Sunday, 27 October 2013


Having lived in Bangalore for the past 25 years, I had missed Mysore Dussehra all these years. I always longed to visit, but somehow it never worked out. And at the back of my mind I was, may be worried about the crowd, rush and the heat. My husband would ask every year whether we can go and my reply would be always in the negative. Especially when the kids were young, I visited Mysore several times but never during Dussehra. I am sure they would have loved and enjoyed the festivities,but I would rather take them to palace and Zoo when the things were sober.

I had another issue. Because of our varying schedules and of both the children, we could not plan very well in advance and book the lodging. And once the planning was made, we could never get the accommodation. This happened for 3-4 years in succession.  Last year I had almost planned everything in advance but God up there disposed my plans and I had to spend the entire year running around the hospitals and finally going under the scissors myself.
Once I had made up my mind, but things were not turning out favourable,  it sort of became a challenge. I had to fight against all odds and make it this time. So I started very very well in advance and tried to book my office guest house in Feb itself but they were not yet ready and advised me to come back after 3 months. OK, on 1 St May I shot them another mail. No sir, that was also quite early and they asked me to get back after 2 months. When I tried to book in July and was advised to get back later, I saw red.

This has been the paradox. Either I would be too early or too late. But fortunately God had better plans for me this year. On the advice of my friend Sandhya and her son Samarth, I approached one service apartment just 10 days before Dussehra. You won't believe, I got a confirmation that 2 rooms were in fact available! This is called luck. Since last  2-3 years I have been  searching for home stay, service apartment and lodges during Dussehra but was never successful, and this year it was just a fortnight away from the festival and I was offered a best service on a platter!

Earlier I was always told that no such facilities are available in Mysore and you can find them only in Coorg district . So when I landed at Mysore with my family, I had a sense of apprehension whether my family would be happy with my choice. Believe you me, they were delighted.

The place we stayed was GOOD TOUCH serviced apartments, a building constructed just three months back and one can expect as much comfort here as at one's home. The building is ideally located at Gokulam third stage, a serene and peaceful locality, but not very far from the hub and happenings of the City. It is just 4 kilometres away from the Palace and 3 kilometres from the Railway station.

Being looked after by Mr. Ganapathy and his family, a courteous and friendly couple. the place can be a home away from home. They provide all the facilities like Wi-Fi, flat TVs, AC, car parking and a kitchen. The kitchen is worth mentioning because it is very well kept and is neat and tidy. They offer complimentary breakfast every morning, comprising regular South Indian delicacies with piping hot tea and coffee. And if you like to try your hand in cooking or would like to heat the food you have ordered, there is always oven and the gas stove.

The place is so calm and peaceful, you can spend hours sitting on the terrace. We had a splendid time going around the city, decorated like a bride, with colourful lights dazzling from each and every building. The palace with all lights was just heavenly. I am extremely happy that at last I could make my trip such a pleasant  and memorable one and wish to have another opportunity to visit this wonderful city soon!

Friday, 27 September 2013


Another part of South Indian palate is the Chutney Powder, a preparation which adds spice to the regular food. These powders go well not only with Rice and Chapati but also with Idli and Dosa. On a tiring day, while in a hurry, or just to add taste, these powders finely compliment the food and the taste.

Bele Chutney Powder  (  with dal ) 

This Chutney Powder is called “ Odakalu “ Chutney Powder in North Karnataka.

Preparation Time          :     30 Minutes

Ingredients           :

Groundnut seeds                                2  cups
Bengal Gram Dal                                1   cup
Urad Dal                                            ¼  cup
Grated dry coconut                             ½  cup
Tamarind                                           1  Table Spoon
Jaggery                                             1  Table Spoon
Byadagi Red chillie powder                  2  Table Spoon
Groundnut oil                                     1  Tea Spoon
Asafetida                                          1 pint
Salt to taste.

Instructions :

1. Roast over medium heat Groundnut seeds, Bengal Gram dal, Urad dal and grated coconut to golden brown.
2. Switch off the gas and in the hot kadai put the tamarind so that it is heated and turns crisp.
3. Let everything cool.
4. Grind to a coarse consistency the heated dal, Tamarind,Jaggery,Red chilly powder and salt.
5. In the kadai heat groundnut oil and add asafoetida and let it cool.
6. Then add the grounded mixture. 

Friday, 20 September 2013

Delicious Sweet - Maladi - with your left over chapatis and Rotis

Do you have a sweet tooth? Are you a person who gets a sudden urge to have some tasty sweet dish - that is homemade? Want to have a sweet, but don't want to work very hard? Do you feel like having sweet at home - a la mom's preparation, even though you can just walk across the road to get nice sweets?

If your answer is yes to any of the above - I bet you are nodding your head vigorously in affirmation :-D - then I am going to give you an easy recipe for a tasty, yummy and delicious sweet you can prepare in minutes. Hold it! There is a catch! You should have some left over chapatis or rotis! And you may ask - what if I don't have? Is that such a big issue? You can prepare now! 

