Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Should You Give In To Your Fear?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are my personal. They may vary from people to people and be different for different circumstances. 

What is fear? A feeling that creeps in when you fail to or are unable to fulfill a certain task. Fear comes in unannounced. You may fear because you genuinely feel it or you may fear for the heck of it. But the question is should you give into your fear? OR should you rise above all that is pulling you down to that extreme?

In most circumstances, the tendency is to give into the fear. How many times do we actually sit back, think and try to steer away from the thought of 'quitting'? Nobody really wants to quit. It is the circumstances, situations, behaviors, thoughts that rules our actions. It is probably also the emotional quotient that tends to be on the higher side while dealing with a situation that causes the fear.

Not just the emotional quotient, the whole thought about "what will they say"?; 'they' here could be anyone ranging from parents, to relatives, to the society. The moment you start believing in the fact that it doesn't matter "what will they think or say" but what you want in life, is when you will be guided towards fighting the fear.

We all fear for life. We all fear for death. We fear we might fail. We fear that our parents can't be proud of what we are doing. We fear we might be terminated despite being a hard working employee. We fear we will lose our near and dear ones. We fear why isn't everything constant around us. We fear about almost everything that is around us.

What we forget? That, 'change is the only constant.' Rather than sitting back and 'fearing' the outcomes of a circumstances, push yourself to the extent that even 'fear' fears to overpower you. You are not the only one in a tough situation. There are people, who will have situations more grave than you. There are people, who may not have the means to overcome the fear. There are people, who will prefer to give into fear as that will cause them lesser pain than striving to fight the fear.

I have often been in such circumstances. This has been the case more recently post my pregnancy. The sense of fear in me has been so strong that it has made a confident and bold person like me to falter, panic and lose my cool. But I have realised that in order to rise above all the fear that is overpowering me, I will have to raise my self consciousness from the slumber that it has been in. I have realised that by fearing the outcomes of a situation, I am letting the onlooker, the passerby, the enemy, the mighty,- a chance to laugh at my weakness.

Thus, I have decided to 'not give in' to my fear but 'rise above' from it. My objective of writing this post is to abreast you all readers that do not give anyone else the chance to know that you fear them or their actions. Do not fear about anything that you want to do in life. There is only one life you get. Make the most of it. Do what you know will give you the perfect joy. Do what you think will fetch you accolades. Do what you know is best for you. Rise from the ashes like a phoenix and let 'fear' fear you!


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Monday, June 29, 2015

For the love of Thai- Benjarong- Review

Disclaimer: I do not have pictures of the food because the food was just wiped off the plates, the moment it was served. Rest assured, the review is genuine and authentic like the food I had there. 

Located on TTK Road, Benjarong has been on lists of 'Must try' places since long. So, when a dear friend of mine invited me over there for a Birthday lunch, I was not only happy to try this restaurant out but also happy at the fact that I was finally going to make it there.

As you enter the restaurant, you are hit by an aroma that will for once make you feel you have stepped into a Thai Spa :D but then that is how probably they do the decor and fragrance in a restaurant that specialises in Thai food. The restaurant is well spaced out with elegant seating arrangements. (Sorry, if am being too generalist in the way I talk about the seating in a restaurant.) Overall, the ambiance has a relaxing appeal to it.

As I and my friend waited for two of his other friends to arrive, we decided to order soup- pardon me for not writing the original names of the soups because they were hard to remember. The soup was a seafood hot n sour soup that was filled with prawns, squid, lemon grass, Thai chillies and had a taste that was tangy and hot. If you are not a chilly person, then you could try their soup that is made with coconut cream and (something more), which according to my friend who is a frequent visitor there, is delicious.

