Friday, 29 April 2016

Basale Soppina Huli

Ingredients :

Basle leaves : 1 bunch
Channa dal : 1 Tablespoon
Urad dal: 1 Tea spoon
Coriander seeds : 1 Tablespoon
Methi seeds : 1/4 Teaspoon
Red chilly : 5 to 6
Curry leaves : 5 to 6
Mustard seeds : 1/2 Tea spoon
Ingh : a pinch
Turmeric powder : a pinch
Coconut : 3 to 4 Tablespoons
Salt : To taste
Oil : 2 Teaspoons. 
Tamarind: a small marble size.
Jaggery : 1 

Preparation :

1. Wash and cut Basle leaves and cook until they turn 
soft. Keep it aside.
2. Grate coconut and keep it aside.
3. Now keep a small pan on the fire. Put 1/2 teaspoon of oil.
Separately fry Methi seeds, channa dal and urad dal till golden brown.
4. Add coriander seeds and red chilli and fry for 1 minute.
5. Now grind this mixture with coconut and small marble size tamarind
6. Keep a pan on the fire. Add cooked basale soppu, jaggery, and turmeric powder and ground coconut mixture. Add salt. Mix it well.
7. Now boil nicely for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir slowly in between so that it does not get burnt at the bottom.

8. Keep a small pan on the fire and put a tea spoon of oil and heat. Add mustard seeds and hing. Add curry leaves when the mustard seeds splutter. Add this mixture to Basale curry and serve hot.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Shrungagiri Sri Shanmukha Temple Bangalore

 Whenever we have zoomed past the Nice road on the way to Mysore, we would come across these huge  idols, high up on the mountain and always wondered which temple is it, which is the approach road and how on earth people ever managed to climb all the way to the top. Even though it always fascinated me, either because of the urgency to move on or due to the absence of the visible approach road, we have always bypassed it. Until today.

Let me deviate a bit here from my sojourn story. There are people, there are participants, and then there are organizers. For any trip, tour or outing you will always find enthusiastic participants. But what is lacking is the leaders who can organize, motivate people to participate, encourage them to get involved and most important, arrange food and conveyance. Some may be willing to come, others may be willing to help the organizer, but we need that one person who will take all the lead. With the average age of the colleagues in the office not being sweet sixteen anymore, we may have glamorous looking faces on the tour and on camera, but off the flash, there are a lot complaining knees,legs and backs!

Fortunately for us there is one lady, L Lalitha, my colleague who is a master in   taking the lead and organizing Anything and Everything! Bless her soul! I really appreciate her ingenuity. She can turn any situation into a great opportunity worth enjoying. So when another colleague invited us for

her housewarming ceremony in Happy Valley, off Mysore/Kengeri road, Lalitha grabbed the opportunity and by evening not only a vehicle was ready at the gate, but even hot coffee and snacks were served before we boardedng the vehicle!

So this is how we came to visit the beautiful Shanmukha temple in Rajarajeshwari Nagar about which I was gushing at the beginning. Yes, I gush when I visit certain places. Be it Kaadu Malleshwara temple in Malleswaram, Anjaneya temple at Ragigudda, Ramakrishna Ashram in Basavanagudi and parks and resorts which have nature in abundance – a pleasure closest to my heart. It thrills me and elevates my mood. There is so much positivity in nature!   

This temple is extremely beautiful, very well designed and maintained on an elevated platform with very comfortable steps.With due apologies to all those temple trustees, let me express my opinion that in majority of the temples, the management, the authorities think they are engineers, just because they know that a building can be built by keeping bricks on one another and binding them with cement! Unfortunately Ragigudda has been robbed lately of its beauty by fixing innumerable barricades,which according to me were totally unwarranted. So when one visits a temple or a building,one can immediately make out the involvement of an architect.

