Dec 29, 2011

HAPPY 2012

                    I’m writing this in a state of shock,
Watching the clock—tick tock, tick tock,
Advancing, approaching, relentlessly,
A brand new year; Oh, can it be?

The calendar says the same thing, too;
Time races, vanishes for me; Boo hoo!
No, wait! If time flies, I’m having fun!
A year of fun! It’s gone! It’s done!

I now embrace the blur of time,
Because it simply means that I’m
Too busy with pleasure, joy, delight
To mourn the passing days’ swift flight.

So I’m wishing you fast, happy days,
Pleasuring you in myriad ways,
Filled with happiness and cheer,
Oh Happy, Happy Bright 2012!

Dec 27, 2011


Some competitions just don't finish.You are competing everyday with someone or the other.As a child,it was sibling rivalry.I'm gonna earn plus points and be on my parents good side.That should get me at least One of the things I desire.Then in school,you are competing with the 34 other students in your class.At least not the 10 most intelligent ones or the rank of students you think you belong to intelligence wise.

Then you grow up.You are competing with the beauties in your family.Her daughter is so thin and beautiful.See their son has a great job and is already earning so much.She got a proposal already,he is marrying this fantastic girl from a rich family and so on and so forth.

You start working and its a Rat Race.For a better position in the company,to beat that colleague or new comer to that job by the window.To prove that you are ready to do every overtime,so that you are in the good books of your superior.When I worked at a laboratory for a year,I had to learn many new things from my Filipino superior and she would just yammer on and would go,I have no time to show you the ropes.Then she back stabbed me finally just a few days before I could get my licence.It was heart breaking with all those exams I gave and endless hours I gave to learn.

Then you get married and there is competition between the in laws or your bhabi or bhai ki bahen.She cooks better,she does this and that better,she is a better mom or wife,he is very hard working,he earns well,he does this and that,he has so many accomplishments under his belt.There is just no ending to this crap.

We seek approval,attention that we are different,maybe slightly or overtly.We want to be discovered and get the "thumbs up".I have been competing all my life.When you discuss this or talk to your girlfriends,they raise their eyebrow wondering what on earth is going on in your life really ! When with my in laws,I noticed my bhabi would cook something up and then my in law would begin praising her for all the hard work.And when I whipped something up,it was always,we actually don't usually cook this way.We add a lot of this and that,but I always make my peace.I didn't want to cook exactly the way they,it had to have my touch.It used to make me very nervous initially and I would panic when cooking food for the entire family.Maybe because I was new at it back then,and wasn't very experienced.Its the same with my girlfriends.None of us aren't trying to put the other down,but still its like.".I'm really good at this and everyone just keeps talking about it.So what are you good at?"

Have you ever sat among a bunch of parents and never heard at least 3 of them say,"You know my child came first and beat this kid and that.My child came first in class.We have enrolled our child at this and that place.Its expensive but we can afford it now." SO you see,we aren't just stating the facts for the sake of it,we are doing for a reason.To prove a point,be it minor or major.

Sit among the elderly in your family or anywhere,they will list out everything.All their hard work.Its not just for others sake but for themselves,they are telling themselves,we did a great job and left no stone overturned,even if it almost brought them to ruins at some point.

If we look closely,we are actually trying to prove ourselves better than the rest.This determination actually helps to make ourselves better and improvise on our negativity.We strive to do things we maybe wouldn't attempt to do on our own.A little push always takes you a long way at least in some direction ,be it good or bad.SO int he end,A little competition is good but too much of it,well,is just not right.When you have too much of it,you tend to do things which aren't fair as well.And I think,when you make it dirty,its not a good run.
These are 2 sites I was reading and I think you too ,if interested,go through it once.

Dec 25, 2011


I dont have to write about how stress is induced.Once you have crossed 20 years of age,you have automatically mastered the art of choking yourself with stress.What can Stress do to you? Nah! I dont want to write about that as well.The options are endless -  losing hair,going bald,going broke emotionally,the end results of this disease is endless.I just thought let me introduce you to some ways of getting your stress under control.
By the way,This idea was induced by one of my readers named Irfanuddin ,with his blog " Apniboli".

This seems to be the most effective bumpy one: are 30 minutes from being fired...lolling will help.

Then there are medications...for the serious ones.

Comfort food...come on ,there is basically a science behind it.

One has the healthy option of going into yoga.

It speaks for itself.

Soaking in the bath tub with scented candles or bubblebath.

I've heard quite a lot of people say that knitting does help relieve stress for them.

Many years ago,they showed this hotel in Japan where Diners are provided with unlimited plates,of course for a price,plates ceramic one and a room where you can break the plates and curse aloud while doing so,venting your anger,as this reduces your stress and calms you down eventually.I believe it too.I tried a couple of wine glasses when I was newly married.

Other ways :

Nigella Lawson swears by this method.

Dec 24, 2011

My first Guest Post for my friend Sujatha.