But one thing is sure. Once you learn and prepare this sweet, next time you would not grumble when somebody at home skips breakfast or dinner and chapatis are leftover. Rather, you would take care to prepare extra chapatis secretly so that you can prepare this sweet with the leftovers. Ask me - I know :-D Whenever chapatis are left over in our home I have a secret smug smile on my face :-D   Shh...

Note :

If you don't have leftover chapatis, this dish comes out well with chapatis that are prepared a few hours earlier. So on the occasions you want to prepare this sweet, take care to prepare chapatis well in advance. 

Preparation time              :       10 minutes

Cooking time                     :       10 minutes

Ingredients :

Chapatis                                   :  8

Pounded jaggery                        :  2 cups ( Depends on the sweetness you like )
Roasted and coarsely grounded
Groundnut seeds                        :          1 cup
Pure Ghee                                 :          2 tablespoon ( According to your taste you may increase)
Poppy seeds                              :          1 tablespoon
Elaichi powder                            :          1 teaspoon
Grated dry coconut powder           :          1 tablespoon
Cut and Roasted cashew ( optional )  :     1 tablespoon

Preparation :

  • With both your hands break and rub the chapatis/rotis into coarse powder.  ( This is the reason for taking old chapatis. If you use fresh chapatis, they will not break properly but become just pieces and not powder.)
  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed kadai.
  • Add pounded jaggery. ( Soft jaggery called Unde Bella tastes better) 
  • Keep stirring till the jaggery melts and turn off the gas.
  • Add Poppy seed, Cashew nuts, Elaichi powder, coconut powder and mix well.
  • Add the crushed chapati powder and mix well.
  • Roll into small balls and serve with ghee.

Happy Cooking :-D

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Swarna Gowri Wrath
This is one festival which is very close to my heart. Why? May be because I am from North Karnataka and back there we didn't have this Wrath. And then a quarter century back I got married into the APS family. A big joint family full of cultural events and festivities.

Although everybody lived separately, festivals used to be always joint and fun filled events. There used to be around 20-25 elders and a dozen youngsters. Everybody used to chip in their contributions in everything.

The preparations used to start very well in advance and always there used to be a sense of celebration and camaraderie. It used to be time for decorations, rangolis, delicacies, exchange of gifts and the children always used to wait eagerly for these festivals as there used to be bounty of gifts and money.

In front of the deity decorated with flowers, diyas, buntings and et all we 15 to 20 ladies would sit in semi circle with our plates filled with flowers, fruits and incense sticks and do the puja under the guidance of my brother-in-law with the shlokas and mantras reverberating through the big hall and then exchange gifts.
Thankfully not only for this festival but for every other festival my mother-in-law would arrange for cooks who would arrive right early in the morning and prepare coffee, breakfast and sumptuous lunch. Lunch used to be a big event with around fifty of us sitting together with plantain leaves spread across the length and breath of the house.
To loud laughter and guffaws, songs and dance, there never used to be any objection from any elders and the cooks as they will also join in the fun. Just after lunch, there would be discussion on the new Sale happening in the city. As is the situation today, there used to be so many exhibitions and sales and in the afternoon, it used to be a trip around the city. After all we had to put to good use all the money we would have received during the day!

With the children growing up and moving out, the festivities have become sober and quite, but still I enjoy making preparations and celebrating this festival. 
What is the speciality of this year? Here it is... The Arati plate I designed and decorated with kundans, painting and flowers and yes, pots filled with home grown flowers from my terrace garden!

But of course, Bele Obbattu ( sweet chapati) with loads of desi ghee and hot milk :-)

Happy Gowri Ganesha :-)

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Snacks - Instant Delicious Chakli
Chakli... The name rings instant delight. There are hundreds of recipes for chakli. This snack is a must for every south Indian home - both during functions and celebrations and also on daily snacks platter.

I love chaklis. They are easy to make,children love them and they can be prepared instantly and savoured for many days. I have tried different recipes for chaklis, some instant and some requiring days of preparation. But there are no two opinions regarding which chaklis taste authentic - the ones which are prepared using urad dal.

Urad dal gives that distinct aroma, delicious taste to chakli. But let us admit, grandma's  recipe for this authentic chakli, no doubt is numero uno, but the preparation time and the procedures involved need way too long time and energy, which is very scarce nowadays.

