Saturday, January 26, 2013

An Ode to an Odd Dozen years

"Marriage is the alliance of two people, one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other who never forgets."
                                                                                                                 ---Ogden Nash

No quote can really sum up a collection of years spent with another human being yet I like this one...

I try to take some time to think back on the years and the wedding anniversaries...this year I am in India, mostly in a sterile, impersonal hospital room, with another human being who matters as much as the 2 K's to me. Trying to be "Pollyana" for the past eight days has worn me down...I am ready to go and hide in my comfortable routine - some grinding work, some hard home routines....anything is preferable to this constant workout my mind is giving me right now.

Here is a little something I wrote last night :

A marriage of two
is friendship redefined
A marriage of two
has its issues
A marriage of two
is of trust and new learnings
A marriage of two works
when you put in the efforts
Ultimately a marriage exists only
when you and I choose to let it...

So thanks K1 for giving me memories and the years to write you this's a cup of chai (adrak maar ke) for many many more such years.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Walking in Cloud 9 : Tat Tvam Asi

I woke up in the morning after uncharacteristically deep sleep...the sun was peeking in through the window, welcoming me...disoriented for a minute and then it hit me I was in Pune. I was a little restless, so I went for a walk alone in the Cloud 9 campus - a walk where it was always me and Bapa - sometimes in silence, sometimes sharing our thoughts, appreciating the birds and bees...yet slowly there came a sense of peace, a sense that all will be good.  Here is a Indian Green Bee-eater that came by to say Hello to the drumstick tree...

My dear friend V is amazingly creative...she and her mother have a gorgeous home and share a passion for jewellery designing and home decor. From that passion was born her and her sister S's  new company Tatvamasi. Here is my favorite piece in the collection....check out her Facebook page

What struck me more was the name "Tat Tvam Asi" (तत् त्वम् असि), a sanskrit word that means " That Thou Art". The example used is - The individual self and Supreme self are compared to two birds – they stay on the same tree, one constantly consuming the delicious fruits (and still never satisfied), and the other does not consume anything and yet eternally satisfied.

The reality is most of us are born at the end of one continuum...the bird that is never satisfied trying to move to the state of unconditional satisfaction, being who we are, doing what we are doing...present and content with what it is right now ( Maslow was on to something when he talked about Self Actualization). Life is teaching me lessons, I want to learn right now...Tat Tvam Asi...I am me and I like being me right now...striving and learning to be someone I want to be.
How is your weekend turning out?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Eat Dessert First...

Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first.  ~Ernestine Ulmer

It is an odd sort of a day...cold and dreary and all I want to do is snuggle under the comforter and worry...worry about things I can't control and that is pretty much all I did...wallowed in self pity for sometime...then I dusted that feeling off (how long can a person feel blue) and went marching off to the Farmer's Market with K2. He didn't want to come but I don't think I gave him much of a choice...he perked up at the "Bolani's Stand" and his ears went red when the lady gave him an extra sample and called him adorable...any surprises, I bought the Jalapeno Pepper Jelly (even though the one at home was only 1/4th finished)...we then went and said hello to the guy who sells organic eggs ( he even knows K2's name) and to whom I am forever grateful for helping me get K2 hooked to eggs ( he sold him quail eggs, duck eggs, goose eggs...we drew a line at Baluts). We walked by the Sukhi's guy with his parathas and samosas and went by to Beckmann's Bakery...we picked up a bear claw for K2 (it's his favorite thing about the Farmer's Market when raspberries aren't around)...and also a pie. Of-course, we got our fruits and veggies ( apples, kiwis, sweet potatoes, beets, cabbage and broccoli)...
We also picked up a movie for K2 : Ice Age - Continental Drift. That was my movie watch for the day and it was awesome.If we were in India, we would be celebrating Makarsankranti  (Pongal) with family...there would be desserts, there would be noise, family and conversations...

We ate our Cherry Pie from Beckmann's and missed the desserts from back home - be it modak or monda pitha, sooji halwa/sheera, jilapi or jilbi....its all good and missed, also missed is our family back home. K2 polished 2 big slices of I think he is living life with full deference to the saying above...

Did you get a chance to eat dessert first?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fifty Shades Stupid...

Should I feel better that -

On 1 August 2012, Amazon UK announced that it had sold more copies of Fifty Shades of Grey than it had the entire Harry Potter series combined, making E. L. James its best-selling author, replacing J. K. RowlingIt was number one on USA Today's best-selling books list for twenty weeks in a row, breaking a previous record of 16 weeks set by In the Kitchen with Rosie: Oprah's Favorite Recipes by Rosie Daley and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Both series my absolute favorites )

Or should I feel a part of a stereotype :-(

The book's perceived demographic of its fan base as being composed largely of married women over thirty...(but not a fan!)

I read my friend M's rant on Fifty Shades of Grey on Facebook and my curiosity was piqued, I  put the kindle edition on hold for the entire trilogy at my public library, a month later I got an email saying the book was available...I got busy and the book remained unread...soon I had an email saying the book expires in 2 on Sunday night I speed read the  trilogy in 2 up on Monday morning feeling Fifty Shades Stupid... and had a roaring headache to the boot. I did get my questions answered - they get married in the end...kinda predictable right...but I like open-shut endings  (belch!)...2 hours I could have spent reading to my son, going to my yoga class or just lost forever.

