Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Roller coaster

Today you have life and tomorrow not! I always crib I have so much to do, its an endless list of chores, starting my day with serving breakfast to the girls, having a Chai(the best time of the day), throwing the washing in the machine, running to the gym, catching a 5 minute sauna break (much needed) and doing groceries while coming home and then fixing a quick but yummy lunch for whoever is at home, serving and clearing up, then attending a client for eyebrow and running off to do the preparation for the course. I always feel that tomorrow should be good and relaxed and better but hey what is better, as long as we have life there is struggle and to be honest I love it like this! OK I get a bit overwhelmed at times, but I feel I have so much energy that it needs to be utilized. and then some things happen in the family and make you think and retrospect, what it is all about.

This Sunday I finally picked up the phone and called my cousin in Delhi, this was the most difficult call I had to make, which I was postponing for a long time. I remember her wedding in Jaipur, I must be in the 8th grade and I was "Allowed" to put nail paint on her finger nails, what an honour it was for me to be able to put nail paint for a bride. Let me tell you it wasn't that easy, I was asked and the moment I started, a few pairs of eyes were watching me and then they all said, its fine and I breathed a sigh of relief. So I remember my cousin`s wedding very much and her husband too. Last week I got to know that he expired, my Mom, my brother and many other people from the family went to visit them in Delhi. He was not doing that well but not so bad to be gone, she must be in her late forties and have two young kids. How do you call and what do you say in such a situation? But anyways I called her and she spoke and we cried on the phone and she told me how it all happened. These things makes you really think about life and what are we doing here? Today we are here and tomorrow gone, just like that. How do the families and the close ones prepare for that.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No Title

I had to catch the 18.37 Train. I started making the Pizza dough for the girls, I love the whole process of making the dough, how the flour slowly keep binding itself together. In the beginning its sticky but the more you knead the better it gets and then comes the best bit, when you add olive oil and knead the dough for one last time before putting it to rest, the smell and flavour of the fresh dough with oregano and olive oil! nothing like it, no kidding, try yourself out here.

Anyways, so I finished all that, started looking for my winter Hat and Gloves, and I don't know why it happens that whenever you need something so badly, you never find it. I have three pairs of gloves, and I was only finding just one from each, so finally I stormed out with two different pairs of gloves. They might just serve the purpose and I might just not screw up this time again and miss my Tram to get my Train connection.

T helped me stuff my things in my bag and huffing and puffing I was racing towards the Tram Stop, fortunately I had enough time to punch my ticket (not the hitting Punch kind, but the one where in you put your ticket in the machine slot and it gives you the time and the date ha ha, I thought you will know that) and get my breath to normal before entering the super full Tram. So on to the Train and to the City. The air in the city was really cold, to me it felt like the air coming from those room size Refrigerators(the one we have in Migros, I always feel scared to go in to pick something, because I am always worried, what if I get locked in there and die cold with too much food with me, that's why I always have my Hand phone with me to be able to call) chilled, cold and fogyish kind of but I also wanted to also be a part of the evening, me the little Indian girl, who wants to be everywhere, OK not so little, I am 166 cm tall.

There she was T, waiting for me with her friends, I got a nice warm hug from her after all those cold winds and she guided me to the Hall where it was all about to take place. The place was in the heart of the city, close to the Limmat, in this old Literature house, packet with Women everywhere except there were about 2-3 brave Men out there too.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Substitute for a Joint Family

Last week me and my two friends were chatting in the Sauna Room at the Gym. We all were talking about our over 40 health issues, me feeling dizzy, A feeling up and down and S having her hot flushes. I always look forward to go to the Gym because of those conversations. I feel I am not the only one and its OK to feel the way I am feeling because every Women feels some sort of these things at some point or at some phase in her life and its normal. I am the kind of person who just likes to confront any problem and not hide it, I never hide when I am happy or successful then why hide when I am down or sad or when I really need help. I think, that is real life and then only you know know who your real friends and well wishers are and trust me if you want you will get enough opportunities to return the favor. Then I realized no matter what culture, country or place you come from, all the women face the same biological issues at different phases of their lives.

