Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dreams Unlimited

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”

        Every human is a dreamer. Everyone have their own dreams. Dream of becoming a doctor or an actor, dream of owning a house, dreaming of foreign holiday, dream of owning car or an SUV etc. And when it comes to dreams “Sky is limit.”

        Even I have few dreams. Dreams of owning a garden full of flowers like roses, mogra, jasmine, veggies, and varieties of hibiscus plants and herbs.

        I dream of making something remarkable for kids with special needs as in our country there is shortage of facilities and acceptance for these kids. I want people to treat these kids as an equal, they are not a liability. They are special gifted kids.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

         Dreams are endless but its upto us how we fulfil them.

Friday, December 13, 2013

World is round and small

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
In our journey of life, we meet many people, friends, relatives.  Some enter in our life and make a permanent residence in our life and some enter and make an exit and we don’t even notice.

In the initial days of my daughter’s treatment I use to travel from Borivali to Bandra for my daughter’s therapy. During those travels I have met with variety of people, giving suggestions, showing sympathy etc.

During one such commute, on my bad travel day I would say I met a person whom I thought is just another lady giving me her piece of mind, and I thought of never meeting her again in my life. On that day, as usual I boarded a local to go to Bandra, and managed to find a seat beside a lady with a daughter of around same age as mine. My daughter as usual was in her crankiest mood and was troubling me a lot. So after much hesitation the lady asked me where I am going, what treatment etc, etc. Then she introduced herself as a physiotherapist and gave me her card and I thanked her and got down at my destination.

I moved on my life as usual, with its ups and downs, many therapist changed, I changed doctors, shifted place of therapy to Borivali etc etc. One fine day in the clinic where I was taking daughter’s therapy I was told since her therapist is leaving for higher studies a new therapist will take over and her name is Smriti Shetty. That name rang a bell in my ears but couldn’t make out why? After few days she joined the clinic.

My first reaction was “I have seen her somewhere”. Trying to recall where I have met her I came home and started to search for the visiting card that I was given by the physiotherapist in train few years back.

Next day I took that card and showed her, “Is this your card? Remember we had met few years back…” She gave me a blank look and suddenly we started to laugh. She recalled the day we met. Yes, Smriti was the same therapist whom I had met in train. The scene was straight out like a movie scene. It’s been more than 3 years that she has been training Prerna, and I can say we are good friends, and moreover she being a good therapist has worked hard on my daughter and brought her to a much better state then she was.
Smriti and Prerna

Someone has truly said “world is small and round”. Who had thought that a casual meeting in train would turn into such a rapport and good friendship? Moreover we have so much in common, both are of same age, our first born, daughters are born 15 days apart, hubbies are Arians… I’ll surely miss her, as she is leaving the clinic this month end.

In this journey of my daughter’s treatment, I have met several people, some helpful, some genuinely concerned, some nut who gave me advice as if they are expert in this matter.

Another person about with whom I had a unique experience was a lady who was a saleswoman in supermarket. I had gone with my hubby and Prerna to get our monthly groceries, and a saleswoman of that store had been keeping a close eye on Prerna. Finally she came up to me and asked “Does she have polio?”  Since daughter’s lower part of legs are slim, they look weak and this is common question I am being asked by many onlookers. So as usual I said no and I moved on. But she was persistent and kept asking me many questions like “Are you giving her treatment? Does she eat properly?” etc. I could sense my hubby boiling with anger. But I just kept avoiding her and doing my work. Final straw was, she told “her legs are weak, she doesn’t have blood in her body, give her blood”. I just lost it and I asked “are you doctor? I know what to do, you do your job” and moved to billing counter. That was the last time I ever saw her there and my hubby came to that supermarket with Prerna.

Throughout my journey I have met therapist like Smriti, Sujata, Priya, Anagha, who have always been there to advise me on Prerna and also otherwise, met and made good friends, some weird people giving me some stupid advice and remedies, to blaming me for my daughter’s condition, so on and so forth.

One blog is not enough to write about all people we meet in our lifetime and make an impact in our life.

  “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Travel Experience

All of us, in our life have travelled either for vacations or meeting relatives or for working people, daily commute from home to office. And during those journeys all must have had some unique experiences or reminders, some good, some bad, some unforgettable.

Sometimes during those travel we meet some people, who sometimes we never meet in entire lifetime, some who are best forgotten then and there and some whom we meet and forget and after a long span of time we meet, and become friends for life time.

  One such incident which I never thought would happen, and remembering which still makes me smile. I met a person whom I had never thought that we would meet again. But I’ll write about that person in tomorrow’s prompt.

When I was a kid I used to travel a lot with my parents. Every vacation was a fun vacation. But the travel which I would never ever forget was the first journey with my husband from Mumbai to Delhi in 2002, which took 3 days instead of 2.

