Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Breakfast with Guptaji's

I lived in the Delhi for two years. Being a typical South Indian I found it difficult to adjust to North India. The extreme climate and everything about Delhi depressed me . I missed the Idli Dosa culture and the security it had provided. Not knowing Hindi  proved to be a major draw back. Then gradually I settled down, starting enjoying Delhi. I started speaking a faltering Hindi which got me about the city. I started loving the jet set life of the city. I loved the Historical monuments of the city and started loving and sharing the " Joy of Living" which the North Indians are so well  known for.

I also found that the North Indians were real foodies. They loved exotic food. Even I share a wonder and love for food. I soon befriended my neighbours the Guptaji's.  Food has always been important  for us Indians. And  I found the Guptaji's made some very exotic dishes. "Nashta" is an very important meal of the day for them. Normally I found that the North Indians loved to  start the day with " poha". They prepare the poha  very well. The North Indian " poha" is a real delicacy and a treat for the taste buds. They make a extraordinary variety of parathas.  I love their Aloo, Gobi parathas. These parathas are served with raita. The Parathas made by the North Indians are a gastronomical delight. They are normally served with dahi. The North Indians also love sweets and I love their gajar ka halwa . Jilebi and malpua. The  jilebi's served by the North Indians are very special and mouth watering. I do not like to count calories and love the ghee laden sweets served by them.  I am a connoisseur of  good tea. I love the masala chai served by the North Indians and love to go to breakfast specially for their wonderful flavourful tea.

After I got married my husband was new to Delhi though he had changed his job and joined me in Delhi. He was very hesitant to try these north Indian food. We went to Guptaji's house (my Father's friend) who invited us for a day knowing that I got married and was with my husband here. After the excellent Poha meal at the Guptaji's house my husband confessed to me that he really liked the food he had at Guptaji's house.

We loved "The joy of Living" of the people of the North India. Other than their exotic food they have a warmth and a sense of sharing which I have not seen elsewhere. " Food" and " people"  are two favorite words in my dictionary and  "The Guptaji's " are the right place to be.


Note: This post is written for Kellogg's India. For additional information click here.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

My Happiness Project

Happiness is the state of the mind. Different things make different people happy. Our concept of happiness also changes with every stage of life.

I am a very simple person. A lot of things make me very happy and bring a smile and laughter to my lips. I love nature. Just being with nature makes me happy. I love nature trails , nature walks and trekking. Such activities gives me an adrenaline rush and puts me in high spirits. My recent visit to the grand canyon and seeing the sunlight reflect on each part of the canyon and seeing nature's splendor filled me with great spirit. Just a simple thing like watching the sun set and rise gives me great joy. 

Charity and helping poor people makes me happy. I love to see the look of surprise and joy in the beggars face. I do not like to spend money on extravagant birthday parties but instead give the money to the needy organizations. Likewise people form an important part of my life. Laughter and sharing with friends and family makes me happy.

I was brought up to believe that health is wealth. Being in good health makes me happy. I always go for regular health check ups.  I love to look good too by eating right and going to the gym. I use a sun screen and brush and floss regularly.

I love good food and make a lot of great recipes at home . We also eat at different restaurants and enjoy global cuisine. Making gourmet recipes and seeing my family enjoy it is my pride and joy. I love to keep my house clean and litter free. 

Doing things as a family make me happy. I love our dinner and lunch times to echo with fun and laughter and exchange anecdotes and information. We watch movies together and also go to restaurants as a family. We love travelling and have traveled extensively in India. We love culture and history and would love to explore other parts of the world.

My children are my pride and joy. I enjoyed playing with them during their childhood years. Now watching them grown up into independent individuals gives me a sense of satisfaction. I instilled in them the correct values from childhood. Being a savvy woman of the 21st century also makes me feel good. I am glad I am able to multitask so that I can balance home and career. In this way I am able to have something for myself and keep myself happy. 

I was reading an interesting book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. What really makes one Happy ? The concept of Happiness is different for different people and every one should go on their own pursuit of Happiness.



Note: This post is written for Coca-Cola India. For additional information click here.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Choose to start with all new Moto E

Technology has taken leaps and bounds and nothing like cellphones and what a boom they are to mankind. In the last fifteen years cell phones have become an important method of communication. I remember my husband presenting me my first Nokia ten years back. It was the most handy thing he gave me and the most useful means of communication. The Nokia had very basic features which were very user friendly. As I became more dependent and technology and cellphones I started taking a survey of good user friendly phones which were not too expensive. Moto E seems to be one of such economical ones which I found appealing. I certainly love the "Moto E" and I am going to quote the features appreciable.

