Jul 31, 2010

Recipe and crap !

Oh the weekend was not all that great.So much of heat,its like solar flares all over kuwait.So much of humidity,even at 11pm its 45'celsius.

Anyways,I did some baby clothes shopping for a friend's new born and bought myself a pair of very comfortable slippers.We ate springrolls which werent cooked enough,ate samosas that werent tasty at all and for some reason had too many sweets,its left this sugary after taste in my mouth.

Then today afternoon ,I made this simple chicken pulao.I set out to make it the easiest way but then landed up doing the longer version of it.Sujatha,since you tried my peas pulao and I hope it tasted better at least,Im inspired to write this recipe here,so you can try it when you find the time.But I'll go for the easier one.

Fresh chicken is preferred,many opt for for frozen ones but they give this weird smell when thawed out.Anyway,with 1 kg chicken,cut into required size,clean and add into a big vessel or a pressure cooker and add at least 1 liter water.

To this ,you add 2 medium onions finely chooped,3 cloves,a small piece of cinnamon stick,salt to taste,4 cloves of garlic whole,half an inch of finely chopped ginger,green chillies as per preferred heat,red chilli powder,half a tspn of haldi and throw in half a tspn of jeera seeds.All this you throw into the water and let it boil till the chicken is almost done.Not fully cooked.Dont let the meat fall off the bones.But if you're going the boneless way,yuou have to let it boil and pluck the leat out which is more time consuming and then someone needs to suck on the bones.Im a bone chewer,sucker and biter.

In a pressure cooker a whole 10 minutes on full flame will do or in an ordinary vessel ,a whole 15 minutes on full flame will do.Make sure the water hasnt dried out.We will use that water to make the pulao rice.

Strain out the chicken when its half cooked or almost there.Do not discard the water.Keep it aside for later use.In another vessel,pour oil,heat it and add the chiken with the leftover masala of onions and garlic and all.Fry the chicken,the meat may start to fall apart,so dont stir it on and on.

Oh the rice has to washed and pre soaked for at least half and hour.This pre soaked rice you add into the chicken and add the chicken stock you kept aside from boiling the chicken.Te water margin should be just above the layer of rice.Close it tight and keep on the lowest flame and let it sit for 15minutes.

When you open the vessel to check after 15 minutes,leave the lid off for 5 min.This lets the steam escape and therefore preventing the rice from overcooking or becoming peechi due to excess water.

Then my hubby cooked bittergourd and chana dal.Actually dals are the easiest and the tastiest things to cook.

By the way,Yesterday a friend of my husband,asked me if Sridevi was from Madras.To someone who is not an Indian,Bangalore is south india and Madras and kerala are cities.I told yes,she was a south indian,so is Rekha,Bhoomika Chawla and so on and so forth.After that,he asks me if all south Indian are beautiful women ! I told him if fuller lips,fuller bodies,big eyes and thick hair are what you're looking for,then south India is the way to go.I was honoured coz I know Indians are beautiful people.

I find beauty in smiles,teeth,eyes.I love dimples too.

You know in Pakistan,the idea of beauty is being very very fair.The more the fairness,the more in demand the girl will be.Almost every woman I have met from middle class to rich people out there,they know makeup.The whole 9 yards of it,some pan stick,foundation and what not.Dark lipsticks,eyeliners and full jewellery.A girl ,married or unmarried ,always has makeup on.Wearing makeup at home is considered quite normal there.Especially,a newly wedded one.She has to have fresh makeup on ,with all her jewellery and the best of clothes for the first few months.A newly married woman is expected to give her good news within the first 3 months or else people start talking.

My brother in law visits his family back home once a year and we go for holidays around the same time.Every morning ,My bhabi will shower,wear new salwar kameez,put on full makeup,tie her hair and all this at 9am.She wears a simple necklace set at all times as per her clothes.
I make fun of her, of course,behind her back.Maybe If my husband came to see me once a year ,I would do the same.Dunno that.I can never put on makeup when Im at home.

Jul 25, 2010

Pea pulao...

