Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Why we want things to change yet remain the same?

The title of this blog-post was going to be 'The thing about nostalgia.' But I have already written so much on nostalgia that I decided to change it. 

So lately, I have been on Casey Neistat Vlogs marathon (perks of being jobless, I guess?). He is a very popular New York based Youtuber and for the right reasons. In this particular vlog, Casey and his wife are in Cuba and they talk about how beautiful the place is. Old buildings, old cars, quirky walls, slow pace of life and very few people glued on their mobile phones. Basically everything that a 'tourist' from a big city  like New York would love. 

Then I read this comment below the video:




It made me think. Whenever I think about visiting my grandparent's house in our village, I think about the wood-smoked tea or the little jewellery shop where they have mattresses laid out in the shop for customers to sit or the vegetable barter system

My mom has been to the village a few times in the last few years. And after each visit she would excitedly talk about the changes in her village. Like how the traditional wood-fire chulha (stove top) has been replaced by LPG gas stoves. How there's a refrigerator now. How there's a mall in her village's shopping town. It always made me sad that how things are not the same anymore and that I wouldn't find the things that I want to see when I visit the village next. 

Made me realize how selfish we can be in order to experience nostalgia. The allure of nostalgia can be so strong that we start wishing that things don't change around us. Though we want things in our lives to change, get better. For instance, a day without mobile phone is unimaginable for city residents. But on holidays they would want to go to a place with low or no mobile connectivity, forgetting the fact that it means the residents of the holiday place are so behind and disconnected from the advancements of a modern world. 

Like I always say, Nostagia is a Bit*h. 

Monday, 30 October 2017

Best homemade fluffy pancake recipe ever

I don't want to boast but after a lot of trial and error, I have finally discovered the best pancake recipe ever! It contains eggs and I'm yet to to try it without eggs. I have made egg-less pancakes but they don't turn out to be as fluffy and airy as the one with eggs - tastes good though. 



So, without any further ado, here's the recipe:

INGREDIENTS
  • All purpose flour (Maida) - 1 cup (levelled)
  • Egg - 1
  • Sugar - 2 -3 tablespoon
  • Baking soda - 1 teaspoon (levelled)
  • Salt- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil- 1 tablespoon
  • Milk - 1 cup
  • Vanilla essense - 4-5 drops (optional)
  • Honey and butter to drizzle on top while serving

STEPS

  1. Sieve flour, salt, and baking soda in a big bowl. Mix sugar in the sieved flour.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Then pour milk, oil, and vanilla essence. 
  3. Now pour the milk mixture (gradually, not at once) in the dry ingredients and fold lightly. Ensure that there are no lumps.
  4. Heat a pan, grease it with butter and pour one small ladle full batter. Flip once you see bubbles forming. Once the edges are brown, it's done. 
  5. Slather butter and serve it with honey or any syrup of your choice. 

TIPS:

1. Please ensure that you don't cook the pancakes on high heat. Keep the temperature medium-low. 

2. Buy a good set of measuring cups and spoons for baking. And the use the same set to measure flour, sugar, milk etc.

3. The batter should be thick but of pouring consistency. Once you pour it on the pan, it should spread on its own. Add milk if the batter is too thick. 

Monday, 9 October 2017

The only way is up, right?

I am going through one of the lowest phases of my life. 


Image Via Unsplash - Alex Wigan

Due to my menstrual issues, I was quite aware that I won't be able to hold onto a full-time desk job, right from school days. My first and last full-time job was back in 2011 and I managed to work for 9 months. I had to quit because my menstrual issues got worse and I started bleeding for 3-4 weeks at a stretch. The physical and mental stress of work and long commute along with the medical issues forced me to quit my job. 

Since then I have been freelancing. But freelance writers don't get paid well, at least in India. It took me years to make the money equal to my first salary. Which is so sad. My dad spent so much on my education; Rs. 3,00,000 alone on my MBA. Yet, I have been unable to pay him back or support him financially. 

I call this a low phase because I recently lost the one steady job that I had for 3 years. The company is shutting down the online publication I wrote for. To find another freelance job that pays decent money is a tough task. So far I have submitted my application to over two dozen companies, including full-time work profiles. But no luck. The fact that there are many companies looking for free samples doesn't help either. 

My dad's business has been on the downward spiral from the past few years. We have been surviving on rent money. And we might lose that money as well as one of the reliable tenants is moving out. Seeing my mom and dad worried about the expenses and our daily survival is so depressing. 

I wish there were companies that offered full-time work-from-home jobs. I am reliable, honest, competent and a hard-worker. I feel helpless that all this is going to waste because of my health issues. 

I pray and hope that things get better for me and my family. That's the only thing I can do - hope. 

Saturday, 27 May 2017

My heart hurts...

I love discovering new people, observing their lives, and reading their stories. One of the people that I regularly stalk is Logan Lo. I read about him on Speaking of China blog in December 2015. Ever since, I have been following Logan and his wife Alison's heartbreaking story

Here's an excerpt of what happened to Alison as told by her sister:

On November 3rd, my sister Alison gave birth to her first child, a beautiful baby boy named Nathan. Five days later while recuperating at home, Alison suddenly had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital where a CT scan showed a large mass in her brain. Tragically, a biopsy has confirmed that Alison has a high grade glioblastoma brain tumor, a very aggressive form of brain cancer. Alison's tumor is inoperable and average life expectancy is less than 18 months without treatment. 

