My dad always had a serious problem – with our affair and relationship… Me and ice cream just glanced through the cases of the parlour and I assuring him that .The vacation is not far off so that I would plant a kiss on it….
Our interations used to be hot when .. The coolest slice used to be shelved in the fridge at home.. during the vacation when noone used to be at home.. Snehal , My partner in crime, and I Used to secretly conspire to binge till our parents came.. And my bf #icecream always cheated on me.. He made me sick and as always snehal- was fine.. It loved snehal more… And made me feel sad…
My love affair is over.. I have broken up with this childhood fantasy and crush… I used to wait for the exams to get over so that I have great time with this indulgence!…. Licking this heavenly temptation and freezing lips on it… Was one of the favourite fun time…..and the separation always led to fever… May be I loved it from the bottom of my heart… Sickness, fever and it made me worthless for next few days and for week sometimes….. I have decided to break up with this guy called # ice cream as it gave me worst hit .. Ever since my childhood… Gargles and application of balms and the dosage of antibiotics are the serious ..ill-effects I had with this love affair of mine.. Bidding it a bye forever and ever
Though ”cool” baba always knew it was not meant for me..😣😣😣
Last week I bumped onto my ex.. Ice cream.. And of course it made me weak at my heart…I bowed and tried once again thinking that may be I am grown up to handle this relationship.. But alas!! I never grew up and never did this creamy guy… It again rejected me leading to pain and dejection… Tea as a noble friend consoled me and brought me back to the normal with its herbal flavours and medicinal properties… It restored warmth and gave never gave me a cold shoulder…
Somedays later I confided in tea.. Memories and thoughts always brewed on steaming tea.. ginger and cinnamon became my best friends.. And tapari was a huge resort….2 cutting or one full was my everyday affair.. With sugar or without it.. Chaiaaa was safe to indulge in… The cups , the mugs and tea pots added to our love..and it never made me sick above all..and dad was always fine with the ”hot”‘ tea
Tea well behaved on streets … At home.. Someone else’s home and also in villages in travel or also in rail and on aeroplane!
Love my tea and the tea pot…☕☕☕☕
Thanks a lot Srinivas who archived this post from past 3 years..some friends are more than just friends or best friends !
As much as every new year rings in the happy and positive bells, one seems to be bogged down by the heavier words like “resolutions”, new goals, and much more especially post the New year’s Lunch. At this time, around 1 o’ clock you realise, that you haven’t exercised as planned! Thanks! To the late night celebration and yes, you have negotiated somehow with your not healthy lunch versus the planned recipes of “No-oil” cooking. After the huge trail of “Happy new year” wishes on WhatsApp, “oops”, now you are flooded with “stickers”, you get super tensed with the status updates of your friends who have had a great run the same morning and adding to the hurt you also witness FB story of the same.
Like every year, I took to a food resolution and also wrote a blog about my resolutions. I followed someone diligently who wrote, “when you declare your goals, you stay committed”! All this and more went through my mind over the lunch on the New Year’s day when I was fiddling with food and overtly didn’t follow my first resolution of “Mindful Eating”.
I washed my hands and then thought “Why to resolve when you can tweak a bit? Easy right? And doable too! No more feeling guilty of not sticking to those No. 1 and No.2. After all, we are all humans”. Yes! I convinced myself on this and I took to this new blog.
So here I go on my new improvisations with my food habits for this year:-
Mindful eating:- In this life of an instant cup of noodles, it is really impossible to eat mindfully. If I do that, I would be a monk! I have decided to eat my meals without my mobile phone.
Intermittent fasting:- To avoid shouting and screaming, on becoming hangry, I have decided to schedule my fast when others and I sleep or are busy with some work. Eg:- 10 pm-12 noon.This sails smooth.
Amping up the Hb, Vit D, and Calcium levels:– Well, a cup of yogurt is great to go against a glassful of milk as I hate the latter. Vit D is worked upon by regular Beach workouts(Yay, nothing is as cool as drifting in the sunlight and sipping on,” ahem ahem”)Just a song I remembered.
Eating Sweets Guiltfree:– Wow! My favorite resolution but can be adhered to once a week only.
Keep Hydrated:- Drinking a glass of water when I feel hungry. Mostly our hunger pangs are thirst signals. The reason we get confused is that both these senses are very close by.
What are your resolutions? And how do you stick to them?
Being on the Yoga mat is an experience in itself. For me it is a huge responsibility but Yoga with Adriene walked me through effortlessly.
Off late, procrastination has become a part of my lifestyle. Approximately 4 months ago I fell in front of the ground while running and twisted my ankle, that was a kind of downfall to my fitness regime. As much as I should not blame that fall, I will, because that was something I still remember. Then started a series of injuries which has prevented me from being myself. Has it ever happened to you? You want to be yourself but some other power wants you not to be. Funny isn’t it?
So, not being myself is not my favourite game.
Not enjoying it but yes, I am also in the process of learning. Sometimes, being yourself also means posing limitations on the variety of things and emotions that you go through and feel. If you feel bad, and being yourself is not expressing it, then expressing your feelings may teach you something unique. That is my experience of these 4 months. Off course, I blame my depleted endorphin levels for all the emotional mess that I have been through.
And now, not being normal is my new normal 🙂
How did I come to terms to it? ( Well, I had no other option) I had to literally wrap my head around many many things happening at the same time.
For a hard core Taurean like me who loves being grounded for like eons, these small changes were like a huge life changing moments.
I dread for them everyday and they keep coming onto me. It looks like a huge red flag as they shake in front of a bull in bull flight. Do I fight? Yes I do and so far I am successful. In one such fight that I had, I have learnt to tackle it with yoga with Adriene. Those who know me know that I am not quite a Yoga person. Not at all. My patience levels are terribly low and I like some happening workout business ( outwardly), This was different though. I got to know about Adriene from a fitness community on FB. As my usual behaviour goes, I contemplated doing it for couple of weeks. But ultimately Adriene convinced me to take up her 30 day Yoga practice.
In this Ultimate Blogging Challenge I am going to write about how everyday is changing the way I process my thoughts.
