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The Resolute You

#poetry #tanka

Dark forces lurking

Zillions of dreams buried deep

 Warblers dwelled and flew

 Heyday, fall fell, leaves fluttered

 Yet I stand tall, resolute

Life is all about ebb and flow. Some days are good, some even better but again many a times worst days happen to cross you by.

Neither happiness is forever nor are sorrows. Neither is life a bed of roses nor a bed of thorns. It is somewhere in between and that “somewhere” is hidden. It’s up to us how and where to explore that treasure which is the secret of a happy and contended life and the one who owns this emerge victorious.

So, be the “Indiana Jones” of your own life and unearth your treasure chest.

Thank you so very much for your time for reading and going through my posts 😊.

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Silent Valediction

A chapter, an era and a phase of merriment, playfulness, innocence ends only to start a new journey of responsibilities, love, trust and hope.

Every girl has to sail through this voyage but that era is never forgotten and remain etched out beautifully in your heart, forever.

I dedicate this small piece of my writing to all of you women out there, we do shed a sea of emotions during our “Bidai/Rukhsati” (Farewell) as we call it but rarely we vocalize. Here I have tried to attempt the same, for the first time. Hope you find it relatable with your own experiences.

Holding me in your arms for the first time

To giving me off to someone and sublime

Why is this mandatory, I wonder

To cleave your heart and surrender

Silent tears of departure started flowing by

Since the day you engaged me to this unknown guy

How will I live without you and survive

Oh you my mother, how will I even thrive

Myriads of memoirs I have in every nook and corner of this home

One day, I will fill a thousand pages and create a tome

Who would wake me up yelling every morning

Who would tolerate my unnecessary wittering

Looking at the faces of my siblings

Oh without you, how would I be anything

To be a constant woodpecker and annoying

How will I be nudging and enjoying

A day before my wedding farewell

A tsunami generated within my shell

When you, my mother, wrapped your arms around me and cried inaudibly

Pretending to be asleep, I was choked and encumbered in melancholy

Escorting me to my palanquin

And bidding me adieu like a queen

Leaving behind a vast past untold

I embarked on a journey to unfold.

Thank you so very much for your time for reading and going through my posts 😊. If you happen to like my blog postings, please do follow and motivate me to meander my thoughts even more.

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MIRAGE

#poetry

I saw a garden of roses

Exquisitely red, filled with aromatic doses

Earth had adorned a velvet sheet, it appeared

Gazing at their beauty, my worries disappeared

Calmly they stood reflecting their poise

They talked and laughed but no noise

The lights of the sun fell on their beautiful petals

Refracting the light, the dews collected on every sepal

Defying gravity, drops stood still

Low energy they possessed, at their will

They swayed passively in the breeze

conversing actively and none disagrees

I dashed into that garden enchanted

To be one of them and my wishes granted

Hurriedly I ran, fell but again stood up

But the distance never seemed to sum up

The nearer I approached, the farther it went

And no where on the way, I could smell its scent

Tired, I stopped and gasped for air

In front of me, my illusion lay bared

Wanderlust, I was chasing and my dreams sabotaged

Nothing it was, but a MIRAGE.

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Sugar

#haiku #poetry

Sugar coated words

Melts your heart and you fall prey

Later you wake up

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Mirror

#poetry #haiku #lifelesson

Mirror speaks volume

Gone never comes back to you

No elixir works

Thank you so very much for your time for reading and going through my post 😊.

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Smoky Chicken

#chickenrecipe #indianrecipe #foodblog

Chicken pieces laden with creamy yogurt sauce/gravy with a hint of Smoke immersed.

First chicken recipe it is that I am sharing with you all. In fact, this is actually the first one I learnt that came out scrumptious.

You can make this with bone pieces as well as boneless.

Do give it a try, I am sure you will love it as much as I do! !

So, ok, without further ado, let’s begin and devour πŸ˜‹

Ingredients required:

Chicken – 1/2 kg

Yogurt – 1 cup (total)

                2 tablespoons for marination

                1/2 cup for gravy

                Remaining for garnishing

Onion- 1 large finely chopped (for gravy)

             1 large cut in rings (for garnishing)

Green chilly- 3-4

Cream – 3-4 tablespoons for gravy

               1-2 teaspoons for garnishing

Ginger garlic paste – 2 teaspoons

Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder- 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander powder- 2 teaspoons

Red chilly powder- 1 teaspoon

Garam masala /all spice powder – 3/4 teaspoon

Coal- 1 piece

Salt to taste

Oil (any vegetable refined oil) – 2-3 tablespoons

METHOD:

Step 1: Cut the chicken breast into small/large pieces as per your choice and apply a tablespoon of yogurt and marinate it for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2: Heat oil and to it add chopped onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry until onions changes color (do not let the onions get brown) and the raw smell of ginger garlic goes off.

