Clam Chowder & Calamari #winter_comfort_food

The first time i went to Pier 39 of San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf,
 i learned that sour dough it 'the' signature dish of the town. However, it took
me couple of visits or winter to really try this delicacy. And it was just
delicious. By the sea side when the temperature hits zero degree, there is this nip in the air all
you look out for is a warm cuppa of creamy soup with crispy calamari fish fries. It's supposed
to be the cheap meal for sailors and fisherman's during ancient times. There are many outlets, but
we tried it at Tarantino at Jefferson's Street. Amazing, amazing, amazing.
They say its Boston style ! 


Gajar Ka Halwa #winter_comfort_food

Winters are incomplete without it.
Ideally, a layer of ghee should float on it. I look forward to attend
winter weddings back home and queue up to hog only gajar or moong daal
halwa. Shayad hi koi sardi aisi ho jab mummy ke haath ka halwa
na khaya ho - haan kambakht yeh waali, so ab khudi banao !


Paav Bhaaji #winter_comfort_food

Best Paav Bhaaji that i have had was in Ahmedabad at Honest and
Mumbai Juhu Chopati. We were frequent at Juhu after our late night wanderings
in down town and then you are super hungry. Here is a plate to those
memories and no one can cook it better than me with help of MDH
pav bhaji masala. 


Garma Garam Samosa #winter_comfort_food

Indian chaat scene is incomplete without the mention of samosa. We have carefully mapped an awesome place at Mowry Avenue that makes delicious samosas and you have to literally wait for it. And in the meantime, i too have made Samosa for the very first time this year and guess what - wooohooo - its very much doable. The only tricky part is to learn how to knead soft dough well and get set go. Can try any variation, peas / onions / potatoes / cheese...obviously with spicy coriander chutney.


#मुंगेरी के सपने #देसी स्वाद #सर्दी ‪

मथुरा की मिठाई बेस्ट है, जनहित में जारी। यहाँ तो हलवाई भी हम खुद ही हैं,
बनाएंगे घर पे. यार कोई हलवाई का वीसा लगवा दो नहीं तो वोह दिन दूर नहीं
जब बृजवासी की दुकान बे एरिया में तहलका मचाएगी , हाहहह !
यार कोई कुल्लड़ वाली चाय बना के दे दो ना प्लीज। ऑफिस में शान से सबको दिखा दिखा के पीयेंगे।स्टारबकस की कॉफ़ी भूल जायेंगे ये लोग, और साथ में जरा मूंगफली और गुड, गजक रेवाड़ी, जोधपुर की घी हल्दी की सब्ज़ी, पटना का लिट्टी चोखा, मथुरा का मलाई दूध।  मस्त ठण्ड पड़ रही है, मस्त खाना भी तो होना चाहिए ना... सही में... हैं न और मायके में वेकेशन, टीवी का रिमोट और सरोजिनी का मार्केट हहहहहा !


Paneer Tikka #Winter_Comfort_Food

Slowly, i am warming up to the wonders of marination. Its such a
time saving hack specially, when friends are coming over or you are
kinda of lazy to cook a full meal by itself. Paneer tikka it is, can make
the marination paste at home or simply buy ready made. Just make
sure to use hung or greek curd to make delicious tikkas with mint
coriander chutney.


Chinese Style Fried Idli #Winter_Comfort_Food

Chinese condiments are perfect recipe to keep you warm in winters with sizzling
chilli flakes, green onion and garlic-ginger. The trick is to store surplus batch of idlis
in your fridge. You will find this as one of the easiest snack as you come back home all
hungry and bone-tired. 
Recently, i tried using the Rava Idli Flour instead of buying the whole
batter container. And it also works out just fine. Do remember to add
add a dash of fruit salt or soda to make puffier idlies. 
Let them cool and store in fridge to relish as fried evening snack .
Kids love it too. 


Why Count the White Elephant Called Disability

Disability is the pet white elephant in the
development sector zoo, if i may call it so.

#DisabilityCount #IDPD2015  #disabilityday2015. Today, I am going to share a slice of my work with you all. Well, all my work is not play, but yes it has been quite intriguing in the sense that it really compels you to think how best you can design development programs at the community level that reaches to all those who need them the most, include those who are left behind, address their unmet needs and hopefully continue or spur a momentum systemically, even after you exit as a donor agency. It is easier to capture the sentiments here in a blog, but, to really conceptualize a program that is cost-effective, inclusive, efficient, pertinent, promises to bring a long term impact with sustainability is no easy task even for some brilliant people working together as the variables in a social scene are subtle, intangible, interwoven and attribution to a specific welfare program or social innovation is slower than we want to. Unfolding of plans and demonstrating even the minimum viable product (or its forecast) takes couple or revisions and continuous flow of funds. 