Moto E is one of the most affordable devices with a quad core processor and an all day battery. It has a new front facing camera. The software of the phone is good and the phone has great new design and style without compromising on the quality. The phone provides a clean fast experience with improved  multitasking. It provides the best mobile operating system with latest version of android. It has good network speed for music and videos. It has a front facing camera which helps to upload selfies wherever we go. It also has a feature called quick capture so whenever one twists the phone it activates the camera. The photos taken by the phone are excellent and I love them.

I have been a proud owner of the phone for the last year and am recommending it to my friends as I am able to multitask with it. A good smartphone is essential for all of us and nothing like Moto E. After using a smart phone like Moto E, I am not able to use an ordinary phone. Kudos to Moto E.

Note: This post is written for #ChooseToStart your smartphone journey with the all new Moto E contest

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Fun with family

I am a real people's person. I grew up with a lot of friends and  family. We lived in the United States for a long time and lead a active  social life. Friends were like family in the United States. We loved gourmet food and we loved the parties in the United States. When we moved back to India despite our hectic working schedule we tried to socialize

I loved coming back to the cultural haven that was India. Despite globalization festivals still held a charm. My most  memorable day was the Deepavalli Party that I  hosted for my friends and relatives last year. I still remember all the fun and excitement of the occasion. I  had planned every thing so well. I had invited twenty five people for the party. It was a theme party. Every one had to come dressed as their favorite film star. And  I asked every one to bring a dish . I ordered some sweets for the occasion. The party was a great hit.The dishes were well prepared by the ladies and appreciated by the men folk. My friends and I enjoyed exchanging each other's recipes. There were hoots shrieks and laughter at the pale likeliness of the film stars which  we had all tried to resemble. Every one tried to enact one scene from the movies and there was roaring applause as Tinsel Town was brought to the door step. I  had organized a few games for the kids that they loved. Everyone appreciated the small gifts that I gave them. My husband had brought a lot of  fireworks that the children enjoyed.  The desert and ice cream that I had ordered from  the ice cream parlor were delicious.

That 'Deepavalli' had indeed been a memorable one. My house had echoed with fun and laughter and voices like never before. We are a working couple whose lives are other wise monotonous, I enjoyed talking with my relatives and sharing jokes with them,  Recipes and bits of information were exchanged. We had talked a wide range of topics from Politics to the price of vegetables in the market. The party lifted my spirits  and filled me with vigor and enthusiasm. The Party  filled me with optimism and fresh zeal and filled me with abundant energy to face the future.

The Deepavalli Party was a real breather and made me realize how much 'People' meant in my lives. Since that memorable Deepavalli Party I have been organizing so many more parties. Today's world seems so stressful as we seem to be interacting more with machines in the workplace than humans. We definitely need to chill out more like the west so that we can start our Mondays with Optimism and Enthusiasm.

Note: This post is written for Housing.com. For more information click here.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

"How Learning to Drive" changed my life

I am a savvy working woman, good in multitasking and balancing home and work. I work as a lecturer in an engineering college 60 km away from the heart of the city.  My day starts at 5 in the morning and ends at ten in the night. I spend almost three hours commuting to and fro from work. This made me very tired. Initially my husband dropped me halfway by car and the other half I commuted by bus. But public transport still is very tiring and unreliable and rainy days made things worse.

 I was in my early forties and still decided to take a bold step of learning to drive a car. Since I was in my early  forties, my friends tried to talk me out of it. To make matters worse I was diagnosed with mild Blood Pressure . Nevertheless I decided to take the Plunge. I started on driving lessons. Initially the traffic scared me a lot. My grip at the steering wheel was not steady. I was very nervous  and during the initial classes I had second thoughts over my driving lessons. Finally after ten classes I picked up confidence and started driving reasonably well with the  help of the Instructor. I took classes for a month. I started looking forward to my classes. I soon changed gears efficiently and learned 'parallel  parking' also. I also learned to cleverly Manoeuvre my car through Chennai's  heavy traffic. Soon I managed to get my License. This bold step of wanting to learn to drive brought a big change in my life by being independent.