For the appetizers, we ordered Chicken Satay, Pandanus Chicken, and Baby corn Tartlets. The Chicken Satay was served with a sauce that was a mix of peanut, lemon and chilly; while the Pandanus Chicken was served with a sweet and sour sauce. Both the appetisers were delicious. The chicken in Pandanus Chicken was juicy, tender and the spices were mixed extremely well in it. Chicken Satay was a little dry compared to the other one but nonetheless, tasted light and good. The Baby Corn Tartlets were batter fried and tasted well.

In the main course, we ordered a Pad Thai Chicken, Jungle Fried Rice, Crispy Chicken, and a semi gravy Potato something (This was ordered to accompany the Fried Rice later hence, I do not remember the name at all). While both the Pad Thai Chicken and Crispy Chicken with capsicum, onions and cashew nuts was light, tasty and juicy; the Jungle Fried Rice was a mix of veggies, pepper and lemon which gave it a different taste than the usual Fried Rice that we would eat. The Potato dish was thin sliced potatoes with a sweet and tangy sauce and some veggies.

Overall, the food was light, delicious and well-cooked. We did not order any desserts as we were stuffed suffice. Since it was a treat, I cannot comment on the overall bill but yeah most dishes are priced between 200-500 INR.

There is one more thing which was a little striking for me, that was, the smell in every dish that came by. It took me some time to realise and I hope I wasn't wrong that the smell was of Fish oil/sauce that is used to cook Thai food. But that shouldn't deter you from trying out this absolutely delicious fare, presented to you in the near-most authentic form possible and served by smiling and courteous waiters.

Next time, pictures for sure! :D

Food: 4.5/5
Ambiance: 4/5
Service: 4/5

Benjarong is located right next to French Loaf on TTK Road.  Happy Eating!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My stint with Kerala Chicken Curry!

Cooking is an activity that doesn't come naturally to me. Whatever I know today is because of what, well, my mother taught me. However, that doesn't stop me from drooling over the food cooked in cookery shows, posted on blogs or reviewed in groups or sites. This also therefore gives me the chance to try my culinary skills at experimenting with food. Let me share with you my experience of cooking a new recipe for chicken for the first time. Need I say more that the result was worth it. :)

Though my experimentation is mostly restricted to my comfort food such as, Pasta, Sandwiches, Omlettes or even Maggi; I do not refrain from experimenting with the meat, fish or chicken. So when this time I bought a kg of chicken from a nearby shop, I was determined to cook something different and not the same old curry.

The saying- a way to a man's heart is through his stomach - somehow doesn't go in my case. For my husband, food is secondary. It needs to be as simple and as minimalist in choices. And, when it comes to the meat/chicken, experimentation is a big No, No. So when I surfed through my friend's blog for a simple chicken recipe that was not only easy and required less preparation, I ensured that it was something different than what we ate up north. But there was an additional thing that I had to watch out for and that was to ensure I cook another plain chicken curry that my husband would devour without sniffing. It is very difficult to please his palette.

Thus, on a lazy Sunday, I got down to preparing Kerala Chicken Curry adapted from my friend's blog and a plain and less oily chicken curry adapted from my everyday chicken recipe. You can check for the recipe on her blog- here

All through the cooking, I was a little apprehensive of the taste of the curry. Tamarind, coconut milk and curry leaves together in a recipe is something I had never attempted before. With fish, it is still imaginable, adding it to chicken was nothing less than taking a risk whose pitfalls I wasn't sure of.

But to my surprise, the end result was great. The curry turned out to be an amalgamation of different flavours. Tangyness of Tamarind coupled with mild coconut milk and curry leaves was a flavour in itself. Needless to say that I am happy at my efforts.

In fact, my husband liked it too. However, the conclusion was- we are happy with the usual chicken curry that's cooked at homes and curries like Kerala Chicken Curry are meant for once in a while occasions or when someone turns up from the South of India.
This is how the cooked curry looked. Sorry for the extremely bad image.
The photo was taken from my phone camera and
I had to post this to show my friend that I tried a recipe yet again from her blog. :-D 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

So They Say...

