The Curious Case of Mysterious Pee

By now you must have already read how adventurous my stay was at home. But, my dear friends, you haven't heard the end of it yet. Among other things, a curious case of a mysterious 'pee' had kept the household on its toes. It all started few weeks before my arrival. One fine morning, my Mom and Mausi detected a horrendous smell emanating from the kitchen door. It smelled like public toilets and old downtrodden lanes where people answer nature's call.

Aghast by the audacity of anyone defiling the beautiful kitchen, they were women on a mission (OCD driven mission to be specific), who swore to punish the culprit by hanging them by their thumbs. But who could it be? Apart from the three grown women, resided a teenager, a 4 year old and Nikki - the Dog, in the house. For a minute, all eyes stared at my little cousin who was busy drowning my mom's mobile in the water jug, again. The Dog was a little too posh to indulge in such a shameful act.

"No no, my son couldn't have smelled like that ... this isn't human... it's something else", my Mausi praclaimed ominiously.

"Yes, but what!"

This continued for few more days. Each morning, the household would wake up to a foul smelling kitchen. 

And then they saw, the white creature with eyes glistening in the sunlight,  peeking through the door, eyeing pieces of freshly marinated fish. 


Ahhha...  It was their eureka moment...  The moment when the mystery was resolved. My cousin was no longer eyed with suspicion, but got some 'ear twisting' for drinking a small bottle of Dabur honey and filling the bottle with water. 


Even though the mystery was resolved the problem persisted. The feral cat would defile our door every single night for some weird reason.  It was during this mayhem did I arrive.  My family were at their wits end. Rubbing and scrubbing, day and night with Dettol, Phenyl and whatever unbranded liquid was available. It was on these days that I had to chase my Mom out of kitchen as her surgery stitches were still healing. 


Source


An SOS message was sent to my cat loving friend, who further solved the mystery. Looks like animals like to pee on the same spot if they sniff a hint of their bodily ablutions. I was told that cats hate the smell of orange and lime. So that night, our house was purified with lime and orange juices, sprayed here, there, everywhere.

From what I know, atleast till today, the cat has been exorcised from the house!

#MondayMusings

#MondayMusings

Fitness: 5 Super Awesome Healthy Drinks


Two years ago,  I couldn't even have dreamt of doing Headstand (Sirsasana). That was before I started my Yoga journey. A year later, I could hardly hold a headstand, even against the wall. Then came the absolute magical moment when I found balance without any support. This whole journey has helped me find my strengths, amazing me once in a while how much one can achieve through practice. When you stop listening to sceptics, ignore all the negative vibes, you realize that Peace lies within you.


While I was at my parents' place for two weeks, I finished off a bag of rice and probably even consumed all the fishes of the river Brahmaputra 😋 Even though my parents eat all boiled stuff and hardly use oil or salt, I still ended up adding 2 inches to my waist 😅 Now that I am back, I can resume my experiments with different Smoothies.

Avocado, Banana, Blueberry Smoothie





Half Avocado, a Banana and a handful of blueberries.
It's a very simple recipe, take the ingredients and blend it in a blender. Delicious healthy drink ready!!

Kiwi, Peach and Blueberry Smoothie


One Peach, one Kiwi and a handful of Blueberries. You can add honey if you find the smoothie too sour.

Beetroot and Celery Juice, with a slice of Ginger




One Beetroot, two Celery sticks and a small piece if Ginger

This totally looks like a Vampire's drink. I loved the zing that ginger added to the drink.

Kale and Celery Juice


7 Curly Kale leaves (you can use any variety), two Celery Sticks and Ginger for taste

For juicing, I used a Breville Juicer and used the waste fibre as manure for my plants. 

Plain Kale shots and Beetroot Juice

This is how I started my Sunday morning. With shots of plain Kale and a drink of Beetroot.

These drinks are extremely easy to prepare, and you can make them in a jiffy. With a glass of nutrition in your hands ... Cheers!! 🍹

10 points to Gryffindor!!