I was telling them how I grew up in a Joint family and how my Grandmas, Aunts and we all cousins used to hang out together. It really feels like yesterday. Ours was and it still is a family of four Grandfathers, my Grandfather was the eldest. We all, around 25 people still live together in this big Haveli in the heart of the City. I am not saying its all good, their are always issues as well but hey, if there are five dishes they make noises too. But if you would calculate the positive list of the Joint family will definitely overcome the negative one and I think we learn a lot of compromise as well. We have four sections in the big Haveli, all the families have different kitchens, so you are sort of together and separate too. After your chores are done you can hang out and there is always someone to give you support in times of need and there are always people to celebrate festivals, functions etc.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Emotional Behavior

This is some behavioral change I am talking about which I observed in a human being. How do people perceive themselves and how do they like to be perceived, its a totally different thing I think!

I started seeing a certain change in A`s behavior for some days. She said she feels that she wants certain people to perceive her in a way she thinks she likes. So she went ahead and started incorporating some changes in her behavior. Slowly people started noticing some change and started asking questions. I had a good talk with A. Finally she opened up to me, not all but partly. I understood what she meant but then I gave her an example which sort of blew me away, yes ME ! Sometimes some things are not clear to me or I have a problem and most of the time I get my answers while talking to people, be it friends, my kids, or R. I don``t know but voicing and speaking about a problem, stirs some things in the mind and what comes out is mostly a solution and you all know I believe in COMMUNICATION! It Works!!! So, confront a problem and see what happens. I have also told my girls from their Kindergarten days on, if you have a problem face it heads on, face it until it becomes a habit or a behavior. Then the course of the problem changes and the Status too, because you have learnt to deal with the problem and you can cross it out as one. It becomes normal. Now they are so used to doing it this way and I am so proud of them. I can give you dozen examples, which they tell me after coming home from the University and school, what they did and it Works! It was very hard for them in the beginning but now they know, this is the best way to deal with any problem.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Magic of Love

A very interesting and yet a very complicated topic "Love". To get some more prospective on this wonderful feeling of love have a look at this interesting video Love. Its a bit longer video but I enjoyed it on one of my lazy morning with Chai/Coffee in hand.Renowned Psychoanalyst Dr Salman Akhtar explains more on this subject. His main emphasis is how daily dialogue and communication helps in keeping the relationships going.

I was always smirking watching the video, he also explains how men and women think and what they expect from each other. Something like the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

In the end he also puts a lot of emphasis on Communication and trust me I totally agree, although sometimes its very hard to do so. I happen to be friends with a couple from Germany (Mrs & Mr. Becker) I got to know them while living in this small German town. We got really close and used to talk a lot about different things in life. Although Mrs. Becker is my mother`s age but she was more like a friend to me whom I respected and still do very much so. Once me and R asked them "What is the secret of your marriage?" and that`s what they said, YES ! COMMUNICATION Their advice to us was no matter how hard or how difficult the circumstances are but always communicate and try not to go to bed without sorting things out. And trust me I have been living on this theory for so many years, it always works.

Flash Mob Mumbai - CST Official Video



It happened and seeing it on the video raised my adrenaline. Well done! Shonan Kothari and the team. Last month I remember seeing an American doing a Flash Mob here in Zürich, and that sounded like fun and I thought what would it be like to see this in India, and here you go. It happened in Mumbai on the 27th of November, 2011 (which happens to be my MOM`S birthday :) at the CST (Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus) with more then 200 people participating there and they couldn't have chosen a better song for this from the famous Bollywood movie "Rang de Basanti" Enjoy :

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Types of Intelligence


Until a few months ago I didn't know there are types of Intelligence. I just knew either you are Intelligent or not. Simple! We were having our Koch Klub (cooking club) and when we were talking about the Blog I told a friend of mine that "I am not that Intelligent", needs a bit time to understand technology and then I said that I was anyways an average student in School. That's when she said Ity its not that you are not Intelligent but you have different kinds of Intelligent. Then she explained it to us that there are about 9 different kinds of Intelligence which includes Social
Spiritual
Emotional
Intellectual (which I think I am not on the top),
Linguistic
Musical
Body and movement....so how much we got.......5 OK....let me think !!! the rest is
Personal
Natural (don't we all know that) I think. So there you go. We have about 9 different kinds of Intelligence. When I checked google for this, it showed some complicated non everyday life workds for these, But the above works for me. In today's world if someone is not "so called" "Intellectual" Intelligent then he/she or we all say....this person is an average. But hey !!! now I think no, I cannot judge the person just like that. May be he or she has not got one Intelligence but they could have something from the other 8 left. And trust me they mostly do because God has given all of us something or the other. Knowing this truth felt really good to me and I started seeing myself and also other people differently. Sometimes they say "Ignorance is a bliss but in this case it surely was not.

