Swimming in an ocean of thoughts.....

Ask me no questions and i shall tell you no lies :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

22nd April, Go Green for ever ~ Earth Day

Check my article for Earth day at :


The appropriate song for the day and also remembering MJ :)



Saturday, April 20, 2013

Why? Why? Why? ~ Self talk

There are good and bad days. When days are good, there is a lot of sunshine, there is a lot of laughter and there is a lot of fun and romance. And then, there are those days when dark clouds camouflage the Sun behind their thick sheath of layers. There is thunder and lightning and what follows is a never ending gush of rains. It is like a sudden transition that changes the atmosphere without a warning. There is some gloom, unsaid words and unfinished arguments. And when things are unfinished, there is a strong underlying bitter feeling at the pit of the stomach that does not let self think rationally. And the questions keep popping up like those unsolicited pop up windows on Internet.....

Why is it so easy to complicate things that become almost impossible to get simplified later?

Why is it so difficult to let go of a weakness that you know you need to get rid of?
Why do materialistic things suddenly get more importance than they deserve?
Why does one need to show off to impress people around?
Why is there a need to take stress at all for any matter which is never going to be larger than health or life or personal bonds?
Why is it so difficult to be happy when happiness is all around because one chooses not to enjoy it?
Why is it so easy to be insensitive to other person’s problems?
Why is it difficult to accept a change even over a period of time?
Why is it difficult to understand that making certain sacrifices are like those investments that will give a good secure and content life later?
Why is it not so easy to let go off certain fixations that are beyond any logic or reasoning?
Why, after all, why?
The questions will always keep coming. As self slowly tries to accept a reality without questioning, it also knows that things will eventually change, they have to, they will. Because change is the only thing that will not let a phase of life stagnate for long.....wish, change happens soon and all the why’s shall be answered.....



A wordless Saturday ~ The need to be kind

Taken from Google Images


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Socially 'high'? ~ To be or not to be

When I was small, I loved watching movies that had church weddings where the bride and the groom clink their wine glasses and share it with each other after exchanging their wedding vows. The bride is usually dressed in a beautiful white flowing gown and the groom in a well tailored suit. The bride looks ravishing and the groom, every bit the bride’s knight in shining armour. Well, now when I think of those scenes, I really don’t know whether it was the dark wine color or the sensually shaped glass that made me mimic the bride, as if I were holding a similar glass and taking small sips and enjoying them. Only in my case there was no groom as I was still going to school then and my glass used to either have water or bournvita. But all that mimicry was only until I got the drift of what drinking meant in the world that we live in. Now, that people are actually getting the idea of what my post is about, I am trying to ponder over what is this social drinking all about? And then I googled about social drinking and this is what I got,

