Monday, June 22, 2009

Tag of 30 sweet nothings!

After reading this one at so many bloggers I got myself tagged by havng commented at some of them.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

“puffy eyes again!”

2. How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?

"I ain't getting up from here to check that! plsss"

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?

"sea SHORE :)"

4. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?

"A friends husband who insisted he will pick us up for biryani lunch last wkend"

5. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?

"No fav there.. am fine with the default one, dont even remember which one that is."

6. What are you wearing right now?

"T-shirt & Shorts", thats tells the kind of shopper I am. Tee worth rs. 50 picked last year from a roadside stall near Thane station and shorts worth 800 bucks from Fisherman's Cove @ Taj resort, Chennai in mar'06 n i still fit in them :)"

7. Do you label yourself?

"I dont think so.."

8. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently own?


9. Bright or Dark Room?

"Both at different times, basically depending on what i am doing"

10. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?

"I like their blogs so I read them.. "

11. What does your watch look like?

"Not a watch person, have 3 but the one i wear most is a citizen quartz with gold chain and a small dial."

12. What were you doing at midnight last night?

"looking for a cocktail recipe ;)"

13. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?

“Some special offer from Du”

14. What’s a word that you say a lot?

"wow, i dont know."

15. Who told you he/she loved you last?(please exclude spouse , family, children)

"CS :P"

16. Last furry thing you touched?

"My blanket while folding it this morning"

17. Favourite age you have been so far?

"Marriage and thereafter :)"

18. What was the last thing you said to someone?

“Okie byeee.."

19.The last song you listened to?

"Abhi na jao chod ke.. ke dil abhi bhara nahi."

20. Where did you live in 1987?

"AF stn Uttarlai, Rajasthan, India."

21. Are you jealous of anyone?

"Yes, at times"

22. Is anyone jealous of you?

"no idea"

23. Name three things that you have on you at all times?

"some thoughts, some dreams and my optimism."

24. What’s your favourite town/city?

"No fav yet. But i like Bangalore, Mangalore, hometown and the whole of uttaranchal."

25. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?

"Must be one of those rakhi letters"

26. Can you change the oil on a car?


27. Your first love/big crush: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?

"That he’s doing good :D!"

28. Does anything hurt on your body right now?


29.What is your current desktop picture?

"The collage i made for dad"

30. Have you been burnt by love?

"burnt? it is supposed to brighten up things, isnt it."

I will end it with a beautiful song i am listening to...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

aur mera popat ho gaya!

poocho kaise?

I burnt the midnight oil working on a collage to be presented to dad on this fathers day. Whole of last night. And then just before sleeping at 6:15am I wrote a mail to pa. And one to bro who is in Mumbai, to order flowers and have them delivered at home during the day while he was at work. (I dint realize that it is wkend and he would be home.. but thats not a big cause of worry). Task done, I slept peacefully at that odd hour.

Today, I just woke up to a call from Turkey :P at around 11am (half past noon India time), with eyes resembling batata with a black hole. It took me a while to understand that he was asking me to login to skype as he had called from his friends international roaming. All excited for I remembered fathers day, i passed on the wishes to his friend who is a relatively new dad. And there you go!!!

what I am just made aware of, is-

Father's day is not today but tomorrow. "wishing someone on the wrong day is sign of being a big POPAT".. yes! nooooooo :(

& I had already painted the town red last night in celebration mode, thinking today was FD... what a flop..
The only saving grace is that it is still a day in advance, but enough for me to feel like a popat!!!

The point is - How could I be so absent minded.. the entire blame goes to laptop and internet combo.

Yday when the thought of making a family collage struck me, it was already past midnight here, I chked the laptop clock which anyways shows India time so the date was 20th June. Google reconfirmed that FD is on 21st. I tell myself "Its fathers day tomorrow and I have not done anything about it". While we dont usually celebrate these days in particular, this time I wanted to. various reasons, and i wanted to. But not once in the whole night did i realize that what i thought as tomorrow was actually day after...

Nevertheless.. its better than sending belated wishes!! I shall call the bro to see if he has even logged in to chk his emails... Dad definitely wont mind getting early wishes..