Monday, November 11, 2013

De-cluttering- how important it really is!

                                           


Today was my day, everybody from home being off  for a long time. I decided to sleep in after the girls were gone and then made a cupa nice Chai and was surfing the net for news and stuff. That's where I bumped into two very interesting videos. The first one sort of being on Vastu or Fengsui. Now I dont know much about both of these ancient sciences but what I know is both focus on the well beings of humans and to achieve that there should be harmony with the nature and also the universal flow of energy. If the flow of positive energy is good in your home that you can experience good health, success, peace, good relationships with your family and friends and prosperity. Now this video I found sort of contemporary but yet very modern. I really enjoyed it and felt so satisfied that de-cluttering really helps you in all sorts of ways. For me it is always sort of an spiritual exercise to de-clutter and organize my home but what I didn't know is that it does much more than that.

The above written post I wrote earlier. But de-cluttering is the topic which still remains. People back home clean their houses for Diwali, take out all the junk and everything is nice, some things are new to welcome Goddess Laxmi into their homes. I have been living outside India for many years now. I didn't use to follow this seriously but since some years I started doing it too. Here in Switzerland, the Frühlings Putz (Spring Cleaning) is quite popular, people do their yearly cleaning in spring. So I think the bottom line is you should clean or de-clutter your whole house at least once a year.

Concept of a Joint Family


Where do I start here. This topic is really "Joint" as a Joint family, where relations, relatives, cousins and people you know never have an end. Its like a creeper growing by a big tree where you will never figure out where it ends and where it started. Its all very green and Jung lee but beautiful!! That`s how I grew up knowing so many people around me and it felt great, good, safe, protected and loved. We still live that way back home in this old Haveli.

I also had an opportunity to travel just a little bit in the State of West-Bengal (Darjeeling) where my Mamasa and most of my mother`s family lived and worked in the tee gardens. It was a very contrast life from what I was used to in Jaipur (Rajasthan). I must be 7 or 8 years old. We took a train for over 36 hours to Siliguri and from there we were driven to the wonderful Tee garden of Longview. Everything was so different, the air, the people the atmosphere, India is really diverse, I didn't realise that then, that time the feeling was kind of a bit of confusion but you don't really think that much. Kids just go with the flow and when your mom is around you just don't bother. But I still don't have any words to explain that feeling. I still remember the time when we entered in the Bungalow (real beautiful, British styled place) it was like in the movies. I was a very shy kid then. That's where I saw a live piano, a Table Tennis table and a billiards table in my life and that's where I tried to learn to use cutlery while eating. It was a bit too much for this little shy girl of 8 years old. But I survived and I learnt a lot without knowing that I am learning something. The place was done in a very British way but the atmosphere was very Indian, very respectful, humbling, happier

Thank God its over


Endometriosis !! Until last week I never heard this word before. I only heard when after my laporotomy was done and the doctor was explaining to me what it was, which I didn't hear most of it as I was still a bit under the influence of anaesthesia
.
To be very honest I didn't want to write anything about this subject on the blog, but after researching and trying to know what my problem was I decided to write. People are doing so much on the forums and organisations to educate women on this problem so that they can be treated early, and in my own little way I am trying to do the same.  There are so many women which suffer from this kind of a problem but it never gets diagnosed on time. I have had a laproscopy and a biopsy 20 years ago too, at that time they found a little cyst in the fallopian tube but again what it was? was not clear. As I was young and the cyst was not bothering and was not a bad one, so my gynaecologist decided that we don't do anything about it. I must say I was among the very fortunate ones as I have two great kids now and here I did`nt left any chance for the person UP there because as long as I remember my main aim, career and goal in life was to be a mother! and I cannot thank God enough for that.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Forgiveness

Last week something unfortunate and totally unnecessary happened, which is called an accident. Why do accidents happen? We really don't know and we always keep looking for answers for them, like what if I had not done this, or what if she would have been a minute late this would have been avoided or gosh it would have been so good if he missed the bus and so on. We keep beating ourselves up with this and many more questions, but never get answers, at least I never got mine.