This temple has a stamp of a very smart architect, because there is a beautiful temple of Shiva, a blissful ambiance, an anthill in concrete moulds which looks extremely natural and beautiful. I remember how in the film OMG, milk being shown going down the drain in the name of abhisheka, but here you pour the milk in a steel drum on the top,and it cleanly flows down through a pipe, showering on Shiva in a dimly lit – only with diyas -  giving the Linga a silver marble hue. The image has since remained in my mind ever since!

Beyond Shiva temple, on climbing some more steps, is the Shanmukha temple, built in a hexagon shape, a beautiful window on each side of the sanctum sanatorium giving a glimpse of the deity inside. The inner walls all around  the big temple are beautifully adorned with statues and books.
Because it's located on an elevated platform with open space all around it,

and since we visited at dusk, we could see a beautiful sky line, first with both sun and moon adorning the sky at the same time and then the Bangalore skyline being lit up with hordes of lights. A sight totally worth beholding!!!

And then it was time to visit yet another newly built beautiful Omkareshwara temple near JSS college,where Dwadasha lingas have been elegantly ensconced in small temples inside one big complex. An evening totally worth spent, which was rounded with a sumptuous meal at my colleague's house.

I know we all will cherish this experience for a long time to come and when in future we reminisce and look back at the days spent with colleagues, this experience will have a special place in our memory.

And for those of you readers, if you haven't visited this place yet,you have really missed visiting a great place in namma Bengaluru!!!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Open Street @ MG Road, Bangalore
 The romantic boulevard on MG Road has always fascinated me from the moment I cast my eye on it for the first time way back in the eighties when I first landed in Bangalore post my marriage.The elevated pathway, beautiful flowers full of vibrant colors surrounding it casting a pleasant shadow – it all mesmerised me. The beauty lie in the fact that MG road was a busiest road, always hustling and bustling with business activities, where crossing the road would take considerable amount of time, yet you can sit by its side over the elevated pathway, watching all the drama unfold before your eyes,detached and secluded. To a philosophical eye, it would symbolize life's message of detachment with attachment!

And I had a fancy. To walk there aimlessly and spend time leisurely.There are many such beautiful tiny wishes that I behold close to my heart. There may be big ambitions, goals and targets which give you that sense of fulfillment when you achieve them. But there lie, like a pearl in a shell, many little big passions and cravings in your heart, crying to be fulfilled. And spending idle time on M G Road topped my list.

Boulevard - a shade of old times
Whenever I zoomed past MG road I would look longingly at the most inviting image fly by. To a working woman and a mother of two, the priorities always clashed. And the winner would always be responsibility and family. It's a very very big luxury to be a able to aimlessly walk without a worry of time.

When the MG road and its boulevard came under hammers for metro, I shed a tear in regret. Of course there were plans to rebuild it to its original glory but I still missed them. Adding salt to the wound was the changed scenario at home. While earlier my son would say " ಅಣ್ಣ ಕಾಲೇಜ್ ಗೆ   ಹೋಗೋದು ಬೇಡ, ನೀನು ಆಫೀಸ್ಗೆ ಹೋಗೋದು ಬೇಡ, ನಾನು ಸ್ಕೂಲ್ ಗೆ ಹೋಗಲ್ಲ. ಎಲ್ಲಾರೂ ಮನೇಲಿರೋಣ." But now both my son and daughter would control their secret squeal of delight whenever we would tell them that we are going out for entire day and they have to manage on their own! And the boulevard on MG road had vanished!

chitrasanthe @ MG Road
Post Metro, I did have a chance to visit the MG road, take a Metro ride and a detour on the boulevard and make some small artefacts' purchases. But my children accompanied us on that day and while my son wanted to rush back home for FIFA world cup, my daughter insisted that more than walking on boulevard she preferred to shop at Brigade road.

And the Open Streets on MG road was what we have been asking for. A road filled with fun and frolic, vibrant with multiple hues and colors and a free walk not only on boulevard, but on the centre of MG road itself!
MG Road, here we come!!!
The journey bigins
The carnival

Fun n froli

Dhyana at MG Road!

