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Man in the Mirror

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 53 Comments


Outside my window, I see
Life is not what it used to be
darkness there and nothing more
darkness on prow, darkness on roll
Darkness is real, darkness surreal
darkness in every single moment, I know
Moments are ambiguous, moments are sane
moments makes our lives
Stable, Scurry and lame
Moments are darkly blissful
even sometime when they do not tame
and there are some moments, ladden
in white terse darkness.
You live through them- soaking the misery
moments infuse life even in darkest flurry.
Moments make you introspect
when looking outside is scary.
So when I looked inside
I couldn't find any
I closed my windows and turned to see
A look at my mirror
and it fail to cooperate
I couldn't find me, my mirror too turned its back!
_______________
This post is written for-
The MAG 161Picture prompt (not to be reproduced by Rene M)
Three Words Wednesday- Prompt words- Cooperate, terse & Lame
Imaginary Garden with real toads- Words count with Mama Zen (prompt here)

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Inclusive Society for- The Differently Abled

Monday, March 25, 2013 , 25 Comments


India has around 40 to 80 mn people with some form of disability.
At least one in 12 households has a member with disability
Illiteracy, unemployment and poverty among the disabled is high
Children with disabilities are 5 times more likely to be out of school than average.
Source: Worldbank

 Disability is not limited to any age group, religion, gender and even social status. It can happen to anyone, anytime and at any place. The nos are only expected to grow given our poor education system, higher rates of accidents amongst others.

Disability & Social Stigma
Being handicapped is the biggest handicap especially in a country like India where the people with disabilities are treated with great ostracism; lower self esteem and poorer infrastructure and living conditions. Irrespective of the fact whether one is born with disability or suffered in due course of life, they are treated with utmost pity and pseudo sympathies. People’ whole persona is challenged and their identity is reduced to the disability they are cursed with. Stigma spreads fast like cancerous disease and sometime becomes impossible to cure.

A lot of such people, kill themselves in fear of implacable atrocities, continued ostracism or live a life of extreme suppression under extreme conditions.

Disability could be in any form, starting from locomotion or orthopedic to visual/hearing impaired and much more. It is very debilitating to a person’s body, mind and soul too (I cried when I heard stories of many poor, handicapped women at Orissa & WB, who were illegally confined in houses tied with a chain, subjected to cruel rapes by multiple people).

The person is often seen as disgrace, a dirty patch to glamorous society and a burden to people around (God forbid, if you are women.). Families starts disassociating with them, or they become taboo in their social groups, siblings sometimes sneers at them, friends move away and employers shy away even if they write- we are equal opportunity providers in big bold letters in their glamorous corporate brochures.

I have often seen disabled people hanging low on confidence just because we as a society fail to associate with them. We do not want to marry our sons/daughters with them, we do not want to call them in our social functions, we treat them with extreme low level behavior as if they are some kind of an ugly disease, treating them way inferior and considering not worthy to live in this world. Why? May I ask? Just cause as perpetrators we fear how the society treat them or just cause we are blessed with good conditions that we do not realize the pain they suffer or is it that we do not understand cause we haven’t undergone the same? There’s a saying in Hindi that says- “ जाके पैर  ना  पड़ी बिवाई , वह क्या जाने पीर पराई". which roughly translates to- person who had not suffered the pain themselves would not know the other person’s suffering. But do we really need to turn the world blind to feel darkness?



I am sorry if I am sounding harsh in my writings but trust me, people with disabilities did not chose the disabilities they suffer. It occurs to them either by birth or accidents (often someone else’ irresponsible behavior than one’ own). However, disabilities affect the body but not the soul, not heart, not the person’ zeal for life. People with disabilities have the same expectation and appreciation of life like the rest of us. Instead of shunning, mocking, ostracizing them, we must be more inclusive and support them in all endeavors. By support, I did never mean “pity” but “empathy”, an equal and more sensitive behavior.

People with disabilities in India are more subjected to multiple deprivations
We must be sensitive to their needs, their special needs. Alas, in India we do not have infrastructures that may support them. Our roads, public utilities, public infrastructures like schools, railways, buses, stations etc are not very disable friendly, so does our policies of employment and development. There are quite some grants listed in govt sites but awareness for the same or availing the same is not as sufficient as it should be. Our educational institutes do not accept them heartily, our temples make God inaccessible for them (if they cannot remove shoes, junta doesn't allow them to enter temple premises. I have been through this). The institution of marriage boycotts them and parents think it’s best to pair a disable with another disable only. Above all, the treatment or the life support aids like good prosthesis etc is another distant dreams for them. In net, we are not an inclusive society, neither alive to their needs, nor respectful to their existence.

