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Starry Night

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 , 5 Comments

The beautiful Canvas that nature has colored
Resplendent skies, blue cerulean tide
Moon on the brim
evergreen delight
the mountain
the meadows near by
and the sparkle of the star

Aha! Sparkle of thousands of stars
Strewn across the sky
the blue cerulean
that spread like heavenly altar

There he stood, ajar!
his canvas, his belittle canvas
in front of the one that God has painted
He stood astonished
and marveled the artistry of God,
the perfection of his blend,
the colors that dissolved,
and shone up bright.

In the vast, limitless,blue,
Starry night!


Starry Night by Alex Ruiz 

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That Thing about ALS Ice Bucket Challenge & Indian Generosity

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 , 4 Comments

I woke up one fine morning and found about this new challenge that was doing rounds in all social media and circuits. The new bug to bite the boisterous Bombay- belly of Bollywood, Browser and Cafeteria room discussion was "Who is taking Ice water challenge"?

To my surprise, I found Miss Malini posting live videos of celebrities taking this challenge. Which included Junior Bachchan to Ritesh LaiBhari Deshmukh to even Daler "paaji" Singh Mehendi. Even our delicate "Sonakshi Sinha" could not remain un-bitten with this byte and posted her own bit on her Instagram page.

Ice Bucket challenge AKA ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a viral challenge which involves taking a bucket full of ice water and dumping it straight on your head to create awareness about a disease called ALS- amyotrophic lateral sclerosisIt also aims at raising donations towards research and rehabilitation from this disease. The perosn who takes up this challenge, post his/her act, nominates 1-2 other friend/colleague/acquaintance of their's to take this challenge within next 24 hours. And this goes on. This challenge became viral via social media.

In case, if you wonder, like I am wondering, why does this awareness campaign involved dropping ice water bucket on one's head, creating an opportunity to expose your neuro-system to something not very conducive [read Hypothermia], let me tell you, I am as clueless as you are. All I know this whole concept of dropping cold water on your head went viral since last year winter, especially after the family of baseball player- Pete Frates who was diagnosed with ALS, went ahead with their own campaign. If you are the one with clue, do comment. 

One thoery suggests that if you take this challenge- you have to donate $10 for the cause and the one who skips has to donate $100 towards the charity. Not sure if the version is right. Meantime, I am happy that none of my friend/associate has nominated the poor me me thus far. Thankfully none should waste their time [read peace of mind] nominate me either.

Here's why dropping the ice bucket [not literally but bucket with ice water can actually be dangerous and can kill you- The Forbes Report

Certainly, this campaign was received with various protests from other countries including India and China. 

Henan protest against Ice Bucket Challenge
Residents of Drought striken Henen in China protest against the ice water challenge
pic courtesy- The Guardian

It was nothing but a social media genius to create awareness about this otherwise unknown disease. And I must say that they have done a good job in doing so. The question is whether the awareness about the diesease has increased or the awareness [read publicity] about the celebs endorsing the same has gone more viral, making their fans kow-tow. I guess, it is more about the disease as well. After all, none of us here [I presume] knew about it earlier and post this social media frenzy, I found many people talking about. And few good curious went ahead and "googled" it up. 

My take on Ice Water Challenge
Why famous people are dumping it on their head? No idea. As I said the theory behind this is still ambiguous to me. And like I said earlier, would I do the same? Well, the answer is a strict No! 

Why? I am the person who refrains from wasting water in name of playing Holi. cause every time I feel wasting even a mug full of water, the face of that child, women, men, animals, come in front of my eyes, who are drought stricken and struggling for the drops of water including the village women who travels kilometers in unfriendly ways, carrying pail of waters for their family. 

I would rather found an alternative, constructive way of proceeding charity and creating awareness. A lot like "India's Rice Bucket Challenge" wherein the founder not just came up with this idea but also started executing and spreading awareness about it. Yes, I would rather go for "Rice Bucket Good deed" and if allowed "Spice Bucket Philanthropy". 

The idea behind "Spice Bucket" is not a frivolous thought to desperately create a separate notion from the one that is already around the town but it is a rather more "inclusive" attempt towards translating generosity in to actions.

Why "Spice Bucket"?
You may call it "Spice" racket, bucket, tucket, trumpet whatever you may like to but the idea is the deed per se and not the name you chose to call or mockery that one want to make.

This thought came from big legacy of "food donation" that India has been practicing since ages, wherein the households will segregate some grains [normally wheat flour & Rice] and sugar [sometimes] and give that away to the neighborhood Brahman. As the time moved, the population shifted to sky scrappers and urban jungles, the notion of "Brahmin daan" got limited. We often find ourselves fulfilling such noble deeds by giving away some left over food to our house helps or so. Off course, the people who help support a child's education [and it's not their child], deserves a big round of applause. Here's a small concept for people who have limited resources and can still make a difference.