So when my colleague Radha brought delicious chaklis made from urad dal and informed that they are instant chaklis, I was all ears for its recipe. Thanks to her wonderful recipe, I could prepare these chaklis within half an hour for Gokulashtami and am sure Lord Krishna was also damn pleased and has blessed me to learn many more such things and share them with Him and you guys :-)

These crisp golden brown and delicious chaklis earned me brownie points from my daughter and hubby and boy, was I delighted! It was like icing on the cake.The pleasure  of cooking manifolds when a connoisseur appreciates it and when you get a little pat on the back and of course a big smile :-D

So want to try this wonderful recipe? Don't worry, there is no fear of it getting spoiled or getting it wrong, and it can be prepared within minutes using the ingredients available at home. Ok ok...The introduction was a bit long. And you want the recipe... Here you go:-)

Prerparation time :    5 minutes
Cooking time       :    30 minutes

Ingredients :

Urad dal                     1 cup
Rice flour                   4 cups
Jeera                         2 tbsp
Til                             2 tbsp
Hing                          1/2 tsp
Oil for frying
Salt to taste

Preparation :

Wash and cook urad dal in cooker for 5 whistles and let it cool.
Mix all other ingredients in a bowl along with two teaspoons of heated oil.
Grind the cooked urad dal in mixie and add to the above.
Knead well adding water if required.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadai.
Roll chaklis with chakli maker on a paper.
Fry over low oil till they turn golden brown.

Your crispy chaklis are ready. Don't forget to give me feedback after you eat them :-) Happy Cooking :-D

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Mars V/S Venus

My head is bursting after watching the movie last night. Not just the missing sleep but watching the dumb emotional senti film to please my girl friend has been so irritating. Man! How can one sit three hours and watch those aunties howl and cry? I have made up my mind. I would tell my girl friend I won't tolerate such nonsense not just in movies and TVs but in real life too. Aww common, death is such a natural thing, being poor is not such a big deal, why should these girls always think as if the world is on their shoulders! I hate girls!

Let me get off with my buddies. I will just escape for the day with the boys and hit the road. I want to get some dating advice too. God I don't wanna miss my fun. My friends are leaving in an hour and I have made plans with them.

Oh damn! Where is my backpack? Gosh! I have left it at aunty's last week and forgot. Now what? I wanted to buy a new one, Dad has given me the money, but yaar, where is the time? What the heck! I will borrow from sis. Hope she doesn't create a scene, crying and all that. I hate these fussy females. Let her carry some other bag to school. Kya farak padta hai?

First let me tell my friends to wait for me, else I will be stuck with these dumb boring feelings and headache. Oh Mom! Have you seen my charger? No Mom, my cell is not charged, I can't find the damn charger. Did you come to my room? Did you try to clean up my room? Mom how many times have I told you not to touch anything here. If you clean up I can't find my things. What? You have not come? Then where the hell did the charger go? How am I gonna call my friends?

Dad, can I borrow your car? Dad ??? Mom, where is Dad? Oh what happened Dad? Having cold? Mom, after you finish giving massage to Dad will you check where my charger is? And Dad since you are not feeling well can I take your car? What? No petrol in the car? You forgot? Oh man, how could he be so irresponsible?

Me? Go to pharmacy now? No way mom. My friends would be waiting and I am already late. Mom why don't you go? OK you finish the massage and after preparing breakfast you will be free whole day no? Don't bother me on the only Sunday I have. When should I enjoy? And what about my breakfast? Mom I am starving!

Oh yes, I forgot. Mom my friend Vijay's parents have gone to their native and he would be joining us for lunch and even veeru may drop in. They love your Biriyani Mom. Make it hot and spicy. What? OK Mom, for Dad, you prepare Dal Chawal, but for me you must prepare Biryani. And yes make Egg curry too. No Mom, don't tell me to go shopping for eggs NOW! Where is sis? Ask her to bring.

Has she gone for Dance classes? OMG, I could have borrowed her bike. Oh here she is. Sis, I wanna take your bike today. No yaar, I am taking it. You go by bus.Oh yeah? Common, heaven is not going to fall if you miss tuition for a day. Or call some stupid girl from your class.

Now what Mom? people won't allow me one minute of peace. Why is everybody so fussy? Dad wants money from ATM? And I should bring petrol for his car too? And get medicine? Oh c'mon Mom, he is just having cold and cough. You work both at office and home even when you are running temperature. You get your own medicine. In fact you get cured even without medicine. I don't remember when you were sick last time. You have given Dad massage, arranged for him to take steam, made kashaya and what else? Don't make fuss Mom, he will be alright. Gawd How I hate these senti women!

Sis, come here, Mom and Dad want some help. Kiddo, go and do it. By the way before you start with them just help me to find my charger. I know, I know it will be in my room, but I can't find it man. I don't know where the hell that damn thing has fallen. Eh, be careful with my laptop and tab, I am on Facebook, don't let it get disconnected. And sweety, can you just make Maggi for me. I can't wait till Mom gets done with Dad's work. Oh yeah add some veggies too. Hey don't overcook it. I don't want to eat soggy Maggie haha...

I hope my girlfriend won't call me today. Just because her internship starts tomorrow, she expects me to help her with her things, drop her to her office. Gosh these girls! They are so damn dependent. Why don't these stupid girls be independent and learn to do things themselves. But yaar, I should handle her carefully. I don't want that silly girl getting senti and all and crying and creating a scene. Why these girls are not like we boys?

