Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Leftover Parathas

I have a recurring nightmare about waking up to a fridge overflowing with leftovers. Domestic goddess I most certainly am not! There was a time in the distant past, almost eleven years ago to be precise, when the mother in law on her first visit to our first home as newly weds had been aghast to find a little mountain of seaweed growing in the refrigerator's veggie tray. Closer inspection and detailed analysis revealed that it was originally a slab of paneer that had congealed with some leftover dhaniya patta and festered over several days to what now resembled the grassy slopes of Mount Mansfield. What had transpired was this: the husband and I had been taking turns to do the groceries since both of us had hectic travelling schedules with our respective jobs and tended to be on the move about fifteen to twenty days in a month. On one such trip I had ambitiously bought a handsome looking chunk of paneer fully intending to turn it into a succulent paneer makhni. The next day I had to dash off to Vishakapatnam to look into some pressing work issues (stagnating sales of Iodex of the 'Iodex maliye, kaam pe chaliye' tagline if you must know) and had conveniently forgotten about aforementioned paneer. The husband in the meantime bought some fresh and sprightly looking dhaniya (to be turned into chutney, we were informed later), dumped it on the paneer (thereby successfully camouflaging it from human view) and dashed off to Shanghai for a sales conference. Needless to say, the fresh and sprightly dhaniya was soon relegated to an obscure corner of his memory. When the MIL went on her investigative expedition of the refrigerator a couple of days (or maybe it was weeks?) later the paneer had been reduced to a (greyish) shadow of its former creamy, chunky self and the dhaniya was a tragic reminder of better days that had once been lived through. United in their misery, together they just formed a desolate, green clump.

Skimming lightly over that unfortunate incident that has since been relegated to the Distant Past (lets just say, the MIL gets a greenish tinge reminiscent of Mount Mansfield if anyone says the word 'paneer') and coming briskly to the present moment, we have come a long long way since those days and such domestic disasters no longer abound. In fact I'm now quite the domestic diva thanks to the latent Paranoia Gene that was activated post motherhood along with the Health and Safety Sensors. However the traumas of the past do not fade lightly and I often have nightmares in which a shimmering green chunk slithers around an otherwise immaculate fridge veggie tray. My paranoia for Lurking Leftovers had gone into an overdrive yesterday because due to a series of unplanned and unforeseen events the food that had been cooked for lunch and dinner had not been consumed in the desired quantities and as a result I went to bed with a heavy heart and much anxiety about what to do with said leftovers. I needn't have worried though because unbeknownst to me, P turned out to be quite the star when it comes to converting Lurking Leftovers into Bedazzling Breakfasts, and I woke up this morning to freshly brewed tea and P's Luscious Leftover Parathas! Recipe below for those who are interested ( and those who may have shimmering green chunks lurking in their paneer, er, past):

Leftover Parathas

Half and half quantities of whole wheat flour and makki ka atta
Leftover kala chana gravy
Leftover lauki kofta curry
Leftover vegetable ratatouille

Knead all of the above in a large mixing bowl with dahi and some water. Adjust salt to taste. Serve fresh off the pan with dollops of creamy dahi! (And butter for the kids who are still young and don't have to worry about their burgeoning weight).
P.S. You can also add some grated paneer and freshly chopped coriander to the above ;)

Much leftover happiness today which has lasted well past breakfast!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Baby's first steps

And the baby of the house is now officially a toddler! Yes, Mister Cube took his first few confident steps today* :)

