Saturday, December 28, 2013

Om, peace

Bright sunlight in a clear blue sky
Crackling leaves in the gentle breeze
Chirpy birds and playful squirrels
Glittering waves in the pool
A neat story book
And yours truly in the midst of it

Equals a lovely Saturday....

Om, peace.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

What desn't kill you, makes you stronger.

If one has had a near death experience, it doesn't mean life ends there. It is actually rebirth. And God's way of hitting them on the head telling them to hit the gas on the pace of life, for it's high time.. and their time. Good time. The best time of their life is coming. Telling them to not give up, at this point, after coming so far.

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stand a little longer" is not just a saying. It is indeed true.

Conversely, if you haven't gone through it, just take the words at face value and try to value the good life you have and thank your stars that you don't have these scars. Let the fact that you don't have that pain and those scars be the energy that drives you.

Quite frankly, the pain never goes nor do the scars. Only that the pain keeps propelling you to push yourself beyond your limits, because you get up every morning thinking this will be your last day alive and you sleep every night thinking that will be your last night of peaceful sleep.

The universe sometimes works itself in seemingly cruel ways. It will put you back where those negative forces threw you out from. It is then that time to start your Karma and your Dharma. Focusing on what you are sent back there for, realizing that there was a purpose - and a good purpose behind the universe putting you back in the same spot. If you get scared and run away from that spot you are going against the forces of nature, which doesn't make sense... wasn't it you - your ego - that kept wishing for it, wishing that "I want to go back and complete my unfinished business," "I want to set things straight," or, "I want clear my name of all wrongdoings," "I want the world to know what I'm capable of?" Therefore, as the great Nike ad says, Just do It. Do your Karma with attachment to the process and without attachment to the outcome - whether you'll be able to finish your business or not.

Much like if you focus on thoroughly reviewing the requirements and scrutinising the design, you will develop a code with zero defects and have a successful implementation. Much like how you'll pour your heart, tears, pain out while writing an article without worrying whether it will be liked or not. Much like how a parent will selflessly sacrifice to bring his/her kid happiness without thinking about whether that Seva will ever be reciprocated.

It is indeed true that, when you stay completely focused on your Karma without attachment to the fruits of your actions, the Divine intervenes and supports you to reach your goal. The Divine being the goodness inside of you.

Never underestimate the power of the Divine. Willpower can and will change you and your world.

~Dedicated to the scars we've all ever had.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lau! For Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga's voice is absolutely amazing. So powerful, so controlling, yet so inspiring and arousing. One may love her or loathe her but it is almost impossible to change the station when her songs play. Yet, in each song, somewhere in her voice, or lyrics, costumes, sets, or choreography, pain is visible and loneliness is apparent. They seem to exemplify the fact that no matter how rich or powerful or famous or loved one becomes, akele hain akele jayenge (we've all come alone and will leave alone). The woman has the ability to turn a self-obsessed song like Applause into a desperate call for love and acceptance and a submissive song like Do What You Want into a domineering ask for physical gratification. Whatta Lady, Gaga.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Friends... or fiends?

Don't know if people are so heartless and self centered or just plain stupid. If you say or do something to someone which seems normal to you but is not for them and they ask politely to stop, please try to understand and accept. If you continue to say or do that same thing over and over again and one fine day they start reacting with the same things to you, please understand they're hinting to you to stop by trying to make you go through what you made me go through. If you still don't stop and it comes to a point when they have to spell it out to you (and you don't like it), you need to realize it's not their fault and you brought it upon yourself. It hurt them on many levels too when they had to spell it out to you. 

Just because a person doesn't say anything it does not mean he/she doesn't feel hurt/insulted. Don't misunderstand or misinterpret a person's tolerance and patience as his/her weakness, he/she is probably just trying to be nice (and in that process slowly losing respect and love for you with each time you repeat yourself).

Don't make people who you call your friends distance themselves from you. Today's world and generation is full of people who you can call "contacts," but "friends," they are far and few.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Really Random Lengthy Ramble

Letting go is the simplest, hardest yet one of the most important lessons to learn in life. Without that, one will never be able to let go of this material[body & world].

The body is mortal, the relationships are man made. The emotions are of the body. But the soul is everlasting, shashwat. The pretty clothes, jewelery, riches, power, fame, name, are all for the body - the rented apartment that the soul stays in while it is away from its true home, the Almighty. It is one's decision to make this rented apartment a house or a home. Not with the pretty clothes, jewelery, riches, power, fame, and name but with purity of thought and sincerity in deed.

It is easy to physically injure another body, but it is one's own soul that takes the blow, that also gets injured. The purity it had while being a part of the divine is lost each time one tries to go farther and farther into its material form. It is important to love oneself and another, love from the soul not from the body. The body may express love as a birthday gift, a great night in bed, a beautiful palace, or a fast car. The intent is not owned by the body though. The intent of the action comes from the soul and the expression of love is pure only when the soul remains pure. It is important to accept. Even the "abnormal" ones, the ones who stammer, the ones who limp, couples who are childless, mothers who are single, women who aren't pretty, students who are not great at anything, just accept them. 
Accept even the ones who don't believe in the soul and in divinity - they have faith in their beliefs after all. Everyone has a soul too and so are also a part of the divine just like yours. Thus you and they are the same. They just got a different rented apartment from yours because they[their soul] had a different journey to travel. Accept them therefore for what they are and not for what you want them to be.

Accept yourself. Accept not just the body but also the soul.

The soul's rented apartment needs to be kept clean and safe and secure. Some place to be feel comfortable in and to come back to each day. Do everything you can to keep your apartment so. Scold the kid if it really needs to be scolded. Tell someone to stop if they smoke in your face and you can't bear it. Stand up and fight for what you believe in. Never give up. Never say die. The soul never dies.