I have to prepare peas pulao today and fry some fish fillets for lunch.I love peas pulao,its relatively easy to make and is done within 15 minutes.

For 2 people,soak a mug and half of rice in water for at least 15 minutes or so.If you are a peas fan,then add a mugful of them,if not that much then 3/4th or 1/2 of a mug will do.Chop up 2 small onions finely,heat oil in a pan,add the onions,a half tspn jeera seeds and green chillies (as per your heat likes).Saute them till they are very light golden brown and add the peas and a little water.Now cook until the peas are done.One can add carrots and potatoes cut into tiny cubes as well but then you have add peas and carrots first,coz they take a little time and after 8 minutes,add potatoes.Now it will all look like little masala,add the rice and stir around.Finally,add water and the level of it should be just 1/4 inch over the rice level.When the water starts to boil,turn to the heat to the least minimum,shut the vessel tight and leave it on for 15 minutes.Vola,your veg pulao is ready.One can even add maggi cube or knorr cube to the veggies or can substitute with chicken stock juice.

I would love to learn to cook different non veg dishes and especially indianised chinese food but havent got the chance to learn from a proper pro.When it comes to food,I have realised that women usually tend to excel in preparing 2 dishes extremely well and just okay at the rest.I actually would love to be better at cooking compared to my husband.He is an excellent cook.I have gotten better in everything but mutton.Somehow,I dont get it completely right all the time.There is no uniformity at times with the food.Like the chefs,they can cook the same dish a 100 times and it will taste the same,wish I could do so too.

These days,Im concentrating on leafy vegetables and salad and olive oil to make for my low iron and haemoglobin deficiency.

Oh ,I finally bought vicco turmeric cream for myself day before yesterday.Ever since I was a kid ,I wanted to buy one and use.I used to watch these ads on videos about it and always sang to its tune.Even during those 8 years in India,I never got a chance to use it even once.Its definitely a wonderful cream.I smell good,it feels great on my skin and Im sure it'll make it more supple and glowy by the time Im done with it.Its very cheap too.

I actually love indian products.I buy indian herbal soaps like chandrika,margo and hamam and mysore sandal.They smell good and are good for the skin.People go for dove,Yardley,Lux,Camay and what not.I go for things like these.Oh I love shower gels too,tropical ones,that smell like peaches and mangoes.I also love the smell of cocoa butter on my skin.Then theres vaseline.Cannot stay without it.Its my chapstick,for my cracked heels,its great and again cheap.

Jul 24, 2010

Wrongful Doing!

I live in a country where people are racists to quite some extent.Anyone wearing a salwar kameez is thought of as a "hindi" and is automatically thought of as the MAID CLASS.Since most of them employ maids from 3rd world countries naturally,anyone coming from there is considered one.It sounds obnoxious but it is true.So many of the indians or Srilankans prefer western outfits,just to avoid an offensive stare.

I feel offended.Evene though we are more educated than most of them put together,even though we live in a realistic world than most of them,even though we work hard and do all their jobs under them,why is that we are mistreated this way.I hate this cast out feeling.

If you wear western outfits and speak good english or have an accent even partially resembling a westerner,you should see the way,they change around you.They will immediately be polite,be courteous to some extent and not be all over your face.

When Im in jeans or an abaya or dress,Im usually mistaken for an arab.Being a bit light skinned over the years has actaully helped me a lot.One might find this quite ridiculous,but just like in India or any asian country,being fair is just about everything.People spend ridiculous amounts of money in buying expensive fairness creams or anti-aging creams.

We so live in a superficial world.I basically believe that one should live the way they want to and not as how society dictates or anyone close to you.But then there are times when you have no choice but to succumb and fall weak and follow around lifestyles like a zombie.

What motivated me to write this blog today,actually nothing happened to me.

My feelings have been hurt many a times but I think I just had to get it out of my system.

Jul 23, 2010

Have you ever wondered !

Have you ever wondered what your life would have been like if you had taken a different decision at a certain point in your life?

