Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Plum Cake


my cute little christmas plum cake


So Christmas came and went. We welcomed it on 24th midnight and made it merry in our own Punjabi way over a get together with family and friends. 25th day was quite usual, however I did plan to make the evening special by baking a cake. Afterall, what is Christmas without the sweetness of a home-baked plum cake right?

Monday, December 23, 2013

mane tale



The song Bad Day by Daniel Powter is usually on my mind and my lips when I face the “mane” crisis (read: a bad hair day). Most of us face the “crazy hair” problem at least twice a week if not more. An unruly mane can turn your life into your worst nightmare. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

EX not AXis



image source:google
Just the other day I was sitting with a friend who has been going through a low phase in life (read: single yet complicated in the head, slow economy hitting the business and the list goes on). I told him how we are all facing some or the other crisis on the personal front and that everyone is feeling the economy’s heavy strong firm fist in the stomachs of their business. He was no exception. The good times will come. However it was his relationship woe that stayed back with me through the night and turned into the seed this post has emanated from.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Serendipity



image source:google

















Serendipity…..
Is getting that unexpected happy drive by fate
On a balmy winter morning
When a meeting for some odd reason gets late
And on the radio you hear Bob Marley singing

Friday, November 29, 2013

tutti frutti almond biscuits


It was our first wedding anniversary on Monday. I had planned a midnight Sunday surprise for my husband. A post dinner coffee with greeting cards hanging from the ceiling and the entire place lit with candles and the room filled with the fragrance of fresh flowers. I planned to bake him crispy tutti frutti biscuits that he could enjoy dunking in his cup of tea or coffee.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

To the starbucks attendant


Just yesterday, I was thinking to myself that my next post is not going to be anytime sooner than any day in the last week of this month. But then at quarter to twelve, with the hands forming a right angle in the dial of my watch something happened that induced me to put today’s post on the blog.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Diwali 2013



photo courtesy: aditi ranotra

Diwali also called deepawali, is one of the most awaited festivals of the year in india. It is known as the festival of lights and marks the victory of good over evil. Diwali celebrations start with Dhanteras, which generally falls eighteen days after the Dussehra festival, followed by narak chaturdashi, commonly known as choti (small) Diwali and Diwali.

Diwali is celebrated with a huge fervour in india. People worship goddess lakshmi (goddess of wealth and prosperity), buy new clothes especially for this occasion, light and decorate their houses, buy sweets, exchange gifts and burn crackers.

Unlike the last few years, the Diwali of 2013 has been slightly different (blame the economy’s state and the changing trend).

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

happy realisation


I was about to turn 24 when my parents started looking for an eligible match for me. Like every single girl I was enjoying a carefree life and was reluctant to give in to the idea of marriage; however I said yes thinking that it will take at least one year to find the right match for me (you know how these things take time). Little did I know that when things are meant to happen they can happen in less than a month’s time.

Friday, October 25, 2013

karwachauth 2013



The festive spirits begin escalating with the month of October saying “hello” to us. First it is the navratras, and then comes karva chauth followed by the diwali celebrations. This post is about karwa chauth in particular. It is a festival in which Indian women fast from sunrise to moonrise for safety and longevity of their husbands. As per the tradition the mother-in-law gives sweets and other crackers (sargi) along with clothes, bangles and cosmetics to her daughter-in-law.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

mac & cheese



My husband is crazy about cheesy stuff. No by that I do not mean that he is romantically cheesy but he likes food that has loads and loads and loads of cheese (*eyes rolling*). He loves cheese to the extent that he orders for a cheese-burst pizza with some extra cheese on it. He often surfs the net to find out new recipes and generally ends up liking the ones that require a generous helping of cheese. A few days back he shortlisted the traditional macaroni and cheese commonly known as mac & cheese as one of the dishes he would like to try on a weekend.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

coffee-oreo banana ice-cream


The other day while I was surfing the net, I came across an ice-cream recipe with literally and practically no cream and milk. The ingredients that the recipe required were lying in my kitchen, so I thought to give the recipe a try.

Friday, October 11, 2013

truth behind hair colour discovered




The truth behind hair colour has been finally discovered. Most of us, till date, have been under the notion that the recent ammonia-free colours available in the market are less harmful for the hair as compared to the conventional permanent hair colours containing ammonia. The myth has been believed so strongly because ammonia-free colour does not smell too strong. However, Maria Castan a scientific communicator from P & G informed at the recently held Wella event that ammonia-free colour is not necessarily damage free.
a glimpse of the Wella event

Truth revealed:

Maria revealed the truth behind hair colour and threw light on the fact that ammonia-free permanent hair colours replace ammonia with another similar active ingredient which even though doesn’t smell can prove to be worse for a person’s hair.

