Monday, August 20, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
- Khsatriyas – the protectors
- Brahmins –teaching and performing rites and rituals.
- Vaishyas – the business community
- Shudras – the community that did menial jobs
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
'I don't want to get married!'
'Then what do you want to do? You are already 27, do you want to remain in your parents house forever?'
'So now your own daughter is a burden to you?'
'No darling. Listen to me, you are a girl and someday you will have to leave this house and go. Is there anybody else in your life?'
'Ofcourse not mom! There is no one!'
'Then why not marry this boy, he's really nice. Give him a try, he might turn out to be better than you think!'
A doorbell rang, and Urmila was brought back from her memories. She remembered the discussion she had had with her mother before reluctantly agreeing to marry Ajay. It had been 3 years since they got married and in these 3 long years they never learnt how to live with each other. There was constant bickering, nagging, taunting about things as small as the number of spoons needed on the dinner table. Then a month ago, finally fed up of having to tolerate each other, they filed for divorce. Urmila got up to open the door, expecting the postman with the some divorce document. Instead it turned out to be her mother-in-law at the doorstep. She never wanted them to take a divorce fearing the society, and she had come here to talk it out with Urmila. Urmila had a feeling that it would turn out very much like the talk she had with her mother...
Today’s post is a Guest Post from Karen Blessing who blogs at BakingInATornado. Let’s know more about Karen in her own words:
I’m Karen, a struggling-to-remain-sane stay-at-home Mom of teenaged boys who found, quite by accident a few years ago, that baking not only creates sweets but also relieves stress. Who knew? Draw your own conclusions about my stress level, all I’m admitting to is that we have lots of treats around here…new ones daily. Although I do bake to relieve stress, to relieve stress, and oh yeah, to relieve stress, there are other strategies I’ve been trying as well. Face it, there's only so much butter, flour and sugar available. So I started blogging at http://www.BakingInATornado.blogspot.com It provides me with a delicious (get it?) opportunity to vent. So sit back, have a laugh, try a recipe, then visit my blog…regularly!
Back in 2001, we were lucky enough to view a city-wide art gallery called the J. Doe project. Over 100 six-foot tall fiberglass body forms were decorated by local artists, then displayed throughout the community. It was fun and interesting and interactive and my sons and I totally embraced it. Maps were available, so many mornings that summer we would look at the map together, pick out a few locations and set out on our “Doe-hopping” adventure. Along the way we were treated to an explanation of the process of making the forms when one that we were looking at happened to be inside the lobby of the business that had produced them. More than once we met artists on-site, who spoke to us about the inspiration for their particular design. We spent all summer interpreting others we had seen and picking out our favorites. We saw over 50 of them.
J. Doe & the Magic Carpet
Mary Zicafoose, Artist
At the end of the summer I found out that I could buy 12 inch tall undecorated plaster J.Doe forms. I purchased 2 and we celebrated the end of the “Summer of the Doe” by letting the kids decorate their own. They are still on display in my home:
Colorful Doe & Skateboarder Doe
Decorated by my boys
The most interesting aspect of that whole experience was in seeing the differences in all of our interpretations, our individuality in terms of perspectives. Parents become masters of interpreting what our babies are trying to tell us non-verbally. In later years we try to interpret what they are telling us verbally. Who but me knew that “addle” was water? As someone who bakes a lot, I’ve had first hand experience when it comes to adapting recipes. My Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars are my interpretation of a few different recipes.
I have been challenged with explaining interpretation to one son who could not do it instinctively. Having a sarcastic Mom can be misleading for him, and frustrating for me. Conversations would frequently go something like this:
Me: “No, dinner’s in a half an hour, no soda right now.”
Other son: “Mom, can I have one?”
Me: “Sure, I think you should have two.”
Other son: “Oh, good” as he runs off with a can of soda in each hand… and I go chasing after him.
And then there’s the teenage years. In these years interpretation has a whole new… well… interpretation. Whatever I say is construed to mean whatever they want to hear. Whatever they say could mean anything at all. Like this recent conversation while I was watching the Olympics and trying to talk Jason into watching with me.
Me: “J, come watch the Olympics with me”.
Me: “I need you to spend some time with me, come watch”.
Me: “What if I said I would cry if you don’t spend some time with me”.
J: “I’m fine with that”.
I could use some help, but I’m still hoping there’s another way to interpret that.
Chocolate/Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
18.25 oz pkg Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 stick butter, softened
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
14 0z can of sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp raspberry extract
Opt: red food coloring
Opt: 1 cup raspberry chocolate chips
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 pan.
*Beat the cake mix, butter and egg until combined. Set aside ½ cup of this mix.
*Pat remaining batter into the prepared pan.
*Bake for 10 minutes. Take out of oven and cool for 10 minutes.
*Beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sweetened condensed milk, egg, raspberry extract and food coloring. Mix in raspberry chocolate chips. Pour into the crust.
*Crumble the reserved batter mixture over the top. Bake for approx. 19 minutes.
*Cool completely. Store in the refrigerator.
Note: For more of such fun home stories and delicious recipes don’t forget to check out BakingInATornado.
Monday, August 6, 2012
She was clung to me
With tears in her eyes
They tried to pull her away
But she wouldn't say 'bye'!
An hour ago she was so
Happy and full of cheer,
But now look at her
She won't leave me, oh dear!
I wish we hadn't met
I wish, she hadn't seen my face
One thing is for sure now
I'll never visit that place.
Friday, August 3, 2012
That's it. I've hit the Writer's Block! Whoever thought it doesn't exist, its false. There is a writer's block, it very much exists, and you can very well be trapped in there. I just hope I am not trapped in here for long.
How did I know I hit the writer's block you ask? Well it's easy, I have been meaning to write my next post, something magnanimous, something piercing, a masterpiece that shakes up people's intellect, or maybe a touching story, an inspired post, a piece that calls upon a revolution! But try as much as I may, I just end up with empty hands.
Its a vicious cycle I tell you. A brilliant idea strikes, I start building it up in my mind, and when I know the idea has grown up enough to be committed to written word... PUFF! Its gone! And all I am left with is some shady memory of what originally was the most profound thought that ever came to my mind. But that is not the end of the cycle. I still take up the writing with whatever caricature is left with me of the original idea, the more I write upon it, the more it disgusts me till I reach a point where I trash the entire post. And then I wait for another brilliant idea to strike!
I have nothing to write! Words betray me. Ideas abandon me. The 'New Post' button mocks me.
So ladies and gentlemen. It is official! I am suffering from writer's block, anybody there to bail me out?
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
India is a land of diversity and a land of promises. We are a fast growing economy and soon to be world superpowers. India is a force to reckon with and the world better not take us lightly. We will ascend the power ladder and sit on the top soon… or will we?
The recent power grid failure in the north and then the east has really made a mess of the things, people have been caused a lot of inconvenience, and the officials are left wide eyed in surprise unable to deal with it effectively. Amid all the chaos and confusion, we forgot that the world is watching us. A recent story on Time World reads as below:
The new power failure affected people across 13 states — more than the entire population of the European Union. They raised concerns about India’s outdated infrastructure and its insatiable appetite for energy that the government has been unable to meet.
I am not here to trash my country, nor do I seek to preach views and opinions on how this debacle could have been avoided or handled. All I want to do is voice my shame and sadness to have encountered such a post, that mocks my country. I also wish we weren’t making tall claims on being the next superpowers when we don’t even have a system to overcome our own power crisis. The Time World post ends with:
But any connection to the grid remains a luxury for many. One-third of India’s households do not even have electricity to power a light bulb, according to last year’s census.
If you heard a cracking sound, that is just my heart breaking… Do you feel bad too when you come across such news pieces?
A hobby is something you like to pursue in your leisure time. There are certain hobbies (or habits even) that if acquired for a lifetime do us a lot of good. Let us have a look at some of these:
- Reading: The single most powerful hobby in the world. And no sir, I do not exaggerate. If you were lucky enough in your childhood to have acquired this hobby I am sure you know what I mean. If you love to read, be it newspapers, comics, novels, non-fiction, heck even a blog, then you are arming your intellect with conversation starters, with the ability to analyze situations faster, with the knowledge on various subjects, you are loading your vocabulary, learning new ways of expressing yourself, and much much more. Reading is one hobby that if acquired for a lifetime will prove to be one of the best lifesavers in many situations.
Bonus: It also makes you look intelligent.
- Performing arts: Whether it is singing, dancing, playing an instrument or acting out a role, performing arts of any kind are a worthy hobby for character building. Because all the disciplines of the performing arts require a lot of molding and remolding, you also open yourself up for criticisms and thus it not only strengthens your character but builds a kind of self-esteem instead of ego. Though performing arts may not be directly as rewarding as reading, it definitely is a worthwhile hobby to add to your basket.
Bonus: It boosts your morale and helps relieving stress.
- Outdoor Sports: Ah! The one hobby that will take care of your body, mind and soul. Pick up any outdoor sport, cricket, tennis, football, basketball, even golf if you please, learn it, train for it. No one wants you to be a star sportsperson, just learn the game and enjoy playing it. An outdoor sport will not only see that you remain fit by getting some exercise but will even help you build your ethics and your team building power, will teach you what is camaraderie and how to respect your opponent and learn fair play. These lessons will come in handy when you are out their facing the world. Go get your old locked up sports equipment out!
Bonus: It boosts your morale and helps relieving stress, also makes you fit and strong!
These are just the three that I have added here to be in your must-have hobbies. Are there anymore you would want to suggest???