The Vacation #FridayFotoFiction

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Both the girls were tasting freedom for the first time in years. The once-fiery teenagers turned workaholic corporate achievers had finally ventured upon the adventurous European vacation they had planned with each other and cancelled many times in the past.

Seated in a swarming watering hole, as they guzzled down one beer after another, soon all caution was thrown out the window and they openly started ogling at the sexy foreigner sitting next to them.

He blissfully basked in all the attention, showed them his peculiar rings and even offered them a ride when it was time to leave. Reckoning they were too tipsy to hail a cab, they agreed.

They soon reached a deserted road, somehow, and he suddenly pulled the brakes. “Get down!” he ordered. Uncertain and baffled, they followed. “My energies like young girls. They’ll be happy today.” were the last words they heard.

Linking this with Mayuri and Tina for #FridayFotoFiction

Friday-Foto-Fiction

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Who are you

Who are you, just a certain someone

Who knows not my life, or the trials I face.

Call me by names you think fit for me,

I promise I’m fine, without your little grace.

 

You question my judgement, strangely when

You won’t take anything to be where I am,

Had I ever sought out any blessings from you?

Think hard and well, before trying to slam.

 

Your eyes size me up from far far away,

The assault continues way long after that.

I bite my tongue, hold the colourful words back,

But trust me in my mind, you’re a rotten rat.

 

Am I wrong in being so wary of some people,

And wanting to remove them from life, forever?

Turning a new leaf will do me a world of good,

If friends be like this, I’ll say I want none, never.

Tum and yum, happy happy!

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If there ever was an award for the fussiest eater in my household (or most households), I would win it hands down! Although it might seem like an irony and nature’s cruel joke on me now, I was a skinny child who ate no vegetable other than ladies finger. Mom tried, and mostly succeeded, in creating innovative ways to clandestinely slip ‘good foods’ in my diet.

I can feel her smiling from ear to ear while looking down at me, since after an obedient and ideal son who quietly gulped down everything I tossed up for him, I now have to deal with the punishment of feeding a daughter who may very well beat me in the fussy-eating department. Difficult as it is to get her to eat her vegetables and not lick spoonfuls of ketchup like Chyawanprash, it gets imperative that I take cues from Mom boss herself!

Sprouts are one of the most nutritious and versatile foods. We can have them raw or sauté them, use them in salads or vegetables or there is always the favourite food of Maharashtra; Missal Pav. In this post, I’ve tried to accentuate the nutrition of sprouted moong by giving it the company of another healthy ingredient, oats.

You can have this for breakfast or make it a light meal. Pack it up as a power-packed lunch for your kid’s tiffin and be assured that not a bit of it will come back. Most toddlers love dosas and hassled moms like me can surely give this healthy twist a try.

Sprouted Surprise

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Ingredients:

For Dosa batter:

Sprouted moong – 1 cup

Oats – Half cup

Rice flour – Half cup

Ginger – Half inch

Green chillies – 1 no

Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

For Potato masala:

Boiled and mashed potatoes (medium –sized) – 4 nos

Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon

Mustard and cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon

Oil- 2 tablespoons

Coriander leaves (finely chopped) – Half cup

Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

For Tomato chutney:

Tomatoes – 2 nos

Onion – 1 no

Garlic – 5-6 cloves

Red chillies – 1 no

Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon

Sale to taste

Preparation:

Dosa batter:

1. Soak oats in water and leave for 15 minutes.

2. Grind sprouted moong with ginger, green chillies and cumin seeds till it becomes a soft paste. Grind soaked oats separately.

3. Take a bowl. Add sprouted moong paste, oats paste and rice flour to it. Season it with salt.

4. Mix well. Keep the batter aside for an hour.

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Potato masala:

1. Heat a pan and add oil to it.

2. When the oil it hot, add mustard and cumin seeds and let them splutter.

3. Add mashed potatoes, turmeric powder and salt and mix well.

4. Let it cook for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.

5. Put out the flame and add coriander leaves and lemon juice.

6. Mix well.

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Tomato chutney:

1. Blanch the tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves and red chillies for 5-10 minutes till they are soft.

