The best FOURS of my life…

OK ! Hitchwriter, here it is. I’ve taken up the tag and tried my level best to do it.

Even though it was easy, I had to do a lot of thinking and choose between favourite ones – so, it took some time.

 

Four places I have lived:

Chennai – Mylapore:  Birthplace and the one closest to the heart.  The word “Mylapore” has a sweet tone to it, according to me. As our home was situated a little farther away from the bus routes, we used to do quite a bit of walking. I’ve never complained of those lovely walks, as it was a great journey for me. Friends meet me on the way and I used to wait at the nearest bus stop for my friend to come… the walk has so many memories attached to it.  And I never take an umbrella to school – I hate to carry it separately.  So, I used to come home, dripping wet in the rain, sneezing a lot, but having a lot of fun and one of the best times of my life.  The chai conversations with my sister were the best time of the day, any day.  And since we lived with cousins, grandparents, we were one huge family with some activity going on, every minute.

Chennai – Adayar: The place I lived after I got married, is a place of great learning for me.  In my home, I was the eldest. So, all my cousins, looked up to me for everything.  But, at Adayar, I was the youngest daughter-in-law. Even though I got the care and attention of the elders, it was a great place to learn for me.  My views, perceptions and so many things inside me, changed for the better, here.

Trichy– This small town in the heart of Tamil Nadu, holds great memories for me.  We lived in Trichy for 2 years and Thank you God, I’ve been able to visit each and every temple in and around this place.  Here was the first time, I saw a river everyday of my life – the life saving River Kaveri.  I love those days, when I was fortunate enough to have  a dip in this river.  In this place, my job profile included being a tourist guide to all the relatives, friends who visit my home. And I loved every minute of it.

Hyderabad – The twin cities of Hyderabad-Secunderabad is where I am, now.  The experiences in this place have made me into a stronger person.  I am loving it.

 

Four T.V Shows I Love to Watch

Nigella Feasts / Nigella Express (Discovery’s T & L)  :Nigella Lawson has captured me by her simplistic cooking and delicious recipes.  Actually, she is very clumsy.  But that’s what makes her more loved, because nobody is perfect. Even with her clumsiness, if she can create such wonderful, lip smacking dishes, why can’t I ?  That’s why, she is a great inspiration to many people, across the world. They rightly call her – Domestic Goddess.

Rachel Allen Bake (Discovery’s T & L) : As I’ve become addicted to baking, this new show too has caught me like fire. I am trying to get better at baking.

Samantha Brown’s Travel Show (Discovery’s T & L) : I’ve never seen a more cool host than Samantha. I just love the way she talks and introduces us to gorgeous places around the world. Oh ! I would love to be on the show with her.

Happiness – A Journey with Deepak Chopra, Bodylicious Yoga : These two shows with the NDTV Good Times, are a great stress buster for me.  You can visit here to know more about the Happiness Journey.

Doordharshan’s Rangoli, Chitrahaar have been my favourites from my childhood days.

 

Four Places that I have been on Vacation

Masinagudi : This is a jungle resort, a 2 hour drive from Mysore.  I just loved the time we had here.  It was here, that I went for horse riding for the first time in my life.  Not to forget, the Elephant Safari (Elephant ride too, first time) during the early morning hours to spot a tiger / bison. But we were not lucky to spot any of those.  But I enjoyed the deer, the dancing peacock – on the whole the experience was wonderful.

Chunnambar Back Waters: This back waters are situated near Pondicherry, in Tamil Nadu.  Oh ! I loved the ride on the boat, with the wind in my hair. Great outing  !!!

Kullu / Manali: Most unforgettable trip of my life and it was My honeymoon trip too !!!!!  Wow, I travelled for the first time by flight from Delhi to Kullu.  I can still remember the view from my window – the awesome and majestic Himalayas and how the sun played shadows with those mountains.  My first attempt at skiing – even though it was a absolute failure – was enthralling for me.  The hot chai in mutkas – one of the best in my life. I can go bla, bla on this trip so much that I can dedicate a blog to it.

