Very rarely I find all the vegetables available at home to cook Veg Pulao and today happened to be that day. I had all the vegetables, expect peas. But that dint stop me from making the pulao.
There are few dishes we can just rush through and still manage to make it tasty. For the others, precision is required to get that perfect dish. More or less it happens with all the complex dishes which are time taking, they test our patience. For me Veg Pulao falls under that category. I remember times when I rushed through the process and it dint turn out the way I wanted it.
This time around, I came into the kitchen with as much patience I can muster and gave it my best shot. And the dish turned out to be delicious!!
So here is the recipe for Veg Pulao:
50 gm beans
2 medium size carrots
2 medium size potatoes
50 gm cauliflower
50 gm fresh peas
One big size Onion
2 green chillies
½ tsp Ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp Oil
½ tsp Shahi Jeera
1 inch cinnamon
Salt to taste
1 ½ cup Basmati rice
1 ½ tbsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tbsp coriander powder
½ tbsp black pepper powder
¼ tsp Garam Masala
Wash all the vegetables and dice potatoes and carrots into 2 cm cubes and beans 2 cm in length. Separate cauliflower florets and boil it for 10 minutes in a pinch a salt.
Finely slice the onion and slit the green chillies. In a pan, add oil and a pinch of shahi jeera, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon. Once it starts to splutter, add onions and green chillies and cook them till they turn golden brown.
Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add all the vegetables expect cauliflower (as it is already boiled in water and will be cooked sufficiently) and sauté for couple of minutes. Let the vegetables cook for 15 minutes. Stir them occasionally.
In the mean while, wash the basmati rice and add 3 cups of water for 1 ½ cup of rice. Add a dash of oil, ½ tbsp of salt and a pinch of shahi jeera to the rice and let it cook till rice is cooked half way through.
Get back to the vegetables and add 1 tbsp of salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder and garam masala. Now add the boiled cauliflower florets, mix well and let the vegetables cook till oil separates.
Once the rice is cooked half way through, add the cooked vegetables to rice and mix it well. Let it cook till it starts to let the steam out from the closed dish.
And voila! Tasty Veg-Pulao is ready to be served. It can be served with raita. This dish can serve four people.
In this article I will take you through my present day garden and all the plants I am growing currently.
The first thing I did when I started was to do away with all the nursery plants. They died anyway, not for the lack of trying on my part. They just needed more chemical compost and I vow to keep my garden organic.
Thinking back on my grandmother’s keen interest in growing organic vegetables urged me to start growing vegetables at home again. I started with Chillies and Tomatoes at the same time. For Chillies, I used one dried red chilli’s seeds and for tomatoes, I used the one or two rotten tomatoes at the end of a batch. Chillies take a bit longer to sprout when compared to Tomatoes, but once they do, they grow pretty fast. Now I have one green chilli growing already and my tomato saplings are still trying to grow. I am tagging this is a Hit.
While cooking bitter gourd, I separated the seeds for my garden. It took them no time to sprout and become a creeper. It is still growing. I am tagging this – a Hit!
Similarly with dosakaya (one type of cucumber) I tried once, but probably the seeds were too small for which they did not sprout. I tried again with bigger seeds and had two sprouting. But due to the continuous rains in Hyderabad, both saplings died with excessive water. I am tagging this -a Miss!
I wanted to have brinjal (egg plant) plant as well and I don’t know what possessed me to soak its seeds in water for a couple days, but I did. Two days later the concoction just smelled too bad and I had to throw it away. I tried with seeds directly too, but they did not sprout or the ruddy ants ate them away! I am tagging this as a total Miss!
I tried to grow peas too from dried peas directly without soaking them first. At first they started to sprout and gave up eventually. I will try again with soaked peas and post the results in my next gardening article. For now this is tagged as a Miss!
Growing mint at home is probably one of the easiest things. While you are cooking, just look for mint stems with slight bit of roots at the end, they can be as small as 5 mm. Put the stem with root in the soil and ensure the roots are covered sufficiently. Water it on daily basis and you will have a pot full of mint ready in no time. I am tagging this as a Hit.
In the past, I remember growing fenugreek at home and I wanted to do it again. But this time around I had roasted fenugreek instead of dried (Mistake number 1). So I soaked the seeds for a week, till they started to sprout. I transferred these sprouts to a pot and covered it with more soil (Mistake number 2). The sprouts were struggling to find their way out and most of them died struggling. The two odd sprouts that somehow managed to come out are looking malnourished. I am tagging this experiment as a Miss.
