My Bucket List had a book in it and I was not sure as to what and how I should be writing one. Some well-wishers suggested to write a travelogue as I used to travel for work or otherwise.
I was also lucky that I am a member of this blog group and help came up instantaneously. The sum total was the realization that I should be writing from the heart.
Encouraged by the support I decided to start writing and brought up an idea of forming the ‘Book Writers’ Club’ which was joined by a few friends. And I wanted my first few pages to be seen and reviewed by the club members.
I got a real review, ably correcting the plenty of mistakes and telling what should be taken care of from one of the members. She had one book published and here I am talking about her second and lovely book ‘Love.Exe’
If you have downloaded a complicatd software on an unreliable computer with moody internet, you get a picture of how the author unfurls the story. The story progresses like the exact stages in the software download, with the several yes/no, true/false confirmations concluding with the finish button.
That alone would make the book a hit among the tech savvy new generation. Particularly since the background is set on the dream destination for Indians for study and work – the U S A and Ivy League colleges, full scholarships and dream jobs with new gen tech and online companies.
About the Author
Manju Nambiar, originally from Kerala in India, after higher education in USA, now works in a leading frim in San Jose California and lives there with husband and daughter. Her first book ‘The Money Lender’ has been a hit.
The book is available on Amazon
The main character is a bright and beautiful girl from an orthodox South Indian family with ambition set on the typical Indian youngster intention of living the American Dream.
Marriage is what the parents think of daughters and that is what the compromise for any dream.
There is a transition from an attempted arranged marriage to love led marriage. Imagine the situation when the parties involved are the same in both the scenarios.
As a reader, I have a weakness of getting attached to the lead character. That is not the problem. The problem is that whoever is a villain to the good character (mostly heroine) has a red mark on him from me. And when the author cleverly brings the two close to where they work, I am not happy to see the villain making any gains on the heroine.
But I am unique. Almost all the others love the twist and are fascinated by the details of a real Indian experience in the campus and workplace in USA, especially when the love dominates the details. The book is a complete success in meticulously detailing every steps in the life of Indian Americans living the American Dream in the University and work office.
That’s when, though I wouldn’t like the villain coming anywhere near my heroine, all except me will be thrilled at the way the two get closer and closer and closer.
That makes a reader to get hooked on the book. That is everybody, young, old and even me.
Great romantic book and highly recommended.
‘The Whole World is Watching’, I am not saying about watching the movie, but it’s the chant of the sprightly young demonstrators in the movie.
It’s a court scene with flashbacks on the demonstration which apparently is based on true events.
And I remember getting goosebumps, many a times, during the 2 hours plus movie.
Hero/ heroine, there are plenty. Some bordering role models.
And brilliant all the way.
Why am I worried then! Yes I am, as perhaps we can relate.
‘The Whole World is Watching’.
I have been searching for this chutney, closely resembling the one my mother used to make which I thought was extinct as none of us remembered how she made it.
That’s when I saw ‘Thattukada Red Chutney’ recipe by blog friend Chitra in her http://www.chitrasrecipes.wordpress.com
Her recipe is like this:
“Preparation time approx 10 to 12 minutes.
3/4 cup grated fresh coconut
1 small piece of ginger
1 very small garlic pod optional.
3 to 4 red chillies.
small piece of tamarind.( if you dont like tamarind taste omit this)
3 piece of shallots.
2 tbsp coconut oil.
1 tsp mustard seeds.
2 red chillies.
few curry leaves.
1/4 tsp asafoetida or hing
In a mixer jar put coconut, red chillies, ginger, few curry leaves, garlic , tamarind and salt. Grind this adding little water.
Heat a pan add oil . Add mustard seeds. When it start spluttering add curry leaves, red chillies and asafoetida. Add finely chopped shallots. Fry till it turns brown. Now add 11/4 cup of water and the coconut paste. Mix well. If your gravy is very thick add little more water. Keep the stove on sim and boil the gravy stirring it continuously. Take care it should not split. No need to boil for longer time. Remove this from stove and serve”.
