Life is indeed barren without sweetness,
not only in love and relationships but in food also. Food, esp Indian food is
something divine. Indian sweets are famous around the world. However, times are
changing fast and with the advent of new times, lifestyles have changed too, and
are still changing fast like never before.Lifestyles related diseases have taken a toll on most people and this
directly impacts the eating habits. However, the good news is that, now we can
enjoy our sweet dishes without worrying a bit about extra calories and such
things. The answer to this is‘Sugar-Free Natura’that is a
zero-calorie sweetener and has now become a part of many kitchens across the
world. Now, you must be wondering if it is safe and the answer is yes! It is
100 percent safe as it is made from a derivative of natural sugar known as ‘Sucralose’
and is certified by FSSAI, WHO as well as USFDA. ‘Sugar Free Natura’ can be
substituted for sugar and we can enjoy all the sweetness of life without an
ounce of worry or guilt!
So let us check out an awesome but
very easy recipe prepared of another common thing- Potato.
Aloo-Ka-Halwa (Potato Pudding)
Prep. Time- 10-15 minutes
Potatoes (medium) 3-4
Dry Nuts ¼ Cup
Boil potatoes slightly more so that they become very soft.
Peel, mash and keep the pulp aside.
Heat ghee in a non-stick
pan and add potato pulp.
Keep stirring till it becomes
Add ‘Sugar Free Natura’ instead
of white sugar and keep stirring.
Add some chopped dry nuts
and keep stirring for a few more minutes.
Add cardamom powder and garnish
with the remaining dry nuts.
This pudding not only tastes awesome
but is very quick to prepare and you will save your health from the harmful
side effects of white sugar too!
is no dearth of inspiring people in life. One doesn’t find them only on the
cover of the Iconic Times magazine or in Forbes list; if you look around, such
people are everywhere and you will often bump into one and realize that she/he
is indeed #madeofgreat.
of my college friends was very interested in astrology esp Indian Astrology. He
wanted to study this subject for professional purposes but as usual, his family
wanted him to be an executive in a reputed MNC so despite his pleadings, he was
just not allowed to enroll even for a correspondence course on Vedic Astrology
and was rather excoriated by his parents for wasting his precious time in these
things. He discussed the things with me casually one day and I realized how
badly he wanted to learn the nuances of Vedic Astrology. We all have such
choices: one wants to learn a particular dance form, other wishes to learn some
musical instrument, someone else wishes to open a beauty salon and there is no dearth
of hobbies that we would happily like to pursue and take up as mainstream
career. However, practical considerations often crush such hobbies and we
ourselves forget to pay attention to our natural talents and inclinations. My
friend, I am discussing about really inspired me because along with MBA and
later a job, he persisted in studying the subject all by himself. Through free
online resources, books and CDs he became well versed with birth charts and
other things that constitute Vedic Astrology. Now, he can make and read birth-charts
to a nice accuracy.
too, had this peculiar interest in portrait sketching but it was ignored and
other practical things took the centre stage. Inspired by him, as he would tell
me, “ move an inch everyday but remember, do move”, I began to draw portraits almost
every week and sometimes a few times a week. I kept practicing just like him
and in 2013, one of my pencil sketches appeared on the cover of a book! That was
a great moment. He only inspired me to keep moving with a side hobby and
passion and not to ignore my natural inclinations. So I would say that when
most of us, despite having all the resources at our disposal, quit easily, he
did not and that is what proves that he is indeed inspiring and is #madeofgreat.
do you think of Tata Motors’ association with Lionel Messi?
contest reminded me of a few people who have inspired me in different ways in
life. One can find inspiration anywhere. Just two things, I think, are needed-
one, an open attitude to imbibe inspiration without letting ego dominate and another,
a certain perseverance to bring all those changes into one’s life.
the inspiration story began many years back when I was in my graduation. In
summers I visited one of my uncles, who is often mocked for being slightly
eccentric and odd (obviously behind his back!) and realized he was actually
more mature than most of people around. He had this habit of starting off with
the things and tasks he wished to complete without delays and deliberations. “The
biggest hitch in doing something is ‘starting trouble’; just start it, and somehow
it will be finished,” he would say. One may find this attitude brash and
juvenile but it works! I had this habit of pondering over pending tasks like
one stares for long at the bucket before taking a bath with cold water in
winters or before giving a nice gift to a casual acquaintance! But he would
just start off with the task and even though it would drag on for a few days,
even weeks, finally it would be completed and would reap the gains. It could be
as sundry as cleaning the cobwebs around the house to planting new trees and
managing the garden to sorting out all stuff in the almirah and as big as
changing jobs and travelling to distant places.