Aloha!! After a three week hiatus, I am back in business!! 

Does the title make you wonder what this post is going to be all about? Well, by the end of the post you will be ready to bestow even your points on this Gryffindor!! And probably I will give you 10 points if you manage to read it all. 

Long post ahead  (Words 1347) :D




1) The 28 year old educated fish-seller that my mom introduced me to one morning, was fun to talk to until he queried about my husband's religion. "Buddhist", I replied, a little surprised by the question. 
"Do the women not apply sindoor in his household". Ahh, my barren forehead must have piqued his curiosity (I don't use vermilion). I didn't reply, but simply hoped that this was the end of our conversation. But you see, people try so hard to prove themselves the pioneer of culture and tradition. What followed next was an impromptu talk on how my husband should be the most important person in my life (equating him to a God like status) and that he should always be my first priority. I have no idea why this young unmarried man bothered to educate me on relationships.
I didn't answer. I wasn't offended. Just sad that the ideology of 'Pati Parmeshar' still exists in my hometown. Meri qualifications gayi tel lene.🙀 

2) The first few days of my holidays(!?!) were spend outside Doctor's chamber - waiting. When I say waiting, it's not just a simple 2 syllable word. Stretch it to 3 hours, for every visit. But that's not a problem, I saw a number of emergency cases ushered in, which the doctor had to immediately attend to, so the delay is quite understandable. What bothered us all was the nauseating smell of urine in the waiting area. And it was a private hospital too. By the end of 3 hours I had already developed symptoms of migraine.

3) When you are living in a 7 member household without a dishwasher, you get to spend half of your lifetime in the kitchen. Whenever I visit home, I make sure that no one gets to do the dishes. It is my forte... the only thing I can do without causing a major disaster. It's another thing that I broke a cup while laughing at some joke my Mausi cracked. This time thankfully I didn't cut myself. Many stories have been told, many smiles shared and many more life lessons imparted over the sink, while cleaning dirty dishes and chopping vegetables. 💛💛💛

4) My Mom and Dad are behaving like teenage kids, rebelling against the likes of me, who are trying to take care of them. They just don't listen. 🙈

"Will you please put that shovel down, this is not a time to weed out the grass"
"We have a washing machine, you don't have to wash clothes by hand"
"There is no need to mop the kitchen again"
"Please switch off the TV . It's your bed time."
"No need to sweep the whole front yard for just one fallen leaf"
"Noooo... Don't lift that bucket"

That's me, chasing after my parents, spying and catching them doing anything forbidden.

A month ago, my Dad went through a second Angioplasty procedure and few weeks before that, my Mom had a major surgery done on her abdomen, with stitches so ghastly that it still chills me to the bone. 

5) I went home to give my parents a helping hand, but Destiny played some twisted joke on me. On the 5th day, while playing badminton with my cousin, I sprained my ankle. 




My Mom jumped into the kitchen to make some Turmeric milk, lifting buckets filled with boiling salted water and dad went in to the task of finding a bandage and volini spray. I could barely walk the first two days, but by the third day, I was back to chasing my parents around the house. It had been years since I had felt like a hostel monitor.

6) When the demonetization happened, I was in India. Being a typical middle class family, our money isn't just stored in wallets. A random Rs 500 or Rs 1000 note would be tucked between files or in the corner of a suitcase. Sometimes they even find their way to shiny tiffin boxes that Mom calls her piggy bank, safely stored in locked iron trunks. So when the notes where made redundant, the Hati Boruah household spent the next few days treasure hunting the old currency notes. With the ATMs closed and shockingly long queues outside the bank, it's another story how I gathered enough cash to travel back to Sydney. BTW, I totally support the move :D

The bank wasn't even opened yet, but the man at the front had started queuing since 7 am. This line itself was about a km long I was told. That's my Dad, laughing at the ridiculously long queue :P

7) In this mayhem, after I bid farewell to my family and was ready to board a plane to Kolkata, the flight got cancelled. A whole heap of permutation and combinations were running through my head while I waited at the Jorhat Airport counter, trying to determine the next course of action. My flight to Sydney was on the next day from Kolkata and Jorhat has only one outgoing flight each day. If that too gets cancelled then I was screwed ✈. Jetairways allowed me to take a flight from Guwahati to Kolkata the next afternoon. Luckily my flight to Sydney was at midnight. One minute I was at the airport queue, getting a printout of the ticket, the other minute I was running to the bus depot, to buy a bus ticket to Guwahati. 