Conversations is hosting its FIRST Guest Post. And can it be anything but special?
Since the time I understood the concept of guest posts, I wanted only 1 person to begin that trend here & that is my high-school friend Suzaan. Her blog - Colors of My Thoughts. She was my first reader & the first person to comment on my posts. For one whole year, this blog got comments only from her (& rare appearances by 1 or 2 other readers mostly my students!)
We read each other's minds through our blogs. She lives in Kuwait & I havent seen her or even heard her voice, after we passed out of 12th Std. Yet I feel close to her. Thanks to blogging.
Read on for her first hand account of the Gulf War.
A War & A Family

We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases & toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain & kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, & trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.

- Erma Bombeck

When the war broke out in August 1991, I was back in India on a vacation with my mom & siblings for 20 days. We were at my grandma's house when a neighbor walked in & told my mom," Kuwait has just been invaded." My mom didn’t understand. She was blinking as if "WTF" & ran & watched the news. I heard this panic filled scream & watched her run towards the nearest telephone booth. The phone lines didn’t work & then all hell broke loose. In a couple of days, she turned into this bitter, angry woman who didn’t eat & got crazy when any of us laughed & played. I was going to turn 12 & had no idea what was happening. How am I supposed to know what war is? I knew the British had invaded India but wasn’t that through some company?
She relaxed after that. She cooked meals with my aunt & never shouted at us. On 4th September morning, I woke up & saw my aunt preparing breakfast. She asked me, “I thought you said your daddy would be here” to which I replied," He will be”. I walked into the sitting room & I felt this tingling feeling. I ran outside & there my dad & his sisters were coming out of a taxi. I ran out, straight into his arms screaming daddy. It was a reunion to remember. I kept screaming," I knew you’d never miss my birthday, I love you daddy." I ran in & told my mom dad was here. She dropped the pan on the floor & ran into the living room. She stood by the door, shocked. She didn’t say anything while my brother & sister were hugging him. She stood by the door, tears flowing & said nothing. I thought about all that screaming & beating & for what! To stand glued to the door without a word to utter!
I now know the hell she went through & how difficult it had all been. We were shunned by some relatives & experienced poverty even. I remember pining for a piece of chocolate toffee but couldn’t afford it. I remember wearing hand me downs of neighbors’ & living off people's generosity for a few years. I remember not being able to celebrate Christmas coz even buying a kg of meat was a big deal. I remember not putting up Christmas trees & decorations coz we didn’t have any. I remember my parents crying over how thin we kids had become. My dad felt awful each time my brother asked him, “Can’t we even buy a small cake for a birthday.” Mom would make us sweet rice balls instead to have as sweets. Life was difficult. For someone who hadn’t used the stone to wash clothes for over 15 years had to wash on those granite slabs. To use detergent soaps as less as possible coz we couldn’t buy soap cakes every now & then. How we had to switch to lifebuoy soap for body & hair.
When my parents came back to Gulf, they promised themselves & us, they’d make a good saving & make life better for us & that none of us would experience poverty again. It made us the people we are today. It made us realize the value of everything - not taking things for granted, being respectful, honest, hard working & helpful. Money isn’t everything & relationships between family & friends are just as important. No matter what happens, family unites in times of grief, poverty & happiness. Gulf war has been one of the most humbling experiences for me. It taught us many things & now since we all are married; we know more than ever, what an epic struggle it had been for our parents to rebuild a future for both of them & for us.
In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, & love you show to one another, & by the hopes for the future you have as individuals & as a unit.

- Marge Kennedy

An End Of 2011

2011 has been a hell of a year for me.It taught me a whole lot of lessons,enough to leave an imprint on my mind,for the better I'm hoping though.
I learnt that even though I was 34,I wasn't invincible.I learnt that health was a fragile thing and the only way to earn plus points with it was to respect it,care for it and live it.

I learnt Stress can do so much harm on you and the only person who can help you out of it is mostly oneself and your loved one.

I learnt that even though I try to be strong,I'm actually mushy.I ain't superman and I too,need to cry things out in order to sort them out.
I learnt that I'm still in love with my husband ,maybe more,and he is one of the most dependable best friends I have in my life.Thank you Darling !

I learnt my family helps me  maintain that balance I need for a sane existence.

I have learnt that people aren't what they always seem to be.There are few who generally love you for who you are but its mostly they hate you for what you are.

I have learnt wisdom is "in living in the moment".You have no idea what tomorrow holds,so when you get the chance,do indulge in the tiny pleasures it gives you.

I have learnt I actually cannot survive without Internet.I feel so lost and depressed at times when I cant be online.

I learnt I totally love my nephew to death.And am surprised at how many times I look at his photos and smile and feel good.

I learnt that it continues to be easy for me to gain pounds and personally I'm a lazy ass when its comes to trying to shake it off.

I have learnt its easy to be taken for granted and better retaliate when you have the chance than become a doormat.

I have learnt I love Tamil songs and movies a lot.Even though I don't get a single word of it.

Thank you 2011.You were a good year.God has been kind and forgiving to me.Thank you so far for everything.

Dec 19, 2011

Parenting Styles

There are handbooks out there that give you tips on how to deal with your children and how to be better parents,the kind the kids will not take advantage of and still be appreciative of you being there for them.Everyone thinks that they are a very hands on kind of parents but its not you who can spot your own mistakes.Eventually the outcome of your kids behaviour which becomes apparent to everyone around, and so the embarrassment and wondering where did I go wrong.