Hey sis, make it fast. I am starving. No I can't eat on the way. There is no Mcdi on the way and I don't want to eat that stupid idly there. Where is my wallet Mom? Mom I want five hundred bucks. I know I know, don't start preaching. Oh don't bring “See your sis” and all that Mom.

OH gawd! Why did he create this feminine species? They are so fussy, senti and dependent. Thank God we are not like that!!!

Friday, 16 August 2013

POGO-MY-PUG plays with balooon.....

Pogo wants to go out with his friend Blackie

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Healthy eating habits

The ancient Indian saints and sages have propagated the healthy way of cooking and eating. They have advocated the theory of eating solids like liquids and vice-e-versa. Wonder how? We should chew every bite slowly till it turns liquid and then swallow. This way the digestion process starts in the mouth itself and there is no possibility of over eating. It also prevents the body from accumulating the undigested food and thereby leading to obesity. If we gulp hastily or watch TV or read while eating again it may lead to overindulgence. 

Our ancestors had the best way of cooking, burning firewood using logs of wood and cooking healthy food for themselves. They had the healthy recipes of fresh vegetables, greens and grains. The greens used to be an integral part of their diet. Today even though we are aware of this fact, we over look it while cooking due to paucity of time.
But at least during holidays, weekends or while we are on a healthy diet trip we can remember and follow certain facts. Most of us follow green food recipes while following the diet regime. Nutrition facts of vegetables like carrots and other red and yellow vegetables in providing vitamin D to the body has been always emphasized by the nutritionists and dietitians.

While following the health regime instead of following the diet blindly we should always be aware of the facts as to what are calories, what is nutrition and at every possible opportunity try to have our own backyard vegetable garden using the method of organic vegetable farming. Doctors always advise us to follow the practice of eating yellow and red colored fruits and vegetables to help increase the HB percentage in our blood and also fight the vitamin D deficiency.

How to cook healthy ?

The present day method of cooking in microwave oven and preparation of cake in cooker may have added the utility and save time and energy,but the native indigenous way of cooking had distinct health advantages.Many of us must have come across the AMC cookware which is a set of kitchen accessories where the cooking pots and pans are manufactured using surgical grade stainless steel cookware. 

AMC cookware is based on German technology and with its patented Akkutherm Molecular Base, manufactures cookware pans with lifetime warranty and has factories located in Spain, Italy and south Africa.While there is no second opinion about the quality of the product and its usage, the cookware is priced astronomically and not many can afford them and  even those who can,think hundred times before investing tens of thousands for a set of cooking pots and pans.

Those of you who were born and brought up in villages and small towns may remember your mother or grandmother cooking the vegetables in a most indigenous way. This is a method where the vegetables will not lose any of its nutrition but also retain their authentic and original color and taste.

If you are interested in trying out recipes which need cooking and eating vegetables in healthy way of eating and losing weight, this is the way to cook vegetables. This method not only tells you how to be healthy but also how to eat healthy and also how to lose weight in a healthy way.I believe the technology of the AMC cookware follows this very principle.

As shown in this picture, use a thick bottomed kadai or cooker to cook the vegetables.Wash the vegetables and cut them into longish pieces. Place the cut vegetables in a thick bottomed cooker on a low heat. Don't put any water. The water used to wash the vegetables is enough. On the top of this kadai or cooker, place a vessel containing water and cook for 10-15 minutes depending on your liking about the crunchiness of the vegetables.

While we cook the vegetables in a cooker, the vegetables tend to get soggy and lose their original color and crunchiness  But in this method the original color, taste and the nutrition is fully retained. Especially when we are preparing fried rice or like to eat vegetables in their natural taste, this is the ideal method. First try with carrot, beans, radish and sweet potato and you will fall in love with your veggies all over again.

How to drink healthy ?

Similarly we should drink water as if we are eating, i.e. sit down on the ground, ideal posture is squatting on the ground, while drinking water. Scientifically, when we drink water while standing, we let the water hit the lower part of the esophagus strongly which leads to dilation and relaxation of the sphincter that connects the esophagus and stomach. This may lead to a medical condition called GERD ( Gastro Esophageal Re-flux Disease").

The symptoms of this disease is acidity because the acids in the stomach pass backward through the open sphincter and start the burning sensation in the acid intolerant esophagus. This is the most common feeling of heartburn and acidity which most people complain of. Baba Ramdevji is the strong advocate of the habit of sitting and drinking water and so is the Prophet Mohammed which is followed by the Muslims across the globe.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Hindu Culture and Festivals -- Bheemana Amavasya
Do you believe in customs and traditions? Are you spiritual or orthodox? What do the festivals mean to you? Are you indifferent to them, or follow them as just rituals or try to find out the reason, history behind these festivities. As for me I am spiritual but not orthodox, celebrate the festivals not as a custom but as a social celebration, cook delicacies meant for the festival day not as a binding compulsion, but because I want to enjoy and share the pleasure with my family and friends. What about you ???

