While I write this one sitting comfortably in my balcony chair, it’s raining cats and dogs outside. Monsoon – such a pleasant weather, isn’t it?😍✨
My little house plants seem happy, swaying and bending with the wind in their lush green glory.🌱 And I kind of get it… the feeling of cool breeze in my hair, rain drizzling against my face, and not to forget, the oh-so-wonderful scent of wet mud – how could one feel anything but bliss? It is an absolutely soothing and calming setting for the soul.🧘🏻♀️
By now you would know I am a Sindhi (if you don’t, click here to check out my last blog post on the story of the India- Pakistan Partition 1947)
Let me help you know little bit more about our culture!
~ Starting off “India’s very name comes from the Indus River which is the English way of pronouncing the Sindhu river. India, Indus, Sindhu are all the same! The Persians and Mughals converted the word Sindhu to Hindu. The Greeks converted that to Indos. So from Sindh and Sindhis we get Hindus, Hindustan, Hindi, India and Indian.”
~ Our Surnames As a Sindhi, can you guess what I hear most often? “Oh! You are Kukreja and still a Sindhi?!!”
Most people spot Sindhis by inspecting whether their surnames end in “-ani”? Lol
Let me tell you why this opinion!
The route of this, is the Sanskrit word ‘Ansh‘ which means- ‘descendedfrom‘. Ansh colloquially became -ani therefore we have our names — but not all Sindhi surnames end in -ani.
Surnames identify the family groups. Each family was allowed a Nukh (meant to be one’s caste name) and hence that is how the surnames were derived. This refers to a broad family tree. Take for example if the head of the family was Ramchand, the family would use the surname Ramchandani.
I hope now you have the answer for your most favourite question!! HAHAHHAH
~ Our Occupation Oh yes and we are amazing business people. Even though Sindhis entered the country empty handed, (as we discussed in the last blog) with endurance and hardwork most re-established themselves in trades and other businesses; The Rahejas, the Hindujas, the Hiranandanis to name a few.
~ Our Language Well we speak Sindhi. And those who know me, definitely know how much I love it. This is the one thing that keeps me closest to my culture. The joy is to be able speak in Sindhi at most places when not a lot of people understand it. (It is like a secret, code language, haha)
Even though it is the official language of the Pakistani province of Sindh, Sindhi is one of the scheduled languages officially recognised by the Central Government in 1967.
~ Our Music I assume most of you have heard, Dama Dam Mast Kalandar, the song sung by Mika and Honey Singh! It is actually a Hindi remake. Dama Dam Mast Qalandar is originally a spiritual song written in the honour of the most revered Sufi saint of Sindh, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. The original poem was initially written by the 13th-century Sufi poet Amir Khusrow. To top it all, Sindh is also called the land of the Sufis.
Sufi Literature is the essence of Sindh, and hence we share a similar taste in dance 💃🏻 , music 🎶 and poetry.
~ Our food
And finally the food. Our cuisine is filled with mouth watering dishes: Sindhi curry, Aloo Tuk, Dal Pakwaan- to name the famous few. (come over, I am sure you have never had something like that before😋)
Infact we have our own version of Macroni. 😚 It is said that a few Sindhis visited Italy and got some macaroni pasta back home and the ladies created a Sindhi-nised version of it using tomatoes!
Well and yes Sindhis are very particular about their papad, it needs to be the right kind. We sure love having papad with all our meals. AND we have amazing flat breads mixing jaggery, flour, and oil; for dessert – Miththo Lolo! (in the image down below)
Well that was about it! ❤ Happy and guilt-free eating to all! 🙂
A very happy Independence Day to all of you!🇮🇳 Today, it has been exactly 75 years we got freedom from the colonial rule of the British.
Well, what better day to take you through the days of the India- Pakistan Partition!😃☀️
In August of 1947 while the British Raj finally came to an end and gave rise to an Independent India, instead of TRIUMPH, our country faced what can only be described as one of the bloodiest disruption in human history. ☄️
It is the history of pain, separation, loss and despair.
“We are independent now, they said, but what good is it when you have to leave everything behind!?”
My grandfather (DADA) narrates to me his encounter of the India-Pakistan Partition, some of his memories still vivid and stark.📝
Recently in one of her Instagram stories, Tahira Kashyap Khuranna mentioned how she finished an entire book in a day; I was fascinated to read it and so bought “What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey” on her recommendation!
My first post on cooking and it has to be about my Funny Kitchen Blunders👩🍳;
So instead of telling you what I am good at, let us first deal with the reality, i.e. the mistakes, because they are a part of the process.