Day 1: Discern
Adriene is all about calmness. She is so comfortable with herself that you feel like “Wow”. The first day of Yoga is Discern. She takes you through some simple moves which would help you find out why are you on the yoga mat ( that’s what she says). Being on the Yoga mat is an experience in itself. For me it is a huge responsibility but Adriene walked me through effortlessly.
I should brag here for a bit and tell that my 5 AM routine helps me the Yoga practice with calmer mind. Throughout the day it is simply not possible to walk through it. Though it is too early to say anything or tell anything about the practice that I am doing, creating a good space for your practice helps a lot. Find your own place in the house, terrace, gallery, garden anywhere for Yoga practice. One place dedicated to it makes a lot of difference. If you don’t have that place, then please try and create one.
After years of Jumping, skipping and doing umpteen hardcore exercise reps at 5.00 am in the morning, Yoga comes like a whiff of fresh air. I loved it to the core and I am looking forward for the next day Adriene. 🙂
This post is written for #UBC Ultimate Blogging Challenge for #blogboost #ultimatebloggingchallenge
Hello everyone, here! Happy New Year 2019 to all of you. A fresh year starts and one can see 365 opportunities on 31st of December every year. A New year often ushers in a lot of positivity and endless possibilities.Bidding goodbye to the last year and welcoming the new year has always been a moment of nostalgia. The year or years which are never going to come back. I get retrospective when the countdown to the new year starts. I suddenly realise the time which is passing by and which can’t be brought back. Time for me is more than a resource. It is a fourth dimension to my living existence. I have always been a time-conscious child and now a careful mother. Whiling away time or doing nothing given a lot of time hurts me like nothing else. I respect people who spend their time meticulously.
About Planning And Time Management
The 5 AM Mommies believe in the miracle called planning and time management. It is an art as much as it is a science. Thus, new year is of immense importance to us. I am of the firm belief that not only a new year can change your life, but any fresh moment can transform your life and you will be like never before, only if you allow yourself the same.
I am a huge fan of resolutions. Getting new journals, life size planners at the beginning of any new year and planning the day, week and months has been a favourite affair of The 5 AM Mommies and now slowly the children also seen to imbibe it.
You can read our love for this all the time through our blogs. We second the thought that ,”If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Planning doesn’t assure success, but if we don’t plan we are left in a bewilderment which only few can relate to.
The 5 AM Mommies are health conscious. We are fitness freaks. We are marathon mommies and wish to handover/pass on the torch of healthy eating to the coming generations.
This year I have made a few small improvisations when it comes to my food habits. Even if they are small changes they require 200 percent willpower to bring into practice.Please note that I am a vegetarian.
Here we go:-
Yes, we eat as per plan. But, the most important habit I want to cultivate this year is to sit calm while eating, recite a prayer and then eat every bite consciously. I have a habit of planning my food quantity as well,pre-hand. But sometimes when I need more energy, by eating consciously, I am going to listen to the need of my body and give it the fuel and the amount of fuel which is required at that point of time. It sounds simple but is a big task in itself.
This is a growing and upcoming fad diet as you may call. I have followed it in the month of December and found it very much useful to keep my mind away from food(which is the only comfort for me). So, when my body doesn’t need food, I am not going to load the calories just because I planned or because I am on a high or my mood is real low. Basically, I am not going to be an emotional eater.
Amp up my Hb, Calcium and Vit D levels:-
As a mother, we often tend to ignore ourselves, grab whatever is available to eat. We mostly operate on low battery levels, thanks to running errands at our home. I have a resolution to have a tab on my daily intake of iron rich sources,( dates, spinach, pomegranate, apples, and beetroot) and also have a rich serving of calcium( ragi, tomatoes and many others).I take an oath to bring in the goodness of nuts and fruits to my plate. Dairy shall be given its due importance and it will find a way to my diet through a bowl of yogurt, curd or paneer.As I hate drinking milk. I am also going to bask in the Sun every 10 minutes of the day.
Swap Green tea with the regular sugar tea or the masala chai:–
Basking in the early morning rays of the Sun while sipping on fresh green tea, charges you for the day like anything. I am slowly getting into this habit and mind it, I have started to cultivate some harder ones from the last year.The purpose is to skip the empty calories the very thing in the morning.
Eating sweets and desserts guilt-free:-
I have been brought up in a household where sweets (homemade) formed a meal at least twice a week. Celebrations meant sweets from Mom’s Kitchen. If I scored well in any exam, I could see the lovely bowl of Rasgoollas in the fridge the very next day. Growing up, every sweet bite felt criminal. But, indeed, sweets played a big role in making us feel loved, and also served a much needed pat. I have decided to incorporate 2 servings of sweet to my diet plan. And if someone offers me sweet, I will accept wholeheartedly without giving my diet excuses.
Good thoughts, Good relationships and good Times:-
Good food also means good time.Good time with family and friends. Good food also means good thoughts. I am going to nurture quality thoughts while preparing food for the family. Strong relationships bond over great food. Thus, I resolve to put more than 100 % while cooking thus, welcoming new times. Please note that we also run a food catering businessFood is medicine. I am going to stick to these resolutions at least for an year. I wish it becomes a habit by this 21st January, itself. I dare to make a wish! Do you?
This post is written for Ultimate Blogging Challenge 2019
The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life. Bill Gates
The above quote shows us the place technology has created in our lives. Whenever there is a technology advancement, people regard it either as good or evil. But we must certainly remember that technology has no character, how do we use it matters. Smart phones, smart devices have become integral part of our lives in last 10 years. Gone are the days when you used to sit for hours together chatting without even knowing that your day has been sedentary. Today you have smart wearable fitness conscious (pun intended) devices which buzz you every hour telling that you should move and take some steps just to be active. Being active was a revolution for the last 10 years. All it took is 10000 steps a day for a person to be active and healthy, claimed WHO( The World Health Organization). All doctors recommended that every patient walks a bit, fitness experts started endorsing the importance of 10k steps a day but what will measure the exact number of steps? Well, then we had these smart solution makers coming to rescue and giving us pedometers to track our steps throughout the day. But really? Pedometer did not help. We needed something amazingly smart to count our steps. Fitbit brought in the huge revolution in the league of Smart Wearables.
