with it if you keep it open… I have experienced this and would love to keep it going…The happiness of life depends on the quality of thoughts… promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate…the hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross, and which to burn. I have chosen the bridge to eternal love, forgiving, learning and happiness. I am going to embrace all the love and happiness which comes in my way, fight and deal with all the challenges, forgive the worthy and spread the love. Every relationship has its problems, but sometimes what makes it perfect is if you still want to be together, when things go wrong? You need to see who matters in your life. Be happy, take pictures, enjoy every moment and you will see the change it brings in your life. I read somewhere that – โ€œHappy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry.โ€ And I promise myself to adhere to this. We will always remain the true birds of happiness ๐Ÿ™‚

This June my blog completed it’s two years. We had been working and sharing our thoughts and love together. It’s been a roller-coaster ride and I thank every reader who visited my blog and showed their love in some or other way. Thanks a lot for your support ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Anniversary

โ€œThe best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.โ€ ~ Rick Warren

Savouring Delicacies :)

I called my mom today and it started with the same opening questions. “How are you? What had you been doing? What did you cook today?” Mom’s replies are automatic regarding food. It always starts with – “Nothing much…” even when she would have prepared enough delicacies to be served in a wedding house ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Not to be surprised, even knowing what is she gonna say I always wait eagerly to listen to what all food has been prepared. As she keeps on saying each item, I go back in the memories when I was there and would relish all these food while mom or grandmom kept on swaying the beautiful hand decorated bamboo fan near us. The comfort of mom’s hand cooked food, the delicacies prepared in the most authentic ways, the masalas grinded in the seal-bata, food served in the heavy brass plates, the smell of the home grown rice, eating sitting on the small chaunkis and the fan swaying always added a charm to it! I miss those days so much. Somehow, I just want to go back in time and enjoy those moments again. But I know, that even if I do that numerous times, it is never gonna be enough!!

Doi Maach :)Photo courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

Back to where I started. So today, mom said that it was pouring over there and dad had brought fish in the morning. She didn’t feel like making too many items today because of the heavy rain and thus settled on some doi maach, fried fish, rice, moong daal and a humble mango-mint chutney ๐Ÿ˜ฎ No wonder my mouth started watering. I so wanted to be there and hog every damn thing she had prepared. But…!!

Anyways, another idea striked and I decided to repeat the same menu. After ten minutes of rigourous do’s and don’ts discussion I marched to the kitchen. I couldn’t create the same magic but atleast I am going to eat the same thing what is being eaten in the different part of the country! Somehow, I feel that even when two people are not together or are at a distant place, food can always bring them together. I always feel connected to my mom and my roots when I prepare the same thing (or atleast try to). It makes me feel happy, loved and miss my mom’s hand cooked food a bit less… I love you mom โ™ฅ

It has been raining here and I am just enjoying it. I guess, God had plans to create the same scene in two different worlds today so that even when we are away we can still remain connected ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Life happens… when you stop and listen!!

“So many reasons for you to be happy…So many reasons for you to be smiling
But youโ€™re not about to see โ€˜em,…Youโ€™re not about to feel โ€˜em,
Youโ€™re not about to be โ€˜em….if you donโ€™t believe them…”

Life happens… when you stop and listen!! Its’ amazing and magical when you stop and start listening to your life. Its’ life changing…its peaceful and meaningful. Life always tries to talk to us, in different ways. Its’ just us… who don’t stop for a moment to listen to it! It has happened lots of times to me, I have heard and ignored these magical words. But this time, it was for real! I was able to make sense out of a string of seemingly random events, that might not make sense to many. But to me it did… it did this time… when I bothered to stop, listen, and check in with my heart. Let me tell you how.

