Anniversary Letters to Rahul | 1

Took this idea off one of my favorite blogs. Let’s clear that out first.

The first anniversary letter itself is a day late. 🙂 Setting the right expectations now, are we? Don’t think so, Rahul, I’ll be there at all times, on time, always. It’s just the expression that has come a day late.

On that note, just what a day yesterday has been! Completely like any other day, packed with work end to end, and, finally, getting to watching Money Heist together later into the night. The only different than usual (or celebratory) thing was parents in Surat ordering food & sweets for us. A first home delivery for us ever since lock-down has ensued. Other than that, I cannot believe our first wedding anniversary just happened without any difference from routine. Just like this year of being married, actually. It just passed in a jiffy. In our hectic, consuming jobs, we didn’t do anything milestone-y. But when I look back, all I can think of is happy memories, happy days, fun times. And a life that I truly love.

Which is why this letter is so special. A first year of marriage where we cannot count tangible stuff like a big trip etc but all I can reminisce is how much we have enjoyed just being. Just being on the couch watching TV post work, just being in the balcony soaking up sun and having chai, just chilling in the balcony at night with friends and gossiping, forcing you to come out & do groceries on weekends rather than ordering doorstep delivery. I have always been the kind of person who wants to believe “enjoy the simple things”, but with you by my side, it has come naturally.

Not going on our honeymoon will remain a funny story always – we both were too involved in planning our wedding and, hence, were in two minds about going on a honeymoon, as we didn’t have the time to plan it. Finally, we did decide to go to Seychelles & when we were just about to book tickets, we got to know that Rahul’s visa had expired. Hence, the honeymoon was postponed. Although, we did spend a couple of days in this tiny hill station near Surat, Saputara, right after our wedding functions. A mini-moon of sorts? What is the literal meaning of honeymoon, mini-moon etc etc? I don’t know, but the point is conveyed. This year we were thinking of planning a trip. While you are quite bummed about not being able to travel due to the Covid outbreak, since you had really considered this as a replacement of that postponed honeymoon. I am quite okay. I am just as bummed as any other person who wants to travel, but that’s pretty much it. As bookish as this may sound, I look forward to routine with you. I look forward to every day. My wish is that this feeling remains the same for years to come, our love grows & we get to spend many, many more years of togetherness.

Happy first wedding anniversary, Rahul! Here’s to a lot more love, togetherness, dreams & happiness together!

My previous to previous post

Thank you for keeping me & mine in your thoughts. Some of you reached out asking about my mamaji. My mamaji (mother’s brother) passed away on April 16. He was battling cancer. His chemo had been completed around the first week of March and he had a relatively healthy one week after which he started having negative symptoms, high fever, extreme weakness etc. He got admitted to the hospital again around the same time when India went into lockdown (due to the threat of Corona). Since then, his condition only worsened (attributed to relapse of cancer cells & him being a kidney transplanted person so treatment has to be very cautiously done). We were all hoping for him to survive, come out of this somehow. Not because of lack of acceptance towards his condition, but only and only because he was a fighter throughout. Nobody ever heard him talk about the pain, nobody ever heard him complain about any issues (which we cannot even imagine a cancer patient deals with), we only heard him say that he will be alright soon, that he is getting better, that he will resume work in sometime as soon as he gets fine. Don’t they say that the most important weapon against cancer is will power? His will power added to the will power of his close ones. Hence, there was hope. I hope now that he is in a better place. After all, we do believe that everything happens for a reason & God knows better than us. May his soul rest in peace & never faces any pain ever again, only happiness. May his soul rest in peace.