A typical grant making circus goes like this. Okay, so we are launching a targeted intervention to reach the poorest of the poor people in xyz geographical area with tribal population this percentage, alarmingly low health indicators, no formal education, unbelievably low per capita income (if at all), women living in depravity and we intend to bring wonders by X% in Y years. And then we devise some SMART indicators, strategies, logic model and theory of change, monitoring and evaluation framework and on winning the grant assume to prove our development hypothesis right.

Wow, job well done.

No. Not really.

While gender has been a 'trending' buzzword for which data collection, analysis and disaggregation takes place at every step of the way, disability is by far most excluded. 

Disability is like that white elephant standing tall in a room, but no one can see it.


Naan Khatai (Maida) #winter_comfort_food

Mix maida (all purpose flour), sugar, pink of salt with butter (salted/unsalted) and a dash of baking soda (pinch). For extra flavour may add either elaichi powered or vanilla essence. The proportion of maida : butter: sugar is most important followed by moderate temperature baking.  For details you can watch Nisha Madhulika's or Majula's kitchen youtube videos. I tried this first time this year and it turned out to be  simply awesome. Can be made with besan too (gram flour).
Enjoy and let me know how it turned out to be. 


We Make Access to Education and Sanitation Possible as Basic Human Right

#WorldsAIDSDay #GivingTuesday  #IndiChange #WeCantWait

World Toilet Day 2015

Today, I am going to write about one of the program that i am totally passionate about and have been involved through Asante Africa Foundation team based out of Oakland, US. Though i can speak hours and hours on digital divide and how important it is, but, being a woman i think i hold myself responsible for strengthening 'gender specific targeted interventions' too, that brings social changes to address basic human/child/ reproductive rights of girls in East Africa or in future in India. By going to such places you realize how much India has progressed and being in US you make your wishlist even longer and think so how much more our country has to still achieve. We will do it, we are moving in right direction albeit slower than we want to.

Nevertheless, today is world's AIDS Day and Giving Tuesday, for you to pick a charity of your choice and support its mission. So, i thought why not write about our Girls Advancement Program - Wizesha Vijana - on how a very cost-effective simple intervention which includes infrastructure upgradation such as building sanitary toilets in school have the power to impact education in some of the most rural marginalized areas of East Africa. And how these interventions directly supports in realizing sustainable development goals, holistically.


Chocolate Cake made Simple with 3 Ingredients Really #Winter_Comfort_Food

I have always loved anything or everything to do with chocolate. And it was exactly around a year ago, that, i first
tried making cake at home to realize, hey, it's not at all difficult. Now, i can say i am into baking and really
enjoy making cookies, cupcakes, muffins, bread loafs, sponge cakes etc. Trust me baking smell makes your home so warm
and inviting as you enter at the dawn all tired looking for little pampering ! 

To keep up the tempo of 'yes i can bake like a pro', i played a safe bet and made cake in the most simplest possible way.
If you too are beginner, you may try it with Nestle Milkmaid Chocolate Cake Mix, Soda Water and Butter.
Beat everything together as given on packet, bake it and indulge ! Tell me how did it turn out to be.
If i can make it, anyone can. 


Chivda Chiniya Badam - Puffed Rice & Peanut Snack #winter_Comfort_Food

You are going to love this snack on a shivering winter evening and relish it
with a cup of hot cocoa milk or adrak tea. Very easy to make, simply
fry chiva in one pan. In another, fry green chillies, onion, curry leaves.
It can be made either with green peas or peanuts (whatever is available).


Chocolate Fudge from Corner House #winter_comfort_food

Dedicated to one of my favourite spot in Bangalore - Corner House. Go any time any day come back feeling totally
happy. I have contributed so much to their business that without asking me for the order, they will start preparing
hot chocolate fudge with chocolate sauce, two scoops of vanilla and peanuts. Cheers !
Even Ghirardelli is no match for it. 


Til Ke Ladoo in 5 Easy Steps : #winter_comfort_food


Til Ke Ladoo - supposed to be good for health in winters are they keep you
warm and sesame seeds and jaggery (gud) makes it a healthy snack.
The first bite of sweet dish goes to our ladoo gopal - Radhe Radhe !
Ingredients - Grated coconut, jaggery, sesame seeds, ghee, dry fruits of your
choice (i have used almonds and pumpkin seeds) and cardamom


Momos #winter_comfort_food

Winters are here and i am missing all the street food that was so very basic part of my existence - sort of basic human right. Which is no doubt being violated living here. I mean there are few good shops for chaat and all but i still miss that joy of finding a 'chat wala' or 'mithai wala' at every nook and corner. Like if you want to feel like having gol gappa, you will have to either cook meaning assemble it at home or drive to that specific chat shop...in short, instant pleasure of licking that sour-savory treat is lost in planning and execution-feeling like a task. 

So, next few posts are going to be on food - those i have cooked first time or many times this year. As the thanksgiving weekend is here, with four days off, let's blog about my favourite pass time - foooooood...