Technically these were not really his first steps, he has been on the verge of graduating from baby to toddler for a while now, with a few independent steps thrown in among all the relentless cruising, but today for the first time he didn't falter even once and took a few super confident steps without reaching once for Mama's hand. And once he had begun, there was just no stopping him! He was trotting around in no time with the trademark look of exhilaration clubbed with wonder that all babies have when they first discover walking independently. I still remember the exact same expression on Nikki's face when she took her first steps in our balcony. With her though, I'd been waiting for those first independent steps for what seemed like eons and when the moment finally arrived I was over the moon. This time round, it was more of a bittersweet feeling. My littlest baby is growing up. And he's growing up in what seems like fast forward mode! I don't know if it feels like this with all second babies but they just seem to grow way too soon. Maybe its because as a mother you just have more stuff to do caring for two children and you don't have the intense focus (read hyper paranoia in my case!) you did when it was just the one child, but it feels like time has just whizzed past the second time round. From helpless newborn babe-in-arms to little wriggler to his very own innocuous looking but rapid track belly crawl to sitting, cruising and now toddling, my precious time with my growing-too-quick baby has gone by in a flash.

You'd think with five years of parenting behind me I would've got used to it by now but clearly I haven't. I was really having fun with the cruising and the first few faltering steps which always ended with a frenzied dash into Mama's waiting arms for some much needed comfort before setting off on the next expedition :) But before I knew it (and clearly before I was ready for it, although I wonder if I would ever get to that stage!) Mama's arms were being impatiently brushed off as little Mister Cube discovered that his two chubby little legs didn't need no support no more! And just like that he was toddling, no brakes! And in his case no speed bumpers either, clearly our man believes in living life on the fast track!

And so yet another milestone is achieved and another little birdie gets ready to discover his new found wings. And the little birdie's Mama is going to try and put a lid on her melodramatic tendency to start weeping over her soon to be empty nest (just eighteen odd years away and at the rate at which they're whizzing past I'll probably be blogging about it here tomorrow!) and instead revel in the new found and incomparable joys of a toddler's first steps. Here's to that on #HappyDay4.

*Today was actually yesterday**
** No I haven't completely lost my marbles (yet), Mister Cube took his first few steps yesterday (Sunday the 28th). This post is appearing a day late thanks to the Gods of the Internet- hopefully their wrath will abate today and I'll be back to blogging on a regular schedule.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Breakfast Yoga

Kick started yoga today after nearly a year long hiatus.Its not the traditional yoga that I personally prefer; its closer to power yoga but the class fits in really well with my current weekly schedule and so I decided to sign up. Also, its a class I've done before and I really took to it the last time. Apart from the obvious fitness benefits, it really helped me get in touch with myself physically and mentally (looong way to go before we can add spiritually to that list methinks!). It has the perfect mix of postures, breathing and meditation and is just the right amount of challenging you to the point where you think you can't take it anymore, inter spaced with really feel good relaxation.

Perfect way to kick off a Saturday. Walk through early morning quiet to get to the class. An hour of yoga which felt really good to get back to. Back home to breakfast with the husband and kids only to find that the kids had been brushed and breakfasted (Go P!) and were really happy to see me home. Feeling limbered up, stretched out (in a good way!) and blissed much.

***The Day 3 post is appearing a day late because the internet decided to play hooky last evening for the substantial part of an hour and thereafter seemed to develop a serious bipolar disorder. Also, it was Dandiya night and I'd promised Nikki I'd take her dancing, so after much impatient persistence I gave up and decided to just post today instead.

Friday, September 26, 2014

After Eight

No it's not the chocolate I'm talking about. Although, given the chocoholic that I am, that divine chocolate bathed mint is quite likely to figure in this list one of these days too. But for today, it is the time that I'm talking about. After eight. Eight p.m. that is (Eight a.m.? Now that be a whole different story. School runs. Ack!).

Eight p.m. is when the kids go to bed and I am once again the master of my own time. Eight p.m. is when silence, peace and tranquility descend over our hitherto bustling household where up until then chaos, disarray and mayhem have been merrily reaching an ear shattering crescendo. Okay, maybe I'm getting a little carried away here, those are only the bad days, but anyhoo (Yes! Always wanted to use that word somewhere) post eight p.m., once the two little munchkins are safely tucked in bed, life becomes significantly quieter and one can actually envision oneself sitting down for fifteen minutes at a stretch with a mug of hot chocolate without having to mediate a fight, supervise an art activity or prevent a soap flake or a dust ball from being ingested by the resident soon-to-be- toddler.