Everyone has that one moment where they always go back to wondering how much would life be different if not for that decision.I dont regret my present life unless Im feeling under the weather or depressed.But I do always wonder how much different it all would have been otherwise!

One of the moments I always go back too is the year I completed my 12th.I wanted to give my entry level exams for MBBS but then just a few days before my final exams,my parents gave us the good news that they wanted to bring us to kuwait for a 3 month holiday.Since we were meeting our folks together for the first time in 5 years,I decided to forget the entry exams and came to Kuwait to enjoy my vacations.
I never regretted that decision until a few years into my marriage.That too when we had a financial crisis to overcome.I always thought I could have been of more help to my husband if I had become a doctor.Anyways,once the crisi was over with,so did my regret.

Then there are times when I have fought with my husband that I start wondering what would life be like ,if I married where my folks wanted me to !
i keep thinking would I have had the peace of mind and content Im blessed with now , would I be happy? Would I have learnt my weaknesses and strengthened myself inwards and out?Would I have been more cooler or that woman who simply does things because she has to?Would I be the person who is content with what there is or that person who thinks that nothing is just about enough?

Like they say when Life gives you lemons,squeeze them over salad leaves and eat.You'll feel healthy.Be happy with what we have,coz it was all meant to be .

Jul 21, 2010

Pain

2 weeks ago, My husband brought home someone's PC for repair and that resulted in the blow up of my motherboard.After hours of wondering whether it was the wires or something else,the sad picture came into play.Now It was surprising to me because I then realised my strong dependency to my PC.Iam by my self for most parts of the day and being online and just looking at pictures of others,makes me feel connected.I actually felt lonelier and lost at times.

Then one day we get this customised call from the Ministry of Communication that our phone bill was delayed by 3 months and that it would be cut if the bill wasnt paid soon.We usually ignore such calls thinking we'll do it next week and that goes on and on.But then when we recieved a second one saying it will be cut in 2 days,we literally ran to pay it up.A phone is what gives us housewives pleasure and that includes a few men who have friends to God alone knows what crap they keep yammering on about.

Then came my stiff hands and knees.I had this on and off condition but this time it just stuck with me.they would curl up and I couldnt even hold a pen or a cup.It was unbearable.Such hopeless pain,I didnt sleep for nights.I then told my husband one evening,out of the blue,I think it rheumatism.He laughed it off.And today after one month of horrid pain,we went to the doctor,spent a load of money on tests and fees,and got the result.I indeed do have it plus Im anaemic and iron deficient.My brother and husband and I,giggled.A huge bear like me and deficient......

My doctor wasnt that amused at all.He gave us one look and asked me how on earth was I managing any chore with so much pain.At that my husband knew what I had been going through.Its true,you truly cannot understand something unless you had endured it first hand.

After the medications were prescribed,we all gave a sigh and stepped out.I came home and had them,and I feel so much better.The pain is all gone and Im doing all the pending work which I couldnt do.My friend asked me how was I managing..And I tell them,if I could managed cooking,cleaning,tutions and all with 3 disc bulges in my back...I can do it.They say if you believe you can,you actually can.Even though cooking took me 2 hours instead of 1,laundry took me 4 hours instead of 2,cleaning took an hour instead of 30 minutes,I knew no one else would do it for me and i did them.

When someone tells me their dukh bhari kahani,Im not moved that easily nor I pity anyone.I used to help people out during their times of need and I got nothing...no thank you nor any appreciation.When I fell real ill,I just recieved calls to get well soon and that,"you know nah...with kids and all,its really difficult to come out of the house ,If it werent for them,I really would have come over to help you out."

"Oh yes! please...do go to hell..."I think to myself.I hate when people make pathetic excuses.If you dont want to help,shut it...dont feel guilty and make silly stuff up or blame your poor kids.

Anyways,Im happy to feel healthy and back now.One more month of meds to go and Im through I guess.I think I will go to my friends place now,she's leaving in few days and shifting to a new flat.

Jul 7, 2010

Precious !