Growing up, I always wanted home grown seasonal fruits. I used to pit the seeds wherever I found space, of all the fruits I have ever eaten. Of course not all have succeeded in growing. We only have Custard apple and Black Plum trees thanks to my pitting. It does not take special skills to grow seasonal fruits in your own gardens. As long as you have the seeds, sow them, water them daily and hope for it to grow. I am tagging this as a Massive Hit!
At the beginning of the summer, I tried growing Sapota from the seeds I had. I even put sufficient water but I didn’t succeed. Maybe it was a wrong time to grow Sapota. I am tagging this -a Miss!
I have two trees which I don’t know how they came to be, but they just did. 1. Lemon and 2. Hibiscus.
For fifteen odd years, my father had trimmed this lemon plant whenever it grew beyond the two feet mark, thinking would be a huge tree if we allowed and it would be difficult to manage it. Sometime after the fifteen years, I don’t know if my father gave up or this plant is plain stubborn and hell bent on growing, it is now a fully grown tree giving us unlimited supply of lemons. And a person can have only so much of lemonade in their lifetime. We do share excess lemons with our neighbors, I have made lemon Pickle with 80 odd lemons and yet we still had 60 left. I tried selling it to vegetable vendors, due to the superstitious believes attached with lemons, no vendor was willing to take them, even for free! So, what did we do? We re-distributed them to our neighbors. Again! Probably even they are thinking why we give away so many lemons. I am feeling conflicted to Tag this.
Hibiscus also magically started growing in our garden. It is a very shy plant in the entire lot; it gives us one flower in two months if we are very lucky! Like any good Indian neighbor I checked with my neighbor’s hibiscus plants and how many flowers their tree gives on daily basis, plenty! If not today, someday in the near future my plant might give us plenty of flowers too. So, I am tagging this – a grudging Hit.
When we were kids, we stayed over our cousin’s place during one of the summer holidays. I remember going on a morning walk and picking up Moduga (Botanical name: Butea Monosperma ) leaves, which our paternal grandmother made plates out of! Since then I was strangely obsessed this tree. A couple of years ago, in our office premises, the local government were distributing these saplings and I could not pass the opportunity to have this plant in my garden. It is still small, so we have not started to use these leaves as substitute for our plates yet. And we are expecting flowers next season, which are used as primary ingredient in organic Holi colors. I am tagging this as a Hit!
Not only I, one of our domestic helps is also fond of gardening and she takes it upon herself to find the plants that are not already in our garden and plants them herself. Creeping Daisy is one of them. It almost died last year before it started to spread throughout the entire patch. It is still in growing phase and it flowers occasionally. I am tagging this as a Hit!
There are a couple of plants growing in my garden and I am unable to identify them. We only kept them because the leaves are pretty. Readers, if you are able to identify them, please let me know what these plants are in the comments section. I want to know if they are dangerous in any capacity, so I can do away with them.
Here are some of the hacks I use to keep my garden green and growing.
We can create our own organic compost at home. If you have space in a corner of your garden, make a pit and dump all your cooking wastes such as: Vegetable wastes, egg shells, fruit wastes, etc. You can add dried leaves from your own garden too in the mix (I leave the dried leaves at the roots until they become over bearing. They decompose and become natural growth supplements), cover the pit and leave it for a month or so. You can add this compost to your plants for their growth enhancement.
Do not throw away the broken pots. The plants don’t care the shape of the pot. They just need soil to grow. As long as you are able to put enough soil to grow something in it, use it. If you feel the shape of the pot is ruining your garden, just remember, there is no award given for people with best looking gardens.
Water your plants on daily basis, even in summer. I am not asking you to put excessive water. Just drizzle some water and that’s about it. This is the main reason we have seasonal fruits coming around the year without any break.
Do not try to beautify your pots, just because they look shabby. Once you color your pots, come rainy season they will be back to looking shabby with patchy mud. Leave them in the earthy natural colors, that’s how they grew in wild before you and I started caring for them.
Save the water used for washing vegetables and cooking in general and use them for watering your plants, they have natural supplements which enhances the growth.
I hope you liked this segment on gardening. Do try the hacks and let me know the results in the comments section.
