Thursday, February 23, 2012

It is so much worth it ...

I have been working without work these days.

I have been home tutoring some kids from round the block.

I have been waiting forever to land up a job now. But whiling away the time had become a little difficult of late. There were suggestions coming from all ends and this was the one that seemed logical than all others.

It began with one student and it spread to some 6 six students and it came down to 5 again (My teaching is not at fault … the one that left had run out of her vacations and syllabusJ)

It began with science for class 10th and it spread to math and science for 10th, math for 12th, math for 7th standard.

My room is full of books … math, science, reference books, sheets, pens, pencils again. It looks like I am sitting for exams once again. My head spins at times with all the equations, algebra and periodic tables. And I cannot go to the “Shivratri Fair” as often as I used to because of time commitments with these students.(The Shivratri Fair is one time when we are all celebrating in my home town … it has been given an international status and people from all across the world come to celebrate and participate … it is a time when my homeland is host to some 200 deities from all over Himachal … the town is sparkling with lights, fair fun, merry – go –rounds, shops, and revelry … speaking of which I must hurry up with this post … I am going to watch the official parade today … so enough of digression)

But yesterday … the kiddo from 7th standard told me she enjoyed her mathematics class with me …

And that makes me feel like it is so much worth it. To be able to help them where they are stuck … to help them solve the questions … to be a part of their learning … to be a part of their lives …

Trust me, I am scared … more than kids … for 10th and 12th class students sit for exams in less than a week … there is a lot to revise and catch up with … and then there is this fair that somehow seems more important to everyone as compared to boards … so, my fingers are crossed … my prayers have lengthened and my heart beats a little faster and louder these days … as if it is me going to write those tests … I want them all to do good.

But as of now, when I think of that one chance remark … I feel satisfied. I have made some little difference to somebody’s life and it is worth everything.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Emotional ,just like you …

Punjabis … the fun loving … the brave … the loud … the flamboyant … the gourmets …

They are everything they are shown on the celluloid … and they are everything that is not shown on the celluloid.

Most of my memories of seeing a Punjabi (read Sikh) person on the television or movies bring up the image of a turbaned Sikh … always taking things lightly … loud cacophonous families … laughing every time and anytime … being a little slow to understand things … and being stupidly brave (pardon the outpour of sentiments). Rare is the sight when I get to see a sensible portrayal of these. Even the much acclaimed Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam and Jab We Met had such superficial, extrovert and jovial families.

And I have always wondered why …

But this father and son Chevrolet advertisement has me all smiles … I love it … it captures the very essence of relations … it has depth in it and touches the heart … it shows them as a family … just like others … it covers their lives … their normal lives … and with subtle hints to their bravery , their love for food … it talks of growing up … growing apart and growing close.

I so love this ad … I am sharing it across …

Enjoy it … I think you will like it … ‘coz it is emotional … just like all of us J

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It is but one cloud

It is but one cloud
With its grey and cold shroud
That blocks the warmth and light
From the sun shining bright.

It is but one cloud
That has the sun bowed
And puts up unrelenting fight
With all its might

For sun is strong without a doubt
But so is this one cloud
Which braves the scorching heat
Still nurtures life upbeat

Then at last, a silver line
And there it is ... in full splendor and shine
Resplendent, aglow and warm,
Fresh after enduring a storm.
The sun ruling the sky
Shining bright and high

From and for eons
This struggle goes on and on

Poem inspired by a photo challenge prompt Sun ... for photographs please visit here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sweet ... as they should be ...

I occasionally try my hand at cooking. And more often than not, I end up making mess of the dishes. "Salt to taste" is beyond my comprehension. Either it ends up being too salty or too bland. And when it comes to cooking sweet dishes, I score a big fat zero.

Disregarding the limitations of my cooking, I decided to cook sweet yellow rice on the day of Basant Panchami ... a family tradition. Mum was visiting relatives and I wanted to make up for her absence too by serving sweet rice to Gran. I searched the net and grabbed an apron and started cooking. And this is what I made

This was neither sweet (I added very less sugar for the fear of overdoing the sweetness), nor yellow (saffron was not available and I added the wrong colour : I choose orange red when I should have selected yellow and then again, I added just a pinch). And if this was not sufficient I added far too much water and forgot to drain it, so it ended up being all mushy and sticky.

So, today, the full moon night, when we are supposed to eat sweet things only, I asked mum to cook it again for me. So, we ate today

Sweet yellow rice as they should be. Proper sweet, proper yellow and soft and fluffy.

Well some things are better left to Mom. She can do it like you can't even dream of.

And there is nothing much to recipe. All she did is boiled water and added sufficient color to it (yellow and definitely more than pinch. But that will also depend on the quantity you are cooking). Once the water was boiling, she added rice to it and let it cook. When the rice became soft, she drained the excess water. (She did not even have to use the colander. Super cool). In another flat bottomed pan, large enough to hold the rice, she heated some clarified butter, added cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and fennel seeds. After a minute or two she added slight (just slight) water and sugar and covered the pan, and stirring it every now and then. When sugar dissolved, she added cooked rice, some grated coconut and chopped almonds and raisins. She covered the pan and stirred the rice but not too often, else the rice would not have not fluffed up. And that was it, when the water and sugar were completely absorbed by the rice, she sprinkled the grated coconut and chopped almonds on top.

