Assamese Food Festival. Part Two - During my growing up days, going to a restaurant was a treat, most days we ate at home, a traditional Sindhi meal- Curry Chawal, Sai Bhajji or simple veg...
Thursday, 27 August 2009
Mumbai is celebrating Ganesha at every street……and I am introspecting…. If your intention is to worry then you are likely to touch slippery ground. It is your mind that makes you win your battles. Battle is between positive and negative qualities within us. The mind keeps changing everyday it is how we expose our self to that knowledge that we can find peace. It is possible to create a new habit in 21 days. And new habit we must, to change our bad habit and be a better person. The habits that cause us pain should be eradicated from our system. I never have found complaining the best option. It makes the things even worse. And to whom should I complain? People are so pre-occupied with their own problems that they would hardly care if you were uncomfortable. In the company of hundred people there will be one person who will truly care, but to reach that person, we miss so many turn, that most of the time we are left with solving our own problems. And if we can really solve our own problems then what is the use of complaining and telling others our problems?? It is hard lesson I have learnt but I have learnt to deal with it. And its feels good that people find me happy-go-lucky. They don’t hear me complaining and I am not about to seek their pity. The root cause of all our problems is the attachment. Whenever I have got attached to people, they have been the cause of my misery and conflict. My intentions have always been good but how do I understand other people’s intentions? People have crazy minds and they form their own opinions. Even though my attachment is pure and not selfish at all, they will make nasty comments and give it a name. Why? I fail to understand. World is mixture of opposites and to remain happy we have to adjust because world is not likely to change. It is no use fighting and trying to change anything. We have to decide what is good for us and put our foot down to what is not necessary. In every experience there is a lesson to be learnt.
Friday, 21 August 2009
My FB friend posts a link that says….. Mozilla Service - Want to Help Source: mozillaservice.org If we can make a browser that makes the Web better, just imagine what we can do for our local communities. Equipped with a group of committed, energized, service-minded individuals and a belief in the open web, there's no limit on how far we can reach! It states that Mozilla for coming up with this idea. From the site: "During the week of September 14-21, you can make a serious difference in your local community. Here are just a few ideas of ways you can help: * Teach senior citizens how to use the Web. * Show a non-profit how to use social networking to grow its base of supporters. * Help install a wireless network at a school. * Create Web how-to materials for a library's computer cluster. * Refurbish hardware for a local computer center. * Update a non-profit organization's website. * Teach the values of the open Web to other public benefit organizations." Thinking back, I can proudly say that I have done all of the above services in my free time. My free time is my time away from my reading, writing, handicraft, art, painitng, entertaining my family and friends and travelling. People often ask me what do I do and I often say ‘Nothing in particular’. The problem with me is that I cannot sit idle, not even for a minute. Am I bragging if I discussed what I actually do with my time? Well, I have taught seniors, children, maids and housewife the use of net, how to operate it, how to surf for information and how to send e-mails and they have been quite grateful to me and the payment I get in return for this service is the beautiful smile they give me, when ever they see me passing by and I am grateful for that. I regularly go to school (at Belapur, CBD) for mentally challenged, which is two hours away from my house (I live in Bandra), I click their pictures and update their blog, and maintaining this blog has been very useful to school. Many people are willingly to be associated with this school because they are sure it is real and not a fictional institution. On festival days, food is sponsored for these children, sometimes, from as far away as Spain, the proof that their money was spent on children for food only, is shown in pictures on the blog and this encourages people to donate more help. The children are always enjoying the feast and are happy to come to school. I maintain two blogs: http://sbp-pushpa.blogspot.com/ is the blog of the school where I blog about the activities at school keeping the parents and the well wishers updated with the school. This has been of great help to the school, because people want to be associated with the school that shows so much progress. The other blog http://arushi-sbp.blogspot.com/ is mainly for teachers and parents to help them understand the problems of dealing with mentally challenged. I write about the various diseases, methods of dealing with them, and the facilities provided for mentally challenged. I prefer to stay focused on just one institution so that I am able to help out just one particular group of people. I seek neither recognition nor any awards for this voluntary work (I am camera shy so I never give interviews) and do it just for my own interest. It gives me immense pleasure to extend my time and support in this little contribution that I am able to make. Actually speaking, the rewards are very satisfying because I would otherwise be bored, doing just nothing in my free time.