My 5 points charter as a possible solution to this problem
In my humble opinion, I suggest the following-
  1. Preventive care & Major improvement via early intervention- Like Nutritional interventions for mother & child, better road & workplace safety.  
  2. Education for all- High end coordination with ministries of HRD, Social justice and empowerment, the general teacher traioning and rehabilitation needs to be improved and further more customized. Disabled kids and scholars should be encouraged to get educated. This also includes creating awareness about the aids available to disabled people and ensuring “what’s been created” should be “made available” too. 
  3. Creating job opportunities. 
  4. Better Infrastructure to enable & improve access (highly doable)- Designing & building ergonomically inclusive building, roads, footpaths etc.
  5. Research and Rehabilitation- Arming disabled with better equipments, right medication to lead an almost normal life without much difficulties. This can be further improved by lowering the import duties on artificial prosthesis and providing high end prosthesis at lower cost like USA

Image by: www.numerounity.com

And above all lots of sensitivity, care and empathy which cannot be forced but embedded early in our value system. I hope that this a fair ask. It is less of “ask” but more of a request towards building a better and healthier society. After all, our kid follows what we teach them, they learn from us, directly and indirectly.


Handicapped in body, but not in spirit

The sole purpose of writing this post is to use the I Diya’s, ISB and Indiblogger platform to share the voice and spread it across, so even if a little sense could be sowed in public minds, it’s worth the effort.


While a lot of disabled people live in pathetic conditions, some commits suicide, there are few of them who wants to fight back and sweat out demanding for an equal existence, bringing the best of their talents to create meaning for their lives but not without being scathed. These people become living embodiment of- Handicapped in body but not in spirit.

I salute the spirit of such people and same time salute the spirits of organizations that work towards such cause to abolish the abhorred word “charity” or “pity” from such peoples’ life, bringing them up in life, enabling them to earn livelihood, gain confidence in due process and live a decent & respectful life.
  1. Bhagwan Mahavir Viklang Samiti- Widely known for its cost free Jaipur Foot. It provides low cost (almost free) artificial limbs, calipers, mobility aids, physiotherapy and others. Pioneered by Dr. Sethi and Dr. Mehta in 1975. This was also mentioned by CK Prahald in his book- The fortune at the bottom of the Pyramid”. Website 
  2. Mouth & Foot painting Artist- A brilliant support organization which contact and work with people who are artiste and lost their hands or legs through accident and who can paint with the brish held in their mouth or between the toes. They also train disable people who wish to learn to paint and support themselves through the sale of their work. The art work includes- Art collections, T shirt, Bags, Calenders, greeting cards, gift tags, book marks, diary, coffee mug etc. If you think what the painting would be like? I have one word- Incredible and if I can use other- beautiful. I have personally taken their cards and book marks and they are lovely. If you have doubt check here- http://www.imfpa.co.in/products.htm. Website
  3. Mitra Jyothi- One of the biggest gift of the nature is to see. If we can see things, we can improvise a lot on our other disabilities. A visually impaired person loses the ability to see and trust me its very difficult to walk or even sit in dark. Mitra Jyothi is a Bangalore based registered charitable organization working towards the empowerment of people with blindness. They have a variety of training & support programs designed to assist people with visual disabilities. They support their educational needs, helps in finding suitable jobs and making them independent enough to take charge of their lives. Website
 In the end, I would like to reiterate again that a person do not chose the disability by them. Disability is as dynamic as anything in life. It just happens and it can happen to anybody, anytime. Life is vulnerable and meant to be lived in high spirit. Handicap people should also be given equal importance in society and off course a special care attending their special needs. Idea is not to feed but teach a man how to fish. A little sensitivity, care and creation of opportunities are call of the times to nurture our society with more love, compassion for others, empowerment and inclusion



“When you focus on someone's disability you'll overlook their abilities, beauty and uniqueness. Once you learn to accept and love them for who they are, you subconsciously learn to love yourself unconditionally.” 