Opposite Jayanagar Central in Bangalore, you find a Big Bazaar and on its entrace is this small shop which sell
world's best momos in the world, or may be second best, the best i had was in Gangtok ! I have tried making them
one time at home to not make them again. This is number one on my list to try this weekend. Because i can't
have the momos in the chinese restaurant, for the reason they are so authentic - we like indo-chinese food which is hot !


Rejections = Reignited Passion = Refueling Dreams

Go take a walk Chris Dixon. Sir its much easier said,
then done !
Who likes seeing rejection e-mails as first thing in the morning, definitely not me. But then somehow,  they do come to shake you up and wake you up and slap you in your face to tell you - listen you are not good enough - you are not good enough, still. And that brings a sudden gush of blood in your ears and face and you re-read the e-mail- once, twice, thrice - go around and do it again. 

Unhhhh !

This is second consecutive rejection, another one was was last Monday and now this one.

Should i let it bog me down or get me started again with same or rather more enthusiasm, fervour and being more bullish all the way up.

Getting up and running is the only thing i know - even if its written - you win or you lose.


#शार्ट कट #बकर

ईस्ट कोस्ट वालों को गुड मॉर्निंग और इंडिया वाले तो अभी अपनी दुकान बढ़ा रहे होंगे, ट्रैफिक में जो लगने वाली है.

और एक हम हैं *** की तरह इतनी सुबह कांफ्रेंस कॉल के लिए उठे हुए हैं क्यूंकि अफ्रीका में डेवलपमेंट करना है. कसम से बोर्ड एग्जाम वाली फीलिंग है इसमें, सुबह उठ के ट्यूशन जाना हो जैसे, खुद को धकेल के ले जाओ.

अब कोई होशियार सुपर एक्ससिटेड टीम मेंबर वेबकेम ओन करने को न बोल दे. बता रहे हैं ग़दर मच जाएगी। चाय बनाने वाला कोई है नहीं यहाँ स्क्रीन शेयरिंग कर स्टेटस अपडेट लेंगे. आये बड़े. नोट हप्पेनिंग सर जी। 


कौन कहता है हमे देश याद नहीं आता Part 2

सांभर खाओ और देसी मसालों के गुण गाओ. 
Read Part One Here

कौन कहता है हमे देश याद नहीं आता
आता है साब, बहुत कस के आता है

जब यूनियन सिटी सनीवेल सेनहोसे फ्रीमोंट सैकरामेन्टो
पलो आल्टो की गलियों से १०० की स्पीड से कोरोला गुजरती है

मिलियन डॉलर की इवैल्यूएशन वाला
हर घर कुछ कहता है

इंडियन ब्रांड के रूपा डॉलर के कच्चे
बच्चों की लक्स कोज़ी की बनियान

आंटी का लाल पेटीकोट कॉटन सारी ब्लाउज
और  डोसा बैटर का भारत बाजार में बिग साइज

चीख चीख के यह कहता है
की बेटा रे इस इलाके में  देसी टेकी ही रहता है

गली गली में क्रिकेट खेलते बच्चे
सलवार सूट वाली परमिंदर आंटी

बार्ट ट्रैन स्टेशन में
पैराशूट और डाबर आवंला हेयर आयल की महक

हैदराबादी बिरियानी से ले के
जलेबी कचोरी पानी के बताशों के लिए

लम्बी कतारें
वोह मंदिर के ग्रीन कार्ड वाले पंडित जी का आशीर्वाद

जब जब डॉलर लुढका का
मम्मी जी की कसम खाके कहती हूँ


मिट्टी के दिये #changingdiwali

वोह गेरू  के रंग से रंगी दीवार, गेंदे के फूलों की  माला, आम के पत्तो की तोरन… 
आज दिवाली के लिए खील खिलोने, लक्ष्मी गणेश की मूर्ति, मिठाई, रंगीले दिए ले आये हैं...
थोड़ी देर तक तो उत्साह रहा...
लेकिन फिर वही पुराने समय की बाट जोहना शुरू...
नहीं भूल पा रहे वहां की यादें, दादी बाबा, भाई बहन का लड़ना, पापा मम्मी का डांटना...
वोह गेरू के रंग से रंगी दीवार, गेंदे के फूलों की माला, आम के पत्तो की तोरन…
वोह पहला छोटा घर, बचपन का बिछोना, छत के पटाखे, मिट्टी के दिये और गिनती की फुलझड़ी, अनार ...
कब तक फ़ोन पे करे बातें, भेजें कीमती उपहार ?
कोई बात दो जरा सा कहाँ से लाएं विदेश में अपनों का साथ, पुरानी गड्ढे  वाली गलियां, गालियां और प्यार ?

आपकी दिवाली अपनों के साथ मंगलमय बीते , मौका मिले तो हमारी तरफ से शुद्ध देसी घी के बढ़िया वाले मोती चूर के लड्डू अवश्य खा लीजो लाला रे ! 