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Okay I have made the pledge of ‘no complaining for 21 days’ and I have nothing to complain about. Personally I think that people who expect something from others and don’t get it then they find the reason to complain, if that is the case then it should be easy for me because I never expect anything from anybody. And what can anybody give to person who has everything? Love, care and affection come from giving. These are reciprocal. If people have no time for us, its because they have their own priorities that have to be sorted out first. what to complain about this? The truth is that if we learn to accept the things as they are and try not to change anything, then there is little reason to complain. Quite easily said! For people who live in large family, it is natural to accommodate each other to live peacefully. To avoid unpleasantness, we try to curb our discomfort, but are not always successful. Because the resistances to accept thing that are against our principles do boil us over, and without complaining, it builds up and eventually harms our health.
Sunday, 16 August 2009
It is important to build a wall to separate the street from railway lines, especially if the railway line and street run parallel to each other. It has its advantages; it safeguards the security of people and help them walk in straight line, parallel to the wall without getting distracted by moving train that passes on the other side of the wall, It serves as a shield for naughty children, who may escape the strong grip of their parents and run on the railway track out of curiosity and is also a great boundary of obstacle for those stingy commuters who get special pleasure in travelling without a ticket. But the wall has its disadvantages too when it is used by street dwellers as a back-drop for their temporary-about-to-become-permanent home and some times used by people who have never learnt their bowel-control-habits and peeing on the wall is an instant relief and sometimes, it is even used by hawkers to put up their temporary stall. Unless, it is seen as a canvas by an artistic eye, which will change the wall’s status from a poor, old, rust-colored, dingy wall into a beautiful work of art that the travelers will admire while driving down those colorful lanes. When people start to care, the results are astonishing…. On 15th August, while the whole country celebrated Independence Day, I walked down the Tulsi Pipe Road to watch the children and adult dabble paint on the wall producing amazing art work. Even the children as young as five year old, were happy to hold the paint brush, one size bigger than their size of the palm, giving colored strokes on that dingy wall. “Move a bit, let her click few pictures” said someone in the crowd, letting me capture the event into my lens. Freedom for me, on this day, was to watch the artists doodle freely and let the images appear out of nowhere……..Freedom to express one self in vibrant colors.
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Life has not been the same since I lost my mom, about three years ago. I miss my mom terribly, especially on festive days when my mom would spread the happiness to each and every member of the house, without expecting anything in return. Today was the big festival of our Sindhis. It is called THADRI The mother goddess is worshipped in various forms, Sittala, is worshipped by Sindhis. She is the eldest of several sisters, The annual festival observed in honor of this goddess is called "Thadri", or the cooling festival. It falls on the 7th day of the waning in the month of Savan (July-August) every year. Ladies prepare Lolas and curd on the previous day of the festival , They sing, go to the local shrine and the cold meals (thados). On this day, fire is not lit at home. On this day, mom would be too excited because she loved cooking and it gave her the reason to cook, Her cooking would start, a day prior to the festival. There would be dry vegetable, lentil chappatis, sweet pancakes, sour rice-curd, fried bahjiyas and many more delicacies (I would marvel at her stamina, she never complained about work, never ever) . On the festive day, She would invite everybody for cold lunch. There would be card session after lunch and so much laughter in the house. My family had a great sense of humor; specially my aunts (dad’s sisters) and they would be laughing and quarrelling at the same time…how much I would enjoy seeing so much commotion. Me and my cousins would receive lots of gifts in cash and kind. It would be a great day to celebrate. All my aunts were very jovial and their jokes were always laced with metaphors which made their conversation wittier. With time, most of my family is gone and the traditions are also gradually dying. I don’t make any such things, nor do I enjoy this kind of food anymore. Being weight conscious, I don’t eat fried stuff, or too much sweet or anything with too much masala. I like simple stir fries, or simple home cooked food. I just eat to ease my hunger. My sister called me for lunch today, but I ate quietly and remembered my mom and missed my family and their laughter even more….
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Early morning my sistah calls me and warns me not to step out of house. I want to know the reason, and she says, because flu is in air, (but that I already know,) media has pounded me with an overdose of this news, and if I have work to do, it cannot wait. So I leave for school on this dangerous morning But the streets are full, aren’t all the people supposed to sit indoors? Nah! The spirit in Mumbai is that it never sleeps and when they can dare floods and riots then who is afraid of this silly disease? Just a flu (never mind if it has got a horror name-swine flu) People in Mumbai always believe that nothing can hamper their spirit and streets are crowded like they always are. Did you say that Children are vulnerable to swine flu? Well, this kid must be not more than 5 years and he is here on the street without any cloth covering his mouth,(I did see many people with their mouth covered) but not this kid, he doing his odd jobs of begging….I saw him run with a packet of Vada Pav, (which somebody had given him) and was back to the same place (without eating his share) to continue his begging And what about this dabawallah…he takes a breather on his inverted stack, smoking his beedi and then taking a short nap. But I play safe. I decide to go to school in AC bus. When I reach school after two full hours of travel, there is a sinister look in school….school is closed…..