Snake and ladder live!
spot painting
aimimg high!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Move on

Pogo, my little pug has become the father of six cute little puppies.Well, on second thoughts, he is not a little pug anymore, but all of four years old and a father.His mate? Well, a smart dynamic young little twinkle.
Was it a love at first sight? Or a long courtship? Well, on the contrary, the lady played hard to get and Pogo, my handsome hunk was not the one to give up easily!

When I first saw the six tiny babies cuddled up with each other, I could not take my eyes off them. They were so cute, tiny and had not even opened their eyes.
And the mother, as to be expected, was very possessive.She would be extremely worried when we lifted the babies, anxiously following us till we gave the babies back.
And one month passed by. Now Twinkle was a patient tolerant mother.Giving a supportive hand to the naughty gang.At times she would be so exhausted by their pranks that she would herself come and sit in our lap, not able to tolerate their mischiefs anymore. Now she was indulgent, tolerant but never overbearing, nor overprotective. She would keep a watchful eye on them, but maintained a distance, not interfering.
And the time came to move on.One by one the babies started moving to their new homes.Twinkle would come to the balcony, see off the little ones, give a good bye bark.Was she sad? was she relieved? She never showed. She would get on with life, with the remaining babies, till she bid adieu to all the six.
Fortunately for us, a friend of ours adopted one. Bunty.Before seeing him off to his new abode, we brought him home.He was just 35 days old.Pogo welcomed him, gave a fatherly tolerant company and played with him.
Bunty was a sweet, cute and tiny little pup and on arrival at our home, he wanted us to cuddle him, always put him in our lap, snuggle into our neck so that he felt safe and secure.He would lick our face, shower us with his puppy love and refused to leave our lap.With a heavy heart, we sent him to his new place.
After a week, on popular demand, Bunty visited us.With great expectations I ran to him, holding him close to my chest and waiting for his licks.But within a week, there was a dramatic change. Bunty has grown up and how!Now he wanted to be independant, explore new things and wanted to move around by himself.
As he was running around the house, playing with Pogo and a ball, biting on eggs and cornflakes, I picked him up, hugged him and cuddled him to my chest.
And Bunty resisted.He struggled, gave an urgent small lick to my chin.While I was expecting him to snuggle up to me, he fiercely fought for his freedom, swinging his legs, stared directly into my eyes and jumped off and ran.
Well. There lied the Life's biggest message.Let go.......

Friday, 15 January 2016

Let Go ..........
Recently within a span of a month, there were two extreme events happening in the family, a birth and a death. Events, that bond and unite the family members.
My husband's nephew became father to a little angel while my sister-in-law lost her husband. While the family rejoiced looking at the pink baby and gushed over it, there was a sober melancholic feeling at the death.

Death, as I have seen, brings people together, at least temporarily. They forget their hostility, not only with the ones who have died, but also with those living around them. May be it is “smashana vairagya.” But as I perceive it, it is a realization, at least temporarily, that you are not the boss of your life, rather death. One becomes subdued, as the realization is drawn that each one of us is equally vulnerable. It hits really hard, when the death is unexpected and sudden. One gets philosophical, even spiritual after visiting a dead.

But does it last long? Alas, no.Forgetfulness is a beautiful gift of God. Otherwise life would become unbearable if one doesn't forget and moves on with the life. If we keep remembering every hurt, every pain and every ill feeling, there won't be any future. At the same time, forgetting the hard learned and hard hitting lessons is also a tragedy, a loss – as the lessons learnt would soon be forgotten.

Does the Universe, the nature plays with the living? Yes. It plays with the memory as well as with the forgetfulness of the human beings. In psychology, memory is the process in which information is encoded, stored and retrieved. It is here that we can win or try to win over the nature. OK, by nature, the moment we look at a thing, hear a word or get to smell something, it is stored in our memory.  And we can recall it only when we locate and retrieve it so that it returns to consciousness. How blissful would it be, if we are able to permanently erase the unpleasant and retain only the happy memories!

