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Cooking and Me

It’s been ages since I sat down peacefully and wrote something… It’s not that nothing interesting was happening … On the contrary lots of things were happening… But I just couldn’t get myself to sit down and write peacefully… That’s the problem with me … I need to sit down in my space with no other chores on my mind to be able to write something…

There are so many things to talk about… I just don’t know where to begin.

Oh well … I start with the fact that I LEARNT COOKING… Yes yes yes… ( I am doing thing weird mental dance) … For those who have been reading my blog you know that I just completely totally hated even venturing into the kitchen to make tea… And now I have learnt to cook a decent meal…( Its an achievement for me … It’s like conquering my own Mount Everest )

It all started with my cook’s announcement that she is taking an holiday for 15 days…I was like NOOOOOOOOO!!!! What am I going to do???? I can’t eat every meal out especially when I am trying to watch my weight… And what about H? He is a total home cooked food kind of a guy… I knew he would eat outside and not crib because he doesn’t have much choice but I felt sorry for him… I had a week to prepare myself mentally to eat outside or look for alternative cook … Something I totally dreaded… Both me and H are fussy eaters and after a long search we found this cook whose cooking style we both approve and like… Finding someone who can replace her and that too just for 15 days in a weeks period seemed like a daunting task…Still I thought I would find a new cook… The fact that I could try cooking myself just didn’t cross my mind…

I asked the maids coming to my building , kept messages with the watchman, spoke to the neighbours I had never spoken to before just so that I find a temporary cook but no avail…It seemed that it was a holiday season for the maids and the cooks… Everyone had taken an off and the ones who stayed back to work were already overbooked… I was late…

So somehow I mentally prepared myself to eat out… Trying to make a list of affordable places who served good fresh and relatively healthy food… I checked out a local ‘poli bhajji kendra'( it’s a local sabzi roti joint of home cooked food ) but the sabzi options there were so sad that I just couldn’t bear the thought of eating it everyday…The rotis seemed ok though.. Then slowly the thought crept into my mind … What if I could try making at least a sabzi ? I could get rotis from outside or probably eat it with bread but we could have one home cooked meal…

With these thoughts churning in my head I reached office… There one of my colleagues was proudly telling others how her 6 year old daughter baked a cake and how she loves helping her mother in kitchen… I was astounded… A 6 year old baking cakes ? I couldn’t even remember one childhood memory of me in kitchen… Whereas all around me the girls in my office were chatting about how they learnt to cook what… And every one of them seemed to be an expert cook… Everybody seemed to have their own special dishes which they promised to get sometime to office… I was quiet.. They turned to me and I said… ‘ well I have a cook so I don’t usually cook ‘ For the first time in my life I felt ashamed of the fact that I can’t cook… Though I never admitted in front of them that I can’t cook… It was not much about cooking … It was rather about the fact that I was so dependent on someone else for such a basic need … I couldn’t feed myself and my husband if the cook is not around … I was throughly ashamed… I felt touched that all thorough the years that we have been married H never complained about my lack of cooking skill inspite of the fact that he simply loves home cooked food and would be overjoyed if I ever cooked… But he never complained… I was choked..

All around me my colleagues were discussing recipes and I was listening for the first time… Usually when somebody started talking about recipes and stuff I used to turn my attention elsewhere thinking oh this doesn’t concern me… But suddenly this cooking chat became of vital importance to me… It seemed that I was in this completely new world which I had no clue about… I couldn’t make sense of the words they spoke , the ingredients , the cooking techniques… I was scared, nervous but determined…

I decided that I am going to learn to make 7 main course dishes so that I ensure that my husband gets varied home cooked food for a week. I realised that I might not like cooking but its a survival skill and I was totally determined to learn it…I surfed the net …Most websites had ingredients which I had no clue where to get… The Indian ones which spoke about ingredients I was familiar with had such elaborate procedures that I panicked…Then one of my colleague seeing my sudden interest in cooking recommended Tarla Dalal’s website…It was really helpful…I found some pretty basic recipes which looked yummy in the pictures shown…The instructions were simple and detailed …

