Tag Archives: a ray of sunshine…

Day 38 – A Feast to Remember

On Sunday, I decided to cook up a birthday feast for my mom. I love cooking for big occasions and breakfast. For brief stretches I have cooked all my meals and somewhat enjoyed myself but somehow it’s hard to keep things fresh and interesting all the time and so you fall into a routine and then it’s hard to break out of the rut. I thank my lucky stars that I have the option to cook only when it pleases me and so that brings me back to Sunday. It was my mom’s birthday last week and since she was away at the time, we were gonna have a delayed celebration on her return. I decided that I would try my hand at shawarmas, well my version of shawarmas anyway. Last year I had mastered the art of making the perfect stovetop naans and hummus so I just had to figure out how to cook the chicken in my microwave oven and I would be sorted. It involved watching a lot of videos on YouTube to figure out the settings to use and the time to bake and grill the chicken. Having marinated my chicken overnight, I put it in to the oven at 3 PM and kept my fingers tightly crossed. If this didn’t work, then I still had time to put a backup plan into action. Thankfully it worked out and I proceeded with the rest of my menu. For starters we had chilly chicken and prawn cocktail (with some hummus on the side if you couldn’t handle the spice) and then we had the shawarma as the main event. I ended the day watching the new episode of Star Trek Discovery, feeling completely drained out and utterly drained out at the same time.

That’s the chilly chicken, the prawn cocktail and the hummus just hanging out on the dining table (the prawn cocktail was previously chilling in the refrigerator)
That’s a close up of my plate with the cutlery trying to be artsy
This was the hero of the day. The microwave oven cooked chicken thigh pieces. They turned out just right: juicy on the inside and charred on the outside
The shawarma does not photograph well but you’ll have to take my word for it that it was excellent. Naan slathered generously with hummus, stuffed with shredded grilled chicken and rolled up

In other news, the audio book experience is really not going well. I keep falling asleep while listening to it. And it is an extremely hilarious book. I think after my Audible free subscription ends, I am not going to renew it. For now, I am going to try my best to finish the book and then get back to my kindle which feels severely neglected at the moment.

I’ve been mildly stressed about not making it to my daily blogging goal. But I think I’m going to keep reminding myself of my motto this year to just live in the moment and let things be. So I will be back here as much as I can but not going to beat myself up if I don’t. All I need to remember is that I have to keep coming back. Until then, Cheers!

Day 36 – Get Together

I love that phrase ‘get together’. So much better than ‘catching up’. I had some friends over for a get together today. I decided to cook and miraculously put it together in 2 hours so I’m quite proud of myself for that. Typically for me, I forgot to click any pictures of all the amazing stuff. I made hummus and chilly chicken for starters. I was informed by my friend that the chilly chicken was not chilly at all but we have agreed to disagree. The main course was my signature butter chicken with a bit of cheat in the process because I used a makhani gravy packet. But I realise I need to add a few more dishes to my signature repertoire because I feel like I this has become my default. No one has complained yet but time to stretch my wings :). It was an excellent evening with food and drinks and conversation and it helped me stock up on happy memories.

In minor news, I finally deleted my Facebook account which I have long stopped using but it was just floating around in cyber space. I can’t feel certain that it actually got deleted but there’s not much more that I can do.

I continued reading ‘Something in Disguise’ and I am amusing myself trying to figure out what the ending will be like. But until I reach the end, I will keep enjoying the story.

Cheers!

Day 021 – Only Murders in the Building

I finished watching the show, ‘Only Murders in the Building’ today and it was so much fun! I loved the music, the plot, the dialogue and just generally everything about the show. This is one of those shows that would be even better when re-watched, so I’m definitely going to do that at some point this year.

In other news, I made the best hummus of my life today and the secret was to use hulled sesame seeds to make the Tahini. It takes the silkiness to the next level (I used unhulled sesame seeds before). You can check out the recipe for the hummus here and the recipe for the tahini here. And a picture of my beautiful hummus here. Cheers!

Hummus with a sprinkle of olives and a generous drizzle of olive oil

Day 014 – It’s all about the HAIR!

It has been one of those days when it simultaneously feels like the day flew by and that it lasted forever. Since the holiday today felt like such a bonus, I decided it was a good idea to dive into hair research all over again. I go down this rabbit hole periodically and every time I think there is not much more left for me to learn, I end up learning something new. Today’s learnings were quite eye opening and I cannot wait to put them into practice. In fact, even as I write this, I am trying our a hair refresh technique for the first time. Keeping fingers crossed to see great results in the morning.