2. Peel the tomatoes and chop them. Chop the onion too.

3. Grind all the above ingredients together with cumin seeds and salt.

(You can add a tempering of mustard seeds, sesame seeds and curry leaves. I didn’t.)

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Procedure:

1. Heat a tawa till it is medium hot. With the help of a ladle pour the dosa batter on it, spreading it evenly while keeping a circular shape. (This dosa might be a slightly thicker than the regular dosa)

2. Pour a few drops of oil/ghee on its sides so it comes off easily.

3. Roast till it turns a beautiful brown and remove it carefully from the tawa.

4. Serve with potato masala and tomato chutney.

These dosas are crispy like the regular ones and I can bet no one can tell you what they’re made with. Worth a try, isn’t it?

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

Alexa Rank on Sep 5, 2017

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

Lurking for some notes #FridayFotoFiction

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This wasn’t her regular job. She was filling in for a friend who was tending to her sick child. Her initial instinct had been to bail out of it but, once here, she was glad she didn’t.

She had never seen a live band in her life, let alone a musical instrument. Her memories of them came from movies or reality shows on television. Now she could feel and touch them, if only to clean. How thrilling!

It was the piano that fascinated her the most. Rajesh Khanna, her all-time favourite, had played a song on it in Kati Patang, isn’t it? She had observed people test-playing instruments before buying and lurked around hopefully, waiting for someone to play it.

After going through the entire shop, an unhurried man finally settled on it. He knew his music and played it beautifully. She understood nothing, yet was mesmerised.  

Linking this with Mayuri and Tina for #FridayFotoFiction

Friday-Foto-Fiction

View from the window seat #WowPrompt

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This window seat had been his object of affection but even as a beautiful landscape of lush green trees rolled by, he simply stared into nothingness. The candy he had been given a while ago had lost all its sweetness and was almost bitter now.

He had wanted to object putting it in his mouth but the stench of his motion sickness-induced vomit on his shirt which hadn’t gone despite cleaning up and the array of fresh and old hurt marks across his limbs made him follow orders and cower in terror instead.

How did he reach here? Last he knew he was playing hide-and-seek with his friends in a deserted building in the outskirts of his town. What had the stranger looking for directions offered him? Oh yes, chocolate, and not the 50 paise one he had to beg to his mother for. It looked expensive and was wrapped in a golden foil. It had literally melted on his tongue!

He had generously shared it with his best friend. Too bad, after they woke up in a room with ten other kids, suddenly he had branded him his arch enemy for pulling him in with him. He had been beaten black and blue for trying to escape once and was now sitting with the worse of the two bhaiyas they were travelling with. He hardly ever looked up from his crotch.

The bus halted at a refreshment centre. He didn’t know where they were headed or why. It didn’t seem promising. As the bhaiya sitting next to him stepped out to relieve himself, the boy relaxed a bit. This time he looked out the window and saw a couple of boys seemingly of his age playing with spare tyres at a mechanic shop nearby.

“Will I ever be free again? Can I switch this window seat with them?” he wondered.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Foodporn fest begins on my blog!

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While the word porn has always been taken in hushed tones amidst sniggers amongst high-on-hormones people of all ages, over time the word foodporn has earned a respect and space of its own. Whether it is its hashtag that is strewn generously across all kinds of social media or its extensive use in enticing a huge weak-hearted, thick-skinned and hungry in the belly fan-following, foodporn is here to stay.

For the likes of enterprising homecooks like me, this is gold. We can have our entire household gush about the yummy fare we toss up for them, but who doesn’t crave for some added adulation? One can be a gourmand or a glutton but eating good food alone is no less than a crime!