The other thing that went awry, like Dhiren's dowry is my complaint in the last post.. that someone didnt call me the whole of yday.

The fact was - my cell was lying somewhere, dead for want of charged battery.. when i realized that, i quickly put it on charger only to see 3 missed calls. too bad that the post was already published by then :(

he must have really thought i am having some great fun...

Coming back to the collage, the special thing about it is - it has all the family members( hum paanch with spouses n di's kid). Ironically, we dont have any pictures of all of us in single frame as jiju had missed our wedding n being spread across geographically, we all have met only in smaller groups in last 2 years..

:( Di has just gone back after spending one whole month with mom-dad and manu is back to mumbai.. So you can imagine why i am missing them all the more and sat for making that collage?

But I must admit :) I have done a great job. Looks like we all stood together to pose for it. The collage is my latest wallpaper, So i wont be opening any windows today..

Friday, June 19, 2009

Another addiction..

Friends often ask me a question. "So, how do you spend your time?". It is a common feeling that having no job and staying away from family after marriage means you almost have no life and you are supposed to get bored.

Amit is worried about the day I start feeling bored. He thinks I left my job due to his job movement requirements. Ofcourse that was one reason but he also knows how desperately I was looking for a break from work.

But anyways, there is no such sign around here so far..

Between trying something at home that I never did before, learning new stuff and just reading keeps me busy. The biggest blessing is Internet. No time is enough when you have google, youtube and the blogworld in front of you. Infact, we often call internet the 'vo' of our life. You will know what I mean if you have heard of "miyan, biwi aur vo". Most of the masala (read fights) in our life also comes from there. But thats fun.

Amit is enjoying life in Turkey.. He says he went to princess island yday and to his surprise there are deodar and pine trees there. Of which, he didnt send me the pictures inspite of promising to do. Leave that, he hasnt even called me the whole of today. Busy in city tour I guess, so I am not complaining. But for this one good thing (internet, sweetheart!), i would be sulking and grumbling and feeling sorry for myself. Thats exactly why i called it a blessing..

But no. Today I covered all the shows of Vir Sanghavi's Star Talk, available on you tube. Rakhi Gulzar, Sharmila Tagore, Neena Gupta, Karishma, Saif, Sushmita, Tabu, Sonia Gandhi, Shehnaz Hussain and so on.. I love watching talk shows and interviews.. It tells me that life can be really complex for some and its inspiring to see how they all have been a survivor as an individual.

Thats that. But the addiction that I wanted to write about in this post is something else. I started writing and it has gone somewhere else altogether :) you see how we digress!!

When we went to see new born-Ibrahim few weeks back, there was also a match going on in the evening. And a yummy biryani was being made by his lovely grandmom. In the mid of all this I could still see a partly made jigsaw puzzle of Eiffel Tower lying on the table. I, like a 5 year old, got engrossed in building it further. Amit must have been embarrased to see this initially but soon enough everyone was picking up bits and pieces and fixing them on. I found THAT very ADDICTIVE. I completed the tower part and left the sky for the baby's DAD

Today I found that you get such puzzles online as well and tried one here.
you can customize it and its timed!! try this if strategy games interest you and you ever want to kill time..

I read on some blog that more the links in ur post, the better.. you know what, this is addictive too

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When he is not around...

I have been writing something and then deleting it, writing again and again deleting it for last couple of minutes. Because I didnt want to use any words that will reflect a feeling of being alone or of missing someone.

The whole day goes by fine but as it comes to the evening, (the time when he comes in quietly and makes an attempt at scaring me and succeeding most of the times.. hmphhh...) I realize thats exactly the feeling around.. that of missing him. Even though its the same me who gets irritated when he throws his laptop bag, the shoes, the belt, the wallet, ah.. i mean everything around.. when he is back from work.

Now there was an offsite being planned at work but he didn't want to go.. He thinks it will be better if we both go together to whichever tourist destination it is... Of course that will be great but its also nice to go and enjoy with office gang is what I think. So, I insisted and made him say yes for it. It was also because I got a feeling that his backing out made some of his friends also decide against going and that would have been unfair... Hope they enjoy next few days with some interesting activities. This is definitely going to be the highlight.. provided the video has not scared him already..

