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Archive for June, 2012

No,don’t get me wrong…. this post isn’t about the BF and me πŸ™‚

We are practically conjoined twins ourselves πŸ˜€

I have lamented enough about my reluctance to keep distance from the twins. There are times when I crib that the BF and me don’t have our personal space. Its true, but it is also mostly my doing.
Last month, the MIL went to stay overnight at the SIL’s place, taking the twins along with her. I’m ashamed to say, I was a nervous wreck that evening 😦 . Not having the twins near me after I came back from work, was a jolt in itself. As the hours passed, I realized that I was calling up the MIL every hour to check up on the kids. At one time, the SIL took over the phone and gently assured me that the kids were fine and were playing with her sons.
I spent the rest of the night moping. Cried buckets into my pillow and swore never to let the twins away from me , EVER!!! It was the first time in 3.5 years that the twins weren’t with me in the night 😦
Around 3 AM, I was too exhausted to cry anymore and went off to sleep!
Frankly, I was heartbroken.
Never knew that I’d be so weak….and here I was , always under the impression that I’m a tough cookie and a go-getter who started working just as the twins completed 5 months!! But then…..the reasons for my starting work were entirely different than they are now 😐

Anyhow, so after that one instance, I realized that I cant be snuggling up with the kids forever. It was time to start letting go, albeit gently.
Last Sunday was my cousin’s engagement. We had to travel to a town roughly 6-7 hours from the city. Given the long distance travel by bus, I thought it prudent to leave the kids behind. Moreover, I received a call from my uncle to bring our bottled water as that particular area had reported cases of Hepatitis patients. That kind of sealed my decision to leave the kids behind. Later, I found that there were others who had brought their children with them. I felt bad that I hadn’t 😦 . In fact, I was hoping that if the BF accompanied me, we could have managed the kids between us. Though the MIL is keen to share the responsibility of the kids, the twins don’t pay her much attention, specially when we are out. Also, the MIL was as eager to attend the engagement as I was :).
The BF tried his best to convince me that he would take care of the kids. I wasn’t buying any of it. Just that morning, when I told him to supervise the kid’s bath, he happily went and told the twins, “Yaay….today is Saturday……Aaj nahane ki chhutti!!!” Kids and father, all yelled in delight 😐
So yeah, he wasn’t very successful in his eager plea for trust! To think of leaving him alone with the kids game me a chill in my spine. The MIL must have felt something similar, because she promptly called the nanny to spend a day at our house (we had dispensed of her services since the twins started their day-care)

I woke early on Sunday morning, 5 AM. We were to leave by 6 AM . We left the house by 5:50 to reach my uncle’s place which was close by. It took us another hour from my uncle’s place to finally commence on our journey.
That one hour was one of the most fretful of my life 😦 I know that Shobs gets up early and demands his milk. I also know that the BF sleeps like, well…any working man on a weekend.
I called him 4-5 times in the next one hour, he didn’t pick the call. Was probably asleep. But I was frantic…..all my thoughts focused on poor Shobs who would be deprived of his milk. MIL reassured me that since the FIL was home, he would be awake and would look after Shobby till the time BF woke up. That was some consolation, but not all.

Once we were out of the network range, I just clutched my phone and fretted over whether the kids were awake or not, whether they had their milk or not, whether the BF gave then breakfast or not…..you get the drift. The MIL tried cheering me up a couple of time but I just wasn’t in the mood.

Though I got dressed and attended the function, I realized later that I was just sitting in one corner throughout. I got up just once to congratulate my cousin brother and his would-be-bride and then slithered back onto my chair. You won’t find any snaps of me in that event.
The only bright spark in my otherwise solemn day was that I got to meet my parents πŸ™‚ . Mom and Dad had come to the town for the engagement and were going to come back to Pune with us. I was seeing Mom after one whole year!!!
Post lunch, we spent some time idling about while the families sorted out the nitty-gritties of wedding preparations. I called the BF once more, ready to blast him if he picked the call (he hadn’t picked the phone since morning and I was truly ticked off). Clever man that he is, he handed the phone to the kids. My babies!! They were so wonderfully mature when they said that they weren’t troubling their father and had their food on time πŸ™‚ . That was all the reassurance I needed.
We were a tad delayed because of the rains and it was after 1 AM when we finally reached home. I saw the twins sleeping peacefully with their dad on the double bed. It was a beautiful sight. But I broke down once more ! I’m still not sure why I sobbed as I saw them sleeping peacefully 😐
Was it because they spent an entire wakeful day without me?
Was it because they didn’t really miss me much?
Was it because the twins learned to stay away from me much sooner than I anticipated?
Was it because I was riding high on the guilt trip of leaving them behind?
Was it because I was plain exhausted after a longer-than-bargained-for drive back to Pune??
Whatever the case, I was out in seconds after my head hit the pillow.