"Social drinking" refers to casual drinking in a social setting WITHOUT an intent to get drunk. Good news is often celebrated by a group of people having a few drinks. For example, drinks may be served to "wet the baby's head" in the celebration of a birth. Buying someone a drink is a gesture of goodwill. It may be an expression of gratitude, or it may mark the resolution of a dispute. (Source: wikipedia)
Until my high school and graduation, I never really attended any social occasion where drinks were served. Also, considering that I spent a considerable chunk of my life in a dry state, I was way far from them. It was only when I started working in Pune, I understood the concept of social drinking. I observed that every restaurant had a bar. People consume alcohol/liquor/hard drinks with food (with/without friends). Whenever my parents visited, I had to search for udupi outlets to have food together as udupi outlets dont serve liquor. I do not consume. But I am not against people who do. And neither do I have issues with joining people for lunch or dinner where liquor/alchohol is served, as long as I am not forced to. And coming to think of it, social drinking is not uncommon and not a taboo as it has been made out to be. Drinking over an occasion, celebrating it with champagne and relishing every good moment is a nice way of making an occasion memorable. As my fauji husband puts it, ““As long as the alcohol is enjoyed sip by sip and is not consumed in a way as if the world is going to end tomorrow, drinking don’t really harm”. True. No sin enjoying a chilled beer in the noon, or occasional late night pegs of scotch/whisky/rum etc.....when guests/officers/friends meet for a chat/lunch or dinner.
However, the line of sanity blurs when social drinking crosses over to getting drunk!  Having attended many social evenings, parties and get-togethers, there have been those moments when people drink till they crawl into the other world that has no boundaries, no restrictions, no limits and no inhibitions. Trouble begins when the guard is let down unconsciously. And people end up blabbering/doing things they would not really want to do when sober. Washing dirty linen in public is just one to name. Then once sober, whoever remembers whatever happened. Nobody really wants to remember. And nobody bothers them too as certain memories become hard kept secrets and some fodder for gossip. But what comes later invariably leads to misunderstandings, broken friendships, incorrect judgment and hurt feelings.
Why do people want to get drunk? And one of the answers I got even without asking was, “You know, you need to do it sometimes! You need to lighten yourself up. You need to unburden your heart. You need to feel liberated at times!” Well, with no offence meant to people who consume, is getting sloshed or should I say, ‘the way’ to feel liberated is achieved by shouting/slurring/yelling/puking/crying/bitching/acting funny etc? And then regret the next day only to swear never to touch the 'forbidden drink' anymore?
And that brings me to the same fundamental question, "Why do people drink to get drunk?". Well, some ‘get a high’ or rather, ‘get a kick’ when they get drunk. Maybe because one suddenly becomes bold and cares two hoots about what other people might think or react. Some feel ‘light and liberated’ when they are drunk. Some forget their worries when they are drunk, as they pour out their heart in the most incorrigible lingo. Some cry their heart out too. Some drink to run away from reality. Some drink because they have nothing else to do. And the reasons to get drunk do not end. And it dont matter as there is always some excuse to do so, anything but sane.

But then not forgetting to mention, very few or just a handful, drink to actually celebrate a moment knowing the way to enjoy their drink and still managing to keep their feet on the ground. Not that I am trying to shed poor light on the drinking aspect before people get judgemental about my post, I have seen those few handful who enjoy their drinks in the best way possible and talk sense with all manners and social etiquettes intact. And that is when I realized that some of the most productive, meaningful and sanest conversations happen over a couple of drinks. After all, what matters is the discipline one follows when no one is watching and the guts to take responsibility for one’s own actions. If only people knew the thin line of difference between social drinking and 'drinking like a fish', I believe people would be much more happier in their personal space too, without yearning for social occasions to become what they consciously don’t want to become, say things they wish they never said and do things they would dread doing even in their dreams.
P.S: Apologies if sentiments of my readers are hurt as I know drinking is a sensitive topic. However, to each his own. The above post is solely my perspective. Besides, I have my rights to feel what I feel and at the same time express the same, too.


Monday, April 15, 2013

What is it with Bournvita? ~ Child in me

If I were asked about the list of things I remember enjoying when I was small, small in the sense a time I don’t remember how small I was, the first thing that comes to my mind is my mother bringing me a glass of Bournvita. Aah! The aroma used to be so unique, so soothing and so enticing that it was the lone good thing about rising up early for school. The way my mother makes it, I have never been able to replicate the proportions of sugar and Bournvita. Of course, now when I fix myself a mug, I always end up with one more than the other. And I get the privilege of having that divine glass of Bournvita whenever mom is visiting. The nearest to what my mother makes, I have been able to relish the same at Vohuman’s Cafe (located alongside the Jehangir Hospital lane, Pune). Somehow, getting the right taste is still tricky for me. It has to be that right ½ spoon of sugar + 1 spoon of Bournvita to a glass of milk. (I am definitely not talking about a table spoon or a teaspoon here. I have a medium sized spoon that I usually use for eating and it serves me with the nearly right measurements!)