So, as I was saying about an accident, my mother was hit by an on coming motorcyclist. They both fell on the road. My mother got hurt near the eye and on her foot, she got stitches at both the places. She and my father were stopping by some shop to pick up some stuff, while my father was waiting in the car. When she didn't return after some time, my father got worried and that's when he saw crowd gathering on the road, that's when he sensed something was wrong and went to see what was going on. To his utter shock, panic, stress and utter sadness (I cant even imagine) he saw my Mom :( on the road. They picked her up and ALSO the man who hit my mother and drove both of them to the hospital for treatment. WHY???? HIM???

Shopping List

Everyone needs a shopping list, every couple of days. I need it too. I got this from my father, who is a very organised man and he loves to make lists. When I go home, while talking he asks what I need from there, and he goes and picks up his pad by the phone and makes a "List". I also make lists for shopping but most of the times I forget them at home or if once I have taken them then I forgot to check if I bought everything. Now I don't have a very hard and fast rule, as to what to cook and so on but there are times, when you need things like dish washing soap or toilet paper or a medicine. If you forgot those then you are in trouble.

Last week M went shopping with me, she asked me where my list was, I told her I have it and every now and then I looked at it. She asked me how I know what I have bought, I told her I REMEMBER, she said OK. But halfway in the shop I freaked out that I forgot this and we have already passed the aile.

Now she said here is what you do Mama : When you have put one thing in your trolley then rip the corner of the thing, that`s how you will know that you have check marked it, Clever, YES! that's what I thought. Now for most of you including R it was not a big deal, but for me it was a huge deal. As my description of my blog says, its all about little things in life..................
and I have the same saying for me in Hindi too.....as I say...........यह बहुत छोटी सी बात है, पर यह  बहुत बड़ी बात है ............ and now the translation is

Nightmare


I went to the bathroom, put the light on and with the shock of the light which you get at the middle of the night, I started to look at my face with my half closed eyes, it felt so empty, naked and a bit sad. It has been with me for the past ten years and now without any warning or ultimatum is was gone. I was sad, wanted to wake R up, but anyway I knew he will not be able to help me in my silly problem.

I came back to bed again, very restless and so badly hoping for a miracle to happen, which  I have been shown from up there many times, big and not so big ones(I do believe in miracles, really no pretence)
I heard the quietness of the night, which was a bit scary but with the time passing I started to get used to it and it started to feel peaceful, quiet and silent except my heart was feeling anything but those things.  What I was hoping to find was like a needle in a haystack.

I felt very disappointed, sad and this time I really hoped for a miracle this last time for this day. I know I am a bit greedy, but I do that at times, and where do you go in such a situation where you most definitely know that a miracle from up there is needed.

For you........

Today morning at 8.50 as I was about to leave home to the Garage for my car appointment. I told M, I will quickly check my e-mails, I always do in the morning. I opened the e-mail account and there was a mail from a friend stating that one of our good Friend has left us. I froze there, couldn't believe what I had read, tears staring coming our of M`s eyes and as I was getting late for my 9 `o clock appointment I left the house, without realizing what just happened. While I drove, tears started flowing down my cheeks never wanting to stop. Now I guess my soul was reacting. I was breathing heavily and some how I reached the garage, left the car there and went for a little walk.

So many memories, discussions and Diwali dinners came to mind what we had spent with Margot together. I called home to check on the girls, T broke down on the phone. They both were, WOW! cant believe how easily in life, are becomes were. Anyways they both were quite close to here. She always asked what they are doing and she always came up with good tips for both of then. T loves Tarot and Margot promised her when she grows up she will teach her how to read the Tarot.
I still don't know what to believe and think? Just last week was her 71st birthday and I spoke to her, she wasn't feeling that well. I promised to meet her soon because I had to give her a pack of Cumin seeds and Fennel seeds which I had bought for her, they sit down in the cellar now, reminding me of her.

I wait for you .............


