December 31, 2013

Musing: The Year in Review Part II


This post has been long overdue...those who have read the first half of my year in review, wondered what had happened in the following six months of 2013... here's the story now...

The month of July began and I decided that I had just about enough of holidays. I wanted to start working, interning or doing anything...that would stop me from turning into a lazy lump of corruption. From friends I learned that Hope Foundation was taking in volunteers and interns. I became a volunteer to a Hope Coaching Center and you can read about my experiences there here and here.

This was also the month when I attended a wine trail...which was a blogger's event. I met a lot of bloggers and I must say that was a pleasant experience. Both the wine tasting and the fact that the people whose blogs you've been reading, suddenly come alive in front of you. Swarnali, was the one you introduced me to this event.

Swarnali and Me at the Wine Trail 

This was also the month that our MPhil list came out and to my surprise and delight, I saw that I'd got through the program. Finally, life seemed to be coming together (and of course, we'll all encounter people who are more than eager to tear it apart...) Nevertheless, it seemed to be the start of something new...

The Children of Hope Foundation 

Ahh the month of August...that was the month my best friend turned on me. Surprisingly, August was the month of heartbreaks and eyeopening revelations. It was also the month Pippo finally ran away from home... but the good news is, he came back again....

Me, at Mrs Magpie on my Birthday 
Being my birth month, September, had always been my favorite time of the year. While I was determined NOT to celebrate my birthday...my friends made it very special for me. Taking me out to Mrs. Magpie, meeting me at odd hours, and the best part? I made a lovely new friend on my birthday: Apoorva Srivastava. In a world gone mad, it is difficult to find people who think alike and who love to believe in miracles...I am so glad she found me because there is a certain part of my life, I can never share with anyone else. I can share it with Apoorva because she would understand what I am saying. It feels like I am on the same page as her...
Since my plan was to ignore my birthday, I was surprised when a cake landed at my doorstep...it was sent all the way from Bangalore by my friend Suhasini, with my address nicked by my friend Soumma. I spent the day believing I was going to get a delivery of flowers.

Suhasini's gift all the way from Bangalore 
We slipped into October. And for us, living in Kolkata...October is a month of joy and merry making. With Durga Pujos and (internal examinations), with meet ups with old friends and new ones...the month passed by in a blur. The good things about this month was the way our city seems to pulsate with life. Those who live in Mumbai are probably already used to this. For me, October was a grand month of wearing new clothes, dressing up and showing up at every place I was supposed to go to... Swarnali was my go-to person when I was shopping for my clothes. 

Apoorva 


Ahh...November. It was my mother's birthday this month and I forgot to bring a cake for her. So I ended up cooking desserts for a week and thus my interest in baking started. This was also the month when I successfully finished my work with Hope Foundation. This was also the month, Apoorva introduced me to another friend, Nikhil. On the last day of this month, there was also a Coup d'East mini-meet up. 



But it was in December that so many of my wishes began to come true... my Facebook Cover, did ask the month to make them come true. I discovered that celebrating everything in life is happiness in itself. And I've not been as happy as I have been this past month, ever in my life. I re-connected with an old friend, Akanksha, and I met all my other buddies.

I met Benazir...a sweet friend I'd made when I had taken up French classes on 23rd December... and she insisted I take a picture like this:
At Casa's Kitchen with Benazir 


I attended my convocation on 24th December 2013, I bought an android phone a few days prior to the major life event. I spent 24th night with all my school friends and we had a lovely time...came home on Christmas and well, my sister came home. In this month...I've also been in touch with my friends who don't live in Kolkata anymore.... 


My sister's coming home is equivalent to putting her before anything else in my life. That is why I've not been active in any of the social media lately... we are having an amazing time together and I'm looking forward to the last day of the year because I'm going to spend it with her. 

Honestly, how do people who don't have a sister, get through their lives??? 

In conclusion, I think I would say 2013 has been an eye opener of sorts for me. I found out who my true friends are. I learned that I need to let go off a fair few limiting beliefs. I grew as a person, and I grew up too. I am still a little sensitive and I am still a bit short-tempered. But the good of this year has most certainly outweighed the bad. Which means, it is safe to say 2013 has been one heck of a year...

I am going to say goodbye to this year on a very high note. You have been ONE BLESSED year. 

2014, make ALL my wishes come true.... 

Now it's your turn to tell me about your year in review. 



December 18, 2013

Musing: The Year in Review (Part I)

Warning: This blog post might come across as a "little personal." If you have anything against blogs containing personal writings, please feel free to ignore this post. Those of you who do not have a problem with letting someone write their hearts' out, do go on... 


"Anything is possible, when you believe it."
- Anonymous 



On 1st January 2013, if someone had told me that I would be living through probably one of the best years of my life, I would have laughed at them. 2012 had ended on a very bitter note for me...my life had collapsed, most of my relationships were in turmoil and something in me had simply died. It was an effort to even drag myself out of bed and go through the day. At twenty three, I felt like a hundred year old...with hardly any desire to live. 

