October 2009


How does one say goodbye?

How does one know, that goodbye is what it is?
That this moving on, is for better, that is…

How does one fly?
Soaring is a powerful thing,
But how does one soar on weakened wings?

The road lies before me again,
Its the same that followed me too..
The same road, the same mind,
What goes forward, who stays behind?

Tell me… how does one say goodbye?

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I read JottingnMusings’ post on ‘Counting blessing’ here. She’s written a brilliantly positive post and it puts you in a different frame of mind.

After reading her post I realised that positivity and negativity can both can be spread with equal ease and yet, there is so much more fear, and anxiety all around us and so much lesser belief in our own selves, and hope and trust. I wonder why?

Is it just that negative news sells more than positive news? I don’t think that can be the case unless, people want to read more more negative things. Do people want to read about things that scare them, instill fear and mistrust??

The media is making a fool of people today. What started out as an initiative to spread awareness and bring the world to the everyone is now moving people away. Sure bad things happen, but good things happen too. However, we feel that we would much rather be aware of ‘danger’ (theory of evolution – Survival of the fittest), the more information we have about the danger out there, the more our chances of survival are. This is fine if it is left to this point.

What is not fine is creating this image that the world is largely an unsafe, dog-eat-dog place… and instilling a fear that… “It could happen to you”. There is no more rational, passive reporting of incidents. The reporting today sells at the cost of our passions, our anxieties, our beliefs and it plays to the gallery. Emotional tomfoolery at the cost of the common junta and yet we are so blinded by our own fears that we go back to the same newspaper/channel again and again, imagination running wild.

We are paying a huge cost for more ‘awareness’ in our lives. We need to ‘know’ more about everything and that ‘more’ somehow has to be the dark cloud behind the silver lining. As a result, I think we have now come to a point where we are increasingly not able to recognise and appreciate, the good things, the good people around us. I’m worried that at the rate at which things are going, and goodness and positivity going unappreciated, there might come a point where it will be wrong to be good, “Not the smartest thing to do”.

And you know what, the closure to this vicious cycle is within ourselves, in how we deal with information, and our emotions and our reactions.

There is a lot of negativity in the air, this year round and that is even more reason to start a new battle of ‘Good’ vs ‘Evil’…. by bringing in Good thoughts, pleasant thoughts and deeds into our lives and by rejecting negative thoughts and people.

Silver lining on a dark cloud, or dark cloud within a silver lining, its all about focus….Its all to do with a change in perspective.

Don’t you think?

The Imli is another staple ingredient in South Indian Cooking. And that’s the only place I thought it was used, till I “Wiki”ed about it. Turns out, it is used in Latin American cuisines and is also an important ingredient in Worcestershire sauce, HP sauce; and the Jamaican-produced Pickapeppa sauce!

Puli Saadam – Literally Translates to “Tamarind Rice”, and must say, its one of my favorite South Indian dishes. So, obviously I have the recipe copied for the “Shift” and am posting it here, for the irrational fear that I might lose the recipe slip of paper in the midst of all this sorting and shifting.

Ingredients for the Puli Saadam paste

2 Lemon size balls of dried tamarind – Soak in water and get a thick paste, with no trace of the pulp.

1 tsp turmeric (haldi)

3 tsp salt

2 tbsp channa dal (uncooked, split white channa)

3 tbsp oil (preferably sesame oil)

3 tspn mustard seeds

7-8 red chillies – slightly broken

Curry leaves – 15 – 20

2 -3 tbsp peanuts

1 tablespoon channa dal

For the Dry Powder – This is to be fried in very little oil and ground.

1 tsp methi seeds

3 tsp dhaniya (whole)

10 – 12 chillies

1 cm raw hing

Instructions

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves, peanuts and channa dal and cook till roasted (there should be no trace of water). Add the tamarind paste, haldi, salt and channa dal and cook thoroughly till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.

Add the powdered masala and cook further.

Before removing from the gas, add a teaspoon of gur (jaggery).

Add the paste to boiled rice, along with fresh curry leaves. The paste can be prepared and kept in the fridge. It is added to the rice as per taste. Adjust the salt.

