Sunday, February 9, 2014

Four Seasons: day 38 of #100happydays



I often dream of living in a place where there are four seasons. A snow-covered Winter Wonderland. Crocus blossoms heralding the advent of Spring. Warm Summers, giving way to the Reds and Golds of Autumn.
Reality is different. The four seasons that we have are Hot, Hotter, Hottest and Wet. Not much variety, unfortunately.
 But it is precisely because we don’t have real seasons that we have an experience uniquely our own. Leaves turning red on one tree, barren branches on another, new shoots on a third. All the seasons in one orderly row of trees. The cycle of life.
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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Setting Curds: day 37 of #100happydays



“Can you teach me to set curds?”, asked the Younger One.
After heating the milk, and adding the starter, he even make a pretty note to place on top of the bowl where the curds were setting- “Do Not Touch. Curds being Made.”
Since he thought overnight was too long a period for him to wait for the curds to set, he wanted to try something new. “What if we mix some strawberries into the milk before setting the curds, will we get strawberry curds?”, he asked.
There was only one way to find out- by doing it. We did!

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Nothing Ventured: day 36 of #100happydays



There are some things that we attempt, fail at, and decide not to try again. And there are those other things that we never attempt because even without trying, we are convinced we cannot do them. Baking bread fell firmly into the second category, till a chance encounter with a packet of yeast got me addicted. Over the weeks, I’ve experimented a lot with bread, and am getting better at it. Confident enough, to try even the tough ones.
“Nothing Ventured, Nothing Won”, is the topic my older one chose for a school essay. I could be writing that myself.
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This "sunshine bread" is one I would have never even thought of attempting a few months back- just like I would never attempt to wear a dress that looks gorgeous on a supermodel. But then I tried, and it wasn't so hard after all! 
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Characters you love: day 35 of #100happydays



I first met him when he chased down the Blue Carbuncle in a story in my English Reader. By the time we did the lesson in class, I had read all the other stories in ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’. By the end of the year, I’d finished all the short stories, and most of the long ones.
And then came the re-reads, and the re-re-reads. I grabbed the spin-offs- loved the Seven Per-Cent Solution, hated the rest. It was with mixed feelings that I picked up the ‘authorized’ spin-off. It was decent, but not the Sherlock Holmes I love.
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Jugad in Healthcare: day 34 of #100happydays



With paperless offices becoming the norm, the paper clip should find itself on the endangered list. But not in India. Surgeons here are using them to hold back the skin flap while operating. Kitchen strainers, honey, rubber tubes, mosquito nets. All have been used in the operating theater, to bring down the cost of surgery. In a nation where the government is unable to provide quality healthcare to the poor, this has definitely made surgery marginally more affordable.
Much has been spoken about the Great Indian Jugad- when you don’t have something, you improvise. This is Jugad at it’s best!
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My younger one proves he's India. When he couldn't find a 'Y', he made one with three 'I's. Jugad!!!!
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Cycle of Life: day 33 of #100happydays



A few months back, I had bought marigold flowers by weight before a festival. A couple of days later, the seeds ended up in my pots. Last week, orange flowers graced my balcony. Today, I harvested the first round of seeds from the plant I grew from seeds myself.
Who knows how much longer this circle of life will continue. If sometime in the future,  my balconies will get taken over by grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the plant I now have, their relationships so complicated, nobody can untangle them.
Plants teach us that beauty comes to those who have faith.
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