Last year I had clicked these pictures in my neighbourhood. Rangoli has always been a major attarction of the Diwali festival. On this auspicious occassion women make colourful patterns in their courtyard or front of the gates to welcome Goddess Lakshmi into their homes. It is believed Goddess Lakshmi is very safai pasand, cleanliness freak, and shall dwell in those houses which are clean and illuminated with lights. That is one of the many reasons on Diwali the entire house is lighted with lamps and colourful light chains. People decorate their homes with new paints, furnishings and home decors.
Rangoli is a part of home decor mostly done in the front of the house or also in the Brahmasthan of the house to invite good vibes. Earlier the ingredients used for Rangoli were natural resources like flower petals, turmeric, coloured rice, dry flour, Vermillion (Sindoor) but now it is colored sand and chemicals mostly. On Diwali even offices and shops are decorated.
Here are some of the beautiful rangolis I captured last year.
A naive girl of eighteen is trapped in a dungeon, which changes her and her capturer’s life forever. Afar, tucked away in the sleepy terrains of a town in Kerala, a married woman is determined to revisit a forbidden part of her past. A model-turned-MBA aspirant is scourged mentally for a decision she almost made three years back. Back in the less happening village of Kanyapuram, an aspiring author loses a copy of her very first manuscript.
True to its title, ‘The Inimitable Chaos of life’ is an amalgamation of enthralling stories borrowed from the chaotic pages of life, which allure you to relive the multitude of unique emotions humans are made of.
My Take :
Life is a beautiful journey. And Maliny’s Book The Inimitable Chaos of life present the journey in a beautiful roller coaster ride. The book is a collection of short stories about the chaos in people’s life. Each of the stories are different and touch a new string of life. The author is very descriptive in her narrations and paints the picture of the scene very well.
Some of the stories like Sara and Second Chance I especially enjoyed reading. From sibling bonding in the first story to the betrayal and revenge in the later story, the author has made a mark in my heart.
This book is recommended for short metro reads and anyone can pick it up.
“Cooking was 1 thing I hated most. But I loved when my Mom used to bake our birthday cakes. ” – Aparna Nayak
In the “Chat n Coffee” session we have with us an avid reader, blogger, dotting mother to a special child and an awesome choco baker Aparna Nayak, the founder of
, a homemade chocolates and cake made to order.
Today Aparna is here to share with us her journey from a housewife to a home baker with Chocodisiac.
Tell us about yourself
I am a full time mother of a 12-year old special princess, part-time home baker and chocolatier, book reviewer and blogger. I love to cook and am a true foodie. I like to unwind day’s stress by listening to music or by reading a book or sometimes just curling up on a bean bag n watch some rom-com.
What gift would you prefer on your birthday?
Gift…hmmm….let me think…what gift a lady usually prefers??? I would prefer books, flowers from my loved one… baking goods, perfumes and/or trinkets which every women love…not necessary costly one… or may be on second thoughts I would prefer 1 day off on my birthday n go n bond with nature n get rejuvenated …. J
What is your take on books/ movies/music? Any favorites?
Books are woman’s best friends I believe… they don’t throw tantrum or demand attention….but do catch our attention… a good book is good stress buster… u can relax yourself when u had a bad day just settle down with a good book, your favourite hot cuppa in favourite cosy corner of your house n get immersed in the world of fantasy… i have nothing in particular but recently i liked Mrs. Funny bones, Devdutt Patnaik n Anand Neelkanthan’s mythology, The Palace of Illusions, Sumana khan’s Encounters and the revenge of Kaivalya, Kavita Kane’s Menaka’s Choice and Anupama Garg’s The Tantric curse.
now-a-days movies n music have lost their charm except for some rare ones which did impact me in a strange way like Angry Indian Goddess, Pink, taare zameen par.
Present day music is just ….. no meaningful lyrics just senseless ones n some blaring hip hop background score which we get to hear during festivals n gets people dancing on it. I like to listen and unwind or start my day with some old music which peps up my mood and drives away day’s tiredness.
Given a chance what one thing would you like to change in your life?
Many things from my past from my childhood especially that 1 incident which changed my whole life..Not only mine but my whole family’s life.
You have been reviewing books? What kind of books you usually love to read?
Recently I have taken a love for reading mythologies but I like to read suspense, thrillers too n good romantic one too
You have started, Chocodisiac, a homemade chocolates and cake made to order. Did you always loved baking and cooking? What made you take the decision?