Do children have better memory than adults? It appears so but the fact is adults have better memory, the ability to remember more information, more accurately and for a longer period of time. This gives old dogs, who have more experiences, a leg up on younger ones. But how beautiful it would be, like children, if we are able to forget and forgive more easily and be able to recall only the pleasant and the positive?

This virtue is all the more evident in toddlers, who are so easy to please, always willing and coming forth to help and remain blissfully unaware of the darker side of the world, of human nature. I would like to close this article by recalling one beautiful incident that happened recently.

 I, along with children, recently attended a birthday bash at Woodrose club at
Brigade Millennium. After dinner, I went in search of a wash room. It was a big open air complex, and in the darkness, I was at a loss. As I was wandering around,I heard a sweet voice “Haaaiii” and I looked down at the bright eyes of my husband's nephew's little kids. It brought a warm smile on my face, lifted my spirits and I inquired what were they doing in that darkness.

Pointing a finger down the alley in the club, they asked me whether they can go down to play. Alarmed, I forbade them and asked them to return. Then cheekily they asked me why I was there. Just conversationally I mentioned that I am searching a wash room and walked ahead. Down the stairs, at a distance, I spotted the room. Leaving them on the stairs, I went down, walked and went inside.

After sometime when I opened the door, I was shocked to see two pairs of eyes looking at me waiting expectantly! I looked around just to check whether they have accompanied some body else, but gosh no, they have come down as my bodyguards!!! Seeing me, again as a  warm smile lit their faces and they started their reverse path escorting me. As they sprinted ahead of me I swallowed hard at the lump in my throat.

What a beautiful innocence, and what a selfless natural sweet gesture!!!

God, please let them and all the kids in the world retain this sweet innocent nature, and let us elders let go of our bitterness, erase our negative memories and try to follow their path and learn to live and let live.

 “............. The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward...”
Steve Maraboli

Sunday, 11 October 2015


It has been a very long time since I shared recipes in my blog. Pardon? Have I stopped cooking or enjoying it? Please!!! I was so busy and engrossed in cooking that I didn't have time to write and share it! Oh please. Do you see smirks on somebody's face? Ignore it. The look on those faces is because they have turned my apprentice now and they think they cook better than ME!!!

This post, in fact, is for the benefit of my students. For my children and their friends who have started experimenting with their cooking on themselves thanks to their postings away from their mothers. Mind you, it is obvious that they are very good in cooking from the photos and the stories they are sharing on Facebook and WhatsApp. So I thought let me make it easier for them to have multiple delightful dishes, snacks and meals from a single core component.

Pssss.... There is another secret. A friend of mine had advised me long back : “ Do it once and Do it right!” Ever so grateful,  faithfully I am following  it and here I have modified it to my advantage - “ Teach it once and Teach it right!”  

In most of the homes Menthe hittu is prepared with different versions but alas many don't know its multiple usages and how a variety of delicacies can be scrambled up with it within a few minutes.

Note : Here for most of the dishes another most important component is chatnipudi - not any chatnipudi - but the one made with groundnut seeds. Recipe ? It's right here.

First let me share the recipe of Menthe hittu.

Ingredients :

Channa dal      2 big cup
Urad dal          1 big cup
Coriander seeds    2 Tablespoon
Jeera                      2 Tablespoon
Rice                        2 Tablespoon
Wheat                    2 Table Spoon ( If you don't have wheat, use wheat flour )
Turmeric powder  2 Tablespoon

( Many people use Moong Dal, Red chillies etc, but the Menthe hittu tastes yummy with the above ingredients and also for the other delicacies I prepare with this.)

Preparation :

In a kadai, roast separately to a golden brown the Channa dal, Urad dal, Rice, Wheat, Jeera and Coriander seeds and set aside. Remove the kadai from the fire and in that heated kadai, heat turmeric powder for a minute and pour in a plate.

In a mixie jar, first grind the dals to a fine powder. Then grind other ingredients and in the end mix everything and grind so that everything mixes to a nice yellow powder.

Your Menthe hittu is ready.

