What #MasterchefAus taught me

For the last 3 months , me and my husband Y have made a ritual to watch MCAus ( Master Chef Australia ) together every night on TV. It became such a constant ( and the only thing we liked most ) that on weekend s when there were no new episodes , we used to watch older season and random episodes of the same. We even tried the MC USA or MC junior USA too but it was nothing like the original Australia version of the show which is on its 10th season now.

Till now I had always watched this show ( and other food shows) purely for the fact that they had less drama , decent food knowledge and it exposed me to some brilliant cuisine and cooking technique. But something was different this time as I watched it with Y.

To give some context , Y is a very good cook and though I can keep my guests and family happy with the food , somewhere my passion for food was on a decline since I got married. Any number of trials would not make me consistently cook brilliantly and it some how made me all the more avoid cooking.

So this time , when we were watching the show , I got somehow more interested in the contestant’s passion about food and the way the judges guided them or discussed food. Me and Y would talk of the same during and after the show and all of this sparked the love for cooking in me again.

In one of the very initial pressure tests , what I realized that following a recipe is as much important as going by the gut when you are cooking something you do not know too well. So I started picking recipes even for the usual daily food I would cook , follow them word to word and the results were much better. More than anything , watching MCAus made me realize the important of giving each ingredient it’s own time to cook and it’s own place in the whole dish. Something’s do not work together and some things can simply elevate a dish. It is all about the care you take on preparing the dish , tasting as you go and being focussed on the dish rather than do it as a chore.

I learned that food too has a soul and when cooked with love , it gives one joy , that I have been missing in my own from some time. You don’t need others to tell you how the food is , if you are aware that you have cooked it with care and attention.

And so , this season of MCAus has not just given me and Y a reason and time to have some tv watching together but also helped me evolve as a person in kitchen.

And that’s a lesson I will want to keep using in 2019 and years to come …

Happy 2019 to you all and may your food be blessed always.

Rise beyond routine

While Hawkings toiled
on his ideas about time,
going back and forth
on is own thesis,
all theories need
not be believed,
but proved;he opined.
I wonder at existence,
perseverance
and the magnanimous
personality one must have
to rise beyond daily
routine and pettiness.
Greatness comes with price,
to be focused always
on the goal unknown,
tracing just the path
as and when it shows,
like a wingless flight.
I marvel at dedication
of people who become legends,
and wish their spirits
would bless me similar,
May I never lose hope
no matter where and how I end.

I watched the movie “Theory of everything” today. And over the weekend, I also watched the Dhoni movie. While watching both , the one thought that resonated all through me was the dedication and never to give up. We stray so easily from our own goals, its not even worth boasting. But this weekend , I decided to put some of the thoughts into action and see where my dreams lead me. Since the birthday month also started, I plan to begin the change process right from today. Hope the next year makes me really wiser with age ūüėČ

Letting go 

With half of the things , people or events that bother us , the problem lies with us. No , it is not expectations , ’cause after certain time , we all get¬†used to the patterns. The issue lies when we do not move on. Learning to let go , comes so hard to many of us including me.

Off late , I am doing a lot of things for no reason other than as if I wear heavy weight chains of “it won’t¬†look nice if i do not ..” or “I¬†can not refuse him/her ..” ¬†Whatever those things are , ¬†the compulsion of doing affects none other but me the most. I become irritated and angry on myself to not able to make a better decision. As a result , neither I enjoy nor can I hide it from the rest of the world. I have been told that this makes me appear as very unhappy or hostile person , which I am not. But once can not argue with perceptions forever , hence the need of the hour is to change yourself and build walls that no one can guess through.

I want to take a stand for my own joy and peace. I want to do things that will make me happy and I also know it should start with being alone and enjoying on my own . As I mentioned in this post, I have decided to shower myself with more¬†of self-love. This will be followed by¬†avoiding external factors that mess up my¬†peace and smiles in the day. The days I¬†can not do that , I will¬†find a corner , let my¬†hair down and read , paint or cook. Or perhaps write a rant post like this ūüėÄ

There is a song in hindi ( shared below ) which has lyrics that suggest, it is better to leave at a beautiful turn rather than drag the relationship to gutters and then end it. The same I plan to follow at moments when I know my heart is not in the activity and all my attempts to make it work have been futile.