Cooking was 1 thing I hated most. But I loved when my Mom used to bake our birthday cakes. That aroma which used waft in our house was just too tempting. After my daughter was born and had to go through a life threatening sickness at age of 8 months her doctor had advised her not give any outside food. But whenever on her birthdays we got shop cakes she used to fall sick and I always hated the aftertaste the cakes used to leave on my palette. Once when I went to attend my birthday party of my friend’s kid she gave me homemade chocolates. And that was like my stepping stone in world of homemade chocolates and cakes. I wanted to do something for myself as taking care of a differently abled girl is not an easy job for any mother. Luckily in July 2015 I attended a basic cake workshop wherein I learnt various icings and fillings. That gave me the necessary information and confidence to start something on my own from comforts of my house and that’s how Chocodisiac was born.
Could you share some of your most popular cake recipes?
One of most relished and popular cake is Apple and oats cake which is super easy and yum too. It’s a Nita Mehta’s recipe.
½ tin milkmaid (200gms)
50 gms (1/2 cup) oats
15 almonds – crushed roughly
25 gms (1/4 cup) whole wheat flour (atta)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon (dalchini powder)
½ cup oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence (optional)
1 big red apple dekinned and finely chopped
2 tablespoon maida
Grease well and line with paper 6-7’ cake tin of your desired shape.
Sieve wheat flour along with baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon powder.
Add oats and almonds.
Beat milkmaid well. Add essence and beat well.
Add oil and beat till well mixed.
Add flour mixture gradually and mix gently with wooden spoon.
Coat the chopped apple with the maida and fold it into the batter.
Transfer the batter into the prepared tin and bake it in preheated oven at 180’C for 40-45 min or till tester comes out clean
What do you take into account while taking any orders for Chocodisiac?
Many things… what the client likes/dislikes, if he/she is allergic to something… when do they want the delivery? Whether they want home delivery or they will pick up themselves so on and so forth.
How can it be used with books?
Hmm… I am not sure, as the recipes used by me are either adapted from some cook book or from some experts. Maybe, if you are planning some storyline on a baker or chef, then some recipes can be incorporated along with the plot.
What points should one keep in mind while ordering from a home baker/chocolatier?
People always complain about pricing… why are we costlier than the shop??? The reason is we make on order. We don’t buy ingredients in bulk as shops do. We use fine quality ingredients. Also if you observe shop cake usually has more of cream/filling than the sponge whereas we have a
balance of both. Shop cakes are prepared in bulk and are stale but we cater to your needs and start working on your cakes 1 or 2 day prior to day of delivery. My daughter always use to fall sick after eating cream of the cakes from the shop but since I have started baking at home I give her cakes with cream without any fear as I know the quality of the ingredients used, no artificial colours or flavours used, so I am sure that my daughter is eating good quality product.
Also people should also consider that we are housewives turned baker. We have a family and their responsibilities to take care of. We have our kids to look after, kids and family members to be fed. It would be appreciative if the order is placed well in advance rather than in the eleventh hour. It actually gives us time to be more creative and give the special touch to such orders. Even though we love baking and it’s our passion but we invest our time, energy and also money so it would be awesome if someone respect that.
Here is one of my article that was posted on THE BOOK CLUB dot com.
We have been talking about women’s independence and liberation. But are we doing that to our body? How much time do we spend in knowing own body. To be frank, hardly. Unless something terrible starts haunting us we take it easy. Our body too does the talking every time if only we have ears to lend. If at initial stage we could read and understand the sign our body is giving us it is half the battle won already.
When I talk of body freedom I mean no bra. It might sound funny, but then 13 Oct is celebrated as National No Bra Day under Breast Cancer Awareness Program all over the world. A woman’s biggestbeauty asset is always kept well guarded by the biggest brands of lingerie companies. Every woman dreams of finest brand that she can afford on her wedding day. She wants to look sensuous and tempting on her big day. And there is no doubt in that. Read more
“I chose not to surrender but fight with leaving behind my footprints as an inspiration for others.” – Inderjit Kaur
Hello all! Today in our Blog Guest Post column, we have Inderjit Kaur, an author, motivator with a powerful voice of spreading positive words through her writings. A highly influential blogger and inspirational guide who with her tag line ‘Keep smiling, keep shining’, has brewed up with the original concept of living through her books of A living series. She shares with us about her recent book Kaleidoscope -Colours of Life, the third book under her under her ‘A Living Series’.
Your new book talks about inspiration of life. What inspired you to be an author?