It totally disturbed me yesterday night,I couldnt sleep for hours after that.The movie was adapted from a novel but if it resembles the slightest even to someone's life,I can only imagine what a rollercoaster their life must have been.
I know of parents who beat their kids for wrong doing,but when does it become worng to hit a person.Usually when a person has grown up,parents refrain from hitting their kids but then they start abusing them emotionally.They will say painful,downright harsh words and the logic being,you warn them well and they wont do it.They dont know how traumatizing it can be to a teen or an adolescent and sometimes even as adults.
I remember one such sentence my dad told me once just because I behaved rudely.I wasnt being able to adjust to having parents hanging over head all of a sudden after 9 long years and my parents were having a hard time realising that i was not that 12 yr old ,they had left in India.One thing let to another and my dad was pissed and called me "A Zero" .Neither I understood their frustation of handling an adult coz they didnt know how to ,nor they understood why I was having a hard time taking each and every order like a 4 yr old.Anyways,that word shook the very foundation of my life and to me it was just unforgivable.And I proceeded to be even more a tough nut to crack and vice versa.
Some people lose it under frustations,some at small ones,some at big,some immediately and some after ages of bottling up.In the movie,the mother is one such character.She comes from a poor ,uneducated background and gets married to the person she falls in love with.SHe gives birth to a daughter but when her husband seeks a lover in his own daughter and not his wife,she builds up this sense of false love and frustation which spews out in the form of abuse of all kind and disregard to her own flesh and blood.She becomes this hyper selfish,self absorbent,hateful,lazy and trying to love her ownself but emotionally incapable of doing so.The shocking part is you pity the mother at some point.
Then comes the daughter,Precious.She is fat and it starts from the fact of this fantasy land she escapes too,everytime she is raped or is beaten up or pushed over or bad mouthed to.Its her coping mechanism.She cannot change anything coz she barely 15,pregnant with her father's child again the second time.She cooks,cleans and does everything for her mother.Her mom lives off welfare cheques which I think is given in the US to those who can prove they do not have any income to survive on.Precious has simple wishes - to have a light skinned boyfriend who loves her a lot,have light colored hair and sing.
Anyways,she is kicked off from school because she is pregnant,then she gets accepted into this alternative school where with the help of teacher,she rises up from the rotten ashes and redeems herself,takes her children and her control over her life.
It was just too painful to watch...but the most admirable thing shown in the movie is the positivity Precious had in her life.She looked at the brighte things of life and was strong enough to go through so much crap but still stand tall and hold the reins of her life in her own hand.She didnt become a killer or turn suicidal or go mad or blame the world for everything.She didnt cry and jump into the option of begging and crying in front of others.She didnt dump her children into orphanage or abort her baby.At the end of the movie,I admired her character so much and had so much respect for her.
I think when you know there are tons of people to listen to your plea at every point,you tend to make excuses for everything.but when you have no options at all,you indeed do make with what you've got.

[I might be wrong at things,so anyone reading my blog,feel free to debate and point out stuff.Will give us both a chance to think something differently perhaps.]

Jul 5, 2010

My letter to God

[ This letter has been inspired from the trailors of the movie "Letters to God".]



Dear God,

First of all, Hi there! Its been a few hours since we had our chat but today this letter is to specially thank you for things past and present.One thing I have learnt from the past is to be thankful during every situation.Though I find it very hard and it hurts sometimes to do so,I try my best,so dont be upset with me.

Today started with a horrible dream but my active fantasies have never taken a back seat since I dreamt for the first time maybe 30 years ago.Other than that I had a fruitful day so far,I feel live,healthy,better and beautiful.Thank you for all the smiles.

Iam happy for the wonderful man in my life,though I do tend to hate him or cant stand his existence sometimes,I love him tons.He makes me complete and has helped me out through so many ups and downs ,that I have lost count of all his good deeds towards me.When I see myself with him ,so far,I feel I didnt make the wrong decision of choosing him as a life partner even though it cost me my own family.I had waited for signs to see if I was wrong in my choice but instead every step of the way I just fell more and more right.Though I discovered the painful truth that my family chose other people over me,I still love them blindly and for that I have you to thank coz you made me realise that their sacrifice means a lot more than my crazy temper and petty anger.you cannot change the basic nature of a person and sometimes accepting them the way they are is the wise thing to do.