#देखो बेटा ऐसा है #किचन

पढ़ लिख कितनी भी जाओ 
सैलरी चाहे जितनी मर्ज़ी उठाओ 
असली जंग तो चौके में ही है लड़नी 
मेथी अजवाइन नमक की पूरियाँ हैं तलनी !


कौन कहता है हमे देश याद नहीं आता

Taken on Pier 39, opposite Ghireradelli chocolate factory.
This pic is attached here in a sense ki desh yaad aata hain
to boat se tair ke ghar jaane ka man ho jata hoga to shayad
thoda emotional connect lage hahahah !
Please pardon me !

कौन कहता है हमे देश याद नहीं आता
हर रोज़ आता है सुबह छो बजे
क्योंकि अब दरवाजे पर कोई घंटी बजाने वाला नहीं है
रोज़ सुबह काम वाली बाई की वोह मीठी मीठी बातें, उफ़

आज तक से भी तेज अपार्टमेंट की गॉसिप्स
और ड्राई फ्रूट्स और घी पॉट की मॉनिटरिंग
अजी  नहीं रहे वोह खेल अब हमारे
और उससे जो टेस्टोस्टेरोन की डोज़ मिलती थी वोह भी नहीं रही

अब क्या बताएं कितनी याद आती है  वोह
एंटरटेनमेंट से भरपूर बाई
हर  वाइफ का नेशनल स्पोर्ट होता है
उसकी काम वाली बाई

हमे मिला क्या इस देश में  ?
एक नीरस डिशवाशर और वैक्यूम क्लीनर
लानत है !

सुबह उठने के बाद कोई ताजे  दूध का पैकेट पहुँचाने वाला  नहीं है
अब कोई सुबह साढ़े पांच पर यह पूछने वाला नहीं है
की मैडम वोह कूपन तो आपने नहीं रखा है
पर झोला रखा है, दूध देना है ना

अब कोई बालकनी में उत्पात मचाने वाला नहीं है
क्यूंकि जनाब इस शहर मे तो बन्दर या तो टीवी पे या जू में दीखे हैं
इंडिया की  तरह कौन फ्लोरा फौना का सीमलेस इंटीग्रेशन कर पाया है
वोह भी अर्बन लैंडस्केप में?

बोलो बोलो !

अजी ख़बरों की तो पूछिये ही मत


#देखो बेटा ऐसा है

देखो बेटा ऐसा है,
रहो कहीं भी,
लेकिन खाओ सिर्फ और सिर्फ Parle - G
आओ डिप करें !
Unusually early good morning for a weekend !


When I Went to San Francisco LGBTQ Pride Parade @45, 2015

SF Pride @ 45 : Equality Without Exception
June 27-28, 2015

Welcome to the most adventurously weird and different kind of parade where i marched in with my eyes wide open out of awe watching diversity all ages, color, pedigree bloom or rather hang in full monty ! 

I was marching towards BART (term used for bay area rapid transit = local train) i could see hordes of people all drenched in hues of pink or rainbow colors. I didn't know, i was going to the most funky talked about event of the century, ignorance is bliss and there my mind started having conversations on its own with eyes roaming like dozen frustrated men who never had     . 

Highest form of diversity is now mainstream ! Any thing can happen in California. Hail !
"Oh my god ! did i see her in sheer lacy lingerie and pink feathers or let me guess that is wearing only duct tapes putting victoria secret out of business."

"No, no, it can't be true - you can't wear a leash around your neck and your toy- where the dog?"

"Excuse me, are you both wearing the same under pants, at the same time and no one is even bothered to stare except this stupid small town girl."

I was like, has the parade already begun or this is just a trailor - picture abhi baaki hai mere dost ! It took me sometime to acclimatize to the colorful paraphernalia and self attestation of a desi in a mad-mad world as i recollected all the cheap whatsapp LGBT jokes and bollywood numbers - Munda saada bigad gaya. Though, i never understood why my fakebook friends changed their profile pictures. So typical of us Indians, going with the crowd without even knowing the subject in the first place. We like generalization - jack of all - master of none ! But seriously, changing profile pics on fakebook while the real LGBT beacon was here. 


Toh Zinda ho Tum !

My papa always tells me , "duniya sirf chadte suraj ko salaam 
karti hai"
and mummy says "Beta tum traveling job kyun leti ho, 
teacher kyun nahi ban jaati"? 
But my heart says, 
"Yeh Hosla Kaise Jhuke, 
Yeh Aarzoo Kaise Ruke
Shaam Chhupale Suraj magar,
Raat ko ek din Dhalna hi hai"

Pic taken in 2012 from Punamada Resort, Allepey.

This is your moment, this is you. It doesn't matter what you were in the past or will be in the future. Today is all about now, present, what you have, what you are doing at this moment. Life is all about here and now. Who we are, what we are doing and are we living upto it ?  

Your achievements are passe. 

Your goals are relative. Or should i say eternal happiness is relative to your goals. 

What you had done in the past, doesn't matter. 

