Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Resolutions

No New Year is complete without thinking about Resolutions! Its a must. You might not follow them, might not write them, however we always think about it.
Next Year.. I will, I have to, I wont!

Here are my 2011 Resolutions... Check it out on Smartly Chicago and leave a comment!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Year 2010 in Review

I came across this article on CNN- Year 2010 in review with 10 simple questions…. Here is my take…and now all you reading it, consider yourself tagged.. so I better be seeing your responses soon enough!

1. 2010: How do you pronounce it?
Twenty Ten of course... is there any other away?

2. Make a facial expression that shows how you feel about the year.
Roll your mouth and put hands on cheeks for additional effects!

3. The best thing I bought was my daughter's kitchen set.

4. For me, 2010 was exciting, eventful and memorable. [Answer with three words]

5. I totally cringed this year when I was caught with 'foot in mouth' disease. I have learned the hard way to never say never!

6. The best thing on the internet by far was me finally figuring out Google Reader!

7. I'm pretty sure I over shared on Facebook this year when I published the article about my food poisoning.
A friend of mine was kind enough to point out- I really don’t care how often you poop girl! ;-)

8. The best day of the year was October 31st 2010

9. The best place I visited was Hawaii, which is 4251 miles from where I live.
Really it is that far...

10. Next year, I'm planning to breathe more and travel even more! Fingers crossed

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pre-conceived notions are sometimes wrong

Especially about movies

Case in Point: Star Trek.

Hubby watched it and recommended I watch it as well. Me, having my pre-conceived notion about it said: Oh no, I'd rather not. I don’t know the different characters and somehow have not followed the series. He was like, that’s exactly what I thought, but it’s really nice and you must watch it.
And I did, I loved it, every minute of it. The story, the graphics, the language, the alternate-reality concept, the thought and above all the line "Vulcan culture is preserved but we have lost a civilization"
Very nice movie... I am now contemplating catching up on the series. Let’s see.

Second case in Point: Sherlock Holmes.
I had read a few of Sherlock Holmes series as a kid. I enjoyed them then. Above all FB and other review sources didn’t speak highly about the movie. So I was double minded. But, on a snowed in Xmas afternoon with cozy blanket, it seemed like a perfect choice. And I enjoyed the movie a lot. I loved the simplicity and above all the depth that the different characters portrayed in the movie. I loved the representation and how small details can reveal so much about a person. Nice movie.

So that’s what my Xmas weekend was. Daughter enjoyed the new play-blender immensely. And we enjoyed good board games and then some more board games. Nice lazy weekend!

So, tell me which movies recently unexpectedly exceeded your expectations?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Any one up for e-betting?

Phew... so I am now convinced, my stomach has a mind of its own. I think I am recovered completely, since I can eat most of my normal foods and then my tummy will remind me... selective foods please!
The catch, tummy does not tell me, what the criterion for selection is.
Case in Point: Over the weekend, I had complete Indian meal, a delicious impromptu dinner and so on. But tummy was fine. It was perfect.
Come this morning, I said- let’s have Bagel. And an hour later, tummy was back to doing what it's been doing lately- hurting. Hmm, I thought spices were bad, apparently not, just bread or rather bagel. WTH!
How do I know, what works, what does not? Hubby asked the perfect question lately. Is tummy okay now? I said yes and only to recant two hours later.
Then I thought, its coffee, so I went coffee-less for almost three weeks. Three cups total in three weeks is Coffee-Less OKAY. But stomach seems fine with or without it.
I had rice, which was my staple meal a couple of weeks ago, is resulting in tummy aches. So now, I am off rice. Hmm WTH!
So if you see me lying on my tummy and pretending to sleep, you know it’s my tummy telling me - He He.. I got you!

I am thinking of starting a wager now... what do you think it is:
Spices – Yummm. Dude I have been feeding my family almost bland food for a while now!
Carbs - Roti's, bread, does rice belong here?
Caffeine - Coffee, I barely drink soda's FYI
Starch – Rice, Potatoes right?
Protein - Mind you, I am a vegetarian, so it’s mainly pulses and spinach I think
Fiber - All vegetables, fruits
Sweets – All holiday candy, cookies come in this category.
Processed food- not that I consume that much of it.
Dairy – aaah!
All of the above - Haha!
None of the above- I am just making all this up!

And yes point noted, before I teach V about food groups, I will study before hand!
So come on, lay your bets! It’s like Wits and Wagers man!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mid-Week breaks...

I really could get used to these! A few months ago, a girl friend of mine decided to meet mid-week.. hmm.. why, just like that- everyone needs a mid-week break we thought. A simple dinner one evening after V was asleep, we girls headed off to a neighborhood bistro, had a blast and swore to do it once a month.
It’s been fun ever since. We meet more often..And before the current mid-week break is over, we are already planning for the next one. We told more girl friends about this crazy mid-week break idea and they got hooked on. And we all know it will be a late night and we all know it’s a working day the next day! So now, it’s no longer where, what, who, why.. it’s just more of when. We know the remainder is logistics. As long as we know when, the rest will get worked out easily.
When we do meet as couples, as families, us girls would still be laughing at that stupid joke or the yummy food or that crazy server or how we were literally thrown of the restaurant since it was way past the closing time! Good Times. :-D
It’s not fancy, it’s just what a break is suppose to be. We have had dinners, pot dinners, eat what’s left over, eat what needs minimum intervention, snacking dinners, order-in dinners. Bottom line, anything and everything works provided we have the company and loads and loads of conversations and loads of giggles and some heartfelt conversations.
So the boys I think said- enough! Now, they are trying to meet up weekly, sit over there glasses and discuss business, play poker whatever. May be I will call it- Boys night! Now, we have some kick ass girl poker players. The mid-week break is now extended, its just a mid-week break for everyone! We try to meet up as often as possible, either set up the poker table, have good-bye parties for little pets, meet up to gossip, offer expert relationship advices, tease the funny accents, or even just plain old bitch!
Aaaah... such fun!

Here is to more mid-week breaks!

Note: Yes, I know next day is a working day, but the week goes by so quickly now with the mid-week break. Yes, V still sleeps 'almost' on her regular sleep times... 30-45 minutes later than normal is okay! Yes, friends accommodate by reducing volumes for a bit until V is snooze land! and Yes, thank god for coffee for me the next morning.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How food poisoning can help..

Seriously.. it can.
As a reminder, I was hit by a bad food poisoning incident about two weeks ago, right after our wonderful Anniversary dinner.
It’s been a fortnight and lingering weak stomach condition remains.
I am eating food again and can process it normally. Finally, but food poisoning has helped... here is how
1. I can still not fathom eating outside food. I tried it once, and was holding my stomach the rest of the day.
2. In the holiday season, with the social life buzzing, I HAVE to choose wisely; else, I will once again be holding my tummy. Recently, I stuck to just salad at a holiday party with yummy food everywhere around. Damn!
3. I don’t have a choice but say 'No, Thanks' to the endless supply of holiday cookies and dessert. Again, I tried eating one and well, you guessed it right, holding my stomach later.
4. Coffee is still a delicacy. I am no longer having my 'mug' a day, but a mug on a weekly basis hoping that I don’t have to hold my tummy right after.
5. Snacking has reduced to zero. Since my options are hold tummy or snack, I choose neither. I stick to munching tasteless crackers for the hunger pangs still!
6. Best of all, I still can’t take spicy food well. Last weekend, our friend had made the most delicious Paneer dish. I ate it and licked it all and thankfully it was not spicy!

Urgh.....come on man.. weak tummy please recover. Let me enjoy my favorite month and the holiday festivities... it’s been so scary for me, that even on weeknights with a bunch of friends gathered, I am happy cooking for all instead of ordering the 'Pizza'.

So food poisoning has helped, in making me sulk, look down upon food and really dread meal times. I enjoy cooking a lot, but I don’t enjoy cooking the same blandish food every single night.... Any ideas/ recipes for better/yummier easily digestible food??
And for the record, we eat in regularly. But now that I know, I cant eat out at all, I am really not a happy person.

To my family- thanks for understanding and not sulking at simple dinner menu's! And above all keeping the helping hand ready. Hoping I am back to 'normal' food soon!

Edited: Updated correct title

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What's a home to you?

Yes, I am glued to HGTV. I thoroughly enjoy turning pages of those shiny magazines that show pristine homes, lovely set-ups, clean closets, organized toys and the likes. I try a simple DIY, we clean together, V puts her toys away. Things around the house are 'neat'.

But I know my home is more than what it looks like.

To me, my home is
..when friends can drop in anytime and ignore the unfolded laundry or better yet, help me fold it.
..when we can have a gathering of friends within an hour of the first email reading: "Too bored, lets meet up tonight"
..when friends can navigate my kitchen and know exactly what’s where.
..when V does not have to worry about her toy being in the right shelf.
..when V can have her play friends over and they can enjoy smacking lips on brownies without worrying about the crumbs.
..when V and her friends help in 'cleaning up' the toys that were strewn in every room of the house.
..when music can be played loudly and SD and V can dance around without worrying about bumping into something fragile.
..when the kitchen can be under stocked, meals are not four course but conversations, laughter, smiles are plenty. That’s the best party ever!

