Thursday, 18 October 2012

Honey....What to cook for Dinner tonight???

This is one question which is thrown out at M by me every evening when I return from office...and for which every evening, a pre-recorded message type answer is tossed back at me - "Whatever you wish, dear"....which makes me all the more frustated than the whole tortourous cooking proceedings.

Here is our daily conversation on this topic.

Me: Kya banaun aaj khane mein? 
       (What to cook for dinner today?)
M: Kuch bhi bana lo, jo tumhara mann 
      (Make anything, whatever you wish)
Me: Kuch bhi matlab kya.....kuch naam to hoga na 
       (What do you mean by anything....It must be having  a name)
M: Matlab jo tumhe khana hai, main toh kuch bhi kha lunga 
     (I mean what ever you wish to eat, I will eat anything)
Me: Gusse mein...Kabhi kuch bol bhi diya karo
        ( All frustrated... At least name something at times)
M: .............................(no answer)

Really I tell you ...Cooking is a hell of a boring and terrible task (Note: Here I am talking about the regular household cooking comprising of a breakfast, lunch and dinner) but the more dreadful task is the thinking process which goes behind deciding on the dinner menu...I mean thinking what to cook is more stressful than the actual cooking itself (except for some preprations which seem to be never ending..)

All these food items look so tempting much variety....But only the planner and maker of this yummy food knows the hard work both mental and physical which goes behind that.

The minute I step out of my office, this question dances in my mind from one corner to the other giving me shudders....Every Monday to Friday (Note: Its not that I do not eat on weekends....but dinner is always out...breakfast is skipped as we get up late and lunch...somehow I manage) I come home, stand in front of the fridge and think.....And when I finally decide on what to cook (as it is of no use to ask M about it and get that same question mark look on his face), another trauma awaits me of finding out half of the ingredients are missing. That leaves me with no option other than going for some life saver recipe for which ingredients is not a problem as khichdi, vegetable pulao or some aloo dish......and just for the information, these are all which I hate and M loves....but at least these are easy to cook rather than going out to get the missing ingredients. There are same four five patent vegetables available at the shop which I am sick and tired of cooking and eating....Yes, I can try to cook different cuisines.. Chinese... Continental and I do know some off-the-routine recipes like dosas, manchurian or pavbhaji.....but who has the time to try out new delicious recipes or to break my head on inventing some new variation of the same old stuff.....The day when there is dinner party or outing on a weekday, I am sure that there is no person more happy on this Earth than me....It feels like there is no work after reaching home...I am the most relieved and relaxed person that day.....

This used to be the scene every day until I came up with a solution. Its that we normally buy vegetables for the next whole week on Friday itself as there is lot of other stuff to do on weekends and weekdays are super busy.. So now I make a menu (and you guessed it right....again a list) for the week and buy vegetables as per the menu list so that nothing is missed out and I am spared of exercising my brain of  the same routine question everyday. This way I have a stock set of recipe list which are of different variety and which I can alternate over a two week period so that the dinner is not monotonous or repetitive. See change is needed here too. The quote "The Only Thing is Constant is Change" fits this situation so damn appropriate.

I believed that it is the case with  me only that it takes half the task off my head when somebody tells me what to cook but after interviewing all the ladies of my family and the extended family...I concluded with a relieved heart that this is the case with every lady who is in charge of cooking dinner.

So here are five quick tips for ladies to find a quick answer to this question?

- Have some frozen food items like paneer, peas always stocked in your refrigerator in case you do not want to cook an elaborate dinner or something is missing.
- Make a list of all the daily routine recipes so that you do not have to think of what to cook when time is running ahead of  you. Look at the list and in the fridge and get ready to cook.
- Its not always that you have to cook as per the strict instructions by the recipe book or the one who has told you the recipe. Some change here and there as per your convenience can be done...just that they should not be too consequential on the taste front.
- Plan the menu in advance to suit your schedule. As in you can cook something elaborate on Friday night as Saturday is a holiday and your are not in a rush to eat and sleep early.
- Always keep an eye on the ration list to have an idea of what is there in the kitchen and what is going to run out of stock so that you can refill those before its needed.

Hope this helps you in your cooking ordeals.....Do let me know any other quick fix tips to save on time and energy. I guess, ladies, we are all sailing in the same boat.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Most obvious & not so obvious benefits of Facebook...

