299 | Bring on the lights

HAPPY CHOTI DIWALI PEEPS πŸ™‚

The festival of lights is something you cannot miss in India, irrespective of your intentions.

I for one get all giddy and happy seeing the colorful lights all around. I am not one who waits for this time of the year consciously (used to as a kid due to family gathering and celebrating together), but when this time comes, it all feels me with happiness. Even the commercial bits of big cities some times, I just try that I generate as less waste as possible, e.g. not fill my home with tons of plastic crap :P.

It is also my first Diwali post marriage, something considered quite a huge deal at least in North India. We are not traveling to my in-laws place this time around due to some constraints, but hoping to see them soon. Rahul and I spent a fair deal tomorrow in decorating our Gurgaon place and the end result was not quite sophisticated (which is what I was going for :P). However, its beautiful nonetheless. Sharing a few snippets below.

Going to my parents place tomorrow and it will be a happy time, this time Rahul included πŸ™‚

Little things about our Diwali decor:

  1. We didn’t buy any new plastic or even metal stuff, except fairy lights and the Bandanwar included some plastic beads.
  2. Since I love putting candles, I rummaged through existing gifts here and at parents place to find super pretty candle holders waiting to be used. Not to mention the joy on remembering who gifted me a candle holder when I was in Dubai. πŸ™‚
  3. So, what did we buy? Few candles, fresh flowers and clay lamps. πŸ™‚
  4. I do think I should have bought some sweets to gift to house helps, I gave them sweets that we already had at home gifted by an uncle.

Might have a small card party at home with friends today. I went to a Diwali card party for the first time at a colleague’s place few days ago & could see how it can get addicting πŸ˜›

Do share what you are doing for Diwali. Chilling in bed counts too. πŸ™‚ But would especially love to know what you are doing for decorating or spreading joy! πŸ™‚

15 | Holiday

Happy Makar Sankranti or Happy Pongal or Uttarayan or whatever the harvest festival is called in your part of the world.

This also means the sale season is quickly going to be over and spring summer collections will be in soon, in case you care. πŸ˜„

Also, I spent most of my time sleeping in today. πŸ˜›

Happy Republic Day! | Monday Mumbles 8

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Hello World and special hello fellow Indians! πŸ™‚ Happy Republic Day to all of us. I had a different post planned for today’s Monday Mumbles and I had drafted some of it sometime back, but let’s do this today. πŸ™‚

I didn’t watch the entire parade today (and I don’t think I have ever done it), but when I was watching my favorite part, the state displays (Jhanki), I literally had tears in my eyes because of the cultural richness that our country boasts of and this, my friends, was only for representational purposes. Last night, I read this post by Verseherder and I realized that even though he couldn’t relate to the Madras things that the another blog mentioned (you need to read the post for the context), I am sure both of the Madras versions exist. We have so much cultural and religious diversity, let’s not even go to the geographical diversities, that everyone has their own version of a place, sometimes overlapping with each other’s version and sometimes not, and it is something to be really, really proud of. So much of art, so much of handicraft, so much of culture is lying everywhere you go in India, its marvelous! I hope I am able to contribute towards conserving the arts and cultures of our country in some way because let’s face it, slowly, little by little, we are losing it. I do have things in my mind but I don’t know whether I’ll be able to materialize them.

Anyway, tell me, do you have any memories about watching the Republic Day Parade, LIVE or on TV? By the way, once we went for watching it LIVE and it was one hell of an experience!

If you want to ask or share anything with the readers, we can do that in next Monday Mumbles. Drop me an email at srish.myblog@gmail.com.

PS: Look at today’s Google doodle, the best part is it highlights my favorite thing from the parade, the state and other things moving displays.

