Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Samarth's quiet musings..

Last evening, Samarth was sitting next to me and watching me paint a clay pot [I was using acrylic paints]. He then announced that he would also like to paint with me.

I knew that if I had given the brush to him at that moment, he'd have created a mess by insisting that he would paint on the same pot. So for the moment I told him that when he grows to be a big boy, I will buy him paints and then he can also paint with me.
He was quiet for some time... and then said: 'Amma big.... ; Samu small !' :)

My little baby is growing up; in more ways than one :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Festive Kolams :)


This one and the below done by me for Samarth's birthday poojai








This one was done by my periamma [aunt]

And this one by me :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yummy Yum Mysorepak [My first attempt!!]

Hi Everyone !! :-)

Here are the images of my first attempt at making MysorePak..... turned out super yum !! :-)


The mysore pak is ready to be set into pieces. I couldn't take pics of the stages of production; if I had tried to, I'd have ended up burning the mixture :-))



Mysorepak !! 
 Do pardon the shapes in this pic ... cos all the nice square pieces have been packed for Samarth's cute n adorable greatgrandmas to relish in India !!

So here goes the recipe:

Besan - 1.5 cups
Ghee - 2 cups [I used Amul]
Sugar - 1.5 cups [powder it so that the mysorepak is smooth to taste and not crunchy]
Water - 1.5 cups

Before you begin, grease a steel thali with ghee and set aside.
Take a heavy bottomed wok and put 2 tbsp ghee in it. When the ghee gets warm, add the besan to it slowly and roast nicely till the you get the nice fried aroma.  Keep stirring and the gas should be really really low, because besan can burn easily. Set aside. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, set the water to boil.

Once it begins to boil, add the powdered sugar and keep stirring till it reaches a single thread consistency [You'll know if you touch it between your thumb and index finger]. Immediately add the besan in parts and keep stirring so that it does not form any lumps. Once the besan has mixed well in the sugar syrup, start adding the ghee. You have to work really fast at this stage, else it will not blend in well. Add half a cup of ghee first and then keep adding in the same proportions until the mixture drinks up the ghee, begins to turn brown and starts to form a non-gooey mass and it will leave the sides of the saucepan.  Immediately pour into the greased thali and cut into the square / diamond shapes before it begins to cool.

It will take about 10-15 mins to set well and cool. Enjoy the Mysorepak - and whoever is trying this recipe, do let me know how it turned out !!!





Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Deepavali !!

I hope all of you enjoyed Deepavali yesterday and I pray that this year brings cheer and prosperity in your lives. We had a nice celebration with yummy eats and good quality family time.



My piece of art !! I made it with shimmer rangoli colours and it looked just magical :-)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some more Rangoli designs

Try these out, my dear friends - for this festive season - and don't forget to send me Pics !!! :) Pat, this goes out especially for you !




Mehndi Designs

One more, for the festive season :)


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Try this for Diwali? It's more like a Satya Paul design.. abstract :-)


Rangoli Designs for Diwali


I've put togther some nice Rangoli patterns for Diwali - simple and easy-to-create even for beginners. Do try them and let me know. There are just 4 here, but you can find other patterns on my blog too.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tag Dasa !!

Pallavi has tagged me with the Tag Dasa! What's that??? Well, read on !

Tag Rules: It’s harder than it looks!(Mind It). Copy to your own note, erase my answers, enter yours, and tag your friends.
Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions.
They have to be real… nothing made up!(nahi to police pakedega Sabdhan!!!)
If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers.
You cannot use any word twice and you can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question. Have Fun!!

1. What is your name: Urmila
2. A four Letter Word: Urge
3. A boy’s Name: Utkarsh
4. A girl’s Name: Ujwala
5. An occupation: Ululating [Blowing the conch at a temple, ok ok now don't glare at me, I had to create that one]
6. A color: No idea ! :P
7. Something you wear: Underwear [Ugh ok gross I know but can't help it]
8. A food: Uble Hue Ande :D
9. Something found in the bathroom: Ujala [Chaar Boondon Waala Haan Haan :D]
10. A place: Umayalpuram
11. A reason for being late: Upset stomach [Phew !!]
12. Something you shout: 'Ukkanthuko Samarth !!' [meaning Samarth, please sit down.. I say that to him all the time]
13. A movie title: Oops [2003]
14. Something you drink: Ubla Hua Doodh !
15. A musical group: U Srinivas and his mandolin [Doesn't that make a group]
16. An animal: -No Idea-
17. A Street name: Ujjant Marg
18. A type of car: whaaaaaaaaaaat
19. A song title: Unchey Log Unchi Pasand...hey hey hey hey Maanikchand
20. A verb: unnerve