Suffice to say the after eight feeling is right up there on the list of things that give me the instant 'I love my life right now' feeling.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Happy Firsts

It was kind of like love at first sight...


I still remember the day we first met. It was the perfect setting. The lights were dim. Trance like music pulsating in the background. I was feeling impatient, restless. I'd been looking for someone like her for a while now but I didn't know then that she was, quite literally, just around the corner. I nearly bumped into her as I turned said corner and screeched to a halt just short of her. My pulse quickened as I laid eyes on her. Was she the one I had been looking for? I came to a decision after a few minutes of mulling over this.Yes, she was. It didn't me long after that. I can be very quick to act when I want to. Almost impulsive sometimes. And act quickly I did. It was just a matter of days before she was back at my place. I got back home early the day she first arrived. I could feel the excitement coursing through my veins just thinking about her back at home, waiting for me. And waiting she was, in the exact place I had envisioned her to be when I'd first laid eyes on her. I approached her, almost dizzy with anticipation. She was gorgeous. My very own beauty in black. My breath caught in my throat as I reached out and touched her gleaming black curves. I couldn't wait any longer. Grasping her firmly by the sides I moved quickly and...............RAN. My very own Sole F80 treadmill was here at last! She was sleek, gorgeous and stunning! And running on her was an absolute joy! We've kept our running dates quite religiously after that, she and I. Come hail or hot weather, rain or even too much shine, we make it a point to run all our troubles away. Because running on her is sheer, unadulterated happiness! This is my first hundred days of happy then. And I even got a picture!

My Sole Mate :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I give comebacks a bad name...

...BUT I have a plan! And about time too. Between work, artsy craftsy projects with the five year old, bed time battles with the eleven month old (some things never grow old), travel and the million other things that constitute my life currently, it was becoming only too easy to neglect this space. Except for the niggling little voice in my head that piped up every now and then, reminding me why I had started this blog in the first place. So, five whole years later (I know! We may lose out on consistency but full marks for persistence!), here I am yet again giving it another shot. Unlike the long, rambling, excuse laden posts that I've been wont to indulge in earlier (aside from the fact that with two children, long rambling posts now seem like a bit of a luxury), I'm going to keep it short and crisp this time round. No excuses. Its been five months since the last post but lookie, I'm back! AND, like I said, I have a plan. I'm sure all of you (I can has imaginary readers. So there.) have heard of this. You can't not have. Unless you eschew social media, avoid newspapers because what are they but harbingers of doom every morning and have a whole bunch of friends who think like you. In which case you probably wouldn't be reading this either, so its safe to assume that you do know about the #100HAPPYDAYS challenge. You've probably even done it yourself! I know I've been fantasizing about it for a while now, as a means of reviving this blog. What better way to revive your fading blogging mojo than to publicly take up a challenge like this one and then keep at it hundred days in a row! Originally, I was even planning to follow the guidelines and do a picture a day like the challenge says. And that is precisely why I've been fantasizing about it for so long and done zilch to make the fantasy come true. Because, as many of my close friends will tell you, the chances of me clicking a new picture every single day, even if it is of something that sends me into raptures of joy (unless its the kids and you can't really put a pic of the children every single day, aside from the obvious privacy issues) and then actually uploading it on the blog and writing about it are about as bright as the weather department getting the forecast right with unmatched accuracy every single time. Hopelessly dim, in other words. So I thought I'd just stick to the writing. That being the idea of doing this challenge in the first place. To come here and write. Because with me, and I suspect it would be this way with most bloggers, the more I write the, more I write. The less I write, the further the blog slips into depressing blog-oblivion. I might even throw in the occasional picture on good days! But for the most part it will be about the writing. And the blog reviving. And as a bonus, I even get to be happier, more optimistic, in a better mood yada yada like the challenge says. Not that I need much to make me happy these days. About six straight hours of sleep without the baby waking up for a session of intense night time rocking/ lullaby singing is enough to make me wake up ecstatic. My needs are simple like that. The main thing for me about doing this is really to get this blog up and running again. So, if I do  stick to the guidelines and manage to get a post up everyday, I'm actually going to have one hundred posts up here in the next hundred days! Which is considerably more than the just about hundred odd posts I've managed in the last five years. And that in itself will make me feel quite chipper. Here's to #100BloggyDays then. Blogging Nirvana here I come!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What to expect (from your preschooler) when you're expecting (the second baby)!: Part 2