January 2013 
January was one of the bitterest months that I've ever lived through. Without the presence of my friends and a very darling like, Pippo, I don't believe I could have even managed to get out of bed and go to University. In fact, I had been trying for some way to escape from Kolkata, since last November 2012. So far, luck had not been on my side. 

This picture on the left had been clicked by a friend of mine, while we worked for CLAI 2013.... Sometimes when I think about January, I cannot believe it was this year. It seems like another lifetime ago. 

I am thankful that during this month my friends (Soumma, Jijo, Suhasini, Soutrik, Pradeepta, Indrani, Rini, Wendrilla, Chiquita to name a few) made it their business to make sure I wasn't feeling terribly lonely. Even though I love being alone, January was perhaps the loneliest point of my life. 

With Jijo and Soumma 


With Indrani and Pradeepta 

With Wendrilla 

With Rini 

But something great happened in January. I met one of my closest friends during this month, and we shot my very first interview. 

13th January 2013


She introduced me to the whole new world of blogging and the perks one gets when they own a blog...

January...sometime...damn, I really did look like a Zombie back then!!! O.o
We slipped into February and the best thing about this month was that I finished writing another story. This time was something closer to home: my story. 

The month of March was really special to me because it acted like my wake up call. I was finally waking up from the lethargy that had taken over my life. Suddenly, I was counting my blessings and found to my utter delight, I wasn't as hopeless as I had initially believed myself to be. Things really began to change now because I began to look forward to a better tomorrow... I discovered The Magic and all too soon it was the month of April our last month as Masters students. (Now it seems so weird that at the beginning of this year we were still pursuing our MA degrees...)

Facebook reminded of something important in the Year in Review: 
20th May 2013 was the best day of my life. It was the day the royalty cheque came for my debut novel. I cannot believe that I'd actually forgotten about that, because that is what had made me laugh out loud and say, "Oh well, life is actually a lovely journey. Isn't it?"

The amount was not much but it was my earning. I felt really good after receiving the cheque and decided to bury a lot of old quarrels. Now that I look back, I don't think that was the brightest of ideas... But anyway, we're only human. We are all allowed to make mistakes. 

The month of May also remains special because that was when IBL (Indian Blogger's League) team was formed. I was/I am part of the East Zone team, Coup d'East


The People I Love the Most from Coup d'East 
There are a lot of members on our little literary group and yet, I am closer to the five people in the above collage. While I haven't met the two lovely ladies on either side of myself, they remain two of the best people in my life. I have met all three of them in the next row and I have been quite surprised that despite living in the same city, I had not known these wonderful people for so long....

Now it was the month of June. Six months into the New Year. We had passed out of MA and now waited with baited breath to know what would our next step be. Instead of worrying about the future, I decided to take a month off for myself. I wouldn't worry about the future, for this one month. I began to blog...write a lot of posts, as it is. Hang out with my friends and surprise, surprise, the person I had decided to never see/meet/talk to again, suddenly wanted to meet up... 

So when I look back the year in review for the first six months, I see myself climbing out of the pit hole, and feeling happier than I ever had before. I didn't know what turn life would take in the next months, but for the first time in my life, I didn't care. 

I was happy. And that was all there was to it. 

(For the fear of this turning into an usually long blog post, I have decided to break it up into two parts. I'll post the next part pretty soon too. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.)





December 6, 2013

My Liebster Award

Thank you so much, Bharati Singha of Interesting Things: Interesting things on Earth, for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I am pleasantly surprised that you found my blog interesting enough to be nominated for this award... ^_^ Thank you, thank you, thank you...



The rules of Liebster award:


1) Each nominee must thank and link back the person who nominated them.

2) Answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominator.

3) Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.

4) Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

5) Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by notifying them.

The questions from Bharati.... (which I've answered, which are hopefully interesting answers... :P )


1. Why did you start your blog? 

I started a blog way back in 2008...but back then, I used to mostly document my poetry in...and till 2011, I kept using my blog as a place to write poem rants. From 2012, it all changed.... I discovered the perks of blogging thanks to fellow blogger, Swarnali, and from this year, blogging has been a huge part of my life.


2. Who is your favorite author and why?

Ruskin Bond. He was one of the first authors who opened my eyes to extremely good Indian Writing in English...and I grew up with his first protagonist, Rusty. Rusty was my first crush and I don't think I've gotten over him.

3. What is the most delicious food you have ever eaten?

Doi-Maach. Especially when it's cooked by my mum...I am not a foodie at all...but this is ONE dish, I can eat all the time and enjoy it thoroughly too.