I wait for you to come.......and when you come it makes me happy......
it makes me happy like a child having an ice creme in the sun...
like a freshness you feel after a swim.......
the happiness you get, when you can get into your old jeans after the birth of your baby....
like the satisfaction of a cake coming out nicely of its mould......
like the relief when your child gets home in the evening.......
like the happiness you get when your hubby remembers your birthday....
or your anniversary.....
like the peace and calm of an evening after a storm......
like the joy of winning a cricket match........
like the joy of seeing herbs growing in your herb box....
or chilies or tomatoes coming out.......
like the joy of learning a new dish.....

Recycle: Here n There

As the title predicts "Recycling" this post is not going to be a very boring post like what are the things you can do or should do do recycle, not that its not a good topic, but you know I like to do things in a more interesting way, which is fun to do.

Spring is a great time to be in Europe for the flowers, food, sunny days, ice-cremes, long and short walks, chilled lemonades and of course "Flea markets or Flöh Markt in German. I have always been a kind of person who likes to look at old things and found little things, pieces of clothes, old perfume bottles, old jewelry, old books etc.etc. in the cellars or trunk boxes of my grandma's. My mom will SECOND that and I still do. Its so much fun. I remember in the year 1994 I had a chance to go to Scandinavia (Sweden) in the summer time. M was a baby and I used to walk with her in the little town of Vastras all the time. There were markets, stalls, dances, ice-creme stands and very happy people. I loved the summer there. On one Saturday I saw lots of open stalls and people selling all sorts of stuff, from household, to books, to music Cd's, to clothes and bags. I had never seen something like that and that was not this DNA age of the Internet, so that you knew all the information about a country on your finger tips. I went around and also bought little things, a leather binder for a book and one of the things which I still have and I call it an Aladdin lamp.

Happy Deepawali




    



Namaste          

Grüezi 

Happy Deepawali

शुभ दीपावली




To all of readers I wish you all a very Happy Deepawali. Deepawali is also called as the festival of lights and the Hindu new year also starts with this. It is a very auspicious festival all around the country. The houses are cleaned, new things are bought, new clothes are worn. Goddesss Laxmi is worshipped on this festival and it lasts for 5 days, starting yesterday. It comes between mid October and mid November.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

How are you?/How was your day?

Last few days I have made a conscious decision to ask people : How are you? to some and How was your day? to the others. I found the response very interesting in fact as far as I think the conversations turned out to be very different too.I think if you ask a person How are you? it becomes sort of a close ended conversation, but that also depends on the person. The person might answer, good/fine/its going or in German you can hear es geht/es muss/ja/jaein. If you are a somewhat extrovert like me then you will anyways talk. But on the contrary if its a introvert person the conversation might not progress that well. Sometimes you hear or see in seminars, self help books or TV, people trying to teach you how to do the small talk. I felt if we just change the question from How are you? to How was your day? or if we are meeting someone after a long time then again not How are you? but How have you been? This makes a lot of difference.


The person feels that the person questioning is ready to listen. Everyone likes to talk about how the day went and listeners are liked by everyone. Now I am not saying we have to be superficial or phony about it. Then it doesn't work. If we really mean it then we can have a very good exchange of conversations. Now that also depends how much time you have with this person. If you are like me who would miss a train or a bus for a conversation then its fine but if you go by the clock then stick to How are you? finish your Espresso and off you go.

Diavolezza

Its been such a long time since I wrote something. I have been tied up with so many things, home, kids, M has her final year in school and plus me trying to organise some events. It sure takes a lot of time but is very fulfilling and satisfying for me. I like it when I don't how much time to think, well........most of the time. Then one day.......I sit back with a hot chai and rewind my past weeks and days and enjoy the little things I have achieved.

Last week I had the opportunity to Cook Indian with some professional Italian Chefs in a Restaurant at 3,000 mts high in the middle of the Swiss Alps or as Eric has said to be more precise 2978 mts, the Swiss precise way! Diavolezza is a mountain in the region Graubünden in the area of Pontresina. Diavolezza is one of the famous Ski resorts in the area. There is this restaurant cum Hotel Berghaus Diavolezza where I visited.