#3 Missing my version of Tomato Chutney | Easy Recipes 101

I & the husband moved to my parent’s place slightly before the lock-down was established. South Indian food is not a regular occurrence here, while we, on the other hand, were idli regulars back at our place for two reasons – 1) we used to get really good quality ready made batter delivered at doorstep, 2) its the easiest thing to make once the batter is ready :P. A little side note though, I am too scared to try out Sambhar which goes really well with idli, I find it a bit overwhelming in my head, so much so that I never had the guts to even ask our cook if she can make it. So, our usual fare with idli used to be just coconut chutney, again store-bought, because it was difficult to find desiccated coconut on a whim where I live to make fresh coconut chutney. Again, I used to find tomato onion chutney which is a common occurrence in South Indian homes overwhelming in my head. This recipe gave me the impulsive nudge that I truly needed because as dramatic as it may sound, it has changed my life. I love me a good tomato onion chutney with South Indian food, I even love it on toasted bread, mixed with rice, you get the drift. Reading this post made me realize just how frigging easy it is! I am sure everyone knew this before me, but if you also fear making basic chutneys, please do try the recipe in the link out.

Funny thing, the moment I read this recipe, I literally took my wallet and phone and stepped out of the house to buy tomatoes for this recipe as we didn’t have any at home. Yes, that’s how much impulsive it was. Some of our friends were staying over that day and I had an aim in mind to get the chutney to the table before everyone gets ready to have breakfast. 🙂 I succeeded, so I again insist that it is super easy.

I think its important to mention at this point that you may feel bogged down because of the sheer number of ingredients in the chutney. I did skip a few basis my convenience and it should be okay for anyone. Just take a judgement call. I’ll tell you my case – I skipped buying/using whole red chillies because its usually sold in huge bags and I don’t think I’ll ever use that much so I just let it be, I anyway was going to add green chillies & red chilli powder. I also skipped tamarind pulp, something which is considered a sacrilege usually in South Indian food. I had Amchoor (mango powder) at hand so I added that for tartness. I loved the end result, so I guess its okay to not be too stuck up on ingredients. Just enjoy the process & the chutney. 🙂

One issue still remaining to be handled, the husband has never been big on tomato chutney, so I guess we do have to get over the fear of Sambhar to enjoy our South Indian food more wholesomely.

I didn’t click a picture of the chutney, will do it sometime later to update the post. 🙂

For other entries in the Easy Recipes 101 series, go here.

Thoughts in the time of a Pandemic

As I sit from the comfort of my bed with my husband lying next to me, at my parents’ place, cannot help but think of the innumerable businesses (personal & professional) that are rendered helpless. (My husband works in travel & tourism industry, by the way). Above all this gloom related to Corona however is the worry of a family member being critically ill. Just like a million questions & thoughts are going through everybody’s heads at this time, I decided to pen down my own:

  1. Topmost in my wishes & hopes remain my family member’s recovery. Please pray for my mamaji’s recovery if you are reading this.
  2. Is there any hope for the weakest in our society in the times of this crisis? Other than donating, not cutting salaries of your house helps, what significant difference can one make?
  3. If you haven’t already, do read this article & share your thoughts in the comments. Would love to understand the article more properly should anyone care to help me. 🙂
  4. How scary it must be to be in a hospital right now as a patient or accompanying them, not to mention our front fighters. We owe them big time.
  5. I see so many quarantine & chill or making most of these times kind of posts on Instagram all the time. I enjoy them so much, seeing people paint, cook & a lot of other fun things, BUT SERIOUSLY PEOPLE HOW DO Y’ALL HAVE THIS TIME? IS YOUR WORK FROM HOME NOTHING LIKE MINE? I am literally dreading Monday in 10 mins just like I would have without the lockdown.
  6. I am reading less than regular. Before you read the next sentence, can you guess why? Because turns out most of my reading happened in commute. Oh, well. Its nothing short of an interesting revelation for me. 🙂
  7. Am I ever going to write my wedding posts on this blog like I always intended to when I was far away from getting married & all? Its almost going to be a year and I never thought that I’ll not jot down much about my wedding here until I realized that’s exactly what I have done so far. However, I do know its not laziness. It’s something else, a mixed bag of few things – it’s too personal & I have always struggled with writing personal stuff, I want to make sure its articulated correctly, I am scared of people who know me in real life reading it (don’t know why though, they anyway know the stuff right?).
  8. Take care. Stay at home, in whatever way home has manifested itself for you & be safe. 🙂

On taking up space

These days I have begun to make a note of things I would later write on, on the blog. This is one topic I thought of really long ago when I noticed it in a colleague. I have been meaning to write about it since then.

