The Confession #FridayFotoFiction

friday-foto-fiction-photo-prompt-stair

It had happened so fast that for a fleeting hopeful moment Vihaan wished that this was a nightmare and would soon come to an end. Sadly, it was all true.

He loved and enjoyed being a prankster. While it was permissible to switch sugar with salt in someone’s tea or send a girl letters bearing someone else’s name and admitting later, this time he had crossed the line.

He had recklessly drizzled oil on the last stair of Abhay’s house and wickedly peeked from behind a tree as Abhay, who suffered from haemophilia, slipped and fell down, banging his forehead on the ground and bleeding instantly.

After two days, today Abhay had gained consciousness. Investigations regarding how the oil got there had borne no fruit till now. “I have to confess to everyone, starting with Abhay.” Vihaan thought as he ran up the same stairs, slowly and carefully.

Linking this with Mayuri and Tina for #FridayFotoFiction

Friday-Foto-Fiction

Advertisements

Family Vacation with Nature

“Will you promise me that every year you will take me somewhere, even if it is just for the weekend?” I asked him lovingly.

“Don’t ask for promises. I can assure you though that you won’t get a reason to complain.” He replied candidly.

That was all I needed from him. Being married for 11 years, there are certain things that don’t need any reflection anymore.

When I gave my consent to getting married in June, little did I know that along with the clichéd, hyped and anticipated romance in and around monsoon season I was also signing up for ‘the month school reopens’ after having kids. (Yes, I knew I wanted kids.) The beach lover in me forgot that monsoons aren’t for honeymooning on sand! 😦 😦

Ever since A Jr started school I spent most of his summer vacations at either mine or A’s native place. It was natural for his grandparents to want to spend some time with him and their rebuttals to make do with fewer days were intense. We soon realised that our relaxed alone-time as a family started suffering a great deal.

It was then that I came up with the idea of taking off for a short weekend vacation on our anniversary thereafter, every year. The idea was to take a short trip to someplace close, soak into the beauty of rains and nature during our stay, recharge ourselves for bracing the mundaneness of a routine life and come back with tons of memories that will keep us company for years to come. 🙂

A isn’t the social type. For him vacations are meant to be with immediate or extended family only. We were joined with my bro-in-law’s family in Lonavala a couple of years ago and the four of us had the best time together last year in Mahabaleshwar. This year we decided to go to Saputara, a lesser-known hill station on Maharashtra and Gujarat border.

IMG_20170624_095521_977

Saputara welcomed us with heavy rains, which disappeared soon enough. 😉

To say that we enjoyed there would be a gross understatement. Never had I felt so close to nature as I felt here. We drove through dense fog, walked for long distances with kids, rode a ropeway (first time for both kids) and had yummy Gujrati food. I even rode a converted Scooty-Bike and posed stylishly. 😉

20170624_154708

Sunset Point

20170624_162823

In monsoons, the Sunset Point makes you stare at nothingness! 🙂

20170625_183318

We saw this flash of sunlight after two days, at dusk

20170625_114319

This lake has boating and is a huge draw for crowds

20170625_115526

My babies fooling around at the Saputara Museum

The weather Gods seemed happy with us since it didn’t rain once over the weekend. Mornings and evenings, as both kids slept I and A enjoyed the quiet intimacy we often miss in our city life. Holding him close for warmth and comfort, I welcomed the slight nip in the air as clouds rolled past us.

20170624_180917

Raindrops captured in the petals of a rose. Gorgeous, isn’t it? 🙂 

20170625_194846

Kathiyawadi food. Super spicy. Super yum!

20170624_161811

There are Maggi stalls everywhere, literally by dozens!

It is said that “Life is not measured by the numbers of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Sitting there in the balcony with A’s hand in mine, I understood the true meaning of this line.

20170625_090619

View from our hotel balcony 🙂

20170626_093900

The sun was out when it was time for us to leave, suggesting the end of a wonderful time. 

However busy your work may be keeping you, always find time for your family. Kids grow up faster than we think and their childhood memories are what will remain of them after some years. Give them a piece of you and they will make your every moment worth a lifetime! ❤ ❤ ❤

* This is not a sponsored post

I’m taking my blog to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter

The Choice #FridayFotoFiction

“Why am I thinking about it? I cannot do this!” Reena said resignedly as she fell in a heap on the bean bag, the only clutter-free furniture in the room.

Focussed and deliberate, Rahul egged on. There could be a way he could get his point through. Her wish was final but he yearned to be a part of the process.

Turning back from his board, he smiled at her fondly. “It isn’t that tough, darling. You’ll be taught everything; the formulae, their need and even their application. It is exciting!” he cajoled.