While friends 'a', 'b' and 'c' suggested I come to their place if I am scared or get bored or just to spend time with them, i thought i will be good lazying around at home. Its not being rude, i hope. I might meet them in the coming days as Amit is back only on Sunday morning.. anyways, then suddenly the thought of not having met another friend 'd' ever since I moved to dubai came haunting and I think I will go to meet her tomorrow.. Lets see..

As for spending the evening is concerned, there is cozy soft light in the room, some nice instrumental music playing on and I am off to read a book I am half way through.. before that, lemme raid the fridge for some salad and make myself a mocktail.. howzzat?

Nope: I am not missing anybody .. :(

Friday, June 12, 2009

Of Chapatis, Cookie, Brownie and Indian Kurti

I have noticed that I am enjoying reading the blogs more than writing down something of my own!
So I write less and read more thesedays..

I like to believe that I am a girl of few words.. but my last post speaks differently.. :( and I LOVE those who read that one.. coz I almost believed someone that nobody reads long posts.. Even some friends see me going on & on. It, I think, has got something to do with the subject and how close and strongly you feel about it at that particular moment. Equally important is having someone to listen, who you think can relate to it and would participate in the discussion.. Anyways, thats something that perhaps happen with almost everyone..

I want to try my hand at and learn baking.. We got a new cooking range (with steel body) after moving to this house and it has oven & some more features. Yet to buy the moulds/casts and all those yum ingredients but the first thing that I tried were the plain Cookies.. I thought the sugar was less and the crust got lil over baked, nevertheless, we still enjoyed our home made-first time cookies.. what if they look more like the biscuits you get on the roadside mobile cycle bakeries in Delhi :(

One of the girls I met at the meditation camp was wondering at the fact that our cook used to make so many chapatis, all from scratch, for lunch of around 30 people.. I never gave it a thought before but she being American found it unbelievable. I told her its simple. But I know that today even Indian girls find it tedious and time wasting consuming.. I on the other hand like making chapatis (more than eating them actually), infact, its the first proper-meal dish that I could prob. make properly.. round and the kinds that puff like thisSince we are still in touch I invited her over my place last week and offered to show her how to make chapatis "from scratch" :)  So she came and we had a great time chatting for hours.. I cooked everything after she came coz I wanted to show her Indian cooking, just like they show on the TV (i.e. now we add so n so and then we do this and that etc). I am happy that she liked the food..No elaborate recipes, it was plain simple lunch. I found her very easy to get along with. In the evening when she could no longer stay back for domestic reasons (having to pick her husband from work.. ), we exchanged stuff like typical girls or long time friends do.. 

I knew that she liked the Indian kurti I wore during the camp, so thought of asking her to try mine. I had bought them just before leaving India early this year. The sweet lady tried willingly and fitted so well in them. While I promised I will take her to a friend's boutique to get new ones, I also convinced her to take one of my kurtis and she wore it while going back... That is why I called her sweet, you know.. & Guess what she got for me.. we both loved it, Amit and myself... Homemade Butterscotch Brownies!! They were simply superb to say the least!!

& in this post I wanted to share the recipe. All the above was just a brief context..

Butterscotch Brownies (in Jen's words)

1/4 c. butter 
1 c. light brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp.vanilla
1/2c. coarsely chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 F/175 C. 
Melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat; stir in sugar until blended; cool. Stir in egg.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add sugar mixture and blend together. Mix in vanilla and walnuts. Spread into well greased pan, 8x8x2". Bake 25 minutes. Do not over bake. 
Cut into bars while still warm. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A wish and effort to share!

A very looong chat transcript ahead: no gossip or humour etc.. Its about the Vipassana meditation and the technique that i learnt recently. 

A friend pinged to say hello today. and that she actually wanted to write a long email seeing the album i recently shared with her for she liked it much:) .. we told each other what we are upto these days and interestingly, she was interested in knowing more about the meditation technique.. The transcript is a part of our chat..