When I woke up the next morning, the twins were delighted to see me, but they didn’t ask me where I was the previous day 😦 . Its almost as if they didn’t miss my presence at all 😐 (major morale depressor, that!)
For the major part of this week, I’ve been pondering over my reaction and the twin’s. On hindsight, I feel that leaving the kids behind with their father wasn’t a catastrophe begging to occur as I had expected. Its okay if the children don’t take a bath one day or just eat maggi/chips/fruits throughout the day. The kids were fine, their father was fine and the only one who missed out on the fun, was me 😐

Frankly, there is no concrete plot to this post. I’m just grumpy that the kids have weaned away from me and I’m still holding on to their teethers and sippy-cups 😦
Time to let go a wee bit, isn’t it?!



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Since I’m Away

I’ll be generous and share with you a friend’s blog that usually leaves me so choked that I’ve not been able to bring myself to comment on it. Before you get me wrong, let me clarify that coming from a young girl, it is surprisingly very mature in its content. This may seem like a plug, but it isn’t.
I want to share her words with you.
So please head to Dipis Blog .
A young girl, carrying many a heartbreaks. Do read her and please comment.
I’m sure you’d want her to write more πŸ™‚

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Here are the pictures and recipes of our prize winning entries for the cookery competition at work last week.

Frankly, I had intended to do a big and long dramatized version of the two evening’s events, but unfortunately, I have a VERY early morning tomorrow (need to leave at 6AM for an out of town engagement) and I received all the pics by noon today. Though I had the time, I also had two tornadoes to handle and switching on the laptop in their presence is like entering a tiger’s cage with raw meat in your hands 😐

Anyhow, I’ll start with the first round and then go on to the second round.

Here goes then –

Round 1

Mocktail : Splitzy Splash

Ingredients :

Almond Syrup (or any transparent almond flavoured syrup)
Kiwi Squash (we used Mapro)
Limca
1 Lemon
Crushed Ice
Fresh cream
Cherries, Lime slices, apple and fresh cream for garnishing.

Procedure :
Pour 1 Teaspoon almond syrup at the bottom of the mocktail glass.
Add 1 large teaspoon of Kiwi squash over the almond, pouring gently.
Squeeze half a lemon over the kiwi squash.
Top the glass with crushed ice.
Gently pour Limca over the ice making sure that the Limca does not rise over the existing crushed ice levels.
Beat fresh cream and gently place a dollop in the centre of the glass, right over the ice.
Decorate the glass with lemon slice and cherries. Provide a stirrer just before drinking.
Enjoy πŸ™‚

Splitzy Splash

So immersed were we in wrapping up our work in time that it never occurred to us to click snaps. This particular snap was taken nearly an hour after the mocktail was made, by which time the cream had melted away and our dear apples were on the verge of drowning :(. Luckily, the judges arrived in time to appreciate that little effort with the apple (by me) and those cute stirrer flowers by my teams mate DiCh πŸ™‚

Chaat : Jhatpat – Chatpat

Ingredients :
3 Types of base – Pani puri, papdi chat and Monaco biscuits.
Green coriander chutney
Tamarind Chutney
Fresh curd
1 Onion finely chopped.
1 tomato finely chopped.
Coriander finely chopped.
2 boiled potatoes
1/2 cup of boiled black gram (kala chana) .
1/2 cup sev.
Salt, chaat powder, chilli powder.

Procedure :
Mash the potatoes with the black grams. Add salt,chaat masala and chilli powder according to taste.
Make a hole in the puris used for Panipuri and stuff it with the potato mix.For the puris used for Papdii-chaat, place the potato mix over it. The same goes for monaco biscuits.
Once the puris are done, decorate with green coriander chutney, tamarind chutney and curd. Top it all with a little bit of sev
Arrange on a platter.

Jhatpat Chatpat

The pic is not very clear, kindly excuse 😐 I have better pics in my cellphone, but don’t have a cable to download it. Confession here, my only contribution to this dish is in chopping the veggies and also making that centerpiece rose πŸ˜€ . I have never really made chaat before and this dish belongs to my two diligent team mates πŸ™‚ .

Apparently, the judges liked what they saw, enough to get us through the first round at least πŸ™‚

Close Inspection by the judges!!