Somehow, this one drink has sustained well in a long time. There came many malt drinks like Horlicks (which i occasionally like to have), Complan (this is one drink I never liked, though it is said to be the healthiest amongst its malty competitors), Maltova, Amul Pro, Milo, Ovaltin (which is tasty but too heavy on the tummy) and many more. Aah! How can I forget Boost – secret of Sachin Tendulkar’s energy? And then there is ragimalt/ragotine (the barley flavored powder spiced up with condiments like cardamom, almonds and nutmeg) which gives a tough competition to its chocolate malted mates in winters. I have fond memories of my granny preparing me a ragotine/ragimalt drink. In Summers, she used to serve them chilled and in winters, steaming hot. And again, like my mother, her mother had that knack of making the right mixture of milk and malt, something that I have still not been able to learn. I could drool over it anytime, I say!
 Yet, somehow my tongue has remained loyal to Bournvita and till date, its taste has not changed, which is that one thing that keeps me coming back for more! And now, adding to Bournvita lovers are my son and my husband who go to bed only after relishing the warm brown awesomely aromatic Bournvita at night.
Some things don’t change and that is what we love about those ‘some things’. One of them is this, my all time favourite malt drink – Bournvita! I am a Bournvita girl after all! So, what is your pick?


A Date with Him ~ Conscience Speaks

Days are passing at a moderate pace. I love the early mornings. There is so much freshness and optimism about this time of the day. After a few prayers I listen to Vishnu Sahasranamam as I do my Yoga and a few exercises. There is so much power in these mantras that one doesn't feel any fatigue. It just keeps feeding you with infinite energy and stamina. As the day progresses, time does dull me a little bit. With a double vision that will take its own sweet time to go away, my outings are limited. Even if I were to go out, I need a pair of dark sunglasses to keep the light on my eyes minimum and to get a proper focus on things. Of course, I get sceptical looks from onlookers around. Still, there is improvement ever since I came back from the hospital and with that hope I look forward to getting well in the complete sense.

It is strange that after certain incidents, we transform in a way we never would have imagined before. A couple of years back, my perceptions about rituals, traditions and perhaps, about everything were different, or rather biased. I was just too stubborn to follow certain advice that was meted out to me at various times by elders. For instance, I have a decently good voice but I won’t sing. And my attitude then was like “Why should I sing? Becoz mom wants me to? I wont! I don’t think i enjoy singing devotional songs!”

Despite the good voice, I failed to see the magic in singing, humming and practising songs that I knew by heart. And today, after a month of having got my voice back (after having battled hard against the acute symptoms of myasthenia gravis when I was clinically dumb for 2 weeks then, not able to talk or swallow), I suddenly love to sing. Surprisingly, I am singing devotional songs with joy, the ones that I never wanted to sing because I thought I don’t belong to the devotional lot. And what surprises me to the core is that I am able to sing with such fluency and am able to recite all those shlokas I had never recited in years with such ease that I am only left wondering at the beauty of having got a new lease of life.

Suddenly, I am loving this change, this change that my parents were yearning to see in me for years, this change that shocked my husband pleasantly, this change that has made me content, this change that has changed me for good. And so, here I end this post with a few questions:
How many of us know why rituals are conducted the way they should be?
Why are traditions followed?
Why are pujas important?
How important and how impactful are planetary positions in our lives?
Why there should be a discipline in life?

Now, these questions don’t imply that rituals are to be followed fanatically. Following comes involuntarily once what, why and how are clear. As for me, I am still finding answers. But leaving aside all that, I have discovered a new passion in following certain rituals I never gave a second thought about some time back. And the love for doing so has not come out of fear, but out of sheer respect for that moment when certain shlokas, mantras and music fed me with tonnes of positive energy when I almost lost hope that I would survive the ordeal I went through.

P.S : Well, I felt like writing this post after I came across this above FB update.

Cheers & God bless...!!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Music, Prayers, Mantras and healing..... ~ The healing touch

Listening to music is the best form of busting stress or at least it helps you confine your space and let  you be just yourself. We all love to listen to music of some or the other kind. Some of us love hard beats whereas some of us love the soft one. Some love instruments and some love their own singing (which is a very lovely thing). Some love devotional songs and then there are some who love silence. Well, coming to think of it, silence is also a music. It has a note of its own. But then music is just not about listening to the beats and tapping the feet. It is about the music that is felt by the soul. Music that one hears for the first time and feels how it was not heard before. Time sure is a mentor. There are certain times in life when certain notes touch your soul, notes that you rarely took note of, notes that always followed you but you never felt its presence because you were just too busy. The music that comes with the first strike of the morning bell of the temples, those divine sounds that come from the mantras being chanted, that comforting Fajr that comes from a far away mosque at the break of dawn, the soothing silence of the dawn itself followed by bird music are those notes that we rarely notice or perhaps, notice but do not really give much thought about it. Well, we really don’t have the time to enjoy in nature’s lap. Is it because we think we don’t have the time or is it because, we feel it is always there and there is nothing new to it?