If you decide to read further, please note that its in my words and as per my understanding. Its ofcourse not the complete knowledge and I have only tried to explain it in simple words to someone who was eager to know. If there are any errors, I admit not being a certified expert and I am not preaching or advertising it here. I truely believe in the benefits of practicing it regularly and hence thought of putting it here for anyone interested to read.


me:  and went for a 10 day meditation course

 Friend:  What do you do in the meditation?

 me:  its a technique

 Friend:  i always wonder

 me:  i used to wonder too

 Friend:  hmm.. technique of ???? pura bata naaaaa (please tell me the details)

 me:  hmm..  we first learnt and practised how to focus on the breathing

not trying to change the way we breath but just observe the breath

 Friend:  okies, then?

 me:  coming in and going out of the breath

 Friend:  okay..

 me:  3 days we did that

 Friend:  phir?

full day (!!!!) ??

 me:  initially the mind keeps wandering here and there

lotsa thoughts

lotsa emotions keep coming in mind

but u have to bring ur focus back to the nose and the beathing

gradually the mind becomes little calmer

and starts feeling the sensations around the nose

 Friend:  wow

 me:  u know the whole body is made of cells and atoms

and every moment the cells are dying and new cells are being formed

 Friend:  i am reading u very attentively as someone is explaining such a thing to me for the 1st time

 me:  so at the microscopic and biomolecular level there are these changes and reactions happening all the time

 Friend:  yes, true

 me:  but we never feel anything happening in our body

i mean we can sense the heartbeat sometimes

and the external pain and miseries etc

we feel anger, hot, cold, happy, sad etc

because we want some things and we dont want some things, we feel sad when we dont get them

this is the reason we feel miserable

so in the meditation centre the main thing that was taught is 'everything is temporary' = 'nothing is permanent'

we see and experience it in our own body. by observing the respiration, to begin with

and dheery dheery we move to the top of head, our brain area

and then we move down gradually

we take our focus and mind from top of our head to the tip of our toes and try to observe if there are any sensations that we can feel

there are sensations all over the body but we dont feel them coz they are so microscopic in nature

 Friend:  ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

 me:  and when u are sitting in the meditation pose on the ground doing this exercise for days, your body starts aching

the legs

the back


the instruction from the teacher was - nothing is permanent

even this pain is temporary

and there is a reason we feel pain

its not coz our back is aching

there is a relation between the sensory organs,

the biochemical reactions happening in the body,

and the way we feel about them

is it makign any sense to u?

i am poor at explaining things

 Friend:  please, i m njoying the read,

go ahead. don’t stop pls

 me:i thought u slept, so waited to see ur reaction

 Friend:  no re, pls continue

 me:  so, they say, when any of the sensory organs(eyes for sight, nose for smell, ears for sound, tongue for taste, skin for texture/touch and the mind/brain for emotions) get in touch with the objects that they react to, there are some sensations that arise

u get what i mean?

 Friend:  trying

 me:  the first time when these sensations arose, our subconscious mind sent a signal to the brain about these sensations being pleasant or unpleasant

and thats how we feel good or bad about any of these things

when we see, we automatically get a feeling that it is a good sight or a bad sight

similarly when we hear, we know its a good sound or a noise

 Friend:  hmmm corrct

 me:  when we get in touch with some thing, we like the touch or hate it, like when we touch a cactus we will pull our hand away

and so on with the other sensory organs too

 Friend:  hmmmm, true

 me:  the next thing that happens is - we develop either craving or aversion to these feelings

i.e. if we like a smell, we say - WOW, that is so nice.. i like it, i want it

when we smell a gutterish stink, we say - shit, yuck, pls remove this stink from here or i will die

so we generate love and hatred for everything in the world

 Friend:  hmm

 me:  and suppose u dont like a smell and u are subjected to it everyday, you will feel life is such a misery for u.. right?