I have recently joined a new company and my office timings have changed. I start early in the morning and come back home around dawn. One of these days, when I was returning from office, I was so tensed and engrossed in my own thoughts about the amount of work, tension and tiredness I feel in my life all the time. Whilst all this, my bus stopped in the signal and I saw a place where a building was getting constructed. It was dawn and all the workers were wrapping their work. They were happy, content and were preparing for a happy evening with their family and friends. These workers stay near the same building in a cemented house which is their home till the building is complete. I saw those workers and their wives, daughters and kids… how happy they were… Everyone was doing their own chores happily…The ladies didn’t mind cooking for their family even when they too had worked the whole day with their men! One of the lady came out with the oil lamp for doing the evening prayers.. following was the conch’s loud and soothing sound… The ladies didn’t mind men eating and throwing the green gram pods on the floor… kids were happily playing with the men.. I could see the stealing expressions of a newly wed couple… Everything was so normal… but still so magical… it changed something in me.

This sight is common.. and we see it often while travelling in Bangalore roads… But what I realized this time was, how happy and content these people looked. Even when they have so little in their life! They don’t have a permanent place to stay, they have to change their home with their work, they earn so less, they have no luxuries in their life, their children don’t go to hi-fi schools, they can’t go and buy whatever they want all the time… the limitations are endless… but does this stop them from being happy?? From just living the moment? From just cherishing the little things and joy they have in their life?? NO!! I know these people will have their own sorrows, but this time I saw something different! I felt guilty for myself! What am I doing with my own life and the people who love me? Why I don’t cherish the joys and moments which I have in my life? Why do I compare and get upset? Why can’t I see the husband who unconditionally loves me and feeds with his own hands every single morning before I leave for my office?? I loathe what I have done or am doing to my life!

I firmly believe that to show us the direction of our heartโ€™s desire, the world is always sending us hints, messages, views and prompts, or whatever we need… We just need to stop and give an ear to these messages… The more you listen to life, the more peace, happiness and meaning you will have in your life. This world is always talking to us. But we are so busy trying to survive life, that we donโ€™t have time to listen to life… We all can benefit by listening to the passing moment, the moment we are living now… right now… instead of getting trapped in our own head. Come out from that confinement, start living and enjoying the moment and you will see a much beautiful, colourful and a meaningful life infront of you… you will see how a more content life unfolds infront of you!

Taking a walk early in the morning, seeing old couples walking together in the park, fresh supply of vegetables arriving, spring flowers dancing with the wind, the fresh air, morning dew, children going to school… believe me its’ too soothing to the eyes as well as your soul! See the happy life around you, the positiveness calling you to embrace itself, listen to the universe trying to send signals for you to grow and flourish, listen to your heart and your inner soul… Understand that the world exists only in your head between your eyes… its you and only you who choose how your world is going to be!!

 

 

Peace, Chai and Om Namah Shivay :)

Finally, the “New Year” has arrived, and here I am wishing every blogger and reader “A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR”.

2013 had been a tough year for me and my family. But, it also taught me how to be patient and going in tough and unbearable situations, how to handle stress, how to hold on to hope, forgive and love more ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t thank the gone year more… 2013 was not kind but it sure was a kind teacher to me ๐Ÿ™‚

Me and my husband are lazy people and we love to spend time together in peaceful surroundings. And as expected from us, we stayed home on the new year eve and watched a movie, partied together and had a peaceful celebration listening to the bursting crackers and cheerful wishes from outside. Our new year has started on a lazy note with steaming cups of chai followed by a visit to the Shiva temple and a hearty lunch.

Peace Chai and Om Namah Shivay

On new year eve, people generally look back, evaluating the past days and making fresh resolutions for the coming year. But, I will do none of that. I don’t take stock and no longer make resolutions at the start of a new year. Honestly, who keeps their resolution say after a week, month or two months?? And, I am certainly not one of those headstrong ladies’ who would stick to her so called resolution made in a hassle on new year eve!! So, all I do is just enjoy the leave I get on 1st January ๐Ÿ™‚ Simple as that!!

