Monday, January 24, 2011

Curious incident of the dog in the night time

Author: Mark Haddon

I simply loved reading this book! The book is narrated in first person by a child with special needs. The child is shown to be a genius – as they say that one God takes away one faculty he compensates it in another! One day he finds that his neighbor’s dog has been killed and he takes upon himself to find out who killed the dog. On the way he discovers some truths about his life. I wouldn’t be able to tell more about the story without giving some spoilers so I’ll stop here Smile

Why I Liked the book? Because while reading you can feel the characters. It felt as if the author was inside the mind of the child when he was writing the book. He has portrayed the behavioral disturbances of the child so well. It’s simply amazing! I would highly recommend this book to one and all!

Bottomline: Must read!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Eggless Chocolate Cake

I made this cake late last year and never had the time to post it here. I decided “better late than never” especially because it’s one of the most delicious cakes and eggless at that! So I didn’t want to lose the recipe. By the time I decided to take a photo, the cake was over Smile. This recipe yields a moist, rich chocolate cake which can be eaten as it is and doesn’t require frosting or any other topping. Of course, if you wanted to you could add some. This cake came in most helpful during navratri, during which we don’t consume any eggs, when I wanted to satiate my desire for something chocolately! If you need more reasons to bake this cake, it’s a one pan cake! The original recipe is from King Arthur.

[Put picture here some day]


  • 1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (3/4 ounce) cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vinegar (I skipped vinegar since I didn’t have it on hand)
  • 1/3 cup (2 5/8 ounces) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cold water (original recipe), coffee (next inspiration), milk (later inspiration), or 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup rum (latest inspiration)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Measure all the dry ingredients into an 8" or 9" round or square cake pan; if you use an 8" pan, make sure it's at least 2" deep. Blend the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork or whisk and scoop out three holes, or indentations.
  3. Pour the vanilla into the first hole, the vinegar into the second, and the vegetable oil into the third.
  4. Take the cup of cold liquid (water, coffee, milk, etc.) and pour it directly over everything in the pan. Note: If you've used espresso powder, adding coffee will make this a mocha cake. Stir all the ingredients together with your fork until they are well blended.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve right from the pan; warm from the oven, this Cake-Pan Cake is wonderful with a big glass of milk (skim, of course!) Yield: 12 to 16 servings.


  • I baked this cake in a separate pan and not the same one where I mixed the ingredients. If you want you could bake it in the same pan as suggested in the recipe.
  • I used cold water as the liquid. I plan to use coffee next time to see how it turns out.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Division of society

Growing up I’d often felt how unfair it was that the society in India was divided into classes; with the lower ones being treated condescendingly by the higher echelons. So while reading the Gita when I came upon the chapter that talks about class division it touched a nerve. It enlightened me on why it’s necessary and the way it is today is how the mankind evolved it. It was not designed by God to be this way.

We need brains to solve an issue, muscle power for protection, food and money to nourish the brains and body; and hard work to produce the food. Society is like our body. The brahmins are the brain of the body, kshatriyas the arms, vaishyas the thighs and shudras the feet. Thus each and every class is important for the smooth functioning of the society. They’ve all been born off the body of God and hence all are equal. There’s no question of one superseding the other.

Each class has it’s own qualities but these qualities are neither to be used for personal gains nor to rule over the other classes.

The position of the brahmin is the highest. He’s the one who makes the rules of the society. He’s the teacher and the enlightened one; but he’s not the one who earns money or punishes anyone. Nor does he indulge. Selfishness is completely absent from his life. He eats simple food and gains as well as disburses knowledge. He uses whatever the society gives him.

Kshatriya is the ruler – he punishes the sinner and rewards the Samaritan. It’s his duty to protect the society and religion. Even though he punishes, he is not the creator of the rules. He just follows the rules made by the brahmins. According to the rules, he collects the taxes from the public and spends it for public benefit.

Vaishya is the one who possesses money, farms and animals. He earns money and finds way to increase it. His life is made easy by the rule of the kshatriyas and the knowledge of the brahmins. He happily pays his taxes, serves the brahmins and donates clothes etc. to shudras.

