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Test

Posting through mobile. Just wanted to post sthg. To shout out to the world. I exist.
Facebook, twitter…not my cup of tea. Everyone is busy in their life…or their kids’. Life is simply rolling away. Too fast. Not sure where am I going to be.
I don’t know anything anymore.

Did I ever?

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Wednesday Wisdom

Ofcourse, the title of the post was to make it sound more “deep” and “alliteratively amusing” ;-).

The original idea of the post is to find 5 things by Wednesday of every week which I can give or discard from my house in order to live a de-cluttered life. Perhaps, 1-2 of this stuff could be mental baggage that I may be carrying from the past. Right now it’s already late into the night and I don’t know if I would find 5 things to de-clutter today.

Declutter1

But a little bit more into why I want to start this practice.

As we grow older, we buy more stuff- for ourselves, for our family and for our home, which fills up our homes. Having moved quite a few homes (on our own money- not paid for by the employer!), I realized that perhaps we pay more in moving our stuff than what the stuff may have actually cost us! And this is when we don’t consider the environmental impact of moving stuff in trucks or containers across geographies. Another thing that happens is that we get attached to stuff. Sometimes some stuff that we like (could be something as small as a piece of cutlery!) gets lost or misplaced- and then we (or I? ) despair for days :-D.

However, over the years, I have become more and more detached to stuff.

But there’s still room to improve. And room to de-clutter.  To make more room. Both in our lives and in our minds.

Declutter2

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Of Babies & Baby Steps

These days, work consumes me most of the time. Never felt so involved earlier. So much so, that I don’t care when my next pay check is coming.  Maybe that’s a good way to know when you are getting dissatisfied with your job- when what you look forward to in your work, is the paycheck!

However, I still get overwhelmed by the amount of learning that I still have in front of me. But then I repeat Rakesh’s words to myself- Baby steps! Just tell yourself that you are better today than you were yesterday.

Baby Steps to Big Dreams

Baby Steps to Big Dreams

On the plus side, I am discovering that I do have many good qualities and strengths I wouldn’t give myself credit for otherwise. 🙂 A post on those, some other day.

Apart from work, life is “usual”. At some point I should write about the Goa Conclave for IITB Alumni chapters that I attended recently- a 4 day vacation to Goa with Tushit. Met Sidverm’s and Veena’s cute daughter, Mishka. Holding a baby in your arms is such a warm feeling. (Ofcourse, the baby shouldn’t be crying then and should be < 6months old if it’s someone else’s baby- else they cry!). Tushit says babies are made cute so that people do not shy away from procreating!  Sounds logical to me..

From next time, I think I will write more focused posts. For example, posts about

1. A specific trip

2. A specific event

3. With a take-away

4. A specific story

A post with meandering thought process is great for recording your life on the internet, but I guess not so much if you want people to read your blog 🙂

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Is it June already?

Time flies.

Here’s to mark the (almost) end of first 6 months of 2013.

I have so much on my mind and yet, it is so difficult to let the feelings flow from fingers and form into words. Life just seems to be a train journey full of train stations. It depends on so many things whether you take the express train or the superfast or the mono rail.

Anyway; that’ enough of the philosophical bull-shitting 🙂

I recently came across a thought that I would like to share here.

Encouragement

In other things, I am getting more and more aware of my passing age and ticking biological clock. More on it in another post…another day.

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Glass Half Full…or Empty?

It’s been 3.5 months since our return from US. Although I admit I wasn’t too keen to return when we did, I wasn’t so afraid either. It was a decision made and implemented without too much analysis around it. Life is US seemed a borrowed life. I knew it wasn’t mine to cling on to or to make any decisions around it.

However, I do miss the quiet and peace that I experienced in US. Don’t get me wrong- I am not talking about “inner peace”. I am still a long way off from it. However, the constant honking, screeching and myriad other sounds that assail you on Indian roads- a freedom from that chaos. In the same way as some foreigners get enamored by the chaos that India is, in that  way, I got enamored by the quiet in US and after so many years I was able to sleep soundly during the night. Even if I was stressed out due to other reasons, I could still sleep comfortably there, drive to office in quiet and solitude and work in a conducive environment. (Well, sometimes I did  miss the din in evenings and weekends- when I yearned to see more faces and people around! – even in as busy a place as Bay area)

That little piece of green- not common on most Indian roads!

Picture my life here- woken up in the morning by sounds coming from the road (100 m away), a wailing baby/kid from an adjacent apartment and sounds of clinking dishes as the maid washes them. I am not an early riser, though I try to be one sometimes (does waking up by 6:30 AM count as an early riser?).