Are you fit at least a bit?
To be fit is the norm today. Completing 10k steps a day is a necessity to reinforce the belief in being active throughout the day. It is fun being active. You don’t sit much, you keep moving and keep doing something or the other just to be on track. Mainly, you accomplish a lot of work throughout the day. Fitbit worked on the same concept and brought in wonderful devices and apps which could be synced together to get you the perfect data. Data analytics was easy and could be done just on the touch.
Life of 10kers and others was made amazingly easy by this device which is an extension of many people’s lives today apart from the smartphone.
There have been instances when people have lost considerable amount of weight just by completing 10k steps a day. Many of them lost inches around their abdomen area and are happy just by completing the required number of steps. Fitness was never so easy. Many other brands came forward to deliver low cost but effective solutions and there is a whole new range of smart fitness wearables available in the market. How cool is that?
Lift your wrist to take the call
One of the wonderful piece of technology is – Apple Watch. It is a maverick device which works like your watch, your smartphone, your fitness tracker, your heartbeat monitor and so forth. All in one device which helps you to quickly go through your calls, messages and social media update.
In this age, cool has the new name and that name is “Apple Watch” definitely.
I am watching you
The growing security issues in India is a matter of concern for all of us. Installing smart security solutions has improved the monitoring by multifold.
Comparing the manual monitoring with security guards to the automated security cameras, the technology wins hands down.
You can be in the office monitoring what is happening at home just at one click. Such a boon.
In his famous show “Koffee with Karan” Karan Johar promptly tells his Google Assistant to switch on the Rapid Fire Lights. Well, yes, smart tech assistants help you do that too..
Be it lighting up your living room in a pattern, or unfolding the upholstery at the click, smart home solutions are in vogue and bring a kind of liveliness to the home.
They also bring in the feeling of being a sophisticated user of this upcoming and well appreciated technology.
Brought home the smartness:
Bringing home the smartness is the need of the hour. Let us see how:
Watching your favourite apps on TV is a new thing that all children like.
Less screen time on phone
Family shows and movies can be enjoyed together
Recording Feature / Reminder
We can record the TV shows, missed matches and so on to watch later
Reminders for favorite shows is the next best thing .
If you want your kids to go through a specific playlist everyday you can take charge and save it for them.
Browse Internet on TV
You can browse internet on TV, check emails, send emails and also work on your TV.
Plan your day on phone and get reminders of your appointments
Install fitness apps to stay up to date with your fitness goals
Get messages from schools and latest updates from different activity centers.
Install shopping app to get the groceries and other stuff delivered at home
Book a cab using a smartphone
Order food using your favourite app and many more
Smart Home security system
Keeping a constant vigil inside as well as outside home thus saving many man hours.
Identify any suspicious activity just through a click.
If you leave a pet at home, checking on it has become easy with indoor cameras.
Smart Home Solutions
Managing electricity is now on your fingertips, smart home solutions for electric devices has become increasingly essential.
Smartness all over
Apart from all the above we have Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant all standing at your doorstep to take your orders and make it happen?
Now the question remains…Are you a doer??? Get Smart and make it happen with Smart technology solutions on Flipkart.
December is here and we are just nearing an year end. Many of us must have had resolutions and through the year hardly 2 of them would have been accomplished, I bet. Some of us would just have not set up any resolution just because neither of them gets fulfilled but some of us would have done what they had decided pin to point this year.
We have hardly some days left ( 17 days to be accurate) and here is a foolproof guide to make it awesome in the last month.
How would you do that? Well…read on..
Knowing what you want from yourself:
Divide your life into Work, Family, Personal, Social categories
Deduce which of the following areas you would like to improvise on
Say for example Family, break down the things that you miss out on the family front.
Spending time with each other (Going for concerts, movies, get togethers)
Being with children ( Helping them with their chores and studies)
Playing with children ( Outdoor activities like trekking, hiking etc.)
Once you have the above list ready you can just tick on the action item for the coming weekend. Action item is nothing but a task which can be performed immediately.
Family ( Action Items as per the priority)
Dining together ( 1 – Can be done today )
Check availability of all the family members including timings
Plan dinner accordingly.
Spending Time With Each Other ( 4 – Can be done on Sunday)
Check the tickets for concerts,movies or check invites for the get together if any
Send RSVP for get togethers
Take consent from the family on Saturday to book tickets.
Being with children ( 2 – Can be done today )
Helping children with their chores, is best done on weekend.
Check whether they have any homework left or any project work to be submitted over the weekend.
If exams are on, you can sit with them for preparations
Outdoor Activities ( 3 – Can be done on Saturday )
These activities can be planned in advance or on the go.
This is how in the next 3 days you will accomplish something which you have been planning for a long time and have been procrastinating for the whole year.
This is just the example.
The whole point of making these 17 days amazing is avoiding procrastination.
If you are struggling to start the workouts – you are not alone. I am there in the boat too and I desperately want to go back to my workout routine. Somehow, things are not falling into place or I am waiting for too long for them to fall in place. 😉 To start the workouts, the best way is
To identify which time suits you the best.
Start with your favourite workout
Walking is the best thing to do when you want to start the workout
Home workout videos
I love home workout videos, generally they are the best when you stay in a unpredictable weather
I already have enlisted number of home videos in my this post
Participate in any of the upcoming marathons to get the workout.
Some people need constant motivation like some challenges or marathons to be regular with their workout
Is there any class that you started last year and have stopped going?
Zumba, Aerobics, Bharatnatyam, Kathak? Start it all over again to get in your dose of endorphins.
If you have been practising Yoga, this is the time to start it all over again but in case you would like to start, you have some wonderful help on you tube. Will detail out in the next post.
Cycling is my best friend. You can start weekend rides with your friends and join any facebook group for cycling. They take longer rides on weekends. Workout with fun is the new name of Cycling
Most of us, including me suffer the new age issue called “Meal Planning”. Especially after marriage my meal planning prowess has grown multifolds. After a baby it has gone to a whole new level. If you would like to be food conscious, these 17 days can make or break your new year in terms of food.
