Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Baby Shower Vs Godh Bharai

I did mention a while ago that I had my Godh Bharai. That got me intrigued about the ritual and I did a bit of reading on that. I was surprised to learn that this is such a popular ritual in India, done across various states. Speaks volumes about what we don't know about our own culture. Right? And then the western parallel, the baby shower. Methinks that the two are essentially the same thing - a chance for the new mommie to get together with friends and family, indulge in a bit of girlie fun before she gets busy with her new baby... conceptually, they might stem from the same thought, but look at the difference in execution.

Godh Bharais are traditional, family functions - with lots of family involved. And the moment you get extended family into the household, you are talking opinions, expectations, proper behavior and all that... you get the drift, right? You put a decent sized Indian family together and it is potentially explosive (however mild that may be) A good event is one where none occurs and everyone goes home happy! To pull such an event is taxing on the hosts... :) Your friends (those who attend at all) would take a back seat and am sure they'd be a tad uncomfortable in such a setting!

Baby showers on the other hand seem organised by friends so the family takes a back seat! Now could that ever happen in an India setting? Not in this millenia for sure... But I can totally relate to friends fussing over a pregnant lady and pampering her, in a way that only friends can do... you get the picture right?

Mine was a fultoo family affair and I must say it went fairly well... No, am not claiming any credit for it. Lots of ppl did a lot... my mum, my sis in law, father in law, a few relatives... all pitched in and thankfully kept me away from the overseeing all evening. Feel blessed... touchwood!

So did you have a godh bharai / baby shower? How was it?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wishing for comfort company...

It is a good thing to be independent... knowing that you don't need anyone to get your things done. But having someone by your side is always a good thing :) I call that comfort company and am craving some right now... Hubs has been travelling and his visits have been clashing with my tests and check up schedule. Earlier I'd wait for him to be back but realised now that there is no point in doing so. So, have started going for the tests and doc visits on my own. This is not something I can't handle on my own or begrudge hubby for missing all the fun (!!!) but his company would certainly be nice... I just miss having him around... sigh.....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mish Mash of thoughts....

Am so worried if I'll make a good mom.... so much so that the thought keeps me awake for hours at night. But then, I read an article the other day that said don't bother about the worry. The very fact that you are worried means you are concerned and the ones that don't make fabulous moms are the ones that are not worried... hmm... food for thought?

But there is so much to be done and the impending changes can be overwhelming at times... i now know what pregnancy related stress is all about... I had my baby shower last week. The Indian version of it - Godh Bharai... quite an experience and was so glad that my parents and bro could make it :) I feel so comfortable in mum's presence... almost as if nothing can go wrong while she is around.... wonder if I can instill that feeling into my own child... the nesting instinct is starting to kick in. I wanna buy stuff for my baby... there is a mental checklist of things to get done before the baby arrives... i totally need to write it down and start executing...

Oh and the kicks! I had been feeling the baby's movements for a while now, wonderful strange and sometimes weird! But the kicks are more energy packed now... my belly shakes and the movement can be seen from outside too... the first time that happened, I was like "holy crap, there is a human in there!!! A real live human" It is at times like these that the significance of what is happening hits me... at others, it is about tests, medicines, eating etc... speaking of tests, I have had my second test scare yesterday. The first was early on in the pregnancy. It was my first batch of tests and when I got the reports, we did a bit of net research on what it was all about. I spent perhaps the scariest and saddest two hours of my life then... until further probing into the results told us there was nothing to worry about... i might blog about the incident later but then it was a lesson learnt - half knowledge is extremely dangerous! In fact on my last trip, my doc said the same thing - that if something was wrong, she'd be alarmed and let me know... i should leave that part to her and not stress... trust your doc! So this time, i plan to do exactly that...

The heat here is still bad... add to that the power cuts and the ppl at work shut the AC! Can you imagine being couped up in a 10ft x 10 ft room with no windows and 5 other ppl? No ac in this heat? I might as well be working out of a sauna... Cost cutting is more important than the employees' health right? No one will quit the job because the ac in the office doesn't work. Hmph... I wonder if it is only the Indian offices that suffer this attitude, how will the guys in our international offices react if the air con was killed in the middle of such sweltering afternoons...

Hmm... the custard in the fridge beckons... so i am off!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Strange Day, Sore throat and a recipe!

