Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Iconic Moments in the Feminist World 2013

The years keep on moving. And now let’s take a look at some of the most iconic moments of 2013 in the feminist world. 

1. Protection of Life during Pregnancy act 2013

Partly in response to the death of Savita Halappanavar,   the Irish government introduced the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013. 

The death of Savita Halappanavar on 28 October 2012, at University Hospital Galwayin Ireland, led to nationwide protests which spilled over into India, Britain and many other countries—calling for a review of the abortion laws in Ireland. She was suffering from a miscarriage when she was some 17 weeks pregnant, and she sought medical attention and treatment at University Hospital Galway. Her requests for an abortion were refused, with her being told on one occasion that "it was the law, that this is a Catholic country.During the next several days she was diagnosed with septicemia which led to multiple organ failure and her death.

2. Gang Rape led to Historic Changes in the law

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 was promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee, on 3 February 2013 which provides for amendment of Indian Penal CodeIndian Evidence Act, and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 on laws related to sexual offences.

On 16 December 2012 a female physiotherapy intern was beaten and gang raped in Delhi. She died from her injuries thirteen days later, despite receiving treatment in India and Singapore. The incident generated international coverage and was condemned by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, who called on the Government of India and the Government of Delhi "to do everything in their power to take up radical reforms, ensure justice and reach out with robust public services to make women’s lives more safe and secure". Public protests took place in Delhi, where thousands of protesters clashed with security forces. Similar protests took place in major cities throughout the country.

3. It's your fault video went viral

“Let’s face it, ladies — rape is your fault! It all begins with what you wear. Scientific studies suggest that women who wear skirts are the leading cause of rape. You know why? Because men have eyes!”

A sarcastic parody video created by All India Bakchod went viral online and received positive response. “The notion behind this video was pretty simple,” Gursimran Khamba, one of the co-founders of All India Backhod, explained in an interview with Al Jazeera. “We wanted to attack patriarchy as it exists in India. It sort of comes out every time there is a sexual assault case or a rape case. The first thing that happens, instead of focusing on the crime and looking at the perpetrator, the default for some reason is that the burden is always put on the woman.”

4. Malala Yousafzai Advocates For The Education Of All Young Women

The 16 year old Pakistani activist published a best seller and was short listed for the Nobel Prize and had a day named in her honor. 

Malala was targeted for her brave activism and in October of 2012, the Taliban boarded her school bus and shot her and two other girls. After the shooting, Malala was flown from her home in Pakistan to the UK to recover. Malala is now back at school and continues to campaign for every child’s right to education.

July 12, 2013 was Malala’s 16th birthday. To celebrate Malala Day, the global community came together to highlight the leading role that youth can play in enabling all children to get an education. Malala marked the day by giving her first public speech since the shooting dedicated to the importance of universal education at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

5. Mallika Sherwat stood up her herself and the society

The source of feminism is not as important as the actual practice of it.  When a reporter asked her to defend her comment that India is regressive and repressive she commented  "As a woman, I should lie about the state of women that's in our country?" the actress replied. When the reporter wouldn't give it up, the Bollywood actress just started dropping knowledge: "With female feticide, infanticide happening on an almost daily basis; with gang rapes making the headlines of almost every newspaper; with honor killings …" 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Black or White

I open the matrimonial pages and everyone in the world seeks a fair, slim, well educated, and  rich brides.  Well we can mange everything else on the list. How do we turn all the brown skinned girls fair? The recently crowned Miss America Nina Davuluri had to face racist remarks. The remarks went upto the extent of calling her a terrorist. 

Aren’t we Indians racist too? We have hundreds of fairness cream where the company has planned onto totally abolish all the dark skinned people by hiring fair models for the advertisement. I feel pity for the girls who have to run behind the anti-ageing creams and the fairness cream and hook onto the products as if their entire lives depend on it. Why only women, the fairness market is now open for the men too. If this continues at this pace soon all the kids will be engulfed by these products.

In a certain manner I would call myself a racist too. Whenever I see Dhanush on screen, it is very difficult for me to accept the unconventional looks of this hero (I hope the fans don’t get offended). As an actor he is exceptionally good (I would never deny that). Before the fans get offended let me share a personal experience. A few people have asked me that being a Brahmin how am I dark skinned. (The clique is that all Brahmins are fair. I would definitely have to ask my grandparents about the source).

A message for all the people out there, that do not weigh self worth based on complexion. Beauty is always skin deep. And every skin color is beautiful. Never regret your looks. We don’t have be be fair to be a good human being.  Instead we need to be successful by gaining good education and knowledge and most importantly a good human being.