"Donate Spice"
If you are done with donating rice, suggest you try donating some healthy spice to the needy ones. Often the people at the bottom of pyramid have to make do with their meager meals by eating boiled rice with salt [a big % is not even iodized]. This food habit is often considered harmful to body especially the "non iodized" salt. While the world has moved to kosher Salt, PInk Crystal salt, there is a "big" strata of society that do not get their subscribed dose of salt. Also, given the healing, anti septic properties of "Turmeric", it is often advisable to consume it with our food an even warm milk esp during fever, cough and cold. The "Haldi wala doodh" is very therapeutic and a great way of healing amenities.

Source: Dailymall.co.uk
I am sure the actual population at below poverty line would not be able to consume the right "iodized salt" and "turmeric" given their high price and highly adulterated availability. In such case, if we can donate a packet of any iodized salt to poor families nearby, wouldn't that be a decent help?

Now a packet of salt like Tata/Ashirwad Salt is available at mere Rs 16 to Rs 17 per KG. Should that be a big amount to donate? Even a 100 gm pouch of Turmeric would not be costing more than Rs 20. Am I asking too much? If yes, then think it this way, I call it the "Genius marketing concept of MasterCard". here we go-

Happiness idea no 1

Minimum Cost of 1 movie ticket- Rs 150 X2
Min Cost of popcorn and Soft drink at Movie-  Rs. 150
Cost of travelling to theater            Rs. 100
Minimum cost of "dinner for two"- Rs 500-1000

Total- 300+150+ 150+500= 1100

Happiness idea no 2
Cost of 1KG iodized salt= Rs 16
Total cost of donating 10 packets of "Iodized salt" to 10 households/month= 16X10= 160
Cost of leveraging "health" of 10 needy families- Rs 160 only
Blessings received in lieu of your good deed= Priceless!


Source
You can replicate this model with Turmeric or any other essential spice that you may think of. I know while some of you may think it as "half baked theory of a non economist numerounity" who is proposing an idea to possibly increase inflation in spice market. Ah! Well. By now well know how does this "basic needs" inflation theory works. You were not donating Tomatoes and Onions either but the price went inexhorbitant even when the real suppliers were selling it at mere Rs 6/kg, you bout at Rs 60/KG. No?


Think about it. And while I have nothing against Ice Bucket Challenge for Charity idea, I insist that next time when you want to blindly follow something like this, do take few minutes out from your time and think about my proposal which is still on and is ever green. It is up to that whether you want to donate- Rice, Spice or electronic mice to the needy populatio, But donate you must. Cause "Sharing is caring" and "caring is adhering" to our universal idea of "Vasudhaiv kutumbakam"

Till then Ciaos! Keep reading Numerounity and her idiosyncrasies, if you choose to call that!


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Sunshine

Friday, August 22, 2014 , , 11 Comments


____________________
The above 5-7-5 Haiku is written for 3 Word Wednesday Prompt words were- Impulsive, Morose and Sparse.
To check their meanings, pl visit www.dictionary.com
Picture Credits- Here
__________________________

Have you checked these poems of mine yet? 
Framed
The Art of God
Beinteha [ a poem in Urdu]

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The Ship that Sails

Thursday, August 21, 2014 , 9 Comments


Yell Sound, Shetland, 2014, by R.A.D. Stainforth

__________________________________________
Thunders bolts, clouds sore
ferocious sounds, on the uproar
troubled waters, turbulent and steep
along goes floating, the determined ship
______________________________

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The Art of God

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 , 4 Comments


He stood there for hours
watching, depicting, trying to understand the picture
A long thought
a deep breath of sigh
on the conjuncture

It is symbolic for sure
but what is the metaphor
He tilted his head from different angles
in his attempt to decipher

A picture tells a thousand stories
this picture has multiple gestures
what is the story should I consider
The viewer stood there and wonder

The picture was black and white
A red line bordered the sight
It suggested many a gesture
Is it love or mayhem
a riot of human cluster

Human! yes it is!
Human, he muster
A picture worth the 1000 words
and all of them are talking aloud
he is astound
by the creation,
the artist's imagination

He nudged his standby perception
and decoded
the picture is all about "Human bondage"
It is relation that binds us all
whether relation with self
or with God.

Human engages human
with love and dedication
and sets it free
and they rise above the motley
what demons what angels
love indeed conquer

Oh no, there is another tweak
another side to the story
another story to the picture
another metaphor that I decipher

between the earth and sky
dawning from mob fury
to acquiring wings to fly
it is God that lifts us up
and still we fight in name of religion

Instead, let us have some grace
hold each other's hands, embrace
Let's engage with the whole human race!
before we turn completely a selfish caricature
of our own misdemeanor
Rise above mortal, Oh Human creature

this is what I could understand from the above Picture!
______________________________

This on spot, no edit poem is created basis the picture prompt given by The magpie tale.
Do let me know your view/ feedback on the same.