You were a winner- When - Who cares?  

Not me. 

Question is are you a winner today ? If not, are you even trying to become one. Not moving irks me more than moving in the wrong direction. Don't let yourself stagnate like trapped water in the creek. 

I know, ups and downs are part of our lives, like rejection from a fellowship which were coveting like a daawg on anshan.


Goodnight Katappa

Beta bahubali tum aage khade ho jaao.
Just returned from watching the much hyped Bahubali probably made by an Andhraite onsite returned IT engineer from east coast, fascinated by cold weather, snow, tattooing and fair complexion. Tamannah looked pretty and made a spoof of her own role when she walked with her inwardly arched hands, she reminded me of our PT sir - Bakasur who used to do weight lifting. 

The Kalakeya character has been picked straight from Attila the Hun. And the rest of the movie is stir fried with gun powder while the war styles chopped from Troy, Wrath of Titans, Clash of Titans and largely 300 (oh Gerry, Gerald Bulter - PS- I Love You)

Whatever, i am waiting for part 2. 

PS: Katappa you were too good. 


Are Foodies Fit, Ever ?

This is no place to be fat. 

No, not here. 

When you see smartly dressed people around you all you need an inspiration to go out and work out. Sweat it out. Instead, what am i upto? Relishing butter because its just so yummy. Gorging on cakes, chocolates, ice-creams. 

I am almost there, when Sinha Ji will think that about me !
Oh ! puhhhlease somebody please stop me. This weight ois going to get on all the worng places and then your shape is like a rectangle, inverted. Today will all my grit and determination i make a promise myself to no behave like an illegal immigrant rescued from a famine situation. 

Learn to say no to you taste buds and for god sakes train your greedy hands. Gordon Gekko greed might be good but not when you are piling on weight. So while i am in the process of checking out new restaurants in the town since weekend is already here...oh god give me the strength to have some will power and control over my appetite. 


Break Your Fast #Foodie

Literally speaking, break your fast, fast !
Also check out, Official Website Break Your Fast
When you move to a new place the one thing that you look forward beside travelling is laying hands on local food and trying out new flavours. 

So, the first debut was made with the typical american brunch at Break Your Fast, situated right opposite to the Union City Bart Station. You have to be really hungry before going to this place. And be early or you will end up in a long waiting line. It's ideal to go out for a weekend lazy morning !

Cuisine : American
Meal Time: Breakfast and Lunches
Type : Casual Dining
Place: In-house and Open Air
Child Friendly : High chair available. Adjacent garden and a little water fountain with ducks.
Meals for two: Around $ 15
Specialty : Beignets (It's deep fried pastry with sugar coating, We haven't tried it yet)

For vegeterians the menu is little limited but for others its sizzling with fresh non-veg options. Once you decide on what's going to get slurped away to your tongue cart, be ready for the options the server is going to throw on you. 

Like what kind of bread you what, white/ brown, toast ?
What kind of potato...hash brown, mashed (i told Sinha Ji, see these people also like aalu ka chokha from our Bihar hehehe).


Small Town Girl Moves to ?

Bollywood ahhh i miss you so much, though i am now practically closer to Hollywood. 

Oh yes, this is a news and the only reason why my blog is not breathing as frequently as it should. A lot of my friends have poked me on this. A month back i was in a situation with three kids at home. One is my daughter and the other two her grand parents. And i haven't yet watched Piku but i am sure there will  be scenes in it straight out of my life, very recent. 

Trust me relocating is altogether a pain in your good fat place, that thing, your personal cushion. And i was told to do so all by myself to a different country. Sinha Ji moved in here sometime in Jan and i was flying over the city and later on driving like a mad cow with no license. But it came as a big support else living in suburbia i don't know how much i would have spent only on cabs.

In last three months probably the most exciting part was that of driving. I has so much in my mind to write about lest i have had time. Anyways.

No help from her is the greatest help i could ask for.
No volunteering please, please i insist. Mummy Papa you too.
Yours Truly,
Bahu Raani

Where are we now. We are here in a new city.


Ink Pen

My Obsession - Chinese Ink Pens.

This Cross pen set was gifted by a senior faculty of  IIHMR
whom i assisted in making a presentation
at Helsinki University, Finland in 2007. 
During my childhood i have this hobby of collecting chinese ink pens. As soon as i entered in class V, we were switched to write with ink pens. I am not sure though if it was V or VI. But i always looked forward to my fountain pens. 

My obsession with chines pen and using as a private possession was so much that i will never let anyone else use it. Like how friends ask for pens in class on missing pencil box. 

I remember once, i had a fig fight with a bengali boy of my class. Because by mistake or intentionally he has thrown my pen from my desk. Indeed deaf mamma was a front seater and class monitor. And this new admission didn't know what on earth he will have to pay for it. On top of that he was trying hard to become favourite student of our class teacher. Double trouble. It was in class VII. He was a stout heavy boy whom by no means i could hit and get away with it. 