The song goes on something like this
“Hum Kaale hain to kya hua dilwale hain”.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Trip to Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia

This post is the contest entry organized by Air Asia and Ripple Links,  World’s Best Online Travel Fair

My relation with Air Asia goes back to the year December 2011. Me and my husband left for our honeymoon to Malaysia by Air Asia. Ours was an arranged marriage, so it took us some time to get to know each other. And this trip was definitely a life changing one. It made us fall in love with each other. This contest has come around the time when we are about to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. The pictures are transporting me back to the days of my honeymoon. 

We had some of the wonderful memories in Kuala Lumpur.  We started off from Langkawi Isand in Malaysia. He had planned a romantic dinner for us. As we had reached at night we had a night time stroll on the beach. (Our resort was situated on the sea shore) Just to break the ice he started to make fun of the new haircut I had got. Since I was a person of serious nature I got offended and went back to the room. By the time he realized I got offended the day had ended. We had our first romantic fight in Malaysia. Later I realized how silly I was to miss out a precious day of our honeymoon. Everything was forgotten in the morning as we watched the sun rise together early in the morning.

At Langawi Airport on Air Asia.

The next day we went to a few places in Langkawi Island, where we went to an underwater world and clicked this pic with the python. Its was so heavy which I could definitely not have carried without his help. The snake taught me that he (my husband) will always be there to help me out in my difficult times.  We visited the hopping island and went for boating near at The Lake of the Pregnant Maiden, where we had some serene, romantic time and we where we stole our first kiss.  The place is just magical. When we were returning back I twisted my leg, and he carried me the entire way back and gave a massage on my leg and took really good care of me. 
The snake that was very heavy and squeezed us together

By evening I was fine again. We visited the Eagle square  went shopping for chocolates ( which was almost an entire bag). We visited the Eagle square  and we also tried Malaysian cuisine. There is a point where you can see the sea stretching to infinity.  For all the shopaholics (and alcoholics) Langawi is a duty free island.

Eagle Square

By next afternoon we had to leave for Kuala Lumpur. But make sure that you visit Langkawi Island as its a place which will kick in the romance. You can borrow cycles and go on a cycling spree on the Island. By the time we reached Kuala Lumpur it was night and we took rest. If possible catch sight of the Petronas tower during night as it doesn't look less beautiful that Eiffel Tower.

In Kuala Lumpur we visited the Petronas Tower, Martyr's Shrine, CKS memorial hall and national Palace museum. 

Petronas Tower
Petronas Tower, This is the place where Don (Bollywood Movie) was shooted

Birds of a feather flock together

On this trip we met another couple who were shocked when we told that we were on our honeymoon. Their question was how we could get married at such a young age (I was 22 and my hubby was 27). They were more shocked that ours was an arranged marriage. They asked if we were forced to get married. And he said, "No it was an arranged love at first sight". (Yes, he is good at delivering cheesy dialogues). But that me laugh really hard and the ice was melting finally. 

Kings Palace

Outside the gates
CKS Palace
The guard outside the palace
Us outside the palace

Marty's statue

After spending the entire day touring the places we went for shopping in Kuala Lumpur. Since we stay in a joint family we had to pick up gifts for everyone. One of the sweetest thing he did was he shopped for my dad, mom and sister too. I realized he loved and respected his in laws too. Over these 2 years he has bonded really well with my family. Next morning we had to leave for The Genting Island. before that our last stop was The Batu caves. 

During this divine visit, in the temple he took the Sindoor and applied along the parting of my hair. (It was a romantic gesture for me). And he still does it every time we visit any temple. 

Ayappa Statue at Batu caves. Seen in the movie Billa
Bird lovers will get the same sight as that from Gateway of India,  Pigeons
Swamiye Sharanam Ayappa

After the divine visit we moved on to Genting Island's. As we had been there in the month of December the weather was unpredictable. The Island was covered with fog and mist. We were lucky enough to get a ride on cable car as the mist had  cleared for a few minutes (or there are shuttles available as an alternative). We preferred the Indoor rides because of the weather. There was a wishing well in the mall. And the coin we were trying to put was rotating for a long time before it fell into the well, and suddenly another couple who were watching us came and told my husband that he was a lucky person (I still have not understood why he told that), and my husband replied "I am lucky indeed". One remark change your life. 
The Misty Mountains
 One travel has helped us get to know each other and this travel helped us fall in love. At the end of the trip we had a much stronger bond. He works in IT and has very little time for me because of the hectic work. I moved on to continue my higher studies after marriage and we got busy with our lives. And this contest has helped me revive and remember all the old memories. He is away from me right now in USA for some work and I miss him a lot. There were times when I have taken him for granted and now I realize how despite of his busy schedule he used to take time for me on weekends. He would come with me to the local park for a walk, caress my forehead at night when I have a horrible headache, ask me concentrate on my studies. 