Here is another movie from the 90’s that had Indian audience in awe with its sheer grandness at the time, covering major cities around the world and capturing their beauty. Most of all the coverage the makers have given to the United States in this film could be one of the reasons many moved to this continent to pursue their higher education and eventually settle there. I wouldn’t blame them, the locations were exquisite!
I have recently re-watched this film for…I don’t know, I have lost the count! The twin’s concept was unique. I loved the aerial view of Los Angeles at the beginning and the theme song playing in the background just gives wings to the butterflies residing in your heart! This theme song was my ringtone for far too long than I would care to admit. A R Rahman worked his magic right from the starting credits and all the songs from the movie were a huge hit!
Stressing the point on the spending the weekends with family and friends was refreshing. Juno destroying all the gadgets throughout the song was just driving the point home.
Aishwarya’s introduction scene was a little concerning. Who can lose their American address while just having landed in America? It is probably for this reason parents don’t trust their 20 year old daughters and an elder brother with their parents and let alone send them off to a different country to get their parents treated. Anyway, Aishwarya’s costumes in the movie were awesome from the get go!
Lakshmi’s action was part funny and part naive, though spot on for an aged women with her inhibitions. Her fear of death even though it is melodramatic, is something every person put in that situation goes through. Obviously only option available to make her feel comfortable is changing her attire and sneaking her away from the hospital to eat Indian food like you have not eaten it before and going out on an excursion to the Universal studios (The makers went to a great deal of persuasion to get the permission to shoot within the Universal Studios, at that point in time, no foreign filmmakers were granted permission to do so.), sing and dance like you were not in pain just one day ago. And yes, these things happen only in a movie.
One other thing that happens only in movies? The hero talks in Indian regional language and the foreign doctors understand his concerns and replies in English!
Cut to the airport scene, not once in the 40 minutes duration of the movie did the makers try to work the romantic angle between Madhu and Visu, but as soon as they reach airport, both Madhu and Visu are desperately trying to profess they love for each other. I found their hesitance rather cute! But, why wait till the time you are leaving the country to tell someone that you love them? That’s how the story sells! And it did!
It was again very cute of Madhu for trying to get away with Visu’s keeps sake (although it was all garbage) but did not go unnoticed by Lakshmi and she tries to be the fairy godmother along with being the grandmother. Change of plans, quick confessions of being in love and a song that covers the New York City like nobody’s business, when we find trouble in the paradise in the form of Peddabbai wanting his twins to be married to twins only! And the flashback ensues.
We understand Peddabbai’s concerns over how his wife and her co-sister could not get along, which led to his wife death, essentially destroying both his and his twin’s lives forever and not wanting a repeat of the same. What he failed to understand at this point is no two situations are same and let alone the outcomes. Drawing conclusions from his experience and forcing his children into something they cannot control is plain cruel!
Radhika’s performance was really good as a perverse female character and her ultimatums about every small and big things in the flashback. And she pulled off the villager look like a pro!
Juno’s comedy was timed accurately and although all the questions he asked were valid, his question would put people on spot in a funny way, especially Lakshmi and how she struggles to keep up with her web of lies.
Have I already mentioned about how beautiful Aishwarya’s costumes were in the movie? If I have, it is worth the mention again. Her costumes in the song – “Priya priya” were just awesome and can be pulled off as wedding collection at any given point in time. And she was looking as beautiful as she was described in the song. This is the one duet song the makers did not go for exotic locations. At the same time they did not slum in the area of sets, they were beautiful too, befitting.
Moving on, it was extremely hilarious to watch the computerized Vaishnavi’s malfunctioned dance: turning into a roll, spring, bulging into a balloon and finally becoming a skeleton! The closing act by the skeleton was just a cherry on the top!
Peddabbai’s suggestion of going to their hometown as Chinnabbai is preposterous even for a movie! And Ramu’s desperation for Vaishnavi’s affection during the last train scene was a bit much to watch. Madhu’s conflicted feeling about cheating Visu, Visu discovering the truth of Vaishnavi’s existence, drama never seize to unfold in a well scripted movie.
Ramu, in spite of being shattered will be the first one to come to his sense and tries damage control. After some well deserved grovelling and the seven wonders song (apparently the crew explored all the beautiful cities across the globe and shortlisted the ones featured in the movie. Back then they were not officially announced as seven wonder of the world. Back to Aishwarya’s costumes: Did I already cover that part twice? Well, what can I say? It is worth the mention for the third time too. All the ball gowns she wore in this song are to die for! Absolutely, timeless!! As the song suggests, she can get away with being called the eight wonder!), they are back to being the happy couple.