***
This post is written for Indichange (an initiative by Indiblogger) & I-Diya (ISB’s National Social Venture Competition). For more details visit- http://www.isb.edu/idiya/

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Wine Tourism: Visit to Four Season's Vineyard at Rotti, Pune

Thursday, March 21, 2013 , , 55 Comments

Wine to me is passion. It is family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living. -Robert Mondavi
Four Seasons Winery, Baramati, Pune
India is slowly awakening to wine culture and we are still a giant step away from ordering a little wine along with our dinner/ main course or sipping over an evening soiree. The scenario is fast changing however and to harness more and more public demand towards this sector, breweries in India are going out of their usual way to promote it.

I am a wine enthusiast. My parents promoted wine taste buds from an early teenage. It was then known to be more therauptic than just a lifestyle drink. Guess what I didn't like it much and sipped only during the dinners. Times have changed and so did my preferences. I started enjoying my wines more than anything else and they have become a great companion of my platter and my palate.

I was joyous when I received an invitation from Four Season Wines, a part of UB, to visit their Baramati vineyard and spend a day there. Located at Rotti, Baramati about 2 hours away from Pune, Four season's vineyard was a pleasure to visit. It was an endearing experience to visit a winery, see the wine making process that aim to develop good quality Indian wines at affordable rates. 

I was joined with four other amazing bloggers- Deeba Rajpal, Sangeeta Khanna, Rekha Kakkar & Pawan Soni (Indian Food freak)

"Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures."  -Michael Broadbent

We were well received by bright noon, a beautiful Chateau and a warm welcome with a crisp bubbly- bouvet-ladubay as a welcome drink. The bubbly just rolled up in my tongue, smoldering me enough to add it in my list of preferred wines. The timing was just apt as the grapes were ripened and harvested, crushing & fermentation was in progress. That also meant that we couldn't see the cluster of grapes clinging to vines. The arrangement was superb and after a little bit of freshening up, we were taken to the dining room where we met some very interesting people like Abhay Kewadkar (Chief Wine Maker at UB group) , Celebrity Chef- Niilesh Limaye, Rewa Singh & Bunty Singh from Sommelier India and food connoisseur Sourish Bhattacharya from Mail Today.


The menu & food pairing -


We were served the brand new wine range from the soon to be launch- Ritu collection, which were unusually & quite brilliantly paired with authentic Maharastrian cuisine. First in delight brigade was refreshing Konkani Sol Kadhi (traditional drink made from kokum & coconut milk), followed by starters comprising of Bombil Rawa Fry and Suranchi Kaap Paired with Ritu Sauvignon Blanc.

Main course was –Tilatli Kolambi & Batata phulawar cha Rassa paired with Ritu Viognier and stuffed eggplant and Mutton Saoji paired with Ritu Shiraz Barrique Reserve. 

Dessert stole the show with Tandalchchi kheer & Beet Lapsicha halwa with Gulkand Rabdi.

I have always freaked my dining quotient over red wines but thanks to Four Seasons, I started loving white wine more and post this visit- the bubbly one. My overall verdict-While non veggies looked good, a little more care could be given to vegetarian cuisine as well. The food at times makes or breaks the pairing. However, if I have to think of inculcating wine culture with daily meals, the idea stood well.

Vintner is making
Post lunch, we were taken for a tour of the winery to see what goes behind making the little joys of bubble in our wine glasses. The facility was very clean & organized and looked hygienic. It all starts with sorting the berries (grapes), de-steaming, crushing them with ice (all ensuring right amount of acidity, aeration to bring more depth, better after taste), all with utmost care and under highly temperature controlled process. We then moved to storage cellar, besotting ourselves with an opportunity to taste the semi fermented and semi matured wines right from the huge steel fermentation silos. Next move was barrel fermentation, showcasing a variety of French oak wine cask and tasting wines straight from the classic barrels from different levels of firmness. The cellar was bright, clean and well lit with non greasy flooring  It was like we just stepped into a whole together different world with barrels reminiscing old oak trees and leading us to land & era bygone. 

