Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fitness shitness, Hai Rabba!!!

Lately I have been seeing a lot of commercials for Fitness videos on TV. The one with Shilpa Shetty looked really good. Recently Bipasha Basu released a fitness video called "Love Yourself" which looked pretty good as well. And there was one more called Zumba fitness video. Zumba is combination various Latin dance forms which helps you workout in a fun way.


Since I hate gym and driving all the way to a dance class is too much of an effort for me, I decided to try these videos at home. In the past three months, I have gained a lot of weight. I had no work and Mangoes made it even more difficult. I have been gorging on Aamras. So I got both the videos Zumba and Love Yourself and started the self torture sessions 2 days back.


I decided to start with Zumba. It consists of 2 parts. First part is a set of what they call "Rhythm Refreshers". It basically includes some 24 short videos which help you master the very basic Latin dance steps. Whereas the part 2  is 50 minute workout video which is a combination of all the latin dance forms. I started with the Rhythm refreshers and I could literally hear the fat in my body cry in pain. Three months of inactivity and then suddenly all the salsa and samba was too much for my body to bear. I have been feeling sore for the last 2 days. Just typing on my laptop felt like a tremendous effort.


So today morning I thought "Lets give a break to my Zumba and start "loving my body". Bips looks awesome in those videos. She's got a beautifully toned body, not an ounce of fat.  God, I felt so ashamed with oodles of flab over my body. It is a 25 minute video consisting of warm-up exercises, specially designed  routine for complete body workout and 5 mins of cool down. It looks like a well thought concept and I have a very good reason to believe that it works out every single muscle. Because by the time I was done, every single body part, muscle, hair, face and even maybe the atoms and molecules of my body were in a deep deep pain. 


Since I couldn't move, I decided to take a dip in hot water. It felt like heaven and believe me I could literally hear  my body sing with gratitude!!! Even while I type this, I keep fantasizing about relaxing in some exotic Spa. But this episode hasn't dampened my spirit, rather it has made me realize how irresponsible I have been. I have decided to take this as a challenge and have atleast 30 mins of physical activity everyday. Lets see how long I manage to do this. Till then, lets Zumba!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Galway gal...

I love this video. Gerard Butler singin 'Galway Gal' for Hilary Swank in PS I Love U. The movie and the novel are totally different and my choice would be to go ahead with the book first. Still, who can resist Gerard Butler?  Hope you like it!!!


video

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Baingan ki sabji : Simple, quick South-Indian brinjal recipe

When I started the blog I intended to write a few recipes as well. I think i'll start with a simple curry I prepared today for my lunchbox. It is simple and since it is made in cooker, will not take more than 10 mins.
Baingan ki sabji : Simple, quick South-Indian brinjal recipe
Ingredients:

Small purple brinjals (green long one would be ideal) : 6 (cut into 1 inch cubes)
Green Chilli - 2 (chopped)
Onion : 1 (medium size, chopped)
Jeera/ Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander/ dhaniya powder : 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard/Rai seeds : 1/2 teaspoon
Jeera/Cumin seeds : 1/2 teaspoon
Tamarind water - 1 tablespoon (soak the tamarind in 1-2 warm water in for half an hour )
Salt, Sugar as per your taste.
Oil: 1 tablespoon
Coriander/ Dhaniya for garnishing.

Steps:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pressure cooker ( if not available use a pan but you might have to cook for longer).
  2. Once the oil is heated, add Mustard seeds.
  3. When the mustard starts spluttering, add cumin seeds and add chopped green chilies, onion.
  4. When the onion turns translucent, add cut brinjal, Cumin and Coriander powder, salt to taste and saute it.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of tamarind pulp. If you are using the tamarind pulp directly from the market, take 1 teaspoon of it and dilute it in the water.
  6. Add some water, so that the vegetable are half covered. Close the cooker lid and let it take 2 vissils.
  7. Open the cooker after some time, add a little sugar for taste and garnish it with dhaniya!!!! Serve it with garmagaram Roti, like I did today!!!!

The brush with Death!!!!