How all can you use and eat Menthe hittu?

  1. With hot rice :

To hot piping rice, put some ghee, a little salt and menthe hittu. It can be a most delicious and yummy breakfast or dinner.
You may add a little pickle, chantnipudi or a pinch of lemon juice according to your taste.

  1. With cold or leftover rice.

To the rice, add little menthe hittu, groundnut oil, salt and mix well. This is a most popular and tasty lunch for your office with a dash of pickle. I have been carrying it for three decades, followed by my children and enjoyed by their friends!

There can be further variation in this, if you mix the pickle or thokku while mixing Menthe hittu with the rice and oil.

Or else, instead of oil, prepare some oggarane and mix for one more exciting variation.

3. Menthe hittu hasi gojju :

Easy to make and a healthy breakfast.

Soak a lemon size tamarind and squeeze pulp.
Add finely ground lemon sized jaggery.
Add a small cup of water and salt to taste.

To this add 2 tablespoon of Menthe hittu.

Season with mustard seeds, asafoetida, red chilli and turmeric tadka ( oggarane )

This goes great with hot rice and a little ghee.

4. Menthe hittu mosaru gojju.

Alternately, instead of tamarind and jaggery, you can use curds to make gojju.

Add 2 tablespoons of  Menthe hittu to 2 cups of curds, add little water to suit to the consistency you want. Mix salt and season with mustard seeds, asafetida chilli and turmeric tadka.

Goes well with hot as well as cold rice.  

  1. Snacks.

  1. Hachida avalakki.

This can be a fine snack for evening or you can have it a la North Karnataka style breakfast.

Take 4 cups of telu avalakki.
Sprinkle a little water and set aside for five minutes.
Add a teaspoonful of menthe hittu, chatni pudi, a little salt, finely chopped coriander leaves and a tablespoon of fresh grated coconut and a spoon groundnut oil.
Mix well and serve.

  1. Crispy masala corn flakes :
Take some 4 cups of corn flakes in a bowl. Mix 2 teaspoonfuls of menthe hittu, 2 teaspoon chatni pudi, little salt and 2 teaspoonful groundnut oil. Mix well taking care to see that it is semi broken and not fully powdered. Enjoy!

  1. Masala Mandalu ( Instant Bhel )
In a bowl take some 6 cups of puffed rice ( Bangalore puri, not Mysore puri ).
Add 2 tablespoons of menthe hittu, chatnipudi, salt, 1 small cup hurigadale, 1 tablespoon groundnut oil and a few finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.

You can add finely chopped onions, cucumbers and tomato.

Those who prefer greens and are healthy eating buffs can add finely chopped spinach or methi leaves. This bhel is sure to be a great hit and remember to make in a large quantity if you have company.
Else you will be left licking your fingers! verbatim!!!

  1. Pachadi ( Salad )

The beauty of this salad is you can eat it with rice, roti or chapati or just gorge it raw with the accompaniment of a fresh fruit juice. Its a winner all the way.

Take 2 cups of finely chopped spinach leaves and 1 cup of finely chopped methi leaves and a few leaves of nicely chopped coriander leaves. Wash thoroughly and keep in a bowl. ( Some people love methi while others feel it is bitter. Take your call )
Mix nicely chopped 2 onions and a fresh cucumber.
You can also add a nicely chopped tomato if you like that tangy taste.
Add a tablespoon of menthe hittu, ½ tablespoon chatnipudi, little salt and a spoonful of groundnut oil.

Mix well and serve crunchy salad.

5. Congress masala :

Add finely chopped onion, cucumber, coriander leaves to 1/2 cup of grated carrot. Put a teaspoon of Menthe hittu, chatnipudi, a little salt. To this mix 2 cups of congress kakadlekai beeja and stir well. Add a dash of lemon juice.

Lo and behold! Your instatnt chats is ready.

Instead of congress, you can add hesarubele, or crumbled nippattu or kodubale. Choice is yours!!

Beyond this your imagination is the limit!!!

