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Photo Challange : Cherry on Top

A cake with cherry on top is delicious, but for a chocoholic like me, m&m’s serve the same purpose.

 

I like to bake for my loved one’s and this cake was baked on demand for my nephew on his birthday. A vanilla Cake with Chocolate Ganache: Good, m&m’s on top : better, but the Cherry On Top moment for me was the delighted smile on my nephew’s face and how quickly he devoured it 🙂 That’s the best part of making food, isn’t it?

Chocolate Ganache Cake topped with m&m's :)

 

Daddy’s little girl

Daddy’s little girl

Who are you? What’s your Origin Story?

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I wonder who I am. Actually I still struggle to find out who I truly am, what I want to achieve in life and how am I going to make there. If I would have been a character in some game, or a comic book Super-Person, writing my origin story would have been easy as a breeze. Read more

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Generation Gap

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I have my differences with my parents.

They think rules are made for a reason.

Why, they are made to be broken!

They say bungee-jumping can kill you.

When all it can do is thrill you.

They believe ‘You do or die’.

I just want to do it before I die.

They keep saying “You won’t understand,

Until you get your own child!”

But I know for sure, in their youth,

They must’ve been equally wild.

Agreed! I’m not yet there,

I’m just making a start.

But why can’t they understand me?

Come on, they’ve been there, they’ve done that!


[PC: ]

 

The woman of the house

The woman of the house

She sank on the sofa after the day-long training. It was supposed to be fun – the training. The faculty was good and topics were engaging. A lot of brainstorming was done at the end of the session. But ‘The brainy one’- as her colleagues used to call her, was unusually quiet. The reason was simple – her heart was not at it.

She had no reason to be upset about this whole training thing. She had only asked for this. Actually, she had asked for a few quiet days, still as backwaters. She had everything a woman dreams of, a nice home, a jolly life partner, a bright kid (She should not mention him as kid, though! He’s entered his teens now). The only thing she lacked was peace of mind. She was always bursting with tasks at her hands: getting up at 5, making meals, giving ‘the boys’ a wake-up call, setting up breakfast for them, sending them off to their destination, gobbling her own breakfast, getting ready for office and finally leaving house at 8 o clock. At night: Coming home at 8PM, making dinner, serving dinner, cleaning afterwards, and finally taking updates of her son’s studies and activities. Weekends were also full of activities.

In this busy schedule, she never got a chance to sip a mug of coffee in solitude, curling up on the recliner with her favorite book in her hand. She had many hobbies like gardening, painting, and playing squash. But her life didn’t permit her to take timeout for herself. She never complained about it too, well certainly not until now.

Though, now this had changed. She used to think that nobody cares for her or the things she does for them, or cannot do because of time crunch. Agreed, this was her duty, but that didn’t mean she shouldn’t get a reward. She used to get incentives and awards at work for her excellent performance. Well, she was performing at home too, and she didn’t expect any fancy award here. All she expected was a hug, or two words of gratitude showing that they appreciated what she was doing. But she got exactly opposite of the same. The things that were running smooth were never recognized, and whenever there was a glitch, she was the one to blame. She was also astounded by her husband’s tendency of bashing her whenever her son performed badly. But when the same son would win over something, he used to take the credit.

All these things along with the menopausal hormones led her to think that she was not loved anymore. That whatever she would do, they would never appreciate her. This negativity was weighing her down. So she asked, no, prayed for some quiet days, where she would be free of all this drama (according to her, anyways) and worries. She wanted to live that bachelor life again, just for few days. She wanted to taste the freedom of getting up late, sipping bed-tea, eating meals that were not cooked by her and sleep whenever she wanted. She wanted full access to the TV’s remote control, wanting to watch all the sappy movies which normally she missed because of the game of cricket. She wanted to go street-shopping.

And so, when her boss wanted to send her to the One-month long training to Pondicherry, she pounced on the opportunity. This was the break she was dreaming of. She sought after peace and what other place could be better than Pondicherry to find peace? In her mind the countdown had begun, her travel plan was set. She would visit the Auroville on the first weekend there, then Aurobindo Ashram. Next weekend would be reserved for the beaches. Then she would visit all the temples and churches. And on the last weekend she would go on a shopping spree. But she would not exert on weekdays. Just be the coach potato for the weekdays.