We had come to Mumbai to visit our parents in month of August-September. It was rainy season, and Mumbai rains are always in news. We used to stay in Dombivali at that time and the train was from Bandra terminus.

On the previous day and on the day of our departure it had rained like cats and dogs and everywhere it was flooded or trains were running late. Somehow we boarded the local train which was crowded, as it was already running late and managed to reach Bandra after changing of trains and all. We had booked tickets on Paschim Express, which was supposed to leave from Bandra at around 10.30 am and reach Delhi next day at around 11.

After reaching Bandra it was announced that some of the trains are either cancelled or are running 12 – 24 hours late. Our train was rescheduled to leave at night 10 o’clock. Luckily hubby’s uncle stayed nearby, we spend some time there and came back to station at around 8 in evening.

After arriving we were informed that the train will leave around midnight, which luckily it did. But since it had rained very badly everywhere, the train took the diverted route and instead of reaching Delhi next day night, we reached on 3rd day noon. That is instead of 24 hour journey it took us nearly 36 hours to reach.

Since the trains were delayed beyond expectation all passengers heaved a sigh of relief after they reached their destination.

That was one journey we had unique experience wherein all were helpful towards each other and concerned. Wherein everyone was like a big family, sharing food, water. 

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14thDecember 2013. 

And this was one of my experience.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Musical Therapy

"If music be the food of love, play on."

        I don’t when I fell in love with music… For me music means songs of Hollywood and/or Bollywood. Maybe after my brother’s death, I found some solace in music to cope up with the loneliness due to staying away from my parents and brother’s untimely demise.

        So addicted had I become that even while studying and doing college work I used to listen to songs. In absence of which, I couldn’t concentrate. My parents, friends used to ask me “How could you study while listening to film songs?” To which I would reply “It’s my way of relaxing and concentrating.”

“For me, singing sad songs often has a way of healing a situation. It gets the hurt out in the open into the light, out of the darkness.”

          Even today whenever I feel stressed out or sad or defeated, I just plug in my earphones and listen to the songs on my mobile. It really clams me down. I don’t have a good voice, but whenever I feel bit anxious I play a song through speaker and sing out loudly, and believe me it really helps me distress. Though my daughter goes into shock hearing my voice.

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.”
        Give me a good book, a snack, hot cuppa tea and some good music and I am in the seventh heaven for sure. Nothing soothes me down as music does.

One of my favourite and also my daughter’s favourite song 

      Music is therapeutic. Soft music calms down nerves. But now-a-days the kind of songs that are being made, I am sure next generation will never understand the real meaning of soft, soothing music.

 “Where words fail, music speaks.”

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Books, books and more books

There is no friend as loyal as a book.

Ask any book reader and they’ll agree to the quote…

My affair with books started when I was in primary school. We had shifted to our own house from rented one and there were not many residents in the building. Moreover I was bit of introvert and shy. Since my brother was also an avid reader and he had his huge collection of books, my parents advised me to start reading.

And true enough, I fell in love with it. Initially my friends were “Tinkle”, “Champak”, “Chandhamama” and “Amar Chitra Katha”. My hunger for books increased as I proceeded to secondary school. With books, my friend circle also grew, as we used to exchange our collections.

My brother was a huge fan of “Hardy Boys” and “Alfred Hitchcock”. Believe me, after reading couple of them I stopped reading comics and moved to detective and suspense.

Even now I have weakness for detective and suspense stories. Luckily my affair continued even after marriage, as my hubby dear had a huge collection of novels of Jeffery Archer and Sydney Sheldon.

Luckily I married a person who also loved reading and had a huge collection of novels.

On a dull day give me an suspense or detective novel, a cup of ginger tea and soft music playing through headphones, and I am lost in that novel world…

Though now-a-days I don’t find time to read, occasionally I do make a point to grab a novel and complete it.

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dates and Dink laddus

Come winter and we get busy cooking winter food like undiyo, gajar halwa or burfi’s etc etc… But I thought this time why not try something different.

So this time I thought of making Dink laddus or edible gum laddus which is especially eaten in winter and given to mothers who have just delivered.
Dink (before frying)

Dink (after frying)

Dink or Gaund or edible gum is eaten especially in winters as they are known to generate heat and strengthen bones. Aliv or Halim or watercress seeds are added to relieve pain and are rich in Iron and folic acid. This with dates, badam and walnut create a healthy and wholesome snack for all age groups.
Aliv or Halim seeds

Though typical dink laddus use dried dates or karik as it is called. I thought “who is going to spend so much time and energy in deseeding dried dates and then pounding them to make a fine powder?”…

So instead I substituted it with seedless, black dates, due to which I didn’t need to add additional jaggery or sugar to make laddus sweet, since dates are naturally sweet. So in this way it’s safe for diabetics to have it once in a while.

