Joy

The gift of each other

Motherhood Challenges, gift for each other, gift, motherhood, love, challenges, life, joy, happiness, heart, heartbreaking, sadness, teachings, love, Gulmohar Doodles, Puneeta Prakash blogBalakrishnan K

It was a warm, cosy, golden evening. The thousand golden beams of the sun was making our dusky skin glow in its presence. In that trance, soaking myself in that magical moment, I heard a faint voice of my mom saying – “How nice it is to see your small little kid playing in front of you. Soon they grow up, become independent and then leave. It is very heartbreaking to see them grow and then go. If only I could keep all three of you here. As my tiny kids you all once were. Giggling, dancing, hopping around and needing me all the time. Those were good old days. I miss them.” My heart stopped for a moment, I looked straight in her old wrinkly eyes and knew exactly what she meant. After all, I have become a mother myself now. I hugged my mom and thought, indeed we are a gift to each other. No doubt, the love and bonding between a mother and her kids are so divine yet so serene, so difficult yet so easy, so complex yet so simple, so giving yet so receiving.

A good old twenty-four months back, I didn’t imagine writing this post. All I wanted, imagined, hoped and prayed in that insanity was that the day comes as fast as possible where my little one gets more independent and I get some time of my own. I thought then, my life would be easier and I would be hopping around in joy.

Motherhood Challenges, gift for each other, gift, motherhood, love, challenges, life, joy, happiness, heart, heartbreaking, sadness, teachings, love, Gulmohar Doodles, Puneeta Prakash blogBalakrishnan K

Gosh, I was wrong! I was so wrong! As the days have passed since my little bundle of joy took birth, I have realized that how much I have gotten attached to her and her presence around me 24/7. Her nonstop needs has kept me on my toes most of the days. I cannot fathom when the insanity, the tiredness and the continuous need of someone, became my life, my identity. My heart breaks into a million pieces in all those tiny moments, in which my tiny girl becomes a bit more independent and in the process doesn’t need me anymore. I have felt a lump in my throat, a sudden heaviness in my heart and I tremble thinking that – “Is this it? When did my girl become so big? When did my tiny tot become a big self efficient girl? Was it suppose to end so soon? I mean, yes I wanted it, but wait, is it already time? It cannot be. Please!”

As much as I have felt happier with her every step of independence, somewhere my heart knows that soon she would become fully independent and I might not be needed any more. Might be yes, at times, in certain situations/ circumstances, but not as it is right now! I cannot understand the sadness behind my this feeling. Why did my heart swell up seeing my daughter’s first steps, picking her own spoon, walking and running on her own, climbing and jumping without assistance and going to her school without the usual crying? Every time my heart has twitched a bit more. I remember crying for hours thinking of her “big achievements”.

Motherhood Challenges, gift for each other, gift, motherhood, love, challenges, life, joy, happiness, heart, heartbreaking, sadness, teachings, love, Gulmohar Doodles, Puneeta Prakash blogBalakrishnan K

God! How I sobbed like a petty girl, on the first day of her school not having her around hopping and messing around with our plates, spoon and cups when me and my husband sat for our breakfast. I couldn’t eat anything and all I could think of was her. I swear, I had hated all those days when she would spill the tea, or drop the food fumbling while trying to lift it with the spoon. How I wanted to eat peacefully once in my life. But no, there I sat on my chair on that day, and all I thought and wished was her presence. How I wished to see the spilled tea and the dirty floor and that innocent smirky laugh!

Isn’t it how it is suppose to be? My little girl is growing and is happy. Wasn’t this what I prayed for once? Then why does it hurt so much? The first time she refused to hold my fingers while taking her big steps on her own, refusing my help with a big smile on her face climbing on the bed, holding the spoon firmly between her fingers while trying to eat herself, opening the water bottle and drinking water on her own, getting ready for school without any reluctance, trying to hold her school bag on her own shoulders and then putting the blanket on mamma and herself while they both cosy up together! How fast the days went by. Sigh! Is this what it means when people say – “Enjoy it while it lasts?” Is this what motherhood really is? Trying to hold the moment in your fist as long as possible even while you want it to go? Just try to hold on to that moment, that small happiness, that tiny need, that feeling a bit more longer. And in those moments know that you wouldn’t be needed any more. The constant war between your heart and your brain of holding on and not letting go? Isn’t that heart wrenching? It certainly is!