It was Silvia`s (Hotel Managerin) idea to do some Indian cooking lessons there as now-a-days there are herds of Indian tourists coming up there and as you can see on this page http://www.diavolezza.ch/ there is only this Hotel cum Restaurant there. And if you know anything about Indian vegetarians it has got to be their way or no way. I told Silvia besides the point of serving them vegetarian food for business reasons its the good Karma that counts for me. Tell me who can give you a plate of Dal-Chawal at 2978 mts, even if you hand over a fortune. But Swiss tourist friendly people do that. I am so looking forward for her feedback on how it is going with the Indian Thali up there. 


The Meherangarh Fort



Here are some photos from the Blue city of India "Jodhpur". Lots of Hollywood actors were there, apparently to celebrate Naomi Campbell's Russian boyfriend's birthday. But to be honest, I am not a big follower of the Stars and stuff but I have never seen the Meherangarh Fort dressed up so beautifully. Let me tell you the truth, I myself have never even been to Jodhpur! Yes that is true and I grew up in Jaipur and from here Jodhpur  is 330 kms.

Once M used to get these magazines from Diddl and once there was an article on Rajasthan, which I took it to my German class to discuss. We found out that Rajasthan is as big as Germany. So now you can have an idea from the place/Kanton/State I come from and then the whole thing, the sub continent. Not an easy thing to do.

Story of a Braveheart


Something happened in the capital city of India which shook the whole nation. I haven't really talked much about it except just yesterday, I talked about it with Monika and Laura. I thought I was being a hypocrite by not acknowledging the not so good sides of my own country. So its time I also take responsibility and talk about it.

A young medical student aged 23, a very brave girl now called as "Amanat" (meaning Treasure) or Damini in India is no more. She was brutally beaten and raped by 5 mean men in a running bus in New Delhi. She had boarded a bus along with her boyfriend who was also with her. It started when the men started teasing him and she came to the rescue. That's when the drunk men did the heinous crimes, raped her and beat them both and threw both of them on the road. Fortunately they were spotted by somebody and were given medical attention but she passed away yesterday morning after fighting for her live for almost 13 days.

Welcome 2013

Before we know it the year passes by............and now we are standing just hours away from entering a new year. 2012 brought so many nice and not so nice things for us. So much happened this year. I hope all of you who ever reads my blog have had a good and eventful year and you all made some nice memories, good experiences and good friends.

So lets just look at some of the things that had happened.

We saw the summer Olympics in London, with spectacular ceremonies. We saw Obama being re-elected as the president of the USA. Another interesting thing was what Felix Baumgarnter the Austrian daredevil skydiver did.

        

                           We lost some very talented people in the Hindi film Industry. We lost Mr. Yash Chopra, one of the greatest director in the Hindi film industry. He gave us the most wonderful films and super good romantic films with feel good factor. He showed his leading ladies so beautiful dancing and singing in the Swiss Alps that it become his copyright. His Banner Yash Raj films made so many good films and some of the best films he gave us are Deewar, Lamhe (my Favourite), Daar (Shahrukh Kahn), Silsila (Amitabh Bachchan-Rekha), Kabhi Kabhi (bestest film ever, again Bachchan Saab), Dil to pagal hai (musical with Madhuri and Kareena Kapoor) and the list goes. His last movie which he made was with Shahrukh Kakh ,Jab Tak hai Jaan.......... and soon after completing this film he turned 80 and then passed away after a week.

The Swiss School system


The Swiss School system : I must say I took a while before I could understand this system. To be very honest I found it a bit too complicated but after seeing the girls go through it, I started understanding it and appreciating it slowly. Here is my understanding of the system and every Kanton has a little bit different system but I am talking about the Kanton of Zürich:

1. Start Kindergarten at the age of 5
2. Primary school starts at the age of 7 and lasts for two years
3. Secondary school lasts for 7 years and  there are different levels in secondary school according to the level of the students:

               Gymnasium                                                    
                                                 Sekundarschule A
                                                                                                 Sekundarschule B


The Swiss education system in a diagram

File:Schweizer Bildungssystem.svg

The above image has been taken from here Swiss School system and it has been allowed to use it so to say has no copyright on it. I hope with the above image the system will be better to understand.