Mardhesh, unbeknownst to the latest developments happening on the other side of the story, visits Chinnabbai to execute his own plan to make this work for his sister. But only invites trouble by spilling the proverbial beans to Peddabbai who is pretending to be Chinnabbai.
The drama that unfolds during the wedding scene and Peddabbai pulling the Villain card only to realize he walked right into the trap set by himself, unknowingly. I would like to call that instant karma served by Radhika!
Thellabbai throughout the movie goes around in circles with his conversations, for once makes a good argument point while talking some sense into Peddabbai. He scored a point right there for me.
And in the end my friends, the skeleton comes back again and dances to the end credits right along with the happy couple. Over all it is an entertaining watch, never throughout the movie you will feel bored. If you are looking for a 90’s feel good movie to kill time, Jeans is it!
In this series I will share about the history of gardeners our family had before me, what all they have grown in the garden, their hacks: hits & misses to what I am growing in the same garden these days and the hacks I am using.
Our family has a long line of gardeners in them. I am the third generation. My maternal grandmother started gardening when we first moved to our current independent house about 25 years ago. I have given a brief verbal glimpse of my garden in one of my previous posts: Multi-Pulse Punugulu. If you haven’t read it already here is the post link: https://saudhaminimylaram.in/2020/06/25/mutli-pulse-punugulu/
Anyway, our grandmother first started off with the Curry leaf plant, which now is a giant tree (as old as the house itself). Now, these curry leaf trees have attachment issues! We grow one and from their roots they keep sprouting new small ones. It is very annoying to weed them out every week.
Moving on, our grandmother also had Bottle Gourd, Dosakaya (one kind of cucumber), Bitter Gourd, Sweet Lime, Tomatoes and Green Chillies in her garden. Tomatoes and Chilli plants survived for only one season giving us one cycle of vegetables before drying up. Bottle gourd creeper occupied more than half of our terrace, that’s how wild it grew back then. The shape of the bottle gourd should ideally be round but occasionally we would spot a bell shaped, hook-shaped and many others. As kids we would wait eagerly to see what shape they would take!
With bitter gourd, the creeper was just half way through going to the terrace (while still growing as a plant), it started to flower and we had early bitter gourds too. They were quite small comparatively and ripen on the plant itself. Funny thing is, birds would come and eat the ripen bitter gourds and we never had a chance to eat them. The creeper dried up within few short weeks and we never bothered with another try until quite recently. Sweet lime tree grew up to be quite massive with its huge trunk and big leaves. It also gave us couple of fruits, but for the fear of the tree growing even bigger, our father cut it down completely. Yeah, Sad!
She also tried growing Brinjal, Okra, Bachalkura (also called as Malabar Spinach, is a leafy vegetable) and Gongura (also a leafy vegetable). Some were successful, some not so much.
Our Grandmother’s hack of growing healthy plants was: she saved the water used for washing vegetables and grains, used this water for the plants. Said they would serve as natural supplements for plants.
Along with our grandmother, my two elder sisters and I would also contribute in gardening. But our interests back then was in flowering pots! All three of us together would care for a variety of Roses, Jasmines (It is a part of the plant our paternal grandmother was growing, now dried up mostly because it is ages old! And we are glad to have it in our home and to carry on her legacy) Chrysanthemums, Corn (although this was an experiment tried by one of sisters to test if it would actually grow. The experiment was not only successful; we also enjoyed corn from that very plant!) Marigold flowers, December flowers, Rain Lilies, Money plant and Crossandra (What kind of a plant is it, you wondering? Well, even I have just discovered Kanakambaram is called Crossandra in English! One new thing I have learned today!!)
Rain lilies: my sister got this plant from one of her friends place. You just need the roots for these plants, they will be in the onion shape and you don’t even need to put it inside the ground. Just leave it in a pot and water them. These plants need excessive water to start flowering but otherwise they generate leaves pretty fast and roots also multiply in no time. We have two different types of rain lilies: wild orange lilies and pink lilies.