To me my home is all of the above and it’s perfect.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Recipe: Quick Daal Makhani

It’s no secret, I can’t grocery shop! I tend to overspend, under analyze and leave the store with more things than I really need or my family can consume. The worst is, for the life of me, I can’t differentiate between a good tomato to a bad tomato unless of course if there is fungus involved!
Keeping all that in mind and ensuring weekends are away from errand running, my dear hubby steps up the game. He does all our grocery shopping. The freako planner in me, sends him a list of things we are out of and must haves and then it's fair game for him. I love him. I really do, and not just because he grocery shops or not just because he never fails to make fun of my fruit spotting... just because, he 'voluntarily' helps me out here. Occasionally when we do go together.. I am Alice in Wonderland!
A while ago, I asked him to get daal.. and he did. He just didn’t get the green moong one I needed, but got the black udat instead. By the way telepathy is not his forte. Daal is daal. He got me there!

Hmm.. so I am stuck with Black udat and I scratched my mind, searched the internet... and here is my revised recipe for a quicker Daal Makhani. Well it’s not that quick.. but prep time is not much and then cooking time is what it is. But I assure you, the lazy me cooks it at least twice or thrice a month on weeknights! So it can’t be that hard.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes Cooking time: 45-60 minutes

1.5 cup whole urad dal (black lentils) - I have Black Split Udat, which works fine as well.
0.5 cup Rajma (red kidney beans) - Canned ones are fine
0.5 cup Channa dal (Bengal gram dal)
0.5 cup Chickpeas/garbanzo beans - Canned ones are fine
1/2 inch ginger, peeled and chopped finely
2 – 3 garlic cloves
2 green chillies
1 onion Finely chopped
1.5 tomato Finely chopped
salt to taste

Store baught: Daal Makhani Masala tastes fantastic and very repeatable with consistent taste.
0.5 tspn or more chilli powder
0.5 tspn garam masala
0.5 tspn Haldi

for tadka
1-2 tspn ghee
1 tspn cumin
1/2 Bay Leaves
1/2 Cloves
Just a little Cinnamon.

To finish
1/2 cup Yogurt or cream (I prefer Yogurt for the tangy taste and definitely healthier than cream)
Finely chopped coriander

1. Soak all of the lentils (udat, rajma, chole and channa dal) in water for 6 hours, or preferably overnight. I tend to soak them in the morning before work and return to make it for dinner. Wash 3-4 times before making the daal.
2. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add cumin, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon
3. When bubbling, add garlic, ginger, onions and sauté till translucent
4. Now add 2-3 tspns of the Daal Makhani masala. Saute a bit more
5. Add chopped chilli and tomatoes. Sautee till cooked (about 5 min.)
6. Add all the soaked lentils.
7. Add 4-5 cups of water (I prefer our daals a bit thicker, but add water based on the consistency you like)
8. Close the pressure cooker and leave the gas on low-medium.
9. The daals take a good 45 minutes before the first whistle. The longer is stays in, the better the flavors.
10. Once the daal is done, open the pressure cooker, mix/ blend the daal. Adjust seasoning.
----- You can add an additional tadka if you like the look of fresh tadka!
11. Add whisked yogurt and reduce the gas for another 15 minutes.
12. Top with freshly chopped coriander.

Eat away!

I know, it sounds like a long process, but trust me, while the daal is getting cooked, I tend to finish making the remainder dinner, clean up, and get time to play with V.
Plus nothing better than fresh hot daal! High in proteins and healthy. I consistently get the hi-five from my daughter. Best of all, hubby and I enjoy it with chopped onions on the side.
As you can see, the grocery shopping arrangement in our family is working brilliantly.
Wink Wink!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Where is the "Sorry" ?

It’s been a while... and after a break, here is my latest article on Smartly Chicago.
Go on read on… comment on.

I wrote this post right after I recovered from a very bad case of Food Poisoning and the rudeness of the restaurant manager. I just think compassion is missing nowadays and more importantly good etiquette.

Being cut off

Not literally.... but being cut off from the world... or more rightly cut off from the 'grid'. The grid of social network, media, news, emails, phones and anything else that keeps you 'connected'.
Recently on our annual family vacation... that’s exactly what we did. The data network on the blackberries was switched off. The laptops were stowed away. And minus a few phone calls back home or coordinating a few excursions. We all were literally cut off.
And it felt great. Amazing. Free.
Before we left, I had put in a couple of pre-scheduled posts. I had responded to my work obligations and above all activated my Out Of Office and then lived to the text: "I will have no email connectivity."
I know there is no obligation to check emails every two minutes, see FB, read the news, check if the weather changed from noon to two pm or even just surf the network. But we all still do it. Guilty as charged and we don’t realize what we are missing out on.
During our vacation, we were up and about from 6:30 in the morning and would be bone tired by 8. We’d sleep early to refresh ourselves and then the next day began the minute we saw the sun shining outside. No TV, no catching up, nothing.
My book and the sun block were my company while my daughter snoozed on the sun kissed beaches. Our TV conversations were taken over by discussing the warmth and the colors of the flowers. We noticed the tiny red bird on the tree just because we were gazing up the tree instead of our 'smart' phones. And I am very happy to say that I rejuvenated myself and SD and I explored a lot more than we had researched on the net. Just talking to locals and learning the ways was way more information than any Google search ever gave us.
Now that we are back, we are re-adjusted. Connected. But still refreshed. Consciously or not, the TV is not on as much anymore. I realized I didn’t miss it as much. The post dinner time has been taken up by a fun game of bananagrams or finishing books sooner or just relaxing or calling up friends and catching up instead of 'fb-ing' them.
I know by no means, I am saying good bye to my living in the fast lane anytime soon. But every once in a while, staying offline made me enjoy my life more. Way more.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Something about the Holidays..........

makes me gush.
This weekend is the Thanksgiving long weekend in US.. and though it’s not Long for me (Read working on Friday when rest enjoy lazy mornings or shopping craziness).. I am still excited about it.
.... This year we are meeting our very dear friends for a proper Sit Down Thanksgiving dinner. Very enthusiastic for that. Followed by another gathering of friends for the awesomest company.... followed by another gathering of eclectic cuisines and again most awesomest company...... topping it all with our Wedding Anniversary on Sunday!
The weather has definitely cooled off, but we will try to make it for the yearly Macy's Parade for Vedika. She calls it the big balloons parade. Rightly so.
The trees are all lit, the excitement in voices and the sweet treats are everywhere. People just tend to smile a lot more this time of the year.
V gave us a lovely TGiving card with her hand print representing the rooster. She is enjoying school and teaching me why there is pumpkin pie and why there is TGiving. So it’s a lot of fun listening to her babble.
And these are all the more reasons why I heart Chicago this time of the year.
Great City, Great Friends and above all... Great Spirit!

Note: I know awesomest is not a word.........but its the perfect word!

Happy Thanksgiving to all... whatever your plans. Have an amazing time.


I love you! I really do. Yes, I despise the winters, the unpredictable snow, wind chills, rain and everything else cold weather related.......but Chi-Town.. I love you :-D
In US, I have lived on West Coast, East Coast and now am in the Mid-West... and all the different places I lived, I made memories. I enjoyed the cities I have lived in and the people I have met, my friends etc... but Chicago.. I heart you!
Why suddenly this gush?
I really don’t know.
But the street lighted up in holiday moods, the cozy indoors, the summer memories, the winter preparations for toddler entertainment, the lovely winter scarves are all making me gush! Really they are... and I am excited to wake up to snow sprinkled on the roads, lovely boots to be strutted and above all... Coffee and Coco... lots of them!

Aaah.. Chicago..and weather gods... please give us a winter exactly like last years.. Mild! :-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just below the boiling point....

How do you react? When you are right there, really ready to kick some A@@ or shout out profanities or just really blow off the steam. How do you behave when you are just below the boiling point?

A summer weekend, my husband went off for his weekly cricket game. I went to pick him up, since I had a few errands to run with him (Note: Spend some quality time with my husband and daughter! ;-))
I asked him, so how as your game? He replied.. It was good fun, lovely weather and perfect. Well almost.
He continues, there is this 'prick' at the games, who abuses left, right and center.
Now... this weekly cricket it with a bunch of likeminded people who love the game and enjoy this connection back to the roots.
Anyways, SD continues... at every ball the prick threw, every run he took, every shot he tried, this prick abused. And he didn’t just abuse randomly. It was directed at people. Just as effortless as one breathes, this prick abused.
I asked SD, how old was 'this prick'? You see, I think, when you are young, just getting over adolescent years, you somehow think it’s cool to abuse and get rid of the nerd glasses by just dropping F bombs. And I swear, I didn’t do that.. but I did see a few of my class mates doing that! We laugh about it now.
Continuing... SD said "It doesn’t matter. I gave him a piece of my mind and told the prick: "Once more, if you abuse me, the ball, the bat, the run, the ground.... its not going to be pretty". On a morning of the game, I am really not going to hear profanities."
The prick backed off and until I picked SD up, he didn’t utter anything. I was quiet astounded... by two things.
1. A person abusing just for the heck of it. Especially when he knows the audience is not appreciating it.
2. SD telling the guy point blank to back off.

Next weekend, I asked SD if he was going for cricket on Sunday.. he said.. Naah.. I really don’t like the prick. Game and all aside, it’s not worth it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just some time....