Step 3: Add chicken pieces, Cumin seeds and fry on high flame till the chicken starts changing color and becomes light golden.

Step 4: Now goes in Turmeric powder, Coriander powder, Red chilly powder, garam masala and salt. Fry for a few seconds while stirring continuously on medium flame.

Step 5: Add yogurt. Remember to keep stirring while adding yogurt and keep the flame low. Then cover and cook until oil comes to the surface.

Step 6: Lastly, add cream. Just a few seconds more to let the cream mix well into the gravy.

 How to get that Smoky flavor?

Step 1: Heat a piece of coal making it red hot.

Step 2: Transfer the chicken into an oven proof dish and put onion rings, green chilly, yogurt and cream over it.

Step 3: Take a piece of aluminum foil and place and press it firmly onto the chicken gravy and put the coal on it.

Step 4: Pour a teaspoon of ghee or oil on the red hot coal and at once you will notice smoke coming out. Quickly cover it with a plate or tray such that smoke doesn’t escape and keep it covered until all the smoke settles down.

And your Smoky yogurt chicken is ready to devour. πŸ˜€

**At the time of serving, you can bake it in a pre-heated oven for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Enjoy!! 😊

Thank you so very much for your time for reading and going through my post 😊.

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The Last Goodbye

Some regrets are unfathomable and resides with you for your entire lifetime. I also have one deepest remorse that stays with me and forever will, since my childhood. It was around this time two decades back, when my father left us. He was in good health, just little issues for which he was leaving along with my mother. We (my sister and I) were asked to stay back. And that stubborn little child which I used to be, I chose not to look at him in angst, when he was bidding adieu, never ever to return.

I was standing there indignant on an uphill

Wearing a white dress, gazing standstill

He called my name as he walked

But poignant me stood there balkedΒ 

Little did I know what I was going to taste in the very near future

 Adamant I stood in my own thoughts and conjectures

I saw him going and reaching till the car

How would I be knowing he will go that far

He wasn’t taking me along was my mere complain

But, may be, leaving us to stay with our known was the real mundane

For once I thought to yell hard and say stop! Daddy, don’t go

But the obstinate me decided to only let the anger flow

Smiling mischievously he waved his hand and said bye, we are leaving

And I turned my back disbelieving

I wanted to turn and look at you for once

But I don’t know why, I was in a trance

The last goodbye you bid

Shattering us into pieces, oh where you did hid

If I would know you would fade away

In a week, on the coming Saturday

I would have hugged you and never let you go off

But this is what, is life’s payoff

It leaves you with unanswered questions

To unfold in layers by your true and worthy actions

I will regret this my whole life and sigh

What if once, only for once I would have turned and bid you my last good bye

But the time and moments gone you can never rectify and repeat

However, it leaves a void incomplete.

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EXPECTATIONS

You dig out a hole and plant this seed

Water it but it turns out to be a weed

Dominant it becomes as it grows large

Carrying preconceived notions in a barge

People will come, laugh and sit with you

Most of them stones and diamonds would be few

They tend to water this weed

But pity you, you pay no heed

You go beyond your lane

To entertain them, you even bear pain

Happily you do so, but

The weed keeps growing close and shut

When your turn comes to get acclaim

No one is there to shower you fame

For the weed you grew

You only will have to get it through

Expect from others and you get empty dishes

Expect from yourself to fulfill all your wishes.

As under the bridge of fake praises and assurances

There flows a river of selfish adherences.

Thank you so very much for your time for reading and going through my post 😊.

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Choley Bhature

When you hear the name of any street food, before anything comes to your mind, your olfactory reflexes come into play and your mouth gushes in water (even writing this I couldn’t resistπŸ˜‹) and the very first thought that crosses by, is to just devour it any way possible.

There is a plethora of Indian street food to feast on but what I am sharing with you is “CHOLEY BHATURE”. It particularly hails from Punjab (North India) but loved all over India. The hot, soft, fluffy though oil soaked bhatura’s with spicy and tangy chickpeas, gives you many reasons to gobble it down unthinking of how much oil /calories you guzzle. After finishing, Of course, you will give it a count. πŸ˜‰

 TODAY, I am sharing with you all my mother’s recipe of this dish and let me tell you it’s rare did I eat choley bhature outside as I find my mother’s one the very best.

