Friday, April 22, 2011

Counting Happiness!

And here comes the most difficult question that I asked myself since morning today..."Raji, Can you think of 25 things that made you happy in your recent memories????" 
Dammmnn.... It has been 6 hours since then and my mind is restless and still thinking (What a sad life! :() 
But then, I am not an unhappy bitter soul, it is just that my definition of happiness differs from every one else... I was explaining to Sowshee yesterday - "Happiness is just a matter of perception" (my original quote, however un-original the idea may be). I see a bit of difference between "Content" and "Happiness". (Could be that I am weird, but then that’s me!). Happiness to me is the small things that make my day; it could be kind words, gracious actions, old memories, an amazing song at just the right time etc., whereas content is what over all life is like! People often complain they are not happy, I will say think about it again!

So, I thought why not just write down some “happy” memories and let’s see if they reach the target 25!! They are in the order of how I can remember them, and nothing else.
1.        After I-don’t-know-how-many years, I heard my dad singing last week with an orchestra (He is an amazing singer and he used to do it much more frequently than now). And now, that was pure joy / happiness!
2.        Yes, the saree attire I wore for a colleague’s party didn’t fit me in 2010. (I was definitely depressed about it,) But for a fluke, I tried it again on April 1st 2011, and voila! It fit me well and yes, it made me happy!!!
3.         Been a while since I posted pics in Flickr, however, I am getting some comments and friend requests even now, in this period of absence (of over 4 weeks). I feel great!
4.         Flowers and the color Pink are a lethal combination to make Raji happyJ. I don’t have to explain beyond that!!
5.        I know I have written an entire blog on this, but still the airport scene on 25th Dec 2010 brings a smile on my face. The wait was worth it!
6.         There are 2 separate plans to meet 2 of my closest friends in new places, which I never saw before. Wow!! The very thought of that makes me excited. Let’s see however, how far these plans go ahead.
7.        I speak to dad and mom every single night, especially since 2011 begun, it just got too habitual. The first time they went to Andhra, I was alone that night, not knowing of what to do, getting bored. Dad then called me from Andhra and confessed he was equally bored and missed me. And mom also confirmed that not talking to me was something very different to them. I don’t know how peacefully I slept that night!
8.         I had made a list of items to buy in 2010. A camera, a smart phone, the Bose earphones and a Car. The day I completed my loan for the car (in December 2010 itself) was yet another happy memory I will always cherish!
9.        Praise that I get for my work obviously cheers me up. I can’t get boisterous about that, but I cannot count how many times it has uplifted meJ.
10.      Not wanting to sound materialistic ;) but my Versace sun-glasses and the formal pants that I just got in the recent past simply cheer me up!!

Now, that’s great! I actually completed 10 of them… in the span of 25 minutes... That’s not bad... let’s count more. I will not be upset if I cannot reach 25… still let’s count!

11.      Practice makes a man perfect! Witnessing that in my Yoga class, that my teacher spends more time with others and less (actually now nil) with me is just awesome…At least something to look forward for Mondays!
12.      Oh! The weather here has been off late very depressing and amounting to loads of mood offs and bouts of lethargy. And at this time, my colleagues stopped greeting me “good morning Raji” and started “Hello Sunshine!!” Sunshine? Me? Really?? Wait, Why not??
13.      The bread pakodas and the aaloo parathas that just turned out great last weekend – OMG!! Nothing like a well made dinner J and a satisfied co-diner!
14.      I am often confused when am I more happy – when I reach office on time? Or when I reach office at my usual 5 minutes delay, only to find out that I still get a front row to park and other people are coming after me? Well, previous one I guess, esp. when I am on time for the meetings!
15.      A couple of times, I haven’t really worked on my photos, no edits and post in Flickr as such! Now those are the days when every thing seems perfect!
16.      Every time my comments appear on Times of India...I know it isn’t a big deal, but it looks good to have a comment published in the newspaper with our opinion on it and other people commenting that they are happy to see intelligent people around!!
17.      It was raining today morning, I was driving, I was having masala chai while on the way to office and the Ipod started playing “Taal se taal mila”, the volume was a little on higher side than regular, now that was a good drive!
18.      Fighting with Sowshee, on how wrong she is on everything almost everyday, but I still look forward to it everyday...ha ha!!
19.      It might be a bit old, almost about 10 months now, but the memories are just fresh. There was a night, when AR Rahman was standing / performing right in front of me! June 18th 2010 - What a night!!
20.     There was a day when I won almost 90% of all the contests that I participated on Flickr! Yayy!!!

Okay this one took me 1 hour… damn!! But not bad, I still recollected memories that have really boosted my mood now!

21.      Silly… Silly chats that I have with friends (and I also save them) and read them when I am bored! I even got into a fight once to prove how technically Mountain Dew and Coffee are different!
22.      Oh! did I tell you that Rajdeep Sardesai interviewed me on the current affairs of India and actually said I make a very valid and important point! (Does it matter if it was my dream?) I woke up happier than ever! FYI – I was on a panel with Dhoni!! LOL…
23.      I have often surprised people with things they like especially on the unexpected times, whether sarees on my mom’s door steps or a local chocolate showroom for a chocolate lover. Expressions are usually priceless and it doesn’t get better!
24.     My colleagues are right now eating donuts and cakes... and I am not tempted… Whoa!!
25.     I wrote this blog and recounted some great times and memories… See life’s not that bad after all…Digging deep in to the memories and forcing yourself to smile is not a bad thing after all... may be we should keep an account of all funny things that we do or say everyday! I am sure they will help us a lot!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Indian Grape Trifle

April 3rd 2011, its Ugadhi today. As weekend and Ugadhi lined up together. I came home after two months. Since I continue the same pattern of sleep on weekends also, was awake all night and made Dal Makani and Jheera rice yesterday. Which came out very well. Today was planning for a dessert kind of receipy.
I started searching for required ingredients in the kitchen. Rather was planning the receipy with the available ingredients. Finally came to an decision and started for it.

Let me give you the method :
* Black & Green Grapes seedless cut into half - one cup each

* Attukulu - one cup

* Milk - 2 cups

* Roasted Peanuts - one cup

* Ellachi - 2

* yogurt - one cup

* Any fruit - sapota 6

* Ice cubes

* sugar

* honey

Method :
This receipy is made by layering the preparations one by one in a glass or a cup.
First layer - In the bottom of the glass arrange grapes which are half cut. Top it with few drops of honey.
Second layer - In a mixer add ice cubes, scooped sapota, yogurt, sugar and prepare a smootie. Cover it over the first layer.
Third layer - top the second layer with green grapes and honey the same way.
Fourth layer : Boil milk, add attukulu, sugar, elachi, powdered roasted peanuts. Make its a think paste. Add this layer on the top .

Decorate with grapes and honey on the top.

Finally keep it in the freezer and serve chill.
Hmmm now time to name it.... I thought of naming it as Fruit payasam.. Pinged Raji for her input .. She named it as Indian Grape Trifle.. Friends you can give your thoughts also......