... for myself.
I have said it, written about it, discussed, it cried about it, felt guilty about it. But I have vented out and made sure to do something about carving some time out for myself. It might be just cooking. For me cooking is therapeutic. It’s relaxing and stress free... if I don’t have to entertain inquisitive toddlers questions all the time! But bottom line, with my continuous rants, I make sure to do something just for myself.. even if its once a week. It might be a girls night, a walk by myself, a manicure session, a gossip call with a friend, writing till wee hours of morning, a shopping spree.. anything!
The other evening, i thought about my husband- my team! He does not discuss, write, complain, nag or anything else for his lack of "me-time" Nothing. Nada. With both of us working, and him taking a daily two to three hour commute just so we can live next door to my work and daughter's day care reduces a relaxed evening for him to zero! The occasional downtime he does get is spent with our daughter, or catching up paper work outside work and other errands I ask him to do.
Hmm, now please don’t judge me as being a selfish prick who does not value the necessity for me-time for hubby. I value it completely and hence the realization -I am not supporting him as much as he is supporting me to carve out me-time for ourselves.
But, it leads to a bigger question, why does he not complain about the lack of "me time".
Are men wired so differently?
So I asked him?.. and all he said is, for "me-time" anything sports related is perfect. I don’t need to be doing something to feel relaxed. A mindless TV show, a movie or just sitting on the couch without getting bothered is good enough. When you are out for your me-time and kid is sleeping, it’s my me-time as well. No big deal.
Yes, I hugged him tight right there and then.
For me it’s not as simple, I need to be doing something for "me-time".
I am jealous. I am envious of the simplicity of his wiring. His me-time is a simple down time where he gets his mind and body relaxed. Nice.
I will try it sometime soon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Smell of new...

..Its November already. Can you beleive that. Wasnt it just recently that I was planning the new years party and its November already. Wow.
So smell of new.... November is in the air.
Which for us Chicagoans mean, a chill in the air, falling leaves and gorgeous sun eluding us just a bit. It means summer clothes going in hibernation and the sweaters, covers, shawls, gloves coming out. It means warm coffees and warmer indoors. It also means the onset of festive seasons. Whether its Diwali, Thanksgiving, Xmas or just beautiful lights and "SweeT" atmosphere around.
The smell of New November is here.
I love Novembers! Lots of celebrations, milestones and a smile.
So tell me... aren't you feeling the smell of New Novemeber?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Yes, we know Chicago is called the Windy city....
Yesterday my walk to V's school was very "interesting"... it was super windy. Windy to the point that I had to hold the railing of the building fence just to make sure. I know I was not going to fly away, but falling down in the middle of the street was not my idea of "adventure".
So for over 10 minutes, I help on to the fence with other people around me doing the same. Some hiding their faces to avoid flying debris of pebbles, leaves, dust, scarves etc. The little kids were the cutest. They would hold on to their parents hands dearly and have the biggest grins, while the parents had the scared expressions.
I could hear the wind howl, the people in the cars looking worried for us and above all people around me... all strangers, just trying to take a step at a time to get to there. destinations. Again, luckily it was just windy (The weather alarm said topping 45 miles per hour in some areas and topping 60-70 miles in some). Like I said "interesting" walk.
I realized, here I am, not helpless. Some part of me actually enjoying this freakish wind. I knew it was only for the next thirty minutes after which I would be in the comfort of my own warm house, looking on the streets below with my daughter safely in my arms sipping hot soup and hubby in his car driving home safely.
But at the other end, for some, it’s a way of life. One freakish day after another and they can’t count on a cozy house, a warm meal or even the kindness of strangers. And my heart melted.
We really make a huge deal of "our" own problems to not realize how miniscule they are in front of some others. More recently like the Indonesian Earthquake, Tsunami and the volcano all at once!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yes, Vanity is my sin!

FYI- This is a girly girl post! So if talking about purses, brands, shoes, fashion puts you to sleep, stop now~
Also, I rather begin with a disclaimer. Seriously. By no means, am I qualified to talk fashion. I'd rather have Prutha write this post... for her vast knowledge! Trust me.
But, this is one topic that I often discuss. I am no fashionista, quite the opposite. I just like to dress "well" which implies, something which is comfortable, cute and camouflages the hmmmm the curves. Yes I love shoes, purses, accessories. A typical XX chromosome. ;-)

Not so long ago, a friend and I got into a friendly banter about the "investment" in branded purse or branded anything. His view point, besides the fact he hated the brand (OMG!!! he is guy, he doesn’t know is what I told him!), a purse is something where you put your keys and wallet, it a branded purse really worth it? Yes, he has a point. (Rolling eyes) But my counter was I’d rather have one good one than 40 others which needs replacements often. Of course, I had to glare at Sumit to hide his grin.
But I stick to my gut; a branded purse is definitely worth it. Of course, it lasts longer, it looks really nice and above all, you love yourself for carrying it for yourself. No one else.
Don’t know about you, but I am fine with getting a "good deal" on a nice brand. I am fine being the Outlet Mall shopper. Retail for me is overpriced and over rated. I know I know a few are OMG'ishing now... but... what to say! ;-)
I have been a window shopper at “BlueFly” for a bit. A dear friend introduced me to “Rue la la”. I am hooked. Recently I was invited to "Gilt Blogger Breakfast". Of course I know about Gilt, I am a typical XX. I reviewed the invite; it was for the Gilt-Chicago initiative. Perfect way to spend the morning meeting area bloggers, the Gilt founders and of course enjoy breakfast at The Peninsula. I moved a few things around; adjusted my work week and accepted the Blogger Breakfast invite.
What a ride! I met wonderful people, business starters, fashion bloggers, beauty bloggers, Savvy mom bloggers, mom bloggers, frugal fashion bloggers,food bloggers and really nice people. One of them was chatting with me and in less than five minutes was like... OMG, isn’t your sweater Armani'09 fall season- I love it. I was sheepish and astounded. I said, “yes it is,” and confessed, “Girl.. all I know is your Loub's.. I can spot them from a distance. Rest. Ahem” We both giggled like school girls!
I enjoyed the breakfast, came to know more about Gilt group as a whole. The founder- Alexandra was definitely a charmer, well versed business woman. But she was so relatable. She had a 7 month old baby at home and we both spoke genuinely about the related motherhood concerns.
I thoroughly enjoyed the morning.
I am hooked to Gilt. That's another "daily must go site" I am window shopping in. Hubby is rightfully worried... the window shopping will not just remain window shopping for long!
I am "Gilt'y" as charged!

Note: The views expressed above are totally my own. I was invited to the Gilt Blogger Breakfast as a Chicago Blogger and no compensation was involved. Gilt group gave the attendee bloggers a fifty dollar gift card to put to “good use” and get hooked for life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Don’t mess with the perfect...

...Pizza that is.
I learnt it the hard way.
Right after our marriage, hubby introduced me (in my own words) a whacky combination pizza topping- Jalapeno's and Pineapple.
The first time he mentioned it to me.. I was like… let’s do half, you take that whacky combination and I will take my vegetables with tonnes of Jalapeños. Pineapple. Thank you very much.
Hubby warned me, I am not sharing my side. By now, I was laughing in my head.. hehe... don’t worry, I don’t WANT your side of pizza... Pineapple on a pizza, thank you very much.
The pizza arrived, on his insistence, I tried one slice of the Pineapple-Jalapeno whacky combination.....and I was hooked. Dude, it tastes awesome. Seriously. But of course, I could not confess. Hence I did the next best thing possible- the "puppy-face" and let me tell you.. It worked...
The one more slice turned into one more bite and by the end of the dinner, the vegetables side of the pizza was left untouched. I was a happy girl. Of course, SD was not, since I overlooked his warning about "not sharing his whacky combination"
The rest is history they say.
Now.. anytime we order pizzas, make pizza's, go for pizza's. I make the customary warning: Get your own!
Yes, I will try other toppings once in a while, but I return to my whacky combination soon enough. A friend aptly put a while ago- Pizza toppings- Jalapeno Pineapple of course, is there any other kind?

And hence... don’t mess with the perfect winning combination of the weird pizza toppings!

Now tell me, which toppings gets your attention? Which is the set that make you want to make the puppy-face to get one more slice!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


He SMILEs because he sees your future
And Oh, how HAPPY shall that future be
- Edward Monkton

I like this quotation. A Lot. I stumbled on my Igoogle page with the random quote of the day. I scribbled it on post-it and it stares back at me on my office desk.
I like this quotation. A Lot.
I really don’t know why though. Yeah, I can go on and on about optimism, positive thoughts, glass half full and so on. But it does not add up. So many times, I wish I had a magic ball to go and see how it will all turn out in ten, twenty, thirty years from now. I generally don’t want to go back and fix stuff. The past is what has made me who I am today. I want to go ahead, to see how changes, decisions, chosen paths will affect my future, our future.
SD and I always smile when we talk about such stuff.
There are times, when I wish, Life was a movie, I could fast forward, pause and sometimes just mute out stuff. I wish I could see tomorrow, the next thrill, the next pain, the next joke, the end.
I guess there is a reason I love admiring kids/ toddlers/ infants. My daughter, all two and a half years of her says this to the sun each night: "Bye Bye sun, Bye Bye, Moon is coming, I will see you tomorrow." The next morning, she will go the patio and exclaim: "Sun is back, yay!" and hop around the house.
I notice this, I smile, and I think I get it. Each day is a new day. Happiness, Tears, fears, giggles, ended yesterday. But. Each day is a new day. "He" whoever he is, already knows that. He SMILES.
The sun undeniably returns each morning and reminds us- SMILE.
My daughter irrefutably returns each evening to bid adieu to the day gone and SMILE's for what tomorrow holds.
We, the adults, on the contrary... want to fast forward.
"What If's" come but making our today fruitful is what I always forget.