PS : Thats me on t he left. Had to cut out my snap because I’ve rarely looked this hot, sweaty and flustered in public 😦 (Blame it on the air-conditioning in the cafeteria that was turned out at 6:30 pm itself. By the time the judges arrived at our table, it was 8 pm 😦 )

—————————–

Round 2

Dessert : Gorge-ous

Ingredients :
1 Eggless cake
Fruits : Apple, mango,peaches,kiwi,cherries,sweetlime
1 bottle maaza
Fresh Cream
Raspberry jelly
Chocolate syrup (Hersheys)
Kiwi squash
Strawberry squash
Dry fruits and nuts

Procedure:
cut away the brown sides, base and top of the cake. Crumble it coarsely.
Chop the rest of the cake in 1 cm cubes and pour a little Maaza on them (not too much though, don’t want the cake to become entirely soggy)
Add a spoon or two of this crumble to the dessert bowls.
Add a layer of chocolate syrup.
Pour a little fresh cream over it.
Add a few pieces of peaches over the cream. Top it with a little Kiwi squah.
Pour cream over it.
Add the cake cubes. Top it with fresh cut mango cubes.
Pour cream.
Add chopped apples. Top it with scoops of jelly.
Pour cream.
Decorate the top layer as you like with cherries, dry nuts, jelly and squashes.

Gorgeous

Once again, the judges appreciated the decoration and those pretty spoon flowers made by my team mate πŸ™‚

Side Dish : Cous Cous Hota Hai
Ingredients :
1 packet (250 gm) Couscous
Capsicums : Red, Green and Yellow.
2-3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-3 lemons
1 cup chopped cabbage
2-3 chopped babycorns
1 chopped tomato
1/2 cup cream cheese (Amul cheesespread would do)
1/2 cup olives (green and black). Set aside a few for decoration.
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1 packet Tortilla chips

Procedure:
Soak the Couscous in boiled water with half a lemon, 1 teaspoon Extra virgin olive oil and salt to taste.
Set it aside.
Finely chop halves of the green, yellow and red capsicums.Add them to a bowl. Add the juice of 1 lemon to it.
Chop the babycorns, olives and tomatoes to the capsicum. Toss it well.
Add the cream cheese to this mixture so that the vegetables are evenly covered.
Add the couscous. Mix well.
The mixture should be in ‘upma’ consistency. Since our dish was served to the judges an hour after it was prepared, it had dried out.
To prevent this, you can also add a spoon of salad dressing to the mixture.
Chop the cabbage and the rest of the capsicums.
Add the couscous mixture to the centre of the serving dish. Surround it with the chopped cabbage and capsicum mix.
Surround the cabbage with the Tortilla chips.
Top the couscous with olives for decoration.
Drizzle some olive oil over the mixture just before serving.

CousCous Hota Hai !

Thankfully, the judges had heard of couscous (unlike the rest of the populace who kept wondering what this secret item is all about. Once the judges left our table (after spending less than 5 mins with us), the audience demolished the couscous in minutes πŸ™‚

Frankly, we were disappointed by the judges’ reactions. They spent far more time on other people’s tables than our’s. In fact, we had to force them to take at least a bite of the dessert 😐 . There were other tables where the judges had spent close to 20 mins!! We were a little disappointed initially but our mood was cheered up instantly when we saw that our entire project team had come to cheer us on πŸ˜€

These were some of the dishes made by other teams :-

As you can see, these dishes were far more attractive and tempting than our’s. When the results were announced (starting from the two consolation and 3 positions), we were expecting the above entries to win. After the consolation prizes were called out, we dropped all pretense of expecting anything. It was clear that if we didn’t get the consolation, we weren’t getting anything! After the 2nd Runner up was announced, we even turned back to clean up our table and wrap up for the day.

So you can imagine our delight when at the 1st runner up position, our team was announced πŸ™‚

The trophy and the smiles πŸ™‚

The medal and the Trophy

It was much later that I found out the true reasons for our winΒ  Teamwork + Effort + Taste !!

The judges were impressed with the efficiency with which we three went about our work.

Preparing the ingredients for chaat

They appreciated our neat table and the extra work we had put in. Most of the other teams had come prepared beforehand. Like the two dishes above. They were prepared at home and decorated during the competition. We were the diligent ones to actually start from scratch, right from peeling onions to plucking coriander πŸ™‚

Anyhow, this win would have been impossible without the contribution and efforts of Dich and RuSo.

So thanks Girls…it was wonderful to be a part of your team πŸ™‚

Love you all πŸ™‚



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We Won! We Won!! We Won!!!

