Two black bugs and sixteen red ants

Frank went deep into the bush

Hiding from his father’s stare

Saving himself from Amanda’s eyes

Amanda is more a mother than sister

And he finds her more intimidating

Than the wild bugs in the bush

He eyed two black bugs crawling chameleon

Frank picked one by one balancing in his two wannabe fingers

Dropped them immediately into the empty jam bottle

Then, he looked for preys here and there, all around and over

Not finding anything interesting and little upset

He settled for the tiny red ants on the tree above him

Sixteen red ants, venomous and perfect

Then closing the bottle lid quickly

Frank lounged quietly as he shook the bottle intermittently

The two black bugs and the cavalry of sixteen red ants

Fought historic epic battle till they all tossed for life

And eventually died to the eight year old’s whim.







Women hold up one half of the sky, make up one half of the world’s task force and fulfil one half of the planet’s potential. In women lie nature’s best qualities of motherhood, compassion, humanity and love. Since they have been blessed with the capacity for giving and nurturing life, women also have the capacity for a deep commitment for preserving and nourishing not only their own offspring, but of the entire planet world.

After they have been downtrodden and disfranchised for centuries, women have developed unparalleled skills of frugality, economy and resource management. They have been bestowed with softer and gentler qualities therefore women eschew wars, violence and destruction of the planet. The tragedy of human race as seen is that, for too long muscle and brute power ascendant over the emotional and spiritual strength. Looking at the mess that the world entered lead to the realization that another approach is required. To women then, the world must turn to bring healing and spiritual qualities of positivity and patience.

That is the time women stepped out of the shadows to take their rightful place beside men in steering the course of the future. One has to look at the women who have broken the shackles of their conditioning, from Rani of Jhansi to Helen Keller-the deaf and dum genius, Indira Gandhi to Kalpana Chawla. Just like a word is inseparable from its meaning, the name Ela Bhat is inseparable from the SEWA- Self-employed women’s association. She has rescued thousands of women by giving financial help. In 2010 she was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize for the upliftment of poor women. She also received the first ever Global Fairness Award by Clindent in Ahmadabad.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is an Indian businesswoman, technocrat, innovator and the founder of Biocon, the leading bio-technology enterprise based in Banglore. She has spearheaded its evolution and in her pursuits, she faced many challenges but never gave up. With her steering Biocon became the first to receive US funding. Her pioneering work earned her the Padmashree in 1989 and Padmabhushan in 2005 from the govt of India. She is also named among the hundred most influential people by the Times magazine and also in the Forbes list, Nikai Asian Prize 2009 etc.

Today there are many women organizations fighting many causes for the well-being and safety of women. This shows and makes us recognize that when a power of woman is unbound and unleashed there is no force on earth that can stop her from achieving her goals and realizing her dreams.

Yet much remains to be done. The memory of too many centuries of separation still haunts the women and holds them back from coming into their own. They are still to realize the extent of their true strength and their enormous potentiality.

Let each woman stand as an inspiration to other women. Women are the nature’s finest force and the planet’s cherished hope. AND THE TIME HAS COME FOR THEM TO EMERGE AS LEADERS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT


In time of test,’ family is the best.’ All the hurdles of the day are eased at the end of the day when you are back with your family.
‘Joint’ means tied together. A joint family with number of members definitely sounds more secure. We can find many solutions or many helping hands. One would definitely be in less danger if one’s own kith and kin are fun to be with.
But many times members of a joint family never really speak their minds to one another. They maintain an atmosphere of unreality. Each one lives in an atmosphere of suppressed ill-feeling. ‘Unity in diversity’ if maintained then a joint family may succeed. Having individual independence in one’s own private decision making, finances, entertainment etc and by maintaining all round unity, can help survive a joint family.
Just like India is a country with different languages, caste & religion, so also a joint family has people with different ideas & behavioral habits. If one respects & recognizes each other’s views as well as tolerate or each other’s behavior & thinking, then the fruits of a joint family can surely be enjoyed.
The strength of a man is portrayed by his capacity to adjust to the different minds and situations in a joint family. If he can adjust to the ifs & buts at home, then he can surely adjust with his outside world. Truly speaking our public affections begin in our families. No cold relation can be zealous citizen. Blood relations may be thicker but they can be nastier too. If members of a family do not open up, then a joint family may become a home of all social evils and a hell for the children in particular. A selfless member who volunteers to shoulder the joint pack selflessly may at the end find himself reading a story to a sleepy child.