Reena wasn’t convinced. She looked around and saw the many admission forms that had temporarily taken over their room. She wanted to opt for Microbiology but couldn’t just waive off her Rocket Scientist brother’s persuasion to join his field.

She got up, walked up to him and said lovingly, “This is your board, Bhaiya. Not mine. Please?”

Linking this with Mayuri and Tina for #FridayFotoFiction

 

Writer

wp-image-310099509

All of us marvel at the imagination of writers or anyone who has the ability to create something. Story-telling is an art that involves beckoning unknown and unformed characters from the dark recesses of our mind, giving them shape and making them real, at least in words.

Is the stage before writing just as fulfilling though? Broken hearts, unsaid feelings, unexpressed emotions and the many demons that keep us awake at night exist for us but are a ‘figment of our imagination’ for others. Isn’t writing the therapy we use for ourselves to deal with them and move on?

Linking this with Upasna for QuotedStories

Life through my Bioscope

Fruit Preparations for Navratri #Bloggarba

  #BLOGGARBA | A blog train by 16 versatile bloggers

   Want to peek into blog train hoppers? Check #BLOGGARBA 

blog-garba

This is my turn to hop on the #bloggarba.

Thank you Snehalata Jain of Blogsikka for introducing me.

Navratri has begun and one can feel the magic of festivity, spirituality and positivity everywhere. Ardent devotees of Maa Durga who had been eagerly waiting for her arrival can be seen thronging various Puja pandals, offering prayers and seeking her blessings for happiness and fulfillment of their wishes.

Navratri is celebrated twice a year, in summer and autumn, and it is common for many people to fast during this time. Like with many other rituals we observe there is a scientific reason attached to this too. Our body immunity is weak during this time owing to seasonal changes and fasting can help us maintain better health with the help of a light diet.

While we want to be part of the Navratri revelry and dan(diya)ce our hearts out, sometimes matters like working late or the early closing time of 10pm can make us skip our dinners for lack of time to cook or eat. If we’re fasting, it’s worse and can no way be a healthy option for the entire Navratri. Fasting doesn’t mean going hungry.

With your fast and health in mind, today I’m suggesting some quick fruit recipes which are sumptuous, easy to make, give the perfect sugar kick and will keep your hunger pangs at bay for a long time. Read on to know more! 🙂

Layered fruits in Rabdi

plate

salad

Cut some of your favourite fruits in small pieces. Layer them in a glass and pour some rabdi (prepared in advance) on the top. This one glass is packed with a whole lot of nutrients and colours and the best thing to have while fasting. Apart from the sweet rabdi, it has only natural sugar. You can adjust the sweetness of rabdi with little or no sugar as per your choice. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. This dish tastes better when served cold.

Custard apple cream dip with Chikki crackers

custard

We’re all fans of crackers and dips and miss them during fasting. Well, crave no more. This custard apple cream and chikki spread is just what you need. Blend fresh custard apple pulp and fresh cream together till they are light. You can add some milk for a slight flowing consistency. Adding sugar is optional, since custard apple is very sweet. Use this cream as a dip and have it with coconut, sesame, amaranth, groundnut or cashew chikki.

Mango Falooda for all seasons

IMG_20170413_075458_372

This Mango Falooda isn’t for fasting but can be modified by omitting the seviyan and sabja seeds. Soak sabja seeds for around an hour in water, boil the seviyan in a pan till they are soft, strain and keep them aside. Blend a scoop of mango ice-cream, 2-3 tablespoons of mango pulp and half glass of milk together till they form a thick shake. Layer a glass with soaked sabja seeds, boiled seviyan and then pour the mango milkshake into it. Garnish with cream, chopped almonds and pistachios.

These simple recipes have give you some respite, I assume. 🙂 Please make sure you get proper nutrition and have enough fluid intake to keep yourself healthy and fit during fasting. Enjoy Maa Durga’s visit to the fullest and be safe. Happy Navratri! Jai Mata Di! 🙂 ❤

Hope you’re well fed and refreshed at this station and ready to go ahead on your journey! 🙂 🙂

Next up is Monika who blogs at Alubhujia. Stay on and have fun as she keeps you company after this. 🙂

20170122_110554-1

She is Monika from Panchkula. She is basically a Punjabi girl who is simple but bold. She is a postgraduate in Physics and is working in the field of teaching. She is very enthusiastic about learning new things. She relishes reading n writing and currently blogs about the diverse flavours of life  at www.alubhujia.com. The interesting fact about her blog is that she writes equally well in English as well as Hindi language. Her love for her blog is growing day by day and she soon wants to turn into an author.