Head Massage


I didn't think Head Massage or Champi (in Hindi) was a big thing until last week. We just came from our Pilates class and while we were getting ready to go in for Sauna. I told my friend Angela that my hair looks very dry because of the cold and I will join her soon after a small head massage. I started massaging my scalp with oil. She looked at me in utter surprise and astonishment and asked what I was doing? I told her I grew up with having regular head massages from my Mom :) and grandma :) :) :) and then as a teenager I started giving them sometimes. It was like a weekly tradition at home.

There are so many benefits one can get from getting or even doing a head massage.

Firstly its good for the hair, it increases your blood circulation, it actives your Chakras and it is so relaxing, it is especially good to do in the harsh winter months where ever you may live. Winter wind is really harsh for the hair and the heating in the house also makes the hair dry and brittle. So if you just do a massage with warm oil and either leave it overnight or leave it for half an hour and shampoo your hair. You will feel the hair texture like Silk and so manageable. You can use different kinds of oil from Olive to Coconut, sesame in winter or just about any other oil of your choice. I grew up with Coconut oil but now I sometimes use Extra virgin Olive oil and once in a while my mom used to massage my head with Ghee too. You have to get used to the smell of Ghee though.

Kumbh Mela

                                         
         

Kumbh Mela is believed to be the biggest gathering of people in the world or earth as they say. It happens every 12 years. It is a mass Hindu pilgrimage event where in people gather to take bath at the banks of the Sangam, the confluence of the river Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical river Saraswati. The Mela happens every three years and alternates between Nasik, Allahabad(Prayag), Ujjan and Haridwar. This year its "Maha Kumbh" and its happening in Allahabad in the north Indian State of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and the one happening there is considered to be the most holy one. Allahabad is also known as Prayag or the "place of sacrifice" as the confluence of sacred rivers, Ganga, Yamuma and Saraswati happens here. This year its also a bit special because its "Maha Kumbh" which happens every 144 years.

                              

Kumbh means a pitcher and Mela means gathering of people. It an old mythological story which says once the Gods had a pitcher of Nectar and the drops fell at these four places and then the sea was churned. It happens on the basis on the Hindi Calender and starts mostly on the 14th of January (Sankranti) and lasts for about 55 days. Yogis, saints and common people from India and around the world gather here to take a dip in the holy water of these three rivers.

Plastic in our Lives





The Exhibition about Plastic was running in Zürich and from here it kept on moving from place to place to make people aware of the damage plastic is having on our lives. It was so heartbreaking to see the real effect or rather damage done by plastic especially to the water animals and what it is doing to us we don't even know yet.  Here in the diagram above you see how many years it takes for things to get back to nature. It really freaked me out. For example a disposable diaper takes 450 years. But of course its convenient. I remember I was bringing up M without disposable diapers in the early nineties in India. I was using the soft cloth ones and on top one plastic diaper as a cover, and it worked fine. Of course it was lot of work to do. I had dozens of those, super soft white big square nappies. Then one fine day I found out a lining made of recycled material, which I could also flush too. So that was so much easier to use. These cotton nappies used to hang up on the washing lines in the sun with colourful wash pins on them. But then I was to go to Sweden with a 11 month old baby and a friend of mine had bought some real cool foreign diapers, which were so so practical (we all thought at that time and now too) and super easy to use. Use and Throw!!! I fell in love with those and from then on for some next months I started using them until M was not toilet trained  I started to use them in the night or if we had to go away, they were rare to find and expensive too, if you found them, back then in India. Now its like finding lollipops! I must admit they are super easy to use. Life had become so easy now but what  I didn't know then is what that kind of comfort which we all are so used to now is doing to our Earth.

   You see while writing this post I thought lets put up a real picture of a cotton nappy and I went to google nappies, diapers, cotton nappies, home made nappies. After surfing for a long time I could find just this one picture of a cotton Nappie and if you look closely its not a real Nappie but it looks like one. I think its a small soft towel folded like a Nappie. Some day I must find an old one with me somewhere and will put up a picture.