Kadale beejada ( Groundnut ) chatnipudi

Ingredients :

Kadale beeja ( Groundnut seeds )                   2 big cups
Chana dal                                                       1 cup
Urad dal                                                          3/4 cup
Grated dry coconut powder                            1 cup
Tamarind                                                        1 lemon size
Jaggery                                                           3/4 lemon size
Red chilli powder                                           1 cup ( Use only red chilli powder - It gives color and won't be very hot )
Salt to taste.

Roast to golden brown all the above ingredients separately excluding jaggery and salt.
You may peel the skin of the groundnut seeds, but in fact it's good for health and need not be abandoned.

Ground everything including jaggery and salt to a slightly coarse powder.
Keep in an airtight container.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Google it !!!

The fun and frolic is more when you have a wedding, no, not in your home, but when your nephews and nieces are getting married. Since you have more of a free time and look at all the things in a free perspective and at leisure you enjoy more. Especially when you are a blogger. As one who is getting a bahu in a week, I am stealing some moments to write, ahem, for my fans :-)

It was on first Sunday of August 2014, on a friendship day, that Sumana, my would be daughter-in- law came to our house and it is one year since.Time has flew like a blink of an eye.Wedding bells are ringing next Sunday.I am squeezing in some moments to write about the wedding invitation and my family members are aghast that I am sitting in front of my blog at this crucial hour. Relax guys! After all I have done all the preparation work ( Ok Ok majority of the work ) and will finish it off !!!

When we wanted to get the invitations printed, all of us wanted it to be in the basic simplest form possible. My son didn't want the cards as he would be E-inviting friends and colleagues and daughter would be "call inviting". It has always been my firm belief that unless you want to make the press guy rich, there is no need of a glossy expensive invite. However great your invitation looks, people are going to spend just a few moments to read the details or may be cast an extra eye on the design if you have spent a fortune on it. Or if it lands in the hands of a person of my cynicism, you will get a skirmish face. Beyond watching the details, it is of no use to anyone.Period.

And I wanted to make a video invitation - for my friends. I didn't know how. But learning and creativity is my forte and it fascinates me immensely. Of late it has become a constant refrain in my home ( I am sure in most other homes ) " Google it !" The ultimate know all, the God of modern day.Started by my son, lapped up by my daughter and adopted by we both. Without referring to Google, unless I fail to find a suitable solution there, I won't approach my son. But still whenever I seek such help, he gives that look " Google it and find !"

Whatever I found was not satisfactory and then I went to Quora. That site which I admire most, because unlike many other networking sites, I find this as a thinking man's adda. And guess what!?! The person whom I asked in quora gave me a solution " Google it! "

With Picasa video maker I made a video and as I was reviewing the final product, my son came and complimented. A great accomplishment indeed!

Alas! When I converted it to send on WhatsApp, initial few seconds were getting disturbed. Back to square one :-(

Then I turned to another software engineer at home, my daughter. I am really amazed at the science of Physics and Genetics! Men are indeed from Mars and women from Venus. Preparing a presentation is a punishment for  my son while my daughter wants to use decorative fonts and borders for her project!

And then my daughter gave the App name - Photo Grid and lo and behold! Within few minutes a beautiful video invitation was ready!

But one thing I miss and recall nostalgically - my grandmas, parents, aunts and uncles. You may be chided by them, they may not have had the solutions the Internet and Google of today have, but still I wish we can go back to those days and those type of relations and families. You can find everything else in Google, but for love, affection, caring and sharing - you need families, friends and relatives - the humanes.  Wish we can Google it !!!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Do whatever you want to do man .......


“ Change of work is the best rest.” Thus spake Mr. Arthur Conan Doyle. Oh really? seriously?? There must be something terribly wrong either with me or with Mr. Doyle. Or may be we both belong to two entirely different worlds. From purchasing vegetables - to cutting - to cooking - to serving - to packing lunch boxes - to cleaning - to going to work ...... No sir, sorry. The more I am changing the work, the more I am getting exhausted and neither fun nor rest are visible even from a distant mile. I want rest. Inertia. Being totally lazy. Don't look so flabbergasted! I have never experienced them in my life. And I want to. Now. Period.