 So get your olfactory senses ready for this savoury aroma and your taste buds waiting as it goes into your mouth.

Preparation Time:  6 to 7 hours

Cooking Time: 20 to 30 minutes

RECIPE:

BHATURA:

Ingredients required:

All-purpose flour: 2.5 cups

Baking soda: 1.5 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Oil: 2 to 3 teaspoon

Dried fenugreek leaves: 1/2 teaspoon

Semolina: 1-2 tablespoons

Yogurt: 3 to 4 tablespoons

Water: As required

Refined Oil for frying

METHOD:

1. Take a bowl and add all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, semolina and whisk a little to mix the dry ingredients well.

2. Then add oil, dry fenugreek leaves (it’s optional, you can use coriander leaves onto the bhatura’s prior to frying) and yogurt and knead to form a dough.

3. Add water accordingly. The dough should be soft, lot more than what your chapati dough feels like.

4. If your dough sticks, you can always add little more oil and after kneading apply little oil on the crust, cover it and leave for as long as you can. Minimum for 3-4 hours and maximum for overnight.

Frying:

1. Make balls (size would be little bigger than the chapati balls).

2. Keep the balls on greased surface and cover them with a kitchen towel for sometime.

3. Then take one ball, press with your hand a bit and with a rolling pin roll out to make an oval-shaped bhatura. Shape actually doesn’t matter, just make the shape you want, round, oval or somewhere in between πŸ™‚.

4. Lift it up with hands and put it in very hot oil for deep frying {Add a bit of your dough into the oil to check if it’s hot or not. The tiny piece of the dough would at once come up floating if it’s done}.

5. Fry with pressing the bhatura with a skimmer/strainer ladle every now and then. Fry on one side then change the side as it turns golden brown and swells up.

CHOLEY:

Ingredients required:

Chick peas: 1.5 cup

Tea bags: 2

Cinnamon stick: 1

Cloves: 2-3

Bay leaves – 1-2

Oil: 3-4 tablespoons

Cumin seeds: 1/2-1 teaspoon

Onions: 1 large, finely chopped

Tomato: 1 large, pureed

Ginger garlic paste: 1 teaspoon

Green chilly: 1-2 as per your preference

Turmeric: 1/2 teaspoon

Red chilly powder: 1/2 teaspoon (or as per your taste)

Kashmiri red chilly powder: 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander powder: 1.5 teaspoon

All spice powder/garam masala: 1/2 teaspoon

Cumin powder: 1 /2 teaspoon

Dry mango powder/khatai: 1/2 teaspoon

Chaat masala: 1/2 teaspoon

Pomegranate seeds/Anardana: 1 teaspoon, crushed (optional)

*You can use readymade choley masala as well and then you would skip the above spices

Boiled potatoes: 1 medium sized

For tempering:

Oil: 2-3 teaspoons

Ginger: few julienne cut

Green chilly: 1-2, cut in halves

METHOD:

Boiling the Chickpeas:

1. Soak the chickpeas in water overnight or you can even soak them in hot water and add a little bit baking soda if you are in a hurry.

2. Boil them while adding turmeric, bay leaf, cinnamon, tea bag and a piece of ginger.

3. Tea bag is added just for the color. You can skip it if you don’t like that brown hue.

Cooking:

1. In oil, firstly add the boiled potatoes cut into small pieces and fry them until brown keeping the flame medium. Keep them aside for garnishing.

2. To the oil (add more oil if it’s been absorbed by the potatoes) then add cumin seeds. Let it splutter a bit and then goes in onion. Add ginger garlic paste. Fry until the onions become a little brown and smell of garlic goes off. The flame should be medium-high.

2. Add tomato puree to this. Then all the spices, turmeric, coriander powder, red chilly powder, cumin powder, dry mango powder, chaat masala and salt. If required add a little water to prevent spices getting burnt. Adjust the flame from low to medium. Cook for a while until oil separates.

3. Add the chickpeas and water. The quantity of water is your own choice, how thin or thick consistency you want.

4. Let it cook for sometime (6 – 8 minutes approximately) covered. Then with the help of a masher, mash little of your chickpeas to add thickness to the gravy.

5. You can always add water later on if you find the gravy too thick as after being cooked, the gravy thickens further.

6. Add garam masala.

Tempering:

In hot oil add ginger juliennes, green chilly and as the ginger starts to change color, pour this onto the choley.

Garnishing:

Garnish with fried boiled potatoes and coriander leaves.