I downloaded a few and suddenly could wait for the evening for my whole new adventure to start…I left a little early from office , excited about the grocery shopping… I had made a proper grocery list and was constantly checking and rechecking to ensure that I had everything before I reached home…I wanted to get the dinner ready before H comes home…Rushing home I quickly changed and went in the kitchen … All ready and excited… But soon my excitement went down… I realised chopping the vegetables is not as simple as it looks, it’s a tedious process and the preparation had taken such a long time that I was already tired before the actual cooking process began… The kitchen was looking like a war zone and I was dreading the fact that I have to even clean up after the cooking …I suddenly felt like bursting into tears and giving up…I came out of the kitchen sweaty, stinky and totally tired… Just then the door bell rang… H had come home… My grand plan of surprising him with my home cooked meal failed… I had tears in my eyes…

One look at me and he said , are you trying to cook for me???? He said with this incredulous look on his face… I just nodded without looking at his face .. But the joy in his voice was so obvious that I suddenly felt motivated… All was not wasted… The ingredients were ready… They didn’t look nice and well cut but what the hell one could still eat it… I could cook at least an edible meal…H asked if he could help me with anything… But now I was again excited … I wanted to prove myself… So I told him not to enter the kitchen just wait… So I bounced back in the kitchen trying my best to cook exactly as per the instructions … And voila !!! 20 minutes later I had a relatively decent looking sabzi ready !!!

H totally loved it and I have to admit it was yummy… I don’t know if I was just too hungry or excited to eat the veggie I had cooked… We had dinner in a completely messed up kitchen with a experimental main course but it was amazing….

I was tired but I couldn’t help feeling extremely proud of myself…

And thus started my cooking journey… I tried quite a few things after that… Nothing elaborate but totally edible and yummy…

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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in My take

 

4 Things I Learnt from my Dog

 
Love  Unconditionally
 
Dogs are the most friendly,loving ,loyal creatures in the entire world.They heal us with their power of unconditional love.Their soulful eyes empathize when we are sad, the cheerful playfulness lifts our spirit ,their loyalty gives us security and comfort that no human can.No matter how much you mess up your life, how much wrong you do, regardless how you look, your social standing your dog will always love you.
 
My Bryan made me feel loved and wanted the way no other human could. He could easily out do any human I know in his ability to forgive and forget. It’s something one can learn from dogs.They have this infinite capacity to love.
 
Welcome Someone Happily
 
No one can say ‘Welcome back home ‘ the way my Bryan did. No matter what a horrible day I had ; when I came back home his happy barks and vigorous wagging of tail instantly put a smile on my face.When the door bell used to ring he ran to the front door whenever he was.He might be sleeping but that didn’t stop him from rushing to welcome someone home as I’d he hasn’t seen that person for a million years.I actually used to love coming back home to him.His happy welcome made me feel wanted like nothing else could.He made sure that I knew that he was waiting for me and he is glad that I am back.
 
I try to do the same ( No, not the wagging and barking) to welcome people home.I try my best to smile and welcome people home no matter how tired I am.Greeting people at the door and welcoming them home is one of those things I do naturally.H often says that he looks forward to coming home after a stressful day because he knows he will be welcomed home with a smile and a big hug. I love to be welcomed home myself. I somehow dont like opening the door myself though I might have the keys.Now that Bryan is no more I don’t get that waggy welcomes but H makes an effort to get up ,open the door and greet me whenever I ring the door bell and I reward him with a dazzling smile .
 
Listen
 
Don’t you get this amazing feeling when you talk to your dog and he cocks his head and listens earnestly? I did and I loved having Bryan to listen to what I had to say. I knew he didn’t understand the words I said but he knew the feelings behind those words and that was enough. He licked me when he saw my tears , snuggled up when he felt I was upset , didn’t  leave my side when I was scared.Sometimes you don’t need advice or opinions.All you want is someone to be there to hold your hand and listen to you.Bryan taught me to be a good listener and how sometimes just listening can give someone a lot of relief.
Lot of people tell me things that they otherwise wouldn’t tell anybody and they say its because I am a good listener.This has come to me naturally because of all those years when I felt good after talking to Bryan.He just sat there not judging,not advising not giving any opinions …just being there to make me feel that I am not alone. I realized what a wonderful thing it is to be able to it for somebody.
 