He SMILEs because he sees your future
And Oh, how HAPPY shall that future be - Edward Monkton

I like this quotation. A Lot. But I think you already got that

From Left to Write Book Club: The Kids Are All Right

The title itself is appealing: The kids are all right. As I was reading this book, different emotions stirred up inside me. Some scary, some relieving and some very very close to real life. If something were to happen suddenly to me.. then what. It re-instates the discussion that SD and I have been having for awhile. Let’s make sure our papers, our wills, our accounts etc are in order. Both of should know where is what in terms of the bigger things in life. Scary thoughts, but very realistic. We both call it symbiotic.
The book talks about an uncle who just turns and becomes greedy the minute the father is gone and wants to lay his hands on anything and everything possible. Hah.. it comes down to money. And I don’t want our life's earning to go to a random stranger while our kids struggle to make ends meet. We are sweating our blood over work to ensure better future of our near and dear ones.
The beauty of the book was in the part: The truth is always twisted. Every person of the Welch family remembers the incidents based on their memories. It’s there truth and its twisted for the other person. So true.
SD and I talk about this very often. I always say: There are two sides of every story. This book talks about that: how four kids cope up with sudden demise of the father and then the mother. They turn out to be all right. They turn out to be closer and though life was not what they had imagined it to be.. things have a way of working them out.
Recently, I was reading Lakshmi's post about her health and the fall which was not so pleasant. One thing which struck out to me was... She only talked about the silver lining. It is very true, in every situation, there is a silver lining. We just miss it.
In the long run, everything happens for a reason and its always for the better. A lot of times, it just takes a while for us to realize it truly was for the better.
This book re-instated that.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the From Left to Write Book Club. We write posts inspired by the books, not reviews. When you read this book make sure to keep the tissue book handy. Trust me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


and words are all I have to take your heart away...........
Remember this song? Long time right.... but it’s a gorgeous song. It really is.

There was something that my Naani had told me when we were kids. Words are like daggers (talwar) once its out, the damage is already done! :-) I am telling you... then, I yawned and now I aww! Since then, I really don’t know what it meant... and now, I am figuring it out!

Suddenly why so philosophical you ask... well I have not had my morning coffee.. and thus. :-)

Anyhoo... I know my posts have become scantier and more spaced out. Just been the busy time of the year. Thanks for the emails/ notes. I promise to be more active again. :-)

Now... weather is changing. The fall is setting in and here is my daughter's observation on our walk home:
Kiddo: Mummy uh-ho. The leaves are falling from tress.
Mummy: Yes sweety, its fall season, the leaves fall down and dry up.
Kiddo: ooooh.
Kiddo: Oh leaves fall, that’s why Fall season. Got it.
Mummy goes on to laugh heartily...........Kiddo is confused but smiles and continues to look at the trees!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Bites

I have been looking for an outlet for my recipes: My Quick Fixes. I enjoy cooking thoroughly and don’t like to spend hours cooking as well. Hmm... Hence the balance: Quick Fix: And plus, the lesser time you spend, chances of you making it healthier are higher. Don’t ask me why... but I have noticed it in my cooking. Now due to lack of creative options: I am starting it right here: Monday Bites.
Aim: To post at least bi-monthly for some quick creative recipe I experimented with. Or I ate at a friend's place.
Reason: I am a foodie and I enjoy a few dishes and the simplicity of cooking them.
Purpose: Just to share!

So here is my first Monday Bite of Quick Fix: I guess my previous two posts: Apple Cobbler and Stuffed Peppers fit in well as well.

It is no secret that I am a snacker. And it is also no secret that I "try" to cook healthy => Olive Oil, bare minimum cheese and even lesser of fried food. And it is no secret that I looooove Namkeen- The bhujia, the chivda's and the category of super marwadi snacks.
This Paryushan, I have quit fried food at home => No eating anything fried at home... which implies: Yes I can come over to your house and eat. :-) But seriously, it is good, it will keep my unhealthy snacking in control. Or that’s the plan
Now how this fit in my Monday Bite does: I made "Cereal Chivda": No frying, 2 tsp of olive oil and it was super yummy!

Name: yummy Namkeen (Per my daughter)
Time to cook: 10-15 minutes (If you using out of box cereal which I use)
3 cups each toasted rice cereal or 6 cups thin poha
2-3 fresh chilies (I used jalapeño)
2 tsp Olive oil (Feel free to use any other oil of your preference)
1 teaspoon Rai
1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup roasted unsalted Chana (Feel free to use almonds/ cashews/ walnuts)
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries if you like the sweet-spice flavor
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar : Optional. I recommend adding it, it gives a nice combination flavor.
1 teaspoon salt
Few curry Patta leaves (optional)
Spice: Red Chili Powder, Amchoor, Haldi

Steps to bliss:
1. Spread poha in a 12- by 17-inch baking pan. Bake in a 200º regular or convection oven, stirring occasionally, until flakes are very crisp, about 20 minutes.
If using the cereals, omit this step. I have always made it with Rice Crispies. It reduces one step for the lazy me.
You can also add any other cereal you like, mix and match for variation. I have tried Honey Oats, Cheerios, Wheat Bran, Kellogs original etc.
2. Meanwhile, rinse and dry chilies. Chop finely (do not seed).
3. Pour oil into a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat; when hot, add rai and stir until they begin to brown, about 30 seconds.
4. Add chilies and stir for 1 minute. Add Kadhi Patta until crisp. About 30 seconds
5. Add peanuts, and any other nut, raisins, cranberries etc. Stir until fruit is puffy, about 1 minute. Add lime juice, salt, red chili powder, amchoor and turmeric; stir until blended. Add sugar if you like.
6. Reduce heat to medium. Add poha/ cereal/ Any other cereal and stir until completely infused with spiced oil and golden throughout, about 6 minutes.
---- You can add dried Nariyal flakes.
7. Let mix cool completely. Serve or wrap airtight.
8. Enjoy

Next time you make a batch... mix and match.
Example: Rice Crispies + Peanuts + Raisins
Cheerios + Kellogs Original + Dried Cranberries + Chana
Wheat Bran + Raisins + Cheerios + Walnuts + Almonds
With the nuts you add, it makes it high in protein> Being vegetarian and not liking Daal as much, this really helps!

Cook Away!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another Quick Fix Recipe: Stuffed Red Peppers

This weekend we swung by our neighborhood farmers market and bought a case (read 31) red peppers for 5$. Yes people... in regular stores where one red pepper costs one dollar. In our lovely farmers marker, 31 beautiful, organic, ripe red peppers cost only 5$. I did try to convince a friend of ours to split the case... but since he was still finishing off his case from last week, so I let it go.

So now... so many red peppers and what to do.
I tried making a couple of things last night: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup- my friend’s recipe. It was divine, Croissant/Filled puff and the following Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers.

Here is my quick fix recipe for the same... it took me twenty minutes minus baking time. And I love things which look presentable and don’t take hours to get done and of course taste "yummy in the tummy"

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
1 cup rice (Feel free to replace with quinoa/ brown rice)
4 large red bell peppers (Green is fine as well)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 green chilly
Spices: Salt, Pepper, Turmeric, Chilly Powder, Chilli Flakes
2-3 finely chopped tomato (or 1 can of diced tomato)
Additonal: If you like tangy.. Chaat Masala
If you like aromatic..Oregano/Basil (Dried or fresh)
Feel free to add nuts like: Pecans/ Cashews/ Almonds

For Stuffing
1. Cook rice like you normally would. I tend to drain the starch water away.
2. On a skillet, heat olive oil. Add garlic and onions. Fry until translucent.
3. Then add the chopped tomatoes and chopped green chili.
4. Add the spices. Feel free take a pick at tangy/ aromatic.
5. Cover the skillet for the tomatoes to get cooked.
6. When the gravy is cooked, add cooked rice, mix, and adjust seasoning.
For Base
1. Meanwhile, cut the top part of the red pepper and deseed. It becomes like a cup and a cap! :-)
2. In a microwave container, fill 1 inch water. Place the red pepper and on high start for 6 minutes. (Alternatively boil on gas)
3. The red pepper should be soft but firm.

In the red peppers, fill in the stuffing. Top with cilantro/cheese and bake it in the oven (300F) for 15 minutes.
Put the cut cap back on and serve. itself.
That's what I like about this recipe, since the stuffing is rice, we didn’t need additional things with it. Plus did I mention it took me about 20-25 minutes for making this which included helping V with her art and me gulping my coffee.

Now... I am up for suggestions.. what do I do with the remainder of my 22 red peppers!!! Any recipes/ recommendation welcome. Note, we are vegetarian.
Also...which will stuffing in red pepper might taste better, if at all:
A: Cream Cheese/Greek Yogurt + Spinach + Artichokes + Dried Cranberries (I know it’s not the healthiest option!!)
B: Pasta + White Sauce + Carrots/Peas/Spinach
ANy place you guys know for fun contribution.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wohoo.. Tag Time.. Bloggy Award time.. Wohoo.

Woooh... Maddie I am honored. Being tagged and of course receiving the blogging honors. Now to accept it, I must

1. Thank those who loved you enough to bestow this gift.
2. Share seven (7) things about yourself.
3. Bestow this honor onto 10 newly discovered or followed bloggers – in no particular order – who are fantastic in some way.

So for 1.. .Maddie... Thanks thanks thanks... :-) Truly.. Its so cool to get all three.. Sweet Blog, Versatile Blog and Lovely Blog. Yippie..

Now for number 2:
7 Secrets.. Hmm.
1- I laugh through horror movies, just so that I don’t get scared. And then I keep telling myself... it’s so lame, I better laugh. But then, deep down, I do get scared... and now I have come to accept that, I can watch horror genre with someone in the room- never alone. Luckily, hubby doesn’t like this genre as well.. and sure as hell, I am not paying 10$ for this genre. Chick Flicks are great, thank you very much.

