Shopping Hacks for Busy Moms!

Shopping Hacks for Busy Moms!

Shopping has always been fascinating. We definitely have vivid memories of Sadhana dancing to the tunes of Jhumka Gira Rey Bareilly ke bazar me. Markets enthuse us with huge amounts of energy. Then let it be the Budhwar Bazar of Mahal or Sitabuldi Nagpur, Kamothe Bazar of Navi Mumbai or the hustling and bustling market of Mylapore, Chennai.

One of the prime reasons why I love marketplaces is that as a buyer I get to meet new people. Engage in a conversation. Talk to them in their local language. And yes here it is how I learned Tamil! We all have that preferred and favorite vendor who we wish to buy from. We trust her trade. We try to reach them for the best deals.

The lights at the night time at a marketplace, the arrangements of vegetables is many times love at first sight.  After a great shopping of grocery, vegetables one often tends to eat up at some local hawker to make up for the tired, dehydrated self. With changing times, we have to acclimatize with the newer situations.

I underwent a transformation when it came to my buying habits, after marriage. Now I had less time at hand to spend with my husband, for me and for the household. It was then, at that time when our late Perippa Mr Vishwanathan told me and cultivated the idea of buying the grocery and vegetables online. Local baniya was a popular online store in Mumbai, then.

And that decision to trust the new found love “APPS” gave my marital life and now postpartum life a breather. Four years and still on, I am a dedicated online shopper for grocery, vegetables, and other daily needs of the household.

Online shopping is indeed an order of the day and how?

 

  • It saves time:- Time for me is money. With my little one demanding all my time and attention, I invest this very dimension of my life very calculatingly. Just a day before if you order, you get the stuff right at your doorstep. No need to stand in long queues of time-consuming billing counters.
  • More variety:- Some of the online stores claim that they have more than 1000 brands of a particular item. I am sorted in this aspect and hence options don’t confuse me.
  • Good quality:- Four years my relationship with online shopping has always been a qualitative one with reasonable rates. And what if you find rotten carrots? Well, you can always return the same and get the money credited to your account.
  • Deals, Offers, and Bonuses:- A huge amount has been credited to my account as I avail many offers and bonuses. Loyalty comes with a price.
  • 24*7 customer care:- Most of the online portals selling vegetables and have great support. You can always chat with them or call them and they are indeed happy to help.
  • What more? Well, you can also avail their gifting facility. Present your loved ones with anything and everything.

Online shopping of vegetables and grocery is constantly evolving. Life becomes easy and hassle-free. Some of the online stores in main cities are

  • Bigbasket
  • Zopnow
  • Godrej Basket
  • Grofers
  • Spencers
  • More
  • Onlinesabjiwala

I am a Bigbasketeer! Are you?

 