We didn’t come first though.
But we did come in SECOND!!!
πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
*skipping around my cubicle*
Yay Yay Yippee Yippee Yay Yay!!!

Whew!
*gasp*
*Wheeze*
*Plonking on my chair*
Doesn’t suit my age to skip so much 😦

I’m off on a tangent here and I’m sure most of you would wonder what I’m rambling about !
Let me clarify. We had a cooking competition at work. After a lot of ‘hmmmm’ and ‘hawwww’ I registered my name along with two more members (Thanks DiCh and RuSo).
The rules were such :-
– No in-flammables allowed (no gas, no induction plates, no electric cookers, etc)
– No completely cooked product from home (partially boiled stuff allowed).
– Two dishes : 1 Mocktail and 1 Chaat (of our choice).
– Points for presentation, cleanliness and team-work.
– 1 Hour to prepare everything.
The second round had the same rules but different menu – 1 Dessert and a side-dish of our choice.
Needless to say, we barely knew any dishes that didn’t require cooking in the conventional way 😐 . Somehow, we rustled up these in the two rounds :-
1 Mocktail : Splitzy Splash
1 Chaat : Jhatpat Chatpat
1 Dessert : Gorge-ous
1 Side-Dish : Cous Cous Hota Hai.

Apparently, the judges liked our efforts enough to award us the second place (out of 10 teams πŸ˜€ ).

Right now I’m too caught up with completing the work I ignored in the frenzy of the competition.
I’m getting back to my excels and reports now…..For the snaps and detailed recipes of all these dishes, will do another post ;).
Please do come back πŸ™‚

Love,



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Of ALL the months in a year, I guess I’m least inclined towards the month of June! For as far as I can remember, June is the month when –
* Vacations get over and school starts *groan*
* We move to a new classroom (usually a dump after the seniors vacate it), make new friends and start getting used to new teachers.
* It starts raining.
* People normally fall ill.
* There are no occasions to bunk the routine. No festivals, weddings or celebrations.
* There is very little fish 😦

Needless to say, most of my grumbles rise from school perspective. Continuing on the second point – Dad’s transfers ensured we entered a new school every 2-3 years. I was apprehensive about the first day at school even when I joined a new one when in 12th! And we know how that went!!

Earlier, this sinking feeling was mine alone, but lately,I think I harbor the same sentiment for my kids! Right now, the kids aren’t complaining about the new classroom or new teacher or new friends, or the rain or the fish for that matter!!! But they’re my kids! So I expect them to be expert cribbers in a couple of year’s time πŸ˜€
They have the liberty to enjoy themselves!! They aren’t the ones who have to cover a zillion books in brown paper and label them 😐 . And just when I send those books to school, their teacher sends a note that the books aren’t covered in transparent plastic !!
For Gosh’s sake!! They’re covered!! Isn’t that enough?? The books will only leave the school when the kids move to the next grade, sometime next year. What on earth do they want the plastics for?!!
*grumble grumble*
Anyhow, back to June.
I’ve never liked this month much. More so lately. It is supposed to rain. I like the rain. What I don’t like is the waiting one has to do for it! Every day, the skies are overcast, the day is gloomy and hot and we have no rain. Each time we look up, it seems as though it would rain, but it doesn’t. The only water-fall that occurs, erupts from a million pores in the form of sweat. Most people become walking water-fountains 😦
In my bike’s dicky (who ever coined this term, pray tell me 😐 ) I carry a jacket (for short rainy spells) and a raincoat for longer rainy spells. But since the sun still blazes in all its glory, I need to carry a scarf, gloves and glares. In short, my dicky (eeks!! I need to find a new name for it ASAP!!) is stuffed to the brim with rain essentials, so my purse now dangles on the bike handles and the helmet rests on the foot-rest (Oops!! Sorry Bro. I do wear it , I swear, right before entering the office gates and just before exiting them 😐 !!! )

The only plus point till now is that there is a constant breeze all around. So even if we have a power cut or the sun is blazing down, there’s a nice cool breeze blowing away to cool those frayed nerves. Now, I like the breeze….but not when it turns into one of those whooshing gusts which whip your clothes off the clotheline to deposit it nicely in the middle of the road (reachable) or at the roof edge of a nearby building (unreachable). “Why not put a clothes-pin, then?”, you wonder to yourself as you read this part. And I would say, “I’d LOVE to, if only the Terrible-Two hadn’t already demolished a few and thrown away the rest 😐 ” !! A clothespin is the LAST thing you would find intact in the MomOfRS household.
*Sigh*
I hate this month. I seriously do.