Kolkatta –  This was the birth place of my hubby S.  He is so passionate about Kolkatta that he wanted us to enjoy the city like he did when he was young.  So, he took us during Durga Puja last year, to show the city of his heart, to us. We loved it to thrills. The puchkas, rasogullas, luchi and aloo dum, kachoris – WOW, what a feast we had.  Even though the city is just like how the Britishers left  it to us, we enjoyed it so much through the eyes of my husband.

 

My Favourite Food Items

Dosa, sambar, chutney – I think there is no doubt on this favourite. The Dosa blog will explain the way I drool about Dosas of various kinds.

Hyderabadi Chicken Briyani– I’ve developed a taste to this wonderful delicacy after shifting to Hyderabad.  Wah ! Wah ! Once tasted, you’ll not leave it for anything.  BTW, please take care of your calories.

Black currant Icecream– There is this flavour with Amul, which I just love. The currants which you get to taste, while eating the ice cream is mind boggling experience for me.

Samosas / Pakodas– Yeah, I love them so much, but now a days restrict eating them a lot.  Pakodas are a weekend affair, in our home, when the whole family is hogging on them, as though they’ve not seen a pakoda for years in their life.

 

Four Websites that I visit daily

Yahoo Mail – To check on my regular mails, the Yahoo groups I am a part of.

Google – Another one of my favourites.

WordPress  –  New passion.

 

Four Places that I would Rather be

Taj Coramandel Beach Resort  – The beach has always stimulated me. Even when I grew up, the Chennai Marina Beach was the favourite weekend outing for us.  So, I was very much fascinated with this Taj Resort and we had a great time there.  One of the best places to beat your stress.

Yercaud – I’ve been to this lovely hill resort 3 times as of now, but still feel that the place is beckoning to me !

Manali – I would love to live in the snow.  One day, I promise myself, that it’ll happen. 

My school– I just love my school so much that I would like to go back to those days of sheer happiness. No commitments, no tension, no finances to handle, no image to keep upto – OMG ! what a lovely phase of life.  I would rather be in my school, than in any place of the world.

 

Four Things I hope to do before Time Runs out

Bunjee jumping  –  This, I had been wanting to do, for sometime now.  First, my cousin did it in the US and he talked so much about this that I wanted to try it. Then it was the turn of Samantha to inspire me more. Recently, during the IPL T20, when Mandira did it, the decision has been made by me. I’ll do it, for sure, one day.

Do a perfect Breast stroke and Butterfly stroke in Swimming : Yeah, I do know a little bit of swimming which my daughter thinks is the best. But I know that the strokes are not perfect.  I would love to learn them the perfect way, as those people who take part in Olympics do.

Go for a World tour – This has been on my mind for quite sometime now, after seeing Samantha showing off some great holiday places around the world.

Have a dip in a hot spring situated in a cold place – What an awesome feeling !!!  In an absolute chilly climate, you dip into a hot spring.  I hope to do it too, before time runs out on me.

 

Four Novels I Wish I was Reading for the first Time

The other side of midnight by Sidney Sheldon – My first novel when I was in Class 10.  So many things changed in me, after this reading.  Wish I could read it again –  like that day, so many years ago.

The fountainhead by Ayn Rand – An absolute favourite of mine. I keep reading it from time to time, when I get the time. It always feels new to me.

Arthamulla Indhumadham by Kavingnar Kannadasan – This collection of books in Tamil has inspired me a lot.   It talks highly about the Hindu religion and I am a great fan of this series. 

The Tintin series / Harry Potter series / Asterix and Obelix – I loved reading them, then. Will love reading them, now.

 

Four Movies that I can watch over and over again

I think the list is endless….

The father of the Bride / The Runaway Bride / When Harry met Sally– Actually Romantic comedies are my favs.