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
After many lazy Tuesday, I went today to attend Jaya Row’s spiritual class. I like going for her class to wear the spiritual blanket and think under my bonnet. It gives me insight of who I am. It reminds me of my duty towards leading a good life, more over, I like the interactive session, where people ask question about the subjects that they already know but act ignorant and I start thinking about it. I am wondering if people ask question just to get attention to them selves or do they really not know the answer? Many of the questions I hear them repeated class after class. Do they really suffer from amnesia or is their mind wandering in another fantasy world when their questions are being answered? Anyways, today this lady was asking the difference between disciple and Guru. Now as far as I can remember, she must be attending this class for more than ten years already and she quite regular, does she really not know the answer? Is she really searching for answers? I can’t believe this, why cant people ask something that they don’t know….. Well, Jaya Row has patience, because she also must be aware of this lady’s presence in her class for more than ten years, but still she went on to answer her question and explained patiently the difference between Guru and Disciple. Patiently, she explained that Guru is one who is at a higher level and he is able to guide us in overcoming hurdles in life. He helps us to keep the balance between devotion and knowledge, Disciple is the seeker while guru is the guide. Disciple should know what to ask from a guru, but many people are misguided and they will ask such stupid question such as what they should name their child or what property will be useful to them. Is it sensible to ask your guru for materialistic gain? Shouldn’t they be asking their Guru the spiritual guidance to reach the salvation? And what is the right path to follow, how they can lead a better life and be a good human being? A Guru is one who has power of communicating with his disciple and showing him the real path, he should be knowledgeable himself so that he has power to guide his disciple. He should have capacity to teach and the disciple should have sincerity to learn and have desire for liberation. My mom would often say that I don’t have to go to seek my Guru; I just have to strive to be a good human being and lead a good and clean life, follow the rules of our society and live within my means. When the time for spiritual enlighten will come, my Guru will find me And I will know that He has come…..…..because I will know that I am ready, when I will understand the powers within me….…..
Monday, 10 August 2009
but I do have friends who will tag me so that I can tell the truth...and of course, I do like to talk about meself,(who doesn't?) if only people would allow me...many times, when I am talking about meself, people cut me and say, 'rehne do..stop showing off, we already like you too much'...and I feel blessed that people like me even when they dont know much about me...but when I get chance to brag about myself.(which I finally got)..how can I ever miss???? so, here I go answering all the questions as truthfully as I can..... 1. What time did you get up this morning? 9:00 am 2. How do you like your steak? I like it when it smiles 3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? New York (and that too, without US visa!) 4. What is your favorite TV show? CNN _IBN- Cyrus with his phunny news, kya baat hai!! 5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Mumbai of course, and in this same house...muje kahi nahi janna! 6. What did you have for breakfast? A glass of fresh vegetable juice (laoki, carrots, cucumber) 7. What is your favorite cuisine? Stir fries, fast and easy..... 8. What foods do you dislike? One that has too much Indian masalas and I am burping continuously after eating….buuurb! See…there I go again!! 9. Favorite Place to Eat? In my balcony, enjoy the westerly winds ruffling my hair and I go Chomp! Chomp! 10. Favorite dressing? a mixture of honey, vinegar, musturd oil, salt and black pepper 11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? Why should I drive? I am not a driver… 12. What are your favorite clothes? cool beige, pale blues or light pink, t-shirts with round necks 13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Phew! I am done with travelling, been all over the globe, not taking any more chances--bas ho gaya..... 14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? ½ empty of my stamina 15. Where would you want to retire? In an old age home with all the comforts of TV, Computer, AC room and library, spa, massage parlors and playing cards room with all the young volunteers being at my command with snap of my finger. 16. Favorite time of day? 11pm to 2am, everything is so quiet and I can think better…. 17. Where were you born? Jaipur, Rajasthan 18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Watching the married couple arguing over minor things, blaming each other, cribbing….snapping...bahut mazza aata hai...!!! 19. Who do you think will not tag you back? Some one who hates me… or my guts 20. Person you expect to tag you back first? one, who never ignores me.... 21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? Someone whom I have been stalking for days.. hehhee 22. Bird watcher? Arrey, where are the birds in this concrete jungle?? doorbhini se bhi nahi dikhte hai....! 23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Depends on my moods 24. Do you have any pets? No way, I love my freedom 25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Pssss! Rakhi Sawant is coming back on TV, (I will buy ear buds this time so that I don't hear about it even from my neghbor's TV) 26. What did you want to be when you were little? Wanted to own toys industry (hey, I had actually won prize for most innovative toy when I was little, (tsk! tsk! India lost me to bad writing) 27. What is your best childhood memory? No good memories, only bad. I had a bad childhood, was abused, punished, threatened by my school teachers everyday….. They all hated the sight of me… 28. Are you a cat or dog person? I am pushee cat 29. Are you married? huh? 30. Always wear your seat belt? never, but I hold it in such a way that traffic policemen are fooled 31. Been in a car accident? Yes, but I was blessed, (not a scratch) 32. Any pet peeves? Dishonesty. Unpunctuality. Wrong message carriers. 