Protect your loved ones
 
I remember once my tiny little dog went against a pack of vicious street dogs just to protect me. He got bitten and hurt but he put himself in danger without a second thought without even thinking of the consequences.I had to actually rescue him from the dogs but that doesn’t lessen his bravery and it makes me immensely proud. He didn’t think of his size or the risks.He just put himself in the harms way so as to protect me. And that’s how it should be. 
I am fiercely protective about my loved ones.I guess it’s one of those things I have learnt from Bryan.Sometimes H scolds me saying that I am over protective but that’s how I am .When I sense there is any threat to my loved ones there is no logic or reason that stops me from doing whatever I can to protect them.
 
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Posted by on January 25, 2013 in My take

 

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Keeping up with the Resolution

I am home today on a weekday with every part of my body aching.. Oh no I am not sick or anything…it’s just that I joined a gym as per my New Year Resolution. I made sure that I join the gym with H so that he keeps a check on me and the other way round. But in reality I am the only one who needs motivation to get up early morning and drag myself out of the bed to go and run( actually walk ) on the tread mill…

 
This  gym is very close to my home and hence the preference. I don’t think I could have ever got up and travelled somewhere to reach to a high tech one..I stick to the beginner level as I am not even used to moving a lot and exercising is a big big deal for me…
 
But on the first day of the new year I impulsively went and signed up for a three month gym membership without actually putting a lot of thought…I guess that’s the only way I could have done it…The next morning H was waking me up and I was almost screaming that its still dark outside and I so don’t want to go to the gym…But he wouldn’t listen and then played the trump card saying that all my membership money would be lost…That woke up the stingy part in me and then I started getting ready just so that I wouldn’t waste the money ( for people who know me this wont come as a surprise ) …
 
It was nice and cold outside and I actually enjoyed putting in my track suit with my nice running shoes and go to the gym holding hands with H.But after I entered the gym I started feeling a little apprehensive  seeing all those super fit people running on the treadmills and doing all kinds of difficult exercises.I was looking around to see if there is anybody like me who is a beginner with very less tolerance for any kind of physical exercise.But I could spot no one.I looked at H but he was already talking excitedly with his trainer.H is very very enthusiastic about working out. Bang opposite of what I am. He loves cycling and always makes a point to go out for long walks after heavy meals.He even plays table tennis during his lunch breaks in office.I go for walks when I am depressed or wheni just need fresh air and that too is limited.Sometimes I go for walks with H to keep him company but it mostly results in me having to run behind him because he walks too fast… So nowadays I avoid doing that also….
 
Since H was busy with the trainer I thought I should go and find my own trainer. When I found her she started at me top to bottom and said we have lots of work to do.I knew I was in for a hard time.She started off with some basic warm up exercises which I could do quite easily so that eased a little of my apprehension but then she asked me to do squats. Wow I had no idea my legs have so many parts that could individually and collectively scream in pain if I put them through such stress….I was panting…My legs were aching and it was baddddd…. But she wasn’t through with me yet …it was just the beginning….then came sit ups , cycling , some aerobic exercises , running in the treadmill with the trainer increasing the speed at every five minutes ….So after an hour when I left the gym I was in pain all over… Every part of my body was stretched and worked at … And I was getting super annoyed looking at H who seemed so happy about the work out…All he could say was it happens on the first few days , you will get used to it…
 
I couldn’t move after the gruelling exercise but I had to go work and so I went…. The next morning it was   even more difficult as now I was not just apprehensive but I was in pain also…. Still H dragged me to gym and it wasn’t all that bad….This routine continued for about a week and I am now a little used to exercising…
 
But my trainer thought now she should increase the difficulty level but my body had different ideas…My leg got sprained in the process so now I am home alone…wondering how much time it would take for me to stop limping and actually get back to the gym….
 