Motherhood Challenges, gift for each other, gift, motherhood, love, challenges, life, joy, happiness, heart, heartbreaking, sadness, teachings, love, Gulmohar Doodles, Puneeta Prakash blogBalakrishnan K

I have no idea how our moms have let us, their tiny babies, the apple of their eyes let them go away far from them. I am sure their hearts would have ached each time they would have seen us being independent or getting a bit more away from them. Or might be loneliness has taken a toll on us? Maybe we women overthink. And as a consequence, we die a thousand deaths every minute in different ways. Our hearts flutter even with the slightest wind of anxiety. We cry, wipe our tears, swallow our pride, our ego and think – “I will sail through this too. The ones we love the most should be set free. They would either find happiness on their own or return back to us.”

One thing is for sure. Motherhood has taught me that we woman bear a lot. What might seem stupid to a normal man could be a storm inside us. We enjoy and soak ourselves in each and every emotion. We let ourselves go. Get immersed in the sea of the insanity called motherhood and stay in that without breathing. And as soon as we start getting comfortable and start liking that feeling of being in that state, we need to come out of it bit by bit. We don’t know how to feel, good or bad? That’s what motherhood does to you.

Motherhood Challenges, gift for each other, gift, motherhood, love, challenges, life, joy, happiness, heart, heartbreaking, sadness, teachings, love, Gulmohar Doodles, Puneeta Prakash blogBalakrishnan K

I have celebrated my daughter’s every tiny achievement. My eyes have beamed with happiness, pride and sadness at the same time. I am a bit more liberated now. I am becoming independent in the process of making my child independent. But, do I really want this phase to end? Since when the thought of life getting a bit more easier has gotten my heart break a bit more? I guess that’s what motherhood brings and teaches you 🙁 ❤️

A big shout-out to all the moms out there. Love and hugs. Remember, you are not alone.

Motherhood is a dream, Motherhood, Dream, Amazing, Joy
Motherhood is a dream, Motherhood, Dream, Amazing, JoyPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” and so in you the child your mother lives on and through your family continues to live… so at this time look after yourself and your family as you would your mother for through you all she will truly never die.” ~ Osho

— Motherhood is a Dream

Spreading Random Happiness

One fine Friday, I was successful in spreading some random happiness. A simple quiz game and happiness as gift. Making people around you happy doesn’t just boost them but if you ever made a person smile when they have least expected it, or had been so sad, you can literally feel your heart become lighter, happier, vibrant and more alive… you get a new meaning to your life..

The most important thing is to enjoy your life and be happy. Give more and expect little. A small acts of kindness can make someone else’s entire day. A kind word, a gentle smile, a ray of hope, a kiss, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, anything… whatever you can share or give. Happinessis is contagious. The more you give the more you receive. In the end all what matters is how much happiness you received and how much more you could return back. There is a lovely saying by Mother Teresa – “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

It’s been a blissful, humble and an inspiring week. Waiting for a new dawn tomorrow which is gonna bring more challenges, ideas, love and random happiness 🙂 🙂

Stay happy and blessed folks!

— Spreading Random Happiness…

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 🙂 Can’t thank the gone year more… 2013 was not kind but it sure was a kind teacher to me 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂 :)… No wonder he loves them now. A cup of tea would just make it better for him 🙂 🙂

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??? 🙂 🙂

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 🙂

I hope everyone had a great day today wherever you are 🙂

 

Happy Sarhul Everyone :)

Sarhul Photo courtesy: Niranjan Kujur | Flickr

“Sarhul” is one of the grand festival of the tribals in Jharkhand and Odisha. This festival is celebrated on Chaitra Shukla Tritiya, the third day of bright half moon in Chaitra month. “Sarhul” is celebrated during spring season when the Shaal/Sakhua trees get new leaves. This festival, is too much related with Shaal tree and the earth and the Sun. In fact this festival is related to the whole of nature!! It is a worship of the village deity who is considered to be the protector of the tribes and the festival is also marked as the beginning of the New Year. People sing and dance a lot when the sprouting happens. The deities are worshiped with shaal flowers. These flowers represents the brotherhood and friendship among villagers. Pahan the priest, distributes shaal flowers to every villager. Rice wine called “Handia” is then distributed among villagers as prasad. Traditional group dance, music and feasting with gay abandon are the highlights of the festival.

I wish that the new year brings lots of happiness, prosperity and success in everyone’s life.