India is my country;
I am proud of it;
We Indians are mighty
I am aware of it,

India is my country;
I am a lover of it.
Our ideas have diversity,
I respect it.

India is my country,
Admirer I am ardently of it.
Our people and landscapes have beauty,
I am proud of it.

India is my country;
A whole-hearted well-wisher I am of it.
Its borders are our wealth,
I am concerned about it.

India is my country;
I am dutiful to it
Worried I am about its security,
I shall campaign for it.

Home Remedies that Really Work

Call it mother wit or an old wives’ tale, but that odd remedy your grandma gave you when you got sick really worked—and worked surprisingly well!

Experts say that some old home remedies are very effective at curing’ what ails us.

While the following natural cures are relatively safe, use good judgment If you have any unusual reaction, or if symptoms persist or get worse, stop treatment and consult your doctor.
•Chicken soup for a cold. Medical studies show that hot chicken soup has a better effect on upper-respiratory infections than other hot liquids, the New York Daily News reported. The steam breaks up nasal congestion and the soothing broth, especially if it’s homemade, certainly can make you feel better.
•Sugar to stop hiccups. A teaspoon of granulated sugar, dissolved in your mouth before swallowing, is a remedy for annoying hiccups.
•Coffee for a tension headache. One study of regular headache sufferers found that caffeine boosted the painkilling effects of ibuprofen. Lead study author Dr. Seymour Diamond of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago said that “a big mug of good coffee” may also do the trick, Reuters Health reported, but warned that chronic sufferers should avoid caffeine, which could make symptoms worse.
•Ginger for upset stomach. Research shows that ginger, in moderation, can quell nausea, but it caution pregnant women who take it because it can promote bleeding.
•Honey and tea bags for minor cuts and scrapes. Honey contains a natural antiseptic and vitamins and minerals. Dab it on a wound to kill germs and stimulate healing. A wet tea bag can stop a minor cut from bleeding since the tea contains tannic acid, which constricts blood vessels.
•Toothpick and cotton for ingrown toenail- A toothpick wrapped in a bit of sterile cotton and placed (not too deeply) under the toenail near the affected area relieves pressure and eventually allows you to clip the nail.
•Bananas to lower HIGH blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack or stroke. Studies show that potassium- rich foods like bananas can lower blood pressure, possibly because potassium causes blood vessels to expand, thus lowering pressure.
•Cherries to relieve gout. Gout, a form of arthritis that affects mostly men, results from uric acid in the blood that hardens around joints, especially in feet, and causes severe swelling and pain. To relieve pain, eat 1/4 to 1/2 cups of cherries daily. Experts believe the cherries contain an enzyme that breaks down and excretes uric arid.

Saw palmetto for prostate problem. Studies show that this small plant, which resembles a palm-tree, is effective in reducing an enlarged prostate gland, reducing the need to urinate and improving blood flow


Fairy Tales, Love, Hate and Hubris

Fairy Tales – Love, hate and hubris

Author: Manoj Kewalramani

Published by Virgin Leaf books

Price: Rs. 145

Deceit, doubt, divine and the delightful – What are fairy tales made up of? A new look at the soulful, shy, sophisticated, savant, sinister, scary, sinful characters we had read about in many of the fairy tales in our childhood. Little Red Riding Hood, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Puss in Boots, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea, Rumpelstlitskin, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Pied Piper are some of the fairy tales chosen by the author.

Manoj has looked at the characters of some well-known fairy tales in today’s perspective. Why would a toad want to be a handsome prince if he is happy as he is? He doesn’t need some princess to redeem him from his frog-form. Be comfortable with what you are instead of trying to fit in the mould the world wants you to be seen in.

The princess and the pea where the bedraggled girl is crying hoarse that she is a princess because a pea kept under the several mattresses is poking her in the back. Well, girls! Most of the troubles in your life are the size of a pea. Face them squarely and they will be minuscule. Just stop crying over them!

