It’s all about Attitude!

Recently, quite few incidents happened which have left me shocked or rather frustrated. Not planning to crib about every single one of them in a public forum, but they have taught me several interesting lessons. The most important one among them is about Attitude. Lot of times, people say that you either have or or don’t. I have a slightly different take on this. Your attitude changes from situation to situation, and person to person. Sometimes, you have to fake Attitude.It helps like the outer shell of a  tortoise, which guards your super sensitive heart and mind.

Have a good day and keep rocking!

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Movie Review : Lunchbox

I am a self proclaimed Art Movie Lover. Please don’t get me wrong –  I watch almost every movie an average telugu film lover would watch – the dhinchak, over the top action and senseless comedy. And find myself enjoying those too:)  But, my heart yearns for those silent, heart warming tales told in one person. They somehow soothe my soul, in ways I could never express…

Lunchbox

 

Life just happens, and sometimes really strange things find their way to you. Irrfan Khan, who is a widower is in his last month of retirement and gets a mistaken dabba from another house. The lady who sent it is a housewife, with a never-bothered husband and school going girl.  They start exchanging notes over the Dabba, until the lady wants to meet him. So, do they meet? And what happens at the end? The beauty of the movie lies in its excellent between-the-lines dialogues, and situations that naturally lead to the happenings..

The movie has no ending, and one is left to imagine if they meet.  As an Optimist, I thought they would. It is a well crafted movie, and the lead actors do a fantastic job. Nawazuddin Siddiqui , who plays Irrfan’s Junior – is very endearing. He cuts vegetables in the metro on the way home, and is never tired of talking to the unresponsive Irrfan. Few things that stand out in the movie:

a) The beautiful depiction of Mumbai Metro and Government Office environment.  You’ll have a smile on your face, when you see Irrfan waiting for 1’O clock to see what Ila ( Nimrat Kaur) has written.

b) The notes exchanged.  In the simplest of sentences, she tells him her husband has cheated, and her dad has a lung cancer. In exchange, he tells her that the food was salty, and he got a vertical coffin with a joke that he has to stand after being dead, after standing life long in metro.

c) The point in realization for Irrfan that he is too old to give someone a new lease in Life.  Bathroom scene, followed by the train scene. One would expect him to go and meet Nimrat. He goes there, sees her and doesn’t think that they deserve a future. So, he doesn’t meet her.

d) The scene where Nimrat’s father dies and all her mother feels is hunger. When she says that her dad become no more than responsibility because the love between them died years ago, it sets the stage for Nimrat’s separation from husband.

e) Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s loneliness, but with the guts to break through the harder shells of a softer man.

f) The Climax.  An Open Ended one – they have every possibility to meet if the fate favors them. Or, she would go and live in Bhutan with her daughter, and he would probably go back to Nashik.

Every single sound in the movie was audible, and the lack of background score actually helped to bring out the beauty in the movie more. Just watch the movie for it’s sheer brilliance in story telling. You’d not regret it!

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Saanvi Chronicles: One Month Experiment & Results

At home, we often call my daughter “Don Saanvi” after the telugu movie “Don Seenu”, for the very reason that she gets things done her way by the umpteen number of techniques she has on us.

Saanvi

 

Since last one year, I had the opportunity to work from home, and boy – it was the toughest year of my job so far. I still managed to do it, as my work was fairly independent and could get done at nights or early mornings when every one in the house was asleep. When you go to work, you hardly take care of them in their most energetic times / most frustrating times of the day. Now that, I had access to the wide range of emotions – laughter, play, crankiness on my plate, I learnt how to handle them along the way. However, my family had minor complaint on me, that I could learn to be a bit more patient with her, although I was doing okay.

Firstly, I vehemently disagreed. Then, as with other things – I kept it on back burner of my mind and started observing myself in all the interactions. Although I could roughly understand what they meant – I still had all my excuses to behave that way. Finally, I decided to take 1 month Challenge and record the results and learnings.

Duration: August 14th to Sept 13th 2013

Challenge:  Not even once, I will lose patience with Saanvi. Will never discuss about her, ANYTHING with ANYONE.

Result: SUCCESS!!

Experience handling the Challenge:

Being the person who loves Challenges in every aspect of life, I attuned myself to this fairly easily. Rule is a rule, and never meant to be broken. So, from August 14th, I made up my mind to do whatever it takes not to break the rule. Being a fussy eater, she tested my patience to extreme levels. Now that I did not have the option of losing my temper, I had to find innovative ways of getting her on track. And that is where my learnings begun.  I had awesome days with her, where things worked like a Charm, and terrible days where nothing was good enough to console her.