I made it using Chitra’s recipe and yes, there’s a resemblance.
I don’t usually like hot and spicy food. But this case is different. That’s because of the childhood memory of eating idly and red chutney. So add a few more red chillies for a firey hot taste. Another tip is to partially burn the red chillies kept after the ones used for grinding.
Idlies are put in liberal quantity of hot red chutney and mixed well with hand into almost a thick pulp. And add quite a good quantity of sugar and mix again.
Idly will never taste better. And for me the memory of my mother’s red chutney and idlies.
(Picture also from Chitra’s blog)
Avacado is healthy fruit and good fat. There are plenty of them in Bangalore and I have done many delicious smoothies and guacamoles.
Change makes it interesting. There are salads and those on toast with eggs are all options done. That’s when I chanced upon this idea, pudding.
Scoop out the ripe avacado and run it in a mixer. This is my wife’s method. The recipe talks about mixing everything together. But this method makes the contents smoothier.
Add honey and chocolate powder into the mashed avocado in the mixer and mix the contents into a very smooth consistency.
Transfer the contents into cups, chill for a while and the pudding is ready.
Put a sprinkle of sea salt on top to get that differentiated taste.
It’s really good and healthy.
I may try variations like adding coconut milk and freezing the pudding, to be softened in the mixer again before serving.
And you know what, the recipe is from the YouTube video by none other than Martha Stewart!
കോച്ചി പഴയ കോച്ചിയല്ല (Kochi is not the old Kochi) is a Malayalam movie dialogue made famous for it’s probably notorious, threat tinted tone. And it’s used liberally when someone wants to assert with mafia sounding words.
But ഉള്ളി പഴയ ഉള്ളിയല്ല is actually a statement of fact. Interestingly it has no mafia tone, but at worst an admission of the loss of it.
I was just about to think that I have mastered the art of peeling and cutting Onion without the accompaniment of much tears.
But I am a little disappointed to read that onion has lost it’s virility with changes in pesticides and genetically modified farm techniques.
The macho feeling in cutting and eating the virulent root is gone.
Perhaps the only blessing in disguise is the likely absence of the unpleasant breath after eating raw onion.
Panaka is the gooseberry drink included in the traditional recipe published by the ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) .
Boil half a Kg of Amla and remove the seeds from the boiled berries. Mash the softened amla into a pulp in a mixer. Add some water if required and squeeze the juice out in a cloth.
This is actually a slightly difficult process and an idea struck me. Why not make a halva with the residue which retains some of the juice.
Add liberal quality of palm jaggery (sugar if required) half teaspoon each of ginger and cardamom powder to the juice. I added a few mashed dates and brought the contents to boil in a vessel.
Added honey when cold and mix well before pouring into a bottle.
According to AYUSH, the health benefits are:
It can be used as a healthy soft drink as it acts as immediate energy supplement. It is rich source of calcium, potassium, vitamin C, B complex and antioxidants. It is good for osteoarthritis, athero-scelrosis, anemia, peptic ulcer, urinary tract infection, dysentery and high blood pressure.
Amla Halva. My own recipe.
Heat ghee in a hard bottom vessel and add the amla residue. Mix well. Add palm jaggery according to the sweetness required. Add half teaspoon each of ginger and cardamom powder. Add some mashed dates and mix the contents over medium heat into a Halva consistency.
Spread on a plate or similar surface and allow to cool down. Cut into small pieces and enjoy this uniquely tasty Halva.
It’s not only work from home, online deliveries and digital schooling, we’re wired with gadgets to do many things.
‘How’s your oxygen’ neighbour asked. I thought he was referring to oxygen cylinders and I said I don’t have it.
He was asking for my reading on pulse oximeter. ‘Everyone has it’ and i too got one from Amazon.