So they say, quit and sit back,
it isn't your day;
I say then when will it be if not today?
Shedding all inhibitions,
I embark on a new road.

I walk two miles,
only to witness a giant rock
blocking my way;
So they say, it's time you
tread on the return path.

I refuse to look back,
climbing the rocky terrain,
beads of sweat trickle down my forehead,
I keep up with the pace,
a thorn pierces the skin on my toe,
So they say, it's time for me
to abandon all that I had begun.

Abandon was a word,
I had never heard before,
fighting back with zeal,
was always what I was told,
Yet they said, gone is your time,
so is your luck, so is your chance,
Why hold on to things
that you shall never pass?

For teachers, we''ll remain the best!

Conversations that take place after years is often filled with memories- some good, some bad. I am going to talk about one such conversation that I had with my school teacher after almost 9 years.

It was a senior from school, who happens to be former colleague too, who messaged me on Facebook asking if I was from the very school where he studied. It turned out that he was a '91 batch pass out, while I started my journey in the same school in '92. As the conversation went along, he asked about a couple of teachers, whom I might have studied from. Of the three names, I knew two. Of those two, one teacher is no more and the other I hadn't spoken to in years.

I asked for her number from the senior. He apprised me about my teacher's present situation. She hasn't been going through the best of her times health wise. Suffering from some grave medical problem, she has been on constant dose of medicines. The drugs have not only been painful overall but have also made her suffer a lot.

I was struck with guilt and remorse. Had I been in touch with her, it wouldn't have been this senior telling me about the problem. It was my decision or rather circumstances that didn't let me meet my teachers for long. Having been away from Delhi for over four and half years saw me miss not just general alumni meets but also interactions with my most beloved teachers. So much so that I was conveyed the death of two of my dearest teachers over phone. It was pure helplessness that I felt then that made me oblivious to everything around my school.

But this conversation with a teacher after 9 years brought back so many memories and made me realise that it doesn't matter whether you are professionally successful or not, for your teacher, you will always remain the best. Talking to her and listening to her brave story of how she almost fought back death gave me a hope that if you are strong within, nothing- almost nothing- can put you down.

My teacher needs to take medication every hour to keep her away from collapsing but that hasn't deterred her from going to school and spending time with the children there. Her voice, her willpower never once sounded abysmal. She came across as an inspiration for not just her fighter spirit but also the zeal with which she has chosen to live her life. In her words, we all have just one life, why waste it worrying about how we will meet our end.

Conversation with her made me also realize the fact that we might have outgrown our school uniforms but for our teachers, we're still the batch of a particular year, which was better than the rest. When we connect with them, they feel elated and connected too. For as my teacher said, there is no longer the connection between a teacher and a student; no interactions and no fun. Every teacher misses this connection- when her students move on with their new lives, forgetting the way, those very teachers laid the foundation for such lives.

It was through this conversation that I was able to know about many other teachers, who are presently not doing well health wise. It saddened me. And, am not bluffing even one bit here. I have asked my teacher to pass me numbers of a couple of other teachers, which she said would do in a few days. I genuinely felt the urge to call everyone together and speak to them. Not because they are unwell, but because I know one phone call can make them happier and for at least a couple of minutes take them back to the good old days leaving behind their present tough situations.

When was the last time you spoke to your teacher? 

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Barren Love

Source
I look for the words that I once wrote to describe you,
Have they dried away just like our love?
Or have they interspersed in our fragmented lives?
Our love isn't barren, it is unsettled by the surroundings,
Soak in the feelings of a passionate kiss,
The untidy bed is a testimony to our passionate love,
Our love isn't barren, it is irked by the uneasiness,
Soak in the mighty breeze that ruffles your hair,
Your unkempt look is a testimony to our passionate love,
You are indomitable, you are fearless,
yet you presume our love as dead and buried,
When I can envisage the road we have often taken,
Sometimes whole-heartedly, sometimes half-heartedly,
The road less taken is the road that leads to fear,
Be what you are, what your soul is, what your mind is,
If your mind refuses to budge, then admit it,
Our love is barren, blind to the darkness around, 
oblivious of the passionate love,
Envious of the unkempt look, 
suspicious of the untidy bed,
Our love is barren enough, 
unable to intersperse in our fragmented lives. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ten Food Whose Taste I Can't Compromise With



