it’s my birthday

Hi all,

I have disappeared from the face of all social networking sites, watsapp and even my good old gmail account.. reason : I am writing my doctoral thesis like a crazy woman. I have to submit the first draft of my work for approval in july and the writing fever has set in.. So, that’s my excuse for not keeping in touch..

Today is a specil day, it’s my birthday.. So, what better day to catch a break.So I thought I’ll just drop in, say hi and solemnly promise that by july end you shall definitely see more posts from me.

 

lots of love..

RMW

Advertisements

Liebster Award

Liebster-Award-Large

Thank you“sadaptation” for the nomination, and readers, Please do check out her blog. She is one of the most sincere and sensitive blogger I have come across. Here are the rules, and I copy paste them, as, it has been done since it’s inception..

 1. Thank the blogger who nominated you

2. Display the award on your blog

3. Answer a set of 11 questions provided from the blogger that you were nominated by

4. Nominate 11 bloggers, each with under 200 followers

5. Create your own set of questions for your nominations to answer

Warning : my answers are a little boring, so, decide wisely if you want to scroll down the page

1. Which country are you from and what do you like best about it?

I am from India, but I feel a stronger connection to my home state than to the entire country, you see, there are major differences in language, culture, customs and practices among the various states in the country.

I love the cuisine, the language,  rich cultural heritage and most importantly    “some “of it’s philosophies and outlooks on life.

2. Favourite band/musician and favourite song by them?

No…This is not fair, I have way too many, my music is totally mood oriented. on the top of my head, A.R.Rahaman, Ilayaraja, Leonard cohen, Adele, Amy winehouse, Regina spektor, and the list goes on and on ..

3. Do you have any pets and if yes what are they called?

Used to have a mongrel named subbu , he passed away a few years ago.

4. What is the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?

Some facts you need to know before I tell you the dream

I love food, Sometimes I think I just live to eat and I think My mom’s cooking is unbeatable (it’s actually a tie between my mom and my husband) and my brother and I fight over food, I am 28 he is 32(and has a 2 yr old daughter) and still when we sit down to eat, we shamelessly steal food from each other’s plates. I jump up and down a little, kick my feet and roll on the floor when I am upset, ( I know, I am a grown adult, I am working on it guys,)

So,

My mother had made her mouthwatering fish curry (made with tamarind, the tamil style) and chappatis. For some ,She made only a limited number of chappatis ( indian bread) and so, my brother ate most of it, as usual and When I sit down to dinner, I do not have enough… I point accusing fingers at my mom, that she has always been partial to my brother, that she does not love me and I start to kick and stomp my feet in anger,

AND GUESS WHAT?  I woke up in my hostel bed, kicking the bed vigorously, the bed had begun to shake under my furious kicks and it is the shaking that woke me up ..

p.s. I think it I went to bed, hungry that night..

5. If you go back in time or forward in time, which would you pick and what time period would you visit?

Backwards in time, when I was seven or eight, when we lived in a smaller version of a small town and some of the best moments of my life are from that period. I was happy, innocent, care free, powerful and most importantly, my dad was with me. I would want to spend at least one more day with him or  relive those days. He passed away when I was fifteen and I think in those fifteen years, he showered with so much love, affection and good guidance, enough to last a life time. He was and still is, my best friend.

6. Who inspires you?

Politicians like kamaraj, Thinkers and reformists like periyar, Mother Teresa, Litereay figures like  Keats, Maya angelou, Dickens,  Toni Morrison, Doris lessing, J.K. Rowling. Charlie chaplin,  the mother of Scientist Mendel, who rode hundreds of miles on horseback to enroll him in the school at st.petersburg, so that, he could become a scholar and she died as a result of this strenuous journey. We owe the entire periodic table and the foundation of modern chemistry, to the courage of this one woman….

In everyday life, I take inspiration from my grandmothers and mother(some of the strongest women, I ‘ ve known till date), my husband, for being such a strong self made man,..

7. What would you grab first if your house was on fire (all people are safe, just objects are at risk)?

Photo albums, phone, laptop other memorabilia..

8. What is your favourite season and why?

Monsoon, the rain I love it, when it drizzles, when it pours, when it sudden and drenching, I love how everything looks green and clean after the rains…

9. Favourite sound?

the wind roaring in the sea, the sound of wind when you put a conch over the ear..