Like my blogs? You can read my blogs on Food, Fashion and Lifestyle at www.hautekutir.com 
Also, you can follow me on Instagram- Ekta Khetan
and twitter:- Numerounity

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Making that "First" and Everlasting Impression with #MyBeautifulFood and #Borosil

Friday, August 08, 2014 8 Comments


Calvin: Aaargh what's this squirmy thing on my plate?
Hobbes: Your favorite Spinach and corn
Calvin: Aaarggggggh they look bad. I can't eat them
Hobbes: But they are tasty and nutritious, and indeed good for your health.
Calvin: But they are not good for my eyes. I can't eat if my eyes cannot eat them.
Hobbes: You eat by mouth and not eyes.
Calvin: Nope we first eat with eyes, nose and then finally with mouth. Can we go out to uncle pop to eat?
Hobbes: But his food is not healthy
Calvin: at least they look good in those little paper dishes.

True indeed! Before putting a food in our mouth, we eat it via eyes. And then nose and then mouth. So if healthy and tasty is important, food presentation is important too. How to make your food more presentable? Read more to know more :)

I am neither a professional food blogger nor food stylist or any good with food photography. All I know is that I love Food and I love to cook at times. With food, my biggest claim till date, is that I am Foodie who loves to explore world cuisine and sometime love to cook and experiment with food. My biggest claim to fame came in when the Michelin starrer #MasterChef Vikas Khanna tasted a fusion dish made by me in what I call " my last minute hurriedly, put up recipe after a 1.2 year hiatus from cooking" and surprisingly, chose it as the best dish in one of the contest among all the celebrated food bloggers. Yay! 

Yes, I can cook to save my life and may be yours too. That is what I told my fiance who fell two folds more deeper in love after eating the sandwich and rajma made by me.

I got married recently and like all new Bahus, I was expected to show my cooking prowess by making a meal for the family to demonstrate how good wife/bahu I am. And that was the agni pariksha I took with my "beautiful Borosil" serve wares. 

You might be a great foodie and explorer of food but when it comes to cooking on your own at the first day at your in laws, even the stalwarts squirm up and give away. I am mere the beginner.

Thanks to Borosil for creating beautiful and clear serve ware that makes any food look even more beautiful and presentable. The Indiblogger and Borosil contest came handy that moment when my courier boy delivered me a box full of Borosil serve ware. Needless to say, I served all the food in the Borosil products and may be that saved my day [and my grace].

I had a great serve ware to present the dish and I did not wanted to risk taste, so I took a simple way of mixing traditional Rajasthani vegetarian meal with few recipe around the world to please the in laws and the kids in the house. Here are few glimpses of what I cooked and served using Borosil-

The traditional Kanji wada





The Yoghurt Parfait

Rajasthanis love their deserts and desserts. Given the loaded doses of "desi ghee" and other sweets during wedding, I tied to twist the menu by adding a less sugary and simple to make "Yogurt Parfait" with broken wheat, roasted barley, oats and dry fruits.
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Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognoise with Anchovis and Black Olives

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 Missi Roti and Veg Patiala

Marwadis love their food rich and traditional. The "Missi Roti" is the usual favorite in my household and being a "papad" loving community, I could not resist the temptation to roll in some "Veg Patiala" that is made with papad rolled with cheese filling, dunked and cooked in thick gravy made of tomato and onions, garnished with green coriander and black cummin seed. Yumm

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I thought of putting the delectable MIssi roti in the Borosil Casserole but it came broken and in absence of time and replacement, I used the square dish to adjust to the size of the bread and keep its crunch intact.

Paneer Persian
Cooked up this spicy, gravy trail with vegetarian's favorite "luxury" food- Cottage Cheese. My husband who does not like Paneer at all, could not help  but took a grub. Umm they were delicious but #Borosil made them irresistible.

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Stuffed Veg Sandwich in Brown Bread


Jodhpuri style Mash Potatoes with Khichdi



Rajasthani Kadhi with Hing Tadka


Now Coming to some comfort food, served hot on a rainy day. A spoonful of Desi Ghee, a dash of Hing [asafoetida], Naughty Amchoor [Dry Mango Powder], the sizzling green chilies, the colorful red chili powder...the fusion of color and blends, served in crystal clear dishes by Borosil...Ummmm.. even the thought kindled my appetite. Here's what I made -

Lunch with Borosil
Steamed Rice with Egg
Lehsuni Daal Tadka
Begun Bhaja 


 Steamed Rice with Ghee and herbs



Jaisalmeri Daal Tadka


Kolkata Style Frunchy Begun [Aubergines] Bhaja sauted with Amchoor n Red Chili


Rain Time Delicatessen with Borosil
It is Monsoon in India. A season filled with rains, pleasant weather and kindled cravings for hot tea and Pakodas. Here's what I made and served with my Borosil wares-

Kashmiri Kahwa served in Borosil Vision Glasses


The quintessential Ginger-Cardmom Tea


Onion Fritters


Isn't this looks lovely?

Do you also know that Borosil dishes are complete heat proof and oven friendly too? They just don't look good but serves multi-purpose utility. You can use them as bake dish and replace all your harmful plastic micro wave cooking dishes with Borosil.

Well That was #MyBeautifulFood with Borosil.

If you liked my "in jiffy" post by the newly wed bride, do spread the word and get a Borosil home today! Share your food experience and recipes with me.

My Twitter handle is : Numerounity
Till then, Bon Appetite!!



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