While commuting to and from office, I travel by auto. The sounds, the fumes, the sights- even before I went to US, I was always depressed by these attacks on my senses. Today, for example, the auto I took- the driver drove rashly, braked suddenly- his auto was rickety and made a very high-pitched screeching sound as he braked. Due to all this, the songs of 90s that were playing on his music system, instead of being something fun, turned into a part of that cacophony around me. Then I work in an office (a 2nd storey house given to commercial tenants) near a busy interaction where people don’t have a second of patience when the light turns green, a dog which constantly barks 10 m away from my desk (in a neighbour’s home- near the office) and the cycle repeats on the way back to home.

It’s not about US. It’s just about a place where I can live a peaceful life- less cacophony, no pollution and some greenery and a water body nearby. This is all I want in my glass.

House of my Dreams!

PS: I also get annoyed by the smart-alecky comments I get from people when I share this vision with them.

PPS: I know this is a rant-y blog post. There are people who are able to write all good and positive stuff. I know one of them personally. But somehow, their life seems to be so much removed from the kind of choices others have to make about their life. And interestingly, I find that more than me, there are others who find that attitude more superficial than real. I know this may not make sense to you- a casual reader who has stumbled upon this blog. But if you do feel depressed by your situation sometimes- know it’s OK. You don’t have to believe in glass half full all the time.

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Its a small World

It’s a small world!

The events of last week have impressed upon me that the world is so connected today. Most of us don’t realize the implications of our actions 10 years later. But we should. It’s really a small world. And even if you think you are right in saying out certain things in a straight forward manner, think twice before you do. Sometimes, it’s just better to leave out things unsaid, than actually saying them out.

Wish I had known it 10 years ago too. The events of the last week unfolded favorably, but there have been times I have not been able to hold myself back from saying out what I thought was “right”. I still don’t think what I said was wrong, but life is like that. You gotta hold your tongue and your expressions and words from slipping both from your tongue…and fingers! 🙂 . At some point, they may just come back to bite you.

In short, just remember, world is smaller than ever before. Your relationships are not isolated anymore. Be nice. Be courteous. But avoid taking crap at the same time! And when you learn how to do that, please share your experiences with me too !

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Life is a race….and I am flatfooted

Few quotes for the mood of this post

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.
– Buddhist Saying

Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.
– Charles F. Kettering

If you are going through hell, keep going.
– Winston Churchill

I sat down to write a somewhat depressing post about the challenges I am facing in settling back in India. But then I put the title, and I am smiling instead. However, I would still like to write a bit for posterity.

The last 40 days that we have been in India have been pretty eventful. A lot of travel, many interviews and many people. Life is happening. With both ups and downs. It’s the start of a roller-coaster ride, and having being one one, now I wonder if I enjoy it or not. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. Atleast not the ones which you get on in winters and get sprayed by water at the end of it 😛

Anyway, while I have so many mixed emotions about various things, one thing is clear. I am not going to give up.

Beginning is the hardest

Beginning is the hardest

I do intend to write a couple of posts about my interview experiences and stuff, but let me collect my thoughts about them before I dump them here 🙂

PS1 : I admire Winston Churchill more and more every time I come across his quotes. Need to find his biography and read it soon!

PS2: Turns out, I am actually flat footed. More on that later!

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Veggie Omelette Scramble in Olive Oil

Veggie Omelette in Olive Oil

Veggie Omelette Scramble in Olive Oil

So here’s the recipe for the veggie omeletter that I mentioned in the last post. Turned out quite well. Yummy and healthy :-). I don’t add too much spice/herbs if their flavor might be dominating over the flavor of the main ingredient (eggs here), so if you think this tastes bland, add some spices or herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc.) to your liking.

Servings: 1-2

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 10 mins

Ingredients

  1. 2 eggs
  2. 1 medium sized carrot, chop in small semi-circular halves
  3. 2 stalks of scallion/spring onions, chop them in small round pieces
  4. 5-8 beans, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
  5. sliced black olives: 1/4 cup or lesser (depending on taste)
  6. (Optional) 1/2 of small onion: chopped in small pieces
  7. (Optional) 2 mushrooms, sliced
  8. (Optional): sun dried tomatoes 2-3 slices cut into small pieces lengthwise
  9. (Optional): 10-20 g cheese, either shredded or cut into cubes
  10. 1 tbsp olive oil
  11. 1/4 tbsp salt (Add more if you like. We eat less of salt)
  12. (Optional) Grounded pepper

Preparation

1. Take two eggs, crack them in a bowl and remove one yolk. Or add some egg white. I usually use the ratio of one yolk for two eggs when I cook. Reasons later. But apparently it’s not healthy to eat just egg whites. Nor is the yolk too healthy due to cholesterol content. So I use a middle approach here ! Beat the egg mixture as much as you want. Add some salt.