Hum Tum / Rang De Basanti / Lagaan / QSQT –  There are quite a few exceptions, too.

Mouna Raagam(Tamil) / Abhiyum Nanum(Tamil) / The classic B&W ones of Hindi and Tamil, The 60s and 70s of Hindi cinema with great songs

The Home Alone series / Harry Potter series

 

So, blogo friends, now, you all know more about me. 

I am also not tagging anybody, in particular. So, please take up the tag, so that I can also get to know more about you all.

Is there any more tag to do ?  Please send it my way.

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A Welcome to the festive season

 
I am a lover of festivals and I am eagerly waiting for the festive season to begin, by next month.  Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmashtami, Navarathri (Dusshera), Diwali, Karthigai Deepam, Christmas, Sankranthi.. the list is endless, but the listed few are my favs.  I just love the whole festive mood, the food spread that go along with it and the customs too. Actually, in our custom, we have to wear the traditional saree outfit – the saree being 9 yards long. But I dont mind it at all, as long as I get to celebrate the festival.
 
I just thought that I would welcome the festive season, with the advent of Aadi masam (Aashadam), by sharing a few pics from the last year festivities at my home.
 
The first one, was taken during the Karthigai Deepam, where lighting lamps is the most important thing to do. We do it on the full-moon day of the Karthigai masam, praying to Lord Shiva. This festival is at its best at Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu.
 
 

During Karthigai Deepam

 

 
This one below was, of course, during Christmas. As my girls wanted to do a tree on their own, I got this one for them. They set it up and decorated it – the first tree at home.  I even baked a chocolate cake on Christmas Eve.
 
Christmas Tree at Home
Christmas Tree at Home
 
This one was taken during the Rangoli competition in our apartment during Sankranthi.  I thoroughly enjoyed the festival, with great Sakkarai Pongal (Rice, Dhal and Jaggery with lots of ghee) and Vadai to go along with it.
 
Rangoli competition during Sankranthi
Rangoli competition during Sankranthi
 
On the whole, I had a great year full of festivals I adore, admire, love and greatly passionate about.  Hope that this year too will bring in more excitement, fun, peace, health with the festival season.

I am drained…

Being tagged by Swaram to list out the 10 things that me drain me out emotionally, I sat to think….  And I thought a lot.  Finally, came up with this list, which also makes me the person, that is ME !!!

  1. I generally keep up with the time promised by me. So, when people fix up a time for appointment, I expect them to keep it up. If they are delayed due to justifiable reasons, I’ll also expect them to call and inform. When people delay without informing and make me wait for long hours, it totally drains me out emotionally. Let her wait, What else has she got to do ? —  This attitude unnerves me !!
  2. I am the kind of person, who values opinions very much.  If I ask anyone for suggestions or opinions, I greatly value them and consider them before taking my decision. Similarly, my opinions are not let out, unless people ask for it (Even my S).  And when some people ask for it purposefully and snub me on my face, for the opinion given, it drains me out emotionally !!!
  3. When people I know, happen to pass by me and ignore me completely when I wish them, it just gets to my nerves.
  4. After starting this Tupperware business, I have understood one thing.  I don’t expect people to buy from me, just because they are my friends. I take great care to make sure that my friendship doesn’t interfere with my business. My friends should buy the product for the worthiness of the product and not because of my friendship with them.  So, when my Tupperware Manager tells me to make my friends order Tupperware products, to reach the target value for a week, I am totally upset with her.
  5. When any of my friends or relatives call me and I am unable to take their call, I make sure that I call them back and apologise.  But why is it there are people out there, who don’t respond to the call you made or never returns your call ????  This gives me a feeling that they are trying to ignore me.  And if that person is close to my heart, I go for a toss.
  6. Children doing tantrums are quite common. I don’t blame the child. Its the responsibility of the parents to instill some sense into the child, when the behaviour is at its worst.  When the child is behaving badly, throwing tantrums in a public place and the parents stand there and look through, it is something I just can’t digest.  At least, the parents should feel responsible and apologise if the child has hurt somebody in the process. These parents who take things for granted, when it concerns their kids, drain me emotionally.
  7. There are these doctors around us, who make us do all sorts of tests, even for a simple fever / cough / cold / stomach ache /head ache symptom.  They just dont understand how much they play with the emotions of the person involved. Instead of helping the person recover from the illness, the doctors depress the people more, just by scaring the life out of us.  How can I trust those doctors, who emotionally drain me ????
  8. When the telemarketing people keep on calling again and again, even after refusing the offer politely for the first time, I am absolutely drained emotionally.
  9. There are one more sect of people, who can’t mind their manners when they visit somebody for the first time. They just go around the house, inspecting everything on display and commenting on it too. They go into the kitchen uninvited, open fridge and drink water on their own. One lady, even had the audacity to take an apple from my fruit basket without asking me and cut it, give to her child and eat it also.  Such people are on my list of non-invitees and they get on my nerves too much.
  10. Finally, this is to all the people who keep themselves, their homes, their surroundings totally unclean.  I get totally annoyed with unhygienic people, as I am a great cleanliness freak. Things might be lying here and there, in my home, sometimes. But my home is never unclean.  I am scared shit to even visit those people, who don’t have cleanliness in their dictionary.