i am giving an example.. this holds for everything

 Friend:  corrrect

hmm i am getting

 me:  so net net- there is a relation between the sensory organ - the sensation - the feeling - how we percieve that feeling - how we feel in life

the solution that we were told was - any thing that happens, happens for a moment

it will pass

it is temporary

nothing is permanent

 Friend: actually so true

 me:  if we want to avoid feeling miserable, we should remain neutral to such feelings

which means, dont let your mind say WOW and neither let it say "Oh hell! its so bad"

remember that we were experiencing all this within our body in that ten day meditation exercise

so i am not talking about any external thing as of now

 Friend:  hmmm

 me:  it is, as of now, all about our body and the objects in the near vicinity

and how we feel

so when we are sitting in the meditation posture

with eyes close

straight back

folded legs

and moving our attention from top of the head to tip of the toes,

we stop for a few seconds at each body part to observe if we feel any sensation in that part of the body

initially we dont find anything

coz our mind is wandering

its not able to focus

 Friend:  hmmm

me:  but gradually we are able to feel things like, touch of the air on the skin, heat or cold, some itch, some tingling, some vibration, some pain, and stuff like that

we are told to try and remain neutral to all of them, equanimous

which mean - dont feel good when u get a pleasant sensations and dont feel sad when u get a painful sensation

 Friend:  hmmm... okies

 me:  and we see that each sensation comes and passes away in a moment

now there is a spiritual side to it

do u believe in life after birth?

 Friend:  hmm

 me:  and that human form is achieved after so many births?

 Friend:  not actuaaly this part

 me:  ok

 Friend:  u do?

 me:  what do u think happens to ur soul after you die?

 Friend:  it get into other body

 me:  ok - human body again?

 Friend:  haaan.. aur kya?

 me:  ok

wait lemme think what i am going to be telling u

u know i went a month back

got all charged up and enthu about it

coz i found the teachings at the camp so believable

it was pure logical, i liked it

 Friend:  hmmm

 me: but after i came back i have not practised meditation even once

am almost about to forget the details

 Friend:  bad 

 me:  so gud that u are listening, i am kind of revising it

u tell me at the end if you could understand it

ok now i will tell u further - hope u have time

 Friend:  I m really liking it

 me:  now, this meditation was being done by many different ppl

 Friend:  but giv me 15 mins brk

 me:  from all religions, all countries etc

 Friend:  okies

need to finish lunch

 me:  ok, while u eat, i will keep typing and u can read later..

this one is called Vipassana MEditation

it was taught by lord Budha

the things that i told u till now might be common in some other meditation forms also

but the unique knowledge that lord budha gave was important and in a way the root cause kind of thing

see the day someone is born in the human form, they come in this world crying

crying is ~misery

and they start running towards death

u get my point?

nobody can stop time

the day u are born, ur journey towards death has started

and every second u get closer to death

and as u believe, after one dies, he or she takes birth in some other body or form and again the journey towards death starts

so its a vicious circle of life and death

and in between there are lotsa miseries

no denying that there are pleasant things also but when we dont get them at some time, we again feel misery

so lord budha(Siddhattha Gotama  - that was his name) was in search of  the ultimate truth

or the ultimate solution to these miseries

you know moksha?



from this circle of life and death

budha is not a name

budha means 'enlightement’

anyone who gets the knowledge and experience of that ulitmate truth or liberation, will be called budha

so lord budha was practising meditation

and was trying to find the solution to end this misery

what he said is - at the moment of our death, we might have a happy feeling or a sad feeling

the next birth and our level of miseries in next birth depends on that

to a large extent

thats maybe the reason we say that "so n so's aatma ko shanti nahi milegi coz they died seeing a suffering family"

"so n so died so peacefully and after seeing his or her family living happy around him, so they will find peace" etc..

its little difficult for me explain but i am trying

 me:  Lord Budha says, everytime we generate a feeling of craving or aversion to any object, lets call it a "SANKHARA" and that generated sankhara remains in our conscious or subconscious mind for ever

the next time we get that feeling, we will automatically react to it due to the already existing sankhara and feel good or bad

so in our lifetime, we are always accumulating these sankharas

the feeling of craving - positive sankhara

the feeling of rejection/aversion/hatred - negative sankhara

these sankharas are cause of misery

so we have to get rid of them

consider the mobile battery - to understand this better

lets say at the time of buying the cell, the battery was not charged

we get it home and plug it on to the power point

bit by bit the charge gets accumulated in the battery (just like the sankharas getting accumulated)

so the charge in the battery is full and we use the cell and its working fine

after some days, the battery is only 10% charged

i.e it has got discharged by 90%.. when we plug it again, the ramaining 10 % continues to remains there and the balance is also filled with charge

simialrly somewhere within us, we are charging ourselves up with these sankharas everytime we feel good or bad about anything