Aloe Vera: Just like rain lilies, my sister got aloe vera from one of her friends. Easy thing with Aloe Vera is: it does not need ground to grow, which I have realized only early this year. It was growing in a pot, quiet wildly if I have to add. Then I decided I need that pot for one of my experiments (which I will cover in my next article of gardening) and I uprooted all the aloe vera plants that were growing in this pot and thrashed them carelessly in one corner of my garden thinking if they survive well and good if not no loss, not at least for me. You see, I don’t use aloe vera for any of my beauty hacks, my sisters did. With them living in different parts of the city and world respectively, I have no use of it. And it proved to be as wild as I imagined: with root turned upwards they are still surviving and growing!
Guava: we actually don’t know how it came to be in our garden, it just did and we were glad about it. Because the inside of the fruit is pink!
When you have two elder sisters while growing up, you learn through their mistake. Now, all these roses and chrysanthemum were from a nursery and they needed supplements every week, without which they would die. That is what happened with all our rose plants and chrysanthemum plants in our garden.
Did these plants not survive when they grew in wild without supplements? Why do they need it now? And, these plants are accustomed to the supplements provided by the same nursery! At least we had fun with the other plants which kept us busy.
One hack my sisters used for gardening: use all the cooking wastes such as: used tea powder, eggshells, etc., as natural supplements for the plants. You can also include vegetables wastes in the mix.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article. In the next segment on Chronicles of Gardening, I will be sharing my experiences with gardening in the last ten years, attempts I made at growing few organic vegetables (I am calling them experiments): hits & misses. Stay tuned!
While I was working for my first company, I would feel hungry every hour after lunch. Sometimes my stomach would not even wait for that one hour mark to get hungry. I would pester my colleagues constantly with this nuisance. To which my then colleague and now friend declared: “you are not hungry, you are just bored!”
Well, I know I was bored.
My stomach? Not so much.
One day we received a packet of dry fruits as a gift. We (just my friend & I) called it our secret stash of “chuttur-puttur” which served my constant need of food or snacks. Of course we completed that stash within few days and stocked it up next with chocolates! And so on it went.
If only we found recipes of healthy yet filling pass time snacks back then. Anyway, as no surprise to my readers, on one of the visits to my sister’s place, I tried the kobbari (coconut) laddus she made. And I was done for. These laddus just melted in my mouth and they were so delicious! It was pure heaven! I have found my one true pass time snack of all times. I know it sounds like I am expressing my undying love for it, because I am!
For people who are constantly hungry and cannot find enough food in their food cabinets to satisfy their hunger, kobbari laddu is your one stop snack. It is easy to make and also packs good amounts of Iron.
So here is the recipe, do try and share your feedback.
Fresh coconut – One half
Jaggery – 100 gm
Milk – 100 ml
Cardamom powder – a pinch
Cut the one half of the coconut in to bite size pieces and grind them to a coarse powder (grating does not work for this recipe. Believe me when I say I tried not to use the scary grinder! And also, grated coconut takes longer to cook.)
In a pan, add generous amounts of butter (more the merrier) and add the coconut powder. Sauté till the coconut turns brown.
Add milk and cardamom powder and cook it for 15 mins. Add jaggery and mix well till it dissolves.
Cook it till it becomes a thick paste and turn off the heat. Let it rest for 5 mins and make laddus. And voila! Kobbari laddu is ready!
You can store them for months and have this snack whenever you feel bored!
A recipe my sister swears by, which helps with digestion and menstrual cramps.
I especially do not remember eating Gulkhand in my childhood days. But she claims that it is one of the ingredients used in sweet pan. Well, I have never dissected a sweet pan before to know if it was indeed included, but I certainly have eaten sweet pan on many occasions. The idea of my tongue changing to the color of deep red got me super excited as a kid. Although the ingredient that triggers the color change is not Gulkhand. I was glad, I have consumed it at some point in my life, because the name of the recipe was not ringing any bells for me!
Anyway, my sister is a health freak and always is in search of healthy recipes with seasonal ingredients. Roses happened to one of those key ingredients rarely used in dishes. She came across Gulkhand recipe and hasn’t rested until she tried it.
So, here is the recipe of Gulkhand. Home cooks do try and share your feedback.
100 grams of pink/red roses (not hybrid)
50 grams of sugar
1 tsp of fennel seeds
2 tsp of honey
Separate the rose petals and wash the them thoroughly.
First grind the fennel seeds and cardamom to fine powder. Use mortar and pestle, electric grinders will not give you the desired results for this recipe.
