fun

Why are we so obsessed with ‘clicking memories’?

Look around you – how many gadgets do you have that have a camera? Your laptop, your tab, your phones.. heck, there’s even a pen available with a camera, these days.

I often wonder what people did when cameras were not so freely available? Did they forget how their children looked when they were young? Did they not recall how cute their baby looked they day he/she was born? Did a young groom forget how stunning his bride looked on the day he married her? Or did that group of college going youngsters forget how much fun they had everyday? No! I don’t think so… They remembered everything, they associated their memories with the happiness and fun and joy that those moments brought at that particular moment.

So, how is it different now? We’ve forgotten how breathtaking a sunset can be or how beautiful a rose looks, because we are so busy trying to get a ‘good’ picture to upload on our social networking sites.
Spotted a squirrel outside my window today, ‘click’. Oh look! My kid is crying because I did not let him use my shaving blade (yes, there are a series of photos of small kids crying, available online, because of some silly reason.) , ‘click’. My daughter wore a new dress, ‘click’. I painted my nails with a new shade of nail polish today, ‘click’. My son is going to dance on the stage today, ‘click’,’click’,’click’,’click’….. Don’t even get me started on getting the ‘perfect selfie’. Why have we forgotten to slow down, why are we spending so much time capturing memories on a camera rather than enjoying the moment itself?

Anyway, the one regarding ‘child is going to dance on stage’ bit irked me and got me thinking. Mimi had his annual day at school yesterday and the parents were invited to be a part of the audience. The children put up a fantastic show, each child trying to do his/her best. They were out there in all their glory, trying to locate their mum or dad in the audience. We parents were equally excited. It’s an amazing feeling to watch your little one stage. 🙂 🙂

So whenever a group of students were up on stage for a song or dance, there would be a hoard of mums and dads kneeling right in front of the stage, clicking pictures and recording a video. Now this meant, all their focus would be on getting the picture or video right (zoom in, zoom out..etc). It would mean elbowing another parent to the side so they could get a better capture. And finally it would mean that their child on stage knew that his/her parent was down there with a camera and would lose focus on the dance or song, so that the parent got a good shot….
Finally it meant that the parents who were sitting quietly (me and few others) and enjoying the dance or song, would not be able to see the performance in peace because a-photographer-in-the-making was blocking the view. 😦

I nudged The Big Man and told him ‘how silly can these parents be?’ He just nodded in agreement.

Now tell me, after going home, what part of your child’s performance are you going to remember? The part when she was on center stage doing her solo. Or the part when your son cartwheeled across the stage. Or that you just plainly enjoyed the whole show with a smile on your face? Or the part when you were struggling to get the right picture and right frame?????

Back to the annual day – there was the grand finale, when each and every child who had performed that day came on stage and danced away. I don’t recall, but I think there were just a handful of clappers, because all her hands had become clickers.

Finally I can’t finish without telling you that during the grand finale I caught a glimpse of The Big Man trying to click a picture of Mimi.

With great power comes great responsibility, said Spider man. But with amazing, advanced technology comes a great deal of not knowing how and when to use it.

Oh Well! ‘To each his own’, I say…..

 

 

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Multi coloured cake

I’ve had a great day today doing my favourite thing in the kitchen – baking!

I baked a multi coloured cake.
Have a look see…

IMG_1888I made it complete with icing using a simple recipe of butter cream icing. Never has my icing come out so well. Either it used to be very watery or the butter used to split. The bottom most layer is brown – got by adding cocoa powder, the next layer is orange and top most layer is green – both got by adding a few drops of food colour.

If you’d see me now I’m smiling ear to ear….

More images of the glorious cake.

IMG_1879IMG_1880Mimi was overjoyed and wanted to pose with a slice of cake

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Choco-Vanilla cup cakes

I’ve had my eyes set on this rainbow cake for while now, but have never had the courage or patience to try it. But I took a baby step and made cup cakes with only two colours – chocolate and vanilla / plain. Though in the original recipe, they made separate cakes for each colour, I poured the chocolate batter on the vanilla batter in my version.

Outside and inside view of the cupcake

Outside and inside view of the cupcake

Now that they’ve turned out well, I hope to make rainbow cupcakes… soon!

And I’ll let you in on a secret here – I didn’t have those paper cups in which you make the cup cakes, so I just used disposable paper cups – in which you drink tea and coffee. I just greased it a bit before adding the batter and conveniently tore off the paper cup before devouring the cake.

The recipe for the cake is taken from the same you tube link given above. Thanks to Cookies, cupcakes and cardio for this awesome idea. Rainbow cake… you’ll soon be baking in my  oven!!!

Stuffed pooris

Winter holidays are here and it’s a challenge making something new everyday to feed the little boy. With the aim of making something new and interesting I tried making pooris in different shapes, that were cut using a cookie cutter, and had a little stuffing made from potatoes, sweet corn, peas, carrot, salt and pepper.
Result?
Words straight from the horse’s mouth… ‘Amma! These are super! 100% super!’

