Personal Views

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™‚

 

Happy Deepavali and Yummy Food Memoirs :)

Happy Diwali everyone!! Ahem, as the world knows, I am such a busy-Indian-lady and that gives me an excuse to wish everyone a day later ๐Ÿ˜‰ The endless rituals which comes along with these festivals have kept me busy like a bee. But that doesn’t scare me and I love following all these customs and rituals. Following them makes me feel connected to my roots, I feel lots happier, content and enlightened. These festivals bring so much love, joy, peace and warmth in the family that even the slogging seems worth it! Isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

This year me and my husband couldn’t go to celebrate Diwali at home and he was very sad about it. Dear husband would be missing the yummy snacks and food my mother-in-law prepares on the festivals. Neverthless, I prepared my own set of food and tried to make him happy, the good wife as I am ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Diwali

All, the kneading, whipping, chopping, sweating, excitement and hours of my super hard work in the kitchen, came out in the form of happiness and loads of tasty food!! Thank God, I could erase some of the saddness from hubby’s face. Yummy food can do real wonders in a man’s life. Isn’t there a saying that the path to a man’s heart goes through his stomach… I know now what that means ๐Ÿ˜‰

Our Deepavali was great. How was yours? I hope you too had a safe and happy Deepavali ๐Ÿ™‚ 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™‚

 

 

Memories, Gifts and a New Path to Explore…

Yeah… yeah… I know I had been writing all senti posts recently. But then thats what I have been going through this whole month. You know that things happen when you least expect it to happen and then most of the times it happens for a good reason. Atleast with me… So, what happened to me now??? Well, I left my job after serving in the same company for almost four years. It was obviously not an impromptu decision. It took lots of thinking, belief, support and brain ๐Ÿ™‚

So, now some of my intelligent friends will ask that what is the big deal about leaving a comapny? Everyone does sooner or later. Isn’t it? Yes, I know that leaving a company is not a big deal for lots of people but what about the emotions attached with the same?? Staying in a company for a longer duration does give you lots of opportunities to make new friends and memories. Sometimes these friends and memories are good and sometime not. Depends on lots of factors. Well, I am not gonna speak about those factors here in this post today. Back to my story, when I revealed the big secret to my colleagues that I am leaving, there were mixed expressions and emotions from people. The cacophony lead me to think that how come suddenly everyone started loving me so much? Some of them went two steps ahead and shed a tear or two. Some just acted stunned even when they couldn’t hide the happiness volcano erupting inside their stomach! No wonder they had been waiting for this day since months or years together. I was also overwhelmed with some of my colleagues who genuinely felt bad for me leaving. And hey, I am not heartless, I felt bad too leaving the genuine friends of mine :'( That’s the sad part of my story. Now comes the fun part.

Here, I must say that my husband is one creative guy. He has this special talent of making people happy with his small acts of kindness or creativity. And he does it with so much ease. Sometimes, I wonder how does he think and behave smart all the time…!! Tough competition here I say ๐Ÿ™‚ So, when we decided that I am gonna put down my papers and the dates were finalized, I started (as usual) bugging him about giving me some ideas how to make my last day in the company memorable. And we came up with the idea of gifting some of the chosen ones with some handmade gifts. I am a bit nitpicky about such things. No wonder I showered him with questions like why should I be giving out gifts on “my last day” in the company??? It should be vice versa… isn’t it?? However, with lots of attempts and failed ideas we froze on this:

Thank You Everyone

I made twelve personalized thank you cards and small cute triangular boxes for the twelve deserving people. It compromised of those who helped me and supported me always and also those who always bitched or backstabbed me. The look on their faces were worth seeing when I handed them their gifts. It was such a moment ๐Ÿ™‚ Some were flattered and some were bemused! Totally!! But, the main thing which I wanted was they knew in their heart what they did and how much they deserved getting those gifts.