Ashadha and Shravana

Today is the last day of Ashadha, a month considered inauspicious according to Hindu belief and from tomorrow starts the month of Shravana, an auspicious month and a  month full of festivals :-)

Today is also Amavasya, new moon day, a day celebrated as Bheemana Amavasya by the Hindus. The day, age, thinking and perceptions keep changing. With the arrival of every festival, lots of questions crop up in my mind. Why this festival is celebrated, what is its significance, is their any scientific, logical meaning attached to the celebrations being followed or is it just a custom?

Orthodox or Atheist ?

I am neither orthodox, nor am I an atheist. I have highest regards and respect for our great Indian culture and Heritage. I am proud about the contribution of our Sages and Rishis to the world, be it Aryabhatta, Vyasa, Patanjali or Chanakya. There are millions and millions like them who make us proud throughout our great history.

But let us not mix cultural traditions with blind faith. I am actually very curious. I know there have been many blind faiths that were being practised by our forefathers  But where did they originate? Where exactly did they start? Because in Mahabharatha you come across the instance of Kunti getting karna from Lord Sun before marriage. This shows the celebration of independence that was prevalent thousands of years ago. Wasn't  it an indication of medical advancement thousands even during that period? Then who were responsible for this deviation of scientific thinking and followings, what was their intention and how from being such a liberal smart civilization, the narrow minded culture steeped in.Or was it just a harmless practice which took unmanageable proportions over centuries?

Religion v/s Technology

Even though we boast of modern technology and gadgets and frown at the old school of thought, we cannot forget Sushrutha, the great Indian sage and doctor, a renowned ophthalmologist performing eye surgery in 600 B.C. There is absolutely no denying about the extraordinary knowledge and education of our ancestors. So where and when did this blind or unscientific faith start?

The ancient Indian Sages did record their findings and knowledge as is evident from Vedas and Upanishads. So instead of following those scientific ideologies that are relevant even today, why did we deviate? Or is not deviation but a scientific and tested method which lacked proper recording?

Generation Gap

There is a distinct difference between the three generations that have come in my life.My grandparents faithfully followed all rituals. A doubt never ever came to their mind about their followings. And the case of my parent was slightly different. As I see it, they were scared to deviate, may be because of the fear instilled in their minds by their fathers and forefathers. I vividly remember my mother describing the hell and explaining what ill fate is going to befall on us if we don't follow certain practices and rituals. They were scared albeit not convinced. And my children, next generation doesn't give a damn to all such talks.

What is Hinduism?

Me? I am neither scared nor convinced – I am curious. I genuinely like to know the scientific reason behind any practice or ritual. So whenever a festival comes, I try to find out its history or logic behind it. I believe Hinduism is a Way of Life, a Holistic approach to life. It is a set of ideal beliefs and noble practices. Its divine principles, approach have been proudly inherited by me. Unlike other religions, there is no single God, no single faith or no single principle here. It is wide, vast and all encompassing.

Hinduism doesn't propagate one single God but we salute that one Supreme abstract authority that is a creator of this Universe. And I don't believe that God would be so self centred, irrational and illogical to want others to fear Him or respect Him. To be a God, He should be far more magnanimous than that.

In simple terms, Hinduism propagates loving each and every creation of God.
" Isavasyam idam sarvam " is the mantra of Hindu philosophy. Isam, the God, is present everywhere so nothing separates anything or anyone from God. Loving and respecting every living and nonliving thing is the essence of Hinduism.

Let good knowledge percolate

It is not just for ourselves but for the next generation we have to make a study and record this. We should be able to pass on the logic, the history, the ideals, after removing the blind faiths. Where as I was neither scared nor convinced my children are just plain indifferent just like their peers.

This is because this generation demands scientific proofs, logics and evidence for all you preach. During menstruation my grandmother was made to sit outside and never enter the main house and was confined to a dark room. My mother's condition was slightly better, but she was scared to touch anything or anyone during that period. I believed that it was only a physical condition because of which I needed rest and not to be abandoned and fought for it. I also found out that during the period of menses, a girls body emanates  carbon dioxide in excess which may harm things like pickles. Would you tell your daughter to follow the ritual followed by your ancestors?

Scientific advancement

So let us pass on the knowledge, philosophy and good practices to our children devoid of any blind faith. They want to practice and follow good things. What has been considered as God by my ancestors, has become a supreme power of positive energy of good principles for me and is pure Physics to my children.

History and Culture

And coming to the subject of today's festival what and why is Bheemana Amavasya???

From what I have read from the Puja books of yore, I remember this is the story of Bheemana Amavasya . 

