Here and there in my foodie world!

I think cooking skills are there in my genes!

When I have a bad headache and over time it spreads to the neck and becomes a dull throbbing pain and I can’t even utter normal responses to questions directed at me and all I wanted to do was scream at everyone at sight, the husband takes the role of the silent man and acts as if the dumb idiot box is actually intelligent.

And then I take refuge in the kitchen with the beginnings of a coffee…aaahhh….that helps a little. He tries to help by suggesting that I take a pain killer tablet but I refuse. I hate those tablets. For me, the biggest healer is sleep and I’ll go to it at the right time.

Then, with the continuing pain, I enter the kitchen and decide to make vengaya thogaiyal and rasam with lots of pepper and garlic! The frying onion smell can heal, you know πŸ˜› Also, the fried urid dal tastes awesome when popped into the mouth while they are golden crisp. The whiff of garlic while the rasam is boiling makes me bend over the rasam pot and inhale the flavours of pepper, jeera, garlic thereby helping my headache to heal by itself.

After eating the hearty meal and a good sleep in the night, makes me all refreshed for the next day. The headache is gone.

Food is a healer and along with sleep, the benefits are double. And then there are days when there is a satisfying feeling of facing an awesome day, just because the cooking turned out great that morning!

A few pics from my lunch box to tempt you πŸ˜›

Podi Idly for breakfast πŸ™‚

 

Capsicum and tomato sambar, mix veg fry, mangai vella pachadi from the lunch box πŸ™‚

 

Skywatch Friday – 1

After a week of good work, I feel these sights are little rewards from above to make me happy πŸ™‚

The love for clouds is nearing crazy levels and my eyes feast on the colors and patterns in the sky, whenever I am out. After I installed Instagram, I started clicking those wonderful pictures and started sharing them too. This is my first entry to Skywatch Friday, in an effort to meet people of similar enthusiasm for the beautiful skies!

Happy birthday to my mentor :)

I am a strong believer of the fact that people come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes we understand their need in our lives, other times we don’t. But they are there to bring meaning to our lives or make us understand the meanings of our lives.

Among all the people who have made a remarkable difference in my thinking and in my approach to my life is my husband’s eldest brother. And today, I wish him all the happiness and love, as he celebrates his birthday!

This post may come as a surprise to him or shock him too, but these birthdays are the best times to thank people for their presence in our lives and how it means a lot to us. So, I hope he’ll bear with me for writing this.

He has this simplistic way of looking at things and never minces words to express his thoughts. This is something which I yearn to be – “I live my life in my own terms”.

Another amazing quality which I am in awe of, is his magnanimity to give and not to think or talk about it later. What makes him unique is that he doesn’t have an air about him. A quality which I aspire for…

And since the time me and my husband have turned entrepreneurs, he has been a great source of positive energy for us. He has this way of appreciating us for the work we do and also encourages us to take more risks. The apprehensive me has learnt to let go and be more energetic in taking up new projects. This mentoring has enabled us to grow as an industry with the values intact.

As I believe in the fact that some people come into your life to teach you something or be there for some reason. Here is a person who inspires me to bring the best in me, just with his presence in my life.

And my heartfelt gratitude to my mentor, as he celebrates his birthday today!

Sunday rumination – Life’s always throwing lemons…

Its up to me to decide if those lemons are meant for making a sweet lemonade or to make a spicy hot pickle or just crush it out to clean the whites of stains πŸ˜€

Actually every lemon that gets thrown at me is an opportunity for me…

…to distinguish the good from the bad, in my own way

…to move away from closed doors and start looking at small windows that are trying to open for me

…to understand that some incidents happened in my life to change my course of journey and to make me think differently about the same situation

…to turn the sour lemons to sweet melons, just by looking only at things which give me happiness

…to ignore the things that cause hurt and pain to the heart – oh yeah, this could be a daunting task, but well worth the effort, as I love myself more than anyone, now a days

As I woke up this morning, “When life throws lemons, make lemonade” came to my mind…its one of those bizzare thought process of my sleepy mind. Just out of the blue, I started thinking more about that line. As I loaded the clothes into the washing machine, I thought that it need not be lemonade always and it could also be made into a pickle – the citrus-y spicy can make the tongue wanting more of it!

And when I was making coffee, came the philosophical thoughts – some days are like that – I just learn to take it as it gives me myriad of thoughts and critical analysis of myself. The only difference to the whole scene today is I don’t carry on the guilt of not performing to my standards. After all the thoughts are processed, I realize that I am more important to myself and my happiness is more important to myself and it is one of the treasured things which I should not forego at any cost.

So, keeping myself happy, whether with lemonade or lemon pickle, I go about my day, writing my thoughts in my space – a recording to be read another day to calm the mind and soothe the heart.

Friday musing – Wearing what you want with confidence…

I can say with great affirmation that I decide what to wear, clothes, accessories or anything.