Am¬†now going to learn to let go of the negative vibes and rather focus on the love that I attract. Lets make some things unknown to the consciousness ūüėČ

 

smile & silence : Two posts for #OctPoWriMo

I skipped writing yesterday , So please bear with two poems in this post [ both off the prompt perhaps ]

His smile

slight curve
of the silent lips
he fills my soul
slowly, sweetly;
sweaty palms
on my skin,
fingers sketching
trails of sin,
sigh, moan,
his eyes shine
oh love,I lust for
the way you smile…

Today’s prompt is silence. I have rarely liked being silent or silent people. there was a time when after a while , silence would make me uncomfortable. It changed when I had to move to a new city and was alone most weekends. Here is a thought on those days –

Lonliness – a mistress I keep
for company in nights
when all world sleeps
but not my thoughts;
silence – the child i never sought
until one night the knocks
on my heart’s door
took away my sleep;
there was much to learn
and so much more to know
about my love , my fears,
my denial and the pain,
my acceptance , be it late.
There was much to let go of,
the world was no more known
silence and loneliness took over
and I was never the same again.

 

===

 

This is for OctPoWriMo # 13 , 14

Of books , lessons , stories and some people

So this is nothing new that I am trying but maybe more regular. While writing fiction most days, I feel I have developed an entirely new glass to see the world through (And its a lovely one indeed). So for once a week / 10 days , I will try to write of the other stuff I feel I should mention ( no particular reason ) . Read if you wish ..

first is a note of thanks ( many many thanks ) to slpmartin  . none inspires , amazes and makes you feel good about writing like he does. There are days when I write knowing he will atleast read it and if liked , his comments are so heartfelt. Thank you !

Best of the last week would be a home trip after a long time ( although it was for short duration ) and the Visit to book fair !

The Book fair .. After making and cancelling the plans 4 times for the book fair , Sunday evening I got down at the Pragati¬†Maidan Metro station for no real reason. I was getting suffocated¬† in the metro maybe or I just did not want to reach my room that early .. whatever be the cause ,¬† I found myself standing on the platform and blankly staring at the people coming in / out of the metros. After 3 metros have passed I realized I was just 100 m away from the book fair. And that’s¬†when I made a run for it. Two hours at the venue with my heavy bag on shoulders , I visited half the halls , specially the theme hall , bought a story collection by Premchand ( I always wanted to read him ) and came back with a lovely Ganesha Poster ( Pic to be shared later) . God totally loves me !!

I also finished reading A Calendar too Crowded yesterday [ click here for the detailed review¬†] while reviewing ,¬† I forgot to mention a story from the book. So this tale is of a “nice girl who deserves / will get better ” . I could relate to the ideas and feelings of this girl who is too nice for being a girlfriend or even ask some guy to consider the option while she keeps helping every one around. But what I was thankful about was the lesson with which the chapter closes. The author states that If you are such a girl, you sure should love yourself the most ’cause you are the best and nicest girl around. And do not be upset over the guys who did not value you. Remember , You are a nice girl and you deserve better.

ūüėÄ

and there is an ebook promotion going on Smashwords.  Click here to check the books included in the promotion [ These are free / at discounted prices] for this week only.

Well all is not so happy in the world. And We often see prejudiced people around us. Yesterday night I went to get vegetables from the nearest shop and there was this long queue [ ok , just 5 people before me. but usually there is NO queue there ] at the billing counter. When I went to join the queue , the lady in the last indicated me to take her place and she stood behind me. I was surprised at this generosity until I realized that in front of me stood a house maid in old clothes. The lady behind me was still staring at her with such disgust that I felt so odd. She could not even bear to stand behind the maid ? really ??

ufff¬† ūüė¶

 

And lastly , check this blog started by @vivekisms : http://55words.blogspot.in/  РA new theme for #55wordstory each day. Some day I will share all the stories I wrote for the blog. Till then, have a read and if you like , do take part. Follow him on twitter, write on the daily theme and email the stories to him !

Well thats all for now.  More good and bad of my days in next post.