I’m taking my blog to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter

Indian-Italian Stuffed Bread

images

Ever since we discovered it a few months ago this cute little bakery near my home has become our one-stop shop for every big or small celebration. We visit it often to satiate our sweet cravings any time of the day. Not only does it have the softest melt-in-your-mouth fresh cakes and pastries, but also has innovative Vegetable and Paneer snacks which I love to binge upon.

Despite devouring bakery products, I’m not much of a baker myself. I’m almost always sure that my cakes can either be used to replace bricks for Taekwando practice or be responsible for early denture treatment for the adventurous and masochistic ones. Call it a case of low confidence, if you may. I’m just not cut out for it.

That is why when I come across different types of breads available at this place it particularly interests me. To be honest, in my home the use of breads is primarily limited to having bread-butter with tea or for making sandwiches. Flavoured breads have only recently found their way to my kitchen; hence the avenues opened for experimentation are endless!

This lovely Spicy Masala bread loaf was something I was tempted to try out. With a palate accustomed to not settle for any dry bread (even flavoured one) I had to figure out a way to slip some additional taste, possibly nutrition and moisture into it. Since it was thick enough to be parted in the middle, I toyed around a bit and created this beautiful, colourful dish.

Spicy Masala bread with Italian vegetable stuffing

IMG_20170718_071900_921

Ingredients:

Spicy Masala bread (preferably) or any one of your choice – 1 no

For filling:

Onion (finely chopped) – 1 no

Tomato (finely chopped) – 1 no

Baby corn (diced in circles) – 5-6 no

Capsicum (finely chopped) – 1 no

Carrots (finely chopped) – 1 no

French beans (finely chopped) – 5-6 no

Basil leaves (roughly shredded) – 2 tablespoons

(for filling and garnish)

Garlic (finely chopped) – 5-6 cloves

Cheese cubes (shredded)/cheese slices – 2-3

Pasta sauce – 1 tablespoon

Italian mixed herbs – 1 teaspoon

Black pepper – 1 teaspoon

Garlic butter – 1 tablespoon

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste

For garnish:

Tomato ketchup

Mayonnaise

Basil leaves

Procedure:

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic to it and sauté till it turns brown. Add onions and let them get translucent.

2. Now add all vegetables one by one. Start with French beans, carrot, baby corn, capsicum and finally add tomatoes. Sauté them lightly so their crunch is retained. This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.

3. Add shredded basil leaves, pasta sauce and season with Italian mixed herbs, black pepper and salt (keeping the salt in the sauce in mind).

4. Mix well and let it cool. Your filling is ready.

5. Now take the bread and slit it partly midway. Take care that it doesn’t break into two pieces.

6. Grease it generously with garlic butter. Add the filling to it (keep some aside for garnish). Don’t try to force more than you can fill comfortably. Finally, add the cheese slice/shredded cheese and press the sides close together.

7. Heat a pan and melt some garlic butter over it. Lightly grill the bread carefully from both sides.

8. Serve in a lovely big plate and garnish with the filling, basil leaves, tomato ketchup and mayonnaise.

The bread loaf had lots of red chilly flakes, kasuri methi and other Indian spices on the top. Those spices mixed with the Italian seasoning in the filling, cheese and garlic butter made an awesome combination. You have to try it to believe it! ❤

I have no idea if any such dish exists or what is it called (help me out?). This was a figment of my imagination. What about you? Which new thing have you tried or want to try your hand at? Do share with me.

Alexa Rank on Sep 21, 2017

Sep 21

I’m taking my blog to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter

Second Chance by Sandeep Jatwa #BookReview

download

Everything we do has good or bad consequences but how often do we stop and ponder upon it while we’re doing it? Humans tend to live in abandon and forget that their wrongdoings are getting registered and will eventually need to be accounted and answered for. However, with some stroke of luck what if they get a second chance to set it all right? This is the premise of the book Second Chance by Sandeep Jatwa that I’m reviewing today.

What is the book about?

This is the story of Shekhar Kapoor, a self-consumed successful businessman who would stop at nothing to get his way. He is arrogant, brash, mean and patronising and has little or no love or respect for anyone in his life. Suddenly one day he starts receiving cryptic warnings from something called City of Justice to mend his ways or pay for it. He ignores them.

Only after he’s killed in a car accident and he faces the Bookkeeper does he realise that all of it wasn’t his imagination. His entire life is flashed in front of him and he’s filled with shame, dread, fear and guilt looking at it all. He hopes there’s some way in which he can undo the pain he has caused to everyone around him but is it possible? Is it too late already?