The reason this rant came up is that we had a team lunch yesterday (So??!!)
Well, we went to this reputed Sea-Food restaurant near my office. It usually has some awesome, fresh sea-food. But yesterday was an unlucky day for me, I guess. The fish we ordered didn’t smell very good 😦 . Clearly, the specimen was either dead before being picked out from the waters or was definitely waaaaaay past its prime. There’s a reason we are advised against eating fish in the months that don’t have an ‘r’ in them :(.
I know, I know! July and August don’t have an ‘r’ in them either!
But they have RAIN!!!!
June, I hate you so much!!!
*Sob*
*Sniff* Sorry folks….I haven’t been myself lately. Its all this stress over the uncovered books (two weeks past their submission dates), the production deployment at work (this weekend) and the cookery competition finals (Today)!!
So wish me luck to get through the day!

BTW, the post on the first round is due. Will do it once we get through today. I’ll club the items and recipes of both the rounds in the same post. Along with the pictures. Of course πŸ™‚
Till then you all, be Good πŸ˜‰



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Comments Unanswered

Dear Friends-Who-Comment-On-This-Blog,

I sincerely apologize for not replying to your comments. The comments section is piling up every day and though I wish to approve and reply to all, I’m unable to do so. WordPress (or whatever of it is allowed at work) does not permit me to approve comments 😦 . It doesn’t allow me to reply to comments 😦 . Heck! It doesn’t even allow me to write comments on other people’s posts !!
I don’t know about you all, but if any of my comments went unanswered, I’d feel a bit peeved at being ignored like this. I can very well imagine what you all must be thinking. Believe me, its something out of my control.
I kindly request you to wait till this weekend , when I can get a chance to reply to you all. Till then, please do not stop dropping by :).

Love you all πŸ™‚



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Rude Awakening

Imagine this –

You have a cookery competition at work. You’ve done everything you possibly could have and tentatively wait for the judges to arrive. They finally come to your table, which, incidentally is the LAST one in the row. The judges are already stuffed to the gills and you have this sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that far from delivering a just verdict on your dishes, the judges are barely capable of inserting another morsel of food in their mouths.
The judges stand there, peering at your plates and then give you a glare. It is immensely difficult to fathom what goes on behind those beady eyes and flushed cheeks. One of them tentatively picks up one item and brings it to his mouth. You can see the hesitation, the reluctance, the sheer effort to control the surge of nausea as they have to perform their duty. You know, even before they are capable of taking that bite that things are not working in your favour. Your team-mates look just as glum. You stand there with your head bowed, praying for them to just leave, before any one of them indeed throws up! It’s a scary thought, but you really don’t want any projectiles landing on the fruits of your labour 
Somehow, the seconds seems to drag endlessly. Then you see another chubby arm reaching out for another bite. Then another. And another.
Your head whips up in time to see the most satisfied look on the judges face. If souls could preen, yours did exactly that. Though stuffed, the judges cannot seem to get enough of your dishes. You hand them more. They gulp in delight, like little children lost in Candy land. Your team mates shake hands and thump you in the back. They’ve been green with worry throughout the day. It is clear that the judges LOVED your dishes. You patiently wait for them to finish, letting them take their own sweet time to demolish whatever you’ve made. Its an effort well spent.
The others send envious looks your way. You don’t care. It is obvious whom the judges favour . It is no longer a secret. You stand there patiently, waiting for the verdict, which you already know by now. One of the judges extends his hand for a bite, alas, the plate is empty. You look down at it disappointed and then meet eyes with the judge. You send a smile in apology. The judge isn’t buying it. It is a tad late for you to react, but frankly, that punch that landed on your face just wasn’t expected, was it??
You gasp in shock, fear and pain. Your nose hurts a lot more than you ever expected. Unexpected tears trickle down your eyes. You shake your head to clear the haze. The lights have disappeared. It is dark. You wonder if you’ve lost your sight along with your nose. A curtain ruffles in the breeze. The haze clears.
You are in your bed. You daughter has just delivered a well-aimed kick at your nose. Her foot resides just inches from your face, ready to cause pain if she bothers to turn in her sleep. You crawl out of bed, only to find that you landed on the floor even before you could crawl two steps. The haze is definitely clearer now. You stand up to survey the damage. The nose, thankfully, is intact. No bleeding diagnosed.
You turn to the wardrobe mirror and laugh stupidly. Some crazy dream, that.
You make some space on the bed, shift your son and daughter into a better position and then cuddle down with them.
You can’t sleep.
The competition is still on tomorrow and you dread the judges once more 
And that is how, I spent last night and got up this morning!!

Hope you guys had a better start to the day 



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