Showing posts with label Events. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Events. Show all posts

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fasting For Navratris.


Navratris are upon us once again.....and with it, comes the added onus of fasting and observing. Whether you are a stickler for the festival season and fast for all 9 days; or a token 1-2 days; you need a special plan to get you through your day.  Traditionally, where I come from, you're supposed to give up all grains, legumes and lentils. An ideal fasting diet is largely fruit-based. Some people also restrict the spices to basic minimum. Dairy products are not restricted, and make up for protein deficit in the rest of the diet. Here's a short compilation of recipes off of this blog that you can have while you're fasting. This list is by no means complete, and I will update it a couple more recipes as I embark upon my fasts this week. Till then, Happy Navratris.


Thali....
1) Buckwheat vegetable pancakes
2) Sabudana khichdi: Linked to Celebrating Navratri/ Diwali event started by Jagruti and hosted by Nayna.
3) Masala Aloo
4) Singhade ke pakorae
5) Yakhni Lauki

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Paryushan & Samvatsri: The Jain regimen and significance. Plus my menu.

I'd never thought I'd do this...a post about religious beliefs. But then I figured, that I did write about Diwali, and Holi and other festivals that are a part our social culture, so why not Paryushan- something that I grew up with and is an integral part of my memories.  I am not the best person to be telling you about this practice, for I myself know very little. But I'll attempt a little write up nevertheless. 

The 8-day long change in lifestyle that we call Paryushan typically adhered to at the end of the rainy season; or Chaturmas. Normally, we associate festivals with gaiety and indulgence. Instead, Paryushan is a celebration of solitude, minimalism, introspection and self-restraint.  The guidelines to be followed for spiritual up-liftment include modesty, self-restraint, penance, renunciation and celibacy. The strictest of my family members would sustain themselves only on a handful (chullu) of boiled water for these 8 days. The others took a pledge, or Niyam, to alter their lifestyle to fit the soul of this whole process.  I remember my dad making more time for meditation and introspection (Samayik); while my mom, who was always restless about getting things done for us kids would give up some of her favorite foods and activities, and just slowed down.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Things that matter....summer picnic with long time friends.

I started my life in USA as any other new immigrant - lonely and homesick.  With no one around me, not even distant relatives, and at a time when calling home was relatively expensive, life was as hard as it could get. A followed about 6 months later; and a year later, I had my first baby. Life got busier, but not less lonely. A lived and worked 3h away from us during the week, then lived and went to school in the same city, but away from us, on weekends.  I made friends with other moms on the playground, or in the library -  but they didn't feel like the friends that I was craving for - they didn't share my language, for one.  Festivals were the worst....and loneliness grew to a new level at this time. About the 4th year of our life in Philadelphia, A took me to a 'Diwali Party'. I remember not wanting to go mingle into a crowd of strangers. But we went, and I've never regretted that decision ever. I've made some very lasting friendships within this group.  Plus my holidays are cheerier with them around!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Yay!!! Uh Oh......Oh well- Holi Hai!!

Yay!!! This is my 100th post!! Never thought I'd reach this far.  It's taken me a good 3 yrs. (well, almost) to make it here.  Ever since my last post when the counter pointed that my 100th was coming- I've been thinking about what I want this post to be about. I wanted it to be just about itself. A milestone. An excitement. I thought about host an event to mark this event. Then I thought about hosting a giveaway of some sort. All that thinking....with zero ideas. I couldn't come up with any themes for an event; and I couldn't figure out how the heck to host a giveaway either.