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Pooris are a very popular dish in India. They are made from whole wheat flour. A dough is made by mixing whole wheat flour and water. I add a pinch of salt while making the dough, for taste.  The dough is rolled out into thin circles and deep fried.
There are many varients of  pooris. While some keep it simple (like the one I’ve made here), you can add carom seeds or a little finely chopped fenugreek leaves. Some people add pureed spinach while making the dough. These will lend yummy, green coloured, very healthy pooris.
Another varient is where the dough has only ‘all the purpose flour’. In this recipe, you mix the flour with yogurt instead of water and leave it sometime before making the pooris. The outcome is some yummy tasting ‘batura’.

Pooris are accompanied by gravies of all kinds. Potato gravy, mix veg gravy (I’ve made my version here) or chick pea gravy.
Since my version was a quick fix snack, I served it with tomato ketchup.

My recipe is quite simple, really. I mixed:
1 small mashed potato
1/4 cup boiled sweet corn
1/4 cup boiled peas
1/4 grated carrot.
salt and pepper to taste.

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Roll out the dough. I used the cookie cutters and made 2 pieces of each shape. I have 6 different shapes. I put a little stuffing between two pieces and pressed the sides and then deep fried it in hot oil.

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Voila!

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I think these will make wonderful tiffin snacks too. I can think of so many other stuffing suggestions – paneer (cottage cheese), onion and carrot, cabbage and carrot, just peas and potato…..

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge.our-growing-edge-badgeThis event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Louise at Crumbs and Corkscrews

Happy Birthday, Mimi!

You are 6 today.

6! 6!… keep saying it and it really sounds like a big number. Just like you’ve started showing signs of growing from a small child to a young boy. Your questions are different. Your answers are different. Some times you back answer as if trying to show that you are an individual by yourself and sometimes you follow me like a mouse as if you couldn’t do without me.

You are now in grade 1. It can be tough to get you to sit down for your homework sometimes, but once you sit down you finish off your work quickly. Your spellings are not so great, but I guess you’ll soon get there. But you love doing math. 🙂

Your friends love playing with you and you are a compassionate friend who will play along with what ever others say. But will come later to me with a sad face and say ‘They only do what they want and don’t let me have my way’. The most I can tell you is to play with someone with whom you enjoy playing, no matter who takes the lead. I do hope you make some friends who will be for keeps.
You are not possessive about your toys and will easily share even the most precious toy in your toy box, with your pals. And it won’t worry you if they break it. You’ll just come up to me and say ‘Galti se toot gaya’. Well, what can I say?

Your dad and I are very happy that you have a thing for sports. You love playing all games, be it cricket, badminton, table tennis, football or hockey. I was telling your dad that it’s time to get you into a proper training class for a sport.
Oh! How could I forget that you are already very good at skating and did your school proud when you won a gold medal at an inter-school skating competition.

Hmmm what else..?? Yes! You love making cards and drawing. Here’s a photo of the card you made for ‘father’s day’. It’s a different story that ‘mother’s day’ was not even mentioned by someone (a.k.a your dad). Hmph! Anyway, the way you shower me with your hugs, kisses and love… everyday is a mother’s day for me.
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The drawings are explained here: Top left is a pizza in a box. A very, very colourful box. Just below that is a heart. Bottom left is a drawing of dad and son sleeping. On the right hand top is a sketch which has been crossed out because it came out all wrong. The next drawings are dad playing cricket and the last one is dad doing his favourite pass time- watching TV. Finally, that’s a traffic signal but I can’t remember why a traffic signal was placed there.

You can make us laugh as effortlessly as you can break into a giggle. And you can make some kick ass inventions.
Take this alarm for example.
You tied a skipping rope around the bedroom door handle and told me that when I have to wake you up in the morning, I am to bang the door really hard, so that the skipping rope handles will clank against the door and you will wake up to that sound.
I don’t who will wake up first – you dad with a fright, you after the melodious clanking of the skipping rope handles against the door or our house owner who’s far away (who’ll probably not be able to sleep at all knowing that we were banging his house doors just to wake up one another)

A couple of  mimi-ism:
We were just coming back home after a walk. You and I reached home a little faster than your dad.
Me: Where is your dad?
Mimi: Phone se latak rahe hai

{Translation: Dad is hanging from his phone. Apparently dad was listening to music on his phone you used the ‘latak rahe hai’ cause it was looking like dad was hanging from his phone}

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Mimi: Amma, from now on you will refer to me as ‘dadaji’ and I will respond to you by calling you ‘naniji’
Me: Laughing out loud to even react

But we did try this and it was fun for a while
Me: Dadaji, lunch is ready
Mimi: Ok Naniji, I’m coming

Me: Dadaji, move it now, come for your bath
Mimi: Not now, naniji, I’m watching TV

