Thursday, August 30, 2012

Better Alone Than Lonely In A Crowd

 A friend of mine who has come out of a not so good relationship and now by the grace of God is getting
into a beautiful one told me the other day that while she was in the interim period in between relationships, she realized how it was so much better to be alone than being lonely in the relationship she was in.

The words have been resonating in my mind ever since I had this little chat with her. It is so true for not
just romantic relationships but all our relationships in general - family, friends...etc etc ...

We strive to be the center of someone else’s life only to reach there all alone in the middle of someone
else’s universe, alone and lonely. (most of the times at least)

If God is kind to you there might be someone and something out there for whom you will be the center of the universe one day and you will never ever be alone or lonely. But while you search for it, my wish for you is that you learn, accept and enjoy being alone.

Start loving your company, doing things for yourself and remember that even though you might be with a
whole jing bang of people or with that someone you consider special, you are your own best friend, always.

And for that very special friend, I wish her a lifetime of happiness and togetherness! 

Image courtesy - Google 

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Shiva Trilogy - Not Really A Book Review

Richard Bach in his book ‘Illusions’ said that when you are looking for answers just open a book and start reading, the answers will be there for you. 

I have been readying the Shiva Trilogy – The immortals of Meluha and the Secret of the Nagas and I have to admit I am in love with Shiva. 

With no intention of hurting the sentiments of fanatic Hindus, I think Shiva is so hot. Is it his passion, strength or the world of weed he lives in? Or is it his honestly, humility and love? I am not sure but he certainly has it in him to be the ideal man for any woman!

I loved the books. They are quite the page turners and are written in an uncomplicated, breezy ease. I like how the writer has tried to bring in facts, history, spirituality and mythology together. I read chapter 3 of book 2 almost five times to understand the masculine and feminine way of life from the Hinduism outlook.

Strangely, answers started coming. 

I am not ritualistic but I have a lot of faith and believe in something spiritual existing everywhere around me. I have read a lot on new age spirituality and a lot on Buddhism but I never got down reading about Hinduism. Perhaps because I was forced to watch Ramayana and Mahabharata on Sunday mornings all through my childhood, I considered that as a learning ground and never revisited it.
But there is so much more to it than the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and it goes way before they were even written. This I have come to realize now.

It is fascinating to understand the core of what we are from an adult point of view. Everything seems different. And as they say, comes to us at the right time. 

It is this amazing web of a way of life that leads to one thing – balance and change.

Transformation is the key to everything; it is the only constant. The trick is to balance it.

So I look around me and wonder, if I apply this in everything that is transpiring in my life right now, it could be a sure shot way of ensuring permanent happiness. 

And suddenly it all seems so simple. 

I wondered what I was running after, when it was all, always within me.

So while I wait for the third book to be published, I am taking a back seat, taking it easy. I don’t need everything to happen NOW. I need to live the now....
....Sipping a glass of wine and watching the sunset. I know Shiva wouldn’t mind, he's here smoking his chillum right next to me!

Order your copy of The Shiva Trilogy here

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Heart Warming Stories, Soulful Food : Bringing a bit of Pune into my kitchen - Chicken and Leek Stroganoff, an ode to Prems

One of my favorite places in Pune while I spent five years there was Prems. Quaint and relaxed, it was the perfect place to go to anytime of the day. No clue how ‘happening’ it is now but back in those days it was perfect for the once a month splurge on a good meal kind of place, apt for a first date or to spend a few hours drinking beer and reading a book. Prems appealed to everyone.

I used to love the way a huge tree would cover the entire courtyard and in the late afternoon little leaves would fall down and scatter on pristine white table cloths. I still remember they had a cat or two which was not very pleasing for me but it did add some character to the place. However, what I most remember about Prems is the Chicken Stroganoff. 

The first time I ever tasted Stroganoff was  in fact at Prems. And I became a regular for Stroganoff and beer.  The creaminess and the flavor of the dish were delectable. Even today I can think about it and go into a dreamy state that reminds me of those carefree college days, late afternoon lunches, a chilled foster and the Chicken Stroganoff. 

A few days ago I woke up thinking about Prems. Yes, I dream of food. Kill me if you want to.

As luck would have it I was browsing through one of my JamieOliver cook books and I found his 19 minute recipe to Chicken and Leek Stroganoff. Can you believe my excitement, Maybe I should have asked the lord for a million bucks!

Anyways it was the weekend and post a quick trip to the grocery store, I was ready. The Stroganoff turned out YUM and bought little taste of Pune in my home with a whole lot of memories to think and reminisce about during the weekend.

I just love how food brings us closer to who we are, where we come from and takes us, where we ought to be.

Chicken and Leek Stroganoff

So here’s the quick and easy recipe thanks to Jamie Oliver (it took me longer than 19 minutes though :-))

What you need

Rice – I used one cup Basmati
Leeks – The recipe said 1 large leek but I found a packet of baby leeks and used those
Mushrooms – used regular white ones
2 chicken breasts
Olive oil
A glass of white wine  - J I used more than a glass
A bunch of fresh parsley
around 250 gms of single cream
1 lemon 
Seasoning – salt and freshly ground pepper

And what you do
Boil rice as you would and set aside.
In the meanwhile, chop the leeks, slice the chicken into little finger type size, slice the mushrooms.
Heat a pan and add the butter, olive oil, leeks and white wine with some water and seasoning. Cover with a foil and let it boil away for five minutes.
Chop the parsley and then add the chicken, mushrooms, parsley and cream to the pan. Bring to a boil, add seasoning and simmer till the chicken is cooked. Just before turning off the heat, add some more seasoning if need be and half of the lemon juice.

Serve on a bed of rice with some parsley garnishing and wedges of lemon.

As easy as it gets!

Happy cooking!


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