Every time I yearn for those idle days and tell my friends, they advise me, “ Take leave and take rest. Never quit the job.” Since this is the common refrain from each and every friend of mine, I know this is the gospel truth. Once you become a working woman and work for a decade or two, it becomes extremely difficult to stay at home. Being idle. My well wishers scare me, “ You will be bored to death. What will you do sitting at home? It will be fun for the first few days and then you will regret.”

Really? Then what you and me are gonna do after we turn 60? Start a start up!? On a serious note, I, who am seriously planning to quit, get scared sometimes. What if? So I am being adventurous and go on taking frequent and longer leave to the irritation of my bosses and waiting for that elusive boredom to come and meet me. Either boredom is scared of me or so called scare is bored with my stubbornness, whatever it is, both are avoiding me.

Yesterday once again I was in an adventurous mood. My servant maid has quit and so I had a free evening. Sounds unbelievable! Gotcha! One girl who used to come in the evening had quit and the new girl could come and work only in the morning. So I had a free evening.

I took my purse, my mobile and informed my family not to come in search of me if I am not home early. Ah! here comes my free time and my little adventures. Only after we lose them, we start missing and  appreciating those little pleasures of life. Close your eyes, remember your childhood and try to recall your fondest memories. Those which gave you immense pleasure. When I close my eyes and recall, I get a marquee of the images. Pestering granny and getting that “ Hunasehannu bella “ -  finely grounded jaggery and tamarind with a little salt and firmly struck to an ice-cream stick! Or in Raichur's burning summer licking those orange ice candies. They used to cost one paisa per ice-cream. Because they were made from water. For milk ice cream the charge was five paisa for 2 ice-creams. If you want buy a single ice-cream, you will have to shell 3 paisa! Who wants to waste so much money! We would love to take water candies, run in the sun barefooted – no sir we didn't have the luxury of wearing slippers – even if it were Raichur sun – to home. What if the heat becomes unbearable for your feet? Easy. Bite a little candy, spit it on the ground and put your feet on it alternatively! We Indians are blessed to have indigenous solutions to every problem.  

So as I was telling, it is such little adventures and tiny pleasures that I cherish most. They bring a nostalgic memory, a smile to my lips and elevate my moods.

And to the present. I started on my evening walk. It has been more than 25 years, before my children were born, did I have this luxury. Walking alone, without any purpose. First I went in one direction and bought some “mili” - those little tamarind chocolates. Popping one in my mouth, I started off in a different direction.

I walked aimlessly, making small purchases here and there and putting them in a little bag I was carrying. A spatula, a tea sieve, some forks. My friend Meera had once showed me an aluminum plate which she used to make rotis. She would press the roti on them and put them directly on gas to prepare soft rotis. When I asked the shop keeper, he was surprised. He said he has never heard of such a thing. Same dialog repeated in five shops. I called Meera and she burst out laughing. Don't ask for roti maker, they are common aluminum lids which we vaishyas use to make rotis. Ah, here lies the secret and a solution to my problem. Aluminum lid its gonna be!

Then some more roaming and I landed in a stationery shop which was selling a lot of plastic items. I needed a big plastic tub for my maid to put the utensils after washing. I bought one beautiful green tub. The shop was in Thyagarajanagara, barely 2 kilometers from my house. It was a small street and the chances of an auto turning up here were extremely remote. Then I grinned to myself! After all I have ventured out to have fun, and I am going to have fun!

I paid the money and took the tub and started walking. The tub was about 2 meters in diameter and the only way I could carry it was holding it by my side! So whichever side of my body I put it, it was a no entry of two feet for the people walking near me. Unfortunately I don't have eyes on my back so I missed out a certain sniggers behind my back! But the look on the face of the people walking towards me was the one I started enjoying – a look of dismay! From far they would look at me and as they would approach nearer, they would give one look to me, one to my tub and again their eyes would come back to my face.

