Breakfast : Sweet Corn Dhokla

After staring at the sweet corn lying in the fridge for very long, I finally ventured into the unknown and made sweet corn dhokla today. My inspiration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl-pcnfhcTw

And I must say, I followed it verbatim. The only additions were fenugreek leaves and some hing in the seasoning. It made me get more flavor than the bland one. My family who are sweet-haters, thought that it was going to be really sweet, because its a mixture of sweet corn, suji and yogurt. However, surprisingly it was not sweet at all. My sister-in-law who is not used to seeing a single recipe foto on the blog volunteered to take a pic, but that’s left in another mobile. But, I promise i will post the pic for this soon.

It took me total of 45 minutes, and it’s really ideal for sunday snack. My little one loved it, i managed to get her to eat some. All my effort is appreciated !:)

Have a good day, and keep rocking!

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Movie Review : Life is beautiful

I haven’t been brought up in a family which loves movies. But, the family where I got married to – i can unanimously say that a telugu movie news and tollywood stories never go noticed to them. Unless it’s as bad as R Narayana Moorthy’s People Star, they would secretly
nurture hopes of watching the released movie. I know, the big ticket movies of the biggies like Jr NTR, Prabhas get special treatment where they watch it in theaters, but all others definitely get downloaded and watched online. In my initial days of marriage, I went along every week with them for a movie. Once we went overseas, I had no chance of watching movies so regularly. As days passed on, the number of tollywood movies I enjoyed zeroed down to single digit. I stopped watching telugu movies all together.  However, some filmmakers deserve special place in film scene. But, how many film makers can dig deep in your hearts and find our all the emotions you’ve been hiding all along in your life? Emotions, which doesn’t need to come up when watching a violent revenge story or socio-fantasy..? Take a bow, Mr. Sekhar Kammula.

On Casting

Life is Beautiful !! — This 2 and 1/2 hours of my life has been definitely beautiful. It was awesome to watch Amala on screen, even for a short time.  I did not find any of the new comers as “tollywood hero” material – with six packs and other useless stuff, but rather tailor made for the role they were playing. The girls are cute, and same can be said about them too. I adored the little girl, who is a very normal face in the crowd but stands apart for her performance. Shriya and Anjala Jhaveri provide the much needed star-power to the movie.

I would say that Sekhar did his best in extracting the performances and it was a treat to watch all of them. To me, the girl with long long hair was the winner, and I liked her cute expressions in the movie.

On Story line and Taking

The story is all about a family, whose mother has cancer. She sends off her 3 children to live with their uncle and grandparents. They stay with them for one year, and what kind of experiences the encounter. First half goes breezy, and you’d find the gang wars between upper class and the b-grade towns amusing. All the story is jam packed in the second half, heavy in emotions. All the leads find their love, and how they pursue about it forms the story.

Highlights of the movie :

1. The little girl denied admission just because she cannot speak english.

2.  Shriya’s lead hero giving chocolates and predicting that shriya’s relationship will be soon over

3. Airplane scene between Shriya and her lead hero

4. Amala’s cancer scene

5. The little girl’s speech about her mother

6. The scene where one of the lead actors realizes that education is important, but it’s not life.

Overall, these are the messages conveyed through the movie :

1. When we face really difficuilt situations in life where we feel lucky to survive – then we understand how petty our problems are.

2. Education is important, but it doesn’t teach you to be human. You need to be a good human on your own, and then education will help you become a better human.

My review and final thoughts

For such a movie, I’d think that Sekhar Kammula might have presented a better story where each of the lead actors think how life will be beautiful and then he can go on to show how each of them is right and each of them is wrong. The message is there, but it’s really low-toned and people might not notice it. The humor portion is entirely maintained through one of the lead hero’s telangana diction – which is a smart move indeed.  Overall, I did shed a few tears at 2/3 places in the movie – I bet everyone who watched the movie had tears atleast once.

This movie is not about proving anything to anybody, but more on celebrating how life is. It is very easy to draw similarities to Happy Days, but i think the movie viewer should forget everything else and just plunge in the beauty of life with Sekhar Kammula’s movie.

My rating: 4/5

If you have this running in your city, and want to watch the sensible human drama unfold in front of you – go grab your ticket now!!

 

 

Eenadu Ruchulu

Guys – after I landed in Hyderabad – one of my favorite things to do is to read Eenadu newspaper with focus on 2 main sections :

1.Antaryami – food for the soul

2. Ruchulu – food for the body

However, given my sheer laziness and lack of organization – i did not document or paper-clip any of the wonderful recipes i’ve read in the last couple of weeks. But I knew that Eenadu has archives. Just look at me – rather than clipping it immediately, I mentally prepared myself to go through the archives and find out the recipe names i mentally registered.

But, God and Eenadu have just saved me. I brought a pumpkin peice yesterday and wanted to make something good with that. Recalling an article with pumpkin in Eenadu in the last couple of days I did go to  archives – but this one eenadu ruchulu has just all the recipes in one area.

Needless to say – I’m eternally grateful to the person who got this idea. Glancing through the recipes itself makes me hungry. I plan to make pumpkin rice and cocunut perugu paccadi today. Let’s see even if i try to make it after my daughter gets up.