The wine tasting sojourn didn't end there and we were taken to their lab for a detailed tasting and discussion on some of the yet to released wines from their soon to be flagship brand- Ritu. Ritu, is the Hindi Sanskrit version of seasons. Now if you wonder if "four seasons" is the brand, why not "char ritu" or "chouritu"? Well you answered yourself and let's move on to the beautiful sunset that we get to see from the eloquent hills of the vineyard. It's a must see when you visit there. (pics).

Post the sunset view, the GM graciously took us to a ride midst the hill to showcase the place and throw more insights on the overall vineyard culture around. 

About the Facility
During the course of the day, Abhay with his team took us around the facility showcasing the floors and discussing their plans to further develop and inculcate the wine tourism. They plan to create a lounge with facility for gaming etc. I suggested them to incorporate a glass ceiling (if possible) so that people can sit on lounge, sip their wines, all under the starlit sky.

The vineyard has 10+10 rooms, a large dining hall and beautiful pool side open first floor terrace. The team was very hospitable and helpful.

A starlit pool side dinner
Post our return from the hills, we rushed into our respective rooms (done in an eloquent taste) to refresh and get ready for a promising dinner nearby the pool with live cooking counters, barbecue and off course star of the show- wines. 

The ambiance was great. We started with an elaborate platter of antipasti and wines. The food could be better. Never mind, The Company kept us alive and wines esp the blush was the best bet of the evening. 

We soon retired to our rooms and woke up to a lovely Baramati morning. If you are an early riser, nothing beats watching the sun rise from wide open mountains, a little luxury from the cluttered concrete jungle lifestyle of urban India. The breakfast as per public demand was again typical to Maharastrian cuisine (with little continental relief) and Chef Limaye played a good host. Some of us even tried a bubbly breakfast and I was happy to see Sabudana khichdi on my plate.

We soon left for a quick touring of packaging process which was a delight to watch with level of precision at each stage (the line assembly esp) and confirmed our beliefs that the wine that we drinking is taken so much care of. It also wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that sooner Indian wines will rub shoulders to their counterparts across the globe. Who knows if Four seasons would become a forerunner to such an evolution. Cheers to the spirit of wines, spirit of grapes, the farmers who work sweat raising such bountiful products and the wonderful hospitality of each & everybody at vineyard. We soon embarked back to Pune, taking with us fond memories of the place, the nectar of grapes and great hospitality. 

One regret is that I missed seeing the vines laden with grapes and an opportunity to hand pluck them. I hope the vineyard go live soon for travelers so that I can return and spend more time there. One day was not sufficient esp when we talk about wines which are best to sip slowly on and on. Once opened, it would serve as a perfect weekend gateway for people looking for solitary space, people looking for select socialized gatherings and people looking for hosting exclusive gatherings. 
Thank You Four Seasons, for having us on board. Look forward to more delectable wines from your stable.

My verdict: Highly recommended, Highly cherished!!

Go visit soon and yeah, don't forget to try a little wine when you try to fine dine or even pair with your traditional khar ka khana!(Home made food) 

A bottle of good wine, like a good act, shines ever in the retrospect. -Robert Louis Stevenson
_____________________________________________________
More about Four Seasons- Website & Facebook Page

Pictures: Self, Internet and Via co bloggers travelling along (mentioned above)

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A nail biting story...

Sunday, March 17, 2013 31 Comments


A young executive was nervously biting her nails....

a. She was late for the business presentation. Damn Traffic
b. She was waiting to get the annual appraisals letter today
c. Her boss wanted to her to do overtime wherein in-laws wanted her to be home by 6.
d. She was hungry and her nails were real chew worthy
e. She was suspecting a pregnancy & she & her husband were not prepared to bring up a child now
f. Any other....(pl specify)

Seema pondered over a while, going through each option and weighing them carefully. It was the last question of her computer administrative test and she could do anything but risk it. This question meant a lot for her as it was her last chance to secure additional ten marks in this exam.

She took a deep breath and finally ticked the last option "f- Any other". She has to specify as well. Seema wrote- Low bone calcium, making her nails brittle and causing her to bite nails.

“What are you crazy? How did you know it would be that? It could be any of these options”. Asked her friend Trishala who was a law student.

“Tri, I am a medical student and such questions are very hypothetical in nature. I wrote what I deem right” quipped Seema.

“That’s your assumption Seema. How do you know it’s true? You could have lost ten marks for it, for all you know” said Trishala who was still not convinced with Seema’s logics.

