Golgappa-easy, tasty–at home

Golgappas are a favourite street food or snack in India. Most of us worry about the hygienic aspect of a mass-produced snack that is sold in crowded streets…..here is how one can enjoy it at home. Golgappas can be made from whole wheat flour, or a mixture of semolina and cornflour. Knead the dough, and cut into small circles…..the dough should be dry. Fry till they puff up. Dry on a surface that soaks up the excess oil. Puncture from one end (one side is always thinner) and add diced boiled potato, boiled chickpeas, chopped onions, green chili, coriander and mint. Add the water prepared by adding tamarind, boondi, mint, chat masala, lemon juice, jaggery, salt and water. Eat at one go and delight in the flavours that explode in your mouth…

 


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North Indians eating South Indian food in N-East India!!!

India is one, inspite of….. and because of the vast cultural and regional  differences among its people. A majority of the large population in India celebrate all festivals, enjoy the diverse cuisine and costumes that define India and Indians.For instance, we are a North Indian Family who enjoyed a sumptuous, home-made South Indian meal today at home, in the North-Eastern part of India. The meal consisted of masala dosas, sambar, coconut chutney, idlis, uttapams, vadas……..and filter coffee!!! 


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Washed by rain-our garden

When we landed in the North-eastern part of India….where our home is…we were told that the weather is terrible, as rain was predicted everyday. We were thrilled…and we are enjoying the torrential downpour……our garden and the fishes in our pond are smiling too…..we have got drenched in the rain….on purpose….nothing binds a family like the joy of the purest water pouring down from the heavens above…


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No snapchat, just snack-chat, Indian style

While a chat in most parts of the world may mean a conversation…in Indian families it may mean that and a lot more…a ‘chat’ is a spicy cocktail of flavours that tingle and tantalise and satiate the taste buds and all the special senses while allowing one to engage in a spicy conversation….we believe in showing our love through food…the more elaborate and exotic, the more our love!! Our snack-chat is a culinary wonderland, an explosion and fusion of ingredients that are used everyday ..or those that are whispered about and rumoured to exist in this world….


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Did you know–Wings of planes are made safer for your flight

As I looked out of the plane window before take off,  I saw a huge quantity of liquid being sprayed on the wing. This was repeated systematically in layers, till the whole wing was evenly coated by a green liquid. I read up about it later and discovered that it was a deicing liquid, followed by an anti-icing liquid which is sprayed to avoid the deposition or accumulation of frost or ice on the wings of the plane. It was snowing when we took off. Apparently, this is a safety measure which does not allow the ice or frost to interfere with the aerodynamics of the plane at the time of take off. The liquid is a heated mixture of glycol and water. During the flight, there are other mechanisms to avoid the deposition of ice on the wing or on the engine openings. As you can see, the wing at the highest altitude achieved during our flight (over the clouds) is frost free!!!! 

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We learn throughout our lives…if we want to…..

 


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Parks and People

Metros have ensured that people lead a hectic lifestyle and crave open green pastures, leading them to gravitate towards parks for a breath of fresh air and much needed exercise. There are generally certain groups of people who visit the parks, which function as lungs of a busy city and soothe the weary souls rushing to and from work.IMG_1892 IMG_1894 IMG_1978 IMG_2379

The kinds of people we generally come across are :

  • The serious fitness freaks……they make up only 1-2 % of the total number of people
  • The elderly men who huddle together, playing cards or chess or talking
  • Groups of elderly women talking, knitting, singing and praying
  • Yoga lovers who stretch and bend and contort
  • Yoga weirdos who assume positions which are ‘impolite’ with others around…The Pelvis people
  • Meditators who sit with their eyes closed, mumbling mantras
  • The Wannabe Joggers who ‘jog’ at a really  sluggish pace, overtaken by brisk walkers
  • Brisk walkers who mean to exercise and are focussed on the path in front
  • The Groupies who walk leisurely in groups while Lecherously looking at others
  • The Swing Hoggers who glue their kids to the swings
  • The Blockers who walk as a group, taking up the whole walking or jogging path
  • The Clockers who time themselves and look at their wrist bands to see how many steps they have taken and how many calories they have burnt
  • The Friendly Sort who have a compulsive urge to smile and greet others
  • The Bratty kids who are let loose by parents who ignore them
  • The bird feeders who feed the birds
  • The Intruders…..the dogs who lie around, unaware of people around them
  • The Round People who sweat and pant and wear tight clothes  in an attempt to make them appear slimmer
  • The Phoneys who use their phones non-stop
  • The Clickers….they make others uncomfortable as they constantly take pictures of everything and everyone!
  • The Bloggers who walk and talk and observe 🙂                                                                                   Have Fun, Run in the Sun with your loved One …….


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Treat smelly underarms!!!!