My parents were a mix of a lot of styles but being passive.Their idea was,lets not let them go to the point where they will land up making mistakes.I took care of my teenage brother and sister while coming out of my teenage hood and trust me,with no parents around,it was very very difficult.It did pay off in the end.The secret being letting them come out of their own problems by guiding them verbally now and then.When you are a teenage,you will not live by other's experiences but truly want to make those mistakes and see for yourself.Our minds are going haywire and we feel we have the right to jump head on into craziness.

Anyways,I think,the way we guide them as small kids,is the key to making them the people they are.Its not an exact science but come on,it comes with practice and when they are small,you can see the end results and still have the time to correct your wrongs and make it right.
Parents usually,at least the ones I come across,say,there is time,they are still very small.I can correct them,let them at least be smart enough to understand their environment.A 2 yr old throws temper tantrums.Why? Your phone is ringing and they are screaming their heads off to hold the phone ,just at that time.They are faking their cries,coz they know at some point,you tend to give up and hand them the phone.Your child knows what buttons to press,unknowingly but they do,if I'm going to lie down on the floor and beat my hands and legs,they will just hand it over.So its never too early to teach your kids.

I got this article in some online newspaper and It is well written with the proper good points.Hope its of some help to you parents.
What's your style of parenting?

Do you pride yourself as one of those new age parents, indulgent yet strict as per the needs of the situation? Do you worry endlessly and even stays up till your kid get home from a night out with friends? Are you constantly going through your child's belongings - cupboard, books, online profile, SMSes, etc? Do you always tell your child what to do and what not to just to 'keep them safe'?

All parents have their own style of parenting - their way of bringing up their children. According to Bela Raja, child guidance counsellor, one's parenting style, if negative, can have an adverse effect on the psyche of the child even to the point of causing damage. "A good style of parenting is one where parents respect the needs and emotions of their child as much as the child respects the parents. It's also important for parents to encourage the development of the child's self-esteem. They need to teach him/her to feel good about themselves. Moreover, no matter how silly or insignificant it may seem, a child's concerns have to be addressed, even if it's just the fear of entering a room alone," she says.

Bela adds that since the child's first social interaction is with the parents, the style of interaction used here will have a significant bearing on the child as a grownup. TV anchor Mini Mathur, mother of seven-year-old Vivaan opines that she is a moderate parent. "I guard against being over protective so that he learns to fight his own battles. For now I am playing the role of a guide, protector in the hope that he learns to be independent and take his own decisions as an adult," she explains. And though at times she does get 'extremely over-indulgent', she is also the disciplinarian in the family.

"Kabir is the indulgent, knowledge imparting, fun type of parent, so the task of balancing things out and keeping Vivaan in check is left to me. Thankfully he's growing up to be a well balanced, sensitive and grounded kid, so I guess I'm doing something right somewhere," she says.
If you're worried that your college going kid is splurging too much on clothes or shoes, this behaviour could be the result of you saying no to them every time as kids or if your child hesitates to take any decision on his own, it could be the result of you being an over-protective or dominating parent in their younger days or if people complain that your child is overly arrogant and rude, it could be because you did not correct these faults in his/her childhood itself.
Here are some parenting styles and what the potential outcome could be like:

Over-protective parents: Leads to clingy adults

A child growing under overprotective parents faces severe detachment problems as an adult. If you don't let him/her face life in all its shades, they will grow up to be excessively dependent, weak and seek help for trivial matters.

TIP: Such behaviour can restrict your child's emotional intelligence. Give them an opportunity to explore the world without constant interference.

Suspicious parents: Leads to lying, distrustful adults

It's okay to keep a check on your child, but overdoing it can hamper their trust instinct. The child will then panic at the sight of your call or message. To save face, they may even resort to lying. Over suspicious parents envision fear by putting this fear in their child, they raise suspicious adults with low confidence.

TIP: If you have an excessive urge to check on your kids, have a frank talk with them and look for a solution. For instance, they can call you every time they reach their friend's house, instead of the other way round.

Abusive parents: Leads to an extreme personality

It's all right to point out your child's mistakes, but use of emotional or physical violence can scar them for life. Abusive parents permanently damage their child's cognitive development leading to low self-esteem and confidence. Such children grow up to be extreme personalities - a total rebel or a doormat.

TIP: Identify the first signs of losing your temper.
See if it's the way your child talks or their mistakes that annoys you. Take precautions at this very stage.

Pushy parents: Leads to suicidal adults

Pushy parents who want their kids to be winners all the time ,put kids under extreme pressure leading to nervous breakdowns or even suicidal tendencies. Such parents find it hard to digest failure and they crush the child's personality. Even as an adult, such kids strive to conform to others expectations, which, when unfulfilled, will create a feeling of worthlessness.

TIP: Share positive feelings with your children. Encourage kids even if they don't win a competition.

Comparing parents: Leads to a show off

Parents, who don't empathise with their child are quick to deform their child's personality. This leads to adults who harbour excessive feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem and self-pity.

TIP: Even if you disagree with your child, use positivity. Avoid comparing siblings and phrases that hurt.

Passive parents: Leads to arrogant adults

Parents, who don't participate in their child's activities or those who feel too sorry for being hard on their child, turn them into difficult adults. Such parents are often unable to say 'no' and the child grows up to be an overconfident person, who cannot accept mistake or accept criticism positively.