Overall I have started liking going to the gym…It makes me feel good about myself…
 
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Posted by on January 10, 2013 in My take

 

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New Year Resolutions

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When the year 2012 began I had so many things in mind.I am going to do this ,I am going to do that.I start enthusiastically  but soon lost interest and the goals were forgotten.It usually happens to me.I get too excited and take up a lot of things to do at the same time.But as time passes my enthusiasm fizzes out and I end up not perusing any of them.

That’s the reason I have decided to make a small but we’ll thought of written list of all my New Year Resolutions and put it up on my blog so that it definite.Sharing your to do list with someone makes you answerable and thus more responsible.So here it goes ,
Write a Diary Everyday
I am a big fan of diary writing.I used to write diary in my school and junior college days.Not everyday but every time when something significant used to happen I rushed back home to make a note of it in my precious diary.My grandfather had given me a diary with a lock when I was about twelve.That was one of my most treasured possessions.Somehow when I moved to Mumbai it got lost during the shifting and I never got back to diary writing.

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This Diwali when I went back to Rtn I found my precious little diary again.I spent hours reading it, re- living all the memories and it was amazing.Thats when I decided I am going back to diary writing and this time I plan to write in it everyday.There are so many things happening in your life every single day worth making a note of.I would love to pass on my diary to the next generation someday.I think it’s a wonderful gift to pass on.Its like  giving a little bit of you with all your wisdom and silliness to your children.
Lose Weight with Right Diet and Regular Exercise
 
Losing weight has been on my agenda for quite some time now.I am totally against the idea of starving myself so I don’t even attempt to try those fad diets.I am basically too lazy to move my butt out of the couch and exercise.But this year I tried.I managed to discipline my eating habits and exercise a little.But still it showed results.No my weight didn’t go down but didn’t shoot up also( See I am a very optimistic person ).
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But now I plan to further than that.Now it’s the time to reduce and get myself toned up.Since eating less is just not possible for me ( and harmful for others because hungry me is extremely cranky me; ready to bite off your head) I have decided to just stick to eating the right kind of food at regular intervals.So fried food and frizzy colas are out ( not entirely but majority of time ) .Exercise is something that I have to do and I need to do it regularly.I have decided to go for a walk for about 40 minutes.(Hopefully me and H can go together because then it spending quality time together and it doesn’t seem like exercise.)Also I am going to take stairs now on not the elevator( I live in the third floor). If possible I also plan to join a dance class.Its a all body exercise and I love dancing. But that’s just a plan for now , nothing definite.
I hope the next year end when I make another list of my New Year Resolutions I am all fit and fab.
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Get over my Fear of Driving a Car
 
Driving is something I am petrified of.I do have a driving license and I got it when I was 18 but somehow driving on the crowded roads of Mumbai is terrifying.Both H and my Dad tried their best to teach me to drive properly but soon gave up.Dad lost all patience and nearly yelled at me.H is the opposite end.He said  I know driving its just the fear of it stopping me. I should start driving without anybody sitting next to me and if I get into trouble he’ll help out.Saying that he just got out the car and asked me to drive.I sat frozen in my seat and after a lot of yelling and crying just drove around for about 5 minutes before almost hitting a tree.That experience almost had my confidence in shreds and I didn’t sit in the driver’s seat again after that.
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Not being able to drive a car is a handicap.It makes me very dependent and I don’t like that at all..Its a survival skill these days where one has to travel across the length and breadth of the city for  a good job. I get quite ashamed to say that I can’t drive.So I think now it is high time that I take control of my fear and drive the car confidently.
Hopefully by the next December , the fit and fabulous me would be driving car around the city of Mumbai with a smile on my face after reading my diary of 2013.
Happy New Year Everybody !!!
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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in My take

 

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Hot Hot Hot !!!

It’s June and yet it’s as hot as summer and I am not liking it at all. Every morning I hate getting out of my artificially cooled bedroom to go out in the merciless heat. I really have to drag myself out.