Summer is fast approaching, most of us work out through the year and sweat. A lot of people have body odour and malodorous underarms, which can be used to repel or act like general anesthesia!!!!!!!!!!please save mankind..and womankind and people like me who take pride in their familial ‘olfactory superpowers’ 🙂 

Body odour occurs due to the bacterial growth in a high pH in regions like the underarms, which are sweaty because of the apocrine sweat glands. Bacteria+sweat+high pH= body odour.  Please get  professional help if any / all of the suggestions here do not work!!!

Antiperspirants and deodorants work wonders…a lot of people are concerned about the toxic effect of chemicals in them….here is the alternative: 

What can we do, without the side effects of chemicals??? Here are less expensive, effective and safe methods which work:

  1. Bathe at least once a day, especially after a workout.
  2. Change into fresh clothes and underclothes daily, and after bathing.
  3. Remove hair from armpits.
  4. Wear linen/ breathable clothes.

After a bath, you can apply to the bathed and dry armpits….either on their own or diluted in water, applied directly or by rubbing a cotton ball soaked in the liquid:

  1. Fresh lemon juice, rub half a lime under the underarms and allow to dry.
  2. Baking soda.
  3. Cornstarch.
  4. Tomato juice.
  5. Wheatgrass juice.
  6. Turnip juice.
  7. Sandalwood powder.
  8. White vinegar.
  9. Rosemary, sage, tea tree oil, witch hazel oil or solutions are more expensive, you can use them if you want.
  10. Unscented alum…can damage your skin, though a lot of people like to use it.
  11. Alcohol.

You can eat less of fried foods and sugar, stop smoking and eat a diet with more fruits and vegetables.


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Mr and Mrs Robin’s daily bath!

Mr and Mrs Robin live in perfect harmony with the other birds and bees in our garden……while the Oriental White-eyes frolic in the water as a group and host ‘pool parties’…………Mr and Mrs Robin take turns to bathe…..by the way, we have 2 china dishes as a bird bath and an old muddy, earthen dish side-by-side in the garden…the birds invariably choose the muddy  one for a bath!!! While Mrs Robin uses the bath first, she does so with more daintiness and elegance than Mr Robin, who follows her when she exits!!! Do the girls and boys in every species have somewhat similar traits????? the first 4 pictures are of Mrs Robin…..


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Are we ‘exposing’ our children to predators on social media?

We are not speaking of normal or nice people. We are discussing predators who lie, impersonate others, mislead, track, stalk, kidnap…and much worse. On the prowl, they find that the Internet is a rich hunting ground with information that leads them to their ‘prey’.

Before we shake our head in disgust and say we have ‘privacy settings’ or that we have only ‘good’ people in our contacts, think again.

Some things that we all do, which can endanger our child:

  • Posting pictures of our innocent and cuddly toddlers or any child in a swimsuit or half-clad pictures (remember we are talking about psychos, paedophiles and sickos targeting them)
  • Using the ‘location’ services by which our kids can be tracked
  • Posting pictures of a school/ college function, which gives away their location
  • Playground pics with a map
  • Travel pics which are ‘immediately’ uploaded describing where we are, and what we are doing
  • Making a fake ‘adult’ profile for a child
  • Home pictures with location enabled
  • Auto-uploading of pics
  • Posting videos of the child
  • The name, age, sex of the child
  • A school/ college trip they have to gone to
  • A summer job in another country
  • Posting of pics of cosy romantic dinners at which the couple are without the children….the children are at the home we have described through other pics!!!

Yes, basically anything !!!! the people stalking you are keeping track, some of them may be ‘decent’ folk that you know in real life…remember abuse is frequently carried out by a person you know.

Apart from the proud parents, who put their children at risk simply because they cannot comprehend anybody misreading the innocent pictures and posts….

There are the seriously dangerous parents who endanger their children to upload videos of their children crying without comforting them so that they get a ‘great video’ which can go ‘viral’, pictures of their children being hurt or abused and sell their children’s pictures and do unimaginable things…that is another category altogether.

The next time we want to appreciate our child, let’s try to keep it to family and friends, off social media. Happy parenting !!

 


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Enrich the earth-make compost

We have a fairly large garden in which a corner has been dug up for the fallen leaves that are gathered to enrich the soil. The day we stop whining about how other people and ‘the government’ are destroying the planet is the day we can begin to do what we can to enrich the only earth and planet we have. For a home without a garden…..or the smallest of spaces, there is still a way to recycle organic waste to improve the quality of the soil which gives us food and stores water for us. Compost bins are available in plenty on the internet. All you have to do is check which waste you can put in it….in our home, we have made it simple by cutting all the vegetable and fruit peels into small pieces with a pair of scissors, before adding them to the compost-making bin. The powder provided with the buckets is added to the daily waste. It works wonders, and there is no smell, as the bucket is closed with a lid that fits well. Get started….watch vegetable and plants grow better……….people are growing herbs and vegetables in pots (where open space is not available)!!


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