Ever since I’ve started posting pictures of my home food on Instagram, I’ve received increasingly positive feedback from one and all. Taking inspiration from it I’ve decided to share pictures and recipes of some of my most well-received posts till date and/or (with a little push from you, pretty please) create something new and innovative for all of you. Hope you’re with me in this!

Today’s recipe is simple, fast and easy to prepare with a short list of ingredients yet filling, healthy and a good start for the day. You can have it at hi-tea or pack it for your kid’s tiffin with ketchup or mint chutney.

Banana Triangles Chaat

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Ingredients:

Raw banana (boiled, peeled and mashed) – 4

Onions (finely chopped) – half cup

Ginger and garlic paste – 1 teaspoon

Green chillies (finely chopped) – 4 to 5 (optional)

Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon

Garam masala or freshly ground masala (dry roasted cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, black pepper and fenugreek seeds) – 1 teaspoon

Coriander leaves – half cup

Salt to taste

For garnish – Tamarind chutney, salted yoghurt, sev, coriander leaves and chaat masala

Procedure:

1. Take a bowl and add mashed raw banana, onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and coriander leaves to it.

2. Mix well.

3. Now add garam masala, lemon juice and salt to it and mix well.

4. Keep the mixture aside for 5 minutes. Moist your palms with water and taking equal quantities of the mixture in them make triangular tikkis.

5. Shallow or deep fry the tikkis as per your choice.

6. Serve in a beautiful plate and garnish.

Hope you liked it. Do try it and let me know how it turned out.

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

Alexa Rank on Sep 1, 2017

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

500th post: Nostalgia and Musings

When you’re an introvert having a zillion thoughts clawing for attention in your mind and your active imagination doesn’t let you rest unless the words forming inside you are given shape, all the nervous energy makes you miserable. I was in a similar state when blogging happened to me by chance. My life was going through a changing phase and blogging was the branch I held on to, to retain my sanity. I had a lot to say and a blog, well, presented no limits. Win-win!  🙂

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Considering that I had no agenda when I started this blog, I would like to think I’ve come a long way. It thrilled me every time I got a new follower or an old friend mentioned that he/she read my blog, enjoyed it and even related to it. Some people were full of compliments on how well I expressed my feelings while some wondered how I managed to veil this writing talent in me all these years.

Shouldn’t I use this milestone post to sift through some old posts and refresh some beautiful memories? I know we invest a part of us in writing every single blogpost, but there are always a few that have some history attached to them. What inspired them, what was our frame of mind while jotting them down, and so on. Happiness, sorrow, longing, humour or prejudice, you will find bits of them in these posts. I’ll be happy if you could spare some time to any or all of them.

The First Chapter (A post on A Jr’s first day at school)

Clutter of fond memories? You decide… (Why do we want to have souvenirs)

Meri Azeez (A poem for my mother, after she left us all)

What the heart wants (Musings about the games our heart plays with us)

Why don’t I go to work? (Why am I an overqualified homemaker when I can be more)

My letter to my 2yo (My letter to my girl when she turned two)

Gulabjamun and woman (Read to know why women and gulabjamuns are similar)

Think before you speak (Fun episode between A and me)

A man thing, or may be not (Rehash of why men don’t feel the need for souvenirs)

It isn’t Valentine’s Day, still ❤ 🙂 (I like the way this post shaped up and I hold it dear)

Down the line, I made some wonderful blog friends. Some of them made it to Facebook and Twitter, some reached Whatsapp, some were a call away, while some remained a blog address I liked to visit on occasion. Some of them are no longer in the blogging scene and have chosen to keep away. Some appear sparingly but as long as they’re here, it is fun. All in all, I met a lot of interesting and like-minded people through this one window. Great, isn’t it?

It would be unfair to not dedicate this space to the people who make blogging seem like serious fun. These people not only write brilliantly but also are very warm. Read them to know what they’re all about. I’m sure you will like their blogs (Please don’t get skeptical with some of the names. I gave them that! 😀 ).

Hitchy ~ He travels a lot, is a complete foodie, loves cricket and takes exceptionally beautiful pictures. He is lot more than what he seems to be.