As social networking is the new 'IN' thing across the world, Facebook, one of the most famous social networking platform has become a rage with over one billion active users as on September 2012.  Now with its mobile applications, it is more easily accessible to people. I am a big admirer of Facebook for some of the obvious reasons and for some of the not so obvious ones too. Let me share with you the top ten benefits of this FAD :)

1 :) It helps you to connect with new friends and discover your long forgotten childhood friends whose faces you don't remember and can't believe on seeing them that they can grow so beautiful or such dumb :P

2 :) It helps you to share your photos, ideas...voice your thoughts and get opinions on a particular  point. It facilitates exchange of ideas through common interest groups or friends. Also can help to highlight any social issue which needs attention and awareness.

3 :) It is a source of information, news, updates which goes viral on the net and helps us to be updated on what is happening around us.

4 :) A great platform for business promotions with the help of creating your Ad pages/Fan pages. Helps you to pass the information about products, features, company etc.

5 :) People can look out for various employment opportunities which are continuously posted and updated on the concerned pages.

Now these were some of the obvious reasons citing the benefits of Facebook. Now let me quote the not so obvious ones.

6 :) A great tool to peep into other's life and check what are they doing, who are they friends with or  stalking your ex's....and off course the motive is just being updated.....I mean that's this site is for...what say :)

7 :) Apt and timely utilization of the place locator tool to let the people know that you have been to some of the most exotic places in the world for your weekends or vacation ;) smell something burning???

8 :) Generates the feel good factor on receiving hundreds of 'WOW' and fab comments on uploading your unlimited photos which portray you as a diva or a dude...Thanks to so many simple photo editing techniques or else you would have not recognized yourself in some of those......

9 :) Euphoria of having hundred likes to your great thought posted as your status message...All thanks to the founder of 'Ctrl C' and 'Ctrl V' function. Hats off!!!

10 :) This one is the real its true sense...A free remedy to your killer boredom...a time pass when you have no other work or are too lazy to move your bum. 

Are you having some other not so obvious benefits in your mind.....Do share in :)))

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Crazy Colors...

Have you ever imagined your life without Black and gloomy & lifeless, so dull & boring.... Colors are very noticeable attribute of the world around us. They add the beauty and charm to the world. They have so much to identity, feelings, recognition, happiness, imagination. Each color has its beauty...each one has a different story to say...Ever wondered that a color change can let us know that the fruit is ripe to eat...there are many such signals which colors impart to our life....the onset of spring...the fall of dawn....the crimson fire...silver streaks of cloud....the golden paddy fields.... Colors are the smiles of nature making it picturesque.

Feel the difference yourself!!!

Every color has a meaning associated with it and certain colors are known to lift up our moods for better.....Have you noticed that why people are more relax in green color rooms or why do weightlifters do their best in blue gyms. Much has been studied and written about colors and their impact on our daily lives. Color can influence our actions and how we respond to various people, things and ideas. In fact, researchers and psychologists have also tried to understand the impact that colors have in our life and our emotions so that these can perhaps be used as a way of therapy... color therapy and enhance the well being of people. 

Throughout the world, Rainbows, a spectrum of seven colors is considered a symbol of hope. So, here is a brief description about colors and the meanings associated by them as per the various existing color theories.

RED symbolizes Action, Confidence, Courage

The most intense and passionate color. Red color is associated with heart and perhaps that is why it symbolizes love, passion, desire. Red is also associated with enthusiasm, energy and immediately draws attention. But since this color is so intense, it also can mean danger and is therefore used in traffic signals stop sign. It is also an appetite stimulant, thus often used in restaurants.

# I associate Red with love and attraction.

BLUE symbolizes Youth, Spirituality, Truth, Peace

Blue is among the most popular color and can be seen generously in nature...the color of the Sky and the Sea. It is associated with peace and tranquility. This color also symbolizes calmness and loyalty & is often painted in bedrooms. It also signifies dependability, communication and trustworthiness. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. It is the least gender specific color having equal appeal to both men & women. People are more productive in blue rooms. However blue is also associated with depressing and cold feelings...... remember Monday Blues???