The science behind the truth:

Every permanent hair colour requires an active ingredient, known as “alkalizer” which helps the colour enter the hair cuticles and colour it. For over 50 years, ammonia was being used as the alkalizer in most hair colours. The ammonia-free colours substitute ammonia by another less effective alkalizer called “MEA” which is used safely in semi-permanent colours. However, the higher concentration of MEA in permanent hair colours, makes the ammonia-free permanent hair colour more damaging for the mane.

Maria said that neither ammonia nor MEA, on their own are good or bad. What matters is the concentration of the alkalizer (ammonia or MEA) used in the hair colour. Maria also tells that the no-ammonia or ammonia-free hair colours have not shown any advantage in terms of hair protection.

After extensive research and analysis, Wella, which has been involved in colour innovation for over 133 years now, and believes in providing superior hair protection and colour results to its users, realises that hair damage is a crucial aspect which cannot be ignored. Hence, the brand has decided to not take the “no-ammonia” path for its permanent hair colour.

So the next time you pick a hair colour do take a note of the concentration of the alakalizer(ammonia or MEA) used in it.

Readers addressed

Q1. Is there a difference in the hair quality/texture for men and women and how does that govern their hair colour choices?
There is no difference on the hair biology (quality/texture) that will have an impact on colouring the hair or which should be their colour choices. The choice will be more driven by the trend, skin tone and natural hair colour more than the biological differences.
Q2. Is it safe to use hair colour after every 15 days and what should we do to keep them soft as after hair colouring, the hair become dry and start falling.
Hair colour it is safe to use as many times as you want, however, in order not to over process the hair, I would wait 2 weeks until the next coloration. I will always use a colour protection shampoo and conditioner to protect the vibrancy and the brilliance of the colour that will also help to avoid the dryness.
Q3. What is the best food for grey hair? Please share
                A Source suggests* that besides a few health disorders (thyroid and anemia) which can cause premature greying; certain nutritional deficiencies also lead to greying of hair. It is also suggested that decrease in melanin in hair roots, which gives hair its colour, can also cause hair to turn grey. Hence it is essential to include healthy food rich in vitamins and melanin in your diet to adorn healthy locks. Here is a list of few items one should incorporate in their diet to have stress free tresses:

  1.  Fresh leafy vegetables like spinach (source of B vitamins)
  2.  Chocolate (source of copper, which produces melanin in hair). Now you have a reason to grab a bar :p
  3.  Berries like gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries (source of vitamin C)
  4.  Almonds 
  5.   Curry leaves(apart from including these in your cooking one can add them to coconut oil and use the warm heated oil for a hair massage)
  6.     Dairy products 
  I hope this post helps the readers like it helped me .

                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                 *bold sky.com  


Sunday, October 6, 2013

the abhorred colour

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 42; the forty-second edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "COLOR"
Raman was a 10 years old, school going boy who disliked the domineering kids at school, loved his family and enjoyed playing with the cars in his toy room. With a hefty hyper active mother, a lanky sullen faced father and a petite over smart younger sister, his family of four was unique. Raman appeared to be the only sane one. Being such different individuals the only thing that was common among them was their affinity to this particular colour. Their house was painted in this colour, the two cars they had were also the same colour. Moreover their wardrobe was filled with clothes in this same colour. Every time Raman’s parents visited school for a parents-teacher meet, the four of them together made for a sight. Due to this, the kids at school started teasing Raman. The churlish banter during his childhood days resulted in hatred for the family’s favourite colour. The phrase that the kids shouted used to scream in his head all the time.

As Raman grew into a 35 years old well settled man married to a beautiful girl he met in college, he had moved away from the figure of the colour that had shadowed his childhood. His house was painted in a chalky white and He, now, drove a silver sedan. His wardrobe was full of different colours except that one particular colour that had haunted his school days. Had one of those despotic kids met the handsome Raman now, they would have undoubtedly failed to recognize him.

However, even after achieving all he had dreamt of, there were those killing nights when Raman was woken up by the screaming kids from his childhood, pulling his leg. Ignoring the banter, all Raman missed in his life now was the joy of a baby. He and his wife had been trying to have a child of their own for the last 5 years. The doctors had given up.