Some music is heard only when the heart listens. Some music is heard only when the soul is in pain. Some music is heard only when the mind is calm. Some music is heard only when a curve ball  wrecks havoc in a normal life. And that is when we reach out to a taste of music we think would have been an unlikely choice in any regular phase of our lives. And those are the times that make us comprehend the healing powers of music that comes from prayers. Those notes exuberate energy. They release power. They give strong vibes of optimism. More so, they give that feeling of certainty that no matter what, things will eventually turn out fine and this too shall pass. As I write this, I can once again feel the power of prayers, chants and the mantras that were read for me when I was hospitalized. They were recited in different languages and different tones. But they all had one thing in common. They all had those notes of music that I never took note of before. They were the notes of the Omnipresent who was with me all the time, watching over me, guiding me, suffering with me, and yet helping me understand the fact that life has its grey shades too and that is the beauty of it.
And ever since, I feel blessed to have known the power of music, the music of prayers, the music of nature.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The humble chocolate mousse ~ Gourmet chronicles

So, at times when you feel low or you feel useless or you feel you need to do something, you invariably search for that one thing to do that boosts your morale and makes you feel proud for a fact, that you did something you like to do. You did something that you have been wanting to do in a long long while and you finally did it! Well, today happened to be that day for me.

And from nowhere, well not nowhere, but from somewhere this thing suddenly popped in my head as if it were waiting for this moment. I now remembered how much I had been wanting to do this thing and a series of unexpected events that had happened in the past made me totally forget that there is so much to do around still and so much to derive pleasure from. And that is when like some pop up window, this chocolate mousse sprang up in front of my eyes and I could clearly imagine my husband grinning, rather flashing his Colgate smile as I further dreamt about getting him this wonderful dessert in his 'favourite blue tinted glass' of which he always makes fun of, saying that was the most useless thing he had ever known of! So, this was the moment to unleash my then dormant now awake zaaika and this is what followed.
I opened my fridge and found three cans of whipped cream, a huge slab of dark chocolate and eggs. Wow! All I needed to make the simplest form of a chocolate mousse was here. So here goes the recipe for the simplest humble chocolate mousse:
  • Add 300 gms of dark chocolate to a tin(preferably aluminium). Take a saucepan with some water and heat it on medium flame. Place the tin in the saucepan and let the chocolate melt. The process will take about 15-20 minutes. 
  • Now whisk take 3-4 eggs with about 250 gms of decarmelized sugar. Preferably beat with an electric beater, for about 15 minutes till the mixture is frothy and attains a thick paste like texture.
  • Meanwhile, the chocolate must have melted by now. Keep it aside and let it cool down. Now take a container and add about 350 ml of thick cream and whip it well.
  • Once the chocolate has cooled down, add the chocolate to the egg mixture in folds. As you add them, whisk the mixture in one direction slowly yet steadily. Don’t use a beater now. Keep whisking till the chocolate has nicely mixed with the egg sugar mixture.
  • Now, add the whipped cream in folds to the chocolate paste and keep mixing till a brown paste like texture is attained. Now take out your choicest glassware. I had some very old blue tinted Italian glassware set which I never thought would be put to use. My husband, an year back had coaxed me into either giving them away or using them as candle stands. But I guess, those glasses were waiting for this day, this particular day when they will be holding a yummy dessert that was soon to be shared with my adoring neighbours, besides my husband.
  • So, after transferring the contents into your choice of glassware, refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours. Serve chilled. You may add some more cream, some grated choco chips, cherries as a means of improvising the look and taste of it. I did not have any more cream and so decided to swear by the simple humble chocolate mousse which actually turned out well, considering it was my first time.
BTW my motivation to try out this recipe came from the following FB update that read

P.S : Hubby loved it. Loved the glass too :D Neighbors too loved it, I guess so. And my son too enjoyed his first spoonful of the humble chocolate mousse. So, this was just one fine day, a day that has been good to me :D