WOW, That was not too difficult, I think.  So far, I’ve been blogging about things I like, enjoy and am greatly passionate about.  With this blog, I’ve brought balance to my blogs by talking about things that irritate / upset / emotionally drain me.

My daughters are answering !!!

 

Tagged again, by Nancy. God bless you, Nancy for doing this favour to me.

But there is a difference. I am not answering those questionnaires, but my daughters are.

Wanna know what I did ?  I prepared a Question paper for both my girls and when they were busy with their school work, quietly slipped this question paper to them and instructed them to answer without discussing with each other.  Both of them thought for a moment that I’ve given them some Maths question paper. But when they read thru the questions, they exclaimed – Mama, whats this ?  Are you tagged ?.

My girls came to know abt tags, from the way I was bla bla bla-ing abt it in the house.  And they absolutely enjoyed Nancy’s tag on the same lines. My younger one was rolling on the floor laughing away and the best she liked was  – Nancy’ll become famous for watering plants.

Anyway, coming back to my tag, I Thank God from the deepest point in my heart for blessing me with two wonderful girls !  I am thrilled beyond expectation at the way they adore me, admire me, respect me, cuddle with me and most importantly for the highest place they have given in their hearts. Thank you God !!!

                                                                                         DSC00918

Let me introduce my daughters before you start, as you’ll understand their answers better then. My elder one, Sruthi, is in Class 9, and is just a darlingto have. She is very innovative, matured, diplomatic, sophisticated and too much loving. The younger one, Shalini, is in Class 7, and is the mischievious one. She smiles a lot to hide her naughty stuff.  She is very frank, a temper queen, cuddly, childish and oh so lovable.

Mama: What is something I always say to you?

SRUTHI :Dont fight with Shalu. Learn to adjust and share. I love you so much. Clear your room and study table – its a mess. Enough of home work, go and play !!!
SHALINI: “SHALINI”, Dont do that / Kannamma, enna da chappai ? ( The second part is cuddly talk in tamil)

Mama: What makes me happy?

SRUTHI: A smile.   When me & Shalu dontfight and we share and when we appreciate everything you do for us.
SHALINI : When I do something good like getting full marks.

Mama: What makes me sad?

SRUTHI : When me and Shalu fight. Also when I am sad or angry or unhappy.
SHALINI : If I trouble you or irritate you by not doing my work at proper time.

Mama: How do I make you laugh?

SRUTHI :By tickling us or by telling us funny incidents in your life.
SHALINI : By tickling or cracking a joke.

We also have tickling sessions as punishments !!!