Dipika ~ She’s a mommy blogger, motivating, inspiring, sweet, helpful and a friend you can count on. She always brings a smile to my face.

Pinsy ~ Movies, food, musings, and what say you! She writes about everything. It is hard to catch up with her energy and knowledge, one can only try. She’s my ‘rain’ friend. 🙂

Shailaja ~ Remember you felt something and didn’t know how to say it? She will say that for you, and better. Her words have the quality to move you at a deep level.

Radhika ~ Think poetry and you have to think of her. She uses her words beautifully while following every rule of poetry! She shares lovely pictures and always leaves thoughtful comments on my blog.

Sid ~ He’s a cool Dad who writes brilliantly, a Friends lover like me, uses sarcasm subtly but effectively and makes you laugh as well as think hard.

Perfy ~ Stats say that she has the highest number of comments on my blog. Apart from her great writing and fun posts, this is something that makes me like her even more. 🙂

Rekha ~ This girl has the most beautiful collection of flower photos. She has a quirky sense of humour and is ironically very sensible in her mind.

Prakash ~ His posts make me want to read more and more of him. I wait for him to comment on my posts because he has something good to add to them.

Mayuri ~ We’ve interacted more on other platforms than our blogs as of now, but I like her unconventional and innovative choice of topics and be good at everything.

Akhi ~ Trust her to say more with her short posts. Her comment section has a healthy debate going on almost everyday and I love it.

Although I regret not exploiting the opportunities they offered enough, Indiblogger and Blogadda were the two platforms that allowed this blog to reach a much wider audience through their fun activities and blogmeets. I was assured that as long as I had something interesting to say, I didn’t have to worry about whether anyone would read it at all.

I agree that in recognition and statistical terms this blog is probably lagging behind bloggers who have much fewer posts and lot lesser number of blogging years behind them and this disparity must be attributed to my lopsided pattern of posting and of late frequent ‘blogger block(s)’. I wish to change that soon and am working towards it.

All the wonderful people who have stuck around with this blog during these years and 499 posts, I feel deeply grateful and humbled. You are the reason I have faith in my writing. Your kind words keep me going and make me want to come back after every break. Hope you continue reading me, as long as I have something to say.

What goes around #FridayFotoFiction

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Utensils clanked on the floor, clothes flew astray and her piercing screams filled up the room as she ran helter-skelter in a vain attempt to shield herself from his painful blows. It was her son’s birthday and he deserved to eat a full meal. Her husband’s alcohol could wait.

Standing in a corner, the boy looked in horror as the furious beast, his father, pinned his mother down and tried to wring her neck. Suddenly, as if taken over by some unknown power, the boy picked up a chisel and stabbed him fatally in the back.

After spending many years in a remand home, he had finally landed a job in security. As he stood at the gate of the lounge bar he worked in, the heels of the drunken girl reminded him of another point in time that also involved money, alcohol and a pointed object.

Linking this with Mayuri and Tina for #FridayFotoFiction

Friday-Foto-Fiction

Colours for your festive wardrobe this season!

Best Festive Colours To Add To In Your Wardrobe Now
Indian fashion is well known for its colors and we defiantly would love to add them all in our little closet space. But, festive season is surely the best time to adore vibrant colors and leave all neutrals behind. Indian festivals have already approached and is being celebrated with contagious spirit. Thus we suggest you to add some colour punch to your fashionable ethnic closet.
Scroll down to check some Best Festive Colours to add to in Your Wardrobe Now

Magenta & Red
Magenta & Red ethnic wear combination is surely gonna be a killer style. Red is always a safe colour for any festive ethnic clothes. And when there’s bit pop of magenta with red, it creates trendy statement look. Adore this colour combination to cheer your festival celebrations and try the colours that’s trending at the moment.