Before beginning, A DISCLAIMER; I usually cook in emergency situations, i.e., when Mammi is not home.
So now you know that all these stunts were performed when there was no expert supervision! Haha
Let me start with my favourite:
The Pav Bhaji Fiasco🥘
One fine evening, I am assigned the task of cooking Pav Bhaji for dinner (for the first time EVER). The cooking instructions were given over the phone and in my excitement, I very smartly made notes––in my brain. (probably not my brightest move🤭)
First of all, the chopped vegetables were supposed to be boiled.
So this is what I do, I put the veggies in a cooker, add enough water for them to swim and put the heat on.
A whistle later, when I open the cooker my bhaji lay in ruins!!🤐 It seemed absolutely the opposite of what it was supposed to be! Came out looking more like boiled yellow dal. 🥺🤒
FYI: veggies are already rich in water content. so, DO NOT ADD WATER🚱(at least not as much as I put in).
Are you listening? Whoever you are!
Next in line:
Boiled Rice Disaster🍚
Can someone go wrong with this too? Well, I proudly say YES.
This time, in total masterchef mode, I was putting together a bunch of different snacks for my folks. Along with, I had soaked rice in water and 20 minutes later, put them on the flame.
While I was busy frying some delicious fritters, the colour of the rice caught my attention and I wondered why they seemed brownish. 🤔 But ignoring this, I moved my concentration back to the task in hand.
A couple minutes later I realised my BEAUTIFUL mistake! 😐
Did you catch it?
“jaldi jaldi mei chawal dhona hi bhool gyi!!” 🤦🏻♀️
and almost immediately, God sends a Messiah (Mammi obviously); I ended up listening to a few words of wisdom while she took charge of my mess.
Since then I wash rice a little more than needed, you know, just to be doubly sure!🙃
While the lockdown was enlightening for each one of us in different ways, you know what I learned?👀 Being finicky comes with a price of its own!
In the summer of 2020 (the first lockdown) washing, cleaning and sanitising house supplies had become a norm.
Thanks to all this, a mishap occurred on a Thursday evening with 1 kg packet of Sugar. For thorough cleaning, I had drowned it in a bucket full of water and left it in there for a minute.
To my horror, the sugar came out as CHASHNI 🤯😱
I advise you to not overuse your brain (like I did). Packets even though sealed, have microholes in them (for the air to pass from, uninvitingly the water did too😳).
I know you are laughing and you can!😂
Pressure situations give invitation to most of my big and small cooking bloopers!
The bright side:Now I know the corrective actions for such situations.😎
I bet you all have done some unique blunders too! Tell me in the comments below, so I know I am not the only one and give me a reason to laugh too.❤️
I’ve always been that person who loves to collect and store “sajane ka samaan” 😂 — stones, shells, flowers, jars, glass bottles, even the fancy bakery boxes! 😛 You name it, I probably have it!
Infact I have a huge cupboard specially reserved for all my beautiful supplies! Over the years I have also developed the habit of storing unused pages in my clear bags! (my contribution to going green 😉 )
Do you all also like collecting items and reusing them later?
My love for DIY goes far back. ❤️ Even back in school, I would ask Papa to attach spare pages to form a notebook using his ‘larger than life’ office stapler, or would get Mammi to stitch the pages together.
But both these methods left no page margins; which was a major setback for me!
I eventually tried the Glue Stick method (the one I am sharing today) which, in my opinion, is a big hit! ✨ (3 of my notebooks running successfully ✌🏻)
Well, this is a prime example of AATM NIRBHAR BHARAT! 😛
Prep Time (for the notebook): 40-50 minutes P.S.- You can use as much time as you want to make it look aesthetically pleasing! 🙂 Let me take you through the simple step by step procedure:
Use 20 (or more) A4 size plain white sheets. (This is where you can reuse old pages)
Cut the sheets into two equal halves! I made a small sized notebook, you can skip this step if you want an A4 size one.
Make a cover for the notebook.
You may go for a thick, coloured sheet or soft cardboards, as per your choice. Cut it according to the size of your pages, leaving some extra space on all sides (we can always chop this off at later stages)
I wanted to draw, paint and decorate the cover, so I chose a thick white sheet, almost like a photo paper, easily available on stationary shops.
Use a glue gun, to secure the sheets together from just one side. I made a horizontal diary so used the glue along the breadth!
TIP: The glue dries up quickly so you need to be quick with this one!
Keep the cover sheet handy. Using the glue gun, affix the pages and the cover, together.
You will get a proper notebook with all the pages secure.
P.s.- Before decorating, chop off the cover to the right size.