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Life Instagram-ed #13

First things first, I got honored with the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’ by Jen @ The Haute Mommy Handbook. So very happy that she thought of me for awarding this. πŸ™‚

Now I don’t think anyone missed having Life Instagram-ed posts around, but I missed writing these. πŸ˜€ The reason you are seeing less of these and Street Style posts is that my phone has broken down and I used to use my phone camera. Today, I really wanted to do this, so I used my mom’s phone, used Insta through laptop, basically went at great lengths to get my Instagram feed here. Finally, here you go from what you last saw in Life Instagram-ed #12:

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1. What do you think this is? No guessing game, I can’t wait to tell you. It’s a fabric piece from Shanker Market, Connaught Place when I was roaming there with one of my best friends while she selected some fabricΒ for her sister’s marriage and I drowned in the gorgeousness. If you are even a tiny bit into getting your clothes stitched, this market is a must visit place. Though let me warn you it’s not exactly cheap. Still, must visit!

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2. This is from the Gurpurab celebrations in the area where I live. It’s a Sikh festival for the birth of the first Guru. Notice how coordinated everyone looks cleaning the road ahead for their Holy Book to arrive. It’s funny how faith can bind or break us. πŸ™‚

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3. From the same procession, you see the ‘Panj Pyare’. Honestly, I never knew about what they signify even though I have seen them/heard about them since childhood. Having used Google, here’s what they are: While I did know the literal translation ‘The 5 beloved ones’ (I know this much Punjabi), they represent the first five men who were initiated into the Khalsa (the emodiment of the Guru) in the Sikh ceremony of initiation by their 10th Guru.

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3. The Holy Book of the Sikhs – Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

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4. Aah, this. :’) This is that side head-gear that you usually see Muslim women wearing commonly known as ‘Passa’ or ‘Jhoomar’. I really wanted to have own since a long time. I think this one is so very pretty and is as not pricey either. I got this for INR 800. The only problem is that it is very heavy, so doesn’t stay put in my thin hair. I imagined myself looking beautiful when I wore this to a friend’s wedding recently, but it was coming off every 5 seconds due to my thin hair!!

If you live in Delhi and want to buy this, let me know and I’ll be happy to share the shop details.

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5. When you have Nachos but no dip and no inclination to make any, you gather whichever vegetables are there in the kitchen and preferably chopped already. πŸ™‚

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6. This one is special. One of my good friends from the blogging world, Krupa from Ishtyle Awhile, sent these earrings as a gift when I won a fun quiz on her blog. This is the first time I have ever won in a contest like this, you know, and the personal note was a cherry on the cake!

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7. This one is really, really important. If you are into baking at all, you should definitely try this recipe of Garlic Pull-Apart Rolls. Trust me, if I can do this, anyone can because I always face issues while baking in our microwave. I cannot stress on how badly I want you to try this recipe for it’s easy, tasty and satiates the craving for baking breads to some extent. Please do make this! I have made this thrice, the first time following the exact recipe, the second time replacing all-purpose flour (maida) with wheat flour and the third time adding paneer bhurji (cottage cheese dish) as a filling. So if you have anything to ask when you try the original recipe, feel free to ask. πŸ™‚ Only thing to keep in mind is that you must have a convection mode in your microwave for any baking and if you use gas cook-top for baking, then I won’t be able to suggest the tweaks for this recipe as I don’t know about that. [Bhakti, this is the recipe we talked about].

Pheww! I typed this post twice as I lost the draft. πŸ˜€ That’s pretty much it. πŸ™‚

Take care & keep smiling πŸ™‚

A happy new Year!

A very happy new Year to all of us πŸ™‚ I hope the year 2015 brings lots of happiness for all of us. Here’s to bigger dreams, stronger will powers, happier times and living life to the fullest no matter what the challenge is. πŸ™‚

My Facebook status currently reads ‘Ringing in the new year with a humble visit to Shahjahan’s Delhi when the world parties it all out in Lutyens’ Delhi (in the end, we did visit Shri Bangla Sahib in Lutyens’)’. For those who have no idea about what I am saying, basically I and my brother visited the Sam’s Cafe in Paharganj today evening which is in Old Delhi. Old Delhi was built during the Mughal era, so that’s why Shahjahan’s Delhi. Quite a choice for visiting on New Year but, oh well. Then we also visited Shri Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in Connaught Place. CP was designed by British architect Edwin Lutyens’ (just Google-d the full name) during the British rule, so areas designed by him are popularly known as Lutyens’ Delhi. The idea of this post came through a comment by TatsatΒ where he asked to talk about things we did on New Year. It’s good that he expected that I’ll be doing something happening. πŸ˜›

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Sam’s Cafe, Paharganj

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Shri Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, Connaught Place. So beautiful, I know!

