Thursday, January 26, 2017

How are you placed today?

A very common question I got asked over the last one month's time by many of my friends.

The answer has to be simple: I have a, b, c things to do or 1, 2, 3 places to go to or i, ii, iii work to complete... and the like.. This is on the basic level and probably this question doesn't need too much thought or attention beyond this.. But, I did find this question quite disturbing.

One evening, on my way back from a temple, I realized the answer to this question:

Where ever we are at any given point in time, we are placed at the right position to serve the right purpose at the right time!!. Just that we do not realize it.

There is no reason to fret about things ( I admit that I have not yet reached that level of maturity as I write this post but I definitely realize ) when they are not in your hands. Exam results for instance. You can only put your best until the paper leaves your hands. Now, if the evaluation will happen properly is something you have no control over. Similarly, for everything in life, small or big, we just have to be assured that we can do our best considering the limitations that any situation may pose to us. Rest is best put to "Rest". It's the right thing to happen, whatever it be!!

If you have tried everything to resolve something, just let it be.  I like to keep my mind as a room where everything has a designated space and order. So, for this "I have done all I can" type of challenges, its best place is the Let-it-be-Desk!!! Sometimes that is the best place where the issue belongs - "The Let it be" desk in your mind!!!

Something will change in favor of the challenge to resolve and it will get fixed automatically and you will feel miracle has happened or luck has favored. Call it what you want, the base point is when you were busy attending to other things in life, something that blocked the progress of the solution to the challenge just lifted gently and suddenly the challenge got easier for you to solve. That's when you realize that it doesn't have to be always your "doing" that caused things to work. It could be someone or something else too that could be your saving grace.

Ever tried catching a flower bloom? Even if you were placed beside a blooming flower at the right time ( NOW), it is not very easy to get the total glimpse of it, unless you have a camera set to video graph the beautiful miracle!!Our challenges are like that. The more we closely place ourselves to the issue, the tougher it seems and the farther the solutions too. Let's be assured that we are placed right always. It's up to us to place our challenges at the right desk to be able to feel free each day!!

Let us stop worrying and just believe that we are placed well and correctly each moment!!. Who asked if we like it or not. The Universe only does the best!!! And did you make the mistake of thinking that you know what is best for you?? If yes, it would help to re-think. We think we are right!!! Universe mostly rules us!!!

Friday, December 09, 2016

Dal Powder || Paruppu Podi

"Paruppu Podi" or "Dal Powder" is a South Indian Instant Rice Mix powder.

Here's how you make it:

  • Toor Dal : Moong Dal = 3:1 ratio.
  • Spices are Pepper, Red Chillies, and Asafoetida (Change Spice Intensity to your taste)
  • Salt to taste.

Dry roast all the items one after the other in a pan. After the roasted ingredients are cooled down to room temperature, use your mixer and grind them into powder form. Some people like it coarse and some like to keep it fine. The Moderately fine consistency is my choice.

Now, you must be wondering whatever is this powder used for and how it could be used and why you need it at all!!

A popular staple in Andhra based cuisine, this powder is not alien to most South Indian Dining tables.

Here is how you use it :

  1. Spread steaming hot rice on a plate and add a little ghee or oil ( Gingelly oil is best) to it.
  2. After a while, while the rice is still warm, add one or two spoons of Paruppu Podi to the plate of rice.
  3. Mix with a spoon to ensure even spread and non-sticky consistency of the mixed rice.

Ready to eat with just about any side dish, Raitha or plain curd being my favorite.

Why Dal Powder??
Toor Dal, Moong Dal is a good protein source.
Spice is adjustable according to your taste.
Zero Fat content if you don't add the ghee or oil to the rice mix.

Best on a rainy or cold night for dinner or every day just before any main course at lunch. This rice item will ensure that you eat light and is a great companion for the kitchen queens on a busy day, especially if you have a travel to do soon after lunch, or you got back from work late or you are unwell and cannot cook much that day!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Navarathri - A very different Idea of Dolls exhibit

Can you believe that people have the patience and the artistic sense in them to actually dedicate a whole room and the portico for Dusherra Dolls exhibit??

I had a chance to attend one such Golu invite in Coimbatore this year. This post is going to be a phot post of the exhibit.

As you enter the house, an old timer independent house if you can imagine with a portico ( Has a neat little dolls set up telling you, you are in for a grand Golu exhibit inside!!!)  leading to a closed lobby also called as Rezhi in Tamil. You see M.S Subhulakshmi first. There is a note that says they are celebrating her, which also explains the love for music in the family.

The Rezhi leads to the living room which was full of dolls..  All the dolls cannot be covered in one single frame!!!

Dolls of all sizes - tiny to huge; Dolls of all times -  Age old scupltures in clay to today's plaster of paris and fibre dolls.  They have theme based, varnam based, usual golu, story based exhibits, all arranged in the same room.

And there was a group of ladies singing bhajan as I entered the place. I quickly took permission from the music teacher in whose house this golu is being exhibited and clicked all the pictures I could manage to and sat watching the dolls for the next thirty minutes or so.

I could not help wonder the patience, the love for art, and the hard work that the whole show takes to make it look as lovely as it is!!!

The usual Golu in most houses looks like this:

Apart from all these, the walls had a number of paintings and floors had rangoli done with pearls and stones and sequins.. Excellent job. I do have the pictures but those may make the blog post bulky. So, I only posted a few of the forty pictures I clicked!!!

Applause to the family who worked together to get this done!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Are you there??

Are you in?

If the answer to these questions is "Yes" from the other side, then the next question will be:

Can I come over?

If it is a "Yes" again,  then the next question will be:

What time would be convenient for you?