10. Favourite book or author?

Such an unbelievably long list, but some of them are mentioned in the inspiration section

11. How did your blog get its name?

It’s about my life,  captures all its moods, merry go rounds make me slightly dizzy and scared, but it is also fun, childhood innocence and curiosity, so many colours and craziness, it feels like you are going somewhere but you are just going in circles,…

I nominate the following bloggers

Trulyunplugged

Mabel Kwong

tearsofimaginationblog

raisingagalaxy

lornapegram

theworldisnotagainstme

fluffychinchilla

rachelsethDenero

aurawithwriting

fofofl’or

QuirkyVictorian

and everybody else, who, is interested in answering my questions, please do…

Here are my questions for you,

1.What would you do if you had ten million dollars/pounds/rupees etc?

2. Rate the following qualities/attributes , that you look for in a relationship or a partner(ascending order)

mental/intellectual stimulation and understanding

emotional understanding

physical compatibility or attractiveness

3. top 5 places to visit or vacation

4. What is religion(not god) according to you?

5. Would you call yourself  more analytical or creative, give reasons?

6. If you could change one aspect of your life overnight, but have to give up ten years of your life, would you do it and if, yes, then what would it be?

7. Do you believe in the supernatural, magic, or however, you want to call it?

8. Three random facts about you, that we don’t know already

9. How would you like to be perceived by others?

10. Tell us the funniest thing you ever heard or read about

11.Do you like, doing these award nomination Q/A, why?

So, have fun …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recycled Plastic Bottle Stand

 

It’s greatly distressing to think of the amount of plastic waste that we force upon this beautiful earth… I am a big fan of recycling anything and thought that I would share this idea with you guys.. All it requires is a used plastic bottle, knife and scissors for cutting, nail file or sand paper to buff the sharp edges of the bottle, fabric paint and brushes.

STEP 1

IMG_20160410_034221IMG_20160410_034923.jpg

Cut a plastic bottle, as shown above, so that it makes a cup / holder and then file the sharp edge of the plastic with sand paper or a nail file, so, that the edges become smooth. Now paint it with a background colour of your choice.

STEP 2

IMG_20160410_034923.jpgIMG_20160410_040816.jpgIMG_20160410_040856.jpg

you may insert your hand into the bottle and hold it in front of you, so that it is easier to paint the circular surface ..

IMG_20160410_042540.jpgIMG_20160410_043901.jpg

Once you have painted it, let it dry for a few minutes and hold it against the light.. if the plastic part of the bottle shows through, give another coating of paint.. Remember it has to be opaque..

STEP 3

IMG_20160410_045031.jpgIMG_20160410_045927.jpg

Now paint it with a pattern of your choice ,… let your imagination run wild, ( see, I am thinking of wild flowers and rushes growing in the  river /bank)

IT IS BETTER TO USE FABRIC COLOURS AS THEY DRY QUICKLY AND ARE WATER PROOF .

IMG_20160410_053927.jpg

So, your pen stand, hold- it – all or coin holder is ready, also, they make quick and easy craft projects or really great gifts, if you have friends like mine who appreciate thoughtful hand made gifts…

Ta da .. My new comb stand ..

IMG_20160410_065331.jpg

 

P.S. if you find the holder toppling over due to it’s light weight , do not worry.. just add some gravel, small stones or pebbles at the bottom and it will be rock steady.. let me know what you think …

You won’t believe the number of these holders I have made and gifted, if you want to check out more of my creations or if looking for more inspiration, then, do let me know and I will be happy to do a series of photos on my various multi – purpose cuppies.. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defiance

I painted this as a wedding gift to a couple, who eloped and got married.

Translation for my non – Indian readers: it is a great crime in the eyes of society, if you do not marry with in your caste( classification/(discrimination) of society based on birth). Society and family pressurises them to sacrifice their love and freedom in the name of family honour. So, couples are forced to elope and get married, in order to be together.

In this painting, I tried to capture the moment of creation, .. the moment of temptation, of defiance and of knowledge… every one of is a rule breaker in some way or the other, there is something primal and untamed in our souls seeking release…to taste the forbidden… to kiss the darkness..

 

IMG_20160408_153149

IMG_20160408_153202

IMG_20160408_153218

date 15.5.2013

Spicy Potato fry (Tamil style)

This is one of my favourite style of potatoes ever.. The best part about it is that, it is not deep fried like other potato fries but still as good and the recipe is extremely simple

So, if you are health conscious, this is just right for you or if like me, you just put anything that tastes good into your mouth, without worrying about calories, cholesterol or carbs, then the health perks are an added bonus. This is  a dry side dish or accompaniment to rice but you can also just eat it as a simple snack.