TIP: Spend quality time with your kids. Do things together, such as painting, story telling, going to the park, etc. In case they make a mistake, point it out gently. Do not give in to your child's whining, crying or temper tantrum, as it only reinforces the behaviour.

Dec 18, 2011


Christmas,as everyone knows the world around,Is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.We know that.But I'm not going the discuss any religious aspect of this festival,but rather talk about the traditions behind it.To be more specific,the traditions that I grew up,until I married my husband and converted to Islam.

Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends."

~ Margaret Thatcher (1925- ), English political leader.

Like I said,Its still not about religion.Its about those wonderful red and green memories,those rituals we followed year after year.Some we looked forward to and some,the clashes of the drunk,we would dread.

As November would come to an end,we 3 knew,that the season to be jolly was coming near.And just the thought of it,brought so excitement,got us all keyed up.December 5th was the D day when my dad pulled out the Christmas tree from the recesses of the kitchen store.When he pulled the tree out,we 3 chuckled at the sight of it being unwrapped.

My mom would announce,"It is time for those letters.Remember,Santa Claus expects a handwritten letter that is legible,with more or less good grammar.Don't forget to write why you deserve them."This was a difficult thing to do coz within one week,it had to be posted to the North pole in the name of Santa and it was time consuming.All the playtime was used up writing this letter.But it was done with happiness.I drew stars,flowers,put up stickers if I had any,kissed them a 100 times,it was to impress Santa,so he would buy each and everything I asked for.

I didn't ask for much.It was Sri Devi's outfits,long black hair,the most wonderful dress for myself,drawing books,a trip around the world with Santa and his reindeer's,a chocolate bar that never finished,no matter how much you ate of it,Story books with tons of illustrations ,for my gifts to be bigger than my brother's and sister's and to wake me up when he was leaving the presents by our windows.
Why did I deserve any of it? Coz I'm the oldest of my siblings,I never lie( yeah right !) ,I'm a good girl ( my mom would laugh at this ),I ate all my greens ( after being beaten with a ruler) and for praying ( coz everyone in my row had closed their eyes and folded their hands in prayer).How would he know? I live in a desert and he lives surrounded by snow.My friends had told,he couldn't bear the heat after living in small cottage in the North pole.

Yeah ! I was Ms goody two shoes.I knew I was bound to get my gifts coz he wouldn't be unfair by giving me nothing.Besides,last year I beat my brother up so many times and I still got my presents.Evil have no idea.

He would hand all 3 of us ornaments and one at a time,in coming days,we would hang them and decorate the tree eventually.After that,come every Friday,we woke up to Boney M's Christmas songs and many other christmasy songs.We woke up without being yanked out of bed.

Then came the turn of making Christmas sweets.These are unique sweets which are made only during the month of December by mangaloreans.And as the tradition goes,sweet making is completed by December 23rd and then a little bit of every sweet was decorated in a plate and we would go to every friend's and relatives home and hand them these trays,wishing them and inviting them to our homes.It was a beautiful tradition which brought friends and family much closer than one would think.Kidiyos,kulkuls,kookisa,newriyo - all this is called Kuswar.

Come D-day,people made the effort to visit every friend or relative they cherished,even if it was half an hour ,and back then, most of them had no cars.People didn't mind spending a little extra because in the end it was to make others and ourselves happy.There would be dancing,drinking,so much of merry making,people were bringing gifts,chocolates were overflowing,people laughing,hugging,feeding,eating,singing.It was that one time of the year,when no one felt too busy or got stingy.

I miss those days now and I wonder what do I do to keep these traditions living.Everyone seems busy,cannot spare the time or do something on the day coz its too much work and money.I think when you think about expenses and time consumed,you actually are not looking at the entire thing right.You aren't thinking about others but just yourself.And this is how the spirit of Christmas or any other festival dies when all one thinks ,is about oneself.

So to all out there.Festival is a time to create love and spread it.Don't expect something.Make new traditions,keep great old ones alive for ourselves and for our kids.Let them be a part of it and continue this with their families later on.I don't celebrate Christmas anymore but this tradition of my parents, if not in reality,is always celebrated in my heart.I live my Christmas in my mind and a little bit with my husband,but singing,keeping a tiny tree,making sweets and going out smiling with my friends and family when they have the time.

8 Friends Every Woman Needs

Essential Friendships

You know that close friendships feel good

But did you know just how much of a health boost they can be? According to a 10-year study of older people in Adelaide, Australia, satisfying friendships predict longevity better than even close family ties, and they can protect against obesity, depression, and heart disease, among other health problems. “When women get stressed, our instinct is often to find a friend and talk things through,” says Joan Borysenko, PhD, author of Inner Peace for Busy Women. “Both touch and talk release the hormone oxytocin, which has a profoundly calming effect on your mind and body.”

You don’t need 600 Facebook friends or a jam-packed social calendar to reap these impressive perks (in fact, both can backfire). Research shows the following “types” of relationships are especially potent for your health. Here’s how to cherish these friendships and make sure you stay close for the long haul.