But i had to settle the scores.


Dabur ka Hajmola, 

Chatpata Swaad, Jhatpat Aaram

I wouldn't have done justice with my childhood if alphabet 'H' is not for Hajmola. I was contemplating between Holi and Happiness and suddenly a much closer word with an instant smile came to my mind. 

There were two competitors, Hajmola and Hingoli. I was loyal to you know whom. When I was in studying in KV, there was an option to go to your home for having lunch or buy it from the canteen. Though carrying money was never encouraged at home but the lure for Hajmola made me ask for some. 

Next to our school was a small shopping center for township residents. And there, at the chemist's shop we would get 12 tablets for Rs 1. Enough for the whole day chattt patt...

The "chemist wale bhaiya" used to give us in a newspaper purchi and we would lick it away in between classes or while returning back home.



Gossip = Girls. Please Stand Up !

Gossip is an ancient form of art to articulate what's necessarily be of no relevance, urgency or oh god damn anyone's business. Primarily, the genes are dominant in females species and recessive in male species. However, it has been found the recessive genes activate under the effect of ethanol in company of other male species and a plate of chicken tikka as centre of gravity. 

Even in Dar-E-Salaam Museum (Tanzania), i chose to gossip
with a monkey man and by default repeat
"Swear, you don't tell it to anyone" !
If you can't produce a baby, you go get it done through fertility centers. 

But if you can't gossip, you are less of a women or lady in making i must say. 

However, the effect of ethanol do speed up the gossip sessions in female species too and a dash of uncontrollable laughter, some dumb charade in the background and let your hair down affect. 

A working single women talk about her boss (worst is she too is a woman), boyfriends or the other showing thumbs down to another beautiful woman in office. A married women talks about her MIL, her husband and how marriage has changed their honey moon period, stop it yaar !



Kill fear, My dear !

Image Source: http://www.dancingwithhappiness.com/
There is a difference between being scared and having a fear of something or someone. I have following top five fearful confessions to make today: 

1. If a lizard is walking upside down on a ceiling i always wonder and keep monitoring her...what if she loosen up her grip and fall on me. It escalates even more if i am eating in the same room or the lizard has audacity to enter the loo - it act as natural fiber gurrdd ugrreghhh....flushh !

2. If i am walking in a park and there is a frog next to me or in my sight, i couldn't help myself getting pale. By all means i keep thinking he is going to jump and sit on my foot. And constantly think what will happen if i am wearing a skirt and it jumps right on the wrong places...Trrrr trrrr !

3. Just after our wedding, i used to fear what if my husband find out about my expenses on clothes and shoes. Even when it was a love marriage. Although i had earned my income, as a couple am I not accountable for joint savings and curtail lavish extravagant spending. BTW that fear has taken back seat, now i fear about the cost of raising a child with single income ! This reminds me i should have picked D for Diapers !

4. When my girlfriends visits, i fear that by all means if my washroom is not clean. Because for a women it matter a lot. Infact, the road to a women's heart is through a clear washroom. Isin't? It should be of utmost almost touching the height of cleanliness. So much so that, when you enter you forget its a washroom but a floral bed with automatic dispenser leaving lavender trails behind in air. I swear i never worry about the snacks. 

5. All my childhood, each schooling year, after every single mathematics exams, weekly test, monday tests, half yearly, final, board, i had feared getting flunked. I got rid of it post high school. Surprisingly, Sinha ji was a top scorer in this subject and its only then i miss mathematics. Period.

What do you fear most ?


My tea is elaichi tea.

Elaichi (Cardamom) and me has a special connection. It reminds me of the time when i stepped out to live in hostel with start of my professional studies - post graduation. 

A simple faded green pod of elaichi with black beads and its home sick aroma used to instantly console me and bridge the distance virtually in my mind. It used to create that temporary ambiance of home away from home. For many many years i have sipped elaichi tea as first thing in the morning or during night or whenever in despair or pain. 

No wonder my friends know me for making special 'elaichi' tea to steal away some me time and share with them. 

On a side note, tea is brewing even now as I have sat to catch up with A to Z blogging post. I have to finish off the lag from B to F today itself. 

Hey, tell me what's your favourite brew ? 



Where Are You? Will We Ever...

Image Source: http://www.quopic.com/
We used to live in a big joint family. Across the side alley was Dimpy's house. The most early or rather the first memory of friendship stays with her. Probably she was my first friend who was not my cousin. Because in  joint families you have  all your friends by default ranging from all age group. 

She was from a punjabi family who owned a renowned cloth store in the small town of Mathura. All the wedding trousseau and ethnic apparels. I think we were of same age and her faintest memories tell me she used to resemble like the "Rasna Girl". 

If you have seen that old advertisement on Doordarshan. For some reason, their family business got split and they sold the housed from our neighborhood to relocate permanently. At the age of 5, i was heartbroken as my only friend is gone and i have no one else to go and play with in 'aangan'. 