IMG-20160407-WA0020

 

Preparation time: 15 min  Cooking time: 30 min Serves: 2-3 members

Ingredients

Potatoes                       -6 large ones

chilli powder              – 1 or 2tsp( according to your spice tolerance)

coriander powder      – 3 tsp

turmeric powder       – 1/2 tsp

oil                                  – 1 tsp

mustard                        – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves                – optional

salt                                 – to taste

Cooking Instruction

1. wash the potatoes clean and chop them

( if you are preparing it as an accompaniment, then chop them into small cubes or slices but if you plan on having them just as munchies, then chop them into larger cubes or wedges,  also, I generally do not remove the peel, as it contains a lot of essential nutrients, but if you like yours peeled, then go for it.)

2.Keep a large shallow pan/kadhai (non stick)  on medium heat and add  one tsp of oil, and when the oil is sufficiently heated, add the mustard seeds and let it crackle

3.once the mustard seeds start crackling, turn down the heat a little bit(  high heat might burn the mustard seeds), and add the curry leaves

4. when the curry leaves get crispy, add the chopped potatoes followed by turmeric, chilli and coriander powder and don’t forget the salt

5.stir the potatoes till each and every cube or wedge is coated with the spices(it’s important to keep in mind that at this point the heat should be low or else you stand the risk of burning the masala)

6. now cover the pan and increase the heat to medium

IMG-20160407-WA0019.jpg

7.keep stirring the potatoes occasionally, so that they are evenly cooked

( if you need crunchy potatoes, then remove the lid once the potatoes are half cooked but stir more often and this version takes slightly more time than the soft version)

8.depending the size of your potato cubes/slices they should be done in about 20 – 25 minutes

or if you are like me and don’t set a great store by watching the clock, then take a bite now and then to see if they are done, know what I mean ;),at any point, if you feel that the masala is not evenly coated or that the potato is getting burned, keep adding a little bit of oil now and then..

9. this is the most important part , if you like your potatoes soft, then switch off the gas and enjoy, but if you like a little bit of crunch, then (remove the lid from the pan) increase the heat to high and keep on stirring the potatoes for about five minutes( or more, depending on how crunchy you want it)… what, happens is all the water content from the surface level evaporates leaving you with a slightly crunchy exterior and soft interior. The trick is to not burn them, so keep on stirring.. and if they start to burn in spite of stirring constantly , turn off the heat..
IMG-20160407-WA0018.jpg
This is a great side dish for any kind of meal and you can also enjoy it by itself, with a dip of your choice(optional), I prefer mayo or mint chutney..
You may also cook it in a regular heavy bottomed pan but you need to use more oil, say 3 – 4 tsp and also it does not turn out as crunchy as the non – stick ones.
If you are someone, who doesn’t like spicy food, then reduce the amount of chilli to half of what is mentioned above and you should be fine..
So, do try it and let me know, if I should be posting more recipes
or if I should be cooking at all … 🙂

 

 

Inertia(dedicated to sadaptation)

Isn’t it easy

to lie still ..

eyes half closed, mulling persecution

to float along

to just let things be

to drug the whirring brain

to gulp down the rising bile

to fashion a prison of memories and  time lost

a bitter fortress of failure and guilt

to look at the ticking clock but holding on to the mattress with clammy hands

No.. No .. it is not holding on to .. its rather

letting the body fall prey to gravity

to get lost in the maze of the social media circus

to numb emotion with fake friends’ and celebrity gossip

self doubt riding triumphant……. on the waves of anxiety

to contemplate death

to hold the very existence in the palm of a hand

watching time wreck its havoc

watching the void get bigger and bigger

a thick crusty tongue licking the last remnants of pride and esteem

to fade into and become

a part of the wall, the mattress or the TV

Isn’t it easy

to stumble along in the winding ‘What If’s

to blame and weep even though the tear ducts have long dried up

to forgo the rainshadow dreams

to muddy the canvas

to choose hatred and contempt

to just forget the pawned self

to die a thousand deaths than to feel alive for a single day..

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you fluffy chinchilla for nominating me and most importantly for the awesome posts you keep sharing with us..