I finished reading ‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney today. I would have finished it last night if it hadn’t been for the need to sleep but I’m glad I was full awake and alert for the ending which I read over breakfast and my cup of coffee. My issue with the previous book of hers that I read was perfectly addressed in this one. The ending was satisfyingly unsatisfactory. There was only a semblance of closure; I didn’t know whether the characters were going to ever get a happily ever after; I didn’t know whether they would fall into their old and frankly toxic patterns; I couldn’t even be sure if this was the ending of the book (I checked and my Kindle assured me that I had indeed finished 100% of the book). The only thing I did know for sure was that these characters had grown and it was an uphill climb and that I cheered them on, every step of the way and felt their frustrations at every setback. I think I liked not knowing exactly how things turned out for them. I am not going to sit around imagining their lives ahead but if the thought of them ever pops into my head, I may indulge myself for a few minutes (or hours). With this I am putting a self imposed ban on reading Sally Rooney for now. I am so tempted to binge read all her books, short stories and essays but I get the feeling that I would soon become jaded if I did. This style is probably best read at intervals. It’s funny though that I can read all of Jane Austen’s books one after the other and not have this feeling. I might actually revisit her soon.

We made koraishutir kochuri once again today. That makes it twice this month. I feel like we go overboard with good things sometimes but at this moment when I am so happy with my meal, it is hard to feel too much regret. In our defense, green peas are in season so if not now, then when would we indulge ourselves? Also coming up this weekend will be a green peas soup. Let’s see how that turns out.

The least memorable item of the day was watching ‘Eternals’. I am very very glad I did not risk the theatre for this film. I have already forgotten most of what I have seen unfold during the movie and I have absolutely no curiosity about the sequel. I don’t think I have ever felt this way about a Marvel movie. I don’t even feel too aggrieved about it. I am just accepting it and moving on.

Keeping my fingers crossed for a productive weekend ahead. Cheers!

Day 004 – Just another Tuesday

It is just another Tuesday and this new COVID-19 variant is well and truly on it’s way to wreck havoc with our lives. So I am just going to plug in my earphones, block out the news playing on the TV in the background and think about good things.

The books I decided to give away are finally gone today. I thought I’d be sadder but I am feeling strangely lighter. I guess it helped me feel in control and it doesn’t hurt to see a completely clear desk and shelves slightly less bursting with books. I think I will tackle purging clothes next weekend and make it a theme of the month. God knows I have way too many clothes hanging around, taking up space but will never be worn again

My first book of the year, ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’ just keeps getting better and better. I have had to work really hard to hold myself back and not pull an all-nighter to finish it. Even now, I can’t wait to finish this up and get to it. I know that by pacing myself I will enjoy it better and not miss things in a hurry; but there is this little kid inside me just egging me on and reminding me of all the great memories of books I’ve read all night. Unfortunately, as much as I’d like to follow these impulsive instincts, I know the price I will pay tomorrow if I decide to indulge. Don’t you hate adulting sometimes?

I had a conversation with a friend last night who reminded me about getting back to my poetry writing. I had a burst of inspiration a year and a half ago and had a fling of sorts with poetry for a couple of months. When inspiration seemed to dry out, I sort of thought that was that. But I thought about it again yesterday and I might just try again.

I love the stickers that came with my planner last year. And yes I am still using the same planner from last year because as usual I wasn’t very diligent about using it consistently and so had the foresight to buy the undated one. The more important point here are the plentiful stickers which I have even started sticking in my work notebook just to cheer things up. I love all the stuff that Alicia Souza creates and had to restrain myself from buying the entire new collection for this year. Only bought the calendar and it is such a treat 🙂

I just discovered today that Star Trek: Discover – Season 4 has been airing since mid-November and I had no clue. But on the other hand I have 7 episodes that I can now binge watch. For some years now I have quit social media and conventional news reading (I only subscribe to two newsletters). It mostly works out for me. The things that are important enough, I hear about them anyway and the things that are not that important, well I don’t need to know about them anyway. But sometimes IMPORTANT things like the release of the new season of a beloved TV show slip right past me.

I think that’s a decent list of things to be happy about.

Until tomorrow, Cheers!