Story and Source :

This is a Vratha available in Skanda Purana

Once there lived a king whose son had died prematurely. The King wants to get his son married by announcing rewards for those who come forward to give their daughter to this dead son.
A poor Brahmin comes forward to marry his daughter to the dead prince. The wedding was celebrated on a Amavasya Day. After the marriage the dead prince’s body was brought near river for final rites. As the people were preparing the pyre, there was thunder and lightning with heavy rains.  The people panicked and ran back to their homes leaving the dead body and the innocent girl behind.
The girl remembered that it was the day of Jyothir Bheemeshwari vrata, which her mother made her perform without fail every year. She takes bath in the river and molded two lamps and rolled out fiber of a plant to form the wick for the lamps.  She poured water into the lamps and did bhandara with mud as there was no rice/wheat .
Shiva & Parvati were the silent spectators for all her activities and were pleased with her devotion and blessed her.She finished her pooja with whatever is available at that place.
As she finished her pooja God Rudra and Goddess Parvathi Devi appeared before her. Lord Shiva broke the mud balls / bandara and asked her to ask for a boon.  She requested them to bring her husband back to life, which was granted.  The people next day were happy and surprised to see the prince alive and they took the two back in a procession and they lived happily ever after.
How it is performed ?
On this day, Tambittu Deepa is lighted. It is believed that lighting of these lamps throws out all the bad effects from home and makes home fresh, blissful and prosperous. Idols of Lord Shiva and parvati are created with mud.  Special pooja is performed to Parvati and Rudra. 

On this day, Kadubu, idli, and wheat balls are prepared. keeping the coins inside the kadubu or idli, male children will be asked to broke them. This process is called as “Bhandara breaking". These  Bandara are kept on either side of the bottom doorsill on betel leaves, betel nut, coins.  And turmeric powder and kumkum / vermilion powder are applied to hostilu.  The brother is made to stand one at a time with legs on either side of the hostilu and he has to break the Bandara with his elbows and as he bends to break them the sisters should bang the brother’s back with their elbows.  This is lot of fun with laughter and guffaws.  The bandara is stuffed with soaked Bengal gram or with coins. And the brothers are supposed to present gifts to their sisters.

Logic and significance :

I feel just like most of the Hindu festivals and rituals, this Hindu festival is celebrated to freshen the home with diyas, eat healthy food and build a bonding between family members.

This is my interpretation of this festival. Do you have any other opinions? Do you find or have you read some other logic behind these rituals? You are most welcome to share.

Please give your opinions and feedbacks in the comments box below. I would appreciate and reciprocate :-)

Monday, 5 August 2013

Applying for Google Adsense? Have you taken care of these points?

Work from Home    
Are you interested in working from home? Trying to make money online?  Trying to generate income from Internet through your blogs, websites? Are you a work from home mom, trying to find avenues of earning some extra dollars, and planning to apply for Google Adsense? If your answer is yes to any of the above questions, read these tips and guidelines before you proceed.

Google Adsense

We all love to write. And we all need money. period. The biggest incentive and attraction for writing online is generally the handsome income. People who want to add some additional bucks, or who would love to work from home generally look up to make money on line through Google Adsense program. That is by placing ads on their blogs and websites and getting money when  readers click on the ads.

And rightly so. Because among all the on line advertisement programs, Google Adsense is far more popular, well established and pays well. And they have a well set rules and procedures, all very well established.

Blogger ethics 

You want your application to be approved? And you want to start earning? Here I have listed all the dos and don'ts for you.You follow these scrupulously and you won't be disappointed.
  • Be genuine. Don't write just for the heck of it. Short cut methods will yield only short lived fruits.
  • You write because you want to share the knowledge and communicate. Earning should be incidental. You should earn because your posts are useful and draw readers to your site.
  • Google search has become a necessity, a part of life across the globe. From a smallest information like how to cook and eat to biggest health issues, from economic issues like Insurance and Banking, to child bearing, from Nuclear Energy to the general knowledge questions like how do the planes fly, people search the web. So always give the correct and authentic information.
  • Write a good number of posts before you apply. What is good number? There have been instances earlier where the Google had approved Adsense after just a few posts. But that is not the case nowadays. The number generally is 25 but may extend to 50 depending upon your luck.
  • Each post should be a descriptive one with a minimum of 500 words. Don't fill the post with unnecessary images. At the same time, one relevant original photo of your own goes a long way in the post being effective and attractive.
  • Adding a description of your blog with a clear title “ About this Blog “ is necessary. Not only for the Google Adsense team but also for your readers and advertisers, it is necessary to know what your blog is about. Write a brief but interesting information about your blog, its niche if any and about what your blog deals with.
  • A page about yourself  under the title “ About me “ is one more necessity. Write a brief introduction about yourself, highlighting your interests and qualifications and what you are offering your readers through your blog.
  • Privacy Policy : It is absolutely necessary to add the privacy policy to your blog. Don't worry, you need not go to any legal advisers to get one. There are many sites which help you to generate a privacy policy for your site free of cost. Read the instructions, add the details of your blog title and URL and within a few minutes, you can generate the privacy policy for your blog.
  • Terms of Use : Just like Privacy Policy, you can generate the “Terms of Use”  from some free sites which offer this service and generate your own Terms of Use by giving the details of your blog name and blog URL.
  • You add pages for each of the above viz. About Me, About this Blog, Privacy Policy, and Terms of Use  and add them on the top of your blog main page, easily visible and available.
  • Select an easy to maneuver  and simple layout which helps your readers to easily browse through your site. Don't take unnecessary complicated themes. People will read and then remember and come back again to your sites if it is easy to access, loads fast and offers best posts. Nobody will remember what template or background design you have used.
  • Never go for dark or black backgrounds. It puts off  the readers.
  • Keep a standard font, which is neither too small nor too big for all your blog posts.
  • Split your posts into small paragraphs with meaningful sub headings. Not only will it look attractive, but also helps the readers in grasping the gist of your posts.
There you go. Now you know all the points and secrets that are required to make a huge success in monetizing your blogs. Let me tell you a secret. Not all of  those successful bloggers who are earning four to five digit figures are not those who have got Adsense approved in single attempt. There are thousands out there who had faced rejections and refusals but only those of them who have challenged themselves to turn objections into approvals by reinforcing their efforts with renewed sincerity and positive approach have become successful.