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you in the blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions to answer.
p.s.( I copy pasted it too)
Here are the answers to your questions
  1. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Way too many memories actually but the most favorite would be this..
I got lost in a temple fair when I was around three and could not locate my parents, so, I went to the shrine prayed that they should safely find their way home and walked nearly 3 kms at dusk via the highway and local market and reached home by myself. The best part(s) was when I was walking on the highway I repeatedly looked at the moon and felt that it was guiding me, then I shoplifted a tiny clay lamp from a vendor’s cart( evil, right?) and when I finally reached home I told my shocked elder brother ” mom and dad got lost in the temple, let’s go the police station and file a complaint”(yes, actually said this)
Would you rather be able to speak all the languages in the world or play all the instruments in the world? Why?
can I please please please have both… I love both the music of words and the poetry of music
What is your most embarrassing moment?
Honestly speaking can’t remember.. Guess I am shameless and don’t get embarrassed easily
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
To read/control people’s minds ..
Its is the ultimate power.. you can simply control everybody and have your way in everything.. I obviously would only do the right thing, of course ( evil grin).
Favorite smell?
The fragrance of the earth after the rains
Morning person or night?
don’t you know that devils come out only during the night.. (hehehe)
Pinterest or Tumblr?
neither.. I stay as far away from social media as possible.. weird thing for a blogger to say .. rite..
Proudest moment?
yet to come I guess..
Any pet-peeves?
not really..
Current obsession?
Binge watching Orange is the New Black
What do you love the most about blogging?
That I can meet so many different people and share such wonderful ideas, also I can be myself behind the mask of anonymity and most importantly, it helps drive away depression and makes me feel like I am doing something ‘ PRODUCTIVE’
So, I in turn would like t nominate some wonderful bloggers for this award..
sadaptation
QuirkyVictorian
Glitter In The Ashes
nevertoocold
mahimasingh97
Basant She
thecleansedlife
ouridentityblog
lifeisamorgasbord
SonniQ
trulyunplugged
These are the questions for you
1. What is your favorite colour? and why?
2. Poetry or stories  ? why?
3. What do you feel about love ?
4. Describe your self with ten adjectives only ( five positives and five negatives)
5. absolute favorite food?
6. Why do you blog?
7. What would your dream world / utopia look like?
8. Do you believe in fate / destiny?
9. What would your dream job be ? ( go crazy its after all a ” dream” job)
10. In whose company are you more comfortable
people from the same sex/ gender or the opposing sex/ gender and pls give reasons..
11. a prank you would love to play , on whom and why?

Love .. As I see it

Who can define this one small word?

If only we delete this word/feeling/ emotion/ aspect from human relations, then most of art, literature, philosophy and most importantly the consumer industries that thrive on its existence would be not what it is today.

Most of our adult lives are spent in the search for love. Is it just what media and business houses make it to be, something that is everlasting but has to be constantly renewed, something that is selfless but, also something that ought to be expressed through gifts, merchandise and material things?

Is it being smitten at sight or something that is nurtured as a result of understanding and sharing ? As many theorists argue, is it just one way of ensuring monogamy for the continuation of the family institution, for the subjugation of women, for the perpetuation of the dominant ideology?

Is it acceptable only between a man and a woman. Is it beautiful only among the young and the good looking? Is it desirable only between two members? Is it desirable only between those with similar social standing? Do only opposites attract or is it the search for a mirror image?Does it take note of class, caste, colour and gender? or is it something that breaks down the barriers, like a wild fire or a tropical thunderstorm?

Does it consume the soul like a cobra’s stare? Is it a blissful agony? Does it help retain sanity or leads to the loss of rationality? Is it  salvation or  damnation? It does not need to be always expressed?  or does it, like water, find crevices and crannies, to swell and overflow….or.. Is it made up only of oxymorons?

As many intellectuals argue,  does it have a material basis, to serve the needs of the self and nothing is ever lasting, emotional and most importantly it is not abstract as people claim…Is it the path to marriage, to find an eligible mate?

Is it just  between individuals or is it subject to the hierarchies and power structures of society? Does it seek validation or is it’s flavor that of a forbidden fruit? Does it always have to be uplifting? Does it always seek the happiness of the beloved? Is it not love, if it corrupts? if it inflicts pain, if it breaks, if it pries the soul open with a pair of red hot tongs and crushes the last shard of hope or goodness with in ? Is it a cut throat who watches calmly as  blood drips slowly on to the carpet of memories, clouding the eyes?