And your Choley bhature is ready to be served!!

Thank you so very much for your time for reading and going through my post 😊.

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Strawberry Fields Forever

“The big tree vanished, there was no more darkness, no little being but a river flowing by, a beautiful daylight and an angelic beauty with wings standing beside me.”

It was 12:30 A.M. and I was watching a movie when I started to doze off, so I shut down my laptop and went to sleep. I yearn for a sound sleep and that day I thought I might get one as I was very tired.

I switched off the lights of my room and lay down. I started thinking what all I have to do this weekend and stuff like that when suddenly I heard this buzzing sound like that of a mosquito. I opened my eyes and tried to ward it off. But again after a while I heard it right on my ears and this time I can feel the air moving and stood up. I looked around, there was no sound now. So I reclined again to get back to my sleep when I saw something unusually glowing. I felt uncanny and this eerie feeling ran through me. The glow slowly faded and what I saw was beyond my imagination. There was this little human – shaped being with wings flying above me. She was a miniature fellow but a divine beauty. I was smitten and scared equally as she asked me to follow her. I asked her who she was, still she smiled and said “come, follow me”. Her euphonious voice was as if it brought tunes to my life and not resisting I followed her. She went out of the window flying and stretched out her hand for me to hold. Soon I was flying holding her hand and the euphoria I experienced couldn’t be described in words. I was wondering how a tiny being is able to carry my 70 kg. weight and then was damn scared as to where she is taking me and who actually was she? We landed in front of huge tree, I had my feet on the ground while she was still in the air.

She asked me to go inside the huge trunk to which I said, Are you serious? She held my hand and pulled me and in an instance I was there. The big tree vanished, there was no more darkness, no little being but a river flowing by, a beautiful daylight and an angelic beauty with wings standing beside me. She was no tiny anymore. Who are you and where am I?? I asked her. She smiled and said a fairy, you can say I am and you are welcome into my world. Neither could I believe my ears nor my eyes as I saw these fairies flying, laughing, and playing happily in their own world.

I asked her as to why she brought me here? She said just to enjoy and live for a while what she lives. We sat near a dream-like waterfall and I asked her, every house here is more or less the same, why?? She replied that because this is not your world, there is no poverty, no rich, no upper class or middle class or poor. We are all the same and live our lives equally. I saw one green colored beautiful stone lying down there, I looked at it and she gave it to me. At once I kept it in my trousers pocket. Then she took me to an enthralling strawberry field. I was mesmerized to see the sprawling field and the laughing fairies flying over it. I asked her how come you people here look so happy, nobody looks sad, nor alone? She told me, because we are contended with whatever we have, we help each other grow, we don’t envy anyone and are happy in each other’s happiness. Meanwhile, I also had those strawberries and they were delicious. She asked me I can take some home if I wish to and at once I put two of them in my pocket. Now, I was getting a bit comfortable with her though the fear was still lurking inside me. I asked her what was her name as she didn’t told that, she answered smiling, “Fairy”. I told her, you didn’t asked mine either, I am Rajneesh Singhal. She said, I know. What’s in a name, your heart should be pure and I know, yours is. I was a little embarrassed but extremely grateful and floating with happiness yet surprised to what she said. She said to me, you are doing a great job in your world.

To tell you, I work in an IT firm but I also do charity and run an NGO in collaboration. Most recently we rescued children working as labourers and pledged to provide them shelter and education. Besides, I also have blessings of those aged parents whose children abandon them as we provide them shelter.

 The Fairy then took me to an astonishing meadow with blooming pink and yellow flowers. I enquired her about the crime rate in her world. She laughed this time and told me, this is not your world, dear. Here, there is no crime. We are God fearing people, we don’t commit crime. While still laughing, she picked up a flower from the ground and gave it to me, Bye, take care, she said.

I heard a sound coming from far off place and slowly it grew closer and louder and louder and I stood up. My heartbeat was racing and sweat dropping down, I opened my eyes. I threw away my blanket and got out of my bed. I looked around to find the fairy, her beautiful world. She was nowhere. It was my mobile phone ringing.

Was it a dream? I asked myself, flabbergasted. I sat down, gulped little water and laughed. Oh seriously, how could that world really exist. I remembered this Beatles song then..

….”let me take you down

‘Cause I am going to, strawberry fields

and nothing is real

and nothing to get hung about

STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER”….

While humming the song, I ran my hand through my pocket and felt something there, my heart bounced and my mouth wide-opened, as awestruck I took out the green stone, two strawberries and the pink flower.