But I am not innocent! My Apple Watch monitors me on everything from my moves, idle time, yoga, workout, walking, steps, stand hours and even my sleep. How much of my sleep was deep, quality and disturbed!
One can pull out any statistics and feel good or bad about it.
Measuring oxygen with just a finger inside a minuscule gadget. Well, that takes the cake.
A friend sent the video (link given here) which says the possible life span is 130 years and 70 is just the middle age.
See that in conjunction with what’s happening to senior people. Shops are reportedly turning them away and the Covid unlocks generally exclude them.
I am sure many of the 65 plus can do an arm wrestling or push up challenge with the shop keeper and win.
Isn’t it, at least bordering, denying some fundamental rights to the 65+!
After watching the video, one advice we can give is to provide for those years that we didn’t take into account.
I follow a doctor friend for tips on healthy living and solutions to sporadic issues in my quest for wellness.
Ginger juice was advised for stomach issues caused by prolonged fasting and lower belly workout.
As a disciplined follower, I went ahead planning ginger juice for daily consumption.
Ginger is not a friendly root. It’s taken from soil, uneven in shape and slightly hard to deal with.
Namdharis is a good place for quality products. And I bought some ginger from there. I was reminded of the large, shapely and juicy looking ginger that I saw in Vietnam and Cambodia. But what I got are small and hard ones.
Washed the roots quite a few times and removed the skin which was a huge task. Then grated the root on a handheld grater.
I then put the grated ginger in a mixer along with a small quantity of water and ground it to make into a pulp.
The juice was then extracted using cheese cloth.
The fresh juice don’t have shelf life and it’s difficult to make it everyday.
So I poured the juice into ice cream trays and put them in the freezer.
One cube a day with honey is going to be a healthy juice, good to overcome the bloating issues.
Here’s a link to the YouTube channel of the doctor. It’s mostly in Malayalam language. I recommend my mallu friends to subscribe to the channel.
I am not making a landmark statement, and it’s only a derived one of something I heard from a wellness expert who was talking about Alzheimer’s.
We do many things during the lockdown times, including experiments in culinary skills.
AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) ministry of government of India has published some healthy recipes, and it’s a good starting point.
If carrot halva is good, then beet root version can’t be any less, especially when it’s in the AYUSH list.
The wellness doctor suggested to try do things with left hand if you’re right handed. I tried using left hand to prepare the beet root, but it was difficult. Of course this is a right handed version.
Remove skin of three beet roots, grate them and add to melted ghee (2 tbspoon) in a hard bottom vessel. Allow it to cook for a few minutes.
Add 300 ml milk. Wait, I want to do it differently and better. So I made thin coconut milk using coconut milk powder and used it. Keep on slightly lower fire to get it cooked.
Add sugar. Again sugar is a bad word. Someone called it poison. Palm jaggery is novel and rare. So I used it instead.
Roast some crushed almonds, cashews and kismiss in a teaspoon of ghee and add to the mix.
Half a spoon of cardamom seed powder enhances the flavour.
Allow all water to vaporise.
The beet root halva assumes a deadly colour of the beet and dark palm jaggery and it’s lovely.
AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) ministry of Government of India, recommended use of Arsenic Album 30 homeopathic medicine as an immunity booster during the Covid pandemic.
We see a lot of criticism, especially from people practicing other branches of medicine, against the recommendation.
However, there seems to be a unanimous consent that the medicine has no side effect. Some even call it just purified water and sugar. Just a placebo.
If so, there’s no harm in using it, especially when the price of some 500 globules is about $2 only. And a placebo effect may do more wonders than the expertise of a doctor.
Nobody is talking about compromising any of other preventives such as wearing mask, washing hands several times, keeping distance, stay at home etc.
Then let people swallow four of the sugary globules on empty stomach for three days and repeat after a month or 15 days.
If you remember, homeopathy globules are best consumed by allowing them to melt under the tongue.
I wish someone do a study, a research on the Immunity boosting homeo medicine.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that it boosts immunity.