 Initially after getting my License I started taking my sons car on local errands. Then seeing my confidence my husband presented me with a Nano for my birthday. It was a beautiful yellow car with AC, Power steering & windows.  I was exuberant. I also felt independent and confident. I soon started driving my Nano to work. I could start for college in a relaxed manner as I did not have to keep tab on Public transport timings. Driving in an air conditioned car during the summer was really a dream come true. Thus taking this bold step has made my life more comfortable. My students and colleagues looked at me with awe. I celebrated Women's day with new meaning feeling in par with other women of the twenty first century. New things always change one's life, breaks the monotony and brings progress. Seeing me drive a car my twenty year old daughter also started learning to drive and soon got her license. Driving our own vehicles has made us less dependent on auto rickshaws or the need to hire a driver to drive my car. So taking this bold step made my life more comfortable.


Note: This post is written for Housing.com. For more information click here.


Thursday, 5 March 2015

Happy Babies


Parenting is always a challenging task. Indians make good Parents and the extended family also lends  a lot of support when youngsters become first time Parents. Parenting is joy and a lot of fun for first time Parents. For people who love babies Parenting is a second childhood. 

My son seem to like his toys so much. Nowadays Fisherprice  has made such innovative toys. My son enjoys the baby gym, kicking at it and fiddling with it. There is  Elmo Ernie and Big Bird all Sesame street characters hanging from the Gym for him to marvel at.  He enjoys the baby bopper too. I marvel at the thoughtfulness with which that toy was made, a perfect toy for babyhood. My baby bangs her head at different angles at the Baby bopper and when she uses her legs, her leg muscles are strengthened. A Wonderful toy! My baby enjoys her afternoons at the swing. She gurgles and coo's when she is rocked in the Swing. Bath time is always fun and both my baby and I have fun splashing water at each other and playing with the colorful bath toys. I normally like to give my baby a bath before Bedtime so that she falls asleep fast. Peekaboo  is a silly and fun game and both of us enjoy it amidst fun and laughter. My baby loves bedtime as he loves the stories I read to him. I act out the stories to him and he squeals with laughter when I do this. As I put him in his crib he loves listening to the nursery Rhymes in his Musical Mobile and rolls his eyes with pleasure.  Holidays are really fun. Our baby enjoys eating in restaurants as much as we do. He loves the food that we feed him and jumps up and down with joy. Our baby loves the gold fishes in our fish tank and keeps gazing at them. He gurgles every time I feed the fish , worms and follows me with his eyes. Photo time with the baby are extra special and fun. We make the baby smile before clicking a picture. Photo and  Video times are extra special and happy times that help us to bond with the baby.

It is important we use the proper diapers for the baby to keep the baby comfortable and dry. Cloth diapers though comfortable are passé. Cloth diapers get wet very soon and it is cumbersome to keep changing the Diaper. Disposable synthetic Diapers have been in the market for the last twenty five years. Though they produce some rash they are the most convenient diapers for Parents today. There are many brands of disposable Diapers available in the market. But New Pampers dry pants are the best as they keep the baby dry in the inside as they have a special magic gel that locks moisture in the inside. These are the best leak proof Diapers available in the market and best while travelling?


Note: This post is written for Indiblogger's Dry Baby, Happy Baby contest sponsored by Pampers.

Optimism

I received a good education in my childhood. I studied in a central school which provides a very good system of education with all round development of the individual in mind. I breezed through school and College with flying colours. Despite this fate had only marriage in store for me in my early years. I have been happily married for twenty five years, raised two beautiful kids but deep inside me was a ache for a little identity of my own. A little something for myself!  Also since the kids had flown the nest there was so much time in my hands.

I looked at my friends with envy. They had all scaled heights and were balancing home and work and leading a full life. I seriously started thinking of a part time job. I explored my credentials. A degree in Journalism and a good Business sense were my assets. I decided I would go in for " Writing" since  that came easily to me and I could do it from home. A friend suggested " Blogging". I started by writing and qualifying for "Indiblogger" and "Bloggadda". I had to write at least ten articles for the team to accept my credentials in these sites. And during the Happy Hours I sent in my first topic and won a gift voucher of Rs1500, I nearly jumped with joy. I danced a little jig filled with Optimism and hope for the future.