What could be challenging then to change yourself and exactly that was the option that I chose. I did suffer and survived 22 years of domestic violence headed with betrayal of relationship but I didn’t give up. I chose not to surrender but fight with leaving behind my footprints as an inspiration for others. When you reach a stage where the only option left is to release things clinging on you that are pausing your life, you feel enlightened and no longer a victim. You experience your mind is at ease even in difficult situations and this remarks you to a point of self-liberations. Simultaneously, you are blessed with more skill, mastering your potential and making yourself wiser every day culminating you to self-transformation that goes beyond transcendence.
I had originally thought to write a biography, but I felt there would not be enough information available to me. But inspirational words were jotted from core of my heart thus self-help and positive living books brewed up thus I was successful to create “A living series”- And now I’m pro to write only positive and inspirational ideas.
The colours of life pages the accounts of my own experiences, stories told by other people and the thoughts that I dwelled on while travelling through the times of my hardship and adversities, which just harnessed my true potential and discover the real me.
The third book in the Living Series is a Kaleidoscope to the life as the light it cast is more intense which witnesses to the most profound human experiences that I metaphor as Rainbow.
Hence the title Kaleidoscope -Colours of Life.
KALEIDOSCOPE – COLOURS OF LIFE
A LIVING SERIES: BOOK 3
“Patience helps you endure all the troubles and issues that bother you. When you reach a stage, where the only remaining option is to release the things that are clinging on to you and pause your life, you feel enlightened and feel the positive impact of the change, and you no longer see yourself a victim of life.
Kaleidoscope – Colours of Life is a of inspiring stories, suggestive poignant thoughts and ideologies that serve as a guide in every stage of life. Interlaced with threads of experiences of life and the lessons learnt from them, the book depicts seven inspiring stories weaved into the magnificent array of a rainbow. Charting the various shades of life, the book further highlights the ups and downs of each of the characters, who are embedded here as a metaphor for a rainbow, in the patio of a plethora of circumstances.
By sharing wisdom, experiences and insights, Kaleidoscope – Colours of Life intends to deliver a message that will inspire and empower the readers to sense happiness and contentment, and help them to navigate life as a truly confident individual.”
Grab your copy @
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Inderjit Kaur is an author, motivator with a powerful voice of spreading positive words through her writings. A highly influential blogger and inspirational guide who with her tag line ‘Keep smiling, keep shining’, has brewed up with the original concept of living through her books of A living series.
“Ma! Why does everybody call me MESSY? I don’t like it! ” Misry complained.
Madhavi finished her evening prayers and looked at the child standing by the door with a scornful look on her face. Her long curls doing very little to hide the expression on her small round face.
“Come here my love. Tell me, what is bothering you?” Madhavi replied stretching her arms. Misry didn’t waste a minute and hugged her mother.
“Ma, Raju keeps calling me MESSY. Now the others too have started calling me the same. I am warning you, I will kill Raju.” Misry cried.
Madhavi kissed her and said, “Ok I will tell him, not to bother you anymore. But you too promise me that you will obey him. After all, he is much older to you.”
“But he plays with me and rides my bicycle too.” Misry nagged.
“Just to give you company, sweetheart. You see you have no friends here to play with. If Raju does not play then you will be bored, my child. ” Madhavi reminded her.
Misry thought for a while then replied, “Phulwa and Bheeru are my friends. I can play with them.” She looked very convinced.
“Yes you can. But you see dear they are civilians and not allowed inside the campus. And I cannot allow you to go out of the campus premises.” Madhavi replied.
“But I shall go tomorrow. Bheeru’s goat has given birth to three kids. I want to see them.” Misry begged her mother.
Madhavi knew it will be too hard to stop her little daughter when it comes to animals. Her daughter had inherited her love for animals from her Dadu, who owns a big farm house full of animals in a sleepy town in the outskirts of Howrah.
“Fine. Go in the morning tomorrow.” Madhavi replied.
Misry kissed her mother and ran off to play with her toys.
Madhavi sighed. Life was very different since they shifted to the border out post. Misry was missing both her friends and school. She was five years old and loved being in a big family. Madhavi had moved to her parent’s house for her delivery. Misry was born there and spent her growing years in her Dadu’s house. She was always surrounded with cousins, aunts and uncles and not to mention the animals for company.
Misry’s father, Anurag, worked in B.S.F and work kept him away from family for long time. So it was not possible for him to take care of his pregnant wife. Hence he had sent his wife to her parent’s place. Misry was born there. Anurag used to visit them quite often.
