Friday, February 29, 2008

Happiness …

While discussing Happiness, i wondered whatit would mean to me..

Happiness ? well, Peace of mind. Yes thats what it wd be.

There is a folklore in which a poor man asks an angel for a wish to be rich. After a few years he says he needs a wife, then he needs kids, a bigger house, more money, etc etc etc every year.

At a mellow age he wonders why he is still dissatisfied.

The angel says, if you had asked for peace of mind, you would get everything .

If you wanted to keep your peace of mind= would encompass everything- whether it is material, spiritual, family, world, everything

So, yes, peace of mind for me = Happiness.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

If you could ask God one question...

Someone once asked, If you could ask God/Goddess one question...what would it be?

Well i don't just have one question and had quite a few..inquisitive as i am :)

1) Is there life after death?

2) How do you manage to hear and answer everyone's prayers some even contradictory to the other

3) What language do YOU speak ?? * we believe Sanskrit is the language of Gods* I have myself prayed in English/Tamil and it has been answered. Hence the query.
4) Why do YOU allow someone to commit a crime/accident. Can YOU control it, if yes then why can't these be stopped ?

5) Why didn't YOU allow human beings to fly.
6) Are YOU really omniscient and omnipotent ?

7) Are you really in the temple ?? and if yes, do you like the Ahishekam??

Real Life Villains

Thought of making a list akin to the heroes list...opine Villians can be in many forms.

1) I think they would be a few 'deadly sins" which are more or less related to the ROOT of Villainy : Gluttony, Greed, Wrath ,Envy and Pride. Most criminals have an excess of one or the other or more.

2) Then there are the people behind loss of money, jobs and livelihood for thousands - Eg. Enron, WorldCom

3) The carelessness behind man made tragedies like - the Chernobyl, Bhopal gas tragedy.

4) Polticians who are causing wars just to get supremacy over natural resources like oil, water(rivers)

5) Dictators like Idi Amin, Hitler, Musharraf....etc..

6) Corporations that do not care about the environment. Industrial waste being dumped in rivers, not planting trees and not supporting green living..

..well the list is long and only brings up negative emotions...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Real Life heroes

Ever think of people who have inspired you..people from real life..? well i have a few unsung heroes in my life who i find quite inspirational.

1. My paternal grandpa, a Gandhian, and a strict disciplinarian..has travelled in Europe in those days with his hand loom business. Since he "travelled the seven seas" some vadhyars(priests) refused to come to our house to do rituals. He firmly believed in educating sons an daughters and "allowing" them to work and stand on their own feet. After his passing, we never approached the Govt for any freedom fighter-benefits, since he did this ONLY as service not for benefits. He passed away before my folks were married, so i never got to interact with him..

2. My Maternal Grandpa is one of the most generous people i know. If he ever had a rupee he wouldn't falter before giving away half of it to someone one can leave our household without having lunch/dinner. He used to be in the trade union in those days..somehow he didn't use it the way unions are are misused these days, Hence he lived in poverty and with ideals..

3. My maternal grandma is a lady born in luxury and still supported my grandfathers idealistic ways. A superb mother and grandmother. Never once will you have heard her complain about her lifestyle. She could adjust to any situation. Her patience is legendary. She used to be a Super cook..when i was posted i Chennai..she used to pamper me more than my mom Gosh i miss her..

4. Manda- is our ex domestic help in Mumbai/she was widowed at the age of 18 and had a young baby..doing housework she has fended for her son ..truly a survivor.

Am usually awestruck by ordinary people with extra ordinary strength and spirit..kudos..There are so many stories to be inspired from friends, relatives, family..its one Great Grandpa who completed his B.A. degree by reading under the street light, ....just thot so many heroes in and around us to inspire..every day a new unsung hero emerges among us...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

May This Encourage You, Always

May This Encourage You, Always
Don't spend major time with minor people.

If there are people in your life who continually disappoint you, break promises, stomp on your dreams, are too judgmental, have different values and don't have your back during difficult times...that is not friendship.

To have a friend, be a friend.

Sometimes in life as you grow, your friends will either grow or go.

Surround yourself with people who reflect values, goals interests and lifestyles.

When I think of any of my successes, I am thankful to God from whom all blessings flow, and to my family and friends who enrich my life.

Over the years my phone book has changed because I changed, for the better.

At first, you think you're going to be alone, but after awhile, new people show up in your life that make it so much sweeter and easier to endure.

Remember what your elders used to say, "Birds of a feather flock together.

If you're an eagle, don't hang around chickens: Chickens can't fly!"


A friend sent me the above a few years ago...How truly inspiring.

Super Quote

“There are no great jobs. Just ordinary jobs - made great by the people who breathe passion /excellence and a remarkable desire to be world-class into them."

An inspirational Quote that i read from RObin Sharma's webiste. How true it is that one thinks that the Great Jobs, great lives, great lifestyles are out there and actually missing out living with passion...

One of the movies i saw recently was Life is Beautiful...yes i saw it only last weekend on TV. What a poignant movie about making best of a really tough situation, the holocaust no less..fantastic and haunting...truly inspirational.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Indian Salon Sagas

Visits to Salons and other places that are supposed to make one feel good- Have u noticed how everytime one is getting a facial or even a pedicure, there are these salons “help” who inundate you with various queries :

The first question usually is where do u usually go? This is probably to diss other salons.