Now I tag
Sandhya - http://thefunnytruth.blogspot.com/
Janaki - http://theindianticket.blogspot.com/

Have Fun ladies ! :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Arranged :: Re-arranged

Fragrant flowers of the malli* adorned her hair; the tinkle of her anklets resonated through the house. The house bustled with girls running around in their colourful skirts. Neatly arranging the bangles on her wrists, Surabhi pondered. The saffron hue of her silk saree lent her face an endearing glow as the evening sun warmed the room. Aunt Padma had given her a big lecture the day prior, on how she was to 'appropriately' conduct herself before Narayan and his parents [read, eyes lowered, soft voice, speak-only-when-required]. She gazed at herself once more in the mirror and happy with her appearance, she moved over and sat on the cane swing in her favourite part of this room.

The sizzle of bajjis frying and the aromas of the heavy-with-ghee kesari enticed her senses and distracted her for some seconds. What was happening here today and was she really going to go through this age-old tradition? Surabhi smiled to herself and arranged her expressions to befit a future bride.

A shuffle, a hushed whisper, and someone trying to hastily end a conversation. She peeped out, to see Narayan huddled against the wall. "Heyyy darling, how could I? Oh, today? It's just a formality, don't worry. It's only for today. I'll be with you soon. Ok hush, hush now let me go before someone tiptoes on me. Ooh Ashwi, I'm yours forever".

The ornate jewellery; the malli flowers; the bangles :: the glow dissipiated. She was enraged, furious, wanted to go question him why, and why did he only think of himself and his life. And what did she expect from him, when the perpetrator of her sorrow was one of her own? Surabhi didn't spare a thought for Ashwini anymore. For 9 months they'd jostled for space in the same womb, and growing up was a journey filled with compromises, adjustments and fostering of secret pacts. Today, her twin had dealt the final blow. Usurped her emotions, and played the biggest game of their life.

---
*malli: the fragrant jasmine

Saturday, August 8, 2009

-Urmi- Unravelled !! :)

1.What is your current obsession? Reorganizing :P
2. What are you wearing today? – An Ochre Salwar Kameez
3. What’s for dinner? At my mom's place - so paratha-subzi :) Maa ke haath ke baney !
4. What’s the last thing you bought? Clothes for a newborn baby back home in India, to be sent with my inlaws
5. What are you listening to right now? Marathi songs
6. What do you think about the person who tagged you? Pallavi ! She's my soul sister, she's a mirror image of me!!
7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be? Dubai and by the beach please :-)
8. What are your must-have pieces for summer? Sleeveless tops, and cool accessories
9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? India to say hi to all my cousins!
10. Which language do you want to learn? Maybe Punjabi
11. What’s your favorite quote? I will change this question - What's my fave pastime? - Singing and writing
12. Who do you want to meet right now? My folks in India
13. What is your favorite colour?Usually bottle-green and red.
14. What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own closet? Some nice salwar kameezes, the dressy occasion types.
15. What is your dream job? Freelance travel writing!
16. What’s your favorite magazine? Ahlan Masala!, n any magazines that have interesting woman-related topics.
17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on? Books for my son and craft kits for myself.
18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas? Chipped nail polish
19. Who are your style icons? Anyone who can carry off their clothes comfortably - One of my husband's aunts is super gorgeous in anything she wears.
20. Describe your personal style?Casual and comfortable (see Pallo, we are so similar )
21. What are you going to do after this? Try to study
22. What are your favorite movies? Dil Chahta Hai, Zubeidaa.
24. What are three cosmetic/makeup/perfume products that you can’t live without? Eskinol cleansing water, my Nivea facewash and a kohl pencil. On the days that my skin is happy, these are more than sufficient.
24. What do you carry in your bag? On most days I am out with my son, so we share the same bag. Baby wipes, Pampers, Spare clothes for him and his toys.
25. What do you do when you “have nothing to wear” (even though your closet’s packed)? Wear a cotton salwar kameez
26. Coffee or tea?Always coffee - I am nauseated at the smell of tea...have never liked it !
27. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?Chocolate usually does the trick, or listening to a good song, or seeing a friend online.
28. What is the meaning of your name? It's from the Ramayana - Urmila was Lakshman's wife.
29. Which other blogs you love visiting? Pallavi's and a few other cookery blogs.
30. Favorite Dessert/Sweet? Icecream, Chocolate and Mysore Paak [i am biased towards the mysorepaak from Sri Krishna Sweets]
31. Favorite Season ?Winter
32) If I come to your house now, what would u cook for me? Pasta tossed in garlic n veggies
33)What’s your current mood? Sleepy :P
34) This is my own question - What's your favourite time of the day? - Late mornings !