There is nothing like eternal beauty. We all are going to turn old with the tide of time. Also beauty is what you are inside, not the physical form.  The queen better learn it instead of looking for answers in the mirror. A new Snow White is going to happen with time.

Puss In Boots is a Man Friday personified who would go to any depths to serve his master. Deceit is a way of life today, isn’t it?

A refreshing look at the characters from fairy tales woven into poetry makes us rethink as to what they could have been. The verse is sometimes cryptic that compels you to dwell upon it. A perspective of the ‘other’ character and what they would they want to tell or what could they have felt! Read the poems and read the original fairy tales and you might be surprised with the interpretation of the character.

No wonder the first page says:

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again”. C. S. Lewis

The Female to Male Ratio

It is the Creator God who decides on the sex of the baby being formed in a mother’s womb. The parents have no control over it at all. And God maintains a perfect balance between female foetus and male foetus.  It is always on 1 to 1 basis.  He does not  allow any imbalance in their numbers.

It is God’s plan that the earthlings should not  live alone but live as a pair.  In other words, every human being must get married. That’s why He produced Eve and gave her to Adam.  Adam never asked for a companion.  He didn’t even know anything about a woman and what she would look like.  When God presented a beautiful creature before him, he became curious and started comparing his features with Eve’s.  She became his wife straightway in the garden of Eden.

But, we hear that in some  countries the female to male ratio is terribly one sided. For instance in China there are only 858 females for every 1000 males and in India 914: 1000.  Who was responsible for this imbalance? The people. In Indian villages, a female baby is put to death immediately on birth.  Some village panchayats have laid down  such a diktat. Their reason   is:  Only a male child would perpetuate the family’s name and help it multiply. A girl child would migrate to some other family after marriage for good!

The  thinking in China too is similar. So, they  resort to female infanticide.  Since one can verify the sex of an unborn child,  it is easy to destroy a female foetus right in the womb. The problem became more serious from 1980 when China had  decreed the  one child norm. “The only child must be a male child,” the parents say.

And so we see the demographic  mismatch in these two countries.

Arranged marriage seems to be the norm in China just as it is in India.  Love marriage is also in vogue in India but is getting less and less popular. In such a scenario, how do marriages materialise?

In China it is usually  the woman who picks out her husband. Men being  greater  in number, every young man would keep his fingers crossed hoping that some girl would show a selecting finger at him. Women in general are well educated in China  and naturally they would want a man of good qualifications.

A similar situation will come about in India too.  Instead of  ‘bride seeing’  it is going to be  ‘groom seeing’ henceforth. How will a girl choose her husband in the seeing function?  By the looks or qualification or family status or the Man’s financial status?  It’s possible that software engineers or other engineers may cross examine the  young man and harass him with questions like in a job interview.   The  SW engineer knows exactly what she wants and she would not settle for anyone less  than a post graduate engineer  who had secured his degree fromUSA.   For others, the consideration may be financial security and so a Man’s income and earning capacity would matter a lot.

‘Not so good looking’ girls also will stand a very good chance. A Man who has been rejected by several girls may opt for this specimen.  What matters in the circumstances is, a  woman’s physique and a healthy body and  shape   and her looks wouldn’t count much at all.

In such a situation, some men would have to remain single and die as bachelors while all the  young women  would stand married, happily married.  It’s highly  possible that there may be no divorce at all.  That would be an extraordinary India  then indeed!

A tribute to my sister.

“At night,
Alone in my room, I sit,

And miss my sweet little sis,
Who has gone for further studies,
We have always been good buddies.

Whenever, I used to feel low,
She was the one to give me hope.

She is bubbly,
She is charming,
And she is so cute,
Without her, I felt the solitude.

She has always remained straight forward,
With her, I never felt bored.

In our home, she has been the boss,
But yes, was really afraid of dogs.

She used to imitate everyone,
Living with her, was so much fun.

She has always been conscious of her looks,
On her facial methods, I can write a book.

We both look alike,
People often asked me,
“Is that your twin sister standing by your side”?

We both share a same sun sign,
And have shared our bad and good times.

Our choices have always been opposite,
If I loved “black”, she was fond of “white”.

Yet we have a strong bond,
That, I am sure of, is going to last long.

I miss my little sister,
Of beauty and brains,
She is a mixture.”