An 8 hour overnight bus ride - motion sickness gripped me after a decade. My ever so thoughtful mom had packed few polythene bags which I used indiscriminately. The roads didn't let me sleep, my neck dangled left to right, synchronizing with the movements of the bus. And even if I managed to catch a wink, I was woken up by the impact of my forehead against the window pane. 
From Guwahati I took a flight to Kolkata and only then did I heaved a sigh of relief.

8) JetAirways was quite considerate to refund my whole trip. But at the counter, the staff offered me the old Rs 1000 notes. Never have I ever refused money so vehemently. Authorizing a friend to collect the money, I took my flight to Sydney, but not before I gobbled down this awesome looking Masala Dosa at Mani Square Mall (Kolkata).





10) After 54 hours of travel, I slept on a bed in Sydney. I could feel, with intense emotion, every letter of the word GRATITUDE. 😃




Now be a Dumbledore and give 10 points to Gryffindor - for being bold, brave and defying all odds :D 

What's up at your end?
#MondayMusings

Hook knee in the Armpit !!

"Hook knee in the Armpit, then sit on your triceps".


She calmly said while effortlessly resting the weight of the body on her slender arms. I was lost at armpit of course. My palms were resting by my feet, in a strange needle-the-thread position, and I could not freaking figure out how the knee was supposed to hook inside the armpit. Like is it even anatomically possible? Well, obviously it was, if your body is made of natural rubber. Since mine wasn't, I decided to load the weight on the triceps and pleaded the elbow to be a bit more adjusting.


Instead of the hybrid Fire Crow arm balance that I actually wanted to do, I just ended up doing a Bakasana (crow pose)


handstand quotes - yoga handstands - strong

And that is how most of my Friday evenings look like.


Ever since I turned 30, my metabolism seems to have slowed down ... like sloth slow, so much that even a whiff of pastry shrinks my jeans (yeah I would like to think that's the case). And since Fridays mean lunch outings, consuming greasy and tasty stuffs, I run out of calories to consume by the time the sun is about to set. Or so says MyFitnessPal calculator. That means, if I even want to eat an avocado, I would have to burn some calories off ... 322 to be precise :P 

Inspired by Rachna, since September I have been keeping a track of my daily meals on MyFitnessPal, which also includes water and exercise. I am finding it extremely helpful to maintain the consumption of calories. You would be surprised by the amount of sodium and cholesterol some of the food items contain.


Remember how I had a hard time trying to maintain a backbend because my palms kept sweating and slipping? Well, I bought these really cool inexpensive Yoga gloves and socks and tested them last Friday. They are pretty awesome :D Yayyy!!

anti slip yoga gloves

I can now get a good grip on the wooden floor while doing Chakrasana (Wheel Pose), without collapsing on my shoulders, or do a Bakasana without the fear of face planting (which I do a lot :P )


Don't forget to follow me on Instagram :)

#MondayMusings
#MondayMusings

Shh... Don't ask about her Dad


Image Source - ScoopWoop


There was quite a buzz in the classroom that day.
"She fainted in the Principal Office", my friend whispered to a group of shocked girls.
"What" "No" "Who Who"
"*Moitra Mam"
"But Why?" 
An image of tall, slim and young saree clad lady flashed in front of my eyes and of her little son tagging behind her. She used to teach the primary classes.
A few days later, news reached us that she had lost her husband - an Army Officer, in an attack by the naxalites near one of the Northeastern states border. I never saw her after the incident. This was 17 years ago.