Be warned that this may not go anywhere by the end, I expect interactive comments which actually may help me align my thoughts. 🙂

So, as I was saying, some people (as in their personality) take up a lot of space. They don’t realize how much they are invading the general public space of a social setting (does that make sense?) & how much they might be invading someone’s personal space. Now I sit here & wonder that if this feels uncomfortable to me, someone who is not even a quiet or introverted person around, then just how much more uncomfortable would it be making the shy/introvert people. I see that people are habitual of talking loudly, coming too close while talking or question others without realizing their rudeness. Now if you talk to someone at work about me, you may feel that even I tend to get rude with people, e.g. when I am chasing for something since long, or when i detect lies, but that’s that. I am so conscious of being in someone else’s space physically at work. So, I definitely do not come close while talking etc.

Now where am I going with this? As I said, nowhere really. I would actually like your thoughts to help me get somewhere. But my key point remains that if some of us are so conscious about our work behaviour, then why do some others do not even give a flying f*ck about the invasion they may be causing!

342 | Easy Recipes 101 | #2 My Sandwich Recipe

If organising thoughts are an effort, at least I can post a recipe. I love the idea of having all my favorite recipes over here. The best part about this one is that its a favorite among many. Friends & family (even people who aren’t big on sandwiches) love this.

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love sandwiches but the key is that its the homemade sandwiches! My mom used to feed me a basic one by slathering butter (one of my most favorite things on Earth, so she made sure to put a lot :*) followed by slices of cucumber & tomato with some salt & pepper. This is ultimate comfort food for me, but I realize now that I haven’t had it in a long while! Then, the Bombay sandwich – oh God! how I love it. I find the typical grilled sandwiches at cafes a bit average. Still, this recipe is of a grilled version but, but, it has all the feels of a no-fuss ghar ka (homemade) sandwich. Do try it once! (I’ll also update the pictures of this sometime later on this post).

Considering sandwich is a very simple thing, I wouldn’t call it the easiest sandwich recipe. It does require a bit of an effort for a sandwich but still not much. Let me get right into it.

What you’ll need:

1. Carrot – thin strips/julienned
2. Capsicum – thin strips {Edit: Lately, I have realized a lot of people do not like Capsicum also :P, so take whatever you want, the hero is anyway the 5th ingredient :P)
3. Onion – thin strips (optional, depending on whether you like onions)
4. Bread
5. Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese – you can replace it with any cheese if you don’t have Paneer, but tastes best with Paneer)
6. Salt & Black Pepper
7. Oil – preferably Olive oil – you need a tablespoon or more depending on your quantity of the veggies, you have to saute the veggies in the oil
8. Ketchup
9. Ghee/Butter
10. Sandwich Griller (Yeah 😛 it doesn’t taste as good if just toasted on a pan)

Steps:

1. Pour your oil in a pan, let it heat for about half a minute.

2. Dump your veggies into the oil one by one in this order – Onion > Carrot > Capsicum. Onion need to just start turning translucent when you add carrot. When you see the carrot is a bit cooked and doesn’t feel totally raw, add capsicum. When that is also cooked a bit, add salt & pepper as per taste. Switch off the flame. The idea is to cook the veggies a bit, but most of their crunch still retained.

3. Now its time to assemble. Take your bread, slather some ketchup on it, put the veggie mix.

4. Now comes the best part. Cut out a slice of paneer and top it on the veggie mix. If you are using any cheese, put a slice of that or grated cheese if that’s what you have). Add salt & pepper again if you wish, I usually don’t.

5. Cover with another slice of bread.

6. Put a bit of ghee or butter or oil on the outsides of both your bread slices and put it in the griller.

7. Grill for as grilled as you typically like a sandwich.

8. Enjoy!

Do let me know if you end up trying it, especially with Paneer.