As I grow in age, I have realized that I can’t bound my life by the beginning and ending of a single year. The end and beginning of each year merely spill into each other. As months, days and hours, march in to fill the empty year ahead, I know that some days will follow the same pattern as in the past years, some a little worse, many a little better and only a few with a streak of rebel in them. Those are the ones that will be different!! And for both you and me I wish that those days bloom into something good to remember them by ๐Ÿ™‚ I wish that 2014 brings lots of happiness, success, new challenges, good health and sound sleep in our lives.

May your new year be humbling, inspiring and blissful ๐Ÿ™‚

Ditch the Stress, breathe and let go…

Oh God! I am stressed out! I want to blame all sorts of things in my life from loads of work, tough clients, financial pressures, wierd situations etc. Generally, I think I am just pulled towards being more stressed than others and my husband agrees to this! Stress and worries are rambunctious creatures in my life. One of my close friend recently said that – “With the kind of personality you have, you will always take on stress.” I sighed because I knew she was right…

It is not that I love being stressed, but I can’t deny the fact that even the tiniest things like Mycoplasma Gallisepticum can give me stress of some sort!! Oh My! I try to be positive… but then I do tend to loose it at times. After all I am human with a bit less patience and more worries. I try hard to stay calm and see the postive side of each situation which comes in front of me. And most of the times I fail because my worry and stress takes over! Once while having a casual talk with my mom she did mention that – “Money is not everything in life. It will come and go. Stop chasing that! You have to find the joy in little things and allow those little joys to take your stress away. Be it watching a beautiful flower blossoming in the pot, gazing the clear blue sky or listening to the birds chirping! Anything which is readily available or just gives peace to your heart, mind and soul.”

I know there is no point in being stressed out. I have to learn how to fight my stress, how to turn it into happiness, breathe and breathe and let the stress melt in the process… It doesn’t have to be the nemesis in my life. Thoughts and life are malleable… and I am trying hard to make it a beautiful and happy one ๐Ÿ™‚

Potato poha with chaiIt is tuesday and the soft, motherly breeze outside is calling me… It seems like it is singing and telling me…

“Take a moment to notice
The beauty of the trees.
Sit and take a look
At the dancing leaves.
Note the little child
Laughing, playing with a toy.
Always so full of energy;
Humongous amounts of joy.
Don’t crush the insects,
Who are 1/1000ths of your weight.
They may creep up your path,
But don’t decide their fate.
Life’s not about avoiding storms.
Instead, dance in the rain.
The Earth is so beautiful;
Why must we cause it’s pain?
Take time off your busy schedule
To glance at the starry night.
Because nature is genius.
So pretty, such a sight!”

– Miranda A.

Have a great week ahead people. We started our day with some lovely potato poha and steaming cups of chai.

May you all stay positive and blessed!

Monday Love :)

They say that “The Earth laughs in flowers”. And if some of these flowers can be turned into golden, hot,crispy and yummy pakodas (fritters) …ummm… no one can ask for anything more!! It’s easy to impress me. I don’t need a fancy party to be happy. Just good friends, good food, and good laughs. I’m happy. I’m satisfied. I’m content. Joys of simple life!!

Pumpkin Flower PakodaThese pumpkin flower pakodas, just made my day. They are so authentic to Jharkhand and making them here miles away from my hometown, gives me the warmth of home and bring back dozens of memories running through my memory lane. I remember the first time I introduced these pakodas to my husband; he was so shocked. “How can you eat flowers as pakodas?” all could he say in his amazement. And then I showed him how by making some of these golden lovelies ๐Ÿ™‚ :)… No wonder he loves them now. A cup of tea would just make it better for him ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Surprisingly, not many people know that flat beans’ flowers and other flowers like Chinese hibiscus, lotus and gulmohar can also be made as fritters and can be enjoyed. A combination of beauty, color, taste and health. ISN’T THAT AMAZING??? ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Pumpkin Flower Pakoda (Fritters)
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 20-25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 pumpkin flowers
  • 1 cup besan (chikpea flour)
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander and mint leaves finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • half cup water
  • oil for frying (mustard oil is preferred)