The nostalgic memories of Kuala Lumpur has made me fall in love with him again. I wish to visit all the places once again, walk hand in hand on the Langawi beach, fight over silly stuff, and fall in love again.  At the end of the trip we were a couple almost in love (we fell in love with each other gradually over the months), had cute nick names for each other, had our own song (in our case it was "Vadi Pondatti"), had invented a term called "dupe love" (as I had not shared my pepsi with him, he said that all the love I showered on him was truly fake) and many more things. We became husband and wife in a true sense. 

I just love this pic. On Hopping Island

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my in laws for arranging such a wonderful trip and to Air-Asia for making our travel a pleasant one without any glitches. 

The link:

Official Air Asia Website:

My entry on their Page: 

The last entry. Don't forget to click on like.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Nari Nayan Chakora

Love this bhajan. Originally sung by Mahalakshmi Shenoy.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Egg Roast

This is the simplest egg curry to prepare.

Eggs- 4
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Chilli Powder- 1/2 tsp
Oil- 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves- 1 
Onion- 1
Ginger Garlic Paste- 1 tsp
Salt to Taste
Pepper Powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder- 1/4 tsp

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil and sear the eggs in turmeric and chilli powder and slice them in half.
2. To the remaining oil add curry leaves, onions, ginger garlic paste, salt, chilli powder, pepper powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and toss well.
3. Add the seared egg and garnish with coriander leaves.

P.S: While searing the egg lower the flame and keep tossing well in oil so that it is roasted well on all the sides

Banana (Raw) Peel Pallya

This is another recipe that I learnt from my MIL. My mother in law had made a batch of banana chips. From that we used the banana peel. First we have to remove the most outer layer of the banana Peel and we can store them in refrigerator for 1 week.

Banana Peel of 7-8 Banana's
Oil- 2 tsp
Chilli Powder- 1tsp
Mustard Seeds- 1tsp
Salt to taste
Water (if needed)

1. Cut the banana peel as shown (vertically) and put it in water for a while so that it becomes fresh.
2. In a non-stick pan add oil and mustard seeds and wait till it crackles.
3. Squeeze the water out of banana peel and add it in the pan.
4. Add salt and chilli powder and fry till it is fried. (if you don't want it to be crisp you can add water and cook)

Spicy Potato and Drumstick Pallya

I loved this pallya. Spicy and Tangy. As I am preparing this for the first time I used small quanity.

Drumstick- 3
Cumin Powder-1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder-1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder-1/4 tsp
Chilli Powder-1/2 tsp
Olive oil- 1 tsp
Asafoetida- a pinch

1. Chop the potatoes and drumstick with little water, oil (1/2 tsp) and salt.
2. In a pan take 1/2 tsp of oil, add a pinch of asafoetida, chopped onions and fry till they turn slightly pink.
3. Add chopped tomatoes followed by all the powders (Cumin, Coriander, Turmeric and Chilli) along with 1/4 glass of water
4. Add the boiled potatoes and drumstick along with salt(if needed as its already added in step 1)
5. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ivy Gourd Stir Fry

Ivy Gourd stir fry is normally by cutting it vertically. In this case I have made a slight alteration and cut them into small rounds.

Ivy Gourd- 1/2 kg
Oil- 2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Sambar Powder- 1/2 tsp

1. Wash the Ivy Gourds and cut the Ivy Gourd in small rounds.
2. Apply salt according to taste and keep aside.
3. In a non-stick pan add oil followed by mustard seeds, and once they start spluttering add the Ivy Gourd pieces.
3. Add sprinkle the Sambar Powder and cook well.

Batata Humman (Konkani Delicacy)

P for Potato. B for Batata (in Konkani). Coconut gravy almost goes with everything. Be in vegetables, fruits, grains, fish and even leafy vegetables. This is a very easy gravy to prepare.

Potato- 2 big
Grated Coconut- 1 cup
Red Chiilie- 7-8
Salt to Taste
Tamarind pulp (Gooseberry Size)
Asafoetida a pinch

1. Peel the potatoes, cut them into small cube and boil them in water until its cooked.
2. In a blender grind freshly grated coconut, red chillies and tamarind with some quantity of water
3. Mix the blended paste from the mixer along with the boiled potatoes.
4. Add salt and bring it to boil get it off the flame
5. Make a paste of asafoetida and water and add it to the potato curry.

Batata Humman (Konkani Delicacy)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mutton Pepper Gravy

After many days I got a chance to cook. And my husband being a mutton freak didn't give me much of a choice. I finally googled for a recipe and I got a good one. There are a lot of food blogs these days but a few give us some of the best recipes.