All that thinking....and my birthday came up (it was this past Monday). Till the day before, I was so looking forward to it. A milestone birthday...of sorts. I was going to do something special, and blog about it. A milestone; and a milestone. Makes good blogging....Then came Monday- and my mood came crashing down.  In case you're done snickering at me by now, let me tell you...it's not easy celebrating milestone b'days. Especially not if you're gonna be stepping on the other side of the line. ...if you're going to enter a phase of life that isn't what now is. (Hope you get my drift. I'm definitely not going to tell you how old I actually turned this week. But I will tell you that  from now on, my b'day clock counts down....).  A brought me my most expensive gift to date (not counting the big rocky studs..or the car he's bought me ...those I think should have come earlier than they actually did).  And I haven't even looked at that awesome bag that he gave me this time- that's how mad I am that this birthday of mine actually did come up. Oh....well!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

One Step Forward, Two Back.....

Life has such a tendency to throw you out on a spin when you least expect it, to leave you breathless and open-mouthed and wanting to ask SOMEONE "now what the h*** did YOU do that for?"  I really wish there was a way to rewind life periodically and take a peek at what went wrong where. I don't even want an 'Edit' control ....just a plain 'Review', and then the "Aa Haa!' moment.  Then maybe I wouldn't begrudge all the punches that seemingly come out of the blue and shatter my mirrored wall of Existence. If I had my answers, SOME answers, I'd probably take all that came my way with a grin and a pinch of salt. As of now; I'm left pretty much feeling like a beached fish after a flash flood. There is absolutely no sensible explanation to my last week...any way I look at it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chane ki Chatni: My Dad's favorite


Bengal Gram Sprouts: Chane ka saag
A couple weeks ago, I had asked you all to guess this plant from my kitchen garden. I was so sure that no one will have seen this sprout often enough to recognize it! I'm actually surprised  that a couple of you guessed it right- and that's you two; Meera and Seema. Well good for you- goes on to show that you're experts in matters pertaining to kitchen basics! It isn't always that those living in cities can identify the source of our food. This sprout in question on the left is Kala chana (Bengal gram), widely used in Indian cuisine in its myriad avatars.  Here, I am going to talk about one more use for it. This post is more talk, less recipe. So, bear with me as I bore you with the simplest recipe ever on my blog yet!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Reposting for Herbs and Flowers-Fenugreek

I had all intentions of entering a new dish for Herbs and Flowers event this month. I actually had two recipes in mind that I was so excited about. But lazy me. Never got the time to get to an Indian store to buy Methi leaves.

Then, on Friday- Friday the 13th, in case you guys missed the significance- I drove towards the parking lot of my bank to get cash; for my Indian store guy doesn't take credit. And drove right into  the ledge of a flower bed. Major damage to my almost brand new Lexus. My first accident since I started driving full time. And all thoughts of getting the  money or cooking that night evaporated. We actually ate out on Friday - A's attempt to ease me out of my crying spell!!. Am still feeling low. So please, please be my friends and just accept these reposts. I'll post the new recipes as soon as I recover from the shock of a 1200$ repair estimate!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A week from my January Diary

I woke up in a haze of pain. It was all dark, and I was alone. But the beep of monitors and the pain assured me that I was still in the hospital. How long had it been, I wondered. What did the surgeon find- the worst as he had expected; or the middle ground I’d prayed for? And my pain seemed to have spread from my stomach to pretty much everywhere. Was too weary, so just my eyes close again……...don’t know what day it is.
Jan 21st 2011: When I came home from work, I knew it was going to be a busy weekend ahead. I had a long list of things to do's- earlier done, the better. But I was pretty beat up then, tired, and quite edgy. After a simple dinner, I started a load of laundry, put my feet up and watched the girls play together while A wrapped up work. By 10pm, I was in bed, exhausted.

Jan 22nd 2011: That nagging tiredness and unease was still here this morning. But nothing's wrong with me. Took a quick mental note of my monthly calendar. It definitely isn't that time yet. So I shake myself up, get breakfast going and shake the kids out of their beds for swim class. A doesn't budge- who knows when he went to bed last night. Rather than be late waiting for the designated driver, I drive the girls to their class. After lunch, I settle them in front of the TV, as I start checking off the to-do list. Clean house (that cleaning lady skipped again this week), get the guest bed room ready (A was having a house guest over to stay with us Monday through Wednesday), one more load of laundry; and packing! And there was this blogging event that'd caught my fancy- so I wanted to especially make something to write about. A helps me with some cleaning and by 8pm, I am done everything except packing. That'd have to wait. I wasn’t up to it. After feeding the girls and tucking them in, I'm in bed by 9pm.