A Pinch of Salt


Few years ago I started to help out in the second hand shop at Caritas in Zürich. I had a blast there. The kind of things people donate and then the kind of bargains people get, that was WOW! I think every little helps. For the person to bring his or her old belongings to Caritas was not a big deal but to the organisation it is and it was. There are many shops from Caritas in the City and a whole lot more in Switzerland. They do a lot for the underprivileged and also for the Asylum people. Let me tell you what unexpected surprise gifts I got from there, you get a great deal of satisfaction working there, the people do not have big expectations from you and you get to see such amazing things there. 
Last month my Boss showed me a set of different brass measuring cups and it was made in India at the time of the British Raj from some Gujarati company and these words "SEER" were written on them. We were all wrecking our brains and what it could be and then suddenly I remembered my grandmother talking about while making Pickles and soap (Yes, she made her own soap at home, was pretty cool) and I remembered thats how she or back in those days they used to measure. I bought the cups home with me and went to the rescue of our good old google and thats were I found more information on Seer. It was used in the Asian region in India, Afganisthan, Persia, Iran, Nepal. One Seer used to be 0.933 kg. This was exactly what we found in our Brockenhaus (secondhand shop) It was a set of about 4 cups. Interesting! Sometimes I get to see really cool things, feels like in a museum.
We all know the importance of Salt in a dish. If one day we omit salt in a dish, it just is not the same and the moment you add it the dish becomes complete and perfect. This is one such ingredient with which we just cannot do without. Many a times you can add just salt to a dish and its incredibly edible. I can go on and on on this and plus its also gives Iodine which is so important for us.




Anyways what a pinch of salt can do to a dish so does a pinch of help can do to the society. I always tell my girls that we have so much in our lives that sometimes we should give just a pinch of service to the society.  It is not so much of an effort for us but at the same time it can mean a lot to some people, an organisation or whatever you do or where ever you do something little.

Spring Clean

Spring is not yet here but just round the corner. Since past few days I have been thinking of doing a Detox week or a Chur for me and I am super excited about it. It so happened that R will be travelling for a week and T has her holidays so I wanted to take this opportunity of the time and try and do this, not that R and T stops me from doing something like that but the thing is I can try and do this for a "Trail" and later the whole family feels like doing it when its Spring in real. But to be honest I don't think R and T needs to do it, coz they might vanish. They anyways don't have deposits of fat as yours truly have, especially around the waist. But its good for everyone and once I have my mind fixed on something I just do it, get it.......my Nike funda........Just Do it `*

I have been reading so much on the net about this. I saw and read many sites, blogs and newsletters and stuff and now I am so overfilled and overwhelmed with the information. I got the basics from there and I am going to do it sort of my way.

The bottom line is not to eat carbohydrates, fats and proteins especially for the first 2-3 days. On the first 2-3 days you mostly take juices of fresh fruits and vegetables. There was a lot of focus on drinking fresh Lime or Lemon warm water first thing in the morning and then the rest of the day, steamed veggies, soups , coconut water etc.

Women Steps




Sabrina has in the past also helped with some projects and she having worked and very well travelled in India feels very strongly about this. They have chosen a group of 55 young widows from the south of India (Mysore) where in they will be helping them learn skills so that they and their children can be financially independent.

It all started in the month of August on a sunny Sunday among a group of friends while having brunch. All very educated women having high profile jobs in different walks of life and having well travelled they also knew the situation of women around the world. They wanted to help Women and that's how "Women Steps" was formed. It is an NGO or a Verein as you call it in German. It started with 3 of them Elke, Sabrina and Tatjana but now they are 4. They are 4 very passionate women who feel very strongly to help the needy and the underprivileged. Stephanie, a graphic designer has also helped them with the logo, flyer and the homepage and so many others are coming forward to support.

Got my lost Note Book




This whole 2013 has been a roller coaster for me, the real good one where in you feel all twisty in your stomach and you scream out of Euphoria, Ecstasy and happiness. OK not the whole year but most of it. When I look back from the December of 2012, starting a new job twice a week, going to German classes twice a week and having cooking courses and events and not to forget having a house and three kids (including R too). From December to March has been the most busy time for me but now if I look back and see God! how I did that. It felt really great!

I always used to look at those well dressed people in the morning going to work and coming home tired and satisfied(most of them I hope), I always felt I also wanted to do that and feel. I had a chance, and now I feel been there and done that. Finally I came to the conclusion, I am better off being an (and if I may use the word)"Entrepreneur" In my own little life and doing my little things, meeting so much people from different walks of life, sharing life experiences with them and talking on endless global topics.