Last but not the least, I did spread some happiness in others lives and I know that they will remember this small act of thanking if not forever atleast for some time. And that made my day. Isn’t that really blissfull?? Huh… joys and more joys of life ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay happy and go do some act of kindness today folks ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Hey Happiness, Here I Come… :)

There are so many things running in my head to share right now…!! Life has taken such a turn! I am happy as well as sad, I am anxious as well as emotional, I am worried as well as adventorous… Don’t know how it’s gonna go.. But neverthless… I do trust me, I and myself :D.. There is a saying that – “Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it.” So, here I am.. keeping my dreams alive. To achieve anything, it requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. And, “I DO BELIEVE.” Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step.

Time plays an important role in almost every decision. And some decisions define your attitude about time… Isn’t it true? Ask yourself today…”Are you happy? Are you really happy?” I am sure that 90% of you would say – “Yes, I am.. But, honestly is it so?? I doubt! I know, people just shrug their shoulders and say – “Yeah! I am happy.. I mean why won’t I be?” But think again… Is it all you wanted from your life? Is this the life you have always wanted or you are just adjusting with the flow? I mean, is it all it can be??? Can’t it get better? Are you honestly happy with every aspect of your life right now?ย  If not, why? You have every right to be happy. You and you yourself, decide every single day if you are happy or not.ย  And if youโ€™re not, itโ€™s because you chose not to be… Maybe you didnโ€™t consciously decide to be unhappy but settling for anything less than 100% happy, according to me, is pretty much deciding to be unhappy!! I know, we donโ€™t have control over people or situations that make us unhappy. But the one thing we do have control over is “ourselves”.ย We are the ones to decide if we are going to be happy or not.ย  Itโ€™s up to us. Isn’t it? Nothing is worth it if you are not happy! Believe me, once you break all the boundaries and look beyond what you have thought is your limit, you will know how much of negativity you were surrounded with and how much more you can do and get!!

Life is about trusting your feelings and taking chances. Losing and finding happiness, appreciating the memories, learning from the past, and realizing people change. I know, that not everyone is gonna understand my journey. And I am absolutely fine with it. By all means, it’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s mine ๐Ÿ™‚

So what are you doing to make yourself happy today? I made myself some daal, aalu methi and ajwain parathas :).. Ahh, joys of simple food ๐Ÿ™‚ :D..

Moong daal, aalu methi and ajwain parathas

Keep reading for more.. and yes, enjoy your Sunday night folks.. Tommorow is a new beginning ๐Ÿ™‚

 

When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time”…

“A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”

How can we overcome depression, a painful emotion that can feel like we are having our insides removed?? When we suffer loss, disappointment, failure, monotonous routines or whatever else the devil’s voice becomes louder than God’s truth in our lives! Depression can be the negative emotion we feel. Many counselors and therapists will agree that anxiety and depression usually hold hands while they make people miserable… Depression doesnโ€™t care about the future and can’t get past the fact that we are hurting so bad right now, right right right now and that is all that matters to me, to you or to anyone who is going through depression!

Yes, I am going through depression. I get it quite badly on a regular basis and kind of cry and get tired and just generally see no hope in the world for myself! Recently I had hope, lots of hope. But it seems to be drying out now. The chemicals in my brain are at war with my circumstances “You shouldn’t lose hope’, ‘Why am I still hoping? When I know things aren’t gonna turn out how I wanted it to be!’ ‘You should keep trying’ ‘I am done, dried and hopeless!’ This is the sound track of my life now a days!! As you know, the miserable have no other medicine – but only hope. So, I am trying to hold it as long as I can!

People like me don’t understand, why and how it happens to them each time? Why are they the victim most of the times? Is it the circumstance or they themselves are the reason behind their depression? Was their expectation from their lives too high?? Didn’t they deserve the fame, the applaud, the success, the happiness, the wealth in their lives? What they didn’t do to achieve that? Didn’t they slog day and night, gave their best and still they were the ones standing in the darkness? Standing helpless, disappointed, heart-broken, frustrated, stressed thinking about the failure they never deserved?? Watching helplessly, things which they deserved, taken away by others so easily??

But then, I understand that life is not easy or straightforward. It is complex and frightening, but I have a God who will stand with me in every step. It is just a shame that so often his people will not. People leave you, demean you, question your credibility, put you down, laugh at you and make you feel bad, unwanted and worthless. But then, tell the negative committee that meets inside and outside your head to sit down and shut up!! The moment someone tells you that you’re not good enough, is the moment you know you’re better than them!! Be proud of it! As simple as that!