Remember, the tool is in your hands, literally, to write your own wonderful success story. Go for it with all the sincerity and positive mind and you would be a proud owner of a successful blog which provides you with great income all your life.

Did you like my tips? Are they useful? Let me know. You may also please share this with your friends. You never know how and when they may need these steps and I am sure would appreciate these easy to follow tips.

Feel free to give your valuable comments and feedbacks in the comments box below. I would really appreciate and reciprocate.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

How to get readers to your Blog ?

How to make your blog interesting?
Imagine you have grown a beautiful flower, what do you want to do next ? You may want to offer it to God, or present it to your loved ones. Even if you don't like to pluck the flower and want to leave it in the plant,you would love others to look at it and appreciate it. You want the pleasure of sharing. You would like others to appreciate your efforts. Isn't it?

Or suppose you have prepared some delicious dish. More than eating it yourself or eating alone, sharing the dish would enhance your pleasure.

So is the case with your blog and blog posts. We write because we love to, but there is no fun if nobody reads what we have written. And of course there is the issue of money and monetising your blogs. Most of us want to monetize our blog right? The beauty of blogging is you can enjoy what you love to do and what you are passionate about and then get paid for it!

Art of selling :

So here we are marketing our product. We want more and more customers to visit our shop. And then? We want them to buy what we are selling. What if they don't like one product? Of course we have other offers. We don't want to lose our customers :-) Suppose they like and buy one. Should we let them go? Of course not. We would offer them more and more products.

But remember, customers will come to our shop and buy only if we are offering them the best of products. So let us never compromise on the quality. Let us offer them quality products which they should not be able to resist. We will never thrust anything on them forcefully. Only if our posts are good, if the readers find them useful and enjoy, not only would they return to us but also would recommend us to others.

Blogging Tips :

So what are the tips and the tricks to get more readers ? Here you go!

You have already learnt how to create a blog and how to write a popular blog post. Now it is time for you to get more and more readers to your blog. Here are the tricks :

  • Write quality content. Let your posts be not too short or inadequate nor too lengthy.
  • Control the  bounce rate for your blog by interlinking your posts. The bounce rate is the percentage of the people visiting your blog and leaving without reading other pages.The advertisers would like to see the bounce rate of your blog. 
  • Write niche blogs. If your blog contains too many posts about too many subjects, the reader may not know what to search, what to find and soon may lose interest in your blog. If your blog contains multiple subjects, at least write some articles on each particular subject which invites the readers to read other posts.
  • While linking to your other related posts, link with a meaningful sentence or group of words instead of saying just "click here." For example if you have posted about healthy diets and yoga, say " How to lose weight with yoga and pranayama." People would know what they will get if they visit the link.
  • The speed of loading of your blog is very important. People don't have too much of time and patience. Don't use a template with lot of background image. It may look good but images take a lot more time to load. Use a simple blog theme and template, as people want more information than mere design.
  • You may also link to your other posts by adding a simple sentence in between paragraphs. But take care not to overdo it. It may have a negative impact.
  • Add the " You may also like to read " widget at the bottom of your post. People may not like to search your blog, but if an interesting or related post link appears, naturally they would like to read it.
  • Keep ads at a comfortable number. If your blog is full of ads or ads pounce on the readers, they may irritate and turn off the readers. 

Well, by following these simple and easy steps I am sure you would achieve great success in popularising your blogs. I wish you Good Luck. Please share these tips with your friends too. They may be in need of these tips and would be happy to implement them.

Tell me too :

Please let me hear from you. Leave your comments and feedbacks in the comments box below. I sure would appreciate it :-0

Friday, 2 August 2013

Parenting Tips

Economy :                    

Recently I came across an answer given by a boy in an interactive site wherein the boy had answered to a question regarding " How do people react to moving from low to a high standard of living. "

The boy was very articulate and firm and very forthcoming with explicit answers, quoting examples from his own family, about himself, his father and his grandfather. He had clearly analysed the socio economic background of the three - how from have nots, to middle class from the past two generations, he had moved up the ladder and has reached the top spectrum of the society. 