Last weekend I had a near death experience. I had been to my hometown Solapur to be with my parents for their 28th wedding anniversary (Congrats both of you, you guys absolutely deserve a Bravery Award). The anniversary was on Saturday. We celebrated it by lazing around in the house, just the three of us and nice li’l dinner, it really felt good. After a hectic day(lying in front of TV can be real tiring), I snuggled into my childhood bed. The summer in my hometown can really be harsh and it was one of those days. It was around 3 in the night, I must be somewhere in the dreamland when all of a sudden I felt a tremendous pressure in my chest.



My first thought was that I was having a heart attack on my parent’s wedding anniversary, how sad!!! They’ll never be able to celebrate their Anniversary again. The thought wasn’t just a thought, it was quite pictorial. I could see the next day’s newspaper column saying “A young Software Engineer died in a heart attack” and how everyone is commenting about the job stress these days, how I was great daughter, friend, Ravi crying his eyes out and thinking “When would be the right time to find a new gal”. My roomies cursing me for dying on them and secretly thinking about putting an Advertisement for a new roommate. Have I replaced my Insurance policy paper, hope my dad finds it wherever I’ve kept it. Thinking about the things I could never do, getting drunk, being an Hippie, shop like a maniac, visiting Ireland, settle down in Bahamas. Do you get me now when I say it was quite pictorial?


By this time I was sweating badly (actually I was sweating badly even before I had the damn attack, courtesy: my room’s fan), I could feel the pain, the pressure was building, I did not have the courage to scream. So I decided I’ll open my open for a minute have a last look at my room and die peacefully. I opened my eyes and I saw a soft light. I was like “Ok, so the thing they say about light at the end of the Tunnel is true” but the only confusion was “Why two lights?”


I tried focusing again and it dawned upon me. I wasn’t having an attack but a huge Cat (it was a kitten actually but at that moment I felt like it) was sitting on me. And I let out a huge shriek; it jumped and was out of the window within a second. But it felt good, I wasn’t dying actually. Anyways, it would have been silly. I have no job stress at all; in fact I haven’t worked in almost three months. My friends, for one, would have definitely wondered about my cause of death. All said and done, I am still alive and kicking.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Movie/Book review: The Notebook

I first heard about Nicholas Sparks' "The Notebook" during a movie trailer on Warner Bros movie channel. The trailer looked very romantic and Ryan Gosling looked absolutely yummy!!! I wanted to watch it badly but somehow I missed it on the TV. Sometime back I stumbled upon an Orkut community for 'The Notebook' and I found a huge fan following for the movie as well as the novel. It isn't in me to let go a nice romantic novel/movie, hence began the frantic search for the movie n the book. I found both together and got confused which one to start first with. Since the movie would be short and it had an additional factor of Ryan Gosling and James Marsden, I decided to go ahead with it.


It was a beautiful, touching movie. Not just the storyline and characters but it is also shot beautifully. I personally liked the scene when Allie and Noah are paddling the canoe in the lake surrounded by swans and it suddenly starts raining, an absolute feast for your eyes!!!

 
Watching the movie din't stop me reading the novel, so I picked the novel next. Apart from a few tweaks here n there, there are no major differences in the book n movie. The novels starts at a rather slow pace in which Allie n Noah's summer romance is wrapped up in a few quite pages whereas I preferred the whirlwind romance of the movie. Somehow I felt the books narration a li'l passive. The characters in the movie more strong and passionate as compared to the book. The Noah of the book is real nice guy but the movie's Noah is far more likable with a slight tinge of aggression and jealousy in the character.


This is the first time I've liked a movie more than the original book. Kudos to the director for creating such a beauty, especially Rachael and Ryan for their scintillating performance. I bet you can't miss the sparks flying between them!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Vision in White....

It was almost a year ago when I first picked "Vision in White" by Nora Roberts. Although I'm an ardent Nora Roberts fan, I'll admit I picked it because the cover looked absolutely beautiful. It was the first book of the Bride Quartet series and boy, Nora rarely fails to please you.