At least once a day I checked his blog to know how Alison is doing. With every positive improvement I rejoiced and my heart sank with every negative news. After reading Logan's posts (he is a great storyteller and an excellent writer) about Alison, their love, life and son Nathan, I felt so connected to them. Nathan and I share the same birthday, so that's another connect.

Today I opened Logan's blog just like any other day and read, "She's gone. Alison's gone." I shut the laptop as if I saw a ghost. I turned it on again, read the blog-post, shut it again, went into the washroom, switched off the lights and bawled my eyes out. 

Image Source: Loganlo.com

I didn't know them personally, never met them or spoke to them or even left a comment on his blog-posts. I silently read their story. But they touched my life. I prayed for them often. They deserved to be happy. Alison deserved to live. Her son deserved to be brought up by both his parents. That family deserved to be together. Because I could see that there love is so pure and special and rare. She was his 'person' and he was hers. 

But she died. In spite of fighting so so so hard she died. And my heart hurts. The unfairness of it all baffles me. I see utter pieces of shit living a comfortable, healthy life. But a young woman who spent her life helping others, who lost 6 pregnancies, who was kind, who wanted to live, had to suffer so much and still die. 

I can't even begin to imagine the amount of pain he and her family must be going through. Life is so fucking unfair. My heart hurts so much. :( :( :(


Monday, 1 May 2017

What happened after my what the fu*k moment

In my last post I revealed how I was not 1 or 2 or 5 but 24 hours late to my friend's wedding!

Here's what happened after that. 


First, I went and peed. Lol!


Then I called my friend C who's wedding it was about 50 times but he didn't pick up my calls. I thought he is pissed at me or just busy. But I desperately wanted to talk to him and tell him that I'm sorry. I wanted him to know that I wanted to be at his wedding but I mixed up his wedding date. 

Me and V (my brother) were hungry as well so we went to a nearby restaurant and had dinner. While eating I called up a common friend of me and C. Let's call him S. I asked S if he knows where C is. My plan was to go to C's home and give him his gift.

But S informed me that C is busy with a post-wedding ritual in the church he got married in. Then S (god bless him!) gave me C's best-friend's number so that I could talk to C. Finally I got to speak to C, and told him what happened. After laughing for good few minutes, he asked me to come to the church. 

I reached the church, met him and his wife, congratualed them on their wedding and left. But not before C told his guests the fascinating tale of a girl who came to his wedding 24 hours late! To say that I was mortified, is an understatement. Many were interested to know how I read the card wrong so I had to repeat the story several times. All had a good laugh at my expense! Lol. 

But anyway, I was happy that I got to meet C and congratulate him. What an interesting day it was. :D

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

My 'What the Fu*k Moment'!

I ended my last post with this - "Something unexpected happened on the wedding day."

Here's what happened.


On 8th January Sunday, me and my brother take a cab and reach the venue. The hotel is grand, beautiful and all decked up. As the venue is huge, we walk in to find the section where my friend's reception was taking place. But we can't find it.


My brother goes to the help desk to enquire about the wedding reception. The man at the desk says there's no wedding scheduled for that night. As there are many hotels of the same name around the same area, I take the wedding card out to check the address. 


The address is correct. We are at the right place. I am confused. And hungry. And I had to pee badly. So I check the card again and read it slowly and carefully. 


What the hell!!! No no no no no....





I was at the right place but on the WRONG DAY!!!!! The wedding was a day before on Saturday 7th January. I went there all dressed with my poor brother with a wine bottle in my hand on Sunday!!!!!


I don't remember feeling that stupid and embarrassed ever in my life. I felt so bad for my brother, for wasting his time and for dragging him all the way on a wrong day. I felt bad for missing my friend's wedding who had invited me in person. 


What happened next, I'll reveal that in my next post. 







Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Simple ways to show that you care

I was really anxious about attending my friend's wedding. You see, my boyfriend was going to accompany me to this wedding. But at the last minute he had to travel abroad for his work around the same time. 

Image source: Annie Spratt


Not attending the wedding was not an option, though I was very tempted to do the same. I also considered sending him a gift card online so as to avoid attending the wedding. But he had come all the way to give me his invitation card. 

I feel extremely uncomfortable and overwhelmed in big crowded places/events. Going alone also added to my anxiety. I asked my brother to come along but he flatly refused. Days before the wedding I was thinking of ways to convince my brother. None of the ideas worked. 

But 2 days before the wedding he said that he had decided to go to the wedding with me the moment he heard that I'll have to go alone. This was his plan all along. :)

He rarely says it. He rarely shows it. But my brother loves and cares for me. And he proves it through his actions. There are many simple ways to show that you care, without grand declarations. :) :)

P.S. Something unexpected happened on the wedding day. I'll write about it in my next post.