My warning to the book if you :
  1. have nothing better to do
  2. like books with maddeningly rich sheikhs princes business men with dark pasts who are wooing these fragile, gorgeous sprites who complete them
  3. want to get totally (and I mean totally!) weird-ed out
I am shocked that this is recommended reading for 17 year olds....OMG! Our mandatory reading in college was The Razor's Edge and I still remember the disapproving looks we got from some of the parents.

How is your week shaping out? The hard part for me is keeping a track of all the moving set of deliverables and stakeholders ...focus on maintaining the old stuff or getting the specs out for the new stuff...K2 and K1 have been amazingly patient,  helpful and sweet with me this week. Final Confession - I reluctantly outsourced part of my son's lunches to the "Hot Lunch Program"...I think the lunch lady is still reeling from all the questions - brown rice, multi-grain pasta, organic milk...blah! blah!  (as my son likes to call it).

I leave you with the one quote from the Fifty Shades Stupid that stuck with me - 
“Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me. Perhaps I've spent too long in the company of my literary romantic heroes, and consequently my ideals and expectations are far too high.” 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

To Healthy Beginnings...

K2 and I spent some of the evening watching the Ted Talk Series on Netflix called "Chew on this"...I especially love Jamie Oliver's  talk on - Teach Every Child about Food.  At one point  in the talk Jamie showed  a bunch of kids in an elementary school different fruits and vegetables that they were unable to identify (regular stuff like pears, tomatoes, broccoli ... made the point for me that it is alright to have exposed K2 to cooking, unprocessed foods, grains,  etc. early than later.

I make it a point to take K2 to the farmer's market most weeks (kicking and screaming most of the time). Last week however, I saw him checking out a stall and he turned to me and said - Ma, this Jicama (pronounced perfectly!) looks good why don't you buy it...made my heart expand with pride. For me that is progress, my veggie hating toddler is evolving into a veggie tolerating big kid...hey I am realistic...the veggie loving might happen or not happen but I can do my bit to contribute to that process.

I spent my morning cleaning out my pantry, an energizer battery for 4 hours and now exhausted... I was knee deep in grains and beans. Here is a birds eye view of one half of my pantry ( I have another entire section devoted to spices, and another one for snacks don't ask and I won't tell) :

I just discovered that I have 5 different kinds of rice (no white rice...sacrilege in my mother's book)... Brown Basmati, Red Rice, Black Forbidden Rice, Jade Pearl Jasmine and Brown Jasmine. I also have red and yellow Quinoa, Barley, Farro, Amaranth and Freekeh. In the beans and lentils sections I counted 15 different kinds of lentils and favorite way to use beans especially the 13 Bean Soup from Bob Mill's is to make Indian Chili (I just make Chili the regular way and then spike it up with a whole bunch of Indian Spices). What I have realized is I am not in my zen state in the kichen like Ina Garten (watching her cook is almost like meditating)...I am more like Alton Brown (a high energy person with a lot of information on good eats who cooks very minimally but loves loves food - remember Feasting on Asphalt). In celebration of the new year and our hope to eat healthy whole foods here is a breakfast offering...this is what we started our Saturday with...

You Need :
  • One Medium Onion (finely chopped)
  • One Tomato (I used a roma)  (finely chopped)
  • 1 Organic Carrot (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 Clamshell Organic Girl - Super Greens
  • 3 eggs + Egg Beaters (100% Egg Whites)
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste, Ketchup to Taste
Sweat the onion till light brown in Olive Oil ( I use about 1/2 tsp ). Add the tomato, carrots and the super greens mix. Add salt and pepper.Sweat it out till the greens let out the moisture (about 5 minutes). Now add the beaten eggs and cook till it is scrambled to your liking - some people like it runny, some dry...I like mine dry. I add the ketchup for the last 2 minutes of the cooking.

I gave this to K2 at this point with a cinnamon raisin toast. For the adults I liberally splashed Trader Joe's Habanero Hot Sauce and served with toast. To drink we had Cardamom Chai made the indian style.
 How is your weekend shaping up?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

And there goes 2012...

It had its highs :

Another year and Tratak
Full Heart...Empty Mind
The Amrikan from Pune...and three dozen eggs
Seven Steps to a Perfect Day

It had its lows :

The Dirty "C" Word
The Human Pin Cushion
She was but 6
Anamika...the nameless one!

It had its learnings :

Anger Management and Enlightenment on a plate
Seven Habits of highly unhappy people
In the pursuit of happiness
Tentative Parenting : The Story of the Little Yogi
Fairy Tales and the Work Place

I greet 2013 with a lot of hope and anticipation. A one minute clip shared a couple weeks ago by my sister-in-law "A" on Facebook has impacted a lot of what my resolution is for New Year (gasp! yes I did make a resolution)... Here is my offering to you on New Year -
                       Live life in the Present, Live life Unafraid  !!!