Oh really! If you think I would be embarrassed, better think again! Boy, I have decided to have fun and I am having loads of it! I would mischievously put the tub on my body on their side, and with a twinkle in my eye, would look into their eyes! Instead of me, they would be embarrassed and move to the other side of the road!

This continued for a while and then I came to vegetables' market. I needed my greens. The regular lady was having a hoard of customers in front of her cart. So what? I made a little room for myself and entered with my newly acquired shield, my tub. The lady standing next to me looked at me and moved a little and my tub settled comfortably between us. Lo! Two feet boundary ready! While other customers were straining their necks to meet the eyes of the vendor, me and my tub stood comfortably and finished our shopping.

Our next stop was at a fruit stall. I could see two young girls buying grapes trying hard to control their laughter and I gave them one sweet smile. Relieved, they grinned back. By the time I bought my fruits, the weight of my bag had increased considerably and a wicked idea crossed my mind. Pour everything in the tub, and put the tub on my head!

Then better sense prevailed. If any of my friends or acquaintances see me, I can explain to them and share a hearty laugh. But what if my husband Prakash's friends see me? I had to protect his reputation! On one shoulder I put my vanity bag, below the other shoulder came my tub and hugging my bag to my chest I started. Now the “No entry” zone had widened. 

When my children saw me entering the house with the tub, at first they thought I had come by auto but when I narrated the sequence of incidents, a wide grin appeared on their faces.

Why do we hesitate to have fun and live our lives the way we want to? After all it is our life and we have every right to lead it the way we want to, so long as it doesn't harm or hurt anyone. And where is the need of that constant refrain " What others may think? "

And our perceptions keep changing. When I was a kid, and the candy seller demanded 5 paisa for two candies and 3 paisa for one, I would think he is being unfair. My brother used to feel embarrassed if my sister accompanied him to school. He would avoid her by running fast to school and my sister, who used to cry, repeated it when I started accompanying her. So from childhood such false notions enter our mind. My father getting similar dresses for we sisters was a source of embarrassment, but today if I see two little girls wearing identical dresses, my eyes turn soft and I try to behold that sight.

Let us stop worrying and start living. Worrying is like rocking a chair. It gives us something to do but gets us nowhere. People who obsess about what others think tend to put ‘issues’ under the microscope and can't see the forest for the trees. If we don't get obsessed about what other people think,then we tend to look at the big picture. We only get one chance at life; are we going to allow other people’s thoughts to make it less enjoyable? Sounds silly now, doesn't it?As time goes by and as we realize how unimportant some of the things we worry about actually are, life gets easier and our constant concern starts to plummet as our confidence rises.

These seven rules of life have been making rounds on the social networking sites and many of us have received as forwards. With due acknowledgement to the unknown author, I am sharing them with you : 

Seven Cardinal Rules In Life: 

1. Make Peace With Your Past – so it does not spoil your present. Your past does not define your future, your actions and beliefs do.
2. What Others Think Of You – is NONE of your business. It’s how much you value yourself and how important you think you are.
3. Time Heals Almost Everything – give time, time. Pain will be less hurting. Scars make us who we are; they explain our life and why we are the way we are. They challenge us and force us to be stronger.
4. No One Is The Reason For Your Own Happiness – except YOU, yourself. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside.
5. Do NOT Compare Your Life With Others’ – you have NO idea what their journey is all about. If we all threw our problems into a pile and saw everyone else’s, we would grab ours back as fast as we could.
6. STOP Thinking Too Much – it’s alright to NOT know ALL the answers. Sometimes there is no answer, there is not going to be an answer, or there never was an answer. THAT is the answer! Just accept it, move on, NEXT!
7. Smile – you do NOT own all of the problems of the world. A smile can brighten the darkest day and make life more beautiful. It is a potential curve to turn life around and set everything straight.
As Salman Khan would always urge people during Bigg Boss, " Do whatever you want to do man, woman,children.....