1. A Childhood Friend

Longtime intimates are special for many reasons. They knew you and your family while you were growing up and likely have many memories and stories of you that no one else does. "These friends remind you that you are still the person you've always been," says Rebecca G. Adams, PhD, a leading friendship researcher and sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Nurture these ties by starting a members-only Web site—groups on Yahoo, Google, or Facebook are free and make it easy. Use them to plan vacations or share links to digital photo albums. Or keep things low tech—just stick a card in the mail now and then, and stay in touch with phone calls. Research from the University of Notre Dame shows that people who chat at least every 15 days have the best chance of staying close over time.

2. A New Friend

"As we get older, we can fall into ruts," says Pamela McLean, PhD, a psychologist in Santa Barbara, CA. "New friends ignite different kinds of thinking and fresh ways of being." What's more, they'll connect you to another network of people, says Rosemary Blieszner, PhD, a professor at Virginia Tech who has researched friendships among older women. That network can be helpful if you’re looking to make a career change or find a new pool of potential dates.

Find new friends at the office, befriend your kids’ friends’ parents, or try new activities, like that Zumba class at the gym.

3. A Workout Friend

Experts agree that exercising—whether walking, golfing, or salsa dancing—is one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health and longevity. And a good friend may be the glue that makes this healthy habit stick. A University of Connecticut study of 189 women ages 59 to 78 found that strong social support was key to maintaining a new exercise regimen for 1 year.

For best results, set a joint exercise goal together—whether it’s going for a neighborhood walk 4 days a week or running a 5K. It's the best way to boost the get-healthy payoff of a workout partner because neither of you is poking and prodding the other, which is a recipe for resentment, says Marcia G. Ory, PhD, a researcher at Texas A&M Health Science Center.

4. A Spiritual Friend

A study from Duke University Medical Center found that people who regularly attended religious services or engaged in activities such as prayer, meditation, or Bible study had a 50% lower risk of dying over a 6-year period than others of the same age and health status.

That's not to say it's easy to forge a connection in a room of 300 worshippers or while meditating on your own. Seek more intimate opportunities at a local church or temple: Volunteer in a canned food drive campaign, or attend a lecture series. Or try a neighborhood yoga center or community college; they often offer spiritually meaningful courses.

5. A Younger Friend

Research shows that an essential element of a happy life is to nurture and feel useful to others—by cooking a wholesome meal, say, or passing on what you've learned through experience. For many women, that itch gets scratched by raising children. But mentoring younger friends (from the office, for example) can give you that same feeling, Blieszner says.

To maximize the benefits of this friendship, let advice flow in both directions. A younger confidante can explain the social networking site du jour or offer a fresh take on current events.

6. Your Partner’s Friends

The more a couple's family and friends intermingle, the happier spouses are after even just 1 year of marriage, found one study that examined the social circles of 347 couples. "We were surprised," says researcher Kenneth Leonard, PhD, a professor of clinical psychology at SUNY Buffalo. "Including your spouse in your network of friends is nearly as important for marital happiness as making them feel they are a part of your family."

7. Your Mom

Despite the inevitable conflicts between grown moms and daughters, the relationships are generally strong, supportive, and close. "There is great value in this bond because mothers and daughters care so much for one another," says study author Karen L. Fingerman, PhD. If you’d like to be closer but run into the same roadblocks over and over, here’s some advice to overcome the most common issues.

You find it hard to enjoy time with mom: Stop trying to change her, and focus on what you do enjoy, says Fingerman.

You keep clashing over the same old issues: The women who had the strongest relationships didn't take the conflicts personally. Instead, they tended to see criticism as a reflection of their mother's habits or traits.

The relationship feels too close for comfort: Daughters who did the best with this accepted that their mothers wanted more time together. Instead of telling their moms what they couldn't do, these daughters focused on when they could get together and what they could do for their mothers.

8. Yourself

So, how does one befriend herself, exactly? It starts with self-knowledge, says Prevention advisor Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland. "Getting to know yourself is an amazing adventure," she says. "Think of what makes you fall in love with someone: how genuine, sincere, and caring they can be; the unconditional love they offer, no matter what. Doesn't that describe how you should feel about yourself?"

Peeke recommends you repeat the following mantra as a reminder: "I love and honor myself as I do the other important people in my life." To give yourself the TLC you deserve, write down seven things that make you feel happy and healthy (cooking dinner, talking to a friend, running, reading a book), and make sure you do at least one every day.

Dec 17, 2011

Decorating your Christmas Tree

Step 1: Hang Christmas Tree Lights

The first step in decorating a Christmas tree is adding the lights. Tree lights typically come on green or white wire strands; choose the strand that matches your tree so the wire will be hidden. Illuminating your Christmas tree from the inside out will give it the most dynamic look. Start at the base of the trunk and work your way up, wrapping lights around every major branch, moving from the trunk to the tip and back.

Traditional incandescent lights: These Christmas tree lights, which come in a variety of sizes and colors, are the most popular type of tree lights. They warm up the branches of a real tree, which will release the scent of pine into the room.

LED Lights: These Christmas tree lights are newer than the traditional incandescent lights and don't produce heat. They're typically more expensive, but are flameproof and fireproof and completely safe to put on your tree.

Step 2: Add Christmas Tree Garlands

There are no firm rules when draping garlands on a tree. To avoid the "sausage effect" (branches bulging between tightly cinched garlands), start at the top of the tree and slowly increase the amount of garland between each wave as you work your way down the branches. Plan to use about two strands of garland for every vertical foot of tree.