But there are other kind of people too. One set of people are driven by their children. The son or daughter decides what the mom should wear. “Ma, wear sari when you come to school” “Ma, wear salwar kameez when you drop me at my friend’s place” – this and that. It can even go to levels like “Ma, don’t wear jeans…it doesn’t suit you” “Ma, those big bindi on your forehead – I don’t like” “Ma, wear small studs for your ears, these jhumkas are for younger people” – And I feel like throwing some very bad curses at all these comments as these are very opinionated either by the children’s peer pressure at school or by the family’s comments and decisions on what suits the woman / mother. Of course, its only her and always her and her dressing sense, which is under scrutiny.

Then there are women, who are uncomfortable in their own skin – they feel fat, ugly and not fair skinned – may be all put in one. It takes too much of insecurity about one’s own self to be critical of one’s body and deciding against wearing clothes which may not suit the body type. After all, we’ve this one life to live, which we can remember. Why not live it fully, by wearing whatever the heart desires!! Why should someone die in the hope that one day they can wear slim-fit jeans? Why not buy and wear them today?

Another major deterrent is the fact that the husband find the wife fat or ugly. Β He doesn’t want to go out with his wife anymore, because of her body shape or structure. His reasons “She wasn’t like this before the children were born”. It takes a lot of maturity on the part of the husband to understand the consequences of being pregnant with a child and going through the process of delivery. The hormones play havoc on the women, who go through these stages. Some put on weight on their thighs alone or back alone or it could lead to different health issues after a post-pregnancy depression. Without understanding all these, the husband just wants his wife to come out of a pregnancy and delivery stage, looking like those movie stars. Excuse me…man, you’re not fit to be a human at all!

While it takes a woman of very strong confidence to look down on those kind of people like the dust in her shoes, many women are still struggling to fight their own fear of “Am not good enough for my husband”!

The other day I saw a woman, shorter than me but wearing a long kurti with side and center slits and tight pants. From my point of view, it looked nice on her, as she was wearing what she liked. But I did hear a comment like that the dress doesn’t suit her because she is short of nature. It seems that short women are supposed to wear short kurtis so that they look tall. Really? Which world do you live in…people? Even if this is true, let that woman be the deciding authority on whether she wants to look tall or short.

Sari designs – “Oh…these are for the older women”
Spectacle frames – “M’am choose something your age…this is for the younger generation”
Heels – “Oh no! A big no no for older people”
Dupatta / shawl – “A must for women, especially the heavy bosom ones”
Anarkali type kameez – “A big no for fat women”
Crisp cottons – “Thin women look like sticks wearing sari”
Myths…myths…all made by our own society…

Is covering from head to toe, an apt dress??

Also, saris are the most desired attire for married women – Really? Women wearing other kind of dresses don’t remain married or what?

First, we bring up the girl child in our homes to hold on to all the fears of the previous generations. She cannot wear pants, she needs to wear pavadai davani after puberty, she needs to wear sari after marriage, no other dress code is allowed for her. Β And it’s the societal prejudices that drive the women to dress in a particular fashion.

It takes a woman, an extreme dose of strength, inner guts, trusting her intuition, a don’t-care-about-others attitude and most of all, excessive loads of self-love to be herself and wear what she desires – clothes / bags / jewelry / bindi.

So, love thyself first woman!!
Wear what you want and be happy πŸ™‚

WW – Freshness

Freshness overload
Can be in the form of new leaves too…
To cheer up the drab days
And to brighten the moments!

 

Upma in the making…

I’ve written many a posts about my patti. She lives inside me, giving me strength and the resilience to carry on life, even during turbulent times. With her trade-mark onbadhu gajam pudavai (9-yard sari), her brilliant smile and big bhindi, she was the woman whom I yearned to be and still yearning to be. Its been 4 years since her demise and there’s not been a day, when I don’t remember her for something or other.

When I turned 18, the whole household woke up to the fact that I need to get married. It all boiled down to the fact that I had the difficult nakshatram and hence they need to look for a partner asap and the groom hunt- ha ha, yeah, that was how it was treated – began.

I used to lie down on patti’s lap during those summer holidays and she used to gently caress my hair. Her soft hands were incredible as they gently put me to sleep.

On one idle afternoon, I shared with patti my most kept secret. “Patti, I want to marry someone who is an equal partner in all the things I do. Like, if he’ll cut onions, I’ll make sambar. If he’ll peel and cut potatoes, I’ll make potato fry”. What made me say such a thing, is something I don’t remember much. But my patti’s reassuring hand on my head made sure that my wish came true.

Yesterday, as my husband chopped vegetables showcasing his knife skills at the cutting board, I happily roasted the rava, humming this song – “nee katru…naan maram…enna sonnalum thalayattuven”. Somehow, this song felt so apt for the mood in the kitchen and the upma was made. A simplistic tiffin became a feastπŸ’—

And, of course, I was thanking my patti!