I don’t have a lot to travel but whatever little I go out in the sun my energy gets sapped out and I feel drained. I am tired and sweaty before I even reach office and look as if I have walked the Sahara. Deos become an absolute necessity. People around would have fainted otherwise.

I am so thankful to the air conditioner in the office. It keeps me comfy the whole day without worrying about the electricity bill. The electricity bills are going sky high especially in the summer. I hate spending a penny more than I have to. But nowadays A.C has become a necessity.

I feel blessed that I don’t have to travel in the local trains. The heat and stinky sweat would have been killing. I see people in my office coming completely drenched in sweat looking so in need to have a bath all over again. The heat just saps out every bit of energy left in you and makes one extremely cranky and irritable. It happens to me a lot. Put me out in the heat and as the temperature rises so does my irritation.

I almost fainted on my site the other day. I was so embarrassed that I forgot to get cranky. I have just admitted to myself that afternoon sun is just not tolerable to me.

Currently trying to avoid going out in the sun as much as possible and sipping on some juices. Hope the rains would bring some relief.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in My take

 

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Sachin?God?

Yesterday by the time I got home my Husband was busy watching the first IPL match of the season. With his eyes glued to TV, he had no time to listen to my chatter. That itself annoyed me and my irritation was diverted to cricket. But then as usual I had no choice (I can’t help smiling when he makes that cute puppy doggy face to ‘patao’ me) I sat down beside him reading a book. I tried to give him company while blending in the background so as not to display my serious ignorance about the cricketing world.

After some time I heard the commentators repetitively say that the God of cricket is doing this, He is doing that. For an Indian like me who has grown up with people who worship cricket it was obvious that they were talking about Sachin Tendulkar. Somehow him being called God bothered me. No, not because I deny that he’s super awesome at his game.I am just against a human being being elevated to the level of God.

I believe that a human being is just a human being.He can be great at his work,kind or even the most amazing person in existence but not God.God, for me is a power ,more powerful than anything imaginable.Its a title that can never be taken by mortal stuck in the cycle of life and death.

I know ,here in India people worship cricket but is that fair? I mean even for cricketers…doesn’t the excessive pressure affect their game? When a sportsman is doing great he gets hyped up so much that either he starts thinking too much about himself or he gets bowed down by the pressure of expectations.But when he is down ,the so called fans just desert him.The whole thing seems so fake. That’s probably one of the reasons why I don’t follow cricket.

A respect worthy person , great at his work can be called a supreme ruler,king or an emperor or anything but not God.There is just one God.Let him be…

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2012 in My take

 

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I like Big

Don’t let your mind wander (Stop it perverts!!!), the title is a literal translation of the currently most talked about soap on Indian television ‘Bade Achhae Lagatey Hai’. Ever since I heard of it I have been wondering if the title refers to the big fat male lead Mr. Ram Kapoor whose is referred to as Mr. Kapoor by his petite wife in any given situation.

I watched a few episodes just because my mum was watching it and there wasn’t a better option. I found it ridicululously stupid .I mean how do u justify a couple in say their late thirties or forties behaving so naively about what a married couple does .But after a lot of episodes they get down to business and for the first time such a steamy scene is shown in an Indian Television soap. Unfortunately when that particular episode was screened I was stuck between my parents who didn’t know how to react and then out of nowhere the frozen me spoke aloud ‘Won’t his big tummy come in between?’My parents went beet root red.It was very funny and super embarrassing at the same time.

The next day that was the hot discussion topic amongst us girls in office. The scene had ‘Jodha Akbar’ song in background. We burst out laughing just comparing this fat guy with hairs coming out of his ears making out with his wife to Hritik in Jodha Akbar. (Oh!!! I am drooling just thinking about Hritik!!! ) Priya (the lead actress) was dressed in a barely there blouse with a sexy red sari all ready for the action. Hah!!!Scandalous!!!

A colleague of mine told me that she overheard a lady telling her friend that her twelve year old daughter after watching the serial said ‘ Aaj Papa ki to waat hai’…We laughed and laughed and laughed.

Overall the day was well spent gossiping, laughing and generally having fun all thanks to the serial.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Miscellaneous, My take

 

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