Bring Back The Clay – Earthenware into the kitchen

Bring Back The Clay – Earthenware into the kitchen

I love earthenware, crockery, glassware in short anything which can be broken easily and does not promise to last long. I love them because I somehow feel that it takes immense efforts to make earthen pots and crockery. The cups, saucers, trays, tea kettle, tea sets are the most favourite things of mine since childhood. While we were kids, we had a huge set of small utensils, which had fridge, washing machine, gas and everything which mom had in her kitchen. We also had a nice tea set made of bone China, it was a miniature and we used to celebrate our tea parties with those tiny cup saucer and tea kettles. So the love of all things like it was innate or may be mom inculcated it. We never had many things in crockery but we certainly had a great set of mugs, tea cups and saucers. Mom was a tea lover and while having tea she used to spend 2 mins on her own ( it used to be her me time) now we call it as hygg practice 😉 anyway, so we had a great set of teacups even then. The water used to be stored in a matka. And she never failed to give a swirl of alum on the water after filling it to keep it purified. Earthenware has its own charm. I have people at home who can not drink cold water from the fridge, for them water from the earthen Pot is a blessing. Yesterday while shopping some Sundry items me and Shrilekha saw this very colourful earthenware shop on the side of Mylapore tank. The girl who was selling the earthenware was speaking flawless English. While running the shop she was also looking after her 2 year old. She inspired me in her own way. I purchased a jar, couple of glasses and a condiment caddy. The colours made me immensely happy. The touch of hand and the effort which has gone to make the pot touches my heart. As I came home, people were amused thinking that I love earthenware, crockery, glassware in short anything which can be broken easily and does not promise to last long. I love them because I somehow feel that it takes immense efforts to make earthen pots and crockery. The cups, saucers, trays, tea kettle, tea sets are the most favourite things of mine since childhood. While we were kids, we had a huge set of small utensils, which had fridge, washing machine, gas and everything which mom had in her kitchen. We also had a nice tea set made of bone China, it was a miniature and we used to celebrate our tea parties with those tiny cup saucer and tea kettles. So the love of all things like it was innate or may be mom inculcated it. We never had many things in crockery but we certainly had a great set of mugs, tea cups and saucers. Mom was a tea lover and while having tea she used to spend 2 mins on her own ( it used to be her me time) now we call it as hygg practice 😉 anyway, so we had a great set of teacups even then. The water used to be stored in a matka. And she never failed to give a swirl of alum on the water after filling it to keep it purified.
Earthenware has its own charm. I have people at home who can not drink cold water from the fridge, for them water from the earthen Pot is a blessing.
Yesterday while shopping some
Sundry items me and Shrilekha saw this very colourful earthenware shop on the side of
Mylapore tank. The girl who was selling the earthenware was speaking flawless English. While running the shop she was also looking after her 2 year old. She inspired me in her own way. I purchased a jar, couple of glasses and a condiment caddy. The colours made me immensely happy. The touch of hand and the effort which has gone to make the pot touches my heart. As I came home, people were amused thinking that this is another new experiment but after drinking that thirst quenching water everybody was impressed with the attempt. Today while chitchatting we discussed about bringing back the clay pots for cooking and storage…I am sure it will bring back old memories and also would bring in some flavour in food which is long lost.

 

Sunday Book Review : Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Sunday Book Review : Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Stuck in traffic morning and evening, reaching home only at the wee hours only to sleep. Making food and eating all alone, sleeping through the weekend waiting for Monday, I see so many Eleanor Oliphants around me. Slowly the world is getting a very strange place full of people who have an isolated world of their own.

“If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.”

Eleanor Oliphant is a story of an ordinary woman. She is isolated, not by her choice but by her circumstances. She is very productive, a creature of habit and most importantly is a survivor. In the flock of new books which glorifies supermen and superwomen, Eleanor’s story is more about an ordinary person ( regardless of gender).

Eleanor’s inner voice is of a strong lady who is a survivor. But as she grows up with the government aid and foster parenting, her inner voice is muted to a level that she goes into complete isolation. The story is usual, but the narrative makes it unique. Eleanor would have been a boring character, minus the narration. She is mundane but hilarious at times. Her blunt take on the world amused me throughout the read.

“I was in a fast-food restaurant for the first time in my adult life, an enormous and garish place just around the corner from the music venue. It was mystifyingly, inexplicably busy. I wondered why humans would willingly queue at a counter to request processed food, then carry it to a table which was not even set, and then eat it from the paper? Afterward, despite having paid for it, the customer is responsible for clearing away the detritus. Very strange.”

Her deep insight on loneliness was profound:

“These days, loneliness is new cancer – a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted, or that it might tempt fate into visiting a similar horror upon them.”

After reading Eleanor, I felt a kind of restlessness in my heart for all those who are going through depression. Mental illness is a real thing, and though it is very common for us to guess it in case of Eleanor who is living an isolated life, it is tough to identify a person with depression having a huge social circle. Maybe most of them are good in pretending that they are very happy and doing great but they are lonely inside.

What mattered in the story of Eleanor is that She survived and was completely fine, but that is not how the story would end in many cases.

“Sometimes you simply needed someone kind to sit with you while you dealt with things.”
Eleanor Oliphant is a good read, especially if you are a kind of person who likes a slow story which takes its course midway through the book. Worth a read.

 

A beginner’s guide to indoor plants

A beginner’s guide to indoor plants

Introduction:

I am having indoor plants for a year or so now. Initially, I was a bit scared because I do not have a green thumb. As we shifted to a new place, which had a lot of places to keep these indoor plants I decided to have some of them. But going to any nursery and getting them was a tough task.

One day I visited the CP Ramaswamy Art Gallery in Alwarpet and found that there were some good plants kept in the exhibition. The one which struck the chord was the bamboo plant standing tall. I quickly got it along with a money plant and an Aloe Vera sapling. I was scared because this was the first time I had indoor plants. It has been a year that we have the bamboo and I have propagated money plant very well in four to five small saplings.