When we make mistakes, we have to repent. But here there is no such mistake. It is just a phase. Set in motion a plan to change the wrong thoughts, words or deeds and then move on. If we donโ€™t move on from mistakes, we will have a very difficult time exhibiting the fruit of joy in our lives. Itโ€™s time to change our thinking. Remember that – “Good Days have a bad habit- THEY END. But bad days have a good habit- THEY ALSO END!!

Have a hopeful depression. Know that at times it will be unbearable, but in it all, you won’t be alone. Look forward to the time when this hope will bring back all what you have lost, you have badly wanted and you were deprived of! Life isn’t easy, but God gives us truth and hope to stand on. Say that – Yes, I want to grow! I want to grow in love. I want to challenge my situation, my circumstances. I know I will have my day!! I will try, try and try again… Until I succeed!! And you will see how things change. How those people who laughed at you, did everything to put you down, played politics or whatever, look upon you with respect, follow you and expect favors!

Remember that not everything is meant to be solved, life is not a maths problem. Some things can be forgiven, others embraced, some can be accepted, others affected. Come to think of it, very little in life is ever solved. Isn’t it?? Also, the way you are is not the result of what has happened to you, it’s the result of what you decide to keep inside you! The mind is everything, what you think, you become. So, keep hope, more hope and a little more… that things will work, it has to!! If dark days have come, bright days will also come… Not soon but soon enough…!!

It is dark, no moon, no light
Just darkness, a starless sky
The wind blows, the waves break
A single firefly passes by…

Soon the firefly is gone
Leaving me in the darkest of nights
The tiny fly made me anticipate
A sunrise with the finest of lights…

May you be able to forgive. To embrace. To accept. God is with me and you and our lives will be full of sunshine again!! And yes, IT WILL HAPPEN SOON. — Amen

People and their “Why no kids?” drama

โ€œNo kids? Oh, youโ€™ll regret it. Youโ€™re getting old!โ€

People like to remind me of the great irony that I am still not a mom or I am still not thinking of having any!!! If you are married and specially lives in a typical Indian society, you probably remember stepping straight from the alter to a bombardment of people asking, โ€œWhen are you having babies?โ€ The baby question has remarkably become a topic as casual as, โ€œHey! How are you?โ€ Often at my workplace, general gatherings, parties, formal meetings at home, I get to hear this question. It is a simple, everyday question, the type people ask without thinking!!

The question starts somewhat like this -“So… youโ€™ve been married for a “loooong time” now (even when it is just two years of my marriage)โ€‰…โ€‰when should we expect the kids to be coming?? Anytime soon ;)” Always with a wink and a mischievous smile. Most of the times I gasp and swallow hard even when a wave of emotion surge through my body. And when my answer is – “Um, NO. We aren’t planning babies anytime soon!!”, trying and hoping hard that my voice donโ€™t betray me being upset I get to hear a lecture of atleast half an hour! As if they are the moral police roaming around everywhere preaching people to have kids as fast as the very next day of the couple tying the knot!!

Most of the times when the particular persons’ question and the preaching ends, I start thinking about how many times Iโ€™ve been put up in this awkward situation, forced into having a deep personal discussion with a stranger about my childless state. “Do you have children?โ€™” seems to be the follow-up to: Hey.. how are you? What do you do? And then the immediate worse situation, when you reply negative!! Soon I get bombarded with questions like “Why not?” or “Are you planning to..?” or โ€œWhy did you get married if you don’t want to have kids?” or “My God.. you don’t know it will get really difficult later..” or the classic question with a full stop -“you are getting too old”!!! The implication always being that not having children means there is either something wrong with me or I am some sort of child-hating weirdo!! Most of the times I get to hear the big examples of others like -“See “x” and “y”, they got a kid in exactly nine months! They have done it right. Thats how you should do.” Believe me, I have heard real stupid comments about me not having a kid. The silliest one being – “You keep on playing angry birds late at night right – thats why you are not having kids!!!!!!” It took me 10 seconds to get that!! C’mon people, I don’t want to hear any such fatalism!