To avoid a busy look on your tree, use a variety of garlands from plain to fancy. Thin, beaded garlands look best hung from branch to branch; thicker paper, ribbon or foil garlands look best wrapped loosely around the entire tree.

Step 3: Hang Christmas Tree Ornaments

To showcase your favorite ornaments, place them in prime positions on the tree first. Next, hang your larger ornaments, spacing them evenly around the tree. Fill in around those ornaments with medium- and small-size ornaments. Be sure to hang some ornaments closer to the trunk to create depth and interest. Finish dressing the tree by adding specialty items, such as clip-on ornaments or icicles.

This is my christmas tree for 2011:

Dec 13, 2011


Rasmalai recipe

Who doesnt love sweets? Everybody does.With tons of recipes and videos out there,cooking things has become much more easier now.

I love sweets but being diabetic,this was something I didnt care much to learn Because once you've nailed it,you wanna make it more often than needed.After a few failures,I managed to make these rasmalais.They are very simple and I cannot guarantee they will look that gorgeous texture wise.It takes a bit of practice and practice ( lots of it) makes perfect.

Ingredients :

1 tea cup milk powder

1 litre full cream milk

1 tsp oil/ghee (clarified butter)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp maida/all purpose flour

1 egg whole

powdered sugar (this depends on the sweetness one wants)

Pista(pistachios) , badaam(almonds) halved/slivered,for garnish

Method :

Combine the milk powder ,baking powder,oil,maida,egg together and knead it until you have a good dough.Keep it aside for 15 minutes.After which you can make tiny balls out of the dough.

When you are done with making these balls,press them in the center just to flatten them a bit.This is important as it helps it to cook through in the milk.

Meanwhile,bring the 1 L milk to a boil with the added sugar in it.I dont like anything too sweet,so I added 2 tbsp full of sugar.Mix the suagr to dissolve it.once its boiled,keep on medium simmer and add the flatten balls of dough into it.let them cook for 15 - 20 minutes in the milk.

You will notice the balls have gone white in color,are floating on the surface.You can turn them over as well mid way.They have enlarged in size too.

Close the stove down and let it cool for while.Transfer into a nice bowl and let it chill in the fridge for an hour or so.

When serving it,you can sprinkle them individually in the guest bowls or in the serving bowl itself.

I hope I could be of some help to you guys.Dont be disheartened if it didnt go well the first time.Im impatient when it comes to cooking as well,so if I could do it,so can you.

Dec 10, 2011

Girlfriend chatter

We are a chatty bunch.We can hook up with our gals and begin from just about nothing.It could be the plane,train,ship ,desert or even the bathroom.2 women can open up just about anywhere about anything,from makeup to periods to marriages to kids to gold to men to youth to illnesses and so on and so forth.

Men are more of blunt with each other,their topic of conversation are less of an intimate nature,they stick to the point and the conversations are more about things which are on every one's mind at the time.I cant speak too much on their behalf.

Women tend to be different.Its all about gossiping,talking about how that person not with the group at the moment is this and that,are very open to intimate discussions of all kind,sort of empty their heart when discussing something.

Over the years ,I have realised that women can be fictitious about certain details in their conversation,will exaggerate the truth a little bit more and one way or the other try to prove that they are a little above the rest.I'm not fictitious as such but yes,to me,its all about proving that I'm better in certain areas than the rest that's to show off my cooking skills ,the reason being,I work hard at cooking well and like to be praised every now and then.Who doesn't,right ! SO I entertain and feed.Keeps me wanting to be a good cook.Other than that,I like my life to be represent itself,so no bragging rights required.

I love to observe people and look at how they function,what do they think and how do they go about their day in terms of daily chores,their children,their marriages and their work and social life.How do I manage to do something like this,I talk a little less and do a lot of listening to.Its amazing as to how people open up to you,when you are a good listener.

Women discuss their daily frustrations with rearing their kids.My kid is a fussy eater,is a slow learner,isn't talking yet,isn't walking yet,isn't independent yet,is too stubborn,is too weak,too thin,too fat and so on and so forth.Bringing up your children in a forsaken world like ours,is a huge challenge to any parent in this day and age.Everyone wants their child to be less of a booby,more of a brainy, talented in one way or more and how one goes about doing so,is one of the most difficult missions to accomplish.Because how one brings up their child,will determine the kind of person he/she will be in the future.So you see, this makes it one of the most important topic of conversation over the phone or in person.

After this comes work.How one is doing at work,who is stabbing who behind their back,who is shunning you or being appreciative,what solidarity rules and who lost their footing or gained one ,on the corporate ladder ! How one kisses ass and how one manages to move up the system.

Another popular food for thought, comes out of the marital diary.My husband isn't listening enough,my husband isn't appreciative enough,my husband is still latched on to his parents,my husband isn't all over his kids when he comes home,my husband isn't all over me when he comes home,we spend no quality time together,there is too much activity in the bedroom,there is zero activity in the bedroom,there is something weird in the bedroom,the kids are in our beds,the husband is watching too much of TV and less of me,the bedroom has become more of a cold storage than summery Hawaii, there isn't any spontaneity left.These are things that women discuss more often than anticipated.And actually look forward to sharing among girlfriends.I'm more of "Don't Kiss and tell" kind of a person but there are quite a lot of women,who love to discuss such details.