Let your creativity run wild. Paint/ decorate the canvas as you need!🔅
This can also be an amazing personalised present for your dears ❤
For the purpose of packing, you may use, either: A soft brown paper, or, A handmade sheet (like I used), or even, A butter paper
Wrap it with any of the above, use a thick thread, a rope or leftover wool, to fasten the package.
Enhance its look, with a personalised message, some artificial flowers and you are good to go!
Spread across an area of 443 acres, Sanjay Van is a forest area near Mehrauli and Vasant Kunj, Delhi. It is diverse in different flora and fauna. I was able to spot a couple of jackals, and immensely beautiful, unseen birds. If you are lucky, you may even get to watch the peacocks dancing (it is the perfect season for this 😛 )
I visited with my friends in the beginning of this month.
Thanks to the early rainy season, we experienced the most perfect, breezy, cloudy and tranquil morning; an ideal weather to visit such a place.
GETTING TO SANJAY VAN
If you are travelling by your private vehicle, you can park them at Gate number 3 (near Rockland Hospital). The location for Sanjay Van on Google Maps will help you reach this gate.
If you want to travel by the metroyou can get down at either; *IIT Delhi Metro Station *Qutub Minar Metro Station *R.K. Puram Metro Station These metro stations are all under 2 kilometres to the destination.
You can get your cycles too (except for the fact that you will have to carry them up the rocky terrains)
Wear a cap. (will help you on a sunny day)
You may carry a few crackers/ biscuits if you want. (you wouldn’t want to get hungry at such a beautiful place 😛 )
Water bottle is a must. (otherwise you might end up needing “Glucon-D waala paani” to save yourself from the summer heat😂)
WHAT TO EXPECT? (ATTRACTIONS)
1.Head to Sanjay Van for a short hike that promises incredible views.
A 15-20 minute partially rocky terrain will take you to points from where you can adore the green cover and also spot the Qutub Minar in all its glory. I know clicking pictures is a must, but do not forget to capture the beauty in your brain too. 🙂
2. Sanjay Van Lake
Walking ahead, you can spot the Sanjay Van Lake, created just a few years back. The white swans add to its beauty, along with the boats and plants.
3. Little Waterfalls
As you walk through the forest, you can hear the steady burble of water at a lot of places. Stop on your way to experience the freshness, the cooling and calming effect.
A 10-12 minute walk from the lake will take you to the L.G. Tower (looks almost like a Machan); primarily for bird watching. It is an attraction among people, so you may always find it crowded. It is best to reach the place early to save yourself from the heat and the crowd. Again you spot the Qutub Minar from here.
This is the perfect place for a little jamming session with your buddies (admiring the view and the weather). We did it too and the people around us enjoyed as much as we did. ;P
5. Mayur Pahadi
If a little Rock Climbing fascinates you, visit the Mayur Pahadi or the Peacock Hill. It can also be a cute picnic spot.
6. You can find nurseries of various medicinal plants in there too.
TIP: THE GUARDS ARE VERY FRIENDLY AND WILL HELP YOU FIND YOUR WAY OR MAY EVEN ACCOMPANY YOU TO THE LOCATION.
Washrooms are easily accessible; you can find them at short distances.
Drinking Water is available too but I would suggest you to carry your own water bottles.
Various route maps may help you find your way.
Other than this, there are a few food stalls selling Maggi, Tea and other snacks right outside Gate Number 3.
I WAS ABLE TO COVER ALL OF THE ABOVE SPOTS, IN PEACE, IN 4.5 HOURS. YOU MAYTRAVEL AT YOUR OWN PACE, AND EVEN TAKE MORE THAN A VISIT TO COVER IT ALL.
“Do you ever get a burst of motivation to clean your room, read a book or turn your life around at 2 A.M.?”
Well, I did.
On one sleepless night, (mostly to stop the endless loop of “baby shark do do do do” playing in my brain) I found myself reading a novel till the crack of dawn.
The protagonist had quit her corporate job to follow her passion of pottery and wrote short pieces about her daily life, interacting with her small and sweet audience.
Reading her story, something clicked and here I am starting something new whilst waiting for my own corporate career to kickstart.
Generally in life, I love public speaking, you will always find me regaling my priyejans with my stories. But I was never an articulate writer (though quite self sufficient for all my assignments) and still, I’m no Arundhati Roy, yet now I’m all set to gain some fresh perspective interacting with my ‘small and sweet audience’ ;p
Here’s hoping this will help me channelize my inner dog that loves to think.
P.s. I will try to post every Saturday!
I look forward to you guys tagging along in my journey, and sharing your views so we all grow together.