My Life As I See It

It’s been a while since I sat down at 8 in the morning to write. There have been a handful of instances across time when I have done this and it seems to me that that is what makes it so special. It also usually means that I’m supposed to actually do something else but I’ve just indulged myself and let loose. Today, however was different. I woke up about 20 minutes ago with a fully formed thought in my head that I wanted to write. I didn’t know what about and it didn’t bother me because somehow once I found my laptop open in front of me, I was sure that I would find my fingers racing across the keyboard and indeed that is what happened.
Well I’ve settled on what I want to write about. I want to write about writing and the strange fascination I’ve always had for it. I have always unequivocally loved reading, there has been no doubt in my mind about that. I may be picky about what I read sometimes but I’m quite convinced that I could read anything in world out there (provided I knew the language of course!). Writing however has been more elusive. Like a houseguest who you aren’t sure how long they would stay. Or when they would be back again. But the way I feel about it has always remained steady like a gnawing pain that won’t go away. I didn’t have words to describe this feeling for a long time and then I heard it in the movie The Hours. It describes it perfectly:
“I wanted to be a writer, that’s all. I wanted to write about it all. Everything that happens in a moment. The way the flowers looked when you carried them in your arms. This towel, how it smells, how it feels, this thread. All our feelings, yours and mine. The history of it, who we once were. Everything in the world. Everything all mixed up, like it’s all mixed up now. And I failed. I failed. No matter what you start with it ends up being so much less. Sheer fucking pride and stupidity.”
That’s how I’ve always felt. Like I want to write everything but somehow every time I take pen to paper, it always feels so much less than what it was in my head. The colours in the scenery just lack that lustre and it cripples me then to think that everything I will ever write will be that way and I will never be able to say everything that I want to. But I’ve slowly realised over time that its ok. It doesn’t matter that I couldn’t get it out perfectly or that I never will. It only matters that I felt happy about it. When I don’t expect to do something great I’ve managed to write some things that I am exceedingly proud of. I go back to these from time to time and wonder how I wrote them. But there is no secret, its just practice and discipline and habits being formed and most importantly being happy with what you are writing. Its about not assuming that you can or cannot write in a certain style. Its about never limiting yourself. Its about just writing down whatever comes to mind without second guessing yourself. And most importantly it is about getting over the fear of that nagging disappointment that comes when you’ve finished writing something that then looks nothing like what you imagined it would be. Its about celebrating every word for what it is and coming back to write more and more and more. No matter how agonizing it is. No matter how much your palm sweats from the effort or your head hurts or your eyes just want to close because its the end of a long day and you just don’t want to write anymore.

I don’t suppose anyone in the world can ever write it all. But when we all write our own little parts, these stories come together and become so much more than just the sum of the parts. Its the richest and most complete story ever spun because each and every thread is unique not matter how much they seem similar. Like pieces of music that are made up of the same notes but each different from the next. Our words are what stay and tell our story long after we have uttered them. So put it all out there in the universe, your voice, your story. There are enough things in this world to inspire. The cup of tea I had this morning with the steam gently rising from the surface made me think about time passing slowly by. The patch of sunlight on the floor right now makes me think about strength and solidity. The dance steps I was attempting to learn last night (unsuccessfully) was proof of how much I love my friends to even think of attempting something like that. Watching the sun set over the sea yesterday evening just gave me an assurance that it would keep happening again and again till time itself stopped. The clear blue sky that I can see outside my window right now is humbling, makes me acknowledge how really small and insignificant we are in this universe. It all matters, it all counts, so never ever hesitate to write it down.
Cheers!

My Life As I See It

It’s been a while since I sat down at 8 in the morning to write. There have been a handful of instances across time when I have done this and it seems to me that that is what makes it so special. It also usually means that I’m supposed to actually do something else but I’ve just indulged myself and let loose. Today, however was different. I woke up about 20 minutes ago with a fully formed thought in my head that I wanted to write. I didn’t know what about and it didn’t bother me because somehow once I found my laptop open in front of me, I was sure that I would find my fingers racing across the keyboard and indeed that is what happened.
Well I’ve settled on what I want to write about. I want to write about writing and the strange fascination I’ve always had for it. I have always unequivocally loved reading, there has been no doubt in my mind about that. I may be picky about what I read sometimes but I’m quite convinced that I could read anything in world out there (provided I knew the language of course!). Writing however has been more elusive. Like a houseguest who you aren’t sure how long they would stay. Or when they would be back again. But the way I feel about it has always remained steady like a gnawing pain that won’t go away. I didn’t have words to describe this feeling for a long time and then I heard it in the movie The Hours. It describes it perfectly:
“I wanted to be a writer, that’s all. I wanted to write about it all. Everything that happens in a moment. The way the flowers looked when you carried them in your arms. This towel, how it smells, how it feels, this thread. All our feelings, yours and mine. The history of it, who we once were. Everything in the world. Everything all mixed up, like it’s all mixed up now. And I failed. I failed. No matter what you start with it ends up being so much less. Sheer fucking pride and stupidity.”
That’s how I’ve always felt. Like I want to write everything but somehow every time I take pen to paper, it always feels so much less than what it was in my head. The colours in the scenery just lack that lustre and it cripples me then to think that everything I will ever write will be that way and I will never be able to say everything that I want to. But I’ve slowly realised over time that its ok. It doesn’t matter that I couldn’t get it out perfectly or that I never will. It only matters that I felt happy about it. When I don’t expect to do something great I’ve managed to write some things that I am exceedingly proud of. I go back to these from time to time and wonder how I wrote them. But there is no secret, its just practice and discipline and habits being formed and most importantly being happy with what you are writing. Its about not assuming that you can or cannot write in a certain style. Its about never limiting yourself. Its about just writing down whatever comes to mind without second guessing yourself. And most importantly it is about getting over the fear of that nagging disappointment that comes when you’ve finished writing something that then looks nothing like what you imagined it would be. Its about celebrating every word for what it is and coming back to write more and more and more. No matter how agonizing it is. No matter how much your palm sweats from the effort or your head hurts or your eyes just want to close because its the end of a long day and you just don’t want to write anymore.