Take a look and find out how many ways you can make the same boring vegetables in your pantry.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Saanvi stories : taaani head bathu vaddu

In one of my previous week’s enthusiastic days – I bathed saanvi with cold water and forced her to do headbath as well. So, it backfired big time on me. After that incident, whenever I tell her that saanvi will have head bath now, she says – ” taaani head bath vaddu. Pilaka pettuuuuuu” in an ascending tone, with her highest pitch at the end. In english, this means I donot want headbath, tie my hair up. And she comes out of the bathroom, only going back after tying her hair up. It’s close to a week and it’s time to bathe her hair.

My husband, who is a encyclopedia of practical ideas – I requested him to move the mountains and get her head bath done. He laughed and said – “just change the place of her bath”!!

Like the idea commercial, it lighted up my mood. I became more creative. While changing her bathroom, I put a big , long mirror in front of her so that she can see herself in the bathtub. I slowly started wetting her hair without her knowledge. Once she knew, she wanted to get up, but I showed her the mirror and asked her to see herself bathe. Starting from the back of her head, I slowly reached this top, and she decided to join the fun.

“taaani shampoo ivvu!!” – give me shampoo. We both rinsed and washed her hair. I was a bit dissatisfied that I didn’t pour buckets of water through her head, but very proud that I could atleast get her to head bathe.

In this experience, I learnt that she still cannot do wanted mischief given her age. Just need to play around her to get things done.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Who are your old friends?

Everyday, you get the opportunity to meet new people. Some you don’t like and some don’t like you.But, you will find few people who will fit like hand in a glove. I’d like to introduce to my blogger friends to my old friend and a new friend – who tell the answer I want before I tell them what happened. Rather, never tell them what happened. Oh no, it’s not magic. Really. Have you heard a book talking? Yeah, my two friends i am talking about are the 2 books I carry with me everywhere.Image

The first book:

1. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff and it’s all small stuff by Richard Carlson. This is my go-to bible in times where I do not feel good at all, or when I want to be bored and gather some good stuff into my brain. This book gives us 100 strategies on how not to sweat the small stuff. Easy to read, Logical to understand – but very very  difficult to implement. Few of my favorite quotes :-

1. Don’t interrupt others or finish their sentences

2.Surrender yourself to the fact that “Life isn’t fair”

3.Allow yourself to be bored.

4. Become Aware of your moods and Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the low ones

5. Look beyond behavior

6. Just for fun, agree with the criticism directed toward you( and watch it go away)

7. Read articles and books with Entirely Different points of view from your own and try to learn something

8. Search for the grain of truth in other people’s opinions

9. Become an early riser

10. Do one thing at a time.

Book Review : The Filter Bubble

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This is the first book I finally finished reading on Kindle. Once you are on vacation with a 2 year old, it is near to impossible to finish your task without the little one trying to do exactly what you do. So, i read this book for 2 minutes, 5 minutes or 30 minutes – whenever, wherever possible.

Despite all my vacation duties and other routine activities, what made me read this book through is relevance. I’m not a Facebook addict, but I check it everyday unless i do not have internet connection. My web browser is Google, and Gmail is my primary email. When book explores what they do to my online life – it has to be a worthy read.

The author has high command on the subject, and he manages to get the exact picture in front of us. The filter bubble is the term coined by Eli Pariser, and as he rightly says – change happens in unknown, unexpected encounters and situations. If a 3rd party company tries to decide what you are, what you like and then dictate your online world – it’s pretty dangerous. And on top of this, if the marketing executives know your entire shopping history, the best way and time to persuade you, and they know you more than you? Ridiculous. Personalization – It’s a unevitable evil in every one’s life but to let your life dictated by it is simply not acceptable.

Eli Pariser is clear on what he says –  The Age of Internet is expected to solve most important problems of this century, rather than being a platform for sharing cute kid photos. Of course you can do that too – but at least  the important issues should not get sidelined. Whoever is in charge (Read Google, Facebook) have to act as modern curators and not like a 20-year old kids with no moral responsibilities. In the end, what you click is used to decide who you are. So, the end user – why not click on varied topics, rather than the stupid news feed with silly stuff Facebook shows you on the front page?

I’m thoroughly educated after reading the book. Having admitted that I’m still long way to go in understanding the important issues of my time despite spending enormous amounts on the Internet – I begin to see why. It’s time to pop my filter bubble.

If you are interested in watching the ted video, here it is :

Also, you can do these 10 things to make sure personalization doesn’t make the world too familiar to you:

If you get the book, do give a read. I’d rate it 8/10, and everyone using Facebook and Google must read the book. If not take action, at least educating yourself doesn’t do harm, does it?

Saanvi’s first communication

Today I was in the best of moods and did all the things quickly. Drumstick curry and Fenugreek leaf for lunch. I felt good that I made some Nice variety for my family. In the same speed, I took my daughter and bathed her in cold water much to her protest. After bath, when I told her that mama was sorry that she didn’t give a thought to cold water, she spoke to me …”challa water…taaani challa vaddu”.. This is the first time she has expressed her reaction in a sentence. Although we are used to her sentences from long time, my eyes got wet looking at my dear daughter. She now has the power of expressing herself. Time for play school.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!