From Moscow with Love

[I attended a two-day Creative Writing Workshop organized by the British Council and conducted by Richa Wahi and Chetan Joshi. In the last session of the workshop the participants were to write a story and this is what I produced.]

Yuri thought of first visiting the tailor and inquire about his daughter Elena’s dress. He pulled on his old coat over his back even though it was warm outside. As he stepped out of his old flat, he remembered to take the pain killer pills in his purse in case his bad knee gives a problem. He shuffled past people keeping his eyes fixed on the footpath that led to Rozy Tailors – Ladies Specialist – Home Delivery. The man at the counter hailed him, as he has been doing for the past twenty years, and said in Bengali, “Dress ready, Hari babu.” He replied, “Okay. Keep it with you. I’ll come to collect it as soon as I get my tickets ready.” The man at the counter smiled cordially at him and then turning aside gave a conspiratorial snigger to the tailor-master sitting on the sewing machine.


Yuri traced his steps back from the podium of the tailor’s shop and continued his journey towards the bus stop. On his way once he stood in front of a lamp post as if not being able to see clearly through his broken spectacles what lay ahead of him. It seemed as if he is going to take out his contact lens from his purse and wear it there itself. But it was too costly and he dare not wear it for fear of spoiling it. He had grown used to a life where he could live with paltry wants since he could not afford more. When he resumed his hesitating gait, the bus had arrived to take him to Sanskriti Art Gallery in Alipore – the haunt of his youth where he used to meet many people secretly.


The bus journey was noisy but he was able to dissolve all the noise into a dull drone of a police siren. There was a chase in a car. The car had swerved and climbed the divider in the middle of the road. All of a sudden the door of the car jerked open and he was thrown out. A policeman’s revolver’s nozzle was pointing at his head. He somersaulted and tried to get behind a taxi. But it was too late. The policeman had pulled the trigger. Luckily his brains did not blast because the hammer of the revolver had got stuck. That was his escape. He had jumped on to a running bus on A. J. C. Bose Road leaving the policeman dumbfounded, staring at the jammed contraption of his service revolver.


So when the bus stopped with a jolt he came back from his reverie though he had not reached his destination still then. He stared out of the window and felt a sense of nausea. He started searching in his purse and found a packet of Hajmola. He ate one and when the ticket conductor came towards him he even offered him one. He got down near Alipore Zoo and went straight to towards his friend’s art gallery. Yashin was there but was not exactly pleased to see him.  Yet he took him to his private chamber since he was an old friend. The two friends looked contrasting side-by-side in their appearance due to the difference in their social status today. That was not so twenty years ago.


Once they were behind closed doors, Yuri spoke, “Vasily, how you’ve been?”

Yashin replied, “Don’t call me Vasily. I’ve warned you a number of times. I am Yashin Merchant now. Got it.”

“Oh! Sure comrade. But it’s just behind closed doors.”

“Okay. I’m well. How you’ve been?”

“Fine… fine. I’ve ordered a dress for my daughter’s eighteenth birthday. Is there any news from Kremlin?”

Yashin gave a look of frustration and spoke gently, “You are again going back in time. Come to the present. Do you want a pint of Vodka?”

Yuri responded delightedly, “Always yes for Vodka.”

Yashin poured the drink and handed him a crystal glass. Yuri sipped the drink and mused, “I wonder since Chernobyl  the Soviets may one day dismantle the KGB.”

Yashin retorted angrily, “It’s all over twenty years back. This is 2011. Remember. I am not going to tolerate this nonsense any more. I have tolerated enough for the past years. You have to get over your grief. Get it right. There is no USSR now. The spy ring is busted. We have been disowned by Russia. Get to the present.”


Yuri squirmed and started muttering beneath his breath, “You have your family here. But they sent my motherless daughter to Moscow promising to follow her soon. But now I can’t go back. She’ll be waiting for me. I must go back.”

“No one is waiting for you in Russia. Not for twenty years now. Yuri doesn’t exist. You are Hari now and no one else. The alias is the real. The real is dead. All ex-spies have expired in the KGB files. And why did you visit Kanpur recently? Mrs. Malhotra called me up and told me to warn you against visiting her. She has a husband, a family, a hyper-tension and now because of you a nervous disorder.”