****************

*Risha and I were in the same batch and did most of our studies together. She was this vivacious girl, always smiling and laughing about the antics of her sister. On my first visit to her home I realised that her dad was a highly ranked police officer, whom she lost at a tender age of 13 . A group of terrorists had blown up the bridge while he was driving across it.

****************

If I remember my childhood days correctly, kids often have a unique way of protecting their best friends, even from questions that might hurt them. They are very sensitive you see, they know words could hurt. "Don't ask about her Dad" was a phrase often used by little kids to stop any ignorant new joiner from asking prying questions. I studied in different Army and Air Force schools across the country. And once in a while, in the lonely corridors of the school, I would end up consoling a sobbing friend missing her Dad. There is no right word, actually, there are no words that could console a tiny heart for the immense loss they suffered.

Do you remember this war cry of the daughter at her dad's funeral. Tell me if it doesn't rips your heart apart.




The life of men in defence services is unpredictable. They could not only lose their lives in major wars and attacks, but also while patrolling, while protecting the border in treacherous hilly terrains and scorching desserts. Imagine yourself as a young officer who along with his group climbs the steep cliffs covered in thick snow to patrol the border and while returning a massive landslide kills few of the soldiers. The soldier who in the morning made you some tea and breakfast is suddenly no more. Imagine carrying his body in a coffin to his family. To the Mom you have never met before, to the wife he would often speak about, to the daughter who doesn't even know what is going on. 

"Don't ask about her Dad" would how her group of little friends would try to protect her from then on.

This marching cadence makes me emotional every time I read it. You can read the full version here

Some Say Freedom is Free

Well I tend to Disagree

Some say freedom is won

Through the Barrel of a Gun

Tell me why, why o why

Did those people have to die

Tell me why, why o why

Did those families have to cry?

*Names Changed

How to make Sushi at home?

Those who know me would do double take at the title of the post. I am a 'walking-talking' disaster in the Kitchen. I barely manage to cook everyday meals without setting off the fire alarm. But, with some help from my friend and Husband, and cooking channels, I managed to make decent looking Smoked Salmon Avocado Maki and Salmon Nigiri.

I had called a friend for sleepover and we ended up driving to Woolworths at 9 pm to buy ingredients for Sushi. On days when I am lazy and don't bring food to the office, 'Hero Sushi' with its awesome variety of sushi comes to my rescue. Prawns Avocado and Soft Shell Crab Roll are my absolute favorite. We decided to make Maki - a kind of Sushi where the ingredients are wrapped in Seaweed(Nori)

Let's get started then.


Ingredients:
Smoked Salmon
Tuna Can
Lebanese Cucumber
Avocado
Sushi Rice
Nori (Seaweed)
Vinegar (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)
Soya sauce
Japanese Mayonnaise (Kewpie)
Mat for rolling Sushi




Step 1: Prepare the Rice - Boil 2 cups of Sushi Rice in 2 1/2 cups of water. Once the rice is cooked, spread it on a plate to cool it down. 

Step 2: Mix Vinegar and sugar in a bowl and sprinkle it over the rice

NOTE: According to the instructions on cooking channels, do not use metallic objects to mix vinegar. I used wooden chopsticks.

Step 3: Place the seaweed on the mat. Spread a thin layer of rice over it, leaving a space on the outer edge. 

Step 4: Place Salmon somewhere in the middle, cucumber by its side and then Avocado. Don't put the ingredients on top of each other.

Step 5: Now start rolling. 

Step 6: When you reach the end, wet the outer edge before rolling. Make sure it sticks.






Since there was still some rice left, I make three Salmon Nigiri out of it.



You can change the ingredients according to your liking. 

Japanese Mayo, Japanese Mustard and Soya sauce as dips.

Tadaaaa!!!


#MondayMusings

Zentangle - The Starry Eyed Girl

What's the worst thing that can happen to you on a long weekend? Getting Sick!!