I am adding it to a recipe diary that I keep. And will try it out some day all by my own. Till then, I am waiting to be asked for another helping. :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My own photo-blog

I am adding a new blog - a photo blog as I call it and I have named it "Fuschia Vision". I will be uploading my February photo challenge pictures here.

Other than the February challenge, I am thinking of hosting other pictures too. ( I am actually planning to put my two cameras to good use. )

I have already made the beginning by adding the two pics for two days of February.

A new journey ... a new chapter. Let us see how the story unfolds.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

31 touchwoods

I participated in a “photo a day” challenge.

My camera skills – I just know where the click button is. But this challenge had an appeal. I went through the challenge list and it showed me how rich my everyday life is. I have people I love, feet to carry me where I want to go with comfortable shoes, I have warm sunny days to take away the chill, I can afford breakfasts, lunches and sweets, a refrigerator that stands stocked up.

So, I made a few collages out of my clicks and am sharing them now.
The challenge was for 31 days of January but I have 32 clicks in all. (The original number is more than double because each click needed backups to be able to select the good ones only.)

The next few collages take up the a few days together.

Day 1 – Day 8

The prompts were:-
1 – You – I am alive, happy and healthy. Touch wood.
2 – Breakfast – I begin my day with sumptuous meals. Touch wood.
3 – Something you adore – I absolutely adore my home and my family. (Pictured here is a souvenir from our holidays that has been mounted on the entrance door of my house. It reads “O Lord! Bless this house we pray. Keep it safe by night and day.”) I have a home to keep me safe. Touch wood.
4 – Letterbox – I know people who write to me and have a letterbox to receive their mails. Touch wood.
5 – Something you wore – I have a nice collection of sweaters and jackets to keep me warm in winters. Touch wood.
6 – Makes you smile. I can laugh and smile. (Pictured here is Jaiaditya’s ball in my favourite colour – red. His efforts to play this ball keep us all amused.) Touch wood.
7 – Favourite – I have a favourite list – right from what I read to what I wear. (Pictured here is a favourite poster from my bed room. This poster has been photographed maximum number of times and every time when we test the camera settings.) Touch wood.
8 – Your sky – I have a clear blue sky with kites flying over my head. Touch wood.

The next set – Day 9 – Day 14

9 – Daily routine – I have a routine that keeps me busy, fit and active. And one important part of it is playing with my nephews. Touch wood.
10 – Childhood – I am a child at heart and am surrounded by kids that teach me how beautiful life around us is. Touch wood. (Photographed basket full of toys for what is childhood without toys.)
11 – Where you sleep – I have a warm and cosy bed. Touch wood. (Every day I ask my father to set my bed for me for he makes it real cosy and I cannot handle my quilts all alone. This has two quilts because Di came to stay for a few days during winter vacations and so it feels extra warm and nice with two people around.)
12 – Close – up – I can enjoy the luscious carrots, radish and cauliflowers. And life has spice in it … every day is a new adventure. Touch wood. (Photographed here is a carrot pickle box that covers my understanding of close up.)
13 – In your bag – Blessed to have a hand bag to hold my coins and my mobile. Touch wood.
14 – Something you are reading – I can read and write. Touch wood.

Photographs for Day 15 – Day 21

Day 15 – Happiness – I am surrounded by happy hearts all around me. Touch wood.
Day 16 – Morning – Every morning inspires to make a new beginning and heralds hope. Touch wood.
Day 17 – Water – I have clean clear water to drink, to use in any form I like. Touch wood.
Day 18 – Something you bought – I buy things that I like to and have money to afford them (like the Abercrombie t-shirt). Touch wood.
Day 19 – Sweet – Life is both sweet and spicy. Touch wood.
Day 20 – Someone you love – A loving and caring family. Touch wood. (here both my nephews)
Day 21 – Reflection – A sun to warm me up. Touch wood.

Last set

Day 22 – Your shoes – Shoes to protect my feet and carry me places. Touch wood.
Day 23 – Something old – I have old and new things going together in my life. Touch wood.
Day 24 – Guilty pleasure – I can indulge in my pleasures. Touch wood. (I spend hours and hours reading and my mum is always calling out to me to do some chores. So, I used my stock of novels as object of focus.)
Day 25 – Something you made – Hands that can make things. Touch wood.
Day 26 – Colours – I can vary the colour of my dresses as per my moods. Touch wood.

Day 27 – Lunch – I get more than two square meals a day. Touch wood. (Sweet rice that I messed up, totally.)
Day 28 – Light – The days are bright with life and light. Touch wood.
Day 29 – Inside your fridge – A fridge that is stocked up always. Touch wood.
Day 30 – Nature – Green trees (though covered here with snow). Touch wood.
Day 31 – You, again. I am really blessed to have such a rich life. Touch wood.

P.S. Marcia,  I gathered my guts and posted my challenge pics.