Diwali-the festival of lights.

Diwali is one of the biggest festivals celebrated by one & all in India.

It is a festival of lights & continues for 4 to 5 days.

It is believed that it was on this day that Lord Rama, Lakshmana & Sita returned back to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile after defeating the demon king, Ravana. As it was a dark moon night, the people of Ayodhya welcomed them by lighting lamps all over, to rejoice the victory of good over evil. This tradition is followed till date & it is celebrated with full enthusiasm by cleaning the houses, wearing new clothes , lighting lamps,distributing sweets & exchanging greetings & best wishes.

The first day is called as Dhanteras. On this day, the Goddess of wealth, Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped for obtaining prosperity throughout the year. Dhan means wealth & teras means the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight ,called as Krishna Paksh in the month of Ashwin as per Hindu calendar. It is considered very auspicious to buy jewellery on this day.

The second day is called as Naraka Chaturdashi. There are many stories told about this day. It is believed that the demon Narakasura was killed by Lord Krishna on this day. This day is considered as the day of victory of good over evil. People get up early in the morning, have a luxurious ,perfumed oil bath,wear new dresses & visit the temples. Crackers are burst to celebrate the killing of Narakasura. It is all a festive mood.

The third day is the Lakshmi Pujan ( worship of Goddess Lakshmi) day ,the most important & significant day among all the five days. This day falls on the dark night, that is Diwali Amavasya. On this day, Goddess Lakshmi ,the Goddess of wealth & prosperity, is worshipped.  She is the main driving force or as it is said , Shakti, (energy) for all that we do in our lives.It is considered very auspicious to start anything new on this day. Businessmen close their old account books & keep the new ones in front of the Goddess.

The fourth day is celebrated as the New Year, or Padwa . As per Hindu mythology, it is believed that on this day, King Bali would come out of the “pathal Lok” that is the nether land & enter the “Bhoolok” that is the world, as per the boon granted to him by Lord Vishnu. In the north of India, this day is celebrated as the Govardhan Puja day. Govardhan is a small hill near Mathura. It was this hill that Lord Krishna lifted on his little finger,like an umbrella, to give protection to the villagers from the heavy rains that was causing disaster .On this day,the people of North India make small hillocks out of cowdung, decorate it with flowers & worship it by offering prayers to Lord Krishna also called as Lord Govardhan.

The fifth day celebration is called as Bhaubeej. This is an occasion depicting the love between a brother & sister. The sister invites her brother home, performs aarti & prays for the welfare of her brother. Brothers ,in return give gifts to their sisters, & nowadays, the trend is that sisters ,too, gift something back.

After the festivities end, there is always a tinge of sadness ,but for the wonderful  memories left behind.

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Sambar ( South Indian recipe)

This is a Dish of Southern India & is usually eaten with rice.
 
Ingredients:
 
Tuvar dal(Split red gram)……………… 1/2 standard cup
Tomato………………………………….. ….2 to 3 medium size
                                                                             ( Take more tomatoes if you are not going to use tamarind juice)
Tamarind…………………………………….Small lemon size(soaked in water)
Red chilli(preferably bhor)…………….4 to 5( depending upon how much spicy you want)
Dhaniya(coriander) seeds……………..3 tea spoons
Methi (fenugreek)seeds……………….   1/2 tea spoon
Grated coconut…………………………….little less than 1/2 standard cup
Vegetables…………………………………..Lady’s finger or Brinjal or Small onions or Drumsticks  or White pumpkin or Yellow Pumpkin.
                                                                             Any one of these)
Haldi(turmeric) powder…………………1/2 tea spoon
Rai(mustard) seeds……………………… 1/2 tea spoon
Salt…………………………………………….As per taste.
Coriander leaves…………………………..For garnishing
Lemon juice
(if you ve not used tamarind juice)…..1 or 1/2
 
Method:
 
1. Cook tuvar dal in cooker & keep aside.
2. Cook the vegetable in the tamarind juice along with the tomatoes,
    haldi powder & salt & keep aside.
    (If the vegetable is lady’s finger, then fry it a little in oil & then cook it).
3. Mix 1 & 2 & keep aside.
4. In a frying pan , take little oil ,& fry the red chillies ,coriander seeds & methi seeds.
5. After it cools, grind it along with the coconut.
6. Add the ground mixture, that is 5 in 3.
7. Taste & see if the salt is perfect ….If the preparation is too thick,
    then add a little water..Heat the mixture.
8. For the vaghaar( tempering), add 1/2 tea spoon rai(mustard) seeds & a little        methi(fenugreek ) seeds.
9. Add this in the preparation ,that is 7.
10. Garnish with coriander leaves. 
11. Taste it..If you feel the sourness, is a little less, then you can add lemon juice accordingly. 
 
 
 

The power of thought…….

The power of thought is so great that it can make or mar a man’s life..We are what we think..

The origin of a thought is very important….Initially it is very miniscule in size but as it goes on expanding, it spreads like fire….. Good thoughts when originated spread happiness & peace on expansion ,whereas bad thoughts spell destruction ….

When we label a man as ‘good” or ” bad” ,we are actually referring to his thoughts….A man’s basic nature is goodness, but it his thoughts that pollute hismind & leads him in the wrong path….