So I went on a one day trip to Canberra to visit the amazing Tulips Top Garden, but it was so cold and damp that the next day I woke up with a sore throat and cold. That means, I spent the rest of the days sipping hot water and finishing my Zentangle project.

But the visit was totally worth it. The garden was incredibly beautiful this year too. More on a separate post later.


Coming back to my Zentangle project, here it is.
Coloring - zentangle - girl - design
Step by step

Zentangle - art - sketch - drawing

The finished work!


 Let me know your views :)

What's your Body Type?

Sunrise at Clovelly Beach, Sydney

I have noticed that many of my friends often give up exercising after starting a routine because they do not see any results. Knowing your body type is a great way to understand how much more effort one needs to exert to reach a fitness goal. Body types are often taken into consideration while designing a workout routine. 

The major types being:


Image Source

Endomorphs – Wider/thicker Joints and high tendency to store body fats
Mesomorphs – Athletic, Muscular and high metabolism
Ectomorphs – Skinny and difficulty in forming muscles


Many do not conform to only one but are a combination of two body types like endo-mesomorphs or ecto-mesomorphs. 

You can find out your body type - here 

Not everybody is the same. Those with athletic body type will find it easier to lose weight than Endomorphs. With correct diet and a fitness regime, Endomorphs too can change their body type. So don't lose heart if your friends are raving about their muscle gain or weight loss, all you need to do is set a realistic goal according to your body type and work tirelessly towards it. I know, easier said than done. But then, Fitness is a lifestyle choice. Remember - "Making excuses burns ZERO calories". Even a low amount of exercise is better than no exercise at all.

Want to know which exercises you can do easily and without going to the Gym. Head over to the awesome Kala Chasma wearing Godma - Shailaja's blog space The Moving Quill  where I am guest blogging on Workout for Fitness and Health 

Let me know if you find it helpful :)

Stay Strong! Stay Humble!

'I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter'.

5 things I did this Weekend

A walk in the park ... and some Handstand

After stocking my fridge with 2 weeks of grocery, my husband and I drove to Nurragingy reserve, a 63 hectare beautiful park in Blacktown Council. He wanted to practice skateboarding, while I found a nice place under the trees to do some sketching. Somehow before leaving we ended up arguing over handstands. 

I am still a beginner so it took about one thousand and five hundred attempts to finally get it straight. My husband of course has to show off and tell me how easy they are, so we ended up doing a handstand duel. I couldn't hold in for even one breath.


And since I am such a bad loser, I haughtily pointed out that his form is wrong and he is making the typical banana shape that instructors warn you about. But well, I will get him the next time!!

handstand - fitness - health



Gardening

This weekend I planted my Tomatoes and Chili seedlings in the garden. I have been protecting them all through winter. So as the temperature is slowly becoming normal, it was time, for the young to go out... into the wild.

Since I had only grown cherry tomatoes from seed, I bought few plants of bigger variety too. 

The Onion plant in the picture is grown from a discarded onion that had started sprouting. 


Growing tomatoes - growing vegetables at home - home garden
My Vegetable Patch

Nail Stamping


Long time since I dabbled with nail paints and stamping. This is my favorite pattern and I keep coming back to it when I want to give my nails a quick makeover.
Nail polishes - Sally Hansen and OPI, Stamp plates by - Cheeky
Wanna learn how to do nail stamping at home. Check this post.



