Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mouthpiece #46

To New Beginnings...
“Inertia sets in with age”, I often hear it and myself am guilty of saying it many times on various occasions, and I don’t say it casually, I believe it and say it with full conviction whenever I do. As we keep adding years to our lives, the innate adventurous streak in our personality keeps getting more blunt because with experience we tend to weigh the pros and cons more and sometimes the analysis part itself tires us out and then one can just forget about taking it further.

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What's cooking? Besan ka puda/cheela
Ingredients:
Chana besan : 1 cup
Onion : 1 big (finely chopped)
Ginger : 1 Inch (grated)
Coriander leaves : ¼ cup (finely chopped)
Green chillies : 2 (finely chopped)
Salt : to taste
Red chilli powder : ¼ tsp
Garam masala : 1 tsp
MDH Chana masala : 1 tsp
Coriander powder : 1 tsp
Oil : to grease the pan for shallow frying the pooda

recipe here...

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Mouthpiece #45

फ़िर मिलेंगे !!!

ले रही है अंगड़ाई प्रकृति आज कल,
उठ रही है थोड़ी सुस्ताई सी हर पल |
सर्दी के तीर अब थोड़े कुंद हुए हैं,
बंद हुए किवाड़ अब फिर खुल रहे हैं |

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What's new in the kitchen?
It was बसंत पंचमी (Basant Panchami) on 1st of February and to mark the occasion I prepared sweet rice that day. Sharing the recipe here:
Basmati rice: 1 cup
Sugar: 1 cup
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Cloves: 3-4
Cinnamon stick: 1 inch long
Yellow food colour: just a pinch
Water: 2-¼ cups (use 1-¼ for cooking the rice and remaining 1 cup for sugar syrup)
Nuts: ½ cup (chopped almonds, chopped cashews and raisins)
Grated coconut: 2 tbsp (optional)

recipe here...

Mouthpiece #44

An art...
It is hard not to have come across any written/audio-visual piece on how the bygone eras, which were sans technological gadgets, felt like. Such pieces often trigger a nostalgic chain of thought. While I was watching a hilarious one on the subject recently, one thing led to another and in no time I was on the trail thinking about all those things that have just disappeared from our lives or are dying a slow death. 
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Gajar ka Halwa...
After having tried many recipes, I think I am most satisfied with this one, so sharing it here:

Carrots (red and juicy) : 1 kg
Milk (full cream) : 1 litre
Milkmaid : ¾ tin
Ghee : ¼ cup
Cardamom : pounded seeds of 4-5
Almonds, cashews, raisins : ½ cup

recipe here...

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Mouthpiece #43

Gratitude...
It is that time again when one’s mind invariably goes over the happenings and highlights of another year that has bid us farewell. As one surveys the whole year spent from a little distance which time naturally brings in, the moments get themselves housed into various categories that the mind keeps forming - good, bad, challenging and many others. As I was about to pen this newsletter down, a very strong emotion captured me - that of gratitude and this time it is for those two individuals who chose me to begin their worldly journey. It has been close to fifteen years since I was entrusted with the role of being a mother. I guess, in all these years I have ridden all possible waves of emotions through them and for them. The point here, however, is not this, in fact, what made me feel grateful about is how while being associated with them, somehow I kept finding my paths to move forward. While looking back it seems quite amusing right from the time when they were infants.

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Books that gave me company over 2016

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Book Review : Subcontinental Drift

Title : Subcontinental Drift
Author : Murray Laurence
Publisher : Aleph
ISBN : 978-93-83064-25-0

A book on India by a foreigner. Actually so many books have been written by awestruck foreigners on India that it has almost become a genre of books in itself.
An Australian travel writer found his life changed post his first overseas trip to Indonesia where his tryst with Asia began.
He first travelled through the country in 1970s but the 'weird' land strangely and mysteriously hypnotised him into returning to India over and over again as his fascination for the strange land never left him.

The book 'Subcontinental Drift' is actually a collection of his travel stories which are almost like his adventures in a wonderland where nothing is unexpected. He has segregated his stories on the basic of timeline under three categories - a) Young and At Large in India (The 1970s) b) Drifting (The 1980s to the end of the 20th century) c) Condemned to India (The 21st Century). As he travelled extensively through India, he could fathom deep to appreciate the uniqueness and the basis of the age old beliefs which are reflected in his writings. The fluidity with which he narrates his experiences is a pleasurable experience in itself. His wonderful play with words keep the readers engaged till the last page.