If you are beginning to wonder if this is an official meeting precedence, then stop right there. This is what happens on casual visits to friends' /relatives places too.

Implies... that we are beginning to formalize everything and every relationship too. We are beginning to see the other person as an intrusion in our lives because that's why the doubt comes up if it would be the right time to visit someone." What if I go in when they are busy getting ready to step out? What if they are not at home when I travel all the way to their place? What if they are unwell and are not in a position to answer the door-bell at all?? What if I disturb them or their plans??"

Agreed, these formalities are important and essential for today's kind of busy lifestyle but we also need to remember that we have come up to the point in life where we cannot take NO for an answer, cannot see a Closed Door, and cannot accept a plan going for a toss!!!

More than the Can, the CanNOTs rule us and define our lives!!!

So what if you go all the way to see a friend and it turns out that the family has stepped out for dinner. You could leave a Hello note and plan something else for yourself that evening. Why don't we take it that way?? When phones were not there, people did visit each other without prior information. Bonds seemed more real and straight out of heart back then.

 Just an observation and warning for self!!!! It is not that tomorrow morning I am going to try changing the formality myself, but it is definitely worth taking a step back to check if we are really bonding with people or faking it!!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

One Indian Girl !!!! - Chetan Bhagat

With due respect to the author of the  book, One Indian Girl, I have strong questions to all the women who had given inputs to the author + the author himself as he wrote the book.

What is the idea of the book?? Is it one of these ?:

  • -Women can't be intelligent enough to judge a man.
  • -Women who study well, are intelligent and make it to the top of a career cannot have self-control
  • -Women can be easily bought with a few nice words, lots of drinks, and great food.
  • -A "Please come in" invite to a man from a woman is more than just the living room.
  • -A woman who is career-minded can never be a good wife, mother, and daughter
  • -Appreciate a woman's look and she will definitely fall for a man.

I am sure you are wondering what this is all about. The story line of the famous Author, Chetan Bhagat's latest book "One Indian Girl" is quite easy to understand.

A moderately pretty looking young woman Radhika makes it to the world's most prestigious jobs outside India and climbs up the ladder, travels places, with success ticks wherever she goes, because she is smart at work. Blame it on the inferiority complex she grew up with or the loneliness that comes with being successful and being on the highest rung of the ladder, she has two "taken for granted" love affairs and is left alone for many typical reasons-reasons typical of any romantic relationship that doesn't get as far as marriage. At this point in time, the parents decide to find a suitor for Radhika and a destination wedding is arranged in Goa with Brijesh, another successful techie working in America. Whether they get married or not is for you to find out at the end of read. For all the efforts Chetan has taken to write this book am not telling the complete story.

Now, for the plus :

  • Chetan's arrangement of the cards of events in the story is good. A flashback, a reality, a flash back, and a reality in order was a grand move.
  • This book can help anyone who wants to get out of a complicated relationship.
  • He has advocated for women in some places and stood by for their strength, courage, and achievements etc.
  • The girl Radhika made a smart move, or so it seems. I don't know really because the story doesn't seem suggestive.

Sadly there is a major minus in the book that curbs all the plus points:

Anyone in this world should know the importance of a closed door and a curtain. These things exist dear women, who gave inputs to the author. If it is all an imagination, then I have more serious questions like why isn't there a censor board sometimes for publications!!!!

  • A beauty parlor has a closed doors means please stay outside in every sense!!!! 
  • A bedroom has a closed door means just the same!!!! 
  • Please run a search for banned words in your book. Mark all the censored words with stars please!!!!

Why give entries to these places?? What happens inside is strictly none of any one's business except the involved parties! There is so much talk about privacy today and where did it all vanish in describing the life of a successful lady working in one of the top investment banks in the world??!!!!

As an aside, any commoner, a man especially may take it serious and never think of marrying someone working in a top position in any organization. If your name is Radhika, and you have a job offer in the said company, please consider changing your name in the gazette, because people are not going to give you decent greetings!!!! As much as I liked the character Radhika Mehta in the book, I wished every time, she thought clearly, more clearly!!!! It is lonely at the top does not mean the top floor is empty or the brain has gone for a vacation!!! Books like this reassure that women who are successful are not even anywhere close to character!!!! That is plain disgusting, dear people!!!!

I know a lot of successful women in my circle who are doing a lot for their family, the society, for self and stay within the protocol and limits that each woman has been brought up with!!!! Every single woman you know of, knows that there are protocols in life that she would have to abide by if she is serious about any relationship, romantic or platonic!!! And please for heaven's sake, do not judge woman by her career, her money, her looks just because you cannot handle smart women!!!!! Agreed they need to think about how to maintain a balance between home and work, spouse and boss, and many more contra-indications that any job comes with!!!! But that is for them to figure out and they will.

WE WOMEN WILL KNOW TO HANDLE IT BETTER. Definitely this author could have given a lot of importance to Radhika as a person handling situations more wise and nice.. Goof ups happen but not every time!!!!! This book to me seemed to suggest that women are incapable of handling men!!! On a lighter note, yes, men are difficult and ridiculous, but what makes anyone think that we women are useless in dealing with life?!!!!

Dearest author Chetan Baghat, I respect you, your thoughts and your writing, which is why I bought the book. It may be a fun read for a college goer, but not for the wider audience. And the story is NOT FUNNY when it comes to love and marriage!!! At least in India. So, please write for Indian Audience and teach them to be broad minded alright but sane in every way!!!! THANKS a BUNCH!!!

I am looking forward to the next book of yours, hoping it will be a decent read with a very good message. Thank you. If this book is going to be made into a movie, it will click but remember to tell the director about the closed doors and to draw up the curtains wherever necessary to get a U rating!!!