PS: I just checked my annual report card at WordPress and it is a really, really fun thing to do. Check mine here and definitely check your too, you must have got an email notification about the same on your registered email by WordPress.

Have a very happy new Year everyone! πŸ™‚

Life Instagram-ed #12

Hi everyone πŸ™‚

I have nothingΒ to say right now, so I’ll just directly move to life snippets that I managed to capture since the past two months:

1. I tried this recipe from The PinkTrends here and I have one thing to say to you all: try it. πŸ™‚

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2. This is from a restaurant, Abbey Road in Cyber Hub, Gurgaon. I liked the fun vibe at this place, extremely good ambiance. However, I reached late here for someone’s farewell so I did not eat anything. Oh, by the way, they give you cupcakes when you leave. πŸ™‚

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3. Eating maggi with a sprinkling of Amul Mozarella cheese and Ching’s Secret Schezwan chutney. My dreamy and unhealthy life. :’) Just kidding, you should totally avoid maggi! I am trying too.

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4. The Navratri festivities in our society. This is the ‘prasad’ after the kirtan. For non-Indians, Navratri is a Hindu festival of nine days where we worship Goddesses. Some people hold events in which they sing hymns called Kirtan and prasad is like sweet little things given as gifts/favours after the event. Like, candies on Halloween? (Oh my God! this was difficult πŸ˜› )

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5. The Goddess idol from the same Kirtan in my society.

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6. I spotted these beautiful earthen wares at a roadside seller’s stall.

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7. Β Then, I tried this recipeΒ from Suraksha di’s blog.

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8. I went to Monkey Bar in Vasant Kunj, Delhi. Frankly, from the newspaper coverage when it inaugrated, I expected it to be a huge place. I was a little disappointed. I liked the food and I’ll definitely go again because there are many things on the menu that I want to try. It’s not exactly a value for money place but let’s just say it is not as pricey either as Delhi’s food scene overall is. :/ Overall, I had a great time (because I got to play foosball for the first time).

I don’t know if I have mentioned, but I am not good at any sports (except running?) so I am embarrassed to try games anywhere because I feel like a loser. As I was with people in front of whom I am never embarrassed, I finally went ahead. πŸ˜€ Now I’ll probably start using the foosball table in my office finally. By the way, this not being good at sports is one of the very few things that make me different from Monica of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. πŸ˜› Why I am writing so much random stuff is beyond me as well. πŸ˜›

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9. The book that I was reading. I know that you know which one it is. πŸ™‚ (If you don’t and are curious, feel free to ask in comments).

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10. Sam’ cafe in Paharganj.

Now, most people find this place overrated. I quite enjoyed my meal. I am definitely going here again. I tried the Lasagna (not in picture) which was very good, these fries and chocolate milkshake. These fries were a little bland for my taste but nothing a little salt on top can’t fix. The milkshake was super yummy. Plus, they have a rooftop seating as well. Paharganj is anyway one of the places I love going to, I am definitely heading here again. Did I mention this place is quite easy on the pocket? MUST TRY.

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11. Rangoli colors on Diwali.

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12. Rangoli part-1

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13. Rangoli part-2

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14. Ching’s Secret new soups that we tried. I liked it but maybe most people won’t. There was nothing exceptional to it but I enjoy all kinds of soups. I try to consume less of these instant ones though. However, they are easy to have and tasty too.

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That’s all! Tell me what all you liked or hated. πŸ™‚