To this powder add rose petals and sugar gradually in small portions. Grind it to a course paste.
Add honey to the paste and mix well. Transfer it to a glass/ ceramic jar and leave it in sun for three days. Voila, Gulkhand is ready!
You can have this with warm milk before bed: 1 tsp of gulkhand for 100 ml of milk. It can also be consumed as sharbat: for one litre of water use 4 tsp of gulkhand and 4 tsp of sugar.
Criminal movie had created quite a buzz in Tollywood and did just about OK in Bollywood. The ever green song: Telusa manasa, was the trademark romantic song of that era, and still gets you transported to a magical place.
I never got a chance to watch this film until quite recently. It never crossed my mind to watch it, even though I love the song. Because I have learnt my lesson getting carried away with just one song in a particular movie and do not want a repeat of the same. This movie certainly changed that opinion for me.
Watching this movie had me question a couple of things in Indian film industry. To begin with: I did not know Indian women were as advanced back in early 90’s to talk about sharing men. Don’t get me wrong! I absolutely loved Ramyakrishna’s role. It was very powerfully written and she did justice to it and portrayed all the emotions quite well. Be it the police officer role, as a best friend, taking a step back when she realized her friend was also in love with Nagarjuna, a friend to Nag, when he needed someone in his corner. She was also looking much prettier compared to Manisha Koyirala. But that’s just my view.
Now, Manisha’s role was a bit confusing. She is all a mess when Nag is right in front of her but is bold enough to make a video to seduce him. And when he tries to seduce her back she shies away? Not convincing! (She should have owned it!) She looked adorable as Nag’s wife, even if it was for a brief period of time.
Apart from that one song, I did not know other songs existed in the movie, simply because of the fact that one song took over and it plays in the background throughout the movie. That is the only song which is worth a watch, be it locations or otherwise. Other songs are just fillers.
Costumes in the other songs? Disaster!
I believe they have just discovered a technique to change colors of the costumes on screen while the actors are dancing. It was horrifying to watch songs like that. The dancing itself was questionable. While we are on the topic of costumes, the makers made more efforts in Ramya’s costumes than Manisha’s. The bob cut and the wig were just not doing it for her.
The plot as such is good. It is of course a remake of an English film. But more than that, I liked how they have kept the movie engaging with the back and forth with past and present. And to think selling human parts illegally existed at that point in time is simply terrifying! While the idea of Gulshan Glover not having a single dialogue in the movie was working for him as a villain. But I think the makers were simply saving him the efforts of speaking Telugu even for lip-syncing purposes.
Some parts of the movie had me thinking, is it possible to jump off dam gates while they are open, with a day’s old wound, swim across the river and live to see another day? But, it is just a movie right? Anything is possible!
Nagarjuna’s performance in terms of romance was very good. Well, he is called Manmadhudu for a reason! But the emotional scenes, not so much. Maybe because I have seen his better emotional performances in the movies that followed.
Ramya’s timing when it came to daydreaming about Nag when he is in pain recovering from the wound mentioned earlier was incredulous. They could have easily done way with the special song towards the end of the movie which was absolutely not necessary along with the rest of the songs apart from the trademark song from the film.
The action sequences were realistic. Since it was still 90’s, the heroic tactics of 00’s were still not introduced to the film industry, wherein the Hero even after being attacked by multiple goons can still stand and finish them all. Just one Hero! But in this film, Nag took equal amounts of blows from Gulshan, making it believable.
All in all, it was a well written thriller with good plot. It was quite refreshing to watch a 90’s film and enjoy it! I would totally recommend this movie, if you have not already watched it. If I were to rate this film, I would give it a 3.5/5.
What is your endgame when you go for shopping? I am not asking about when you go for a window shopping in a mall, looking at all the new accessories and clothes available in the stores, no. I am talking about having an actual intention of buying things. Things you need.
Let’s take clothes for example: I was looking for a dark turquoise color dress in either cotton or chiffon material with either self-print or running colors scheme. It was towards the end of February, when I needed this dress. The winter was at its tail end and we could feel the beginning of summer in the air. So I wanted either cap sleeves or sleeveless dress. Yes, I know! It is quite specific to find a dress like that in the mall stores. Especially when you are not buying the material by your choice, color by your choice, design and print by your choice. You get what you get from these stores. But, did it deter me in finding the dress I want? Absolutely not!