The Bride Quartet is a story for four friends Mac, Emma, Laurel and Parker who are into a wedding business. Each one them has a special talent. Mac is great photographer, Emma's the beautiful Florist, Laurel creates magic with the wedding cakes and Parker has nice talent for organising. "Vision in White" is Mac's story. When Mac, the wedding photographer at Vows meets the cute, geeky Carter her focus is shattered. Carter McGuire is a English professor who is definitely not mac's type. I'll guarantee the whirlwind romance makes you catch your breath.
Nora has a nice little talent of weaving beautiful stories. You'll go all gooey when Mac tumbles into love and will ache for her when she's having a difficult time with her mother. Her friends always stick with her and it definitely makes you yearn for a few of your own.
It is a great read, not the one to miss. Makes you look forward for the rest in the series. Well, I have already finished the next two from the series 'Bed of Roses' and 'Savor the Moment' and waiting for "Happy Ever After" to release. I'll write about them in my next blog, till then happy reading!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tale of Testophobia...

It was one of those tensed moments that I have to endure at least twice every year. The dreaded Certifications!!! Every year it is the same routine. I try to postpone the exams till the last day. Since throughout my life I haven't flunked in anything but Certifications, I can really never concentrate while studying. The sense of failure keeps coming back to me. Either it is the same Investment Banking domain questions or the stupid Mainframes exam. For God's sake, I don't even work in Mainframes. Thus most of the times I avoid studying, thinking that I'll quit the company this year and then it won't be mandatory to clear them. And when I'll join the new company, I'll make sure it does not have such silly policies.


Quit I did but the story of the certifications doesn't end there. The new company I joined also has some mandatory certi. This is one of the most important reasons I hate working for an IT company. They love playing with your brain until you're convinced that you are good for nothing. I strongly believe that all the policy makers in IT companies are sadists. I still don't understand what a person is going to gain out of clearing certifications. If I am good at my job, I don't need to prove myself by clearing Certifications. And if I am unable to clear the certifications, it is obviously not a relevant one.


Anyways since I was running out of the excuses, I had to take a date for Certification ( Let me tell you I have been taking the dates since last 2 months and everytime I manage to postpone it). So finally I had booked a slot for Friday 3 pm. I usually try hard atleast on the exam day. Wherever I go you'll find me with a book, But this time I had no hopes at all. By 2 pm I had already decided that I wont be attempting it. It was my first certi in the new company and I did not want to flunk on the very first. The only problem was, I was having a very difficult time convincing the same to Ravi. He kept insisting that I I should try and I was like "Why waste 2 hours to know that I flunked when I already know that?". But he's very good at convincing me and so it was decided that I'm simply just supposed to attempt it and come back in half an hour.


So I entered this examination hall and I felt funny for a moment. I thought suddenly all the walls in the room were nearing me. Oh God, I was having a new kind of examination claustrophobia!!! I seriously started wishing that this torture ends soon. So I attacked the exam and started marking the answers (I'll be honest that I could recognise most of the jargon's and was silently waiting for a miracle). In 30 minutes flat, I was done (Can u believe without rechecking anything? This seriously isn't me) and I hit on SUBMIT. I closed my eyes, my fingers were crossed, I was chanting the Mantra and slowly opened an eye and there it was " YOU HAVE PASSED, you scored 60%" (which by the way is the passing percentage). Ohh...it was like a dream come true!!!! I had passed it and I wanted to boogie-woogie rite there. Now I have a perfect excuse for not studying atleast for 2 weeks :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A 10 days long weekend!!!




Last 10 days has been total bliss. It started with my mom visiting me. We had planned a visit to Mysore to checkout the latest entry to the family, my cousins baby!!! Though he doesn't say much, he's absolutely gorgeous!! And the weather in Mysore was heavenly. It drizzled everyday and was a great relief from Pune's  heat. The bus journey gave me a great view of the lush green paddy fields. Sometimes you don't realize that you miss something until you go back. The baby, weather and the family was the perfect relaxing combination. The only bad part of the family trips is the departure. However old I may become, I don't see the end of 'sobbing-at-the-station' tradition. Anyways, so finally I'm back and my li'l trip seems like years ago. 

But I'm back and since my mom's staying for a few days, life is good. The main reason is home cooked food or rather mom-cooked food and a cleaner household.  Mom's have this innate skill of making the place cleaner and brighter. By the way, my gardening attempt is finally fruitful or rather flower-ful. After watering the lily plant for almost a year, I had lost all the hopes of seeing a flower atleast in this decade. But God has finally answered my prayer's and here's my first 'Silly Lilly'. Whoopie!!!