“I know it Tri. After all, computer too confirmed my answer by adding that additional ten marks in my score” said, a triumphed Seema. “Now, please no more discussions on this. Exam is finally over; let’s go to law college square tapri (tea stall) to have a fresh ginger cardamom tea. My in laws would be waiting and I need to get home by 6:00pm”.
__________________________________

As the teacher read the above excerpt in the class for logical deduction. Mia, sitting in the far end corner of the class smirked and looked befuddled. She made furtive notes on her note book and thrown a glance over her half chewed nails. She was hungry and waiting desperately for class to get over. Much to her dismay, the lecturer, post reading the excerpt, challenged a question in front of the class to justify the reason behind Seema’ choice and also to bring new dimensions to the questions by adding new alternatives.

Each one came with a different reasoning. While a certain sect of students agreed with Seema’s deduction whereas to promote new thinking and generate a healthy debate many came up with other alternatives. The lecturer just then noticed the restlessness in Mia’s eyes and asked her take on this, suddenly the bell rang and class had to disperse for the day. It was great relief for Mia, the final year MBA student.

It was 6:00 pm when Mia reached her home. Her mother was sitting in the porch, making tea for her guest and friend Shalu. “Oh there comes Mia. OMG she has grown in to a fine looking young lady” remarked aunt Shalu who was seeing Mia almost fter six months.. “Come join us for tea. Shalu aunty got us some fine earl Grey from Darjeeling. She brought your favorite lavender flavor too” asked her mother, slipping a hot cuppa in Mia’s hands. She couldn’t help notice her half chewed nails but before she could ask, Mia started the talk. “Ummm the aroma is just superb, out of world. Thank you Shalu aunty” she said with her eyes closed indulging in fine aromatic experience of her tea before sipping it away to glory. “It’s too soothing, esp after the heavy duty nail biting logical deduction theory discussion today. Oh my God, I am still confused how did protagonist was so sure about that nail biting question”?

“Nail biting question? What is that Mia, share with us so that see if can contribute something to your conclusions” asked her mom inquisitively.

Mia told her and Shalu aunty about the excerpt and they listened in steady silence. As Mia finished talking, her phone rang and it was her friend on other line. Mia excused herself from the porch asking the two ladies to continue their discussion.

As she left Shalu heaved a sigh and looked at Mia’s mom in great disbelief. She couldn’t help but asked “How could this happen? How the author did know that this happened? It was between you and me”.

“Do you remember that at the beginning of college each of us were asked to share our one most bizarre/ interesting part while going through the first medical CAT in India? I gave this incident” replied Mia’s mom.

“Phew, I never expected it will come to us this way. Thank God they changed the names”. said Shalu.

“Thank God, Mia didn’t notice that we too are doctor and lawyer. Tee hee come let me treat you another cup of tea, exactly the type we use to get at law college square Tapri” winked Mia’s mom.


As 12 years old Saina finished reading the story, she closed the book and went to her mother. “Mom do people bite their nails because of lack of calcium” She asked.

“Well poppet, a lot of them do. Some does out of nervousness as well. However, the majority of research pointed it to lack of bone Calcium”.

“Hmmm that is why you ask me to drink milk every day, mom”? asked Saina.

“Yes Poppet, it is important for us females to intake daily calcium to protect our bones. That’s why I insist you to drink at least 1 glass of milk daily. Now, finish you glass of milk and go to bed, I have to reach office early tomorrow, I have a business presentation and I do not want to be late for it”.

“No mom, not today. I am feeling over fed with that extra helping of rice. I will do tomorrow, for sure. Now shall I go to sleep pl”? asked Saina.

“Ok, but tomorrow for sure” Said her mom, Anjana while turning off her room’s lights.
_____________________________________________________________

Anjana was sitting at her desk and biting her nails nervously. Her colleague came and asked what the matter is? Is she nervous for being late for the business presentation or in surmounting tension of upcoming appraisal letter?

“Well not exactly” Said Anjana. “I am worried, as I doubt a second pregnancy. My husband and I are not very sure to bring a child now.

______________________________end of post_____________________________

Well that was my "story in story" take for the Blogadda WoW theme wherein we have to write a story starting with - A young executive was nervously biting her nails...

Hope you like reading it. It was my first attempt creating “story within a story”- all in record time (read deadline) of 40 mins. Do leave your comments.