# I associate Blue with evergreen and imperial

GREEN symbolizes Life, Nature, Fertility, Well Being

Green symbolizes nature and a renewal of life. It has relaxing qualities and is regarded as a symbol of freshness. It also has the meaning of fertility and so in many cultures, a bride wears green. Hospitals often use green as it relaxes patients. So it can be used for peace & harmony as well as to heal from depression, nervousness and other physical problems. The darker shade of green is considered rather masculine and signifies wealth and a conservative attitude.

# I associate Green with freshness and serenity.

YELLOW symbolizes Wisdom, Joy, Happiness, Intellectual Energy

Cheerful sunny yellow is an attention-getter. While it is considered as an optimistic color, people lose their temper more often in yellow rooms and babies cry more. It is the most difficult color for the eye to take in, so it can be overpowering if overused. Yellow enhances concentration and speeds up metabolism. It also symbolizes enlightenment, a positive future and energy along with creativity. This color can stimulate the nervous system and aid in communication & creativity.

# I associate Yellow with celebrations and cheerfulness, also 'sunny side up' :)

ORANGE symbolizes Vitality, Endurance, Warmth, Strength

A relative of red has a strong positive as well as a negative association. This color signifies warmth and a lot of energy, can stimulate activity and encourages socialization. It is also an appetite stimulant. Orange is associated with sun, happiness, creativity, success and energy. Orange positively affects your mood and is very suitable for home decoration because it gives warmth to the living space.

# I associate Orange with vibrant and joyous.

PURPLE symbolize Royalty, Magic, Mystery

Purple symbolizes royalty, luxury & wealth. It is a mysterious color derived from a mixture of opposites...Red's stimulation & Blue's calm. It has a very large feminine appeal to it and is therefore closely associated with romance. It however seems artificial at times as it is rare in nature.

# I associate Purple with Brinjal (that is what comes to my mind now :P 

PINK symbolizes Love, Beauty

Pink can be youthful, fun, exciting & some have the same high energy as red..They are sensual & passionate without being too aggressive. Toning down the passion of red with purity of white results in the softer pinks that are associated with romance and blushing....It is the color of happiness and lightheartedness.

# I associate Pink with femininity and tenderness.

BROWN symbolizes Earth, Order, Connected

Brown can be seen everywhere in the form of ground and is an earthy color thereby implying quality of dependability. It can bring a feeling of connection with everything organic and has a sense of orderliness & stability around it. It also symbolizes sadness and wistfulness.

# I associate Brown with chocolates :)

GREY symbolizes Sorrow, Security, Maturity

It is the color of intellect, knowledge & wisdom. It is perceived as long lasting, classic and often as sleek refined. It is a color that is dignified, conservative and carries authority. But it is mostly associated with sorrow and loss.

# I associate Grey with dullness and boring.

BLACK symbolizes Death, Earth, Stability

Black has always been regarded as a powerful color with authority and power. In fact fashion experts often advise professionals to wear black since it is ordinarily stylish and has a timeless elegance to it and it also make people appear thinner. It also symbolizes submission in many ways & perhaps that is why it is worn by priests as a symbol of their complete submission to God. It also represents aloofness, emptiness, mysterious and evil.

# I associate Black as classy and sophisticated.

WHITE symbolizes Purity, Cleanliness

White is a neutral color that has always been associated with purity, innocence and freshness. This is the reason why white is worn by brides as it symbolizes virginity and a new beginning. It also implies sterility and safety and is therefore worn by doctors for its association with healing. Houses also have a white fence signifying safety. This color symbolizes fresh beginning and is supposed to help in clear thinking and purification of thoughts

# I associate White as pious and pure.

I came across this interesting piece of information which I would like to share with you regarding colors  having different meaning in different cultures...

China - symbol of celebration and luck, used in many cultural ceremonies that range from funerals to weddings.
India - color of purity (used in wedding outfits).
United States - Christmas color when combined with green, Valentines Day when combined with pink, indicates stop (danger) at traffic lights.
Eastern cultures - signifies joy when combined with white.

Asia - sacred, imperial.
Western cultures - joy, happiness.

China - associated with immortality.
Colombia - associated with soap.
Hindus - the color of Krishna.
Jews - holiness.
Middle East - protective color.
Blue is often considered to be the safest global color.

Ireland - religious significance (Protestant).
United States - inexpensive goods, Halloween (with black).