33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? hmmn! Cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, onions, broccolis and eggplant 34. Favorite Flower? Sunflower 35. Favorite ice cream? Vanilla, tender coconut 36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Subway 37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Well, I never like failing in any test, so I never try one which will give negative results…. 38. From whom did you get your last email? From my fellow blogger who wants to swap-blogging post with me 39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? I do only cash buying, never credit cards…. 40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Nah! I am a deeeeeeeeep thinker….I don’t react immediately 41. Like your job? Of course, if I had one…… 42. Broccoli? Pretty. Healthy. me like it very much. 43. What was your favorite vacation? The one where I traveled across the whole of North India that included Haridwar, Badrinaryan, Rhishikesh, Jammu, Kashmir, Delhi (with my family of 25 members ,,Wow! That was unforgettable) 44. Last person you went out to dinner with? My favorite cousins from Caribbean Islands 45. What are you listening to right now? some distant traffic sounds on the linking road 46. What is your favorite color? Blue 47. How many tattoos do you have? What! Do you really think I would do that??? 48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? Depends 49. What time did you finish this quiz? 12 midnight 50. Coffee Drinker? Nah!
This is really serious.. Swine flu is gripping the city and I am afraid of going out, nah, not that I am afraid of dying, if I die, it won’t make much difference to this world, but what if I fall sick? then, of course, it is likely to make a difference to the people who surround me…..Yes, I am afraid that if I get, I might infect more people, and I would certainly not like if somebody else got sick due to my carelessness. But that is exactly what has happened, it started in some distant country, thousands of miles away and has travelled all the way to India and is now infecting so many of my people in India. (I bet, if any disease such as this had started from India and travelled the same route to that distant country, there would have been some soldiers sent over to combat this war of disease and resolution to isolate India would be broadcasting on prime shows at every International TV channel Anyways whatever the case maybe, I still don’t like that our children are also suffering and are more prone to this disease because they have very low resistance. Also, unhealthy people especially those, who suffer poor health, are at higher risk from the H1N1 virus, which is commonly known as swine flu. People with diabetes, weak lungs, cardiovascular conditions, liver problems, blood disorder, neurologic disorders, immune suppression, including HIV infection and medication that suppress the immune system, such as cancer chemotherapy or anti-rejection drugs for transplant and people with low resistance are easily infected with this disease. So, how do I recognize this? Symptoms of swine flu are like regular flu symptoms and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Many people with swine flu have had diarrhea and vomiting. Nearly everyone with flu has at least two of these symptoms. But these symptoms can also be caused by many other conditions. That means that you and your doctor can't know, just based on your symptoms, that you've got swine flu. Health care professionals may offer a rapid flu test, although a negative result doesn't necessarily mean you don't have the flu. But the best thing that we can do is to take precautions. We have to get paranoid of washing our hands every ten minutes. The minute you hear someone coughing/sneezing, run to the nearest tap and wash your hands. Wear a mask, or better still, stay away from infected person. If you don’t feel the need to go out, don’t go. Stop roaming on the street aimlessly; enjoy the comforts of your house. The virus does not spread by eating well-cooked pork products, though it would be a healthy option to wash your hands properly after handling pork. In spite of all the precautions that you have been taking, are you still suddenly coughing/sneezing? RUN!!!, run to your doctor, and don’t waste your time reading my blog…Go to doctor RITE NOW..... FOR GOD’S SAKE!!!!DUH!!!!
Saturday, 8 August 2009
When I am at home, my stomach is stitched tight, not even a poke will induce hunger. I am busy in my work and food is the last thing on my mind. Many times, when my maid comes for work in the afternoon and sees the empty sink, she screams, scolding me for not having eaten all morning.
But story is different when I am outdoors. I am always hungry. I see vadapav, I will hog, idli dosa, bhel puri, sandwitch,.there are so many hawkers on every street that it is impossible to remain hungry. One of my NRI friend once commented that people in India are happy lot because they are always munching something, and believe me that is true. I am surprised how hungry I get even when I visit my friends or family.