This was probably the initial posts that I saw on Facebook today morning. My instant reaction- a wide grin :-D :-D - of course, being a tea person, I could relate to this so much. There are so many such posts that come on Facebook news feed on a daily basis. With some, you identify instantly; with some, you feel you identified earlier; then there are some which you feel simply exaggerated.

Tea is a drink that I really am obsessed about. No black, no green. I prefer my light brown coloured milk tea with a hint of sugar. Neither too milky nor too watery but a perfect mix of both with a dash of tea leaves. Explaining my kind of tea in words is tougher than how I imagined it to be. You'd probably have to pay me a visit to understand the kind of tea I like.

We all have our list of favorites, which we fear to or at least think twice before eating, when cooked by someone else. Not everyone can have a mother's touch or your taste.

Here are my favorite ten food/drink, whose taste I cannot compromise with:

1) Tea: Since the post started with this drink then why not give this first rank too. Need I say more on why I cannot compromise on its taste?

2) Rajma:  Let's keep it simple. I like "mere maa ke haath ka bana Rajmaaaaaaaa" 

3) Alu Posto: If you aren't a Bengali, it would take you a while to pronounce and then understand what exactly it is. Barring the fact that "alu" means potato, which of course all you would 99% recognize. Alu Posto or Potato cooked with Poppy seeds- is a Bengali delicacy devoured by almost every Bengali that I know of. And, yes this too has a certain consistency- the right amount of posto and cooked potatoes- which makes it one of my most favorite dishes. Did I tell you that I love the one that my mom makes and cannot or have not really found anyone even remotely going nearby? :-D

4) Noodles a.k.a Chowmein: Of course, I would love to have Noodles at Mainland China or Noodle Bar or Flower Drum or Yo! China but the one cooked inside the van or Hawkers (as we call it) right outside my house in Delhi is certainly the best. Not to forget the oodles of oil, spices, veggies, that it comes topped with.

5) Chicken Biryani: I don't care if it's Hyderabadi or Lucknowi, if it is Biryani, it's got to be with Basmati rice. Nothing more, nothing less. Layers of rice, intermixed with spices and loaded with ghee and fried onions! Slurrrrrrp!

6) Stuffed Parathas: Potato, onion or paneer, all have to be mixed together or separate, mashed with spices (not loaded but drizzled), and cooked in low oil and served with curd. Yeah, I know, parathas and low oil are oxymorons. But again, my mom can turn it around in no time.

7) Fish Curry: No, this is not the mustard fish curry which all of you think Bengalis eat day in and day out. This is a light fish curry cooked in ginger paste, cumin, tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt. It may sound a lot but trust me when its cooked, it is the lightest fish curry possible. Serve with it a plateful of steamed rice and you are good to go. You want recipe? :-P

8) Gol Gappas/ Pani Puri:  While the stuffing in these round specimen can vary and I don't mind that; the water that those are dipped in has to be chilled, spicy and topped with a lot of Boondi. 

9) Kadhi Chawal: While in most places, the dumplings served in the gravy are made in plain gram flour, I like to have it stuffed with either onions or spinach. The taste? Heavenly. The dumplings? Soft and filled with the taste of the gravy that is cooked with curd. And, no I don't like it with Roti. Only, steamed rice would do. :-)

10) Sandwich: I don't need a toaster or a sandwich maker to cook myself a sandwich filled with either veggies or just plain cheese. I simply need a frying pan or a flat bottomed tawa. And, I am good to go. The easiest and fastest way to cook some healthy sandwiches and enjoy breakfast/lunch/snack/dinner! Any time of the day would do.