Initially,I wondered ,why would someone just blabber something like this.Was it because they trust you to not divulge this piece of information,or was it a form of release to speak it out ,so it wouldn't hatch eggs in your mind no more.Or was it because they got some pleasure out of discussing such hush hush details.Bedroom gossip is like a dirty magazine.You don't buy it openly,you hide and read them,to give you guilty pleasures.I was surprised to realise that I was way more conservative when it came to things like these.I don't discuss such things,coz I think they make you seem crass and make the people in the conversation lose respect for another over such private details.Maybe a BFF who you knew since time immemorial but not among general friends.At least not for me.

Another favourite choice of topic is one's birthing experience.I must have heard the same old thing a million times.I have immense respect for women mind you,who have gone through this important phase of their life.I'm respectful of it,but to be dramatic about it or make it seem like a drudgery ! Bringing a child into this world ,is an unbelievable feat of strength and patience but to tell it as if you nearly lost your life doing so.It is painful,yes,pushing a melon out of a hole meant for lime,yes,I know how painful it is.But to discuss the birth of your child like a near death experience,women please.You are making something so beautiful seem like "World War 3 of the Womb". Initially I was flabbergasted, I was new to all this.I never heard my mom discuss it in a such a scary way.In her words, yes,I was pregnant,I had a huge belly towards the end,I went in the morning for delivery and came back home in the evening.She would say ,"It is every woman's birthright to have a child,so no pain,no gain".My sister had a 4kg healthy bubbly boy and all she could say was,yeah,It was painful alright but not like how my friends described it.She doesn't like to discuss too much about it.She is happy she had a beautiful baby in the end.

But some women,they will for months keep updating their birthing stories and the details will change from time to time.The 2 stitches will be 4 stitches,the birthing from 1 hour will become 5 hours,the health scare will go from moderate to on the deathbed kind of thing.Its amusing to me in the end,especially if you are the kind of person who doesn't forget details about things very easily.

Then I know of women who love to talk about their possessions.I own this and that.I have this much of gold,or I bought stuff for this much money.I shop here regularly,I eat her everyday.This costs this and that costs that and I have it.This is a common choice of topic among older women.They love to strut their stuff in your face in the hope of receiving accolades of some kind.Now this can be annoying especially if the person you are yakking to is not into "show me your junk" kind of thing.I have been to a very few kitty parties a couple of years ago.I was the youngest in the group and all I got to hear,was I spent this much on this and that much on that and eventually,I found the whole thing too annoying and I stopped going.I rather embarrass myself talking to a bunch of intellectuals than burn myself out amidst such arrogance.

Some share cookery skills and tips,recipes,house decorating tips,which are my favourite.Fashion is a topic of discussion too but then if you are the kind who is into the latest fad,then great.Some love to discuss their illnesses in length.Some like to explain the various medications raising havoc on their bodies.

My girlfriends and I are always into weight issues.Who has gained how much,who is fatter,who is fairer,who is looking good and who needs to work on what.We discuss how we have been healthwise,how we have gotten our way,how we havent gotten our way,who slogged the whole week.Who entertained friends and who had nobody come over .Who ate out a lot and who didnt manage to eat junk food.Who got special treats and who didnt.Who bought makeup or shoes or what.

It has been a while since all of us hooked up now and maybe thats why,I thought of this blog today.

SO you see,when women gather to talk,conversations are juicier and fun.Because we women talk this way,we have Oprah, The View ,Martha Stewart and many such talk shows which we love and adore so much.

Dec 7, 2011

Dialogues in our life !!

I use this a lot," Teri maa ki ankh".Weird na,But This is one the many filmy dialogues I use in my daily life.Others being " Teri esi ki tesi"," Kya bey" ,"bas Ainvaye"," tang tod dungi" ,"Ankh phod dungi" ,a few Hindi gaalis ,etc etc.

"Mogambo khush hua !"

"Rishtey mein to Hum Tumhare Baap Hote hain, Naam hai SHAHENSHAH"

"Yeh Dhai kilo ka haath Jab kisi pe padta hai na to woh Uthta nahi...Uth jaata hai"

"Don ka intezaar toh baarah mulko ki Police kar rahi hai, magar Don ko pakadna Mushkil hi nahi..Na-Mumkin hai"

"Dosti ki hai..Nibhaani to Padegi"

Be it Hollywood or bollywood movies,some dialogues capture our attention and Some are too awesome to forget.Remember the dialogues from Braveheart or Titanic or Nasseb or Agnipath or Namakhalal or Mr.India or Don. Its the way they are said and how impressed we are with them ,that we decide to use them in our daily mode of life. I think the magic of dialogue writing is something very few people are good at and make a movie stand out apart from the songs and stories.When I watched "Band Bajaa Baraat" this one word made me crack up every time it was mentioned and that is "binn-ness".I found it funny and yet with the certainty he said the word,I loved it and now every time we mention the word,i say binness.Ya the very famous Shatrughan Sinha's" Khamosh".