I thank for my brother and sister.I have had the best memories of my life with them and what they have given me all my life is something to cherish and be thankful.They are the best in the world and their sheer but rare presence in my life makes me happy inside and out.I fed them as kids,I played with them,we grew up together and we had the bestest (yeah! the dictionary doesnt have the word to describe my happy feeling) times ever.They brought out the mother in me,the friend in me,the teacher in me and the goodness in me.I did want to cut them into half with a cleaver sometimes but nonetheless,they are like the oxygen I need when I have a panic attack.(cliche')I do regret not being allowed to attend my sister's wedding and many other personal family occasions but again God I know,there must be something good in the end to come out of all of it.Our relationship has strained and suffered and maybe thats what I deserve and hopefully they will improve in time.

I thank you for all the wonderful friends in the past and present because they have made and still continue to shape the person Im today.I have had the blessing of having good friend who stood by me through thick and thin and some not so deserving friends.I have had the pleasure to come across and know many people who have added fond memories and allowed me to experience things which I guess I normally wouldnt try out.Like going to a discotheque or movies or pubs or clubs or parties or events or train journeys or sight seeing.

I have had the pleasure to fall in love and know first hand what love could truly do to one's soul and existence.

I thank my parents most of all for bringing me into this world.they showered me with gifts,they pampered me and spoiled me,they took care of me and protected me from all harm as much as they could.They toiled hard all their life to provide us with the best of everything and for that attention and love they gave,Im thankful.I couldnt ask for better moments.I have had fun times with them and whether its really hard for anyone to believe (and that includes me),they do love me and I love them unconditionally.

To all those who hurt me at various stages of my life,I forgive them and hopefully God will forgive them too.

Im thankful to the fact that I dont have a child.Sounds ridiculous but for some reason I feel you have the best interest here as well.Maybe I was suppose to make peace with this fact and still be grateful to you coz you dont do anything without a purpose.It was very difficult and evil thoughts did take the better hold of me back then,but you pulled me out and gave me my peace of mind and heart.I still struggle with this feeling but Thank you God,my husband and your blessing helps me out of this sad spiral I tend to go into every month.

I thank you for the Asthma you gave me.I did spin a funny story out of it but then again,Im grateful for this too.This way,I never can cry for more than 3 minutes.I guess its human nature to avoid enduring pain,and so I just put a hold to it and stop crying.

I curse being a woman every month while Im pmsing but Im thankful for that too,coz I know without it I would be in much more pain than I could bear.

I thank you for the minor pains I get here and there at times,coz they tell me to slow and remind me Im not 18 years anymore.My illnesses remind me that I have to care for my body coz its very fragile and since its your gift to us,we should care for it even more and not put it to test as though we are invincible.

I thank you for my inlaws.Even though I have had very less interaction with them,Im sure they do love me for the fact that their son is happy.They love me and respect and I couldnt ask for more than that.I just pray to you that you guide me when its time to be by their side and help them out during their fading days.That I can mean more than their own daughters by being of true service to them.

Lastly,Im thankful for making me healthy,wealthy and wise.For giving me peace of mind.Dont let me stray with feelings of pride,envy and allow me to do my soul searching for as long as I live.I have always believed that I had an angel with me and you spoke to me through my heart,so I pray that you give me a clear conscience and mind,and that I continue to hear your voice and try my best to make the good choice of decisions.

In the end,I pray that I can be a better judge of character and be a good influence on people.I pray that I continue to strive to be a good person and not a fake one.

Thank you God for everything.I love you !

Weekends!

Well,yesterday, as usual, was uneventful.I did some grocery shopping and came home to watch RAAVAN.