2- I love post-its, spreadsheets, planning and organizing. I think I am pretty good at it and I enjoy it. I am an endless list maker. I like checking stuff off. However, I am slowly letting go of the 'my way' planning and going along with the flow. It does feel good sometimes to not fret about the details and just really chill. It's hard, but I am getting better at it (I think). It’s funny, I like planning as much as I like spontaneity.

3- I started blogging to get over the fear of being read. Seriously. I like writing and though I am not skilled at making it catchy, funny... I really enjoy the passion of words.

4- I would love to ‘someday’ own a tool shed, a complete tool shed with saw, cutters, and paints and so on. I would love to make stuff, try out stuff and again, really not worry about how it turns out but enjoy the process of it all.

5- Hmm, I am sucker for romantic movies, series, but I hate reading romance novels. They are simply boring. The words which should induce passion, pain, love just come across as cheesy. It aint my cup of tea.

6- I like to be on the move, on the go. I do like sitting back and chilling, only to be 'planning' for something to do next. SD and I are suckers for being out the door. We like fresh air. On cold days, we'll even just be happy going to gym or penthouse.. just to be outside the house for a bit.

7- When we begun our parenting journey; I was really waiting for the "maternal" instincts to kick in. V was about to come out in the world, and I was still waiting. V is now 2.5 years old... and I have the "mama bear.. dont you DARE hurt my precious cub feeling"... May be this is 'maternal instinct'. Is it?

And now for 3: re-tagging.
Here it goes.
Forever Mother,

And drum roll.
Sweet Blog Award
One Lovely Blog
Versatile Blogger

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I think I found my Coffee Twin.

No seriously I did. Someone who is as passionate about the perfect brew, perfect blend as me. Hang on… you have to read this post before you continue. Only then will you follow.. I will wait.

All right, now. You know how particular I am about my coffee.

So. I think I found my coffee twin. Back in India, a very dear friend would whip the coffee to perfection. I have to credit her for making me crave coffee this bad. I have to credit her to make me enjoy the real flavor of coffee. We both have spent countless hours and a huge chunk of cash at our JATC. Same Table, Same setting. So far, with every trip to India, we both have managed to meet up. Same Table, Same setting. We both always know where to meet... it has to JATC of course. Why even bother to ask.
I digress.
Now, my morning includes washing my coffee cup mug and then going to my cafeteria to get my coffee. It’s simple: It's in the green colored dispenser. It reads dark organic roast. I take that half way, the remaining quarter is decaf to keep me sane and then one sachet brown sugar with 2% milk. Nothing more, nothing less.
My cafeteria staff knows me. If my coffee is out or almost over, I just glance away. The lady smiles, happily brews my fresh coffee and gives me a pat. She knows; I need it, just right.
It’s a morning ritual. If I skipped a day, she would ask where I was the day before. :-)
Recently, a new person joined my team. I bumped into her a couple of times at my coffee dispenser. I noticed, she follows the exact same pattern as me: 1/2 dark brew, 1/4 decaf, one brown sugar and oh well.. skim milk!
Darn... almost a twin.

And yes, I am serious about my coffee. Feel free to ask Sumit. Recently we were out of coffee at home and in my knowing ways... I told him, don’t get it from 'there', it’s always more expensive, when we go to Costco, we will pick up the right Nescafe there. He just nodded. He went 'there' and bought the right Nescafe. Money be damned. He knows I needed it. There is no way I would survive without coffee till the weekend Costco trip. Or rather he would not survive my coffee-less moods.

I smile each time I fix my coffee at home. The tiny over priced box reminds me of Sumit's smile when he handed me the coffee. Perfect. :-)

Monday, August 30, 2010

5 reasons why I LOVE Hindi Movies

1. A full paisa vasool - You get girly chick flick, the action, the style crash course... and oh yes also a tear jerker or a drama as it’s called. Even if you doze off in the middle, 30 minutes later, not much missed. Perfect, complete worth of money.
Example: Dhoom 1/2/x/

2. Multi Task - A movie at home is perfectly complimented by multi tasking.. like clean out the pantry when the movie is on. Or fold the laundry, or even cook dinner or best of all... snoozing on couch in the middle afternoon with the sweet lullaby of the movie.
Example: My name is Khan

3. Complexity
- The characters are so complex, so over mature and over knowledgeable. I have no idea how a house wife suddenly drops the oil hair with the skimpiest of gowns, how the kids are always so clean or so super naughty. Or how the hero is always macho even though he has the body of a hanger. Or even how the heroine can make anybody fall in love with her with wind in her hair and she giggling away. How oh how...complex man!
Example: Pyaar Impossible

4. Experience - The movie going experience is enhanced by the samosa sold at counter. You really don’t mind taking four trips for four samosa's. You are all caught up with the gossip thanks to your friend sitting next by. Alternatively, you really don’t care to discuss the movie with the date, you are more focused in how do I get the arms around her, nudge her or ... OMG>> when there is a romantic song, I can sneak in a kiss.
Example: Paheli.. or for that matter. Any Movie, trust me.

5. Family Time - Just to be mean, you can get the quota of family time without having to listen to your own nagging family members. Alternatively, just to be nice... you can get a complete family drama from the movie and can come out of the movie to tell your spouse.. I will never be that family member: How stupid! And oh yes, it’s a perfect outing, since you get lunch, sleep, relaxation, all in an air conditioned theater. Only thing missing- Rajai. Nothing better for family time or even me time!
Example: Bagbaan

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Movies like: Dil Chahta Hain, A Wednesday, 3 idiots, Yuva, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na and a lot of the yester year movies which somehow still make me watch the full 3 hours without moving a muscle.

Now... tell me.. what are your reasons for watching Hindi Movies?

Update:I HAD to add in my friend D's instant response to this post:
This is what she wrote to me: " What about all the "Dhin Chak Dhin Chak" that goes on while the movie starts run around trees (in sarees or lehangas)or on mountains covereres with snow in mini-skirts/shorts! LOL"

Haha... she captured it perfectly.. the essence of Hindi movies- Total Time Pass!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

And I missed it...

Boo... I missed my daughter V swimming on her own (with help of arm floats) in the pool from one edge to another for the first time. I missed her reaching out to the edge and turning back for more. I missed her covering the length and the breadth. I missed the splish splash. I miss the look on the proud father. I missed the excited voice of the little one. I missed a milestone.
But But But... on the bright side, I got to hear about it from both of them. They entered the house dripping of the pool water and V enacted how she swam on her own. I saw Sumit's excitement when he relayed the details to me. I could sense reservation in him telling me… Since I'd be all "Oh No.. I missed it. Damn!"
But I was not. Surprisingly. I was thrilled that the father-daughter duo sharing the milestone together. Just like I had with my father guiding me along when I learned swimming at the tender age of four!
I remember him taking us to the pool and literally telling us- jump in. I did, I remember him drawing an imaginary line in the pool and saying, no going beyond that. I remember him, holding my finger, teaching me how to breathe, lifting me by the belly to stay afloat. He explained the physics of swimming, bought my first costume, made me forgo the ring, the float, teaching me… my favorite activity- swimming.
He continued this while we grew up. He'd wake us each morning around 5:45 and literally drag us to the pool all groggy eyed before breakfast and school. We would drag him Sunday evenings to the pool and feast on the Ice Creams after. I would challenge him; try to swim faster than him. My brother and I would compete - who can keep their heads in water for longer. My father would teach us the new strokes, new techniques. Even now, when I go back to India, my dad and I ensure to hit the pool a few times.
V is still too young to remember this day! But, hopefully in a few years, she will be able to read this and cherish the evening when her father taught her a very important lesson- to stay afloat, to overcome the fears, to be independent and above all - "to swim like a fishy"!

Note: Since I was not there last night to take a picture... here is an older one of hers with the life vest a couple of months ago. Big step to get out of vest and only with arm floats for a 2 years 6 months old toddler!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eavesdropping is so much fun!

Son: I sent you a card in the mail.
Mother: Oh, I just checked the mail, there is none?
Son: Hmm, It should be there, I sent it three days ago.
Mother: Hmm, the servers are down, may be.
Son: Yeah, may be the service is down.
Mother: Are you sure, you didn’t forget my birthday and are making it up now.
Son: Of course not mother, I sent it to you over mail so you'd be surprised.
Mother: Hmm, Let me check it on the computer once more.
Son: why the computer, I didn't add tracking on the card.
Mother: huh? No mail yet. I am sure you forgot.
Son: No, Ma, I swear! What kind of a son you think I am?
Mother: Oh-ho... You sent it via mail.
Son: yes, mother, via mail
Mother: Tch Tch.... I mean the old-fashioned way: The postal mail and not email.

Son & Mother and over hearing Me: All burst out laughing!

Friday, August 20, 2010

An evening to remember.....