“But she is our Maria. She belongs to the spy ring,” he insisted.

“There is no such thing existing. If you don’t talk sense then I will have to ask you to leave. Take this hundred rupee and I am telling you for the last time now to go and visit a doctor. You probably have Alzheimer’s or something.”


Yuri took the hundred rupee note and exited. He kept the money in his purse and took out the Book of Chairs from it – a reminder of his last assignment, the unfinished one for which he stayed back in Calcutta, with the secret code written in it, which no one in the world now acknowledges, a lock locked with the key lost forever.


He trudged out slowly. Out under the sun he could hear an aeroplane in the sky. He looked up only to find the migrating Siberian cranes flying overhead. One of the cranes flapped its wings and a small feather dislodged from there. As the feather descended down slowly, swimming against the currents of the wind, he stood frozen in the middle of the road, staring at it. When it was within his reach he raised his hand to grasp it. The feather nestled in the palm of his hand and he caressed it.


It was the spring of one year

It was the spring of one year
A spring so untimely, yet so pretty
There was no rain
Yet everything seemed fresh
The same old sun shone upon the earth
Yet everything seemed brighter
The winds that blew were no different
Yet they carried the fragrance of headiness
The waves that washed over our feet had touched millions
Yet they were special as they united our steps
Spring was around us as we stood upon the rocks
In the light of the setting sun
The cool spring air that ruffled your hair
As we walked back home
The spring that had come and gone for centuries before us
But had never seemed so close to heart

It was the spring of one year
That was destined to be so short-lived
The winds no longer brought with them your fragrance
The sun shone, but I could not see your face in its light
The waves still lapped at my feet, but now they walked alone
The sun set in the horizon, but there was only one person on the rocks
A spring, that would be followed by a winter endless

Springs, that came and went
Would come and go for time eternal
Springs, that brought with them new experiences
New people, new places
Springs, that would never again be so unique
Springs, that would never again be treasured

Eat bananas and eat more bananas for better health

I hope the title has not given you a negative meaning.  I really mean that you should eat plenty of bananas;  don’t stop with one.  OK?

Banana is a wonderful fruit and yet we use  the name as an idiom in a derogatory way like “banana republic” (an ill managed country)   and “going  bananas” (go crazy/silly) or “go banana” etc.

If only you know and you will  know all about banana by reading this article, you will never look down upon this fruit at all and on the contrary glorify it to the skies.

Do you know, bananas contain three natural sugars –sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fibre?  A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.  You would have seen our cricketers swallowing some pieces in the middle of the game.   Someone tells me that it prevents cramps as well.

Research shows that  just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous  workout of ninety minutes. Thus it is  the number one fruit all athletes and other games players  prefer.

Further, it can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet. You will never undergo any kind of depression if you eat it daily; it contains  tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood  and  generally make you feel happier. It’s good to eat a couple of bananas  before you go to meet your girl friend !

It contains vitamin B6 and regulates your  blood pressure.

Your brain would function better and more effectively. Some 200 students wrote their exams successfully  and were very alert in the exam hall after they had had a couple of bananas before the exam  started.

Banana is also a grandma medicine to cure constipation. Don’t go in for any laxatives.  One or two bananas would set your stomach right.

Do you suffer from hangover after heavy drinking night? Take one banana milk shake  and  sweetened with honey and you would be a fit person for the day.

Mosquito bites could be healed  by rubbing the inside of a banana skin on the affected area; instantly you would feel free from irritation.

Are you a smoker?  Do you want to give up smoking? The B6 and B12 contained in a banana would help the body recover from  the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

According to another research carried out in New England, eating banana routinely  as part of a  regular diet can cut the risk of death  by strokes by as much as 40%

If you want to get rid of a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart with the yellow side out;  carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical  tape.

A bun and a banana is a wholesome lunch  for several laborers who work for some eight hours carrying heavy loads or doing hard work.  And they don’t need anything else.

So,  banana is a natural remedy for many ills.  When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorous, five times the vitamin A and iron and twice the other vitamins and minerals.  It is also  rich in potassium and is one of the best  foods around.

Therefore, don’t you think it is time we gave up using those damaging idiomatic  phrases and replaced them  with a  phrase  like   “A banana a day, keeps the doctor away !”