Writing had always been my passion and finally I gained recognition in a small way. I was jubilant. My family members shared my joy. I continued to write which helped me to earn from home and also satisfy my passion for writing. I felt blogging was the right career for me. Once I gained recognition as a blogger I would bid for jobs more easily and with more confidence. I enjoyed reading and had knowledge on a variety of topics right from Politics, Nutrition, Lifestyle to Cooking. Blogging has taken me to restaurants where I blog on food. Being a foodie I enjoyed being a food blogger. My love for cars took me to car showrooms to write about cars. So having a career in blogging and writing has filled me with optimism and confidence. I no longer have inferiority complex when I met my other friends who are all savvy career women. Since I started freelancing  my husband looked at me with interest and respect. He liked the independent streak in me and started asking my opinion in all important matters. My children also liked my new identity and were proud of me. I was jubilant when I won a prize of Rs 50,000 in a writing contest. With the money coming in through my freelancing we were able to buy a lot of things for the house which we could not otherwise afford and filled my world with joy and hope.

Note: This post is written for Indiblogger's Lookup Story contest sponsored by Housing.com

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A World Remade

India as a nation seems in the crossroads of an smorgasbord of dying old traditions and new ideas. Though we have progressed as a society so much we spent so much on religious rituals.Priests are given generous sums in birth ceremonies and other rituals.Thus people seem to spending money blindly on religion which is still leading them blindly astray. Weddings and Wedding ceremonies are still lavish and a hole in the pocket for the common man.It's  high time Indians woke up and cut short these ceremonies and used their money wisely. It's time to say "I do" with simple ceremonies. Instead of spending so lavishly in weddings we may as well keep Weddings simpler and gift the couple some money. Despite liberation we are still a Patriarchal society. Despite the emergence of the working women the Indian woman is still weak. Education  has to reach the lower middle class too where we see a lot of male chauvinism. In the Nirbhaya rape case the guilty says he is justified in raping Nirbhaya as she was being adventurous on venturing after dark and girls should stick to cooking and to household chores. This revelation is shocking and the modesty of the Indian Woman seems to be at stake. So the Indian woman is still seen as useful in the Kitchen and as a doormat. Beyond this she is treated as an object of sexual harassment. Strong action should be taken against rape and sexual harassment issues so that there are Lesser crimes against women. We will have to create a new world where there is more respect for women and more gender equality. 



Education from preschool is so competitive for the layman in India. As far as education is concerned We do not know where we are going? Education still seems to be a badge that society seems to be wearing. Education has to be more practical oriented so that the learning process is easier and more productive. So tackling these issues  we will be able to make a new world that we can be proud of.



Sunday, 1 March 2015

Sports and Fitness

Strength training and training in the gym can be a monotonous thing instead one may as well play a sport and keep fit. With lifestyle diseases on the rise sports in schools keep the youngsters fit . The young should have adequate proteins while playing and also adequate fluid intake. Sports should  be encouraged as all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Self Reliance

Our personality is mostly determined by our childhood upbringing and the people who most influence us during that period. Mostly it is our parents or a kith or kin whom we have interacted with.  In today's world it is very important for children to feel confident and be successful.

My father greatly influenced me in my childhood. He was to me like  Jawaharlal Nehru was to Indira Gandhi. I remember him teaching us to be independent from a very early age. From the time I was eight years old I was sent on errands to the market. This way I interacted with a lot of people from early childhood and was never shy.  My errands to the market taught me my Math and quick decision making which I can still boast of. When I was fourteen years my father sent me to various banks to deposit and withdraw money. This boosted my self confidence. When I was still in teens my father encouraged me to take my first maiden flight from Bangalore to Calcutta all alone. I remember my first flight to this day fumbling with the seat belts, nervous but in the end beaming with confidence. When I was eighteen my father booked my flight from Chennai to Tanzania with transit at Dubai, again alone. My father gave a rough written draft of the formalities that I had to undergo at the International Airports and this really helped me. My father encouraged me to take driving classes and I was soon driving my own car. I  finished my graduation from Stella Maris college at Chennai and my father encouraged me to apply for the course myself. My father  believed in liberation of woman and when I landed my first job in Mumbai. He encouraged me to stay in an Apartment in Mumbai. My father always encouraged me to know the value of money and even now I make wise financial decisions based on this. Watching and encouraging me to track the Sensex, he created a keen interest in the stock market which helped me do online trading later in my life. When we were growing up my sister and I had do a lot of the household chores and help with the cooking. Now that I am now married and mother of two, I had to multitask so much. I am a working woman too. My days begin at 6 in the morning and ends at 10 in the night and it is my confidence and self reliance that makes my life as a wife, mother and a working woman easier. I always send a special message to my Dad on father's day for inculcating values of confidence which has helped me tremendously.




Note: This post is written for Indiblogger's My Family My Pride contest sponsored by HDFC Life.