And I get amazed... every time I go to Chicago Summer Dance Festival... How are the people old enough to be my grandparents so nimble, so excited and dancing without a care in the world. I as usual was astounded.
As I held hands with a 74 year old on one side, my daughter's finger in my other hand and we danced to the music of XXX last night, I realized after 15 minutes of covering the dance floor, I was huffing, but people on either side of me were still energetic. The lady was adorable, she would tell me, oh right leg first and then left and then back and then front. I followed her along. My husband joined as well... but both of were mesmerized at how lively this grey generation was.
When I looked around, I saw a few people on the chairs; they were either people of our generation or our future generation- the infants. Besides that, everyone was giggling, laughing, following, leading and dancing in unison.
I caught an elderly couple in the corner. Just holding each other’s hands and gazing at each other. For them, we probably didn’t exist. The smiles were equal to those of the "first kiss" feel, the gaze was the "new love" like and the warmth was well known to both. It was magical.
As I staredgazed, at them... I noticed; they were not the isolated ones. There were so many other couples! Full of Life, Full of Love.
What makes them so different and so energetic?
I get that 40 is the new 30 and that concept. But I don’t get, how 74 is the new 40? Impressive!
Recently on our camping trip, I had met another couple- 55 years of age and running at least 2-3 marathons a year. And here I was, generation Y, scared to even commit for a 5K.
25 years from now, I want to be them. I want to hold SD's hand as my support; I want to be dancing, exploring, learning new things. I want to be energetic and not just sit on the sidelines and discuss the time that went by, but look forward to the time ahead, the time left.
In addition to enjoying V's dancing, I learned one thing last night from the 74 year old dancing whiz..... Look ahead in life, cover the entire dance floor. It does not matter if you are 2.5 years old, 29 years or 74 years.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I was in India for a day.

Or at least it felt like that. We went for the JSMC Mela 2010 on Indian Independence day and it was a whole load of fun. It was truly a "mela" a fun fest. It was a gathering for at least about thousand people. Everyone seemed happy enjoying a Chicago afternoon. There was enough activity of adults, kids, toddlers and the older folks. There were stalls set up for the yummiest food from all over India, there were games for the kids, and there was a moon bounce and even a volley ball game. We would walk down the road, and meet someone we know or someone who knows us. We met new people who were just excited about meeting someone from the same native town. We bumped into a few friends whom we haven’t seen for over eighteen years and some for eighteen hours.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
By the end of it, we pulled out our beach chairs and hung out chatting and enjoying the afternoon sun. It was simply amazing.
We went to the mandir, prayed. The soft soothing prayers filled the room. The smell of the incense captivated us. V's constant requests of doing Aarti, doing ‘namo to bhagwaaniji’ and aping us were adorable. Just sitting inside for a while was both relaxing and appealing. This was followed by us just hitting the food stalls. We ate whatever was left and then a bit more and then a bit more again.

The sun was beaming, the breeze was blowing and the worries of the world were left at the door. The organizers had done a phenomenal job at putting it together and making sure everyone came to the temple and had a good time. There was a Karaoke set up and I was mesmerized by the voices of a few who sang in front of the audience. I could imagine them, closing their eyes, and being one with music. I saw by daughter jump in the moon bounce for almost an hour. I could hear her excited voice and see the face lighten up. I saw SD and our friends play volley ball or the bean bag toss, challenging each other, supporting and enjoying the victorious dance. My friend became V's best buddy and they both tossed the bean bags and my friend was just happy losing to my daughter all the time. I could see myself just blend in, just let it sink in more and just be one with my surrounding.
It felt like I was home... if only for a day. I knew I was in India.

As a side note: See "Eat Pray Love" movie.... Its a must for the girls. I went after my day trip to India with some friends and saw this. It was beautiful.. the company and the movie. I slept with a smile.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Smartly Chicago - Yay!!

Like I promised… Here is my first post published on Smartly Chicago.

It is about something that I repeat to myself all the time. Enjoy the smaller joys in life, the bigger ones will follow.
Just live in the moment!

Life is Good!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cough.. Sniff... Ouch!

I hate feeling sick.. I know so do you. No one likes it. But, I hate feeling sick when I am sick. I tend to keep myself more occupied, busier and go about life like I am perfectly fine even if I am nursing fever and something. My reasoning, this way, I don’t "feel sick" but feel normal and the mind will tell the body to get better sooner.
Over the years, SD and I have discussed this often. When he is under the weather, just give him the blanket, the TV remote and the fluids. He is perfectly fine snuggling in and just being. On the contrary, when I am unwell, I like to go about life like normal. I would prefer being out, or doing things around the house and being on the move even if I am down with 101F. I don’t like just taking it easy. Since if I do, I self pity myself and I hate it. It’s weird, per SD.
For me, it’s normal. It's funny since when I was full term, I remember my gynac telling me: Take it easy. Don’t run around so much. I argued. I want to feel useful and not just sit around with a protruding belly. SD was given the herculean task of ensuring I don’t do anything over and above for at least two weeks. ;-)
Yesterday was different. I was feeling unwell; I knew I was coming down with something. I left work early and slept in the afternoon. I snuggled in the blanket and SD went around the house to maintain some decorum. He pretty much did everything that needed to be in done in the evening power hours. And except getting up for water, I slept in the bed. He closed the bedroom door, took V out, made dinner and played with her. He fed her and me, and let me just be. For once, I actually let myself take a break.
And honestly, it felt good. I am still not recovered completely, but I think by being out and about as well, I would not have recovered any sooner. For one sick evening, I didn’t mind taking a sick day!
I can imagine SD giggling while reading this and saying: "See I told you so!"

Monday, August 9, 2010

A day that might not come.

I have shied away from writing about politics, the corruption, the politico's termed as gods for a reason. There is no point.
What's the point of now "OMG" at the status of the common wealth games? So what it was decided 8 years ago for India to host it? So what if the tenders, the budget, the location was all public knowledge. So what only a few weeks before the game, did people realize...OMG... we are not ready to host the Common Wealth Games.
The games which could have catapulted the host country's image! India's vibrant colors as a tourist location, as a flavorful country, as a modern yet cultured place, as an almost developed country would have been showcased across the world. The tri-color would have symbolized progress, vision, history and above all the achievement.
When I talk with my colleagues from around the world, I always tend to hear something along the lines of: India is an amazing country. I really want to see the land of snake charmers and the land of the tech gods. But, It's just way too dirty and way too complicated for a simple vacation. It's just not worth it.
And I assure you, I am not making it up.
I am an Indian, and a proud one. But I also know, no country is perfect. My dreams of seeing India hosting the F-1 race or the Olympics or any international level games of quality seem very distant. The Common Wealth Game could have showcased India for what it wants to be, for what it can be and for what it’s capable of. Look at how China and more recently Africa learned and earned from hosting the games! Sadly.... only the not-so-good, the-corrupt, the short terms visionary's got showcased.
Am I doing something to brings about change? No. Am I trying, No... Yes, I am one of the million other people who are on the sidelines saying "Tch Tch". I may go as far as saying. Better Luck Next Time... But after this shame, do you think, we the Indian people think we are ready for it? Can we handle it? Can we actually implement a long term plan which will benefit the country and eventually us? Instead of… let me fill my own pockets and as for long term. What long term?
There will be more scandals, the TRP's will increase not because of the games but for the scandal. There will be some politician who will resign. There will be some morcha, some slogans, some heart burn.
Even to the optimist in me... it seems like a day that never will come. The day where we are on the forefront, considered a hot tourist location, a smart country, a flexible country, a country where the good has started outweighing the bad!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A simple request

There are few people whose blog I read regularly. IHM or Indian Home Maker being on the forefront. She blogs about women in general, of how Indian women have to live by norms of society. Of how she is unknowingly controlled by other forces of how she is made to choose a path which might not be her preference. I follow IHM regularly and get amazed at the simplicity of her words, the kindness in the wisdom and above all the ability to speak the facts as is with no fluff, no diplomacy but just straight talk.
I am blessed to be born and raised in a family which did not differentiate between girls and boys. My husband is a primary advocate of women's right. There are times when he would just tell me point blank...get out of your conceived notions of how women should be, just be yourself. So yes, I am blessed and I don’t discount the strength that my parents, my in-laws or my better half have given me to be myself no matter what.
IHM talks about the girls who don’t get the freedom to be themselves. She raises awareness and she talks and breaks norms and does it not for herself but for people to see two sides of the coin. For people to realize that by controlling all you are doing is hurting. She has inspired hundreds of people in the blogging world and in the real world to be strong and be okay with speaking your mind.
Today she posted about her own personal crisis... and all she is asking is for prayers, for her daughter who is suddenly sick with Dengue fever and is battling life and death in ICU. For her daughter who is blessed to have a mother like IHM. For a parent there is no bigger pain than seeing a child suffer. I can only imagine how hard it was for her to post about it. All I am asking my readers today, whether you now, read, follow IHM or no.. Please pray for her daughter's well being.

A simple request...Please pray.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A non-post.

I am going through a writer's blogger's block if you will. I should be maintaining my two blogs and writing cute stories and angst posts. I should be really starting to work on my posts for Smartly Chicago or The Chicago Moms or other sites I contribute to. I should be commenting, writing, reading. But right now - I have a block. I am suddenly out of content.
I walk home and I have thoughts flowing freely… but when I sit down to type, I just can’t. I want to think, to form sentences, to let the thoughts flow, to write, I keep opening my notepad, type a few words, but nothing seems to flow. No idea, no cute funny stories, no point which has to be made, no arguments, judgments or even stories. Nothing. Nada.
what happened?
It’s not like life is at a full stop. There is lots happening, lots of people who cut me off, lots of people whom I cut off, lot of introspection and lots of cute relatable incidents that I could generally write about. But I just can’t do it.
It’s not like I don’t have time, I mean I do have the same amount of time I had before. Then why?
I guess, I should just breathe. I could count to ten, be myself and stop judging my own writing. I should remind myself that I write because I enjoy it and may be someone else can relate to it as well. I should blog, be honest and just go with the flow.
But for today, for now, I’ll just have an ice breaker-
Hi, I am Garima and hope you come back for more interesting reads than this non-post. But for today, for now…. Please excuse my downtime.