At home we serve this with a special chutney. The recipe for the same is given below

 

Ingredient for Chutney

1 quarter grated coconut

3 red chillies

1 mm of hing

1 tsp of urad dal

1 tsp of tamarind paste

Instructions

Fry the chillies and hing. Fry the urad dal seperately. Grind and add the tamarind. Add the coconut. Add salt. Grind further. Finally at the urad dal which has been seperately fried.

I plan to keep the paste ready for packed lunches. Make the paste on the weekend and add whenever to boiled rice 🙂

October, November and December have to be the best months of the year. There is festivity in the air, homes, streets, malls are lit up with brilliant twinkling lights. Everyone seems happier, walking with laughter on their lips and a spring in their steps. Just lovely!

And somehow, festivities and winters have a special charm… the smell of popcorn, the warmth of the yellow lights, when there is a nip in the air. The hugs seem warmer, the smiles brighter and it feels like everyone is celebrating life.

And then Navratri, and Dussehra and Diwali and Christmas and New Year and our birthdays and anniversaries, so much to look forward too!

There is something about all of this and Delhi, probably because I have such memories of Winters and Festivities here. I remember my brother and I checking out the progress on the neighbourhood Ravana for Dussehra in our neighbourhood park, and the number of crackers being fixed in it comparing it with other Ravana figures around our area. We would spend our Dussehra break making lists of the crackers to buy for Diwali and squabbling over whether we’d buy more chakris or more bombs.

I remember listening to Christmas carols on Doordarshan, and all of us neighbourhood kids decorating some random tree as a ‘Christmas Tree’, singing ‘ Rudolf the red nose reindeer’.. and ‘Silent Night, holy night’ till late evening when the combined army of all our parents came in to drag us back home.

And then on New Year’s eve, cuddling into warm blankets, far away from the chilly Delhi December nights, with our parents and watching all the New Year entertainment on TV and going to sleep in wonder and amazement of how one year had changed to another, just like that, without any notice 🙂

Ah… memories, glowing bright, and spreading cheer.

Wish you all a very very happy, bright, and prosperous Diwali and New Year, everyone, all of my new friends… It’s been a pleasure to write to you, and to read your posts. Thanks for keeping in touch and spreading the warmth and friendship around.

Its finally raining in Delhi! 🙂

And I think we were all beginning to feel that the monsoons might really fail us this time round!

Anyways, with the shift being top most on our mind, visions of a very green, very rainy Bangalore have been swimming around in my head. And ofcourse with the rains, I feel that I’m invigorated! And the world feels like a happier place.

Nothing much happened this week, which is all too well, as I got to enjoy the rains.. And go out into the garden, sniffing around, inhaling the fresh smells of the wet earth, and the trees and the grass.

Leaving you with a some of my absolute favorite rain songs :-

Rhim Jhim Gire Saawan

Zindagi bhar nahi bhoolegi

and finally… this one..

Yeh raat bheegi bheegi

In fact, I just realised, that most of my favorite rain songs are songs which also talk about the night.

There is something magical about the pitter patter of the rain, in the quiet of the night. The mystery of the night is enhanced by the smells and sounds of the rain… the croaking crickets, the silent pitter patter, the sway of the breeze through the glistening leaves…..

… as you can see.. I’m lovin’ it! 😀

What does one get out of lies?

What can be more alarming than deceipt?

Everyone has a self image, and true, everyone reserves the right to protect this self image. The problem comes in when your self image begins to control your perception of reality. It is a problem if this self image, becomes more important than the self.

The problem with a Lie is two things: –

1. It is taking away our trust in the world as we know it.

2. There is no more real ‘bonding’ between people.

I’ve always always wondered how people come to have the perceptions they have about themselves… and why is it that some people get to be more honest about themselves than others. Why is it that some people totally lack the quality of introspection?

Anyways, lies and false pretences disgust me. Its a strong word, but well, this is my blog, ain’t it. To me it signifies a weakness of character, a person, who doesn’t have the strength to face up to his/her own daemons… a person who is deceiving no one else, but himself/herself.

I’ve always felt that our souls see other souls for what they are, that they are able to see beyond the carefully constructed image we maintain.

I think we need to let our souls free of ourselves. After all, how long can your soul survive on a pack of lies…