Shudras by nature are more in number as compared to other classes. They’re more physically skilled than mentally. Hence they perform the physical work of the society. Just like the body can walk because of the feet, the society can function because of the physical work of the shudras. In return for his services, the vasihya gives him money, kshatriya protects his money and brahmin shows him the righteous way.

Hence each class has its own function. Just like a factory. A factory has workers, engineers and managers. They all have their work cut out for them based on their skills. If any one category stops working then the factory can’t do production. So they’re all equally important.

After reading this it made so much sense that our society was divided into classes.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Make coffee through your tweets! Isn’t that cool?!?!?!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bye bye a happy year and welcome a happier year!

That does sound like an odd title, doesn’t it? Well I wanted to show my gratitude for the year that’s gone by and express my hope for the year that’s on the threshold. And with hope I’m reminded of a saying on my calendar this month, by Vaclav Havel

It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

Isn’t that  a beautiful quote? Anyway I digress. Come new year and we can see the word “resolutions” everywhere – on blogs, minds, conversations and what have you. I’m not much of a resolution person; there was a time when I would make resolutions very excitedly and lock them up until next year when it was time to make new ones. Then one year I felt bad when I realized that they didn’t mean much to me. So last year I made some goals for myself – primarily related to my hobby; I would take an account of how I was doing on them every month and now when I look back I think I “exceeded expectations” on my goals Smile(I must admit that it is so good to get that rating in some review Winking smile). So I think I’ll continue with that trend – make some goals for myself and take a checkpoint on my progress every month.

Coming back to the happy year gone by, this has been on my mind for quite some time and I think now is an appropriate time to do it. I would like to post my gratitude to God for His blessings in the year that was:

  • I’m grateful to Him for the wonderful jobs we have. In this economy when people are facing hard times I can’t thank him enough for blessing us with great jobs! I will not deny that there are moments when I feel “This is too boring!” or “How wonderful it would be if all I could do was stay at home”; but deep inside I am grateful to Him. Whatever I might whine about my job, there’s no denying that I feel very proud of it!
  • I’m grateful to Him for blessing me with a wonderful family. It feels good to know that there are so many people who care about you. Of course there are moments when you have a hard time with one more people in the family but that’s what a family is all about. You can fight all you want and still know that whatever happens they’ll always be there for you and you for them. And I know that’s the kind I have. With that I would also like to say that it’s OK to fight in a family. Many people have this notion that you have a “bad” family if you have people fighting. I don’t think so. It’s like the more you talk, the more there are chances of an argument. Sure you can avoid any arguments by not talking at all; but then that’s not a family.
  • I’m grateful to him for blessing me with the most beautiful home. Yes we bought our first home last year! It is a dream come true. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. My mom knows that I always wanted a home of my own since I was a kid. So the day we got the key to our very own house was one of the happiest days of my life! And as I always tell my DH it’s the best house in the whole wide world! Not that it has no blemishes but in the grand scheme of things they do not matter. It’s when I see a homeless that I realize how blessed I am to be able to come back to a warm home. That does not mean I’m underestimating my home in any sense – all I want to say if that first I would like to thank God for the fact that I have a house and then for the wonderful house.
  • I’m grateful to him for blessing me with me. We’re unable to appreciate what we have till we either lose it or see others around us who don’t have it. We take it for granted that we eyes to see the beautiful world, ears to hear the sweet sound of everyday life, legs to walk to the bus and hands to do the odd jobs around the house. Have you ever seen a handicapped person? Next time you’re feeling deprived, just think of one handicapped person you’d seen and put yourself in his/her shoes. I’m sure you’ll find your spirits lifted up!
  • I’m grateful to him that I could do not one, not two but three crafts fairs – the first time in my life! Having done them I know it’s not easy to do them and you need a lot of things to work for you!

You must be wondering why with every “up” I’d posted a “down”. I did that to let people know that my life also has its down moments and there might be many more that I’ve not listed here nor do I want to recall them.

  1. Because your life is as happy as you think it is.
  2. Because your life is as good as you think it is.
  3. Because your life is as blessed you think it is.

It’s all in the mind. I feel so good now, so blessed. How do you feel?