You must be knowing that it takes 21 days to make a habit, we already have 17 in our hands. Men and Women both can do meal planning and it is a super easy stuff.
With only 17 in hands..we have a lot of accomplish without procrastination..so are you game?
Most of us have grown up eating many homemade delicacies made by our mothers, aunts and other ladies, in our case dad and husband too. Indian food and festivals are inseparable. My mom used to have specific delicacies on festivals. She never made anything mismatch to that season of the festival. Say for example, for Nagpanchami ( It is a festival where we pray to the Snake God) she used to make naivedhya of Sakhar Bhat ( Sugar Saffron Rice). On the last day of Ganapati, that is on Ananta Chaturdashi, she used to make Banana Pachadi ( Kelachi Koshimbir) which she used to call as “ Anantachi Koshimbir,” these things were seldom repeated as may be those festive days would be perfect weather-wise to have this all. After her, I have never seen anybody so thoughtful with regards to food. Come rainy season and we used to refrain from Brinjal, Onion completely, and Garlic, the simple reason would be that rains make the digestion sluggish, if we eat something like onion, we would need a good digestive power, as the winter approach, the digestion gets back to normal and after Diwali, we can actually start eating Brinjal, Onions, and Garlic. There is a specific day called “ Tulasi Vivah” when one can start eating everything. Diwali sweets were made well in advance and were allowed to be eaten only on the Abhyangasnan Day ( Narakchaturdashi) the tradition which continues till date.
Why this much thought in eating?
Because our food science is very well advanced and it is as per the season. Seasons affect the gut and digestive power of the stomach. If we eat as per the digestive power, we are never to fail. I totally believe in eating seasonal food. Diwali is meant for eating. Good food and Good times equal Diwali. Diwali Palaharam is a matter of great interest across India. With the talks of diet and nutrition in place, life has become difficult.
How the supply in the market changes our perception of food.
7 to 8 years ago, PepsiCo introduced oats in India. The campaign was making India heart healthy. The campaign was successful and slowly other companies like Britannia, Kellogg’s also rushed to bring in the most healthy cereal of the world “ Oats.” Looking at the facts, it is apparent that slowly with these types of campaigns India has become 200 crore market for cereals which is nothing but packaged food presented wonderfully and advertised really well. Same goes with other packaged goodies such as Wafers, Noodles and so on. The question on my mind is why would we give up our food and go ahead to eat something which does not even taste a bit like Indian food. The answer is the power of ADVERTISING and BRANDING.
How colors, advertising, branding, and campaigns change the food scenario?
Nobody branded Poha, Upma, Idli, Dosa the way we are bombarded with Pizza, Noodles and Masala oats advertisements. Same goes with Diwali Snacks. After Navratri, you can watch Cadbury advertising about how to gift Chocolates ( Cadbury Chocolate Pack) this Diwali to your loved ones, neighbors and so on. I mean really? When did the warmth of homemade ladoo, murukku, shankarpali was replaced by something made in the factory with many other products with loads of preservatives?
Oats Chivda, Ladoo Without Sugar and Gluten Free Chakli
There cannot be Chivda without Poha, Corn Poha, or Sabudana Poha period. There cannot be ladoo without sugar ( palm sugar or jaggery are good replacements of sugar), and there cannot be chakli without gluten as Chakli wouldn’t happen if there is no Gluten in the mix. So, the gist of all the above is, as we always say, eat in moderation. Have those long walks every day consistently to feel good and fit.
No million dollar company can be worried about your heart, and it’s health though they claim. Ultimately, you are the only person who knows your body and its needs. So, eat homemade, think homemade and seasonal. Whether should you have all the sweets? Please have as you wouldn’t get the warmth and thought with which it is conceived and made.
Festivities are around the corner. It is almost Diwali, there would be get togethers, family gatherings, friend meet ups and so on in the coming days. More often it so happens that the party food gets too heavy on stomach and there start the episodes of indigestion. The simple mantra for all the party hoppers is to eat moderately. This is not a great advice but I have something more to say.
As hosts of the party one has tremendous responsibility to keep the menu in check. Most places we see amazing spread of food. Loads of items but very little attention is given to the real nutrition factor or matching factor of the food.
Understanding the food groups and their right combination is very important as we have already insisted in our previous blog post.
Here are some pointers that all hosts can implement.
Age group and type of people you are serving
It is always better to identify the type of people you are serving, it also helps to know their age group. Old people may not like the same food as kids.
Our Indian food system has in built pairing. So, while deciding menus it is better to take a note of that. Also if you are serving multi cuisine food then have two items of the same cuisine complementing each other. Poori, Aloo, Shrikhand is a good pairing nutrition wise. It is a balanced meal. Biryani, Vengayam Pachadi and Gobi 65 is a complete meal in itself. Parathas with Pickle or Raita is a complete meal. While deciding food pairing never pair a chinese item with Indian.
The sauces which chinese items have do not complement the Indian foodstuff.
Keeping Manchurian with Biryani is a no-no.
When you have sandwiches in your menu, having Parathas is like giving high dose of Carbohydrates.
Sandwiches complement with something like fruit salad or custard which is light on stomach.
About three course meals
If you are looking at a three course elaborate spread. Soups and Starters should be carefully chosen. Soups are to enhance the appetite, they also need to be light on stomach.
For any normal day, cream of tomato, pepper rasam are the best soups to start with.
If you plan a Chinese meal then mixed vegetable soup, manchow soup is fine. Starters can be selected based on that day’s your preference of food.
While eating in the restaurant too, keep the difference between Chinese Cuisine and Indian Cuisine in mind before ordering.
Desserts can be chosen wisely too. If you have served a very heavy dinner you can even skip one. For heavy dinners, you can keep something light as Rasa Malai, or Rasagulla. I prefer keeping dessert in my main course mostly.