When Misry was three years old Madhavi moved in with her husband. At that time Anurag was stationed in the Head Quarter and thus the family had good time for the next two years. But soon Anurag was stationed in the border outpost.
The border outposts are situated near international borders. Anurag was stationed in a small village near the Indo-Bangladesh border in Bihar. During that era, the officers were allowed to keep their family along in the border outpost. Since Misry was too young, there was no point in leaving his family alone in the Head Quarter. So Madhavi shifted in with her husband away from the pleasures of Movie Theater, big markets, weekly markets, welfare association, ladies club, parties and above all electricity.
It was the era when TV had not invaded our lives. And tape recorder and stereo were still considered a luxury. The comfort of electricity was limited to a mere an hour or two in the evening and that too by a generator for the residence. Rest of the evening, the rooms would lit up with the dim lights of the lanterns and lamps.
The family sat together around it and spent time chatting with each other. Sometimes, they would even indulge in listening to the plays on the radio or sing folk songs or movie songs together. And there was plenty of time to watch the night sky. It was the activity Misry enjoyed most with her father lying on the cot in the backyard and counting the satellites or listenening to stories from him. She also loved wearing her half saree and dance to the music on the record player.
As Anurag had night duties quite often, Madhavi had invited her younger sister Pallavi, who had just finished college, to stay over until her marriage was fixed by her parents. Pallavi readily agreed and was escorted by her nephew Raju, who had failed twice in his metric examination and showed no interest in studying further. Misry loved their company in the house and so did her parents.
And thus Misry alias Messy lived happily with her family and friends in a world that she believe existed and kept the adults, in the household, on their toes always till they shouted on top of their voice, “GROW UP MESSY”.
Wow! I never thought I would be doing this. Thanks to my friend Inderpreet Uppal for sharing this awesome opportunity with me. I have always loved blogging. I find it very easy to express myself here rather than in other places. An introvert you can call me. Here I can take the flight of my imagination without anybody’s interference. So that’s blogging for me.
I am taking #AtoZChallenge for the first time and I do hope to succeed. Wish me luck!
Now is the time to reveal the theme of my #AtoZChallenge.
I decided on doing very very short stories of a 5 year old girl – GROW UP MESSY! The theme is about her mischievous life which keep the adults, in the household, on their toes always and they just shout on top of their voice, “GROW UP MESSY”.
I would love you guys to join me in this hilarious sweet and sour journey of this cute girl who creates mess everywhere she goes and makes you adore her even more.
26 days, 26 stories, 26 times will make you laugh and cry before you fall in love with MESSY.
The following short story was published in Youth e-magazine Salisonline.com under STORY SLAM. You can read it and share your comments in the magazine website. Thanks.
She sat in the corridor lobby. Nervous, anxious and tired. The clock on the wall above did nothing to ease her. It was just five minutes past that she had taken her seat in the lobby yet it seemed like ages. The years back flashed past her eyes like a rewinding tape. The scenario was more or less the same. Only difference was this time the OPD registration form had her name on the patient list. It was not that she had not anticipated it but it would happen so soon was something she had never dream of.
Just few weeks back she had celebrated her fortieth birthday. Her life was promising as ever. Her career graph was escalating and her promotion was round the corner. The coming New Year meant a new beginning for her. First as the unit head of her own branch in the uptown and second her three bedroom duplex bungalow in the sub urban, that was anxiously waiting for the arrival of its new owner. Seriously life wasn’t easy for her but she had paved her way smoothly to where she stood today, a winner.
But her life had come to a standstill when her biggest fears came alive. While taking shower she noticed a swelling in her left armpit. It didn’t look that bad but it had her bells ringing. She had come across such situations earlier too. Years back Mom had a small lump in her breast which was diagnosed as cancer. Although mom was operated and the tumor was removed yet she could not survive the treatment. Years later Dad was diagnosed with a tumor in the larynx. Luckily he survived the treatment yet the after effects were too much for the old man. He was not the same man anymore and in few years his condition deteriorated and he was bed ridden. And finally after a dreadful year he breathed his last.
Since then she had lived with the fear of getting diagnosed with the disease some day. It had been several years since. She was a doting mother and a loving wife now yet the fear remained within her. And that day in the bathroom her worst dream came true and her world turned upside down. Life had come to a standstill. She didn’t know how to react. Should she cry or should she be strong enough to face it. Cry? No! For she had long since known something like this would happen to her so, she had to be strong. But wasn’t it too early than she had anticipated it to happen? She was just forty for God’s Sake. Her child, her family, her dreams. She was too young for it. Her soul screamed yet no one heard.