Mama: What do you think I was like as a child?

SRUTHI : Very caring, lots of fun, loves to enjoy with friends and family, sometimes a bookworm, never got angry….
SHALINI : An intelligent scorer (just like me) HA, HA, HA.

Mama: How old am I?

SRUTHI : Say about 36
SHALINI : 37

Girls, u let me down, by revealing my secret no.

Mama: How tall am I?

SRUTHI : Shorter than me by 2 cm. I am 164cm and you are 162cm only.
SHALINI : As tall as me, except that I am 1 inch shorter than you.

They are absolutely proud of being taller than me ! Shame on u, Uma. Grow up (I mean taller).

Mama: What is my favourite thing to do?

SRUTHI: Hang out with me, Shalu and Dad and go out together.
SHALINI: Cook, Swim, Blog.

Mama: What do I do when you’re not around?

SRUTHI : Maybe some work at home or go to the Bank, but you always tell us what you do.
SHALINI : Something special (cooking, what else)

Mama: If I become famous, what will it be for?

SRUTHI : Best Chef, Best Artist and the Best Mom on Earth (UNIVERSE).

SHALINI : Cooking, Swimming Champion, Best Mama.

Best Mom – Thank u girls.  I do swim reasonably well, but to be a Champion in my Shalu’s eyes, its simply gr8.

Mama: What am I really good at?

SRUTHI : Everything you do. U R Awesome.
SHALINI : Drawing, Cooking, Trying out new things.

Mama: What am I not really good at?

SRUTHI: Mmmm….. Nothing.
SHALINI : I dunno.

I am speechless. I really dunno what to say !!!!

Mama: What is my job?

SRUTHI: You dont have a job. You do things for us becoz you love us. ITS NOT A JOB.
SHALINI : To take care of two little stars.

Two contradictory statements – two girls who are extreme opposites.

Mama: What is my favourite food?

SRUTHI: Hyderabadi Chicken Briyani, Home made curd rice and Mavadu*
SHALINI: Curd Rice, Rava Dosa, Vella Adai**, Chicken 65.

Do I look like a gr8 foodie ? Of course, I am.

Mama: What makes you proud of me?

SRUTHI: Becoz you are awesome and you totally ROCK.
SHALINI : When you try something new and it came out very well. When ever you promise me something and keep it up.

Mama: What makes me proud of you?

SRUTHI : Whenever I am disciplined, good natured and somebody appreciates that, when I achieve something really awesome like the Best Student Award or House Prefect.
SHALINI : When ever I promise you something and keep it up !!

Mama: What do you and I do together?

SRUTHI : Have fun, go for shopping, sit and talk for hours on various topics.
SHALINI : Watch a movie.

OMG ! How many movies Shalu made me watch in this summer break ? And how many times we watched each movie ?

Mama: How are we the same?

SRUTHI: V both are patient. If there’s a problem, we analyse it properly before taking any decision. We are artistic and creative, very systematic and neat, dontdo anything in a hurry.
SHALINI : In style (Western clothes) and in temper !!!

Sruthi, you are too much a darling.  And Shalu, she is very proud of her temper as she is a Leo.

Mama: How are you and I different?

SRUTHI: I dont get excited at things while you do.
SHALINI : In so many things. Like you are patient and I am so impatient.

Mama: What is one thing you wish you could change about me?

SRUTHI : Nothing. U R Awesome, awesome and totally awesome the way you are. May be you can avoid the high excitement, sometimes.
SHALINI : Your temper.

Sruthi – very diplomatic. Shalu – absolutely frank.

Motherhood, JAIHO !

Darling Daughters, JAIHO !

 

 *Mavadu – The tiny raw mangoes soaked in salt and masala.  Its a gr8 combo with curd rice.

**Vella adai – Its the sweet form of adai (dosa). Vellam is jaggery in tamil.

Hello world!

Aha ! Finally, I am blogging at WordPress.  It feels great !