Items for Children
Children are picky eaters so it is better to know their preference before planning. As per recent trends pizza, burger, noodles are some of the preferred choices for kids. Including something which is not junk like Parathas (whole wheat), Puris, Rolls is a wise decision. Also you can insist on the importance of having no junk in your party.
Get-togethers are fun but it is time to celebrate responsibly. Deciding the menu with seasonal foodstuff and gauged nutrition is worth appreciation.
Dasara is on the 10 th day of Navratri. It is to mark the victory of Goddess Durga over Demon Mahishasura. In Maharashtra, we do Seemolanghan on this day. In olden times, we used to follow the ritual of crossing the territory of the village or town in the north-east direction. Being in the vast city like Chennai I can only imagine crossing the city and coming back in the evening on time.
Seemolanghan is a sandhi ( combination) of Marathi word Seema meaning Limit and Ulanghan meaning crossing.
In modern times, we should actually work towards crossing our limits not physically but mentally in terms of efforts, in terms of patience, in terms of restraint.
Pushing the limits – Knowing who you are
As we meet so many people across the world throughout our lives, we find different behaviors. No two people are same. But as a human being there is something familiar in all of them. They are all capable of going an extra mile, crossing the boundaries.
Be it acid attack survivors, cancer survivors, or the girl who has been termed as the world’s most ugly girl in the world. Be it the Army men or the Mumbai Dabbawalas who are on time every time. Be it Paralympians or be it any Successful Sports Person. Pushing the limits is something common in all of them.
They have successfully crossed the limits, and have made their mark ahead of that limit. Here, there is a magic of human effort and spirit.
The question remains, whether these people already knew to push the limits? How do they know what they should do? But there are so many constraints to achieve something extraordinary?
Nothing extraordinary can be achieved without crossing the boundaries. Comfort zone is the killer of success. You might be successful at the current place where you are but why not push a little more and see what happens. Why not take risks and give it a 110% of your effort.
The best thing about possibilities is that they are endless.
While you enter the risk zone, you would find it extremely tough to even survive, but there is where you will understand who you are.
Understanding your limits is the first step towards crossing it, so this Seemolanghan let us first identify what our limits are.
How far we can actually go. And then there would be a chance that you can successfully perform Seemolanghan.
This Vijayadashami, may you find yourself and your inner peace. And instead of traveling across the city, hope you go deep inside yourself and perform Seemolanghan.
A new beginning is very exciting, it becomes more meaningful when shared with family and friends.
As our dear blog readers you all are our extended family members and we could not wait further to tell you about our new venture and the kind of experience it has been since last month.
Around a month ago, I had severe headache radiating to right shoulder to fingers. It was so severe that I could barely talk. One such afternoon when all the pain was getting settled, I went to Shrilekha’s place over a tea. We stay just a couple of KM apart so occasional tea is always welcome besides we consider it as a quick huddle over looming matters.
As we were discussing different things, Shrilekha being her usual very enterprising self came up with a thought that Chennai has very poor quality of Phulkas and we should certainly do something about it.
There was no further thought before we decided that we should do Phulkas.
Initially it just started with Phulkas and slowly, as per the demand we started serving dinner. Word of mouth was our main ally when it came to spreading word. We cannot thank enough to our friends who spread the word so quickly. As we were doing dinners which included One gravy and Phulkas, we slowly started getting requests for lunches too. All office goers needed a home cooked lunch, so that requirement was fulfilled. Recently, we completed one month of this endeavour called “Joshi Caterers”
The main mission of this venture is to reach out to people who need home cooked food. As people love pizza, they also love to eat Puran Poli. It is just about the right taste and on time delivery.
Most of the customers which we came across never ate outside because one can not eat food without onion garlic outside. Similarly, food we should eat when we are fasting like Sabudana Vada or Sabudana Khichadi is never served in any restaurant in Chennai.
We served it and people liked it very much, we are so grateful to each of them who encouraged us with their amazing feedbacks.
Having home cooked food is a bliss. I was outside for 8 long years of my life and I have always felt the dearth of good home-made food so much so that in the last 2 years I started cooking on my own. Even if there was food, it was not made with quality ingredients which is even more harmful to the body.
As every business has its challenges, we too come across some difficulties every now and then. But when priorities are set right and as a team when we work towards getting a solution it all falls back in place.
Apart from Shrilekha and Me, there is a team of 5 people who are constantly working at making this experience better with every delivery. Our families have been extremely encouraging, without them we could not have pulled it up.
Meal planning was being done at the micro level and now it is done at Macro Level. We think and plan all our meals carefully so that they are nutritious and include seasonal varieties of vegetables.
I would always say that nothing can be accomplished without collaboration.
My people Khaleel, Kamakshi, Vignesh, Murali Mama, Mr.Joshi have been an integral part of the whole process. They encouraged us to take a step ahead and are with us in this satisfying yet challenging journey. Deliveries and procurement is entirely looked after Khaleel, Vignesh and Murali Mama. Culinary doubts and issues are quickly sorted by Baba. Kamakshi is an efficient cook and an amazing help. These people are my people and as a close knit family would stand by each other in the ups and downs of the life, they have been there just behind us as pillar of strength.
Well begun is half done..the journey so far was satisfying and god willing, it would be so in future.
Today, my 7 years old niece took me to a surprise when she promptly ticked on her bullet point in her to-do list for the day after her cycle ride. As they say,, the children are the best imitators. They copy, or most of the time they ape the elders. We, my sister and me, have this habit of writing down a journal since we were kids. I have been a fan of a routine which is followed religiously even during my leisure days. I remember of keeping a timetable for my vacation too. No one forced me for this diligence. But I think I am wired to have a tab on time spent.
That was childhood. Time of course flew in no time(sounds filmy) isn’t it! But when I look back, I realize that this prudent habit has made my job much easier now.
Once a pattern is persuaded regularly becomes a way of life.