Does it always have to be romanticized?

Is it jealous, possessive, vindictive, is it the hawker who whistles for the soul after the hunt is over? Is it sharing and forgiving, is it the blue skies that caress the outstretched wings with sunshine and soft winds? Is it all consuming or is it true only if it respects personal space and liberty?

Is it just a garb of civilization to sanction lust and reproductive instinct? Is it just the frenzy of hormones and bodily chemicals? or is it something divine and liberating?

 

 

Being ‘A Respectable Married Woman’ contd…

I have tried to live my life on my terms, with whatever limited agency we all have. I have always told people off, when they were moronish enough to comment on what I consider ‘none of your business’.Why am I starting this blog so soon after marriage… it’s because I am seeing the scary side of how society can dictate the terms of my life and how it is slowly encroaching upon my space and sanity, in a never before seen manner.

Because somehow people associate marriage with respectability and married love/lust has always been paraded and lauded over other forms of love/lust. [An aside : In a place like India, we are truly the first generation when live – in – relationships and pre – marital sex have become a not so common but  accepted aspect of society, even if not seen as the norm( at least among the youth in metro cities).]

So, the moment you are married your status and responsibilities dramatically changes in the eyes of society. Your love and commitment towards your spouse becomes secondary and your roles as a wife and eventually mother becomes more important.Because with respectability also comes responsibilities and duties, not what you feel as duty but rather what is acceptable as duty in the eyes of society. It tells you that as a respectable married woman, only some ways of loving and living are acceptable, only a few ways in which a respectable married woman can express herself, only a limited number of paths along which she can channel her desires and ambitions, only some emotions that  she is allowed to feel and to always always put  her family  duties before her own self.

Even Strangers now take the liberty to comment, crticize, evaluate and pass judgments on me as a person based on how well I fit the ‘Dutiful Wife’ mode.People always start their stupid conversations with “now that you are married…”, ‘How you lived earlier does not matter but now you should…’, What did you cook today…, and give me utterly random advice on house keeping, parenting ( seriously?) , cooking, family duties… things that I consider boring, irrelevant or what I consider ‘ completely my own business’.

In reward for putting up with and perpetuating these insufferable ways of thinking, it shall glorify motherhood and woman hood, celebrate women’s day and all other related days with all the trappings of consumerist craze(including  special dinner coupons, all shades of pink merchandise and discounts on anything from nail art to auto mobile spare parts)You may think that I am over  exaggerating but this brings me to the very core of the problem. These aspects of ‘marital bliss’ and social conventions are so naturalised that even talking about them seems like ‘making a mountain out of mole hill’. We are conditioned to accept, follow and glorify what restrains and reduces us. Our suffocating corsets have become second skins to us. Most often the tyranny of marriage as an institution, is lost in it’s self – aggrandising projects of love, romance, duty and riding into sunsets. Who doesn’t want a ‘and they lived happily forever.’

This desire for institutionalized relationship is inculcated in us from a very early age and this inculcation goes hand in hand with the cultivation of acceptable gender norms and behavior.

Women have always been censored about what they wear, how they conduct themselves, what they think and how they express those thoughts. I have always felt rebellious and fought bitter fights even with my very liberal and understanding family members. They learned very soon that, on some things, I cannot be bent or broken but only be loved as I am. They sometimes choose to call me the tyrant, don’t completely agree with my logic or arguments, but credit to them, they have not alienated me.We fight, we scream, we argue and then we laugh, we hug and we love.

I don’t feel the need to justify my actions to anyone but I also don’t mince words when they invade what I hold sacred. Ever since, I announced my engagement, I have been making my standards on love and life very clear . But now I want to go one step further.. I want to share my experiences with other people and through it engage in the largerquestions that matter to me.. after all.. the personal is political..

My blog will also include other interests like literature, food and art. I am majorly into crafting and a self taught amateur painter..love to travel.. enjoy nature, watch people and animals.. love meeting new people… a bookworm.. an occassional poet and story teller….enjoy cooking (occasionally)…and also hope to share all of these with you lovely people out there..

P.S. If not for my wonderfully understanding husband who doesn’t give shit about my wifely duties/ responsibilities or my ‘feminine’ qualities…. and makes me laugh and makes me go mad..I would seriously be on my way to a lawyer for a divorce..

yours truly