I don’t suppose anyone in the world can ever write it all. But when we all write our own little parts, these stories come together and become so much more than just the sum of the parts. Its the richest and most complete story ever spun because each and every thread is unique not matter how much they seem similar. Like pieces of music that are made up of the same notes but each different from the next. Our words are what stay and tell our story long after we have uttered them. So put it all out there in the universe, your voice, your story. There are enough things in this world to inspire. The cup of tea I had this morning with the steam gently rising from the surface made me think about time passing slowly by. The patch of sunlight on the floor right now makes me think about strength and solidity. The dance steps I was attempting to learn last night (unsuccessfully) was proof of how much I love my friends to even think of attempting something like that. Watching the sun set over the sea yesterday evening just gave me an assurance that it would keep happening again and again till time itself stopped. The clear blue sky that I can see outside my window right now is humbling, makes me acknowledge how really small and insignificant we are in this universe. It all matters, it all counts, so never ever hesitate to write it down.
Cheers!

Suddenly

Well as suddenly as it began, the summer seems to be over. I say seems because the rain doesn’t seem to have dispelled any of the heat. As I sit here with a beer mug full of mango milkshake (sheer heaven!), I want to take a moment to look back. A lot has happened this summer starting with me taking the GMAT. I figured that taking the test would be the hardest part but apparently that isn’t entirely accurate. Ever since I got my test results, all I’ve done is think about my application essays. They somehow make you think long and hard about your life. After struggling with where to begin for more than a month, I decided to start at the unlikeliest place, my email inbox. It needed some cleaning and organizing anyway and somehow reading old emails helped me see a lot of things about myself very clearly. It was also a beautiful walk down memory lane, and made me feel grateful for everything I have had in my life: friends who have stood by me through thick and thin, the places that I have been to and the experiences that I have had. In the mad rush of the world today, where everyone always seems one step ahead of you and there is always something left to catch up on, its nice to feel grounded and know that you wouldn’t trade your life for anyone else’s. I am a product of everything I have been through and for better or for worse that is who I am and I’m proud of it. There is nothing I would change because what I am today will help me get to where I want to be (this destination is unknown at the moment). I truly believe that everything always falls into place at the right time and all you have to do is keep working towards that goal of yours.

Cheers!

Best Day Ever

I thought for a while about what my best day ever would be, and well here it goes…

There would definitely be reading involved, an ‘aha’ moment would be a bonus. It’s that moment when while reading something you realize some profound truth like never before and most likely it stays with you for a while and anytime there is a reference to it, you are taken back to the day when you first realized it and you can remember every detail of the moment.

There would also be some organizing involved: desk, closet, inbox, phone, reading list, could be anything. The satisfaction of knowing that I have taken that one step closer to perfection (even though no such thing exists!) is exhilarating.

The weather of course would be sunny with clear blue skies, a few wisps of clouds and a strong breeze during the day. The sunset would be fiery red and the twilight would last long. And the night would be clear and cool. Nothing about the weather would be stuffy or disagreeable.

My best day would not however be spent alone because let’s face it, too much of solitude gets lonely. But nothing too eventful either, maybe a leisurely conversation in the early evening sitting by the window or strolling in the park.

That is all really, all I need for it to be a perfect day…  

This is in response to the daily prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/prompt-best-day-ever/