=========The rules are:Respond and rework – Answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, and add one more question of your own.
Then tag eight or ten other set of people.Others in my blogroll, please feel free to drop by and collect yours

Patricia - http://coloursdekor.blogspot.com/
Sandhu http://www.thefunnytruth.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 19, 2009

Interior Decoration @ My house in Abu Dhabi :-)))




First two photographs : Painted the wall art myself :-)

The other one is a latchhook craft effort, done by yours truly. Took a lot of time, but the result is well worth it.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chaukki Chokkiti Aaina

Confused??? Well I was too. Not for too long really, because pretty soon I figured out what my little kid was trying to say. Kids these days are just too much - and it's amazing to see how they can grasp the fastest, in what is just pure entertainment value to us.

I just happened to flip channels when the title song of Chandni Chowk to China was on air @ Channel V India.

Samarth: [Gleefully gaping at Deepika Padukone] Chaukki, Chokkiti Chaaina... Oooooo Chokkiti Chokkiti Aaina...

I mean, I don't really dig Akshay Kumar and the likes so I just continued to surf when my little one took offence immediately because he was happily singing away and I interrupted his song-n-dance routine.

Samarth: Amma, Chokkiti Chokkiti poduuuuuuuuuuuuuuu....peesh !! [Podu meaning 'change the channel' in this context]

Sigh !!! :P :D :P :D

Thursday, April 23, 2009

To My Darling Samarth, with oodles of Love

[Samarth to me] : Umeeya? Don't cry ... peesh don't cry !
Samarth is my joyous little angelic 30 month old toddler son. He pronounces my name as Umeeya, and he said the above sentence to me last night when I was pretending to cry because he'd jumped over my back and hurt me.

19th October 2006. One of the most defining days in the 24 years of my existence on this planet, when the birth of my little boy totally changed my perspectives in life. From a carefree little klutz who lived in her own little world; I was now a MOM !! To this day, there's no predicting what stunts he's going to try next or what's the new word he's going to say [his vocabulary is increasing by leaps and bounds by the day]. As much as it may frustrate me at times; one sweet smile from him and I totally give in. Yes, he rules !

Let me now share with you the beautiful little poem that I penned on 11th November 2006 when my angelic Samarth was less than a month old. It was in the early hours of the afternoon sun while watching him fall asleep in my embrace; that I decided to pour it all out.

Your tender fingers envelope mine,
The first rays of sunshine, glow in your enchanting smile

Your breath so sweet, it feels warm against my skin
Nestled between my arms
You mean the world to me.

I cannot love you enough
Cannot satiate my heart with a glimpse of your face
Every breath that you take, fills my soul with a renewed passion

Tender feet, that patter against my chest
You watch me, arms outstretched
Asking for love, your eyes in a delicate quest

Watching you fall asleep, my heart fills with an unending love
A miracle, my angel
Sent by the Lord above

I want to write a little note to Samarth:
Every woman dreams of a cute little baby they can call their own and you are ALL mine. You know what? Sometimes I wish you'd never grow up. That you'd always be this little guy clutching his Amma's hand and wanting to be helped around. But; it's the circle of life and the rule of the universe. You'll soon be 3, begin to go to preschool and place your little hands in the books of education. Every single moment I spend with you, I'm filled with delight and unending love. I'm hoping you will read this as you get older and I hope I can be a continual source of inspiration to you; as my parents were to me. I want to treasure you, cherish every second we spend together and keep recording it for posterity.