He narrated how his grandfather - from partition days - with great difficulty survived and moved to India to make a living for himself. This economic evolution had an effect on his social upbringing too and taking a lesson from Maslow's Hierarchy, he had beautifully explained the problems of generation gaps. Unfortunately the boy had written as Anonymous, so I cannot name him, but I would love to quote his words of final analysis "  "My   Grandad's greatest worry is to see all that he built breakup. My   Dad's  greatest worry is not having enough savings for his family. My   greatest worry is being  stuck in a routine lifestyle, with the same  old  people in the same old job." "

Art of Living :

As long as I was reading the article I was feeling as if he was taking words from my mouth. He reminded me of myself in my younger days, my reactions, my way of thinking and expressing and my style of living, i.e.being upright and straight-forward - sometimes even being labelled as a rebel and confrontationalist.

And suddenly it dawned ! Not only was his line of thinking and speaking similar to mine, it was exactly the way my son would speak. While reading the article I also had felt as if I was listening to my son, putting across his points, as effectively - with supporting facts and figures which broods no further argument. I could not help sharing this opinion with my son and he too acknowledged the fact with a smile. 

Generation Gap :

We would be seriously wrong if we claim that the previous generation was less intelligent than the present one. On the contrary  we can claim that the present generation is more smart than their predecessors :-) If we say the gen-next boys to do or not to do something, they demand a reason or logic for it. Why were our predecessors not like that? Or were they?

For example, when I tell my children to go to temple and pray, they will ask why go there as we can as well pray at home. My grandfather would not have questioned his father like that. Or did he? What would have been that father's explanation?

God and Religion :

Recently I came across a mail that was doing circulation on the net, from an unknown source, scientifically explaining the need go pray in temples which I have quoted below. 

The scientific explanation for visiting Temples regularly :

Generally, vedic temples are located in a place where earth’s magnetic waves pass through.
In simple terms, these temples are located strategically at a place where the positive energy is abundantly available from the magnetic wave distribution of north/ south pole thrusts.
The Main Idol is placed in the center,where high magnetic values are available.A copper plate with some Vedic scripts is buried,beneath the Main Idol. This place is known as “Garbhagriha” or Moolasthana.
The copper plate absorbs the earth's magnetic waves and radiates them to the surroundings. Thus a person making clockwise pradakshina of the Main Idol’s placement, automatically receives the beamed magnetic waves.
Regular visits make him absorb more positive energy.The Sanctum Sanctorum is completely enclosed on three sides.The effect of all energies is very high in here.The lamp that is lit radiates the heat and light energy.The ringing of the bells and the chanting of prayers gives sound energy.The fragrance from the flowers, the burning of camphor give out chemical energy. The effect of all these energies comes out of the idol.
This is in addition to the north/south pole magnetic energy that is absorbed by the copper plate and utensils that are kept in the Moolasthanam.
The water used for the Pooja is mixed with Cardamom, Benzoin, Holy Basil (Tulsi), Clove, etc is the “Theertham”.This water becomes more energized because it receives all these combined energies.
The water that is sprinkled onto the people passes on the energy to all. That is the reason why, men should not wear shirts to the temple and ladies should wear more ornaments because it is through these jewels (metal) that positive energy is absorbed by ladies.
It is proved that Theertham is a very good blood purifier, as it is highly energized. In addition, temples offer holy water (about three spoons).This water is mainly a source of magneto therapy as they place the copper water vessel at the Garbhagriha.
It also contains cardamom, clove, saffron, etc to add taste and Tulsi (holy Basil) leaves are put into the water to increase its medicinal value!
The clove essence protects one from tooth decay, the saffron & Tulsi leave essence protects one from common cold and cough, cardamom and benzoine
known as Pachha Karpuram,acts as a mouth refreshing agents.
Last, but not least….when you walk around in the PRAHARAMS…both inner and outer… your walking exercise is done in a serene atmosphere!!!!
This way, one’s health too is protected, by regularly visiting Temples ! "
Physics and Philosophy : 
I don't have the source or the author of this information, but it sounds quite right to me. But for my son, this would sound like physics and chemistry. My father, may be would have learnt about it, but would have thought, " Let me tell if and when asked", and my grandfather would have silently followed his father without questioning and his father might have been too scared to ask, his father would not have dared to even think of asking, and his father .......
This can go on and on and on. The only complaint I have against my predecessors is that either they didn't records the scientific reason for everything they did, or questioned when being asked to do. Or may be they wrote it down in a language which was not universal - Sanskrit - which is not as widely used in today's world like English.
Records :
So at least now is the time to keep a record of scientific analysis and findings and preserve them. Let us record what we know, let us try to find out what we don't know, or keep a track of what has not been recorded properly so that the next generation will have a strong scientific basis and foundation and don't under estimate our knowledge :-)
Tell Me :
Do you agree with me or differ? I would love to hear from you and receive your feedbacks. Please feel free to give your opinions in the comment box below.