HAPPY SARHUL 😀

Here comes the spring…

Saraswati Puja

 ॥ या कुन्देन्दुतुषारहारधवला या शुभ्रवस्त्रावृता या वीणावरदण्डमण्डितकरा या श्वेतपद्मासना।

या ब्रह्माच्युत शंकरप्रभृतिभिर्देवैः सदा वन्दिता सा मां पातु सरस्वती भगवती निःशेषजाड्यापहा ॥

This is the Saraswati Vandana we sing every year on the auspicious occasion of Saraswati Puja. “Saraswati” is the Goddess of knowledge, music, arts, science and technology. The name Saraswati came from “saras” (meaning “flow”) and “wati” (meaning “a woman”). So, Saraswati is a symbol of knowledge; its flow (or growth) is like a river and knowledge is supremely alluring, like a beautiful woman. She is depicted as beautiful Goddess with four arms, wearing spotless white saree and seated on a large white lotus sorrounded by swan and peacocks. She is also known as “Sharada” (meaning “autumnal”), “Vani” and “Vagdevi” (both meaning “speech”). Saraswati holds a special place in the minds of Hindu students, as she is the goddess of learning.

Name it a tradition or a student lucky day, one is not supposed to study on Saraswati Puja. Now, who needs a better reason to cast aside books for one day have fun and roam around without being asked or questioned?? Placing all the books of my most dreaded subjects (Maths and Physics) and the pen which I would use during the final examination beside the idol was the first thing I used to do on this day! I used to take part in this puja so actively.  I remember praying and chanting the mantras with my grandfather with all my heart on this day as it meant a lot to me! The only wish I wanted “Maa” to grant me was to pass me in “MATHS”  (ofcourse in other subjects too!!) We were strictly refrained from touching the books or any study material till the day was over! Next day, I used to collect them, pray a small prayer (actually reminding “Maa” that she should have now filled the power of knowledge in me) and then started studying vigorously. After all, final exams always used to be just few days away and I had to make up for one day of my lost time you know 😉

I remember everyone wearing basanti (yellow) color clothes on this special day. Reason: yellow being the favourite color of Saraswati maa, apart from white, and the rich yellow signifiies the onset of Basant Ritu. Most of the flowers, fruits and sweets which were offered to Saraswati maa were either yellow or white in color. It’s not uncommon seeing unmarried and adolescent girls ageing 4-19 years wearing some or other shade of yellow sarees! Apart from the rituals involving the puja, the very sight of cute little school girls decked up looking like cute dolls in sarees (which most of the times are unmanageable) hopping around the streets and lanes, eating the “prasad”, is such a delight to watch 🙂

There are lots of good memories related to Saraswati Puja and my small little town. The aura, the chirping of birds, the blooming flowers, the smell of the aam ka manjar (mango flowers) and the knock of the spring season its amazing. Oh.. it seems to be a decade since I have felt and celebrated it the original way… Hope, I will visit and feel the warmth of this special puja soon in the coming years again!

देखो यह बसन्त मसतानी
आ गई है ऋतुओ की रानी…

Good Night Awesome People :)

Thalipeeth

Here is a photo of one of my good mood cooking 🙂 :)… I hope everyone had a great day. A day to cherish, a day to remember and a day worth living for! Last but not the least, remember you all are special to me, thank you for your continuous support! I am sharing with you the Sabudana Thalipeeth recipe here. Do enjoy 🙂

Sabudana Thalipeeth
Preparation time: 15-20 mins
Cooking time: 20-30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unconditional love
  • 1 cup soaked and drained Sabudana (preferably the small sized one)
  • 2 big boiled and mashed potatoes
  • 1 medium size chopped onion
  • 1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp chopped green chillis
  • 1 tbsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup roasted and slightly crushed peanuts (remove the skin)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander and mint leaves finely chopped (optional)
  • oil for frying

Preparation:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together properly in a big bowl except oil
  2. Now grease your hands with some oil so that the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands
  3. Heat a skillet and smear some oil on it
  4. Start making small balls out of the mixture and flatten it to shape it into a disc either on your palm or on the skillet directly
  5. Let it cook without disturbance on both the sides for a minimum of 4-5 minutes or until it turns into a beautiful golden color
  6. Remember to pour a spoon of oil while you flip the sides
  7. Take the Thalipeeths out of the skillet once they turn into crispy golden color on both the sides
  8. Be careful and don’t place the hot thalipeeths on top of each other as it tends to stick to each other. Keep each one of them separately until they cool down a bit
  9. Serve the yummy, fulfilling Sabudana Thalipeeths with masala curd and mint and coriander chutney 🙂 🙂
  10. Be ready for loads of appreciations and a demand for making it more often 😛


Before I run to enjoy my Thalipeeth with my darling husband, here I wish you all a very HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!! ♥ ♥

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