Journalling for me meant writing down how am I going to spend the whole day given so many activities and my varied interests. And mainly it helped me gauge myself when Mumma was not around during my vacations. Wise allocation of time, putting the same on the wall, decorating it and sticking to the timetable was all an easy task for me. It used to give me a sense of achievement when I had ticked 90 percent of my day’s task. It involved reading books(academics/shlokas/or story), cleaning my mess, helping mom in her chores, watching TV (MTV with Nikhil chinnappa, and Gaurav Kapoor on V TV), watering the plants, drawing/ painting, playing indoor/outdoor games, eating and chit chatting around.
The habit continued for my good, and now it has become a part of my life. The daily life today isn’t easy, but when priorities are jotted down in the form of a journal or to-do list, then it is just a cake walk.
Many successful people have emphasized a lot on the process of Journalling for million reasons. Journalling is a process of writing a diary. It is a simple activity where you note down what has to be achieved by you for the day/month/year. It is often said that when you write or record, you give clarity to your thoughts. Journalling helps in prioritizing the tasks. Important and urgent tasks can be written on the top followed by the rest.
A continuous tab on what has been done and what has to be done gives an idea of how much we have achieved of what we had set for at the beginning of the day. With multiple tasks at hand, now, at this stage of my life, I always resort to my journals. They are the mirror which tells me what to do and what has been left out.
This is a time saving simple method for people who have a lot of tasks and can’t keep a check mentally.
Let it be office work, household chores, payment of bills, meal prep for a week, a vacation planned or diet and fitness related regime, Journalling is the solution to ease your life.
Today, I go by the ‘done list’ which is to write down what has been done throughout the day instead of what is to be done which we l talk about in the next blog along with the various methods of Journalling.
Colors play an important part when It comes to writing a diary. It is in fashion now to also be expressive at Journalling than the monotonous tick and cross method.
I play multiple roles and have many hats to wear. With two hands full and a mobile in my hand which is the most essential gadget of my life, I feel the popular applications of Journalling are booming up.
I prefer my old school of writing a to-do list early morning than the various apps. And why not a pen and paper have a magical impact.
When you sit, think and write, you visualize the day further adding to the power of its manifestation. Achievements are seen to multiply when you exercise this one activity religiously.
With this blog, I am 10/10 for the day and heading off to sleep. Are you a fan of Journalling too! If yes, then share your secrets and experiences about the benefits. Else why not try once this awesome art to success.
How would you feel if you meet your childhood friend? Happy, Excited and Nostalgic I am sure, and all these feelings would transport you to those days when you played with your friend, spoke those sweet and innocent nothings. The same thing happened to me when I met some of my friends from Soviet Literature Hub. Surprised? Well, I am talking about some Russian Books for kids.
Growing up I read numerous Russian Books which were translated into Marathi. I grew up in a small town which is 60 km away from Nagpur, called Bhandara. Though it was and still is a district place, it has some excellent schools. Then, there was a rich tradition of reading, which continues until today. These schools were instrumental in inducing reading habit in children. Me and one of my very best friends “Prajakta” used to read a lot. She was two years older than me, but I was very very fond of her. She was my window to the world of elder girls who were in the higher classes than me. She was fond of Russian Literature and had many many books. The best part was she used to lend these books to most of her friends, and I was her bestie so all the books that she had, she used to share with me.
The first Russian Story that I read was called as “ Vasilisa – The Beautiful”.
It was a huge black book which I read over and over again for 20-30 days, and with a heavy, heavy heart I returned the book. I never saw that book again, but I carried Vasilisa in my heart for over 20 years.
Soviet Literature was a common phenomenon for children who were born in the 80s or 90s. The distributors had an excellent distribution network as I read today and also had brilliant translators and publishers. After some time it all stopped for reasons unknown around 1991.
Today, when I see my daughter reading Jeronimo Stilton or Thea Stilton, I wonder if I could get her those books to read. Mostly those were the folklore of Russia, which was different. Vasilisa The Beautiful was about a beautiful and poor girl Vasilisa who is trapped by a witch “Babayaga,” And the story unfolds.
The story is almost like Cinderella but different in context and the depiction. I should say it was far from mundane or at least I felt so.
Today, as I read Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina,” I was reminded of Soviet Literature. Some simple aspects of these books including Leo Tolstoy’s novels are that they are amazingly easy to read.
Maybe the credit goes to the translators, but again, if there is no much meat in the literature, the translator would undoubtedly fail in the endeavour.
Currently, I am reading Anna Karenina, and so far it is terrific. The depiction of each character is fantastic, you can easily picture all the characters and can see the narration as a motion picture in your mind. The other wonderful book which is on my reading list is War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, and the third book would be Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Unfortunately, the contemporary Russian writers are mostly unknown. But there is so much to explore in Russian Literature.
I wonder after these many years, all the books which are written by Russian Writers still seem relevant to today’s scenario. Recently, I found a facebook group for Soviet Literature in Marathi. They crowdsourced the books ( Russian Books Translated in Marathi) across the world and wondered what?
I found Vasilisa – The Beautiful as it is with the black cover.
But the only difference is that I would not be able to hold it, it is in the digital copy (scanned version). I saw the book I felt like I met my childhood friend. The nostalgia took me to the 1980s when Vasilisa and I spoke some sweet nothings on one beautiful mid-summer afternoon.
I have heard about Sapiens – A brief history of humankind book from one of the 100 relatives groups in WhatsApp. One of the topics was the evolution of Indian Hinduism. I was like with handcuffs at the corner yearning to par with the relatives on this difficult subject. The discussion became very interesting with a couple of critical points. No sooner, I spotted a colleague with the same book and learned the good reviews. I decided to wait no more.
Everyone has learned different myths about the evolution of the humankind. This book had a very strong start that makes you grasp faster with verve. It is possible that you could read the 400 pages in one full sweep.
It is unbelievable to read how the agricultural revolution is considered as history’s biggest fraud.
Agriculture investment is supposed to be the best weapon against hunger and poverty for billions. The author had the strong nerve to explain how small wild grass of wheat manipulated Homo Sapiens to its advantages and how agricultural revolution played a divide and rule for ten thousand years.
This line has stuck in my mind –
“Follow your heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day”.