__________________________________________

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

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I aspire to be a "Woman of Substance"

Friday, March 15, 2013 16 Comments



“We are each the authors of our own lives, Emma. We live in what we have created. There is no way to shift the blame and no one else to accept the accolades” 

― 
Barbara Taylor BradfordA Woman of Substance


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--CisLxdSTBE/UULyRAcIv0I/AAAAAAAACZ4/RTc69_yDTQ8/s200/228876_10150244171682397_3432243_n.jpg As I read through these lines, my heart made me ponder and I wondered where my life is heading to? Sitting in the hospital bed, casted from toe to waist in cruel stiff plasters, one palm folded into fist and tied in tight bandage and head wrapped in white cotton bandage with stiffness at one side. “Am I an author of my own life”? I asked to self.

Am I living in what I created? Did I create this? I asked myself, watching the ants march outside the window. At that time my plaster or the ants attacking a bowl of sugar candies did not bother me much as this question. I was a road accident victim, struggling to piece up my shattered life which I have not written probably but living definitely.

So what if I have not authored it yet? I will now charter my life in a way I would like it to be. If nothing, let me be strong enough to lead on my own terms, some ways at least. So tomorrow before I ask my life what you have given me, my life should have a better answer of what this woman is doing for it.

I called up my doctor and asked when can I start walking? When are they going to make me stand? Are they honest enough every time they tell me I can walk again or they just pacify me only to go behind doors and tell my parents in a hush-hush tone that I may not be able to lead a normal life again?

Dr told me that I can walk. We are awaiting my bones recuperate back from compound fracture. For that I need to start eating well and it’s just a matter of time when they will start the trial. “How about the artificial foot? You said you will get me one and then I can walk” I asked. “Friend, your residual limb is weak, it has got multiple fracture and you are just healing from a plastic surgery, we cannot risk you at this moment” said he.

“But when is the right time doctor” I asked. “I have been confided to bed for almost 2 months now. I have forgotten what walking is”. I want to stand, stand on my own feet and I really hate those who come and tell me that I am gone for life. I want to run away from them”.

And I did. Soon doctors found a solution to kick start my re walking process. It was tough and strength curdling esp at the age of 12-13 yrs, I must tell. But if I haven’t tried then, if I didn’t chartered on that path then, trust me; I could have never done it. We become strongest in face of adversity. It’s in pain that we are closest to god and he whisper into ears- his wisdom. I took an oath that I am still trying to live by-
1.     I will be independent, not letting disability stop me or gain me favors.
2.     Win people with deeds and sincerity and no pretense. Abhor anyone who sympathizes but delight who encourage.
3.     Would not let gender come between my ambitions, goals & values.
4.     Strive to be a woman of substance.
Yes ostracism did not spare me either. It came and it continues to come in varied format. It shook me, continue to shake me but couldn't stir me, dissolving into self.
I took inspiration from different things like ants who persists till the last cube of sugar, the bird who push her kids to fly, woman who scaled the mountain, Maya Angelou' poems and above all my God. I suffered ostracism silently, sometime I made noise too and often I fought back. I cried in seclusion only to gather my strength & fight back. Yes I have become a fighter, I fought for cause where I saw disconnects. I risked my “loving and everybody’s favorite” repute to “ferocious independent thinking” women but I never left what I continued to believe- trying to be a woman of substance. I hold close to my integrity as I hold my broken foot and continue walking.
I was 12 then and today I am 32. Life has seen many struggles and it still does so. I live alone, faraway from my family, in cities across India where the most able females have shrugged to go and live. I dared to step in men's world, domain without taking any undue advantage, worked shoulder to shoulder to prove merit.

There were times when people left me and moved ahead. They would make faces seeing my shoes, crutch, sound of artificial limb. Some would avoid an eye contact so that I do not ask them to include me in their group for lunch or movie. A lot of these people would come knocking my doors at a night before exams asking my help so that they can score passing marks. I have left my studies to address their worries, helped them prepare but next day they will fleet away.

Yes, I made mistakes and I continue to make them. I however, try not to repeat them but learn from them.

I remember those times when my doctors will take me around to other patients and ask me to talk to them, encourage them and a term they coined- spread an infectious smile. That boosted my motivations further.