The journey of the soul starts from the point it splits from the divine, not from the point it was physically conceived. And it ends, not at the time when the body is destroyed but when it reunites with the divine. The soul keeps wandering from one house to another until it is ready to reunite. One[body] will never know when this journey of the soul is about to end. It may end after journeying through 10 bodies, or it may not end after moving through a million. So, when your soul is with this body, try to take care of the soul too. Who knows, it might be your turn next.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Get ready for summer with Kairi Panhe!

Raw mangoes - any number depending on the quantity you want to make, I used 1 big Kairi
Sugar - I don't like too much sugar in my Panhe, so for a cup of water I took half a cup of sugar
Cardamom powder (the pods as it is are also fine)

Peel off the skin of the mango and steam it until it turns yellow and soft and gluggy. Mash this and keep aside.

Boil the water and sugar mixed together. When the water starts to boil, put the mashed mango in it and simmer for a minute.

Turn of the heat and cover and keep aside till it comes to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.
Drink chilled. Be happy. :-)

You might want to leave small chunks of mango in it instead of turning it into a paste. It feels great to have few chunks to bite into while drinking the Panhe.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

I don't get it.

I don't get it - 

When people are dishonest with the world it's okay,
But when people are dishonest with themselves, I don't get it

When people lie to the whole world it's okay 
But when they can see that other people know they're lying - and still keep lying, I don't get it

When people live in an open marriage and hit on other unsuspecting women
Assuming that they will reciprocate
Assuming they share the same polygamous principles of life they share with their spouse
I don't get it

When people reach out to you only in their times of need, it's okay
When people "make friends" with you on Facebook, it's okay (who cares about Facebook anyway), it's okay
When people take your response to your call/friend request for granted and think you will do favors for them, it's okay
But when people think everyone follows the same yardstick of right and wrong as you - it is not okay.

When people put others down to come up in life, it's okay
But when people think they will get away with it, it's not okay
Karma will catch up with them some day
Or worse, they will find themselves haunted by, hit back with the same people they pushed down

What may be right, what may be ethical for one, may not be right, may not be ethical for another
Why people don't understand this, I don't understand

Most people live their life for the world around them
Make choices not for themselves, but for the world around them
Do things thinking "what will society say?"
Do things because "it is the norm"
Okay - this, I get.

But some people
Live their life for themselves
Make choices for themselves
Do things because they feel are right, ethical, legal
As long as they do things that don't hurt others, why should anyone care?

But no. The world will not allow these people to live.
The world will hunt them down like hungry wolves
The world will single them out like outcasts
The world will ridicule them for having a mind of their own

The world can't see another's happiness if they are not happy.
If you are one of such minority, you have a good reason to feel truly happy
Because God made you special, your  parents made you special.
Because you were born with a special purpose. Not just to live the life of a vegetable - fresh today, rotten tomorrow.

Stick to your guns, hold your head high, have a clear conscience, life your life.
So long as you're true to yourself
So long as you don't harm anyone
You have the right to live. Much as everyone else. Much as the "majority."

Live your life how you want. So long as you

Live and Let Live.

Bake to Backing.. oops, Back to Baking!

Winter's about to end (we all hope it does, some day in 2013!) and yours truly decides to come out of hibernation and bake something. Yay for me!

Banana cake is a family favorite - rather, Daddy and daughter's favorite. When mother used to make it back then using a pressure cooker, we both used to "compete" in finishing it first! :) What I do is bake instead of pressure cook and since it turns out a little less moist than mum's, I call it the "banana bread." Smart, ain't I? ;-)

Anyway, enough of my bragging. Here goes. Hope you have as much fun eating as you do preparing it!

Banana Walnut Bread

One 13 X 9 medium sized loaf

2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar (or more, depending on how many sweet teeth one has)
1/3 cup unsalted butter
2 bananas (over ripe to the point where one simply cannot eat them as-is, DO NOT use regular ripe bananas - it will ruin the recipe)
1.5 cups flour (all purpose flour is the norm but it can easily be substituted with wheat or multi grain)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
A pinch of salt
A handful of walnut pieces (can be substituted with pecans, choco chips, tooty fruities, even completely exclude from the recipe)


Part I - Get the "wet stuff" together

Beat the eggs and add the sugar and butter. Blend them into a homogeneous liquid.
Mash the over ripe bananas and add them to this blend. Blend them all again.
If the mixture appears to curdle and smells gross, then it means you're on the right track.

Part II - Dry stuff

Mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together.
Crush the walnuts into small pieces. Roast them lightly. The roasting is optional; it gives a good crunch in the middle of the soft and sweet bread. But don't mix them in yet!
Make the oven ready: Switch it on to 340 degrees F or 170 degrees C.
Make the loaf pan ready: Grease the insides of the pan with a light layer or oil/butter. This to ensure that the bread does not stick to the pan when cooked.

Part III - Get everything together

Add the gross liquid to the powder mixture and mix them together. This takes a few minutes; the mixture will resemble an idli/pancake batter
Now add the crushed walnuts and gently fold them into the batter.
Pour this mixture into the greased loaf pan.
Bake for 30 minutes OR until a knife or skewer run through it comes out clean.

Later ...

Remove the loaf out of the pan and let it cool down. Wrap into an aluminium foil to retain moisture and into the fridge for storage.

The bread should stay fresh for 4-5 days. But it surely won't remain off people's hands for that long :-)

And the crack you see on top of the bread is a good sign too. It means the bread cooked through and the heat escaped. This is really as simple as it appears and not something you'd regret making. You might just convert to a baking lover for good!