Thank you Samarth, for being in my life.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Married to a Stranger

Married for 30 years and sitting amidst a cosy gathering which included their children and grandchildren; Padma thought she was truly and astutely blessed. How she wished Hari was also here today with her; how she hoped they'd be able to exchange their silent glances as they always did.

Feb 4th 2009. A warm tear slid down her cheek as she recalled the horrid day two months ago when a sudden cardiac arrest took him away and they'd not as much had a moment to say their farewells to each other. Before retiring to bed the previous night, they'd barely exchanged a hug when the pain had come. Tearing and rushing through the very core of his insides; it had snatched him away in minutes. Final and undeterred, time waited for noone.

Naaaaaaaani? Naaaaani !!!!! ; screamed little Asha, all of 3 years. She wanted her grandma to see her newly stacked blocks that she'd arranged all by herself. Patting the little one on her back, Padma continued on to the room which she'd shared with her beloved Hari-ji. She was feeling particularly lonely this afternoon and pulled out the only one diary that comforted her in such moments.

Turning to the last page, she stared hard at the browning paper cutout. It read:
R. HARIPRASAD
1949-1979

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Recipe for my microwavable brownies :) [Courtesy: Sanjeev Kapoor's Microwave Cookbook]

Ingredients:
100 gm cooking chocolate
100 gm butter
1 cup maida [all purpose flour] + 1 tsp of baking powder. mix the maida+bkg powder and set aside.
1 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
1 small bowl of finely chopped nuts [i used almonds, u can use pecans or walnuts also]
Method:
Grease a microwave deep dish completely [including sides] and set aside. Melt the chocolate and the butter together in a microwavable glass bowl on HIGH for 2 mins. Whisk it together nicely with the castor sugar [the trick is to add the sugar in parts]. Break the eggs and whisk it into this mixture. Add the nuts at this stage.Now mix in the maida+baking powder which you have set aside. Combine it in parts and not put it all together. By now you probably have a gooey chocolatey mixture. Fold this into the greased microwave deep dish. Place a saucer [tea cup saucer] upside down on the microwave turn-table.
Place the deep dish over this and microwave on HIGH for 7 mins. The mixture will nicely rise and release the warm baking aromas :P
Remove and let it cool at room temperature for abt 10 mins. cut into squares and serve [preferably with vanilla icecream :P]

IMPORTANT: No matter what don't ever refrigerate the brownies as they'll turn stone hard and not soften even if you microwave them later.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My First Attempt at Noymbu Adais :)




உருகாத வெண்ணையும்... :) Super soft noymbu adais with just the right hints of jaggery... ummmmmmmmmmmm... delicious !!! :D




Monday, March 2, 2009

Kolam-O-Kolam



Would any one of you believe that 5 years ago, in the days preceding my wedding in May 2004; one afternoon all my young unmarried cousins plus well-meaning aunts were gathered around me and having a BIG laugh at my expense. Guess why? Well my octogenarian maternal grandmother decided that I need to be taught how to draw a kolam and proceeded with great gusto to do the same. She made me sit before a black marble square stone for the purpose and with the kolam-podi she was trying hard to make me draw a straight line. Result? NAAAAAAAAAAAH..

Try as I would, I couldn't draw a straight line, forget the complex interweaving of lines and designs. Mm Hmm... I can still never forget that afternoon.

Well, that was then and this is now. In 5 years I've drawn several kolams at the home of my inlaws and now at my own home here in Abu Dhabi; and learned to perfect the art of exact proportions. I won't say that it's perfect yet, but yes I'm getting there slowly and steadily.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My First Microwave Baking Experiment :)


Here're the brownies that I baked in my non-convection microwave; thanks to the wonderful recipe found in the cookbook by Sanjeev Kapoor. They look delectable, don't they?


Monday, February 16, 2009

A Simple Everyday Kolam








Proportionate kolams that take just a few seconds to create :) and look so gorgeous at the same time !!