-- when we meditate and observe sensations and dont react to them and let them pass being neutral to them, we are in a way discharging the sankharas

we are not letting ourself feel good or bad about the sensations, so no new sankhara is being formed.

similarly when we dont react to the painful  or pleasant sensations we get in our body, we are discharging the accumulated sankharas

its a long process

and the Budha achieved a state where he had gotten rid of all the accumulated sankharas

and he was so much in control of himself, his mind, his body that he was not letting a single new sankhara being formed

that was the state of liberation

they say that you feel like the whole body is a collection of vibrations

pleasant vibrations, at that state.

now coming back to we, humans

its not easy to attain liberation because remember the Lord had moved to monk/sainthood whereas we want to continue enjoying and living in this material world

and most of us dont even want that in life, ultimate liberation n stuff..

what we want is a happy content life

the way to achieve that is to start practicing meditation

its not about only the time when u sit and meditate

this is to be applied in life at all the times

keep reminding urself that nothing is permanent

dont let anything affect you to the state that u start feeling love or hatred for it

now if you have understood what i was saying all this while :), u might come up with a question

that, if we keep meditating and discharging the sankharas, there will be a day when we will have none of them left and that means we should attain liberation at that point.

--well, at this point i would add that our mind and body is like a machine that keeps working all the time

they generate sankharas when we are awake - which is what we are trying to control and may even succeed in doing so

but the mind and body also generate sankharas when we are asleep

try to remember having seen someone sleeping and a fly or a mosquito coming and buggin them

what do they do?

inspite of the deep sleep, their hand automatically mooves to shoo off the irritant

not only that, if the mosquito has bit them, there would be a sensation on the skin around the bite so their hand goes automatically there to scratch or tend to that part of the body

And every time we react, we are generating sankhara, so that is happening even when we are sleeping

therefore its important that we set aside some time in our daily routine to practice meditation to continue flushing out the sankharas

and there are ample of benefits of that

the mind works better

concentration improves

efficiency goes up

discipline sets in our life

and so on...


gyan over

even though there is so much more to say 

 Friend:  yups..i need to save this some where

not easy to digest all at one go.. but thanks dear

 me:  please send me a copy of it too

 Friend:  u explained it in a very easy manner

 me:  maybe you and TJ plan n go for a 10 day workshop when u can find time

 Friend:  i may com back with queries

 me:  wonderful course

must attend, i say.. for all who can take out time and find any interest in all that i said above

 Friend:  only prob is 10 days offf

 me:  free of cost

 Friend:  so untill i take a break its not possible..

 me:  and so full of benefits

 Friend:  free of cost??? impossible

 me:  10 days means only one week chutti from work

their concept is that gyan cannot/should not be sold

ppl give daan(donation) at the end of the course

 and that daan is used for the next course

its a wonderful concept - its unbelievable

 Friend:  ok.. not possible now

maybe sometime in future

 me:  hmmm..

 Friend:  bt surly

i m going to attend one

haaa for sure

 me:  you know in our group, there was a 4 month old pregnant brazilian lady of our age was also there

 Friend:  ohhh coool

 me:  she had come before also, this was her second time at the course

so u can believe what kind of experience it must have been for her in the first time to come second time especially for the baby

n then there were ppl who have done the course 6-7 times

this is there official site link, you can save that too

 Friend:  great, doing

 me:  and please send me the copy paste of this chat :)

thanks sweety! i will save it for reference

or maybe post it in the blog for other readers

 Friend:  lol .. sure dear

as guru dakshina?  lol

 me:  ha ha. yes! the teacher mr S N Goenka asks us to give gurudakshina at the end

he says one must keep 5 last min of meditation sitting for wishing good to all

and in that "all" he will also get wishes form us

and that is the gurudakshina he wanted..

------ **-------