I wish to thank my colleague  Anil Bhat for providing quite a bit of the above  information on the subject  in our Army Signals  network.  Please forward this article to as many colleagues as you can.

So what you didn’t come?

So what you didn’t come

I sat by the window

Looked up to the silver, playful sky

Flirted with the stars

Winked at the crescent moon

The moon was decked in glitters

Just ready to have a ball

We exchanged glances

With throbbing hearts

Told our endless stories

Held hands, tickled and tapped

We went for a never ending ride

The stars sneaked and giggled

Made the night mysterious

Endless and loving

So what you didn’t come?

Create a New Way to Eat

Your Friend: Whole Foods

With so many popular diets available it’s easy to get caught up in the low-carb versus low-fat debate. Don’t. Instead, concentrate on the quality of the foods you eat. If you eat “whole” foods high in pro­tein, fiber and natural fats instead of processed foods you’ll lose weight. Fiber, especially, fills you up and slows down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. This helps stabilize your blood sugar level and reduce cravings. High-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole-grain products tend to be low in calories as well. When you eat healthy “whole” foods rich in the nutrients your body needs, you naturally regulate your appetite, lose weight and protect your body against disease.

Examples of whole foods include:

• chicken

• milk

• meat

• olives

• eggs

• yogurt with no sugar added

• strawberries

• whole-grain bread

• just about any food that isn’t packaged

• The Enemy: Processed Foods

When it comes to losing weight, processed foods, especially processed foods made with white flour and sugar, are the main roadblock. First, these foods don’t have enough of the filling nutrients and fiber your body needs. Second, they can cause your blood sugar level to spike too high, then drop too low. Whenever your blood sugar level is low you get hungry and you eat more even though your body might not need those extra calories.

Culprit #1: Refined (Enriched) Flour

Refined flours are made from grains but they contain very little—less than 20 percent—of the nutrients, and none of the filling fiber, found in the natural whole grains from which they are made. Most packaged food products arc made primarily from refined or enriched flours unless the labeling specifically states otherwise.

Culprit #2: Sugar

Sugar, just like refined flour, is an empty source of calories. Try to make every food choice count toward providing the nutrients you need. You are much better off eating foods that contain energy plus nutrients andfiber instead of empty calories. That doesn’t mean you have to give up sugar entirely, just eat it in moderation.

You are important to me !!!

You are always with me day in and day out

you make me laugh, you make me cry

you connect me, with my near and dear ones

you help me hear lovely voices

you help me click beautiful photographs

and help me shoot videos

you help me see those vibrantly clicked

pictures and videos

you entertain me with enthralling music

you awake me everyday early in the morning

you help me remind about important tasks and

birthdays and anniversaries

of my dear friends and relatives

you have become part and parcel

of my life

I cannot live without

You – my dear cell phone.

3 Healthy Brews from Simple Kitchen Ingredients

You are what you eat. The adage may sound antiquated, but it still rings true. In quest of healthy and delicious recipes, I have found that we can actually make some amazing beverages with the easily available kitchen ingredients.

First in the list would be:

Rainbow fruit salad

You will need:

Grapes, banana slices, pomegranate seeds, pine apple slices, kiwi slices, strawberries: All 100 gm

For honey orange sauce

Mix orange juice, lemon juice, honey and ginger julienne and a dash of nutmeg powder to make a beautiful, golden honey orange sauce.

Mix the freshly cut fruits, store in airtight container and refrigerate it for a few minutes. Add the honey orange sauce just before serving.

Nutritive value each serving:

Energy: 125 kcal

Protein: 1.8 gm

Fat: 0.37 gm

Yogurt Cucumber Sap

You will need:

Cucumber – 100g

Yogurt – 1 cup

A few sprigs of parsley

Roasted cumin powder (dry roast the cumin seeds on slow heat till you could smell the beautiful aroma. Cool down and crush after removing from the heat)

Salt to taste

Grate the cucumbers, add the yogurt and add the crushed cumin and salt and blend it till the ingredients get mixed properly. Add a few sprigs of the parley leaves and finally serve with ice cubes.