Preparation:

  1. Wash and pat dry the pumpkin flowers. Remove stamen from the middle. There can be small insects inside which has to be removed. Ensure that you don’t wash the flowers vigorously as they are very soft and can tear off easily.
  2. Mix all the ingridiends except the pumpkin flowers and make a batter which is neither very thick or thin. For this add water gradually and keep on stirring. Stop when you get a batter as thick as pakoda batter.
  3. Heat oil for deep frying in a kadhai (wok). When the oil starts smoking lower the heat and then gently lift a pumpkin flower, dip it in the batter, turn and make sure that they are uniformly coated and then gently slide into the hot oil. Fry till golden brown on both the sides. It will take 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain it on a paper towel.
  5. For an additional zing you can sprinkle some chaat masala or rock salt on top of the pakodas.
  6. Serve hot with lots of love and if possible (if you are not as lazy as I am) with coriander and mint chutney or any sauce of your choice.
  7. Smile and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope everyone had a great day today wherever you are ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Eat Tulsi, Because Ma Says It… :)

Recently I went to meet a friend of mine who has a five year old son. Unfortunately, the poor soul was suffering from bad cough. On top of this, my friend told me that he frequently gets cough and cold. I remember, that when I was a kid and whenever me or anyone else in the family use to get cough, ma used to give us a warm mixture of “sudh desi ghee, crushed pepper and some sugar”. And this always acted as the “Ram Baan” for all our cough problems! Also, after the daily puja, she use to hand over a few leaves of tulsi patta (holy basil leaves) to everyone in the family. I remember her saying that eating tulsi patta everyday increases memory power, prevents cough, cold, malaria and lots of other common dieses. And this small daily care and routine did miracles. I barely remember getting fever, cough or cold as a kid.ย  And even if I did, drinking a hot steaming cup of tulsi, ginger and pepper chai over the cough syrups and a few leaves of tulsi took care of everything ๐Ÿ™‚

Tulsi, the miraculous plant

There were days, when ma would tell me the stories of the time I was there in her womb and the lady doctor asked her to eat lots of bananas for iron instead of drinking iron tonics for the development of the kid’s strong bones. She ended up eating lots of them as everyone was concerned at that time for her and me. I remember her saying that when she went to meet the doctor in the seventh month of her pregnancy, the lady doc asked her to stop all the iron suppliments. As, the iron consistency was really high in her body and it could have caused bone stiffness in my body! But the good thing is only because my mom ate lots of iron at that time, I have got really strong bones ๐Ÿ˜€

Back at home in Jharkhand, everything is natural. Most of the families still believe in the ayurveda power more than any chemically produced medicine. You will often hear ladies sharing “the home remedies”. Applying few drops of honey or crushed marigold leaves juices on the cuts and bruishes, planting mint, tulsi and marigold flowers to ward off mosquitos, massaging a painful leg with warm mustard oil with some garlic pods, applying some haldi, dahi and besan instead of expensive face packs, using a paste of amla, reetha and shikakai instead of shampooย and the list goes on and on…

Ayurvedic medicines are really helpful. And the best part is it doesn’t give you any side effects. No wonder, lots of celebrities are getting back to mother nature. And they swear on home remedies like using besan for their skin instead of chemicals, drinking warm water with lemon and honey to keep their body in shape and skin glowing. I am so thankful to my mother and gradmother for teaching me the importance of all these things right from my childhood. I have seen the miraculous effects they do in our lives. It is always necessary to implant these knowledge right from the beginning so that we believe in these things. We understand that lots of things which we think can be attained only by using chemicals can actually be done the “Ayurvedic Way”.

Ah, all this talks make me homesick. I am quickly gonna go and make myself a hot brewing cup of tulsi tea. Drink and relax ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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