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Indigo Designer Sarees
Indigo is defiantly the king of colours that is still in vogue. The flattering inky hue looks great on all Indian skin tones. Buy Indigo Designer Sarees in luxe cotton material for the royal look. Pair this with the elegant Embellished flats, chandelier earrings and Smokey eyes for the dramatic effect.

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Shades of Pink
Have your tried wearing flamingo pink for Indian festive season? Well, if not you gotta try this simple shade of pink. Designer lehenga in flamingo pink having minimal embellishments gives you enough chance to experiment with the accessories. Also, this hue of pink is sure to get a smile on your face.

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Turquoise Anarkali Suits
Turquoise is a very preferred timeless colour since Maharani Era. This is a must have and best festive colours to add to in your wardrobe now. Choose your Turquoise Anarkali Suits in uneven hemline having muted gold tone to elevate the look and add sophistication.

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Tangy Orange
Orange is considered a very auspicious colour in India. This colour has punch packed and looks universally appealing on all Indian skin tone. Choose a saree, kurta, salwar suits or Lehenga in orange colour with delicate golden motifs to add elegance. Don’t forget to perfect your look with Pair of golden wedges and minimum accessories.

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About The Author:
Jayshree Bhagat is a Beauty-Fashion-Lifestyle Blogger & a Freelance Writer. Follow her on Makeup Review & Beauty Blog for more updates.

Do leave your thoughts on Best Festive Colours To Add To In Your Wardrobe Now!!

Also read my post: The Perfect Festive Look with Shoppers Stop

Should our kids know the truth? #Parenting

Making simple decisions like what to wear to work, what to prepare for dinner or which movie to relax with over the weekend, repeatedly, can be exhausting and dizzying, can’t it? Wouldn’t life be much easier if all this was done magically and everyone was happy in the end?

Sigh! Life is a little more complicated than this. More so, if you are the mother of a curious 9 year old who is receptive, observant, hungry for knowledge and most of all, wants to be treated like a ‘big boy’ and be told the truth. Personally, this has been one of the harder parenting challenges I have come across.

While our children’s history books are all set to dilute the Mughal influence in the politics of our country and our lives in general, I cannot help reflecting on the time when save a couple of chapters where our entire civilization history was covered, our history books spoke extensively only about our freedom struggle.

Being a citizen of a free and democratic country is indeed a privilege handed out to me on a platter but what I wonder is whether controlling the historical content that our kids are exposed to everyday and considering the limited reading on a vast range of important topics amongst kids nowadays, sets us apart from the damaging stuff we know our neighbouring country feeds to their youngsters with a misleading intent?

The influence of dynasty politics in our country might be fading out in recent times but the colourful and checkered past of the one entitled political family is hardly a matter of surprise. Many skeletons have been out of their closet, while many possibly still remain. There is tons of literature available, yet how many of us take the time out to go through it?

Thank you for bearing with me with this long and deliberate digression as it was important to put forth the point I was trying to make. Recently, when the movie Indu Sarkar got embroiled in a controversy for trying to portray the facts about The Emergency, A and I had many discussions about the atrocities committed during that time and how we never learnt about it from anywhere as kids.

A Jr’s books sing accolades about how great our leaders were, while we know all too well how tainted the personalities of many of them were in reality. He is quite excited about an essay writing competition for Independence Day in his school today and in his practice essay is parroting the same thing his books taught him, that our freedom struggle was spearheaded by a precious few. I might just suggest a few changes there.

It is crucial to not bombard him with information his young mind isn’t prepared to process right now and that makes me keep a guarded silence. Sometimes I get angry and sometimes feel helpless though to see him struggling to make sense between what he reads in his books and the newspapers. I choose to answer his questions honestly and let him decide on his own. This is a part of personality development, yes?

I have tried to get through the basics of politics with him using examples like the feuding brothers in Bahubali, the vicious son in Gladiator and chosen excerpts from our very own Mahabharata. What troubles me is that will the shift from fiction to non-fiction be palatable for him? Doesn’t gore get gorier when it happens for real?