I will have my caffeine shot and get back for more at: It's a Start!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Apple Cobbler.... Yummy in my Tummy!

So I have wanted to write about food... quick fixes and the likes for a while. But somehow the right outlet is not coming, so for now, I will just write here. Yes, it is very unlike my regular blog content, but this is one recipe a sweet tooth like me had to share… Especially since it look less than 10 minutes to put together!
This was completely inspired by Chris’s post of the Peach Cobbler...
The major switch is using fresh fruit instead of packed (read: super sweet, super glorified) fruit. And since SD had recently gone for our groceries (Aaah!! thank you XOXO), we had more apples than peaches. Hence, here is my revised recipe for:
Apple Cobbler! (In MWave less than 10 min. preparation + Baking Time)

Fresh Apples (Since this was a trial, I only used two)
4 Tspoon sugar (Proportion is for 1 apple = 2 Tsp sugar)
Box of yellow cake mix (Readily available in Jewel Osco or any grocery store. Costs 1-2$)
1-2 sp Cardamom powder (Alternatively can use Cinnamon as well.)
Baking Dish/ Microwaveable Dish (I love Pyrex since you can use it in Microwave, you can bake in it and store in it!)
1. Core and Peel the apple(s)
2. Cut the apple in thin slices and place it in the Pyrex bowl
3. Add Sugar and mix
4. Place the bowl in microwave (High) for two minutes.
5. Now add the Cardamom powder, stir it a bit and once again microwave it for two minutes.
6. Just keep checking that the apple is soft enough. It tends to get translucent. Please don’t touch the apple (It's super hot.. not that I know anything about that!). Start microwave for another minute if needed!
7. Now, add 5-6 tspoons of the cake mix on top of the melted apple-sugar concoction. Make sure to use a fork to tab it in the liquid.
8. Now, if you like the buttery taste, feel free to place small cubes of butter on top of the cake mix for better baking. (I placed 2-3 only)
9. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees on Bake for about 15 minutes.

Yumm Yumm Yumm
Apple Cobbler is ready.... feel free to eat it with Vanilla Ice Cream like I did!
Or feel free to force feed the hubby to "Try it out"... Once again like I did!
Or feel free to not feel bad when kiddo only wants the Ice Cream... since the cobbler was still super hot! Just like mine did!
Fear not. I will ensure she eats the cold leftover one tonight!

Sorry... no pictures, I really didn’t know I was going to blog about it.
Now, I definitely plan to make such quick fix cobblers of different fruits (Peaches, Berry's, Nectarines).... all should work well! Any tasters?
Try it out… let me know how it turned out!

Note: If you don’t want to use the cake mix, for the crusty top do the following:
1. 6 tspoons All purpose flower + 3-4 cubes of butter, Sugar if you like the crust to be sweet.
2. Hand mix the ingredients to a powdery feel. Just so you can place it over the fruit concoction. And bake
I was lazy last night, so the cake mix was perfect. I think I will use cake mix going forward; it’s just quicker (and less dishes, and less preparation time and that one big box will last me a few more trial attempts)!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion...

See this post is all about boasting and patting myself on my back.. and saying.. Oh I am so fab.. So if you dont want to hear it... stop reading.. I mean it..

Fine you stuck around.. don't tell me I didnt warn you!
Remember in my 100th post (Wohooo) I had mentioned there were a few other things brewing up for me... here is one of them.. I will be writing for "Smartly Chicago". I am hoping to write bi-monthly for them... How nice is that? The cool thing, on Smartly Chicago I can write about anything from parenting, cultural mis-matches, vacations, general stuff which are important to me or made me take a step behind and re-think!
Nice right? ;-)
I will let you know as and when I publish there... dont worry.. I know you are waiting to read a bit more of my chatter .
You can check out my writing bio here

Guess what the punch line for Smartly Chicago is: "People who get it" Ahem! ;)

Foot Note: Please comment on my Perfect Sunday evening post... the Giveaway is still on. I really wish you win.. so we can meet up over pop-corn and may be some chai! :-D

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A little Book Keeping

All right.. with a lot of fan fare I had announced my Energizer Giveaway.. >> Finally time to announce the winners.. and the winner for the amazing set of batteries is G.... whose cute comment was
"Gonna need lotsa batteries! Gimme gimme gimme.. " Hehe...
G.. please shoot me an email at garimablogs at gmail dot com with your postal address. I promise to not show up at your doorstep (unannounced)... It is mainly for the people at Energizer to mail the batteries out to you.

Secondly, For people who did comment on the giveaway or missed the deadline and still commented.... thanks a lot.. Was very sweet. But ...... I am having another giveaway.. Not for batteries.. but yummy.. Angie's Kettle Corn... go ahead, check it out on my Mommy In Making blog and leave a comment there. And FYI- There will be five winners, so your probability of winning is definitely higher..

Thirdly, you remember, I won the Blogadda's being invisible contest right? So Pringoo was suppose to mail me the choice of gift.. hmm... and I picked my design and ordered. And I am informed, that oh-we-dont-ship-to-US! And I am like... oh-it-was-not-mentioned-anywhere. now we are figuring out logistics together... which is definitely me telling them.. I want that T-shirt.. bad, I won ;-)! Hehe.
Will keep you guys posted.. and definitely, if and when I do get it, I will put up a picture... promise baba.. pinky promise.

Fourthly........naah nothing.. just wanted to see... how fourthly sounds.

Have a great week everyone.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Late is better than Never! Right?

All this is way overdue. Shilpa @ Shonawrites had passed on this award to me "Cherry on TOp"

Thank you so much girl.. it was super cute of you. Here I am now... Thanks Shilpa for this award... and super sorry for the delay in putting this up!
In order to accept this, I have to write three things about myself....hmm like I dont do that all the time.. eheh.

All right.. here it is.
1. Hello, I am Garima. :-)
2. Hello, I am Garima. :-)
3. Hello, I am Garima. :-)

Come on... it didn't say that to be unique, catchy or nice... So there... GNSD = Garima. Happy!

Now, the fun part... tag five more people.
Forever mother
Bikramjit Singh Mann

And A picture I love...Taken in the soft sands of Puerto Rico..... GN, SD and V.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Moments of Madness....

Another contest... this time for the mug from Pringoo...
This one is for the "Moments of Madness" for Blogadda.

1. The one that instantly to my mind was... my Bucket list.. line 43: Confused... It was our sky dive. A simple afternoon, just seeing an amazing deal for an option to sky willingly jump off a plane. I ask my FIL and he says: Why Not.. I will do it also. My husband is shocked and says.. What the hell.. Let me join my father and wife.. in jumping off a plane at 12500 feet with 10F temperature. Perfect. Apparently there were 12 other crazy people like us. We signed up together. Drove 60 miles to get there, comfort in numbers they say. And then the time came, the jump... 12500 feet to 6000 feet in 60 seconds. The best free fall.. and the mad moments... when you grin with happiness.. and want to do this One more time.

2. Being in the car with my husband driving at 100 mph right behind a cop's car.. on the infamous I-5 drive from Los Angeles to Chicago. It was our first new years together as Husband and Wife... and nothing better than to go Lombard street and experience the sheer madness. It was a perfect afternoon... the freeway was clear, the breeze was in our faces.. and we were listening to our melodious numbers. California is great that way...before we knew it.. we were at 100 mph right behind a unmasked cop car... we drove behind it for 20 miles, then the cars came side by side. I freaked out. The cop smiled, winked and gave us thumbs up. One crazy afternoon I tell you.

3. Our 15 mile per hour drive from the hospital to our home with our two day old daughter V. We were just being super carful. Cars were passing us; people were giving us the "look". But we were scared... as first time parents. It was truly a ride ahead. We realized then... we were madly in love with the new addition to our family.

4. In the college canteen, as usual, a bunch of us were bumming around with our coffee cups. Bunking all possible classes (Shh..). One of my friends explaining to me how electricity flows through the headphone from my walkman to the ear buds. He spoke, I listened. Then he pressed the wire.. and then explained... oh you can’t hear anything since I have the wire pressed. I was confused and shocked and amazed.. since I honestly could not hear the music. So by pressing the wire, electricity stopped flowing.... What I didn’t realize was that he was conniving and he removed the battery from my walkman! What to say... I was naive.. and super mad at him and at myself. Never been than embarrassed and mad at the same time! Needless to say.. I aced my Electrical Engineering and masters program. No seriously, I did.

5. In my eyes.. my brother and my husband... are super Poker players.. I can come to the final four, the final three... but get my behind kicked by these two guys in poker. Seriously. It gets personal when its poker with them. So one night.. the three of us and some friends got together for a poker night. With slow elimination... the eight became three... once again, three family members on poker table. And.. I came in final two.. .. and then I was heads up.. and I kicked their ass.. and won against the seven players.. and the certain two.. who have shamelessly done the happy dance in front of me too many times. Needless to say.. this time.. I was not the one being mad..The one thing that I heard that night way too many times: "How the hell did you make that call!" haha!!! Doesn't matter.. since "I Won I won" Fair and Square.

Life is not one big story.... but a combincaiton of small, crazy, happy, sad ones.. which makes it a whole load of fun!

Monday, July 12, 2010

An idea....what do you think?

Ok... it’s just an idea... and not a unique one. I will give it that.. But still. An idea needs a few things.. wording it.. and of course.. gaining consensus followed by implementation.