Nutritive value each serving:

Energy: 36.5 kcal

Protein: 1.8 gm

Fat: 2.0 gm

Potassium: 155 mg

Sodium: 37.1 mg

Fruit Lassi Melange

You will need:

Dried grapes – 40 gm

Fresh yogurt – ½ cup

Water – ½ cup

Honey – 1 tsf

Soak the dried grapes and allow it to get tender for a few hours. Grind into a paste in a blender. Add yogurt, honey and water and mix in a blender. Serve chilled.

Nutritive value each serving:

Energy: 90 kcal

Fat: 4.0 gm

Protein: 3 gm

My mom has tried several variations with the available ingredients and everyone liked it as much. Indian kitchen is a powerhouse of invention and the home makers keep discoveries new things every day. Only thing, we should appreciate them more often.

How to download the test version the Google Chrome OS for windows

You can actually get an early taste of Google Chrome OS for Windows in 5 simple steps. Follow the simple steps and decide for yourself if you really want to go for it or not.

1. Download Chromium

Go to and click on the Dev Channel link to download the preview version of Chrome. This is an experimental beta.

2. Edit the Target Field

Once installed, right click on the Chrome desktop shortcut and choose properties. Add a space and click enable apps to the end of the text in Target field. Click Apply and hit OK. Now it’s locked.

3. Install the web apps

Open chrome, go to the Extensions, and enter Developer Mode. Click on Load Unpacked Extension and navigate to Chrome’s Resources folder. You should find it on your C drive under program files.

4. Customize your choice

You will find 3 folders, gmail, app, calendar app and docs app. Click one and repeat stage 3 to add to the web apps to your Extensions menu. Open a new tab and click one you want to stick to your toolbar.

5. Test it out

Gmail and docs are the only applications available right now in the test version. However, we are expecting many more sooner this year.

Enjoy the test version!

And I decided to die

To feel as never have felt before
To be as never have been
To breathe as never have breathed before
my last gulp of air
To desire and to love
with an  intensity that will permeate
Never will let it fade away
And feel it as never have felt

My last moment in death,
may open me to the essence, that
only feelings bring meaning to life
and Sensations would sweep all over
Telling me to let go and not crave,
all the pleasures and the pains
Of  love and of partings
And feel it as never have felt

The quest to experience
every experience there is to be
To rush and to fall
To feel hurt and to weep
To open all my wounds and cry
The malady I shall not deny
To up heave all the burden and liberate
And feel it as never have felt

The things that I have right now
would not have really been
As exquisite as it is just now
To be treasured, and to be cherished
In the moment of my demise
The depth of it all
On a pedestal I shall keep
And feel it as never have felt

To know and to fathom
There’s nothing outside of me
The universe is but subsumed
Inside of me to conceive
Impregnate me with the cognition
that I live, is only for me
To breathe as never have breathed
And to feel as never have felt

My last gulp of air, may just about ignite
Illuminate and show me all
till now that I never had seen
That “being” is just the “now”
To experience and to fill
And for death I need not wait
to teach  what life is all about
And to feel as never have felt

Why I admire Sachin Tendulkar?

We all are aware of the magnanimous genius of Sachin Tendulkar. Time and again he has proved his indomitable excellence in the world of cricketing. The world of cricket is incomplete without this man who has made every Indian proud by his stupendous feat. Sachin Tendulkar inspires me for more reasons that this though.  His years of glory and fame haven’t shaken him from his morals, values and the roots – perhaps the reason why he is still going so strong and has been an emulating inspiration for many like me.

Why I look up to him?

Untainted career and personal life

This is something hard to believe! He has always been in the limelight but for all the right reasons on earth. Never, can I remember that he is in the news for anything wrong or anything not so cricket. It certainly takes a lot of discipline and dedication to do that.

Modesty, humility, being down to earth, deeply rooted

I have always had this on my mind while watching him play and grow. Be it on field or off field, he has been an exemplary persona right from his building years. Never have I come across as an angry or seething Tendulkar who is puking words or snapping at the fellow players. Does that mean that he hasn’t been criticised ever? We all know how raw and bitter the game of cricket can be. So, Sachin too had his days when he was met scathing criticism for not being in performing form. But the great man of composure that he is, he has never lost his cool. He has dealt with the life’s untoward hassles with grace and maturity.