Now, Iโ€™m too well-brought up to respond – “None of your business” to the “do you have children” and all the other “why no kids” centric questions. So I fudge it. Or I make light of it. I usually smile and say: “Not yet.” It is always seen that distant family members, neighbors and colleagues are the major group of people who are far more interested in any couples’ personal life than the couple or their immediate family members itself. These so called “moral police” have all the remedies and suggestions ready for any problem of this world! They are the ones who are the most bothered about any girl or guy of the house who isn’t married or doesn’t have a kid.

So, why are people so insensitive? According to Rachel Ormrod, co-author of Beyond Childlessness, itโ€™s because they think having children is โ€˜the normโ€™. “They donโ€™t think,” she says. “Those with children live in a child-centric world and it seems to be an automatic question. Sometimes, the โ€œdo you have children?โ€ question is phrased as: โ€œHow many do you have?โ€ which is even worse.”

Parenthood is not a priority for everyone and neither is marriage. Some people would rather like to study, have an awesome career, travel the world or follow other passions in life and then have kids! Choosing to have or when to have or not to have children is an intensely personal decision. Most people, whether single or in relationships, who make this choice have other pursuits and simply donโ€™t have the desire to have children until they think they have achieved what they wanted or are ready to have kids! It shocks me that, despite the fact that we live in the 21st century, people think that since I donโ€™t “have any kids yet” it makes me a heartless, super stupid, immature, cold, or a selfish lady!! My decision when to have a kid is incredibly personal and not up for debate or discussion by anyone. The bottom line is, no matter how a woman comes to her decision about having, not having or when to have a child, isnโ€™t any of your business!!

Here, I would like to take the opportunity and tell people that I really like kids and just having no kids yet doesn’t mean that I will never have any! It is just that I will have them when I would think I am ready to take some extra responsibility in my life. Right now I am just not ready! I don’t want to have a kid and keep on whinging about all the works which comes along it and the extra responsibility associated with it. I don’t even want to hear all those cacophony and blurting that yes I can have loads of time for myself by not having a kid and how you guys have suffered having it so early!

So, people whoever is so much bothered about me not having a kid, please leave me alone and keep your dumb and stupid question to yourself. You will be surely given the news once I choose to enjoy parenthood!!

THANKS A LOT! ๐Ÿ™‚

Rebirth of Gulmohardoodles

Sarhul Photo courtesy: Labella0104 | Pinterest.com

Yes..Itโ€™s alive. My blog has come back to life… The rebirth has finally happened!! After nearly 2 months I finally have my blog back!! Trying to sort it out has been frustrating, irritating, miserable and annoying for me. But Iโ€™m really happy to say that I stuck with it, though at times I did ask myself whether it was worth doing it, did I really care enough to fix things or should I just wash my hands and walk away like most others??

So, what happened?? My blog suddenly started showing 500 internal server error. It would neither let me sign in nor would display my site…:( It was really frustrating as I wasn’t able to figure out what went wrong suddenly! And the worst part being the blog hosted from a friend’s server.. which made the matters even worse! I had to be totally dependent on him for every try I wanted to give for my blog’s recovery. But nothing worked out. Huh!

By God’s grace and my good luck I guess, I had taken the backup of my files and database which actually proved like a boon to me in getting back my blog functioning back again!! I was so scared, irritated, frustrated and miserable all these days but kept my fingers crossed and kept on trying. There were days when I literally thought I have lost my blog forever. But, then with mine and some of my ‘intelligent friends’ effort it is back again!! And I AM SO VERY PROUD OF IT!!! Thanks everyone who helped me out ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Those who remember and who used to read my blogs, I used to have an active blog. I know it’s not exciting or glamorous, but backing up your blog is essential to your blog’s health. Think of it as good blogging hygiene! Do back up your files and plan to make it a regular habit. It will mean a lot.. a lot actually and when you will least expect anything happening to your blog!!!

I have learnt in all these days struggle that whatever tomorrow brings I’ll be there with open arms and open eyes… all ready to except whatever challenges life throws at me! So, here I come back again!! Keep looking for more posts soon ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great week ahead friends.ย Be lighthearted enough that you can float above the dark clouds and see the rainbows in your life. May you be bestowed with more light and happiness ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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