That's what I love about movies.They bring this magic into our lives and subconsciously we make it a part of our own lives.These movie makers know how to play on the minds of people and are magicians in a sort of way,we love the razzmatazz of it all.

As a kid when I watched "Sharabi",the dialogue where he says," Munchey ho tho nathulal jesi ho warna na ho". Wherever I go,be it Bangladeshi ,Pakistani or anyone,the ones who love bollywood movies, they will never fail to mention this dialogue when a moustache is mentioned.

I see my husband saying this every time he sees Salman khan on TV," Ek baar jo mene commitment li,phir tho me khud ki nahi sunta". That's what movies is all about ,isn't it ! They make an impact,inspire us at times,make us laugh at times.

I don't watch much of Indian series of any kind coz they are interesting in the beginning but they tend to drag it so much after a couple of episodes with strange impossible things beginning to happen.But as I was flipping through the channels one fine day ,back in my grad days,there was some Mahabharata or don't remember exactly what,A very furious absolutely horrendously funny looking guy says," mere yuckk pitaji".Don't know if I heard it right but then onwards when I referred to my dad in some joke I would call him mere yuckk pitaji.

So you see it could be something senseless,or it could be some defining moment in a play/movie,It all depends on our mood or the timing of it all that stuff like this, sticks to our mind and we play it over and over in our conversations whenever we find such a moment in our own lives.

"Kutthe kaminey,me tera khoon pi jaounga " or what my dad said very often when we were kids, " kanpathey che doworr kadin" ( meaning I will smack your face till smoke comes off your cheeks).Dialogues...they make it or break it.

Dec 5, 2011


Monday, December 05, 2011

Hatred is very intense and strange emotion.As essential as it is,it is as powerful as love in many cases.We hate people from our guts,it sprouts from something really small or triggered by something really big.Places where hatred has reach the ultimate point is what are terrorists have.I always read about suicide bombers and after a couple of movies and documentaries,people have lost so much of love or lost it completely ,that their very reason to exist is driven from this negative effect of hatred towards anything.

The same goes with terrorists Im guessing.I wont go into the working of such political matters,the one thing I really hate to discuss or even watch on news.

Anyways,the reason I chose this topic was....."Love to hate you".I was watching this episode where this guy hates Farhan Akhtar.First of all,I think Farhan is an absolute darling.Smart,lucky,talented and really bindaas,down to earth guy. Moreover,it felt he personally hated Farhan for the personailty that he is .

There are a couple of people I would love to hate...coz they are a source of envy to me.They have something I dont.But lets keep that aside coz everyone knows tons of people they would "loveeeeeeeeeeee" to hate.

Some people we just hate.They have weird personal habits, they have such dirty households...have kids with no disciplinary backbone or cleanliness backbone or life that is so full of lies and have no idea what being organised is all about.Yup ! as many of you guessed it..I have a thing for cleanliness and hate people who dont discipline their kids enough.

In kindergarten there was this girl next to me,who drooled 24/7.She had her mouth open all the time and she drooled all over her uniform and she wiped it off on her arms when it dripped too much.I hated her with all my very being,which was a tiny being at 4 years old.Every afternoon after class,I came home and kept complaining for hours about her.I kept telling my mom,I hate her,tell the principal to throw her out of the school.I never spoke to her,ignored her and ran away everytime she came around.I met the same girl during my grad years and when I introduced myself and told her about kindergarten,she gave me this hatred filled look and from then on,she ignored me whenever she saw me in college.

During my hostel years,I hated the entire system and place so much,I had no time to hate someone in particular.Of course,there were people who did rag me and make fun of me every now and then,but all thats water under the bridge.

I read this on wictionary: an affection of the mind awakened by something regarded as unpleasant, harmful or evil.

“A Native American grandfather talking to his young grandson tells the boy he has two wolves inside of him struggling with each other. The first is the wolf of peace, love and kindness. The other wolf is fear, greed and hatred. "Which wolf will win, grandfather?" asks the young boy. "Whichever one I feed," is the reply.”

Native American Proverb Quotes

“Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure; Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.”

Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron) Quotes

“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.”

Hermann Hesse Quotes

I love these quotes, what i wanted to say on my blog, some intelligent person has said it in a few meaningful lines.Loving comes with ease but hatred or anger is much more easier to do coz you can sit by yourself the whole day for hours and hate someone.

Over the years I have realised that hatred has a whole lot more of damage it can unfold than help.It can indce stress and various health related problems.The most damaging being depression.As someone put it,"Hatred eats at your soul or feeds on your heart till you have none left and once they are gone,you are an empty bottomless vessel which is useless and cannot be fixed again." I have lost hair,mind,life over hatred over things I had no control off and was becoming a tar pit of a erson.Thats when I started rethinking my life again and with tons of prayers and self learning,I came back to be this happy go lucky person again.Forgiveness,humility,laughter and a good partner or friend to share your problems with.

Life is too short to hold a grudge, clear your conscious,say it loud and let your mind free from the shackles of doubt and anger and hatred.We live once.So cook and eat great food,pray with your kids and teach them about life and how important it is to live and let live.To be less condescending,to be more aware of the world around,to see the beauty in everything but also have equal knowledge of the harshness it holds in its seams.Bundle of a bunch of kids and read them stories or feed them ice cream or just bring your friends together for tea and cakes.