It was a weekday, working day and most of all I needed that dress for the next day. All my shopping stints have been last minute for quite few years now. And every time, I end up buying the clothes I have had in my mind. I go with one specific dress color, design and everything. Walk out with that dress in my shopping bag, all within 20-30 minutes max. Every time! Why should this time be any different, right?
Well, it was not only different but difficult too! After work, I called up my sister to help me with the shopping and she agreed to it after some convincing on my part. Since the mall was closer to my work, I ended up arriving early with almost an hour’s time to do the testing and trying part. I went into a well known ethnic wear store in the mall and explained what I need. The salesperson told me: this is the spring collection madam, which just came in. We only have light colored dresses available in full sleeves.
I had two questions for this person: Women will not have periods in spring? If they do, do they have to wait till some other season comes, in which this particular brand creates dresses in dark colors? (Since most women are comfortable wearing dark colors during their periods) My next question: why would all the spring collection be in full sleeves? It is not winter, it is only going to get warmer! And our sleeves need the air too!
Of course, I had this monologue only in my head, pretty sure she would have thrown me out had I told these things out loud. As it is I gave her a hard time in picking the right dresses. Did I pick my dresses soon after the monologue ended? Nope!
I had to visit all the ethnic wear stores in the mall and expressed my disappointment to all of them, by which time my sister showed up. These days, mica print has become a constant in ethnic dresses. Every other dress I pick from the rack has mica print on it. I have tried these clothes about a decade ago and have learnt my lesson! The print fades away after first few washes, even if your dry-clean it. What is the whole point of you spending so much money on one single dress and it is good to be your dishrag after three washes? No, sir! I am not spending money on it again!
Anyway, it took me an hour’s time to explore an entire mall to decide, the good old shopping was much better, wherein you chose the color, material, design, length of your sleeves, which apparently is an issue with me! Only problem? The tailors would not have managed to stitch the dress overnight.
So, did I leave the mall knowing I would not get the dress I wanted, for the first time? No, I went back to “the spring” lady again, who made an unhappy face by looking at me thinking: God! She is back! Well, what can I say? I am persistent like that. I am sure she was happy by the time we left the store, because I did not just leave with one dress but two!
Did I get the color I wanted? No!
Sleeves? Definitely not!
Why all the fuss, you say? Well, it is not everyday you turn 30! Entering “the dirty thirty” needed the flare.
I do not want to call this an experience, because it is not in my repertoire to spend so much time in a mall to buy a dress. Much less likely to leave exhausted, hungry (more like hangry!) and running late for dinner at home. One good thing I learned from that evening was: never go for last minute shopping.
Why do we look for job opportunities? Did we have to do that a hundred years ago?
Way back when, agriculture was the backbone of Indian economy. Majority of us come from this background. But our forefathers wanted better lifestyle for their children and so they wanted their children to be educated, to do the desk jobs which are apparently more prestigious.
Looking at the current trend, people are doing their very best research as to which company would be the best company to work for, what career choices will place us in a secured position, should the market fall, etc. Guess what, no company is beyond the point of laying off and no position is secured. It is always good to have a fallback option like agriculture. After all, food industry is always going to be in demand so long as the man shall live.
This would have been great if our previous generations invested in agriculture. Since some of them dint, it is time we re-consider what our interests really are. What are we good at apart from the degrees we hold? What hidden talents do we have? It is time to let those dreams fly from the cages!
It would have saved a lot of time if we gave our interests a bit more consideration back when we were about to pursue our engineering degree, which most of us were pushed into. Why? Because the industry is in boom and the jobs pay well.
I came across a stand-up comedy video, in which this person was roasting all the engineers who pursued it because their families wanted them to. Asking them to stop whining and continue with their lives. At this point, I wanted to ask her, what education background she comes from. And how is she passing the judgement of people falling under this category without living through it?
It must have been an easy topic for her gig, but for some people it could be real. I know people in my circle who have given up engineering half way through it and pursed something else. Anyone who is having the power of influencing people with the platforms they have, should use it to share awareness of the struggles people go through, instead of passing it off as a funny comment.
Well, going back to the “Industry boom”. Where is it now?
The world economy is facing the worst kind of recession of all times! Millions of people around the globe have lost their jobs! Most of these people have families. Who is going to create jobs for them now?