And she followed the routine too, for a couple of days. But at nightfall, she used to become restless, checking her cell phone for countless times hoping to receive a call from ‘the boys’. She missed them a lot. But was this feeling mutual? She sometimes doubted it wasn’t. In the next instant she used to brush them away saying that they simply didn’t know how to show love. Every night she was the one to call them. Interestingly, whenever she called them, they were out having fun.

‘Well, like father, like son. They don’t need me anymore.’

She used to think.

This feeling was what triggered her loneliness. She was in a paradise, but she didn’t wish to open her senses and enjoy nature’s abundant beauty. Every day she met with many intelligent and influential people at the training, but her mind couldn’t focus on the interaction. In her mind the countdown had begun, again!

Finally the day of return had come. She was going back to her old life. She was tired suddenly. The training had been very informative, but extensive too. This demanded a lot of energy. Plus, she also spent significant amount of energy thinking about her husband and son and how they were doing. She was exhausted mentally and emotionally.

That night she slept like a log.

***

She was a little surprised when her husband insisted that he come to receive her on the airport, but as she had planned to take a pre-booked cab, she told him not to come.

As she entered the lobby to her apartment, she automatically reached in her handbag to take out the keys, assuming that nobody will be home. But as she inserted the latchkey into the slot, the door flew open and her husband greeted her, an apron tied around his waist and a sheepish smile on his face.

“Hi, uhh… You are early!” He said tentatively.

She just stared at him as he stepped aside to let her in and took her luggage to the bedroom. she threw one quick glance all over the living room. It wasn’t messy; they had tried their best to clean it up. But to her eyes everything seemed out of place. The flower vase was out of sight; in place of it sat her son’s helmet. The sofa was adorned with same cushion covers that she had changed one month back. There was dust on the coffee table. She couldn’t even imagine how the rest of the house will look like.

She looked up only to find her husband staring at her. She shielded the reproachful look on her face and asked, “Why are you wearing an apron?”

“Umm… I thought you will be tired after the journey. So I am cooking dinner.”

Her jaws dropped at the unexpected answer. She was about to say something when her son walked in the room and hugged her. She heart was warmed with their gestures. The last time they hugged was his 11th birthday, or was it 10th?

“Hey mom, when did you come?” he said.

“Just now. “She said her voice heavy with joy.

She knew he wanted to say many things but just like his father, he didn’t know how to express things. For a quiet moment they all looked at each other.

“I am happy to see you guys.” She finally decided to break the awkward moment.

“Me too” they said in unison as she laughed at how similar her son had turned out to his father.

“Well it seems you guys have lot of activities lined up for me” she said suggestively as she glanced over the room.

“You know well how hard it can be to cope up with all this with an angry teenager at your side.” Her husband muttered under his breath.

“Dad! You better check what has happened to whatever you were cooking, because I smell carbon.”

Her husband hurried to the kitchen.

She was amused. She couldn’t remember when the last time they had such light-hearted conversation was.

“I think I should go help him” she told her son, who simply nodded.

“Hey mom!” he called out as she rose and took a few steps towards the kitchen. She stopped and turned.

“I just… I just wanted to tell you that I missed you a lot.” He said awkwardly and was quiet for a moment. “And … dad is a terrible cook. We had to eat out every day.” He said with a sheepish smile which reminded her of his father. “And yes, that was not the reason I missed you.” He finished and stared at her, his eyes full with love she hadn’t seen in months.

“I know, I know!” she said, her voice thick with emotions.

She continued walking towards the kitchen to her loving husband who was at present attempting to cook for her. She knew he wouldn’t make it without getting third degree burns, so I was wise to intercept at this stage only.

She smiled broadly as she saw him desperately trying to salvage whatever was there in the saucepan. She was home now, and she was suddenly at peace.

FBB

 

 

she serves the dinner and does the laundry,

She is the liveliness of house, she is the beauty.

without her the house is nothing but a mess,

She is wife, mother, and a perfect hostess.

Do you know who is she? I know without doubts!

She is the one and only: The woman of the house.

 

 

 

Aside

Made in heaven

“What do you think about inter-cast marriage?” a friend asked me on chat.

“I don’t have any problem with Inter-cast, inter-religion or inter-racial marriage as long as it’s not a loveless marriage.” Was my instant reply.