Cheers & God bless...!!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Morning musings and some fleeting thoughts ~ one fine day

It is a windy morning today. The pipal tree on the back of our home has been shedding off all the dried leaves on our terrace. My son has developed a hobby of collecting them and stacking them in a box. I don’t question why because I know it gives him certain pleasure in picking out the full shaped leaves and tearing them exactly into half along the mid line. (mind well, he discards leaves with holes). At least the activity keeps him busy. And for the winds, I don’t know what they are signing at. Nowadays, I try to understand the signs around me. Considering that my social life is no longer what it used to be before, I find friends in the unlikeliest like the winds, the trees, the plants and so on. But today, the wind is pleasant and the coolness is soothing. Each time it blows across my face, it is giving me a fresh lease of hope and energy that this phase will pass for sure. Nature can surely impart lessons through many of its messengers like the winds, the rains, the moon, the dew and the countless others that rarely catch our attention at any normal time.

As I sipped my coffee, I looked at this huge tree across my home. This tree fascinates me. It is single, it is picturesque and I keep taking snaps of it more often because it gives me happiness for reasons best known to both of us. It is that friend who has seen me shed silent tears in pain as I used to sit in my balcony then trying to understand whatever happened to me, before my days of hospitalization. It has silently stood by me, often consoling me in its own way that this too shall pass. When I was in the hospital for 15 days, there was not a day I did not think about this tree. The day I had left from here, the tree was just blooming. And after I came back with a new lease of life, I saw there was no leaf or flower on it. However, I just noticed some tiny leaves sprouting. And am sure, those red flowers will blossom soon. Am happy, that life is slowly coming back to the lane it should, for both of us.

After having undergone a not so good phase, I never imagined would happen with me, I have so much going on in my mind. Not that things will affect me any more, but after having crossed the acid test of life, I see that my experience can change not only me but people around me as well. The experience is like a filter where I can easily sort out the fake and the genuine. Ever since I came back from the hospital, I have found different people behaving differently with me. Some, who used to show as though they cared a lot about me, now don’t acknowledge my existence. Some think I am terribly sick and so want to stay away from me as far as possible, not knowing for a fact that I have already finished half the road of recovery. Some don’t want to involve themselves with me because they feel I need to be left alone. All because what happened with me was not normal. I suffered from something rare, which doesn’t happen to ‘normal’ people. But then I thought, if my case which happened to be a rare neurological disorder (acute symptoms of myasthenia gravis from which I have recovered considerably, except that my eyeball movement is temporarily restricted giving me a squint look) could invite such unexpected and unsavoury reactions from people, what about people who suffer social stigma for unfortunate events that have happened with them for no rhyme or reason? It is a strange world that we live in. People love to be a part of your life, as far everything is rosy and good. Good times are like those cool starry nights that one wishes, continues all life long. It is only when bad times kick in, you get to interpret words like loneliness, emptiness and pain.  

But God is not unfair. Rather, life is not bad altogether. And must say, destiny does things for reasons unknown, but with some best interests hidden. Although I felt bad about the sudden change in the social atmosphere, there are also those adorable people who treat me absolutely normal and make me feel as though nothing really happened with me. And as I talk about this kind I feel God has been kind enough to me to have let me meet such gems. Some experiences in life can be life changing. Being an avid reader of many blogs, I have only read about the others’ life altering experiences on how their lives changed after certain unfortunate events wrecked the normalcy of their lives. Of course, in those times, I sympathized but could not understand their plight until this moment, where I can clearly empathize with the many who have had trouble limping back to a normal life post events that they never imagined would happen with them. Social life is not a lifeline but it somewhere affects your persona when life goes on a tangent unexpectedly. But if social life were to be taken so seriously, there would be no peace. For me, I realized my social life will be a low key affair for a long time. Not because, I find difficulty in mixing around but because people find it difficult to communicate with me. But then, no phase in life is permanent and with that strong belief, I hope for beautiful times to arrive in my life. And with my parents, my husband and my son, I know I will get past this phase too!
And with that optimism, I sign off for now J
Cheers & God bless...!!