It looks similar to the old Hindu saying how we live in the dreams of Lord Vishnu. Everything happening here is all in the dream of the Lord Almighty. The book explains how much natural instinct gut we have lost in the last thousand years unlike the animals trusting their natural instinct gut.
The author has surprised the readers with other startling insight that cooperation is based on shared fictions.
That is not yet worst and bewitching topic of the cognitive revolution. The author has come up with a theory about how gossip played an important role in the development as the dominant species on earth.
Gossip theory should be one of the oldest theories evolving the language and staying alive.
The author must have smitten the readers to enjoy the Gossip theory. It looks like a joke but I must say I have started to believe how gossip helps us to stay alive.
I would not recommend the book to strong religious believers. The book is very provoking to change the mindset of science and religion ideologies. The book is for those who are looking for answers.
If you already know the answer from your viewpoint or from the ancestors, then there is no point to waste your time to read this book.
This review is written by Arun Ramakrishnan who is an avid reader. Arun is in IT profession and is a rationalist by nature. He has a very different insight about the worldly world. Occupied by his two daughters ( Pet and a Human) Arun loves to read and write reviews. He also writes blogs on Project Management, Quality Assurance and fundamental tenets of Agile. Here is the link.
These were never my favorite things to eat. I have never cherished eating Shankarpale. First thing about them was their different name (Shankar in Marathi Means – Shiva ) and Pale means small vessel so there was no connection between Shiva and the Small Vessel and the sweet.
I was never enthusiastic about the whole thing because may be Aaji or Aai used to make it mostly during Diwali and it was just one of the savouries that they used to make so my attention was diverted to other tasty things like Chakli ( Murukku), Chivda, my favorite for 35 years 🙂 I think I was born to love Flattened Rice and all the recipes made out of it. More on my love of flattened rice later. So, this odd named savoury called Shankarpale were never in my list of favourites until somebody presented me with a very crunchy, mushy and sweet version of it.
I was spellbound to eat those small pieces of a wonderful snack which could be relished with a cup of tea or coffee especially in the afternoon. Post meal 2-3 hours is the time to eat something which you can munch on. It can be puffed rice, chivda or my newfound love Shankarpale.
Instead of giving into those sugar laden donuts, tea cakes, biscuits, it is better to savour 3-4 Shankarpale, I realized it late and felt that this is the most sustainable snack I can ever have. We can also replace maida to wheat flour in due course to make it better. But deep frying should never be avoided ( I mean baking something which needs to be deep fried takes the whole concept and nutrition out of it ) Instead of eating 10 we can munch on 5 but the Shankarpale need to be deep fried.
Me and Shrilekha were brought up in a Orthodox Brahmin household where FOOD was EVERYTHING. It was nutrition but more than that Food was a Soother. My mom was a fantastic cook, she was naturally good at making everything. I do not think she has learnt any recipe from anybody. It was her quest of providing her children and her family authentic and nutritious food which made all her recipes special.
As I remember, she was discovering a different way to make the Shankarpale more crispy, ultimately she did and we were excited to have her new version of small biscuits. She even made it with cumin and salt, for people who wanted cracker type Shankarpale.
Why I am reminiscing all this is because yesterday I was making Shankarpale for Joshi Caterers and I slowly slipped into the past. The whole process of making the dough, rolling it, making it into perfect square and frying it was therapeutic.
Mom used to make all snacks either pre lunch/dinner (main cooking ) or post lunch/dinner when there is no disturbance of serving other things. I used to call this as her “Udyog” means business. 🙂
As per her guidelines, I completed everything yesterday and started making Shankarpale post dinner, till around 9 PM. How was it? If you ask, it was heavenly.
With food I have strange equation, now a day, more than eating food, I have started enjoying the process of making. My sincere confession is that I never enjoyed cooking, I am still very reluctant enjoying it but yesterday was different.
In childhood one just eats whatever is served with a bit of tantrum, during teens one can chose what is to be eaten but with very less knowledge about food, during twenties we realize the process behind cooking and most of us try to survive, in thirties, we have a choice whether to eat a lot or make people relish the food made by you..I have chosen the later. 🙂
P.S. I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter. This is my first post.
Dressed in a simple cotton saree with a huge bindi on her forehead carrying a round cane basket of flowers going for a door delivery of flower garlands Kumudavalli is all there to enchant you.
She is soft spoken but there is a kind of strength in her walk. As she crosses signals and busy roads, she is sure that her basket of flowers will be empty by the end of the day. Sometimes you would also see her chewing her favorite beeda but that too not very often. Every evening 6.30 to 7.00 she would start from her home walk all the way to Mylapore to deliver flowers.
Flowers are her life. They have helped her make a livelihood. Her son is now working in a big company and daughter duly married with kids. She is happy but says that she has to come and sell the flowers to keep herself busy.
You can get all types of flowers from her. But she is very fond of Tulasi. Whenever I ask her why she gets me so much Tulasi, she says “Put it near the feet of Lord Vishnu, he loves Tulasi.”
Kumudavalli has no marketing, no social media. All she has is word of mouth and an amazing customer service. When she first met me, we were staying at the rented house. One evening she came and told me that the house owner ( who were not staying there) used to get flowers from her for last 20 years and she would be happy coming to that home again and give me flowers. I was more than happy and said yes to her. One more trait of Kumudavalli’s flower business was that the flower packet was never more than Rs.10. If I ask her more flowers for some occasion, she would ask me money only at the end of the month. Her flowers were always fresh and she would know what goes on what day. For example during Ganesh Chaturthi days she would bring red flowers and suitable flowers to Lord Ganesha.
On Saturdays, which is called as a Lord Vishnu’s day in Tamil Nadu, she would bring suitable flowers to Lord Vishnu and loads of Tulasi.
Along with all the matching flowers she would put a gajra of either mogra, chameli, jai or jui,kunda and the likes. Here there is a tradition of giving flowers to any lady who comes home at any point of time in a day.
It is due to Kumudavalli’s flower packet that I have never missed giving flowers to any Sumangali ( Married Woman) coming home. One gajra will always be there at home no matter what.