4. What is your favorite quote and by whom? 

"Never give up on the one thing, that you cannot go a day without thinking about." ~ Anonymous

"God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December" ~ J.M. Barrie

"The only reward for virtue is virtue - the only way to have a friend, is to be one." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

5. What is your favorite post that you’ve written? (Please provide link!)

Most of the posts I've written have been my favorite, at one point of time or another. So I'll pick them from three different categories.

Poem: Remembering in the Rain

Musing: You're NOT lonely, even if you are alone 

Short Story: Written in the Stars


6. Where is the most beautiful place you have ever been to?

Pondicherry. There's no doubt about that...it restores your energy, makes you feel good and one of the best places to discover yourself.

7. What do you believe is the greatest flaw among people?

That we listen too less, think too much and jump to conclusions (most of the time).
8. What do you like to do on the weekends?

Read a good book, play with Pippo (my cat), laze around for a bit, watch movies....anything to keep myself from working/studying.

9. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I'd probably learn how to sing. :-) But if that's too normal, then I'd love to learn how to cook delicious food, without taking too much of time....

10. What’s worse? A screaming Boss on Fridays or an emotionally manipulative mom? Explain.

Since I don't have an emotionally manipulative mum, I'd go with the boss... but I'm still a student. And the part-time jobs I have, never had the bosses screaming at me... Can I get a rain cheque on this question? :P

Here, I pass on the Liebster Award: 



My Nominees for the Award are:


1. Diptee Raut - Dip-Tea Blogs Here 
2. Pooja Dasgupta: DiaLifeStyle 
3. Deeptiman Chatterjee: The Shameless Blogger 
4. Abhishek Mukherjee: Abhishek's Blog 
5. Swarnali Das & Arpita Mahapatra: Dreams And Drama
6. Soumya Mukherjee: The Placid Rambler 
7. Shivani Goyal: Words I Feel 
8. Sudeshna Thakurta: Proses, Verses, Conversations
9. Priyanka Roy Banerjee: One and Half Minutes 
10. Mohit Jain: Simply Mohit


The 10 Questions You Have to Answer Now: 

1. Okay, let me start with a juvenile question: When is your birthday? 
2. Which place is your Dream Destination? 
3. Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character? If yes, who was it? 
4. What is the one thing you like the most about yourself?
5. Your favorite book of all times is....? 
6. The one person who means the world to you is...?
7. How did you become a blogger?
8. Say you own a magic carpet... (like the one in Aladdin), would you take your Jasmine for the tour or would you take your best friend?
9. If you could keep any animal as a pet, which one would it be?
10. What is the one thing you wish to own someday? (I'm talking about gadgets, book collections, instruments..etc..if money wasn't the obstacle.)

December 5, 2013

Recipe: Simple Way Pizza


A conversation with a friend from the University, made me search high and low for a possible way to make/bake a pizza without the help of an oven. Then I found the best method ever: The Stove Top Pizza.
It really easy a very easy recipe and the pizza turns out well, (no matter how much you expect it to become a roti it defies you: you are going to end with a good looking Pizza!!!)

Ingredients 

2 cups of flour (maida) 
2 cups of wheat flour 
Salt 
2 tablespoon baking soda 
1 tablespoon sugar 
4 tablespoon of olive oil
1 and 1/4th cup mix of water and milk (lukewarm)
Cooking oil 

Method: 

Add the two flours and salt together, and mix this together. Next, add the baking soda and the sugar. Now, add all these dry ingredients together. 
Add the olive oil, and then the lukewarm mixture of water and milk. Mix all this together till you get the dough. If needed you can add more lukewarm water. You can knead the dough, sprinkling it with flour, to make it very smooth. It should not stick to your hand.  
(I personally recommend applying oil to your hands, and dusting your hands with flour...it makes the dough stick less to your hand. Not sticking to you hand at all - is a myth.)
Now keep this dough in a bowl and cover it. Allow it to rise for 15-20 minutes.

Put the frying pan to heat, and heat the oil. 
Divide the dough into equal parts. Take one of these parts and stretch out these parts into nice flat round shapes - the base of your pizza. 

Now put this in the frying pan and let it cook...till it becomes a nice golden brown. There would be bubbles to show you, that your work is done. Flip it over and let it cook the same way. 

Remember to cook this in low to medium heat. 

When the other side is cooked too, flip it over. Now put the toppings: put in the cheese (as much or as little you want), and put the rest of the toppings you've chosen. I'd decided to make a simple topping with baby corn. And instead of the pizza sauce, I had used ready made tomato sauce..you can do that as well. Or if you want, make the pizza sauce... (I'll put up that recipe when I discover how to make it!)

Put the lid of the frying pan on it, and adjust in a way to keep it a little open..so that it allows the cheese to melt completely. 

Once the cheese is completely melted, you would have your pizza ready. Get it off the frying pan, put it on a plate, add oregano and the red chili flakes (if you don't have them saved from previous pizza deliveries from the stores, you can always buy these from the store!) 

Enjoy your pizza now...