So... I am a foodie.. a veggie foodie that is and married to a veggie foodie as well. As usual I am pressed for time.. but love the home cooked meal. I like healthier options and shy away from fried food on a regular basis unless I am entertaining. And in my quest to be the "perfect" person, I love to find quick fixes which does not take hours in kitchen... and still taste well.. divine... hehe. I do enjoy baking (though I suck at it... rather.. don’t have the patience for). Plus I enjoy cooking, and love the thumbs up from my daughter and SD's blissful face. I like the aroma of spices being cooked, having my daughter help me out in cooking (!), trial and failures....
So here is my idea.
For my blogger buddies.. how about we create and then start a contributing to a "Food Blog" We can have broad categories.. like Appetizers, Lunch, Snack, Quick Fix, Re-vamp of Left Over, Party food.... and maybe .. fine a category for Non-veggies.. though I promise to never read them. And may be a place where we can put in “Nuska’s” small tips which make life easier.. like starting the pressure cooker with lemon piece inside and then cleaning it…... did you know that helps to get the shine back! Did you know?
And yes, give me a break.. I did not say my idea was unique!
The name of the blog can be… hmm… “A Quick Fix!” come on.. that is just a little bit unique!
What do you think? Any takers.. Anybody else enthusiastic in joining.. shoot me an email and we can figure out how to design the blog, link within and of course figure out frequency of contribution, what to contribute etc….
Alternatively... we can start "Recipe a week" All of us.. just post a recipe on our own blogs which we tried making or eating that week and was honest to god “A Quick Fix!”.
Or something else... .like you already know of a blog where I can contribute my "amazing" concoctions. ;-)
Come on.. shoot me an email and or just comment here!

Updated to add: This idea came while chit chatting with one of my dearest friends. So not entirely mine as well.. Hehe.
Perfect: An Idea, Not Unique, Not entirely mine. :-D

Friday, July 9, 2010

I won.......

Holy Crap I won..............:-) No not some beauty contest(!) Fat chance there... ehehe.. I won.... the Blogadda contest for "Being Invisible". Wooof!
Knock on wood. ... first my 100th post.. then almost ready to announce my giveaway's winner and then of course... gearing up for the weekend... Could not have asked for a better Friday.. blogging wise ;-)

All right people, let me breathe... count... breathe... and then do the happy dance!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why I blog?

It is my 100th post today... And yes.. let the drum roll begin, let the marching bands go.. and oh yes... applaud applaud.. hehe..
Today I will attempt to answer the question which I have been asked a lot of times.. Why do you blog?

I started blogging; just to get over my fear of being on the open internet...There was a time, when I used to freak out if I searched for my name and my Linked In profile showed up. I didn’t like it. I liked to be a person.. and not be searchable! Plus I was always a bit reserved when it came to talking about me... let me rephrase.. I could go on and on about discussing and lecturing and debating different things.. but I was always shy/self conscious at talking about my problems/issues/ short comings to near and dear one.. I am sure a few friends are nodding their heads. I had to change that. And so I did.... I started getting over my first issue of being "open" on net, I used my pen name GNSD.. Shared the blogs with just family and some friends. Then I started enjoying the writing process. It felt exhilarating. I started slowly getting over my second issue of being "open" about me. It felt free, liberating.. My friend was right.. it's not hard to talk about yourself. I got over it and used my first name for my professional contribution.
And then slowly and surely (thankfully) I met wonderful people in the blogging world. It was an extension on my community. I realized my writing and "issues" fell into two distinct categories.. mommy related and my adventures related.. I decided to split my blogs. One as my Mommy-In-Making Blog and other as this....Not knowing a lot of young parents around me used to leave me a little worried, second guessing myself; if you will. But coming across numerous other fellow bloggers, mommy bloggers, reading, it felt good.. and once again I learned something: "You are the best parent for your child" ... I feel less judged by my own eyes.. I think I am okay telling myself.. I am learning, making mistakes, picking myself up again.. and figuring out! The mommy blog really helped me cope up with not driving myself or SD crazy.
And then.. blogging opened up other interesting ventures.. My professional contribution to "Chicago Moms Blog" I attended my first ever Blogging conference. I got interviewed by CNN for a parenting viewpoint, I got a brand new Chevy to test drive for a weekendand write about, I figured out Google Reader... I learned about branding, advertising, making professional and personal relationships with bloggers. I met wonderful people who blog, who write, who author books, who own companies, who start companies, who reach out to community, who help out.. and above all.. who are wonderful people... I learned.. blogging is a community itself. I am now excited at a few new opportunities brewing up for me.
In addition to all this.. blogging is truly fun. I remember when my dear friend Prutha was starting her blog.. we'd spent countless email exchanges inserting up analytics, making it searchable and the likes... It's then when I realized.. Blogging is self expression. When she reached her first 100 followers... she told me. I grinned cheek to cheek... Blogging is fun, especially with minimum investment, you get to reach out to more people. Friends, strangers alike and talk about what you can contribute to people around! See what the Uniform Project achieved… It’s inspiring.
I blog because I can. As some wise person said "I write because therapy is freaking expensive!"

To my 100th........ Thanks SD for being you :-). Thanks Bhaia.. for the encouragement and help in setting up my own blog well! Thanks readers.. for reading, commenting and being such wonderful e-friends ;-)

And yes... It's a start!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Just Dissappear.... just vanish.

Being invisible.....Like Blogadda said... Mr. India is a cult movie... The ability to be only seen under red glass, being invisible on demand.. being able to hear everything and not be seen or be known....aaah if I had the power!
This is an entry to my "Being Invisible" contest in Blogadda... Here is the Pringoo product which catches my fancy

You know the setting... The "guy's" family has come to visit to see the "prospective" girl. They come with watchful, judgmental and affectionate eyes. The girl's family is all on their toes. The best cutlery is out, the yummiest food has been made, the cushions have been fluffed ten times before their arrival, and the front yard has been mopped one more time. The cousins peek through the window to "check out" the prospective groom and report to the girl waiting inside.
The girl, who has a zillion things going through her mind, has the awkwardness of the set up being on the forefront.
Then the knock on the door comes, the mom/cousin/aunt has come to say, come on out, they want to meet you. Be good and hey. Smile, keep the eyes lowered and say a prayer.
The girl darts eyes of sheer frustration and anger and giddiness.. But does what she is told. She enters.. She does the namaste to all, adjusting her duppatta just again. Keeping the eyes lowered as directed. Smiling and oh yes, really wanting to actually see the guy for whom all this fuss has been created. She sees him with the side glances, the kid cousins, her reporters lied, he is not all greek goddish, but actually stout with a freaking moustache... Oh..she tells herself.. Ok fine, looks are not all... lets calm down.
She sheepishly answers the "questions" of interviewing parents. She looks at her father, all calm; she can feel the concern under his breath. She looks at her mother and rest of the family making it all pristine perfect. Everyone is talking about everything possible including the weather....what the hell.. Weather when you decide my future. The boy is grinning cheek to cheek and staring at her...and damn it she has to have her eyes lowered... And then the ceremonious "cough" comes. The cough signaling that the "boy" and her go for a customary fifteen minute walk, a pre-set date- to figure if it’s a perfect fit for the rest of their lives. All she is thinking, is that seriously Samosa crumbs on his moustache.. she hides her giggles.
She goes, walks across the room. The watching family assesses.. every freaking thing. She gives the "exasperated" look to the mother. Why are you torturing me? I am not ready. Mother has the look "It's time" the look she has had ever since the girl graduated. Damn. The customary walk is done. The goodbyes are done. The families say, we will discuss. The girl breathes her sigh of relief, tells her parents, I need to go rest.
She goes to her room, presses the button on the "gadget" hidden below her choodi's. She is now invisible. No one knows. She sneaks in the boy’s car. No one knows. She sits, and listens. She listens to the detailed analytical report of the guy's aunt. Of how the samosa's were fried in oil and not Ghee. She listens to the sisters comments that the shoes gave her the height, she is not as tall. She listens to the father's worry of the girl being over qualified for his son. She listens to the mother of the "boy" being worried about the girl's speech or not knowing which vegetable needs no water to cook. How will she feed her son? She listens, laughs, wonders and continues on. The kid cousin whom she gave the candy has only praises to sing for her... She laughs at the gullibility of kids. She wonders why the boy has not spoken. At last the boy speaks... she listens intently.. looks beyond the moustache and hears him. He is direct.. says, the girl is nice, simple, well read. Who cares if the samosa's were not perfect, or there was a stain on the coffee table. Who really cares, if she had chocolate stuck in her upper tooth. The girl is a person first... and not an object you can check out.
The parents throw their hands in the air" This new generation". But he continues.. and she listens, though the crumbs on the moustache are annoying her. Is that laddu crumb or just samosa. Anyways...He says; fifteen minutes are not enough to make a lifelong decision. The families won’t permit a courtship to figure things out. He says.. its unfair to him and to the girl. He says, with what he saw, he likes her. But he will not objectify any other person another time. He asks the driver to take the next turn. They come to a stop below a tall building. He gets out, makes a quick cell phone. A really neat, hunky minus moustache guy comes out. He holds his hand, and says: He is my object of affection.
The parents once more throw their hands up in the air.
At this point, the girl really really wants to disappear.. One more time.

Note: The story above is a figment of my imagination. There is no resemblance to any person, living or dead. Also, this by no means is to poke any fun at a person's sexual orientation. Purely fictional and purely entertaining.

Updated to add: I also have nothing against men with moustaches(except my man)! In case you were wondering.