Since my life is not as rocking as I try to show-off, apart from the silly mobile photo shoot with my roomies there are no other updates. Though the pics are not as great as we'd like to think but the whole process was damn funny!!! 




PS: Though I try to pretend that I'm reading the certification material, I'm secretly fantasizing @ reading a new novel that I bought this weekend. Tis called 'A place called here', I'm hoping it's good!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scaling the Paths of Glory...

Sometime back I read Jeffery Archer’s “Paths of Glory” and I haven’t been able to take it off my mind. The book’s cover page read something about Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing which I thought was pretty boring. I usually go for fiction and very rarely pick up a true story. But since I had nothing else to read, I started with it.

The story is about George Mallory and his attempt to conquer Mount Everest. Frankly I thought the book’s pace was quite slow at the start, probably that’s because this kinda books are not my cup of tea. Part one discussed about George’s childhood and his fetish of climbing anything and everything. It took me almost 4 days to get through the first part of the book which would surprise most of my friends. I mostly manage to complete a book within 2 days.

But gradually I realized it wasn’t so bad and I was actually enjoying it. The protagonist began his climbing adventures when he was young, scaling the wall of Magdalene College, Cambridge for his appointment with the senior tutor there when the gates closed promptly at 3.00pm. Mr. Mallory is known to be arrested for climbing Eiffel Tower in the middle of night. He wooed his wife, Ruth Turner by climbing the bell tower of a 325-ft high basilica in Venice. Later he and Ruth escaped Venice fearing his arrest.

The book becomes gripping when George Mallory along with George Finch is nominated for the Mount Everest Committee in 1921. The first attempt failed, when six Sherpas lost their lives in an avalanche. The second attempt was planned again in the year 1924, but this time Mallory had another accomplice, Andrew Irvine.

The last climb was breathtaking and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Mallory’s letters to his wife reveal a lot about him, his companions and his surroundings. I was so involved during this phase that whenever I was disturbed, I was like “Come on, I’m at a height of 22,000 feet, struggling with frost bite and -40 degree temperature and you are asking me to watch TV soaps with you?”. I was there on Everest with him. I never knew mountaineering could be so much fun and scary at a time.

As usual the author has managed to pick a new subject and made a success out of it. Jeffery Archer's every book manages to enthrall you. I have a great liking for this man and I try to get my hands on everything that's been penned by him.

  

The book's cover page summarizes the book in this one line “This is the story of a man who loved two women, and one of them killed him”.

If you get a chance, go for it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

P.S. I love You...

P.S. I Love You.. I picked this book some 2 years because I found the name catchy. I was a great book and I absolutely loved it. I also recommended it to all my book-friends and the book circulated for around 2 years. Last month when I left my previous organisation, I get all my stuff back and there it was. Since I was on bench for sometime in the new organisation, I went out and got two more books of the same author i.e. Cecelia Ahern. Where the Rainbows’ End and Thanks for the memories. She’s got a good style and most importantly they are very romantic!!

Three days and I was done with both the new novels again, being left without a choice I picked up P.S. I love u again. While I read it for the second, I realized it was like watching your favourite movie once again. I felt horribly sorry for Holly all over again. The quick sneak into Holly’s past makes you want to be a part of their life. I started missing Gerry like anything. There were moments when the tears wouldn’t stop rolling down. And most of the times I envy the author and her talent. I am quite an emotional person and even TV soap can make me cry but this story, it is amazing. The emotions coming out of the distressed widow seem so real that your heart goes out to her.

This is the best of Cecelia Ahern and if you still haven’t read it, go ahead and grab a copy today. For now I am left with nothing more to read and I’m terribly bored. I need to hit the bookstore in the evening. Now that you know my choice of book, you can recommend something to me... 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Homecoming

My hometown is not very far from where I stay now, it is mere 4 hours journey. I visit my parents every 15 days and it is the only time I'm truely relaxed. It is not just about meeting my parents, but staying in the house where I grew up. I mite not step out of the house, mite not chat a lot with my mum but just lazing around in the house puts me at ease. No matter what I do, at the end of the day my childhood room is the place I want to be. Does anyplace makes u feel this way? Must sleep nw, tis 2 already

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hi

Hi Everyone...

Just trying the Blogger for the first time...