Today, I visited my friend and she served me uttappa topped with onions, green chillies and tomatoes, There was green mint chutney and coconut chutney. It was so delicious that I could not stop eating. I had four of them and wanted more. Then there was Rasgolla and then masala tea.. I was having the feast as though I was starved for weeks. (that’s shameless me) Surprisingly, at home I don’t eat any snacks, nor drink tea in the evenings. Not that there is no food in my house. Actually, I buy many food items and store them till their expiry date, but I don’t remember to eat.
So why do I feel so hungry when I am out of my home?
Thursday, 6 August 2009
My maid comes late today and I stare at her, real hard “darn! where is my fresh vegetable juice? My bed is also unkempt, My kitchen is so dirty, there is too much mess…” she looks at me with sad eyes “Kai Karoo, What to do maam? Yesterday was 'Raksha Bandhan' but my brother came today for Rakhee, plus hubby is sick and he drinks too much..I am born with so many misfortunes, forgive me I am late…” And I slap myself for being so lazy and not helping her. The least I could do is to make my own bed.
Monday, 3 August 2009
I am a late bloomer so there are many things that I am doing for the first time because I missed it when my friends were doing it. Script writing is one thing that I decided to do but had to do in a group of much younger generation but what the heck, if I have to learn then I guess there is no age for learning. I attended 2-days workshop on script writing that was conducted by Rajashree, a National Award-wining filmmaker who has assisted the film personality like Mansoor Khan and Sanjay Leela Bansali. On the first day, we were five of us who were present for this workshop. To break the ice, Rajashree asked us to write an audio-visual script of any scene. The morning session started with the long discussion on process of making a film that included pre-production, production and post production. As a writer, we have to see the trends that are popular before writing a script. During the second half of the session, she discussed the international format of writing the script. We read the audio-visual script that we had written earlier and then were guided in writing our script in a correct format. Films are an audiovisual medium, so a script is basically a description of the visuals and sounds that will be seen and heard in the film. The ideas for the story can be sourced out from our experiences, or from topical news or by research and interviews. For a 2-day intensive workshop, I found the pace on the day one rather slow. The next Saturday, when I went again, I was surprised to see that all had shifted to 7-week course (Sundays only) which costs Rs3000 more and I was alone with one more person who had missed his class on another day. Together, we discussed the character analysis of protagonist and antagonist, the psychological, physical, emotional and social attributes of a character, and the back story of the character. The protagonist must have a goal to reach and there will be hurdles posed by antagonist. In the afternoon after lunch, I was alone attending this workshop. (hilarious!!) anyways, Rajashree reported ill, was having bad cold and requested me to come the next day and do the rest of the course with other up-graded group. So here I was, with a bonus extra-day at no extra cost, attending on Sunday. Normally, Sunday is the day of saints, and it is reserved solely for my family, but sometimes I make exceptions, though unwillingly. Ahem! We were nine in this group, chirpier with excellent ideas. During the morning session, assignments were read out that included sights and sounds of Juhu beach and the mall, character analysis of a protagonist, a scene of an act and the break-up scene-by-scene analysis of the film ‘Sholey’. It is amazing how two people have a different perspective of the same scene at the same time. During the afternoon session, she discussed the structure of the story and how it can be used in the story. A Syd Field’s 3-Act structure story has set-up, confrontation and the resolution. The plot point is when dramatic action takes place and there is climax. In a structure of 120 minutes, 0-25 is the set-up point, 25-30 is the plot point, 30-85 is the confrontation point, 85-90 is the second plot point and 90 to 120 is the resolution point. On the other hand, Shakespeare normally has 5-Act point in which Act 1 is the exposition/establishing, Act 2 is the introductory of a conflict, Act 3 the conflict deepens, Act 4 there is climax and Act 5 is the resolution. During the third session she discussed ‘Bharat’s Natya Sashtra which is actually the flavors of emotions that are seen in every film with which you succeed in creating the emotion in the audience. The nine Ratnas of emotion are Shant (peace), Shringar (love), Hasya (humor), Krodh (anger), Karu (sadness), Bhaye (fear), Ver (courage), Adbhut (wonder) and Bibuksh (disgust). Some film strips were then show to get some insight on the message of the film.. While the rest of the group will be busy for next four week, doing the intensive workshop on script writing, I shall do self-study and improve my skill. Whether I succeed or not in writing a script for a film, I am content that I have explored yet one more field.
I have poor memory therefore I tend to forget the good and the bad times easily. What is past is forgotten, each day I try my best that my ...