Carrying the legacy of Tendulkar family

He is a complete family person. In order to shine out in professional life the role of family is very important. Tendulkar family is one of the few families of India that still lives and thinks the same way as it used to, before and the after the birth of the master blaster on field. The values and morality that have been instilled in young Sachin is the legacy of the Tendulkar family, and I am sure he is passing that on to his children as well. I salute the whole family (the members of which are good names in their respective fields) for having being such a support all through his career.

Discipline, dedication, self-restraint

Discipline is something that makes or breaks a man, and Sachin has been an epitome of discipline. This has been reflected in the way he has carried himself all these years. His sense of time and punctually is something worth cultivating.  I am deeply moved by his self-control, restraint, and ascetic discipline.

Non-publicized charity

Sachin Tendulkar has an income more than many of us put together and the amount of charity he does is a matter of mere speculation since he loves to stay away from publicizing it. This makes him even greater human.

Intrinsic strength

Sachin has dealt with the hurdles and the life’s odds with composure and poise. He too had his days when he was heavily critiqued for his bad patch and also, more recently, in an incident recently when a major political party in Maharashtra wanted him to blabber its words. Sachin, on the contrary, resolved the matter with an off field communicating excellence that’s hard to beat.

Kudos to this man who is my favourite cricketer not merely due to his cricketing ability but also for being a man of stupendous stature as a person.

All of us are liars of sorts.

Who is an honest person? Would you like to define one?  Of all the descriptions I hear, the one I like most is – one who doesn’t lie !  My friend John violently disagrees.

“Wrong. Everyone is a liar of sorts in the world.”

“Are you sure, Everyone ?” I ask him.

“Without exception, pal?’

This was a jolt to me but John sticks to his stand. “Every woman and man would have lied some time or the other and that too deliberately and wantonly.”  And he went on to elaborate…

Often you really don’t say what you have in mind. Possibly you say exactly the opposite.  Let’s say you meet Mrs. Rozario in a party.  Mrs. Rozario is your boss’s wife. So, all the staff of the Company would surround her, try and  impress her in some way with lots of lies so that she puts in a good word about you to her husband, your boss. She is on the other side of fifty.  One liar says, “Mrs. Rozario, you look most charming today.  No one would put your age beyond 25….”  The lady at once floats in cloud 9.   Any fifty brand would,  for that matter..  instead of contradicting it, the lady would remark, “ Do I look that young?”  More gentlemen liars would echo back and cry out, “Of course, Mrs. Rozario.”

For the rest of the evening she would go to the dance floor for every number  and gyrate indeed  like a 25 year  old youngster.  See the magic of a green lie.

John says, “Always, praise a lady in some way;  usually about her looks and youth and you will witness miracles…..”

I forgot this little tip myself in a party one day.  I met an old friend after five long years. She didn’t look charming as all that; her make up was sub standard.  Now instead of lying about her looks, like a fool I said, “Age is catching up with you, Vandana…”    That’s all.  Her face shrunk visibly  and she turned her head the other way.   I immediately realised my folly, but the damage had  been done. The 45 year old friend, now ex friend, was sulking the whole evening avoiding my sight.  I should have  pronounced, “My, my, Vandana, you don’t look a day older than 19 . ..” which would have been an outright lie but that’s what you are expected to  do.

You attend a private dinner in a friend’s home. The food is awful, insipid and uneatable.  You have been struggling with each morsel and somehow managed to push down a small quantity. And so were  all the side dishes. [Later you came to know that it was your friend’s newly married wife who did the cooking that evening.  In the normal course, her  regular cook would have prepared the entire meal.]

In response to the usual query, my wife told a green lie that it was an excellent dinner and evening. What do I say?  Tell the truth or tell a lie. Even while I was weighing the  two, the word had escaped my lips unaware of myself. The  young lady of the house charged into her toilet to pour down her stock of tears and in the bargain I had invited my wife’s wrath for ruining  an otherwise good evening..  We had to take leave immediately.

If I had lied, the situation would have been saved.

Do you ever dare tell your boss that he makes too many spelling mistakes in his hand written drafts.  On the contrary you say, “Your drafts are excellently worded, Sir”.  Or, his tie  knot is like a lose orange? In all likelihood you compliment him on his turn out.  “Very smart, Sir.”

You still call yourself an honest guy, eh?