Like the recruiters on LinkedIn keep posting about how to not lose hope, keep applying for jobs daily, up skill, take courses that might add value to your resume, etc., and one day five months from now, you will end up with your dream job in hand with three more offers as backup.
Sure! But what are you going to do with the extra time on your hand?
Now is when you put your hidden talents to use. Use your researching skills to understand how best you can leverage your skills in the free time you have. Take the next steps in that direction. Seek guidance from people who have already done it. You never know, if you happen to make big with your talents, you could be creating jobs for someone who is passionate about it just as much as you are!
This is a competitive world we live in. If you sit and wait for the opportunities to come knock on your door, you would simply be wasting your time. Take that first step and reach out to opportunities or be the creator of opportunities!
Two people who where not meant to fall in love, but they did anyway, when they least expect it. When we are bored with our daily routine and seek diversion or when you have too many people around you absorbed in their own lives, you go about seeking attention elsewhere. Some people seek those little curiosities around them and like to explore more, some seek magic. We all know magic is fictional. But then, it is in the eye of the beholder!
I recently re-watched When in Rome. There is no better way to put it, that movie is just a silly love story, with comedy scenes placed at the right time. It makes me laugh every time I watch it. At the same time it did show the emotions in the right light. Parts of the movie can indeed be someone’s problems in real life. And if you are a hopeless romantic, you would very well be crying an Ocean watching such Rom-com movies. Sweet Home Alabama, Sleepless in Seattle, The Proposal, The Holiday, 27 Dresses, Two Weeks Notice, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Letters to Juliet and many more I can’t remember now, have that effect on me.
There is just something magical about the way they have shown the lead characters falling in love in the movie When in Rome. She desperately wants to believe it is real with Nick but the poker chip keeps coming up! For Melanie, it was staring her right in the face, in Sweet Home Alabama! But she had to make her own mistakes to realize she was already in love with her high school sweetheart! That last office scene in The Proposal, just love Andrew’s speech! And how Sophie thinks Charlie is off the market, only gets to know later that it was a misunderstanding in Letters to Juliet. Ah, the balcony scene, which is a cliché but has made many women swoon!
For a person who is watching these movies, only get to see the emotions shown by the actors. Most of the times they are depicted well, sometimes it is lost in the translation. A Walk to Remember is one of my favorite books, but somehow I feel, the movie did not do justice to the book. Nicholas Sparks’s books are known for his heart wrenching love stories. What is the whole point of making a movie if you can’t show that emotion to the audience? I did not get the chance to read The Notebook, but the movie was a good one to watch.
Back to reading, when you read a particular story, you would feel for the characters and connect with them on some level. You would feel confused right along with the characters, falling in love, the jealousy, the contempt, falling apart at the seams, laughing and crying, everything!
There are not many books which had that effect on, just about 50 or so! In the last couple of years I was and am obsessed with Bethany-Kris’s books. I am sure these books fall under the category of mafia. But, she somehow managed to create love stories along the plot. She has created a web of series with the characters in the books, with multiple spin-offs. A couple of series that has torn my heart apart while reading were: Cross & Catherine Legacy series and Renzo & Lucia Legacy Series. Both series talk about young love, heart break, growing apart and finally falling back in love and living happily ever after! It is not the happily ever after we look for in a book when we start with it. It is the journey that makes the story worth it. It is the ups and downs, it is sticking together beating all the odds and above all knowing that for the rest of the lives they are going face difficult situations and choosing to do it together. How often do we get to see that in real world? Not often enough!
If there was ever a modern day re-write of The Beauty and The Beast that has made an impression on me, it is Broken written by Lauren Layne. I managed to finish the book in one go. It is the concept, which is fascinating to me. She has written a number of books that had made me connect with the characters. The Stiletto Series is like any other regular Rom-com books, but the problems faced by the characters are quite relatable. Disclaimer: Never a judge a book by its cover, pun intended.
Saving my most favorite book of all times to the last, which is like Wuthering Heights to Sandra Bullock in The Proposal, The Cornerstone from The Walshes Series by Kate Canterbary. The entire series as such is quite engaging. But I read this book at least once a year. I haven’t understood the pull I have towards this book yet, but I enjoy the easy banter of all the characters from this series.
Maybe it is magic! Living in the pages of a very well written book, knowing it is fictional. At the same time, it gives your heart the kind of solace, the real world cannot manage to give!