“But how can we judge that before taking decision? Especially in arrange marriages! I’m so confused!” came her reply after few moments delay.

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I knew the reason of her confusion. I myself went through an arranged marriage and I was telling her that I didn’t support loveless marriage. It was natural for her to worry over how I found out that I loved my husband before getting married.

She’s not the only one who is in this dilemma. ‘Conservative’ is the word to describe Indian culture. My grandmother saw my grandfather after their marriage. My mother might have seen my father one or two times before marriage. But then they didn’t have much choice to reject the ‘Boy’ anyways. Today we have it. Our culture has evolved a bit and even if it is an arranged marriage, the decision lies with girl or boy (Mostly. In rural India it’s a different thing). Today if a girl doesn’t like a boy, she can choose not to marry him and vice versa.

But my friend’s problem was not this. It was: how could she decide that she wanted to marry the person in typically one or two meetings? And she expected an answer from me because I had done that and I am totally happy with my decision. Well, her question was simple, but the answer to that is complex and highly subjective. I couldn’t tell her how I choose my husband, because frankly I myself didn’t know exactly what made me take the decision. Things just clicked and I had this intuition that we will be happy together.

Now, some may say it was love at first sight. Yeah! I don’t believe in love at first sight. Actually, I don’t like to label love as one single feeling. Rather, love is a combination of different feelings such as affection, companionship, trust, attraction, responsibility and many more. And these feelings won’t develop in one or two meetings. Okay, maybe you can get attracted to someone because of their looks. But again, your decision shouldn’t be based solely on these superficial things. Look for someone whom you can relate to, someone whom you can trust. And believe me; you can judge these things in a few meetings. One of my friends who work in HR department of a multinational company once told me how they select prospective candidates for job openings. “The technical knowledge is being judged by some geeks”, she told me. “We judge if the person’s overall body language. Words might be misleading, but body never lies.” This applies when you are meeting your prospective bride/groom also.

I remember a scene from a famous Indian movie ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’, where a girl asks the same advice to Munna, about how she can make sure the person she’s about to marry is the right one. He tells her to check how he behaves with the people below his stature. She observes her date and makes a decision. Superb scene. I totally agree.

How a person might behave with you can be judged by how he behaves with his own family, too. You cannot expect respect from one who has little respect for his own family. You should also observe the relationship between the family members. A marriage is not just a union of two people, but two families too. If they themselves don’t get along, how will they get along with your family?

And the most important point is, don’t wait for that ‘Perfect match’. It’s a myth. Nobody’s perfect and if you think otherwise, be ready to remain single all your life. People are nice as an individual, but here we are talking about marriage, where essentially two genders are involved. And they are from different planets. So it is not just important to marry the right person, but creating the right relation with your life partner is equally important. Everybody has arguments, fights. But how they affect your relation is of prime importance. For some, the arguments leave bitterness behind. For others, it may show them areas of improvement. After all, we don’t choose our parents and siblings; still we love them in spite of all the arguments. If you are at fault, don’t hesitate to say sorry. If it’s your spouse who botched it up, be forgiving. If you are going through rough patches, have faith in one another. Only this can build your relation.

Do marriages are made in heaven? Not at all. They are made on earth. It is easy to find a person, but the tough task is building a healthy relationship. Focus on it, rather than other meager issues, and you will get your happily ever after.

And the journey starts…

And the journey starts…

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness”

-Charles Spurgeon

True! You can be a millionaire and wont be happy if your heart doesn’t lie in what you do. I have seen many of my friends, co-workers, family members (including myself) covet about it, even though they all have nice homes, shiny cars, decent pay check. Then what is it that gives us pleasure if not all these comforts of the new era?

It is time that we all don’t have to enjoy all the facilities we have today. Most of us who work in corporate sector today will agree that we spend more time in office/commuting than at home. We have lots of stress, deadlines to achieve, goals to complete and no time for our own interests or hobbies. Agreed, there are some Fun-fridays, or Team building activities at our workplace, But these rare treats are not enough to ease the stress which piles up every day.

That’s why Phyllis McGinley has said, “A hobby a day keeps the doldrums away”.

This blog is my attempt to steal many such sweet moments when i am truly happy, doing things I really like to do and share them to minds alike to inspire them to lead a happy life.

Chocolava cake