One laddu and a glass of milk in morning gives you enough energy and stamina till your next meal… especially during fasting or when you are in hurry and have no time to sit down and eat at leisure.

The original dink laddus contains more of dink, less of dry fruits, little bit of roasted coconut and they add jaggery for sweetening. I have made a slight variation.

Ingredients (For approx 50 laddus)

100 gms dink/ gound/ edible gum
500 gms seedless black dates
1 cup almonds/badam
1 cup walnuts/ akrot
½ cup pista/ pistachios
½ cup aliv/halim/ water cress seeds
2-3 teaspoon dry ginger powder
2 teaspoon khus khus / poppy seeds
Ghee for frying


1.    In a thick bottom kadai heat the ghee for frying.
2.    Once ghee has melted and has come to medium heat, start frying dink/gound in small batches.
3.    While frying remember to keep stirring as gum tend to stick to one another and form lumps.
4.   After the entire dink is fried drain the excess oil from dink on tissue paper.
5.    After it cools down crush the fried dink using back side of a spoon or any glass and keep it aside. No need to make fine powder. Just crush lightly so that it gets easy for binding laddus.

Dry fruit powder

6.   Next lightly roast all the nuts separately and keep them aside to cool.
7.    Once cooled completely grind it into fine powder or cut into small pieces.
8.   Once all these are ready, in a non stick pan, add 2 teaspoon ghee and start with roasting of dates.
9.   Once the dates start to soften add crushed dink, nuts, aliv, dry ginger powder and khus khus. Keep them stirring till the form a nice mixture.
10. If you are adding coconut add with you add nuts.
11.  Allow this mixture to cool.
12. Once mixture comes to room temperature, mix nicely using hands and make laddus.
13. Allow them to cool fully before storing.
14. These laddus can be stored in air tight container for near 1 month (if you add coconut). If you didn’t add coconut it can stay for nearly 2-3 months.

Note :

1.    You can add finely grated and then dry roasted coconut if you like.
2.    You can add whatever dry fruits you want. Like cashew, currants, dried figs etc.
3.    I prefer non stick pan as it requires less ghee and it doesn’t get stuck to bottom easily.
4.   You can increase or decrease quantities of nuts as per your taste.

Enjoy winter .

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Childhood Memories

“Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us.”

        “Memories”, we have all kinds of memories… happy memories, sad, painful.

        But of all the memories we have, childhood memories are the ones we cherish more.

        Childhood memories and a smile comes across our face, school memories and a twinkle in our eyes.

        I had a very secure childhood. And its memories are also sweet. Be it doing mischief with my elder brother or fighting with him, about who is parent’s favorite or for share of dairy milk chocolate which our Papa bought when he got his salary.

        No matter how old we get, we carry our memories with us, even to our grave. No one can take away our memories from us.

        I remember the last day of our school. It was our farewell party. All girls decked up in their mom’s saris. We had many rose plants in our balcony, and I would always give one to my 10th standard class teacher, Usha teacher. She used to teach us English.

        On our farewell day as usual I had taken a rose for her. When I met her, she, as usual smiled and said “Thank you”. As I was about to leave, she called me and asked “Why are you not wearing any rose?” I just looked at her and told innocently “Ma’am, we had only one rose today and that I bought it for you”. She comes up to me and turns me around and told “it’s your day today, you should wear one. You have always got me one, today it’s for you”, while pining up the flower to my hair. I was touched and speechless. I never forgot that day or that incident.

In this snap I am standing behind my fav class teacher Usha teacher, (in green n red sari)

“Every man's memory is his private literature.”

        Some memories bring tears of joy and some tears of sorrow in our eyes. I distantly remember the day which changed our lives 20 years back.

        It was the year 1993-94, which was very important year for any child. I was in 10th standard. Also that year had been pretty bad on us as some or the other problem kept arising.  1st Papa was diagnosed with high thyroid and had to be admitted. On that day of his discharge, my Mom who was waiting for my arrival from tuition class, got dizzy and lost her consciousness and hit her head, me meeting with an accident while coming from computer class so on and so forth.

        But the worst hit was the day I lost my only elder brother. It brought my whole secure world crashing and crumbling to pieces.

        I remember the day, at noon I was lazing around the house after my board exams. We were supposed to leave for our cousins’ marriage in 5 days. My brother had applied for 15 days leave. But since few days he was not happy with his current job and was looking for new one. That day he left the house at noon for an interview. Never ever before that day, he had told me bye before leaving the house. He always told mom what time to expect him home and would leave. But that day, he came up to me and told “bye, see you in evening”.

        He never came back home. Next day some police came to inform us about his body being found on railway tracks… what followed next, was unimaginable.

        It changed our life.

    Some incidents just fade away from our mind, but some remain in us as a memory.

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