She disclosed her little secret to her husband after two days. Probably it had taken her ounce of strength to share it with him. His reaction was not unknown to her. He was one of those men who were more dependent on their wife for emotional support and strength. Over the years she was well aware of his outburst on slightest provocation and here we were discussing the dreaded “C”. But he left her surprised.
It seemed like he was more prepared for it than her. Without wasting a minute he had listed out the things to do. As if he had been planning it for years and now the time had arrived to put his preparation to test. She could not stop her tears as they rolled down her eyes. He hugged her and let her wet his tee. He had proved her wrong and stood like a rock to sail her through the storm. Could her stars be luckier, she thought.
Her appointment with her gynecologist was pathetic. The lady seemed to know only about how to deliver babies and anything more was like something out of syllabus for her. God they make these kinds of Doctors now a day. No doubt there is a nursing home mushrooming at every corner of the neighborhood and the doctors no better than salesman pitching their caliber to the walk-in patients for generating revenue. A sign of doubt on the patient’s face will fetch a list of tie-up diagnostic centers from the doctor’s side with a clean mention, ”They are the best for the purpose.”
She had been too experienced for these kind of pitches and was disgusted to have wasted her precious time there. But her problem was not solved and she needed confirmation on her status immediately. That night was the longest night for both of them. There were so many things that they had dreamt of doing together and life had cut short their time. Both of them decided to make note of things that needed immediate care.
First was to get a home help who could take charge of the household work and look after the children in their absence. Someone reliable from the family would be a better choice as saving money was more important now. Secondly, once the treatment starts both will be busy for months and at that time they need good inflow of cash. So far they were both bringing in money at the end of the month that enabled them a decent lifestyle. But now the case is different. She wasn’t sure if she would ever be able to go back to work any time soon and how long could her husband afford leave. Suddenly, the entire balance of life had gone aghast.
Sleep was inevitable for both of them as they lay in bed at night thinking of the hard days ahead. The mere thought of the word “C” had tumbled their entire life. It was a big question where would she take the treatment. With today’s interaction with the gynecologist she hardly thought about her treatment in the city. That means the treatment would also include outstation charges. Also the question was how capable she would be after the treatment. She had seen the survivors and she knew she cannot compare herself with Manisha Koirala or Liza Ray. Coming from a middle class family she had her limitations. So the question was who to fall upon. There was nobody in the family and friends who could be called upon. Just them. Alone, helpless and confused.
The very next day she showed some courage and landed up in the cancer ward of the hospital thinking “If this is where I have to come later so be it NOW.” Very bravely she spoke with the doctor who keenly observed her case history. So far all her reports were normal but that were couple of months prior to her findings. So fresh test was necessary that would confirm her current status. The doctor examined her and advised for some tests. She went through the tests and waited her report outside the lobby in the corridor.
Waiting in the lobby outside the report room was hardest part of her life. She sat her legs crossed, arms across her breast and head down, raising it now and shooting a peek at the clock above. Tic- tock tic-tock the clock went and so did her heart beat. With every second her emotions was scaling a new thought.
YES or NO
YES or NO
YES or NO
She remembered the look of her radiologist while undergoing her test.
No! The lady didn’t indicate anything alarming. On the contrary her expressions were too flat. Maybe they are trained for that kind of expression.” She thought aloud.
Her thought wandered few months back. Maybe her body had given some indication that all was not well. Her frequent sore throat, her lower abdominal pain, her back ache.
Was her body trying to tell her something? Why didn’t she listen or rather didn’t take it seriously at all? Was she really sick all these months? But she didn’t have any symptoms that she had Google searched for. But how can she be so sure? She already has a family history. Wasn’t it enough to keep her alert? She shouldn’t have taken everything so easy. Life doesn’t give a second chance. At least she could not bet on that.
She sped a long look at the lady in the report room. The lady was busy assembling reports and announcing name of the patients. Finally the lady called her name and she got up to collect her report. Her heart pounding as if it would come out. Her fingers stopped working as she took the envelope in her hand. She had no strength left anymore. For three days she had put up a brave fight but not anymore. With trembling hands she handed the envelope to her husband and he quickly flipped through the pages.
He hugged her and whispered, “You have just kissed the death! You come clear.“
She hugged him tight and a tear dropped down her eye.