Self Introspection is tough to do. Discovering your own weaknesses in that process and acknowledging them only makes us more human, and progressive in nature.  Here are my key learnings from the 1 month experiment:

a) TUNE into your KID’s Emotional Radio.  Get to know every single one of their feelings, and when they react – you should know why they react. As this skill gets mastered, a lot of things happen intuitively. If you know she’s hungry rather than she is cranky – you’d feed her rather than try to discipline. That makes hell lot of difference to the entire scene.

b)  NEVER talk about THEM anywhere – in front of them, behind and in your mind. Once a thing gets repeatedly SAID to KIDS, it becomes their life rule. Example, we say that the kid is naughty and no one can never control them. If that is said to them in their vicinity every single day, that sets the expectations that they should be behaving so. By totally avoiding talking about them, the situations don’t dictate what kind of person they should be growing up to.

Also, words are so powerful that the more attribution is given to a particular feeling, it becomes more stronger in your own mind. I had few occasions in the duration of challenge, where I felt like giving up, but I just didn’t verbalize and kept going on with other stuff.  Learn to ignore the trivial stuff.

c) RESPECT the FEEDBACK you get from your family.  They were partly true – there were situations where I could have been more patient, but I was tired, or had something stressful going on with me at that point of time. So,I too was right. But, as they say – It’s all about priorities. So, I learnt to get my priorities right.

Lot of other little learnings along the way. But, I can confidently say that this one month of challenge has helped me find the little tweaks that need to be done in an engine, to ensure a smooth and long, successful motherhood journey.

If you repeatedly get feedback about your kids, or have some for yourself – why not take a month challenge and see if could change your perspective on some things?

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Powders : Chilli Powder

My amazing Sister In Law got this one from her friend, and prepared this for our regular use at home. Very fine taste, I thought why not blog it to let everyone know and try 🙂

Chilli Powder

 

Chilli Powder measurements:
1 Kg mirchi
mustard:50g,
dhaniyalu:250g,
jeera:100g,
Methi Seeds: 10g,
Turmeric:100-150g,
Garlic:150g.
Procedure:
Dry fry each one of them, except Garlic and Turmeric.
Blend well.
Shelf life:
Around 6 months. Keep it in an airtight container.
Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Curry : Usal Bhaji for Chapati

It’s been 10 days since I wrote on my personal blog, and you know how the feeling is? It’s like you remember to call your best friend everyday, but some how bogged down by daily uncertainties and it never happens. So, today I finally make up my mind and devote the morning session to my pending blog posts.

Here we go, my 19th recipe for the year. This one is for Chapati, and extremely yummy and nutritious one. I made it twice within the same week, and my entire family loved it. Do give a try!

 

Usal Gravy curry for chap

Total time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

Whole Moong Dal – 250 gm

For the gravy:

Onions – 2 big, 3-4 cloves garlic, small piece of ginger, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 medium cup fresh coconut, 2 tsp jeera

For the curry:

1 Big onion

2 medium tomatoes

1 big lemon

Red chilli powder, to taste

Garam Masala, to taste

Salt, to taste

Turmeric, to taste

Procedure

1. Soak the whole moong dal for approximately 7-8 hours. Pressure cook for 5 whistles.

2. Add few drops of water, and fry all the ingredients mentioned in the section “For gravy”. Let it cool, and grind to a fine mixture.

3. Take a pan, and put some oil. Add onion and fry until translucent. Then, add the gravy and let it get hot on the flame. Once done,  add turmeric, red chilli powder and garam masala. Add these as per your family’s tastes. Add garam masala in relatively lesser quantities.

4. Pour some water / usal leftover broth and let it simmer a bit. Add the usal and tomato pieces.

5. Add Salt accordingly, and switch off once all the ingredients are mixed well ( 5 minutes)

6. Garnish with coriander leaves and sprinkle generous quantities of lemon juice after cooling down.

Cooking Notes

1. Cook this curry, when you have some time at hand. This is not a quick curry idea, but well worth the time.

2. Make sure the usal don’t get smashed during the cooker process. Otherwise, you’d have the entire curry mushy and the texture would be lost.

Do give a try and let me know. Have a good day and keep rocking!!