But today when i had to write a memory trail from the past, its surprising for me too, her name came to my mind. 

It's kind of unusual. 

It feels like some unfinished agenda is attached to her.

Like if i want to meet her again and ask where did you move. To rest those constant questions in my mind like, will we ever meet again? How she must be doing in her life? 

The way i anticipate, she must be married in a typical business punjabi family with 2-3 kids. The place my guess is she should be in Delhi, that's the place where most of the people migrate to from our hometown, leaving incomplete stories of love and friendship. Or may be she had done something different of her woen. My very very dim memories tell me she was witty and way too dominating. I was merely a follower. 

Dimpy, where ever you are, this is jsut to make you immortal through my blog and a seeking note "will we recognize other if we ever meet at cross roads of life"?

Do you have someone in your life, who you want to meet again to finish that story in your heart, a friend or foe or first crush? 

Tell me. 



Brahmin - Ok. No - Not Ok !

Image Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/
I have been raised in a family who firmly believed and endorsed supremacy of their caste - Brahmin / Pandit. The ones who used to do worship of idols in temples and supposedly the most sacred of all - or so our vedic varnas believe. I distinctively remember i was not allowed to make friends with lot of people because Papa won't like the way their 'surnames' ended. I wasn't allowed to go to my classmates' ( i can't even call them pals) birthday parties. 

When i was in class high school, one of my christian friend (she was more than an acquaintance) has invited me to Christmas Party. At that age, the rebel teenager i was in making and on assertion of my class fellows, i was granted permission to attend to this party. Little did our narrow vision family knew that a christmas party is essentially celebrated at midnight.

Oh lord (hey bhagwaan) !



Who? Me? Really ?

"Wow, She is so beautiful", I have never heard this compliment till date ever since my existence of this planet. I have always craved for such compliments because everyone around me were getting those straight in front of me.And eventually in your young age you starts to question yourself, "Am I not beautiful"?


"Am I not that beautiful"? That means someone gets lost in it and just say it on your face, instantly giving a boost to your ego and massaging all over your cheeks with a blush.When i was young, the most beautiful woman whom i met was my mother. She used to look 99% like Sharmila Tagore - a very charmingly pretty Bollywood actress from 1970s. As i grew up, i used to ask her "Why am I not beautiful as you are? 


Arrogance is Arrogant. Excuse me. 

We all have some parts and portion of arrogance sprinkled just in the right amount, so we think but others notice it. To suit it to our convenience  more often than not we defend it with 'respecting your self-esteem'. 

But in reality for every negatively marked behaviour, that, we exhibit a past incidence of 'politeness being  seen as a weak trait' is involved. 

Since politeness is so rare these days, people might just mistake it for 'hey, you need help'. 

Yes, you heart it right, for the young 'being arrogant' is the new cool. From here, if i look back, i was like that arrogant in my teens and had given sleepless nights to my parents. My younger siblings gave me and now next in line is my budding daughter all at 2.5 years make me come on my knees. 

How about my husband ?

How does arrogance affect this very essentially basic relationship, which is already marred by silos of responsibilities. Does arroangance make you powerful or help you address the issue at hand?

What do you think? How important or unimportant is arrogance? Why its mistaken as confidence and determination? 

Tell me your thoughts. 

Source: Bitrebels.com 


Midnight Pondering

As I am growing old, am I becoming ungrateful each passing day ?

The more my dreams are becoming realities the more greedy I am becoming in transit with expectation of having no lag time while going from A to B. And when it’s happening, it’s more convenient to set the achievable targets however vague they may be. Because the longer ones need dedication, commitment, hard-work and perseverance. Am I saying, to please myself I am doing things which I might not do and still no one would die?

You know what I mean? 

Have you felt like this before? 

Or should I perceive it like this, that, when everything you wish turns into a reality, your life becomes boring. So, to continue the challenge and enjoying the ‘on your toes’ time you keep on re-discovering yourself. Like what Americans do, no pun intended. 


"Being We" is "Happy Me"

My Valentine day started from yesterday. I watched two great romcoms at my fav channel, Romedy Now. Thanks to my lovely daughter who decided to pace out with an unpredictable evening nap like an infant at 5 pm. It was a much needed break after a day which started as early as 5 following an important meeting at MG Road Boulevard and returning home - all the way feeling the heat of Bangalore, wondering are you already in Delhi?

So, 5 to 8 taka tak movie dekho and be a couch potato ! This is what I mean when I say I am committed to 'go with the flow' of parenting and look at the opportunity at hand if the kid is not following her regular routine.

I was glued to "The Ghosts of My Girl Friends Past" and "The Notebook". The former one was not that intense or should I say there were less scenes or dialouges with which I could relate my love story. That's what we all do, isin't? We try to find similarity in all the goodness and richness of love when we watch a good love story !