[As a memory, I would also like to raise a toast to my all-time favorite, Maggi Noodles! Oh! How much I miss thee, Maggi! :'( :'( ]

What are the 10 foods whose taste you can't compromise with? Have you blogged about them yet? :-) 

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Time to pen(cil) my thoughts!

Sometimes you need to go back to old school. As a writer, carrying a pen/pencil/notebook/paper in a bag is a must apart from carrying the usual belongings. For me, pencil is a unique object. And, I am going to tell you much more about my association with this object in this post.

I remember those early primary class days, when carrying two sets of pencil, an eraser, a sharpner, and scale in the pencil box was the norm. Right before stepping out of home, my father would invariably ask in his low yet firm voice- "have you taken everything?", "Do you have an extra set of pencil?". I would very timidly respond with a yes.

I remember getting annoyed writing with a pencil and envy those students who could use/write with pen as early as in the fifth standard. Exams, drawings, homework and classwork- pencil was an important 'object' till the primary classes. As I advanced to the next classes, pencil became an object merely to draw the margins of exam sheets, mark a geographical feature on the map, underline the important points in a book and sometimes in the exam sheets too, to draw diagrams, experiments in the practical files or even to aim at your best friend standing at a distance.
Source

Isn't it true that you understand the worth/value of a thing or a person when they are either away from you or absent completely from your lives? Such has been my association with a pencil. Till the time I was supposed to use it everyday without fail- my primary classes- I detested using it. Now, with most of my hours spent typing on the laptop or on the mobile phones, I yearn to use the pencil whenever I smell an opportunity. So much so that I feel now my handwriting looks better with pencil than a pen. In fact, I wrote this post with a pencil in a notebook before typing it here on the blog.

I know many of you write a few rounds of draft before typing the final version on the blog or website. With me, it is a little different. Off late, I have been simply opening the blog post, keying in whatever thought came to my mind and then kept up with the flow. Today, was however, different. One of those days when I was yearning to pen(cil) my thoughts. And, am glad I did it. Glad about what I wrote. But definitely not about the handwriting that I saw.

Have you pen(ciled) your thoughts yet? Give it a shot. You'll be surprised. Things would come to your mind seamlessly. You'll put down everything that you see, observe, smell, breathe. And, it could be the best possible way to keep yourself away from gadgets and just be your old self.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Thank You note to my readers!

A thought the other day made me realise that I had not visited my blog for over a month. Unfortunately, I cannot recall what prompted me to ponder over my absence from the blog. So, I decided to log in and simply write down something that I can think of- THAT MOMENT. But, seems like I am suffering from Writer's Block. OR may be, my creative juices have dried up. I couldn't think of what to write, when my eyes fell on the "Pageviews". VOILA! my blog has more than 10,000 views now and I didn't even know it. SAD! That's what happens when you keep aside your passion and concentrate on all the nonsense surrounding your life.

But But But... Let me take this opportunity to thank each one of you, who took out time to read my blogs. For the sake of reading, for the genuine interest in reading, for the fact that you wanted to know how I write, just for time pass, or for any other god damn reason that I cannot think of right now; Thank You! I feel grateful. I feel honored. The thought that what I blabbered on this blog made sense to you, and that you had the urge to go through the pages, makes me delighted. What more could a writer ask for than a token of appreciation from his readers?

This blog post is a reminder to let you know that I do exist. I am back. And, I am back for the better. I know I had written a post on the very first day of this year citing how I would write everyday and share my blog but I am no where close to writing everyday. With May gone by without a blog post, I think one post this month is enough to ignite the fire within and carry on my aim to write regularly. I still don't know what I would write on. Will it be a poetry? Or a book review? Or some fiction? It could be anything and everything under the sun.

So, don't lose hope on me because I am hopelessly trying to write, and let my creative juices flow again.

Till then...

Love,
Indelible Musings :-)