How I got my family to use Clay idol of Lord Ganesha

Image

First of all, belated Ganesh Chaturdhi for all my friends & well wishers. This is our first Ganesh Chaturdhi where we used Clay Idol of Lord Ganesha.  All these years, we were used to using the Idols which were extremely colorful and nice to the eyes. We weren’t ignorant – we knew that the idol would cause damage to the environment once immersed on the 10th day – but hey, what damage are we causing when we compare the one done at Hussain Sagar? And know what – the clay idol isn’t as beautiful as this one. So,  although I have been trying to get the clay idol last year, couldn’t succeed. So, how did it happen this time?

As usual, I started my trials few days before the festive day – and telling my family on how using a clay idol again & again. When we went out to buy one the night before, I took my husband purposefully a bit farther than usual, so that he may find any interesting clay idols. Bingo! We found one which is made of clay, but has few colors added to it. The shopkeeper admitted to colors to be synthetic, and we paid Rs. 110 for the Lord Ganesha’s Idol.  Upon purchase, Vinod says – ” I didn’t knew that clay idols could stand still like this. Adding colors is definitely appealing. Isn’t it?” We came home and the entire family was convinced by looking at the environment-friendly but less beautiful looking Idol.

I noticed a very profound thing. People are materialistic for sure.  Don’t snatch things away from them in the name of Environment or Larger Good. Sure, you want them to help you out for a better cause. But, leaving a glimpse of what they are used to, will motivate them to help out for the cause. I can surely say that the synthetic colors added on Lord Ganesha’s Idol is what made it bring home.  Isn’t it only human that we crave things we are used to? Making people appear evil, only because they don’t give up on their material things is very ODD and INCORRECT. Instead, if you truly fight for a cause – find a way to retain the status quo a little bit and bring in the change slowly.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Saanvi Chronicles: Her first appreciation & Criticism

Oh well, you get the look. Image

Only since the past 2 days, I begun to understand how kids grow up fast, in a blink of eye.  Saanvi gave me shockers day after day, and prompted me to write this article, to save it for my pleasant memories later on…

Situation:  Night, around 10 PM

Conversation:

Saanvi : Mama, I need boost now.

Me: Saanvi, shall I get you a lemonade instead? You like it, right? ( I have my practical reasons to avoid Boost at that time)

Saanvi: Yay, Lemonade is my favorite. I’ll help you make it.

So, we go to the kitchen and she helps me out with squeezing the lemon, adding sugar and mixing – more or less preparing it herself. After I taste it and adjust it to her tastebuds, she sips a bit, gives me THAT look and starts off

Saanvi: Mama, this lemonade is very sour. You did not manage to make it well – the sugar is less and the lemonade is not mixed well. Ok, remember from next time – add proper quantities of everything and mix well. And also, these lemon strands – I don’t want them. If they go in my stomach, will I not get a stomach ache? I don’t want to drink this anymore..

Me: ??!!!!!

I am quite used to Saanvi’s verbose reactions on things, and her not touching food and giving me feedback that she doesn’t like it. But, not with descriptions of the ingredients and telling me on what happens if she eats that food. God save me I thought, drank the lemonade myself and put her to bed.

Situation: Evening, around 5 PM

Conversation:

Me: Saanvi, would you like to drink Tomato Soup?

Saanvi : Yey yeh tomato soup, i like it! Can you quickly make it for me?

Off I go, and use the readymade tomato soup powder and get her soup ready in 10 minutes. She insists that she fed the soup herself and i go away from there. So, I sit in another room, reading some depressing news in the newspaper.

Saanvi, suddenly after some time: Mama, you made the soup really well. You added the proper salt, sugar , water and mixed it very well. I liked it and will drink it completely!

Me: So, did you like the soup?

Saanvi: Yes, and remember how you made it this time. I want the same soup everytime.

She didn’t manage to finish her bowl, but half of it really fast.

We laughed out loud, when saanvi was explaining on why the soup was good. Later , when I come to think of it – kids really turn out the way the family operates.  There is no other way. 🙂 Our family has a unique way of dissecting every food item that gets on the table, and how each spice is less / more or just right. We also talk about whether the recipe should be preserved, and a particular dish should be made exactly the way it is done now.  Kids have god blessed observation skills. So, although I was very surprised at first, a realization dawned on me slowly :  As Parents, the home is your biggest theater and you are the actors on the stage for the rest of your life. A small, tiny creature will be your audience, who will be an actor just like you, once she grows up. It is our responsibility to act well, so that tomorrow we don’t curse her on how she is doing.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!