Why don’t u try a manicure
“Try our skin products, or you will look like hag without them “
Why don’t you try oil conditioning. Why don’t u do something about under eye dark circles” etc etc Your hair is so dry, your skin looks pale, your so and so looks tired etc etc”
The last question usually is “When will you be back ? can we book an appointment for you “ this is a ploy to ensure we clearly NET the golden goose.

All this from STAFF that seem to have NEVER used their own salon products. The staff has cracked feet, frizzy hair, and skin with breakouts. Its hardly a walking advertisement for the Salon/Beauty centre in the first place.

My usual responses would be,
“if I was perfect, I wouldn’t come here. You Also seem to have frizzy hair, does it not work for you either??“
“if I need something I will ask. I would prefer that you don’t over sell to me.”
“I am here to relax and would prefer to do this in silence”
“I would like to speak with the manager”

It usually works. Its not like the salon staff is not aware about how they are trying to a fast buck by feasting on peoples insecurities.

One of the biggest insecurity one would have would be based on looks. What with the media/advertising showing how ONLY good looking people can find mates, be successful or be happy.

So why do I go to a salon? Actually it was to have some peace and quiet. Relax. Read a magazine while my feet start looking better, or while my neck and shoulder gets a massage or get my hair conditioned. Yes, I do indulge in a monthly pampering treatment. More because it makes me feel good.

Now, coming back to the Salons that try to oversell everything be in one of the BIG beauty centres like Lakme, VLCC or even a Kaya Skin clinic. I wonder if they have a target per customer—“She must not spend anything less than say 1000 rupees at one time.” Lets just squeeze them for everything they have. Does the staff work on commissions ? Perhaps. Not their fault. Its not like these services are cheap in the first place.
During one of her visits to a salon, friend mentioned how this salon staff asked her innumerable questions. “Do you oil your hair” ” do you condition it, etc etc”? Her answer for everything was yes. She said it worked to keep the staff quiet since he probably thought “ looks like nothing is working”! :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A single womans guide to eating healthy

Juggling a job, deadlines and taking are of oneself gets to be a bit like a superhuman antic, there is a lot of “ME” that gets ignored. One major thing that comes to mind is EATING RIGHT!

Takeaways and instant food seems like an answer. While it not only packs in the excess pounds, the food also doesnt have a “feel good” energy. Weekends are days to do laundry, housecleaning, grocery shopping and maybe a trip to the salon.

I have a plan, which serves me well.

Weekends, yes that’s the day I would also do my weekly laundry, and my fruits and Veggies shopping, house cleaning(vacuuming helps) If you are lucky to find a maid who comes in on weekends, then its even better. Else make use of modern day necessities(yes necessities) like Washing machines, vacuum cleaners and the like.

Now the part about eating right.

Pre-preparation helps :

Chappatis/Rotis : I like the use of Safolla functional flour, along with normal whole wheat flour. Add some kasuri methi(available in stores). Add water, turmeric, salt, ginger-garlic, black pepper, and make a dough. Make enough for a week. Refrigerate. Every day when back from work, take a few rolls as required and eat it hot. There is enough fibre in this dough to make up for nutritional needs.

Mixed Dal : Take one table spoon each of Tur dal, Moong Dal and Split moong. Fry some onions, chilly, Ginger- garlic, and tomatoes. Add the dals and pressure cook. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate. Same can be had with the chapattis above.

Curd Rice : My favorite. Yes, cook rice and milk in a pressure cooker.. Mix nestle slim yogurt to the cooled cooked rice. And add the sputtered Mustard seeds, and udad dal mix. Add finely chopped chillies, ginger, and curry leaves and salt to taste. Refrigerate.

Green Moong Gram : day 1. Soak a cupful overnight. Day 2. strain water and keep in a casserole, so as to sprout. Day 2. Soak a new cupful of gram again. Day 3. The sprouted Moong can be taken to work with a dash of lime, some chilly/ginger chopped and added so a zingy salad. This provides a good amount of roughage. And one does’nt tire of the taste.

Sprouted Green Moong Gram: On any weekday from work, just take one cup of this sprout and pressure cook with fried onions, ginger-garlic-tomato, and tamarind. This yummy USSAL type curry is lovely with the Methi rotis.

Khichdi : Easiest to do would be khichdi. This can be made wholesome and is soul food if you are anything like me just Add a cup of rice, cup of mixed dals split green moong, yellow moong dal, tur dal. Fry onions, ginger-garlic, tomatoes and add to this. Can be had to two days in a row, unless boredom sets in.

Grocery veggies/fruits shopping :
Buy fruits such as say 6 oranges, half a kilo of apples, 2-3 pears, one small papaya, one small water melon, grapes and store/refrigerate.

Eat two to three fruits a day. Take t along to work so as to avoid pangs of junk food, this especially happens say at 17:00 hours..(at least to me) Chop the papaya one day and take it to work. Have it for mid morning snack one day.

Trying to do this alone :
Must say its not the easiest trying to do all this. Its always nice to have someone at home who might be a support system. One I think I have taken for granted. My mom-dad, or the maid at home where my folks live. However getting transferred or living on ones own due to career choices, education etc leaves one tending to ignore ones health.

So try the above simple techniques. Most of this is done on weekends. I must say I am eating much better. Feeling much better. And looking much better ..

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

First day first show..

Considering that this is my first post(this year)and that i am new to blogging, was thinking whether it needs to be a daily or a weekly routine ? I think i will post as and when i have my musings on myriad topics...

Comments welcome. :)