If it wasnt for all the hype surrounding the movie,I wouldnt have thought this to be a modern day Ramayan sort of thing.The movie was okay,not that good as I had thought it would be.What I liked about the movie was,the simplicity of the outfits and the people of the gaav.It wasnt like the other bollywood movies where the girl from the village wears a gaudy 10,000Rs ghagra choli in every scene and the makeup is flawless and loud.Anyways,Aishwarya looked like any other girl next door.Abhishek Bachan looked like ABhishek Bachan.Its a great movie for a one time watch,the songs are hideous,they must be great in the tamil or telugu version of it but in hindi ,it just sucked.After the movie,I just jumped into bed and got up 10 hrs later.

After breakfast and watching bits of some crappy hindi movie on NDTV Imagine,we looked at each other and started asking what to cook for the day.I ,for one,cannot live a single day without eating rice.Meri tires ka raaz and plus ,in the past 2 days, I have gulped down enough chocolates to send myself into sugar shock.Its true ,when you have too much time to yourself,you seek comfort food.When I teach,trust me,I overwork myself so much,that everything goes about just great.I think my idle brain cells go beserk when they cant burn themselves out.Back when I used to work,I was on my feet for 10 hours and travelled to and fro to work for 3 hours in which one hour went into walking.Then I came home,ate dinner and feel asleep like a log.I had no social life to attend as such coz I had just one day off.And I loved having to live that way.I feel good when Im in the process of being worn out energy wise.Now Of course,my hypertension reacts to the minimum of stress levels.

Im looking forward to watching some great movies in the fututre.One of them being OCEANS,BABIES and PRECIOUS.The first 2 are documentaries and the third one I think is a book adaptation.I have been watching the trailors of TWILIGHT: THE ECLIPSE and THE A TEAM.Looking forward to get a copy of them as well.

COme August and the Holy month of Ramadan begins.Before that I have 1 salwar kameez to get stitched.Its so difficult to find a proper tailor out here.SOme Stitch only when given a sample outfit and very few are cheap and stitch from scratch.The cost of stitching sometimes is double the cost of the outfit material.

When you live abroad,thats when you realize ,how good you had it in your country...at least in a few things.The first and foremost thing is being surrounded by family and relatives.The second being seasonal stuff,clothes and what not.I miss tender coconut juice,I miss admiring banyan trees or any othe tree other than date palms,I miss seing domestic animals...you know how long its been since I saw a cow.Almost 1 year now to date.That too it was a male.I miss bakery biscuits,town fairs,swimming pool,morning walks to the market,I miss travelling in the local bus. HEHEHEHHE...people might think Im crazy,why do you need a bus when you have your own car.In a car,you have only yourself and husband to watch but in a bus,you get to observe so many peple and end up laughing or wondering what the heck.A car is uneventful.I havent been In a local bus for over 9 years.Maybe if I took dhakka shakka 2-3 times,I would never want to go back but I really do miss these dhakka shakkas.

Jul 1, 2010

Before I came to college I wish I had known...

That it didn't matter how late I scheduled my first class, I'd sleep right through it.


That I could change so much and barely realize it.

That you can love a lot of people in a lot of different ways.

That college kids throw airplanes too.

That if you wear polyester everyone will ask you why you're so dressed up.

That every clock on campus shows a different time.

That if you were smart in high school--so what?

That I would go to a party the night before a final.

That chem labs require more time than all my classes put together.

That you can know everything and fail a test.

That you can know nothing and ace a test.

That I could get used to almost anything I found out about my roommate.

That home is a great place to visit.

That most of my education would be obtained outside of my classes.

That friendship is more than getting drunk together.

That I would be one of those people my parents warned me about.

That free food served until 10:00 is gone by 9:50.

That Sunday is a figment of the world's imagination.

That Psychology is really Biology,

That Biology is really Chemistry,That Chemistry is really Physics, and Physics is really Math.

That my parents would become so much smarter in the last few years.

That it's possible to be alone even when you are surrounded by friends

That friends are what makes this place worthwhile!!

Don't be dismayed at goodbyes.

A farewell is necessary before we can meet again, and meeting again, after moments or a lifetime is certain for those who are friends.

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