China - studies indicate this is not a good color choice for packaging, green hats mean a man's wife is cheating on him.
France - studies indicate this is not a good color choice for packaging.
India - the color of Islam.
Ireland - religious significance (Catholic).
Some tropical countries - associated with danger
United States - indicates go (safe) at traffic lights, environmental awareness, St. Patrick's Day, Christmas color (red and green).

Western cultures - royalty.

Colombia - discourages sales.

Eastern cultures - mourning, death.
Japan - white carnations signify death.
United States - purity (used in weddings).

Western cultures - mourning, death.

These different colors fill our life with the vividness and having them around us is truly a blessing.

So when have you lately felt Blue or blushed pink? 

I love all the colors in their different shades but my  favorite color is Red.  Which is your's?

Colorful Me....

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Looking forward to Diwali....

Life seem to be shifting gears rapidly as the year approaches favorite month of the year...not for the fact that it is the month of my birth,, birthday month...but for the fact that August paves the way for the happy festive season ahead which lasts till March followed by a  dry spell of about four months when there is no single reason to celebrate. Every month following August has at least one day which is different from other days....beautified by the traditions, rituals, sweets, people, celebrations....varied from the routine. I love these little celebrations which break the monotonous journey of life..Though I fancy all the festivals...small or big....the one which I cherish and look forward to the most is Diwali (Deepawali)...for the simple reason that I visit my in-laws place where this festival is celebrated in all its fervor and glory, to be followed by yet another very grand and pious Chath pooja which I have never witnessed until I got married.

Diwali marks the get together of all family members all across different places at home and celebrations..A grand family comprising 15 members from mom-in-law, father-in-law, bhaiyas, bhabhis, grandfather(dadaji), me, M and the three naughty kids.....a small mela kind :)...You might be wondering that am I crazy to be such delighted to  visit my in-laws place...but trust me I really look forward to it as they are so loving and understanding and also that I have been born and brought up in a nuclear family makes the experience all the more fascinating for me surrounded by so many people..Yes, definitely there are times when it is slightly difficult to live up to the expectations and responsibilities to be in-law's get up early (which I manage fairly as everyone sleeps early there, so I get my 7 hours of sleep),  to have a little less of me time....but yet there is a lot which I like about this vacation. These 15 days are a real bliss and the reasons are many.....

  • The first one being the break which I get from my five weekdays and two weekends routine....I don't even realize the difference between a Monday and a Saturday track of time.
  • The process of getting some new clothes stitched....time to take out vibrant sarees from their hibernation for some special occasions, colorful bangles, binids, jewellery which otherwise are stuffed and sealed in the closet.
  • Buying out different gifts  for everybody, chocolates for the kids.
  • The ever increasing list of things to be packed in-spite of several reminders from M to keep it as minimum as possible.
  • The look on M's face when I have already stuffed three huge bags with my he has to pick up another small one for his clothes..which looks non-existent in comparison to my baggage.
  • Meeting different people from neighborhood, sharing life...answering their curious questions...sometimes funny...sometimes annoying...
  • The endless laughter, teasing, long chit chats, candid camera moments, kids crying n quarelling, shopping sessions...
  • The detailed and minute preparations of festivals from lighting diyas to the Laxmi Ganesh pooja, from sweets to the food, from dressing up to firing crackers, from seeking blessing to the cracker competitions..
  • The fun filled and wonderful rangoli making by all the ladies of the house, trying to make a better one each year.
  • Hearing people being addressed by different salutations ...dadi, dadaji, chachu, chachi, bade papa, badi sweet from the the boring uncle and aunty...
  • Playing non stop with my niece and, ludo, our childhood days.
  • Making of thekuas (traditional home made biscuits) specifically for chath in the morning, whose making process totally amuses n delights me and so does the taste.
  • The sweet  melodious traditional folk chath songs playing all over the place loudly which I love to hear though I am at short of understanding the lyrics.
  • Getting up at dawn  and to get all decked up to go to the ghat (river bank) for the auspicious chath pooja.
  • The decoration, the lighting, the crowd, the color, the boats at the ghat...making the place picturesque as if some film shooting is going on.

Ahhhhh...the list is endless...and I can go on and on but this year I have one more reason than the usual ones and that is the release of SRK's new romantic film 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' on 13 November after long :)))

So do share what you like the most in the festive season???

Till then keep reading and keep celebrating :)))