But I bet you must watch, "The Notebook". It's inspired from a novel and set up in 1940s. You would enjoy every bit if you are fond of that vintage style clothing and architecture, too. There is a lot that I can write about the movie and its dialogue but here I am sharing couple of my favourite ones from the novel and movie.


Gore Hain to Kya Hua ?

With frequent skype calls i have realized i look horrible, so much so that, i keep looking at my own pic as how am i looking or like is it really me types. 

And in between couldn't help but notice, Sinha Ji's improved complexion. 

And the funniest part is when I asked so how is everything there ?

He took a deep breath (sign of something serious he is about to blurt) and then said, "Yeh log gore to bahut hote hain" !

I was like what ? You are an open racist out there !

That's for a fact that Indians are most discriminatory in nature ( someone had told me from their international NGO experience). 

And she also said, that the most "superiority complex"ones are the Arabs. And i had experienced this on Dubai airport, very much to my horror on my first international flight (alone).


Love Being Daughter #Valentine_Series

I am not being able to keep up with each day blog post due to work or otherwise. But the spirit is up and in the air.

Papa has a magic wand with which i can do anything. 

Papa with her mini version of bitiya. The Ganesha in the middle is the one he gifted us during Grih Pravesh, specially made
to order from Aligarh. If you notice the trunk is facing the right side and not left. That's because it's avatar of
Siddhi Vinayak Ji. The bobby pins and a lot more hair accessories he gifted me on a visit to Delhi. 


Lot Like Love - Day 1 #Valentine_Series

You have to come over for a cup of tea
to listen how it sounds !
Hello there.

This month each day i am going to celebrate love and gifts. I mean we have so much in our lives but so little time to just sit back and cherish what we have. To go back in the memories and think of the good time.


So, in February, I am going to feature all those 'gifts' that i have got from lovely people that are okay to keep up with me in whatever bad mood i am.

The first item in our list is this sea shell wind chime which she got me from Goa.

Right now adoring my balcony and a perfect companion when i sit there during evenings with my cup of tea and newspaper.

And since Bangalore is quite windy, its clink clink music keeps reminding me of her love and loath for my curly hair and outdated clothes ;0 "Didi, laao main shopping karaun aapko " !

That's a view from my balcony and my little sister. Every year she pays a
summer visit to us and act as a fashion police. Showering me with 
accessories and "Dilli-Ka-Phasion"  you see South Delhiites - OMG !


Republic Day Celebration

Edible spirit of Republic Day. 26th Jan, 2015
Today I cooked obviously three colored food for lunch commemorate Republic Day Celebration. 

My chilhood memories takes me back to township ground where DPS and KV used to compete each year for their cultural programmes followed by queuing up for motichoor ladoos. 

When I was in KV, my grandfather used to be invited as the guest of honour since he was Commissioner for Scout and Guides.

And on those republic or independence days i used to get that special treatment and get seated on the front row white sofas.


A Cup of Tea in Solitude #IndiSpire49

“Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.”
Honoré de Balzac 
Living in rich diversity is a quentissential part of being Indian. Our county has ability to give birth to alteast 10 more countries, if not more.  

And our diversity is not just limited to the people having different skin color, religion, case, creed or language. Its vastness embraces the other domesticated forms of fauna too.

Such as lizards (chipkali), cockroaches (tilchitta - as per google), mosquitoes (machar) , mouse (chooha raam), housefly (makkhi), cat (billi mausi), monkey (bandar mama) and pigeon (kabootar ja ja ja). 

You might have not thought about it in your general day to day senses, who has the time to do that. But you will agree with me that these 8 creatures are very much part of an Indian middle class family aka extended family. Each one of them giving us company in not so lonely household, already bustling with people.


Trip to Lal Bagh Flower Show 2015, Bangalore

Every year on Republic Day and Independence Day, a flower show is organized at Lal Bagh for 10 days. I have seen a couple of them. During childhood, it was a ritual to go and see 'flowers show' at MRN Nagar Chaupal around mid February. In township every quarter used to have small garden for nature lovers to toil around the soil. And i guess it compels me to visit flower show every year. Over the years i have learnt to never go on weekends to Lal Bagh flower show and never go with kids or elderly people. Both gets tired and simply bored while you navigate the crowd.

So, this time it was just me and my Canon EOS 1200D.

Ticket is Rs 40 and its a paradise for people who like photography. With kids its advisable to go post 3-4 pm since it will be sunny and hot. Kids might get tired and fussy. For those who wants to click, go as early as possible. The show opens at 11 am. And since there will be no rush, security guards are not going to push you towards exit. You can take as many shots with as many angels ;)

Sharing some pictures.

This year's theme is Red Fort, keeping in mind the patriotic spirit. After all Obama is coming !

I guess Red Fort from Delhi wala, not Agra wala. 

Do you get curious or little nostalgic sort when you think about any heritage or ancient site? I do. Like visiting
forts of Rajasthan or Taj Mahal. I start thinking, what must have happened here. How did they build it?