I am not sure whether I can be called “woman of substance” as that is a very big honor. But I often ask myself- Am I a woman of substance and how can I become one. Welcome life. I am trying and striving to be one- Woman of substance.

*****************************************************************************

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A Cold Winter Morning & Bachelor Breakfast Feast

Monday, March 11, 2013 31 Comments

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A good breakfast ensures a good start. Well I miss it almost everyday so I thought of compensating my missed breakfast mornings with an elaborate spread. I called a friend over- another "out of home, away from family" hungry bachelor. 

"Rice Bran Oil" what is that? asked my friend.
Me: Ah well, its an oil
My Friend: I can read it too but never heard of it. Don't tell me are you gonna cook with it?
Me: Yes, off course. So what do you wanna eat?
Friend: What happened to all that Olive and other fancy oils that you bought last time? 
Me: They all are there but today is our "Rice Bran Oil morning"! Are you ready?
Friend: Err, Ahem, I dunno how will it taste, never tried. Besides I am too ambitious with breakfast today, let not your experimentation spoil it.
Me: Don't worry. Let me know your pick- Indian or continental?
Friend: Whatever. I really wonder what all you can make from it
Me: Everything, almost everything. Watch out.

Breakfast with Rice Bran Oil

The recipes that I am sharing here is primarily a bachelor's joy and quite a staple diet at many Indian households. Yes, I can cook exotic stuff with it but frankly, I would like to experiment with stuffs that I eat more regularly, using oil. I tried to bring a variety for the sake of this contest. The Recipes are-

  1. Masala Oats Upma on a bed Chilli Onion Garnish & tangy tamarind chutney
  2. Green Egg Omelette
  3. Almond Suji ka Sira (yes you read it right!)

Masala Oats Upma

Ingredients
  • A packet of Quaker Masala Oats
  • Chopped Onion, Green Chilies, Parsley, Garlic, Mushroom (optional)
  • Fortune Rice Bran Oil
  • Tamarind chutney and Other Veggies (optional)
Cooking Time: 10 mins

Method
  • Take a pan, pour a small teaspoon of oil, add masala oats and stir it for few seconds. 
  • Tame a cup of water, bringing it to boil and cook till oats are done and soak all water.
  • Transfer the cooked oats to a serving plate
  • Take a small pan, grease it with a tbsp of oil, add Fennel and allow to splutter
  • Now add the chopped onions (long & slender), green chili and garlic and toss it for 2 minutes till onion become translucent. If you are a mushroom lover, add mushroom to it.
  • Spread some Tamarind chutney on top bed of oats and add a layer of cooked onions.
  • Garnish with fresh Parsley. Ready to eat

Green Egg Omelette
Ingredients
  • Two eggs- beaten
  • Fine chopped Spring Onions, Green chilies, Parsley, Coriander, Green Olives & Jalapenos (optional), Feta Chese
  • Rice Bran oil
  • Salt as per taste

Cooking Time: 10 mins
Method

  • Take a bowl and beat eggs till it turn fully yellow. Add Salt, Greens, onions and others
  • Take a pan, grease it with oil and once suitably heated, spread the half of raw egg mix on it.
  • Pour a thick paste of green chutney along the corners and top it with other residual egg barter
  • Grease the corners with little oil and allow omelette to cook. Garnish with Feta chese shreds or cut them into small cubes and serve along
  • Served with Tomato Ketchup...Finished within a minute



Almond Suji ka Sira
Ingredients:
  • Suji (Semolina)
  • Sugar, 1 cup of milk & 3 cups of hot water
  • Rice bran oil
  • Almond (soaked & fine crushed), Green Cardamom seeds

Cooking Time: 15 mins
Method

  • Take a wok, add some oil (depending on the amount of Sira you want to make, I used 3 tbsp)
  • Add some sugar, Suji and stir it till suji turns golden brown
  • Add milk in the fine crushed almond paste, mix and add them to semolina.
  • Stir it for some time, add water and keep stirring. The best part of Sira is how well you stir it.
  • Once cooked, take it off flame and serve garnishing with cardamom seeds.


The recipe is simple to sound and make but quintessential part of Indian households including guest house etc. Bachelors would just freak out on it. Hope you like it. Do share your comments below.
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This post is a part of Healthy & Tasty Recipe Contest with Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil & BlogAdda.com

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