One fine day, while planting a tree in his neighbourhood Raman got hold of a stone which had a something scribbled on it. On reading it closely, Raman realised that it is a riddle of some sort, the answer to which might take him to a secret place. The riddle went like

“Down the street, in a place discreet
Stands a building, tall and alone
With barbed wire, it is barred
Something hidden behind your favourite flowers in the backyard
The colour you abhor
Is the key to unlock life’s new door”

Out of sheer curiosity, Raman started a walk down the lane. He reached a dead end but could not see any building there. He had lost hope when he spotted an opening, next to the dead end, tucked behind a tree. The opening took him to a never ending narrow lane which Raman thought would take him nowhere.

After walking endlessly, a tired Raman, halted, closing his eyes and bending down, rested his palms on his knees. He got back standing straight looking at a dingy looking tall building. He saw the wiring done around it and wondered what was so special about the building that it was so protected. Not knowing how to get through that, he decided to walk back to his place when he noticed a ladder, with the help of the ladder he jumped onto the other side of the fence. With the pebble still clenched in his hand, he slowly walked towards the backyard and saw rows of blossomed daisies (his favourite flower) there. He was surprised to see such a well pruned garden at the back of such a shady building.

After sauntering through various rows, at the diagonally opposite corner, towards the end of the last row of daisies, he noticed a yellow coloured door. YELLOW the colour that he once adored and now simply abhorred. The colour suddenly brought all the ugly memories of school days flashing in his mind; kids yelling “yellow yellow, dirty fellow, your mother a buffalo”.  He closed his eyes, tried to relax and walked towards the door.

With a disgusting look on his face, he slammed the door open and found a basket with a bundle of happiness.

He found a baby girl sleeping in that wicker basket, tightly wrapped up in a pink blanket, her cheeks more red than an apple. He saw a note hanging from the basket. With tearful eyes and a dry throat he read it “your prayers have been answered; a gift for life”. He had never imagined that the yellow coloured door that he made a face at would open up to so much joy. He delicately picked up the little girl in his lap, kissed on her tiny little forehead and with a croaked voice said to her “you will surely change my life”.

He got back to his place and shared the new found happiness with his wife. Both Raman and his wife now felt that their family was complete. That night, laying in his bed, with his eyes constantly on their baby, Raman thanked the colour yellow for making his world complete. Since that day all his grudges with the colour yellow and the bitter childhood memories vanished into thin air.

It is best not to associate a colour with the past or bad memories or some superstition. You never know when that same colour becomes a blessing.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: XX

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Rishikesh Story

waiting to take the boat to the other side of the river

Who says growing old is bad when the celebrations that come with it leave you with memories to be cherished for life. This is exactly what happened at one of my husband’s friend’s birthday this year. Though his birthday was falling on a Monday, it was decided to make a quick camping trip to Rishikesh on the weekend before.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Truth Behind Hair Colour




image source:google

Let’s agree to the fact that we have all seen our mothers and fathers worrying over the increasing number of grey strands on their head. Although, NOW, I see grey mane becoming a trend but the majority of our older population still likes to keep those grey strands under cover with a coat of colour.

Monday, September 23, 2013

jam cookies



The other day my husband and I had gone to a nearby place for coffee. It is a cafĂ© cum bakery. While I was choosing a muffin to have with my cup of coffee my husband’s eyes fell on the jam cookies displayed at the counter. They were sitting in a tall glass jar and looked beautiful with that spoonful of round jelly like jam in the middle. My husband said “they look so tempting”. To this I asked him “should we buy some?” “No, not now” he replied back. I wondered “why not?”

Friday, September 20, 2013

a tub of ice-cream




 
image source:google












The one a.m. craving
The sweet tooth dreaming
The mouth drooling
Calls for a tub of ice-cream

Monday, September 16, 2013

mahalaxmi puja


I had been waiting for the mahalaxmi feast puja (ritual) for almost a year now. Last year when this ritual took place during the courtship period, my husband kept me updated with the undertakings at uncle’s place. Waiting for one entire year and dreaming about the feast was a bit tough on my gluttony stomach. Uncle’s wife(if you have read the ganesh chaturthi post you will know who uncle is) could have cooked the same food some other day also but my husband believes that the feel of devouring it all on the special occasion of mahalaxmi brings some unique flavour to the food which could not be experienced at a usual dinner. And after enjoying every bite of the feast yesterday I couldn’t agree more.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

a different start to ganesh chaturthi



Unlike every year, this year the ganesh chaturthi started differently. And there is more than one reason behind it.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

how it all began



image source:google

I have always enjoyed writing. When I was in school I contributed articles for the monthly news feed and the annual book. However, that time I was unaware that it will become such an important part of my life in the future.