Random conversations around the house...

The Mommy Woman and Nikki are enjoying a leisurely alfresco brunch while The Daddy Man determinedly pounds away on the treadmill to the tune of Linkin Park. In the pre second pregnancy days, I'd usually oblige Nikki post my treadmill workout with her very own 'workout' which comprised setting the treadmill to the slowest speed and holding her hand as she gingerly took a few steps with a look of intense concentration on her face, before collapsing in a heap and demanding an 'energy drink'.

Nikki: Mama, why don't you work out on the treadmill anymore?

TMW: The doctor has asked me not to for some time because I have a baby in my tummy now.

Nikki (lost in thought): Ohhhh....Mama?

TMW: Yes?

Nikki: I have a baby in my tummy too! So I also won't work out on the treadmill from now on.

TMW: Erm...OK!

Nikki: Let Dada work out. He only has Poha in his tummy!

*Sound of The Daddy Man crashing off the treadmill to the tune of Linkin Park in the background*


Nikki: When I have a baby sister we will both play with my Barbie dolls.... When I have a baby sister we will both dress up like princesses....When I have a baby sister we will....

TMW: What if its a boy?

Nikki: YOU are having the baby, make sure its a girl!

TMW: It can be either a boy or a girl so you have to be okay with the fact that you may get a baby brother as well.

Nikki: I know! If its a baby brother, just go back to the mall and exchange it for a baby sister!


The husband and I are having one of our usual  intense and meaningful discussions about what to name the new baby:

Me: If its a girl, do you like the names Ria/ Aditi/ Riddhima/ Amyra/ Tara?

The Husband, nose buried in Blackberry, in a firm and convinced tone: NO. Okay, maybe... Ria is okay...

Me: You like Ria?

The Husband: Come to think of it, not. NO.

Me: If its a boy, what do you think of Aryan, Neel, Abeer, Arnav....

The Husband (cutting me off midway, or maybe it was right at the outset):  No, no, NO!

Me: Bhalachandra, then?

TH: It does have a nice sound to it...

Nikki: Mama! I have already decided the baby's name!

Me: Eh?

Nikki: If its a girl, we'll call her Anika Dubey (name of current BFF) and if its a boy we'll call him Arnav Priyadarshi (name of current BMF)

Me: Ermm, Anika and Arnav are nice names but we may want to drop the surnames seeing as in their fathers and your father may have a slight problem with that.


TH, nose firmly ensconced in Blackberry again: See? This is a pointless conversation. The names are already decided!


It is the third trimester and The Mommy Woman is waddling around the house.

Nikki, with a look of faint alarm on her face: Mama, your tummy is really big now...

TMW: Yes darling, the baby will be ready to come out soon!

Nikki: Is your tummy going to grow any more?

TMW: Um, yes, there are three months more to go so it will grow a little more.

Nikki, look of faint alarm now replaced with undisguised horror: Will your tummy grow so big that it touches the roof??

TMW: Hahaha! No don't worry, its not going to grow that big!

Nikki: Don't worry Mama, if your tummy grows too big and you start flying away like a hot air baloon, I will tie a string around your ankle so that you don't fly away!

Look of undisguised horror passes from Nikki's face to The Mommy Woman's.