Aloe Vera has already delivered so many small saplings…

 

I got the plants from the exhibition and a stall of The Artium by Rajalakshmi. Rajalakshmi has a studio in Kottivakkam. I have not visited her studio but she has a lot of nicely potted indoor plants. You might ask, one can get indoor plants from any nursery why such a reservation about getting plants from The Artium. My only way of answering to this is that the plants which I got from other nurseries in the past could not survive.

There may be a fault in my ways to look after the plant but the Bamboo has survived for a year and a half, lit up the corner of our home. please visit The Artium by Rajalakshmi to get wonderful plants which survive. 🙂 

Here are some points that are important while getting your indoor plants

  • The Direction of the House:
    • My home faces south and there is not much light inside the house during the day. There are very few corners which are lit up in the house. So this was a primary concern while getting the indoor plants. I kept Bamboo plant in such a way that it gets indirect sunlight from the entrance door. I guess that was enough for it. Bamboo is also a water plant, so I keep changing the water in around 15 days. The same row where we get ample indirect sunlight has four indoor plants, Philodendron, Money Plant, Bamboo and Snake Plant. Philodendron is a relatively new plant, not sure how would it behave but so far going well.
  • Soil or Water

    • My attempt at growing a money plant inside the house in soil was totally spoilt. For a brief period, I kept it outside. Aloe Vera and Money plant were growing together. But then, I tried taking out the growing nodes from money plant and kept them to grow in water inside the house. To my surprise, It was growing very very well. So, if any of the indoor plants are not doing well inside, please give it a chance to survive outdoors where you do not get direct sunlight. The sapling might bloom.
  • General Care
    • If you are planning to have a money plant in water, please change the water often. For Bamboo, it is okay to refill every fifteen days. But while doing so, wash the roots properly so that the infections if any get washed away.
    • For plants which are potted in soil, I feel a strict vigil on the water content of that soil and watering it when needed would help.  
    • Mobile phones, chargers, laptop chargers and other gadgetry should be avoided where the plants are kept.
  • The pots you use
    • I have used glass vase, a bottle, a mason jar, a tea kettle and repurposed wine bottles for growing my money plant and aloe vera. You can try your unused crockery for the same. Check out the type of plant you are potting and give it a try. It is all try-worthy.

Let me know if you have any existing indoor plants. Would love to know how do you care for them.

 

 

Every Summer Has a Story

Every Summer Has a Story

As much as people disgrace summer for the heat, children

love to spend their time without any timetable, books, teachers and school 🙂 Each one of us have been through this wonderful phase of our lives “ Childhood”. Summer is the time to relive these memories time and again. While I face the scorching heat while on roads, these beautiful memories make me nostalgic.

Here are some of my very special summer memories:

  • Waking up to the cuckoo’s coo, a typical morning alarm in India during summers
  • The opening of the carton of Alphonso mangoes specially brought from Nagpur
  • The breakfast of Aamras and roti. Topping aamras with ghee every single time before binging.
  • Indoor games with cousines like carrom, rummy, chess and now pallanguzhi
  • Filling water in cooler making it ready for hot and scorching summer afternoons.
  • Making of pickles, aam panna, appalam and papads
  • Relaxing on the lazy evening sipping on aam panna
  • Playing with water for hours together, to beat the heat
  • Reading champak, chanda mama, tinkle, chacha choudhary and saboo’s shenanigans.
  • The red hot petals of Gulmohar and Blushing Bahava or Yellow Bells
  • Evenings on the beach, eating candy floss

 

These are just some of them, I am sure you may be having many to add.

 

Let us know what are your favorite summer memories? Comment below.

 

 

Mono-Travelogues – 1

Mono-Travelogues – 1

An early morning packup
A vacation after a long
Srirangam Bodi and nearby
Arun planned it all.

Happy,excited and nerve wrecking
The roadtrip that it was
Arun was the driver
And he drove it all along.

Srirangam Trichy –
Beautiful calm place
The old trees and the new
The coconut tall and the bougainvillea bloom
The small town made the memories loom

The grace of Lord spread all over
the sunshine on the rooftops
The Gopuram shines bright
At the dusk and at the dawn

Takes us back to the old days
Of Rajas and Maharajas
Grandeur! Is its name?

Stand in the queue
Look at the Lord
A moment of Darshan
Of the resting God

Of several sannidhis
And great architecture
Hide and seek of the moon
The devotees and the devotion

Sing a Bhajan or join both hands
Blessed are those who come here to this great Land……