once decided to make a DIY solar water heater and everyone laughed at his face but
he was undeterred as usual. Sometimes, one has to be thick-skinned in a
positive way. So, day by day he gathered all the resources including print-outs
from the internet and materials and started off with the project. I told him
that he could have got a solar heater readymade at much less price from the
market but he said the joy of making something using one’s own hands and ideas was
something different. So this project dragged for weeks, and lo and behold! one
winter morning family folks found lukewarm water flowing out of the taps
instead of ice cold water. His heater was finally completed and working. It was
a nice project that made the people laughing at him shut their mouths up! This
was just one example when he would just begin it enthusiastically and in most
cases the task was completed.
he inspired me? I always wanted to start my own venture.
It was my wish to create a start-up but as usual I was procrastinating and
wasting precious time. Finally, after being inspired by his attitude to chase
dreams sans delay, after MBA I stared a web based company, my own start-up in
the field I wanted to be in! When I started working upon the idea, things were
not easy and there were confusions but still, just like him, I too, persisted
and became what I wanted to be- an entrepreneur! So, this just-go-for-it
attitude has inspired me many times in life and now it has become a part of my
attitude; I just start whatever I have to do, however small or routine it may
be, and it really gets completed! I think, this common man, despite having
nothing to write home about, no celebrity status and no political connections,
is indeed #madeofgreat
do you think of Tata Motors’ association with Lionel Messi?
was nothing much I was bothered about or abhorred; it was small things that
sometimes sent shivers down my neck and my eyes throbbed just as your eyes too
would have if I rubbed steel over steel or my nails over a blackboard. I mean
if you have seen ‘Jaws’, you would get my point. One thing that had, of late,
started perturbing me was her, my neighbor’s tea sip…the sound of her slurp…that
went like slurppp…whizzz…whizz and that gave me shivers I cannot describe exactly,
but yes, I was sure. One day I was sitting in my little garden where I had collected
various varieties of Cactus and some carnivorous plants like the ‘Pitcher Plant’
and I forgot to tell you, I paid a handsome amount for shipping of my feral babies.
So I sat admiring and counting the exact number of thorns, she came with her
usual slurppp…whizzz that day, and I understood that she intentionally wanted
to annoy me. I wanted to slap her right there and then but I am, you see, a
very logical person, even though people would laugh at this statement. I waited
with bated breath and absorbed every syllable of her sound within me and hid
behind a huge wild bush in my balcony garden. That had to be done, my inner
voice told me. So the very same night, I broke into her room and hid cleverly
behind the cupboard so she could not see me at all, and saw her sleep. Then
with hushed steps I had practiced all evening, I went to her bed and saw her
lips, they were going whizzz...whizzzz and then tied her hands and put her to
real sleep. Then I returned and kissed my Pitcher Plant for it also swallows an
unsuspecting insect suddenly, in one go.
next morning when the cops came to her flat, I too went there with confidence
and took interest in every investigation but when they asked me how she was with
me and if I remembered any peculiar thing about her, I could not control myself.
The very same shivers rolled like waves inside me…I cried whizzz…slurpp…whizz…a
b***h...whizzzzz. I do not know what they noticed but they dragged me here, in a
suffocating cell. I swear her name should have been Miss Slurpp! God, I cannot
control my laugher! My pitcher plant must be laughing too!
Goddess Saraswati is theHindugoddessof knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning.She is a part of the trinity of Saraswati, LakshmiandParvati. All the three forms help the trinity ofBrahma,Vishnuand Shiva to create, maintain and regenerate-recycle the Universe respectively. The earliest known mention of Saraswati as a goddess is inRigveda. Hindus celebrate the festival ofVasant Panchami(the fifth day of spring) in her honourand mark the day by helping young children learn how to write alphabets on that day. Saraswati is revered as a goddess of knowledge, music and arts is also found outside India, such as in Japan, Vietnam, Bali (Indonesia) and Myanmar.