She was the one who gave us amazing garlands for my Sister In Law’s engagement. These garlands were specially made with Rajnigandha’s flowers, with roses in between tied tightly with the thread made of banana stem. They are sure as heavy, but create such a beautiful memory of that event through their fragrance.
As the days of Shravan approach I usually tell her to include some bilvam in the flower packet.The bilva patram would be neat ( 3 leaves as a piece without any holes) and she would deliver it without any fuss. The price of the flower pack would be little higher like Rs.12 but her customer service is impeccable.
She knew that there is small kid at our home, as she came everyday, she would tie a gajra for my dear little K even when she had a boy cut. 🙂
I call all lady flower vendors Kumudavalli ( Kumuda – Flower Valli – Creeper). I feel that is the best name for all the ladies who deliver flowers to households. Kumudavalli coming to Shrilekha’s home does not know how to count. She is an old lady but looks stunning with two sided nose pin and a nice cotton saree. She usually tells Shrilekha to count and give how many flowers she has given in that month. 🙂 I always feel that she has a deep belief on the customer and the trade that neither of them would cheat her.
Above all, for all Kumudavallis there is the Lord who knows all the accounting 🙂 HE would never do anything wrong for these ladies who are working hard twinning flowers and threads for HIM.
I saw her first during my first visit to Chennai and fell in love with her. Her Pillai style Madisar usually green, maroon with a matching blouse, with a signature KumKum on the forehead brought in all the beauty. She was amazingly beautiful but looked gorgeous on Friday as she brightened her skin using some Manjal or Haldi. Grey hair tied in a bun always I mean always adorned with flowers.
This was Krishnammal whom we fondly called “Aachi”.
Aachi married Thatha when she was in teens. From her village she came to a city called Madras. Back then, Thatha was working in a temple at Nungambakkam. There were no all weather roads in Madras but Aachi used to deliver his lunch box by walk. Whenever somebody tells me this tale, I can imagine old madras and the way this beautiful saree clad would carry the hot lunch box ( 6 tier with spoon) for her husband.
How lucky Thatha was to have such a dutiful wife.
She was diligent in her chores. As they stayed in temple house or Agraharam, she used to do all the household work looking after her kids, grandkids and great grandkids. Till she was alive, the house was always full with people. She has brought up number of children with such an ease. I now feel that Aachi loved to be surrounded by people. Her way of welcoming and feeding each one of us is unforgettable. Once I remember I overate enormous amount of food because I could not say no to her. This is not only my story, they say, one could never resist overeating food made by Aachi.
All her recipes are gems, food made at Aachi’s home would give run to any five star hotel food or for that matter Aru Suvai’s food (no offense to Aru Suvai 🙂 ) ( Aru Suvai are the Famous Caterers in Chennai) may be as
Aachi would pour all her heart in the food that she would make.
We used to stay near her home in Mylapore then. She would come home around 5.30 in the evening walking from her house just to see us. She would come, ask me about Sham’s whereabouts, my job and what I made that day. At the age of 82-83 she would walk and come home. She used to rush back home immediately because she never liked to stay outside home after 7.00. I have got scoldings many times for being out after 7.00.
An ardent believer of god, she was the only person in Mylapore who can call Lord Kapaliswarar by a pet name “Kapali”. I was amazed at the way she could walk and go to Sabarimala even at that age.
There is a Nellika(gooseberry) tree at Aachi’s place. While being pregnant, I used to munch on those, even now I do but then it was special. She noticed it and one evening she brought a fantastic tangy pickle of those hand picked gooseberries. A gesture which I would never ever forget. Aachi has touched many lives through her food, her demeanour and her number of kind gestures but what remains with me is a loving and caring being who was standing for 5 long hours outside the labour room just to overlook whether the doctors are doing their job properly in making me deliver a baby girl.
Rightly so, we named our lil one after her.. Because her majestic being lives in our heart day in and day out.
P.S. I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter. This is my first post.
Freedom is subjective in every aspect of our life. As we go ahead and make vows to make ourselves fit along with many celebrities on the eve of Independence Day, we need to really identify what is that one unhealthy habit which is taking toll on our body. Identifying that first will help us take further steps towards fitness. What is the definition of unhealthy? Well, anything which is not in coordination with your body is unhealthy. Today, we are going to emphasize on sitting. As per the new norms “Sitting is the new smoking”. Knowingly or unknowingly we sit a lot throughout the day. While commuting in the car or the bus, while at the office, while dining at the restaurant, while at home watching TV and so on.
An average human being spends around 7 hours of sitting during the day which is way above the guidelines specified by World Health Organization.
Sedentary lifestyle has been told to be the root cause of many health related problems. Sitting is considered as bad, but sitting with bad posture makes it even worse. I have seen people in mid 30s having severe back problems. This is primarily due to prolonged and wrong sitting posture.
What can you do about it?
Move every thirty minutes from your place to another place if you are working at the office. Take short breaks in between work so that you have necessary break from prolonged sitting posture. You can also have fitbit telling you to complete 250 steps every hour so that you don’t remain sedentary throughout the day.
Bad sitting posture can be improved by getting a proper ergonomic chair. If that is not possible, see to that your back is straight while sitting and you are not exerting pressure on your tailbone. Generally, prolonged sitting makes us spread our legs on a stool or a chair. This changes the sitting posture exerting pressure on the vertebral column.
If you are working from home, sitting on the floor with back straight helps. Sitting on the floor and getting up every hour for short breaks may also help strengthen the joints. We sit on tables, chairs, sofas, car and most of us have completely forgotten how it is to sit down and get up without holding any object for support. There was a challenge on internet sometime before which prompted many people to get up from floor without any support.
Get a standing desk. This is my absolutely favourite. Getting standing desk is very comfortable solution to prolonged sitting. Get a desk with proper height so that you can effortlessly carry on your workday with it.
Instead of doing all these workarounds it is always better to move often and reduce the risks related to sedentary lifestyle. Freedom from something as unnatural as sitting ( on sofa, in the car, on a chair) is necessary today. We are born to be active and we should be throughout our lives. That is the real definition of freedom for the human body.
This blog post is for the independence blog train by UK and Sarah