2. Again, chop various veggies you like. I used carrots, beans, spring onions and sliced olives. I didn’t have white onions or might have added them too. I might add sun dried tomates some other time, Or mushrooms and cheese since my husband likes them. When using these optional ingredients, I will reduce the quantity of other veggies.

3.  Fry the veggies in olive oil

4. Add the eggs.  Let it cook till the liquid has solidified. Flip if you want to cook both the sides. I wanted it to be semi-scrambled, so I flipped it with some liquid remaining and then cut into 4 pieces with the spatula.

5. Serve in a plate. Garnish with remaining spring onions (optional!) and ketchup on the side if desired (I had it without the ketchup).

No herbs or other spices added.  I didn’t add pepper in this omelette, but I usually do in egg dishes. So upto your taste. Btw, the quantity seems quite less in the pic than it actually is!

Quite happy by the way it turned out and the fact that I had veggies and protein both in a meal 😀 (and no carbs!)

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Green Veggie (Egg) Noodle Delight

I have been conscious about eating healthy since a long time now, but unfortunately, in practice, I am a looong way off. Without trying to get into too many details, let me get to the point directly. Last two meals I have prepared have been relatively quite healthy! Note, “relatively”. The first is Chowmein! Yes, the same one that is alleged to lead to hormonal imbalance (who says allegations are true or based on research and facts?). Read this. Watch here (though this isn’t the original video in which it was alleged). This statement has become one of the symbols of the illogical mentality of politicians and other male, power wielding (perhaps among some women too) persons in India. But, I digress.

So I made Chowmein/Hakka Noodles last night and then Veggie omelette / scramble for brunch today. Am yet to have the latter :-). Will post the quick recipe and pic once I have had it.

Noodles with Veggies

Hakka Noodles or Tofu and Veggie Egg Noodles in Sesame Oil

Chowmein/Hakka Noodles or Tofu and Veggie Egg Noodles in Sesame Oil

Servings 2-4 (depending on number or amount of veggies you use)

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 10 mins

Ingredients

  1. 1 Packet Egg Noodles. Can use veggie noodles too
  2. Condiments
    • 1 small piece ginger, finely chopped
    • 3 small cloves of garlic, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp sesame oil
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • (Optional) 2 tbsp stir fry sauce
    • (Optional) 1 tbsp sweet and sour sauce, or to taste
    • 2 tbsp water
    • 1 tbsp vinegar
    • Salt: 1 1/2tbsp
  3. Veggies and Tofu
    • Carrots: 2 medium: Chop them in small semi circular halves or slice in long rectangular pieces
    • Green Bell Pepper or Capsicum-1 small or half of large. Chop in medium sized pieces. Or slice them in long pieces
    • Spring Onions (Scallions): 5-7 stalks, chop in small round pieces
    • Beans: 50 gm, 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
    • Tofu: 100 gm, cut into cubes
    • Onion: 1 medium or half large
    • Optional Cabbage: 100 gm, sliced
    • Mushrooms: 5-10 pieces, sliced
    • Baby Corn: 5-8 pieces, can chop them into circular pieces or keep long or slice them in half length wise

Preparation

  1. Boil the noodles for 5 mins. Add 1/2 tbsp salt after 5 mins and 1 tbsp of olive oil. The oil will prevent the noodles from sticking to each other as they cool. Strain the noodles in a colander, wash wil cold water and keep aside. At this point, the noodles are not fully cooked.
  2. Carrots, Beans, Spring Onions, Onions, Green bell pepper, Tofu – Chop them in sizes you like in your noodles . I diced carrots, beans and spring onions in small, onions, bell pepper and Tofu in small to large pieces. You can also cut them in long thin pieces
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil in a wok or pan. When it’s hot, add the ginger and garlic and fry till golden brown.
  4. Add the veggies. You could first add tofu and then once it’s turned brown a bit, add carrots and onions together and then after 2 mins add others.
  5. Add the soy sauce, sweet and sour and stir fry sauce with water, make a paste and add to the veggies. Add vinegar if you like a more tangy taste.
  6. Stir fry for a total of 5 mins if you like the veggies crunchy or between 5-10 mins if you like them a little softer.
  7. Add the remaining salt. Add more if you want, else this should be sufficient. with other condiments.
  8. Add noodles, mix and cook for another 5 mins or till they are soft/cooked.
  9. Serve and Enjoy!

Can use tomato puree or tomato ketchup instead of the sweet and sour or stir fry sauce if you prefer.

Note: Add other vegetables according to your liking, eg. mushrooms, baby corn, cabbage, etc.

Note to self: Just add veggies to any food that you like, to increase vegetable intake.

And oh btw, I am sure I missed any hormonal imbalances that may have occurred due to eating this chowmein!