Morning Byes

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Sitting at my sunlit office desk, I can see myself waving a goodbye to 6 year old earlier this morning.

 

Our daily goodbye ritual has not changed much from the time he started schooling. We step out of the house together – I, with sweat drenched hair, atta-dusted hands and a messy apron over my nightclothes. He, in his smart uniform, rambling about school or friends or about the game of football the previous evening, prancing out of the door, his schoolbag dangling on his small shoulders.

 

As he puts on his shoes, I press the elevator button. The wait is short, but it seems like forever. I am impatient to transform into the smart office-goer ; he wants to snatch a few minutes of play time with his friends before the school bus arrives.

 

There is silence now as we follow the sound of the elevator as it trundles up. The barely audible hum stops, I reach out to hug him – it is time to say bye. No sooner the elevator doors open, than he rushes in, laughing, dodging my attempts to kiss him. He quickly turns around, waving his arms, excitement in his eyes. “Go back, Go back” he warns, afraid that the closing doors will hurt me.

 

Time seems stops still as I stand there, abandoning the rush, imbibing his enthusiasm, grateful for these moments of quiet joy that make each day special .

A True Victory

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WINNINGTo be honest, I was disappointed to see the India Today Conclave 2014 theme – WINNING. Do we need yet another pedestal for WINNERS, I wondered?

 

Over-hyped, over-glorified, overrated. That is what WINNING has come to be today. Greed, deceit, unhealthy competition is what WINNING signifies today.

 

It is utopian to expect that mere participation and courage matter. WINNERS are celebrated; losers forgotten. Their efforts, their hard work, their struggle – all annulled in the din of winning. History is written by the WINNERS, no one sheds a tear for the vanquished.

 

A child studies to WIN, a swimmer swims to WIN. A model aspires to WIN a pageant; a leader goes all out to WIN an election. Executives bribe so that the organization can WIN; fanatics destroy so that the Lord may WIN.

 

What is each WIN costing us? Our morals and our ethics, our children and their childhood, our planet and its climate! WINNING today is built on inflated egos, endless lies, countless innocent lives! To me, such WINNING brings no joy!

 

WINNING for pride,
WINNING for money,
WINNING for fleeting recognition!
WINNING to tweet, WINNING to post, WINNING to boast,
WINNING to stand out among peers, WINNING to have the most!

 

Why is WINNING everything?
Why do the WINNERS take it all?
Why do the WINNERS “beat” the losers?
Why is there such stigma in losing?
Why have we forgotten the delight in living?

 

Why is victory bitter-sweet?
Why is success ephemeral?
Why is it lonely at the top?
Why does power corrupt absolutely?
Why have we forgotten the path to prosperity?

 

If you ask me, winning is about being true to your ideals. Winning is about gaining knowledge; winning is about making a difference. Winning is about staying humble in victory and dignified in failure. Winning is about making it to the finish line, regardless of the time it takes to get there.

 

Winning is passion, winning is dedication
Winning is focus, winning is execution
Winning is unflinching faith in oneself
Winning is unrelenting pursuit of excellence
Winning is determination to go the full distance

 

Winning is not hubris, winning is humility
Winning is not hoarding, winning is sharing
Winning is not divisive, winning is inclusive
Winning is no winning if there is no end to atrocity
Winning is not crushing the opposition, winning is creating unity

 

Winning is not just about you, it is about others too. Winning is about understanding, compassion, and generosity. Winning is about resolving differences; about making the world a safer place. Winning is about ensuring that food, health, and education are every child’s right.

 

It is not the fastest, the strongest, the mightiest that win. It is those who stand up for the slowest, the weakest, the powerless that truly win.

 

True victory is when you have conquered yourself,
True victory is when you have mastered your fears,
True victory is when everyone’s united,
True victory is when everyone prospers,
True victory is when everyone progresses.

 

True WINNING is when there are no WINNERS

Palak (Spinach) Rice Recipe

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Ready 2Palak Rice is one of Aunt U’s signature recipes. Whenever her friends meet, she is inundated with requests for Palak Rice. She has patiently repeated the recipe several times for me, my sister, my mother, my MIL. However, I never could get it quite right. Last weekend, she graciously acceded to make Palak Rice while I stood watching her, noting each step. Before I get into the details, I should tell you that getting people to eat spinach has never been easier!

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Handa’s Surprise

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Handas SurpriseI was introduced to ‘Handa’s Surprise’ a few years back by a very good friend of mine who read it out to my daughter. The story, set in an African village, is about a little girl, Handa, who decides to visit her friend Akeyo, in the next village. She puts seven delicious fruits in a basket for her friend. Handa has to pass through a jungle to reach Akeyo’s village. The story talks about what happens to each fruit on the way and the surprise that Handa gets when she reaches her friend’s house.

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(Bit)Coining the Future – II

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1. bitcoin_flyer5

Courtesy: coinbul.com

This post concludes the two-part Introduction to Bitcoins.

 

A quick recap:  Bitcoin is a digital currency that exists only on computers. This decentralized payment system characterized by untraceable transactions is not bound by regulations and relies on the perception of bitcoin users to lend it any value. Using bitcoins is relatively simple (remember the email analogy?); it is the underlying technology that has broken new ground.  Now, continuing where we left off…

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(Bit)Coining the Future

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BC_Logo_A post on bitcoins has been on the anvil for quite a while now. With all the controversies surrounding bitcoins and their inherent complexity, I was reluctant to put pen to paper. Now finally, here is the first of the two post introduction on bitcoins.

 

What is a Bitcoin?
The simplest answer to this question is that a bitcoin is a digital currency – a virtual currency that does not have a physical form. Not just that,  it is not issued or backed by any goverment/central monetary authority! Bitcoins are generated, exchanged, transmitted, and stored on computers. The abstracted process of using bitcoins seems very simple – as easy as sending an email. But let that not fool you!

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Kerala Vegetable Stew – No masala, No onion Recipe

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Vegetable stewAs we checked out of the hotel in the early hours of 1st Jan, the smiling, smartly dressed  young man quickly put to rest any fears that I had on having to deal with a drunken, half-asleep driver on the way to the airport. With a pleasant “Happy New Year!” , he whisked away our luggage and in no time we were on our way.  Despite being weary to the bone, I could not help but feel relaxed and happy – his good cheer had rubbed off on us too! But the best was yet to come.  At the airport, while our driver paid the parking fees, he passed on New Year greetings to the man at the gate. His wishes were genuine, so was the smile on the poor, shivering man’s face and the glow in our hearts.  Now, what a better way to start what promises to be an eventful 2014?

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Where I am from….

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canstockphoto1730283As I browsed the Internet yesterday, little did I expect to find motivation to write a poem. George Ella Lyon’s ‘Where I am from’ is a beautiful read and an inspiration. It is also a writing prompt that is used across the globe in numerous schools & writing groups. I thought of using it myself and this is what came forth when I asked …

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‘Kadala Curry’ with White Chickpeas

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Final PicWhen I first saw one of Vodafone’s immensly popular ads where the Zoozoo follows his girlfriend around the world muttering what seems like gibberish, I was surprised to hear him say ‘puttum-kadalayum’ (puttu and kadala). Once convinced I had heard it right, I was over the moon to know that one of the most endearing advertisement characters also had a taste for this simple yet tasty fare from Kerala!

Thanks to my son’s love for puttu, we often have it for our meal but rarely do I use white chickpeas for the curry; kala channa being the more authentic (and supposedly healthier) version. But this time around, I just HAD to have the white kadala curry, the way my mother makes it! So, that is how a welcome mid-week holiday got the treatment it deserved –  piping hot puttu with mom-style kadala curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

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