Mutton- 1kg
Oil- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
Onion big- 2 finely chopped
Coriander Powder- 2tsp
Garam Masala- 1.5tsp
Turmeric Powder- 1/2tsp
Curry Leaves- 20 leaves
Tomato- 2 small
Coriander Leaves- 1 small bunch
Ginger Garlic Paste- 2 tbsp
Pepper Corn- 2 tsp
Lemon Juice- 2 tsp
Salt to Taste
Mutton Pepper Gravy

1. Wash the mutton pieces. In a mixer grind pepper corns, Ginger Garlic Paste, and coriander leaves with some water and marinate the mutton pieces with the paste and keep aside for 1 hour.
2. In a pressure cooker add oil followed by mutton pieces and fry till it turns brown.
3. Add curry leaves followed by coriander powder, Garam Masala, Fennel Seeds, salt and Turmeric Powder.
4. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and cook till the oil starts releasing.
5. Add the marinated mutton pieces followed by 1 cup of water and pressure cook for 6-7 whistles.
6. Once cooked heat till the required gravy consistency is achieved
7. Garnish with onion slices and powdered pepper corn.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Journey of a Woman

She was his second daughter out of the five kids. The delivery was at home. He was happy to have a second daughter, yet the heart was yearning for one more son. The eldest one was also a daughter. His mind was just thinking how to organize dowry for second daughter. He thought if he worked day and night for the next 20 years maybe he can marry off both the daughters.

The girl was least concerned about that now. She was nothing but a free spirit who wanted to play around and enjoy her blissful childhood. But she had to help her mother in household chores as well as take care of her two younger brothers. The mother did not want to burden her daughters with a lot of work, but her frail health and five kids to take care of did not give her much choice. Mother always made sure that her daughters were given education.

The girl was bright and very intelligent. She topped her class and had a good aptitude towards mathematics and was creative at arts. Finally she grew up into a fine woman with a degree. Job was hard to come by. She never gave up and kept trying till she succeeded. She wanted to pursue her higher studies. But her dad had other plans. He said why study ahead when you have a job.

She for the first time in her life she drifted away  from her parents. She worked her way hard to keep the job. Finally the job was permanent. Her dad had got her elder sister married and now wanted to get the girl married. Being from a conservative family they had to get the horoscope matched. But unfortunately (or fortunately) it didn't match. Finally her mom went out of the way and her married to a guy who would not bother about trivial matters like jataka (horoscope).

As soon as she entered her in laws home she had to give her agni-pariksha here too. As a newly married couple, he came home early and take for outing and movies. That evening she comes home and sees that food is not prepared and it goes on to continue next morning too.  Somehow she patches up breakfast for everyone in the family. Everyone passes critical judgements but she just carries ahead with other household chores (she was very happy that she could cook something by herself for the first time in her life for the whole family, as the years pass by she becomes the best cook in the house).

Just after two weeks of marriage she has to move out of town as she got posted in another city. He tells her job is important and not to give up on a government job. She struggles in the new city for 6 months till he joins her again.

A year passes in the new city. She manages both work and household work without the help of maid. She goes to work till her date of delivery. The cycle continues with a baby girl. A proud mother. The husband was obviously very happy on seeing his darling daughter.He just hugs her and says she could not have gifted him anything better.

Life moves on, seasons change, cities change.The husband and wife go on to work harder and make their daughter educated. Both father and mother were not thinking about dowry. They only planned to give her the best education and best environment. The young bubbly girl soon got a baby sister. The sisters were inseperable and were enjoying their childhood. The girls had a  huge friend's circle, Going out for movies, excelling in studies and dancing their life away with passion

 Now after 25 years her darling elder daughter is getting married. She made sure that her daughter gets her education as long as the daughter wanted to study. She made sure that her daughter married the love of her life. Now she has a grand-daughter.

The generations change, the perspective changed as the generation passed on. She wished her grand-daughter would get a life where she is not criticized for her modern thinking. Where she can lead her life as a free bird without distinguishing between a guy and a girl.

This was a post written long ago for the particular contest:

Picture is used from internet under creative commons license.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spicy Egg Masala

After so many days ultimately I got into kitchen and started cooking. I found this recipe from a food blog My Dhaba. I have followed the exact recipe. I did not get the taste same as that of my college cafe.  But this one turned out to be pretty good.

Egg- 4 boiled, shelled and cut into half
Green Chiilies- 3-4
Ginger- 1 ijnch size
Gram Flour- 2 Tbsp
Ghee+oil- 1+1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder- 1 tsp
Coriander Powder- 1 tsp
Cumin Powder- 1tsp
Garam Masala- 1/2 tsp
Mlk- 3/4 cup
Coriander leaves- a small bunch
Salt- 1 tsp

1. Blend the finely chopped onion, green chilly and ginger in a mixer.
2. In a non stick pan take 1 tsp or oil and 1 tsp of ghee and add the blended paste obtained from step 1 and saute till it turns brown.
3. Once the paste is sauted add the gram flour followed by red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala.
4.  Add the chopped tomatoes and once its cooked add the coriander leaves.
5 Add the milk and some water and once it starts to boil add the boiled eggs and garnish with coriander leaves.