Thoughts can change a man’s life …..If a man is having tumour in his body ,it will go on disturbing him unless & until it is removed….In the same way, bad thoughts are the main source of our sorrows & unhappiness…..It will not allow us to live in peace…If we allow it to grow by giving it freedom, it will pollute our whole system…

Jealousy, hatred, ego, fear ,illnesses all arise due to polluted thoughts….Sowing the seed of good thoughts is equivalent to worshipping God & His beautiful creation…

There can be no misery or sorrow as all are children of the same God ……

Life is what we think about….Change your life by changing your thoughts & just see how beautiful life is…..

Small things of life………

I was not able to move out of the house for many months due to my mother’s ill health……..I was feeling very suffocated for I ve never been confined to one place for such a long time…..I started getting my mood swings, a sort of depression as my brain was getting rusted due to no activity….

Many things to do but not able to do……There were no house maids ,too willing to stay for long hours & even if they did so, they charged exorbitant prices……An article that I read ,a couple of days back, somewhat  recharged me ……

It said “Accept all that comes your way……There is a reason for all that which happens in each one’s life……So accept it gracefully & be happy……Always have positive thoughts for they always keep you in the right track…If there are difficulties ,there will be sunshine ,too……..”

I ve read these umpteen times but had never given a thought to it……I used to feel that the people who write these things have no better work to do….They will not dare to pen such articles if they will have to go through similar experiences…..

Today, there was a programme ,20 kms away….I suddenly took a decision to take my mom for it…….It was a bit difficult for me to manage all alone, but ,by God’s grace, I got help from all corners, right from hiring the cab….The people ,too who had come for the programme helped us in all ways like arranging  a comfortable corner seat ,helping her during the intermission & hiring a cab for us to get back home……

She completely enjoyed it ….It was a fresh change  & I ,too felt very happy for her…..

This was just a small thing but the amount of joy it gave to both of us  is undescribable….I felt on top of the world ….. No wonder .it is rightly said that happiness comes in small packets…..

Smart marketing strategies….

My friend is a regular at beauty parlours…….One day ,she requested me to accompany her for the routine beauty regime….That was fine with me……She is very beauty conscious & since many months ,the dark circles under her eyes were giving her nightmares…..

We reached the parlour at the appointed time…..

Beautician(to my friend)……..Hello, where were you ? You missed out the last month…

Friend..……………………………….Yep, I was busy with my usual office work, tours etc…

Beautician……………………………That shows on your face…..You look very pale..Go in for  a good facial that will pep up & make your face glow…A   new product has come in the market…..It will remove  the dark circles & give an instant lift to your face…..

My friend looked a bit worried……..The beautician, very shrewd & calculative ,gave a pat on her back…………

Beautician..…………………………..Oh, cum on…Don’t worry about the finance part..You are my customer since ages & it is my duty to give you  a  discount without you asking for it…..the facial costs  around Rs 6000/- but for you, only for you , I’ll charge   rs 5000/- forfeiting my profit part….

I remained a silent spectator wondering how these people manage to pull up the clients………I looked at my friend…She could not refuse……If it was I in her place, I would have given a damn & just walked out…….I tried to dissuade her by nudging but she had already slipped into the trap ,…..the culprit being the dark circles…….

Friend………………………………….Ok, fine, but, are you sure the dark circles will disappear?

Beautician…………………………….Yes dear, this is a wonderful product & even the film  stars use it…….

Hearing the word film stars, my friend went into a trance & didn’t wait to listen further………..How can dark circles disappear in one facial ?The whole process lasted for about 3 hours..& my friend came out & believe me, I could find not an inch of change on her face…..Yes, it looked clean but the dark circles were intact……

Beautician….………………………….Wow, just see for yourself…What a change…..See the glow in the face…..Didn’t I say ,this product is good ?  And the dark circles ve almost disappeared…..

What a cheek she was & white lies…….O god, how can they say such things when everything is visible right in front of you………My friend was too happy…She paid the money & as she was about to leave, the beautician came out with 3 bottles in hand…….

Beautician………………………These are the home care products……You ve to use them   after this facial or else the dark circles may reappear……

I just sat dumbfounded…..How could they do this…..Where have the dark circles gone for it to reappear again……My friend asked the cost & hearing it , my head went into a spin……

Beautician……………………….It costs only rs 3000/- but it will last you for a long time as you ve to only take a drop & spread it on your face……

My friend was almost sweating……The Rs 8000/- must be eating her up…….I thought…

Beautician……………………….Be regular ,my dear…..

That was the last straw……I just felt like banging my head ….Why regular ……To fill in your coffers……Damn it…………

Me( to my friend)…………….these are all marketing strategies….Have a good  diet…..these are all external applications which work only  if the internal system is clean……

Do it now or never………

There was a cancer patient residing in the opposite buiding.Our kitchen &her balcony were just opposite. In the mornings she used to wave out to me & I used to acknowledge  & ask her about her health too. Everyday I felt that I should personally meet her but my work pressure was such that I never found time.A month or two just passed by . In the mornings she stopped coming to her balcony. One fine morning I decided no matter what happens I should make it to her place today. I started early from office & when I reached her place I saw a crowd gathered at her place. Her neighbour informed she had passed away that afternoon. I couldn’t hold back my tears. I didn’t know that this delay would cost me so much. I realised that life is too short & waits for no man. Do whatever u think now or never.