these technical times, we have achieved a lot but on the cost of togetherness
and heart-to-heart bonding. Now we see far more cases of elders spending long
afternoons alone, waiting for their ever busy professional office going
children to remember them once in a blue moon and kids who have a life of their
own and are consumed by electronic gadgets
and television. Also, with urban colonies coming up, every inch of land
is covered with concrete. In such times, it has become a task to come together
to enjoy each other’s company and spend time in the lap of nature. However,
every problem has a solution and one important catalyst that can make us
achieve this goal can be the nature itself. Spending time in nature is not
enough; rather, taking up a project can solve both the issues.
can find a patch of raw land, or simply take two or three planting pots and
start off! Seeds are available in the market and even online very easily and I
would love to recall what the ace writer Late Khushwant Singh once said, that there
are few things that are really therapeutic and gardening tops the list! Watching
a plant grow is to unlock your emotions and feeling one with nature. For example,
we can plant small household plants like tomatoes or ladyfingers that are easy
to maintain. For this we can come together and this way every day or every
other day, plan a small tea party as well. Growing flowers and sharing tips
with neighbors and friends is also a great way to come together and experience
warmth and bonding.
remember an incident where an old couple, on their front yard, sort of
exhibited their cactus collection for the colony to see how amazing it was! Not
many of us know that cactus plant gives beautiful flowers and is one of the
most beautiful plants. Many people shared tips and some took photographs even
when there were no digital cameras but only the traditional film-roll ones.
Their socialization popped up suddenly and I saw them smiling more often.
the digital era too, we can blog and form groups with like-minded people and
come together for gardening or improvement of a colony park. I think this will
not be necessary even, because real closeness is to be found with our neighbors
and friends. However, another relevant point is the involvement of children. They
must learn to open their hearts and break the ice and feel how deeply and
beautifully one can find solace with nature even in the midst of an urban life.
planted tomatoes once and along with my family members, I tended to the plants.
However, the crop wasn’t bumper but still we loved tending to it and the
desperate wait for that little green raw thing to become a full grown red
tomato soon was awesome. Try doing such things, you will never forget or regret! (Real pic of our tomato plant)
fine day, I saw some people crowding over something and sharing their opinions with
each other. When I saw closely, it was a portrait that no one had seen before
and upon which different people gave their own views. I would love to share
some of them here-
I got it! look deeply and you will find that this shell represents life that is
enclosed inside our bodies just like itself and this boy’s blue eyes mean
universe never sleeps and his stern expressions mean time is brutal and his…..
That must be the last thing he might have had or a gift from a long departed
lover...he must have lost his mind brooding over her…Oh...
He must be planning a trip to some fantastic beach place! yay!
- I like his jersey combination, black and blue but his
hairstyle is weird!
- He must have murdered someone with this conch or
he must be trying to skew the investigation towards someone else. I see this murderer
is very smart.
He is just like our sports teacher who often holds a clock.
Indicating whole or partial derangement leading to or arising from an unconditioned
mental bipolar neuroleptic possibly narcoleptic disorder of previous sea
scorching summer rips your skin off, winter seems like a cooling balm. To put
it simply, I love winters and deeply get envious of all the lucky souls who reside
near those mysterious frosty mountains and frozen lakes. What else can define
heaven on earth other than a warm blanket, a notepad (and pen of course!) and a
cup of hot ginger tea. Curled up beside my window that overlooks a large portion
of the sleepy grey sky, my mind, not perturbed by the constant annoyance of
blinding sunlight of the days and sweaty irritation of evenings that signify
summers in Northern Indian plains, wanders as far as it likes. These thinking sessions
are provided a perfect platform in this season for which I always long for the
is said that our sleep says much about us and often we come across articles or
weblogs that analyze our sleeping patterns, style etc to indicate our personality
types. I have often come across people with strange pre-sleep habits, like one classmate
could sleep only after having a glassful of dark coffee. While most of us take
coffee to concentrate, she did the very opposite. Another person could not go
to bed without working out. While most people workout in the morning, not many
are there who exercise right before going to bed. A woman I know has to gossip
about every darn person otherwise she can’t get sleep comfortably. One of my
classmates used to forward sms jokes to almost entire class before sleeping and
yet another used to brood and lament for atleast an hour before she could get
some sleep. One man I know can sleep only after watching a Bollywood movie; he can’t
go to bed if he fails to catch up on his daily cinema dose. Some people take
herbs like trifala, brahmi etc before sleep.
I feel if one is a bit too particular in such things and if petty disturbances
hold the power to snatch his good night’s sleep away, it is not a very good thing
as this can pose problems while travelling or when one is staying at some other
pray and often take some tea before dozing off. Btw, what are your pre-sleep