Me: Dadaji, if you are done with your business on the pot, please wash up and come out
Mimi: Naniji, can you please wash my bum???
{*With all due respect to all the dadajis and nanijis in the world, no offense was meant}

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For your birthday, we decided (read ‘convinced you’) to have a private celebration. And you agreed. So your dad and I got a cake and a present for your birthday. When you got back from school, I was ready with a treasure hunt game for you to lead you upto your cake and present. Here is the sequence of clues for your hunt.
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Clue no 1. Go to skates cupboard

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The clue that he found in the skates cupboard said Go to the Fridge

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Here’s where the cake was hidden. We ate the cake and then we turned over the clue found in the fridge

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It said, Check behind the clock

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The clue hidden behind the clock had a picture of the A/C

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Hidden next to the A/C was the birthday present

7You’ve grown fond of the ‘transformers’, seen the movie and loved it. So we thought this year, we’ll buy you a couple of transformer robots. Needless to say, you’re in love with them already. {p.s. I myself love Optimus Prime}

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Finally a picture of the cake…. 9

Before I close this post, I just want to wish you a lifetime of joy and happiness, peace of mind and the strength to face tough times and emerge out of them with more confidence and courage to face further challenges.
Most of all, may you be blessed with the ability to know what is right and wrong. May you grow up to be a good human being and a kind gentleman.

Happy birthday, my love…..

Google wished me…

…. on my birthday!

Google is an integral part of my working day. Yesterday was my birthday, by the way. Oh! Thank you, thank you for your kind wishes. So I love these doodles that Google does on someone’s birthday, especially the animated ones. So, once I sat down to work I went on Google to check something. And I saw a new doodle.
‘Oh! It’s someone else’s birthday and someone famous’.
So I moved the mouse pointer and guess what I saw ‘Happy Birthday mimismommy’
‘EEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’ I screamed out loud. The big man got worried for a moment, thinking I fell off the chair or something.

Won’t say more, check out for yourself. Yes of course, I saved a screen shot!
Oh! one last thing. I searched and searched but couldn’t figure out how to send a thank you note to the guys at Google. So here goes: ‘Thanks Google! You really made my birthday special’
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Our first picnic

Our first picnic in Delhi was a visit to the zoo. We visited the zoo last week and had a wonderful time. It was packed with people but I guess that means the animals are at a safe distance and the earlier people haven’t been eaten by the animals already. So, our journey began with getting into the metro rail at Huda City Center. We got off at Central Secretariat and caught an auto rickshaw from there to the zoo.

It was lunch time when we entered the zoo. We stopped for a bite at the zoo canteen, which was OK. Lot of options to choose from and looked decent.

We entered the zoo and began our journey of visiting the animals. It was Mimi’s first zoo experience and he was excited to see all the animals. Right from the ducks to the elephants. I think he was most excited to see the giraffe who was eating off a huge tray that was suspended from a tree.

I won’t describe too much and keep you waiting. Let the pictures tell you the rest of the story.

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I believe I got some good shots of the peacock.

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The lion was far away and this was the best shot we got after zooming all the way on the camera

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The majestic white tiger045

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After the zoo, we found out that India Gate was at a very short distance. So we decided to visit the monument too. Another auto rickshaw drive and we were at India Gate. Unfortunately there were barricades due to recent protests and we had to see the monument from a distance. 059

But it looked so beautiful even from far off.

Hopefully we will be able to make time to visit other places around this beautiful city.

2011- The year that was

2011 was an eventful year. We moved homes, we moved cities. It was a big change and a beginning to a new start. I learnt a lot from this new city we moved to. I’ve become more assertive and aggressive. ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’, they say. That rule applied to me very aptly.

I’ve never been an aggressive person, but if you are not assertive here, even a leaf will not turn. That’s how the lifestyle is here. But the city has welcomed us with open arms and gave us a warm place to live in. It accepted us well. Thank you, Gurgaon.

Mimi turned four in 2011 and there was a sea change in the little chap. He’s grown up overnight. Grown taller and stronger and more mischievous but still has the loving twinkle in his eyes that greet you with an innocence that will disarm you. He’s got lots of homework these days. I hope he grows up to be a good student and more sensible human being.

The husband also saw a change in himself after we came to this city. He’s more confident of himself now.

I hope…

… that 2012 brings more joy and happiness in our lives. I want Peace most of all. God has given me everything I need to live well, I only pray for peace. I want to finish this post with an array of assorted pictures. Enjoy!

The view from our gallery in summer…

… and in winter. Yes! That’s fog! Or Frog, as Mimi calls it.

Gurgaon is a bird watcher’s paradise. I’ve heard there is a bird sanctuary also nearby. I’m yet to visit it. You can find all sorts of birds here and it makes me happy to see them. I don’t know which bird is in the first picture. The second picture has some parrots that visited us one morning. They were so noisy, but beautiful.

That’s Mimi, when it got to cold to even move a finger.

 That’s him monkeying around.

He got angry with me and decided to sulk under the wash basin.