DIY nail design - trendy nail art - nail polish - nail nail stamp


Sketch


Started a new zentangle project this week. I am really running out of ideas . After hours of scrolling through Pinterest I zeroed in on a painting of a Japanese girl. The outline I drew is inspired by it. Will be spending the next few days filling it up with zentangle patterns.

sketch of japanese girl - drawing ideas - pencil drawing ideas

Thalipeeth

If you have been following this blog, you might already know that my husband is an excellent cook. He keeps experimenting with different dishes, adding his own twist. On Sunday morning, while I was busy in the garden, he made a mixture for Lauki ki Thalipeeth . It's a thick paste of Lauki (Bottle Gourd), Chickpea flour, wheat flour,  a bit of cornflour and rice flour, onions, tomatoes, mint along with whole heaps of different spices. Once he started cooking, I simply sat on the kitchen slab and finished off whatever he put on the plate.

lauki ka thalipeeth - tasty  indian cusine breakfast - healthy india breakfast

#MondayMusings


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7 Signs You are Turning Into a Fitness Freak

Freak yes, but fitness - not a chance. I was never considered “one of them”. Mostly because I can be extremely lazy at times. I could never envisage myself as someone who's crazy about workouts and health.

So last Saturday, when I woke up at 6 am, and went into the garden with a spade to remove weeds (Yes on a SATURDAY) and prepare the soil for vegetable growing, I had a epiphany. The past three years tumbled down the memory lane and I realized that maybe ... even a teeny weeny bit, I AM turning into a Fitness freak.

These are the tell-tale signs, so watch out!

1) You have started cleaning up the Fridge - much to the chagrin of other family members.


Gif Source - here


Coke, Soda, Fries, packaged Fruit Juices and food from fast food joints have long disappeared from my plate and non-fat, non-fun, non tasty healthy snacks have replaced them. In fact last week when I ordered my favorite Wonton Noodles soup all I could think of was the amount of sodium floating in the bowl. With every sip a voice kept screaming in my head - MSG MSG MSGGGGGGG. I just ate the dumplings and noodles, and left the soup.

My husband and I now quarrel like old couples over food, a tug of war happens too where I would be trying to pull away a tin of ChamCham from his hands, while he would be muttering "Let me eat woman"!! Sometimes he would deliberately slurp the sugary syrup in front of me, making me sweat and hyperventilate imagining sugar rushing through my veins and arteries and clogging all the pores. Is my heart still beating?

2) You spend half your lifetime looking at fitness photos

My life is filled with challenges - Planks, Squats, Splits, Abs, Gravity defying yoga poses. The gallery on all my electronic devices look something like this. 

fitness photos on phone - fitness photos gallery


It doesn't matter whether I can do them or not, I just love looking at them. The position of knees over toes, the bend in upper back, the rotation of the hips - Perfection is this!!

My search history is probably the weirdest of all, a reason why I keep deleting it - 
How to do handstands without falling over, 
How to do backbends without snapping into two, 
what the heck is a sacrum, 
What's the average push up a women can do (Please it be one), 
How to do planks without setting your body on fire
Is it abs or just fat lines due to sitting the whole day :P

3) When you overhear someone buying slim tea for weight loss.


Image Source - giphy

Really, you gotta workout Sweetheart!

4) Your friends are just 'one photo' and 'one chat' away from blocking you forever from their lives.

Friend: The new guy is so cute.
Me: I am in love with my jump rope.
*blocked*

Friend: The little one got cold again.
Me: Oh ... I can understand, I struggle so hard to breathe in a backbend.
*blocked*

Friend: My timeline is flooded with your legs suspended in air ... grrrrr
Me: Have you tried meditation ... breathe in breathe Out.
*blocked*

5) At any point of time, there is at least one muscle in the body that's sore from a workout.


Image Source - Google Images

The horror of a Leg Day is real my friend, mere thought going to the bathroom grips my heart with extreme pain. Wearing a bodycon dress, a day after working on abs usually starts with Tarzan howls. A day after arm balances makes you incapacitated to even lift a toothbrush.

6) Online shopping carts have more Active Wear than normal clothes. 


Image Source- Here


Yup, yoga pant is the new Jeans.

7) The days you are forced to miss out on workout are like


Image Source- Google
Life has no meaning ... none at all.


What do you think, is it enough to be branded as Fitness Freak? :P

Note: Read this brilliant article on evolution of MSG, popularly known as Aginomoto in India.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Love for Inversions

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