Having read many such similar books, I just want to comment that what these authors present is still just what appears on the surface because as our religious scriptures describe the supreme power by - (Neti, neti) this is not it, this is not it!, so is true about India too. It is no exaggeration to say that  if there is any possible adjective for a place, it may very well be true for India.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Mouthpiece #42

Parenting perils...
A father and daughter duo waiting for the school bus early in the morning, daughter sporting a smile on her face looking attentively at the small screen of the smartphone almost oblivious of the surroundings. Father is carrying the school bag (obviously of the daughter and a big cup in his hand, which I assumed to have his morning tea until the daughter asked for it, took a sip from the cup and shoved it back in the father’s direction).
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The Greatest Devotee
In one of the interviews Sudha Murthy mentioned about a book - Conversation between God of Death and Nachiketa. Since then I have been looking for that book but as she did not mention the author name, I was not sure which particular book was that. Still I ordered one and came across this anecdote which I found worth sharing here.
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Hurdles, are they real?
Title : Anywhere but Home
Author : Anu Vaidyanathan
A Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from US Canterbury and founder of PatNMarks - an intellectual property consulting firm, Anu Vaidyanathan is the first Asian woman to have completed the Ultraman Canada and Ironman Canada (for the uninitiated, Ultraman entails 10 km swim, 425.6 km Bike and 84.4 km Run and Ironman includes 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike 26.2 mile run).
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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mouthpiece #41

Walking without...
While the human world is clearly and visibly divided based on gender, possession of resources and similar such criteria, there is another factor which very subtly divides humans...
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Shabari's Devotion
It is said that the devotion of Shabari was absolute and complete. What is it that makes any devotion complete? 
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What's new in the kitchen? Gud Seviyan
Wheat flour seviyan (available in Khaadi ashrams) : 1 cup
In case it is hard to find these seviyan, use roasted bambino : 1 cup
Jaggery/gud : 1 cup
Cloves : 3
Cinnamon : 2 cm long
Black cardamom : 1 (crushed)
Ghee : 1 tbsp
Water : 2 cups (if using seviyan) or 1-½ cups (for roasted bambino)
Almonds/Cashews : ½ cup (crushed)
recipe here...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Mouthpiece #40

The ultimate quest...
Recently I happened to be a part of the conversation, rather I should say, I was listening to the exchange of ideas that was going on at home. The topic was on the quest for what is next from here. Are we doing enough, if we consider progress of soul as the aim of our birth? Do we have sufficient time to work towards that goal? How do we know if what we think we should do is actually what should be done? Don't the mundane things sap our time and energy leaving not enough to think about what is required for the subsequent journey? While the discussion swayed from mere guesses, observations, experiences to complete obscurity (not in that order though), it came up that perhaps there is nothing beyond this life.
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Homo Deus
Recently started reading a book, every word of which is like fresh air gushing in through mind's windows and the credit goes to Yuval Noah Harari's second book Homo Deus - A Brief History of Tomorrow. While his first book Homo Sapiens was a brief History of Human beings, this one is projecting the future of human race.
continue reading here...
What's cooking? Some winter delight...
I have always preferred closed cozy interiors during winters than fiery summers. After having spent fourteen years away from the extreme climate of North, it took me a while to get readjusted to this variation once we came back to Chandigarh. But I can say that a chilly day still attracts all my votes over heat blazing days of summer. It somehow gives a feeling that I am hibernating in the cosy confines of the home.
continue reading here...

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mouthpiece #39


On your 75th Birthday, with love...

झुक गईं हैं थोड़ी और वे बूढ़ी अम्मा गली की
ज़िक्र तुम्हारा आते ही चमक उठती हैं आँखें उनकी
दिख जाता है तैरता पानी उनकी आँखों में कहीं
जैसे सैलाब छुपाये बैठी हैं मन में अपने कोई
साथ था तुम्हारा उन्हें जो खो गया है अब कहीं
अपने अतीत में झाँक कर टटोलती हैं जैसे यूँही |

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What's cooking?
Since I am celebrating my mother's 75th birthday here, the special occasion calls for some sweets. Last week on Diwali, I tried making peanut burfi at home and it came out really well. 
So here sharing its recipe:
Raw peanuts : 1 cup
Powdered sugar : 1 cup 2 tbsp (I used icing sugar for the fine powdery texture of the final product)
Cardamom powder : 1/4 tsp
Milk : 4 tbsp
Oil : to grease the tray
Melon seeds : 2 tbsp (for garnishing)  

recipe here...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mouthpiece #38

Festivities in the air...
It is that time of the year again. If any other period comes close to my most favoured monsoon, then it has to be this transitioning time when short piercing rays of the sun lose their edge and morph into slanting beams, when tree tops bask in that faint golden radiance a little longer, when slight nip in the early morning air makes one fall in love with that hot cup of tea over again, when a whiff of roasted peanuts fills one with nostalgia of carefree bygone times, when streaming light through thin fog appears like divine guiding illumination and when everything in nature turns to wear a mysterious misty cloak. Palpable festivities and religious fervour adorn the days and nights further. Faint chants of Ramayana verses, street enactments of Ramlila, recitals of Durga Stuti, dhak (dhol beats) emanating from Puja pandaals and the temple bells add to the charm of the revelry.
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