And I drift off to sleep thinking about tomorrow – our 11th wedding Anniversary. A friends’ carpool was taking our older one to her Hindi class, and another friend had offered to watch baby P during that time. A & I could do something together- a movie and lunch sounded perfect. With that plan, and a smile in place, I fall asleep.

Jan 23rd 2011: It isn’t morning yet- it’s pitch black outside. But I’ve been up for hours. Very uncomfortable. I get up to go the bathroom, and that leaves me breathless. My head is spinning and I feel nauseated. I make it to the bathroom, and heave in the sink. My stomach turns inside out. I spend the next few hours huddled over the toilet bowl. Drained of energy, I call out for help. A helps me back in bed, and I ask him to put a trashcan by my side for the rest of the night. It’s still 4:30am, so I ask him to sleep in with baby P. I am vomiting every few minutes for the rest of the day. I’ve heard of a stomach bug going around and all I can think of now is to protect the kids from catching it from me. I banish everyone from my bedroom, and make A go around the house with Lysol and Purell every hour.
I will feel better tomorrow.
And we’ll celebrate our Anniversary when we go to Cancun on Thursday.


Jan 24th 2011: The nausea is gone, thank goodness. But my stomach hurts – no doubt from throwing up all day yesterday. It also feels much distended to me. Our house guest has arrived, but I’m in state to meet her. I send my apologies, ask A to make me some vegetable soup and get ready to feel better soon. A has some meetings to go to, and I let him. Soon I am left breathless by a wave of pain in my abdomen. I lie there sweating, unable to breathe for I don't know how long. Then I curl up, and cry. The rest of the morning is lost. A calls around 2pm to ask about me and I barely reach the phone crying for him to come back. He comes home to find me shivering in bed with a fever of 102, and an acute stomach ache. He calls the Doctor’s office.
A fever and ache following stomach flu is nothing to worry about in a healthy person, the nurse informs us. If those are your only symptoms, you can come in for an office visit tomorrow afternoon.We accept.

Jan 25th 2011: The doctor didn’t find anything wrong with me, despite her battery of tests. I’ve been in bed with a hot water bottle held against my stomach for 3 days now, but the pain is worse than ever. I feel 4 months pregnant. We leave the doctors’ office with a prescription; follow up appointment for tomorrow and an assurance that we’ll still make it to Cancun.

Jan 26th 2011: I’m thankful when we get a call pushing up our appointment by an hour. One look at me the doctor orders us to the ER. We’re expecting a big snow storm and ER is the only place they can help me. By 6:30pm, I’m writhing in pain despite heavy doses of morphine. That’s when the surgeon came in and announced his verdict.

Surgery is your only option. The appendix has ruptured, you have massive peritonitis, and it might have some gut involvement too. We have to take the appendix and part of the gut out, and wash your abdomen.

While I get hysterical, A arranges for the girls to stay the night with friends.

Jan 29th 2011: I’m finally awake. The pain is still intense, but I am sitting up. And A brings the girls to visit me.

Jan 30th 2011: I request an early discharge- I’ll be better off at home.

A tells me I was in the ICU for a day and in the recovery ward for another day before I opened my eyes. I had acute appendicitis, but no gut involvement. Thankfully. I am looking at another 2 weeks of recovery period. However, between yesterday & today, I have felt good enough to pen this down.

To share with you my hopes, and my fears. And also, my blessings.

I'm blessed for being on the road to health again; and for my circle of friends who jumped in to help in my hour of need - with child care options, food, and by just being there.