I did't sleep well last night but woke up fresher this morning than most days. Strange, na? Some days are like that I guess. Started work early since there were back to back calls lined up all morning... my throat actually hurt after that.... it's still hurting... oh wait, thats the ice cream and milk shakes and chilled water's doing :p

By lunch time I was exhausted and the moment I entered the kitchen, I was hit by a sudden urge to eat something sweet... the chocolates in my fridge didn't look inviting and on an impulse i made vada. Now guys, don't confuse with the well known fried namesake! Vada is something my mom has been making ever since I can remember. I guess my Nani used to make it too... its a quick 10 min dessert - ideal for winter, but can be had whenever the sweet craving hits! The best part is that there is no fixed ratio of things to add and I improvised a little bit today... giving it a much softer texture...! So here is the Mom's version of Vada...

  1. Melt Ghee in a kadhai.... copious amounts of it! If you are worried about calories, go for a walk later or skip your next meal... but don't skimp on the ghee here
  2. Add crushed almonds to the warm ghee. Stir them for a minute or two till they are just a shade darker. Make sure that they don't turn ochre or brown. If they do, remove them from the kadhai and set them aside
  3. Add Ajwain - a pinch or two should do it. Don't add too much of it or you'd get a bitter flavour. And who wants bitter desserts, right? Unless we are talking gooey, dark, bitter chocolate over vanilla ice cream.... errr, back to the vada
  4. Stir the ajwain in the ghee for a few seconds and add Atta. Yup, whole wheat flour, not maida or suji.... although I have never tried it with these. Maybe, one day, I will!
  5. At this point, reduce the flame and keep stirring the atta in the kadhai. Ensure that there are no lumps. Also, do not leave the kadhai or increase the heat. The atta might burn. Within 5 minutes, you'd realise that the atta has changed its hue. It goes slightly pink to brown.
  6. At this stage, turn the flame off and add jaggery or gud to the kadhai... you must turn the flame off or else the vada will take on a sticky jaw quality once it cools... keep stirring the kadhai till the gud melts and mixes with the atta...
  7. Serve it piping hot!

But me being me, I decide to try something different today.... you see my gud was frozen... which meant that if i add it to the kadhai with no flame, it would not only cool the entire dish, but end up not melting and mixing. So, i kept the low flame on while adding the gud and added a bit of water to the kadhai... my vada took on a halwa like texture because of the water and the gud did not harden... mission accomplished!

Anyone use Jovees lip balm tubs? I picked up one the other day in lavender. It has just a hint of pinkish tint and is very smooth on application but does not last more than a few hours.... am still sitting on the fence with it....

Ok, time to get back to work!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Mausam induced Nostalgia

The fantastic weather is making me totally miss Mumbai today... the breeze, the temperature, the clouds.... its so so nice! :) I hope it stays this way... light drizzles to just caress you and a gentle breeze that tickles you... bliss!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Guess What?

Half of my world knows this... I might let the other half and beyond know it too.... I have been hiding a growing secret within me since Jan...! Well, those of you who have figured it out... good for you... those who haven't... read the pointers!

My wardrobe is becoming fast obsolete... I can't wear my pretty clothes anymore. Makeup has come to my rescue big time. I wasn't too much into make up. My everyday routine was face wash and moisturizer before running out of the door. Constant chapped lips meant lip balms or occasional lipstick. But now, I am using a lot more makeup. That's the self esteem booster when you start waddling like a duck. Now those who don't agree with me are welcome to their own opinions, but I strongly believe that when you are looking good, you feel good too... it may be at a superficial level, but it works! Oh and by the way, the reverse works too... :) that perhaps explains the glow on the bride's face on her wedding day... i wudn't attribute all of it to make up!

This summer, I really felt the heat... Honestly, I was sweaty and hot the whole time. The AC guy in my office is fed up of calls and I was constantly sipping on cool water. Actually, I still am.... the good part is that I drank more water than ever before. Really hoping I stick to the habit! Speaking of habits, I went back to my fruit eating habit!!! Post marriage, that somehow slipped away... but now, the emphasis on healthy eating meant going back to fruits and am so glad I did... I do love my melons, cherries, lychees and bananas.... and of course.... mangoes! Whats a summer without mangoes? This is definitely not the first time I mention mangoes on this blog now, is it? :)

Apart from all the medicines, cautions, precautions, advice etc.... life has been going on as usual... A couple of people have asked me - Are you enjoying this period? The most natural reaction is yes... but then if someone were to ask me the thing I loved most... I'd be kinda stumped! I guess its the anticipation of what is to come... a bitter sweet feeling of the joys and the responsibilities! Oh, and picking out names comes a close second!