Hope you all will find my pages here, as interesting and exciting as it is to me !

Thanks for visiting !

Dosa Lover

What’s about this Dosa that makes me eat this wonderfully delicious crispy rice pancake, every morning without a dot of boredom ? OMG, I just love this Dosa.

Being a Tamilian, we were brought up with Idlis and Dosas, in our childhood years. WOW, it is such a amazing tasty combo of Idlis / Dosas with the awesome sambhar, especially made by mom. How much I miss my mother’s sambhar made with those tiny onions (shellogs) !!!!!!

Actually there are so many varieties of Dosas we make at home and along with the tasty accompaniments like sambhar, chutneys, milagai podi*, it is sure to be a melody of tastes. Just writing about them is tempting me eat dosas again – You know, I had them for today’s breakfast too.

The regular dosa can be made into so many varieties, just by changing the topping on them, like a pizza. We have the podi dosa, tomato chutney dosa, pudina chutney (mint) dosa, grated cheese dosa, onion chutney dosa… to name a few. Some people also do an egg dosa, which is sooo tasty.

When I was younger by age, I used to relish the Rava Dosa, which were my mother’s speciality. And it goes very well with an awesome coconut chutney done with very hot green chillies. Those times we used to live as a joint family with my uncle and grand parents. So, we counted a little over a dozen – that’s the whole family’s size. For the taste of my mother’s rava dosa, each one of us will surely gobble about 4 or 5 of it. So, my mother will plonk herself onto the kitchen top, sit there and nicely make the rava dosas so crisp and tasty for the hungry dozen. This rava dosa is a delicate dish, which has to be made with such care and it is a time consuming one. That is the reason that my mother chose to sit on the kitchen top, to do this tasty job.

Another favourite of mine and my daughters is the Masala Dosa, which has the potato masala in the center of the dosa. I love the way we have to roll the dosa around the masala, so that it looks like a tube filled with delicious aloo. Sometimes, it is also done in the triangular shape. Whatever shape it is, this dosa is one of the best with the sambhar and chutney.

And then there is this Methi Dosa, which is such a coolant for the stomach. Small children, breast-feeding mothers and the grandparents will all benefit from this absolutely soft, tasty and easy-to-make dosa. When we soak the rice and dhal for the dosa, the methi seeds (fenugreek seeds) are also soaked in warm water and ground with the rice and dhal to make the batter. This dosa is best done when it is fat and thick, instead of the regular crispy ones. It’ll look like a sponge with lot of holes in it which is because of the fenugreek seeds added to it. Now, when the dosa is hot, just spread some ghee on it and while it is melting, sprinkle some sugar. You will be engulfed in the wonderful mixture of tastes, which I am sure about.

We also have the Dhal Dosa (adai, in Tamil), which is a delicious blend of rice and all the dhals (toor, chenna, urid ) in proportions. Such an amazing invention by our ancestors that I thank all those who were involved in this wonderful creation. The dish that’ll go well with this is called the aviyal (which is a blend of vegetables cooked in coconut and green chilli paste and mixed with curd finally).

There’s a saying that says that the people belonging to the banks of the River Cauveri, are those people with a impeccable taste and value for word. The human tongue performs the dual role of taste and talk. These people who have been brought up by drinking this Cauveri water are sure to keep up their words and are great foodies too. I am very proud of this fact, as I belong to one of the towns on the banks of the River Cauveri, in Tamil Nadu. I love food, particularly Dosas and I value the word very much.

Three cheers to the variety of Dosas and to all those people who make their families happy by making this wonderful Dosa.

* Milagai Podi – Roasted red chillies and dhals ground to a coarse powder. Should be mixed with ghee or til (sesame) oil for better taste.

Think Strong

Swami Vivekananda says

” A person who does not believes in God is not an Atheist.

But a person who does not believe in Himself is an Atheist.

Its a great sin to think yourself as Weak.”

Here’s to a Strong ME !!!!