My take on it

This book serves as a reminder to us that every good deed has the capacity to undo bad ones. A life filled with happiness and love is more worthy than earning millions and living in punishing solitude. The author has depicted the stark contrast in the protagonist’s behaviour well. Punishment or the fear of it isn’t a solution but it can act as a deterrent. The concept of a second chance at life is refreshing and unique and is the best takeaway from this book.

On the downside, I wish the book was edited better because I could find mistakes in it. Hope this will be dealt with in the next print.

I’ll give this book 3/5 stars.

BOOK DETAILS
Author:                      Sandeep Jatwa
Publisher :                 Educreation Publishing
Language:                  English
Binding:                      Paperback
Number of Pages:      190

I received this book from VInfluencers in exchange for an honest review.

Food-hack and the love of spice

foofie2

Everyday cooking isn’t easy. If you’re a foodie like me, having the same vegetable for the second time in a week will surely drive you up the wall. While we would love to have mouth-watering, exotic-sounding culinary marvels served to us on a fancy platter everyday, the onus to make it happen lies on the shoulders of the poor confused soul who needs to cook his way through.

The practical issue of using up the refrigerated stock before it goes bad might be a dampener but cannot be ignored either. Sometimes we’re left with a little of this and that which cannot be used up singularly and doesn’t ideally ‘fit’ together. Necessity is the mother of invention, isn’t it? For a chef, this is the sign to take off and open his wings of creativity!

My son loves corn and makes me buy it every time he accompanies me to the green grocer’s. The guy sells it only in fixed quantities and our consumption isn’t as much. Baking it on the stove ‘roadside style’, corn rice, corn besan, steamed corn and what not, I have tried everything! Still, many times one odd piece remains and I’m left wondering what to do with it.

Faced with a similar conundrum, I came up with this Potato-corn sabzi the other day. This was an experiment, yet the surprisingly unique burst of flavours in my mouth was amazing. If you like your food spicy, this dish is for you!

Potato-corn in coconut-chilly gravy

IMG_20170828_075118_583

Ingredients:

Potatoes (boiled and roughly diced) – 3 no

Corn (blanched) – Half cup

Onion (made into paste) – 1 no

Mustard and cumin seeds (for tempering) – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon

Red chilly powder (optional) – 1 teaspoon

Hing (asafoetida) – Quarter teaspoon

Oil – 2 tablespoon

Salt to taste

For fresh masala:

Desiccated coconut- Half cup

Whole red chillies (dry) – 2 no

Coriander seeds – 2 tablespoon

Cumin seeds – 1 tablespoon

Tomato – 1 no

Garlic cloves – 5-6

Ginger – Half inch

For garnish:

Finely chopped coriander leaves – 1 teaspoon

Procedure:

1. Dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, desiccated coconut and red chillies in a pan till they are fragrant. Remove them from heat and let them cool.

2. Grind them together till they have a coarse powder consistency, then add chopped tomato, garlic and ginger and grind till you have a smooth paste. Add very little water, if required.

3. Heat oil in a pan and temper it with mustard and cumin seeds. After they splutter, add hing.

4. Add the onion paste and sauté on a low flame till it turns pink. Add the fresh masala paste and sauté the mixture till you can see oil separated on the top.

5. By now the mixture should be fragrant. Add turmeric powder and red chilly powder and sauté for another one minute.

6. Add the boiled potatoes and blanched corn and mix well.

7. Add water depending upon the thickness of the gravy you desire. Season with salt.

8. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes.

9. Voila! Your dish is ready. Serve hot. Garnish with coriander leaves.

You can have this with laccha paratha, kulcha or naan or even use it as gravy with rice. It works well with everything.

What do think of this little creation of mine? What do you do when you have limited resources and want to have something new and tasty? Do leave a comment and let me know.

Alexa Rank on Sep 19, 2017

Sep 19

I’m taking my blog to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter

Music #FridayFotoFiction

friday-foto-fiction-photo-prompt-lgbt

“I don’t have it in me anymore.” he had said.

One of the best guitarists of his time and his personal favourite, John was flabbergasted that he had to counsel Alex. Creative shutdowns weren’t unheard of in his profession, yet knowing that the man whose music had been his companion on many a lonely nights disturbed him.

Alex’s last collaboration was over a year ago and its failure had driven him into a shell. Rumourmongers had already written him off. He was so depressed that he hadn’t touched his priced guitar in months.

John knew he had to try something out of ordinary here. Music was lot more than big labels, setting records or thunderous sales; it was a spiritual experience. The sound of nature didn’t make a dime, but was priceless!

Walking together, John knew Alex felt the magic again. Music hadn’t deserted him. Not yet.

Linking this with Mayuri and Tina for #FridayFotoFiction

Friday-Foto-Fiction