#100DaysofWalking

Remember when I wrote how I went from 0 to 10 to 0 again!

I realised that I have been putting on way too much weight..and I do not want to spend money on any clothes any more! I have enough and more…So the point being..we were talking about something yesterday on this Whatsapp group and the lovely Monika spoke about #100DaysofWalking…who wants to join me?

RM: Kya hai woh Monika..tell me, I want to join in..what is it?

Monika: hehehhe! I just made it up

RM: !!!!!

But Monika being the super lovely one, agreed to actually take up this challenge of #100DaysofWalking for me, with me. She said, lets do it..I was like okay yayayay! and then the super Deeps and awesome Pixie agreed to be a part of it as well..

When Monika tweeted about it…folks showed interest and so we decided we are doing #100DaysofWalking starting August 17th, 2016…thats today..yay!

Since, I am in Australia, I am in an early timezone, which means, that it is still morning or previous day night, in most parts of the world..which means, folks reading this right now, can definitely join in!

Here are the rules:

Actually, there are NO RULES at all :):)

You can do the following, IF you wish to

  1. Tweet about it every day (I plan to do that, just for my sake)
  2. Use the hashtag #100DaysofWalking
  3. You can walk 1 km, 1/2 km, 4 kms, 10 kms..whatever suits you
  4. You can use the treadmill or walk in your back yard, or take a walk in a garden, or even walk around your house..the point is to get moving, so that the body gets out of lethargy
  5. You can take pictures of anything interesting everyday and put it up on twitter using the hashtag #100DaysofWalking (I plan to do that, till I can hehehe)
  6. You can walk alone, walk with a friend, walk with your spouse, skip with your kids, or hop with your bunny..whatever suits you…the idea is to just keep moving, at least once a day
  7. Walk in the morning, walk in the noon, walk during lunchtime at work, walk to work, walk from work, walk after dinner, walk to the ice cream parlour (indulge in an ice cream!) whatever works for you…the idea is to just keep moving, like I said earlier!
  8. Edited to Add: Here is the Facebook group, Monika created, which you can join in to add your milestones daily  – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1644960152486744/

Errr…I did say there are NO RULES na..I mean it..just walk for yourself…Monika, Deeps, Pixie and I are doing it because we thought, doing it together will be so much more fun….So come and join the party…either here or on twitter!!!

Twitter handles you can tag are @readingrsmind (Thats me), @deepstweeps (Thats Deeps) or @Monikamanchanda (Thats Monika)

Come and join the fun..who knows some of us may go beyond the 100 days as well!

*Goes off to check in the calendar, what the end date is? If anyone is faster than me, do let me know :)*

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The Sound of Silence

One of the things I am still getting used to about Tas is the silence. And its not silent silence, its this ABSOLUTELY SILENT SILENCE where you can even hear the typing of the fingers even if the phone’s keypad sound is off. Do you get what I mean?

Its so silent that I can hear the next door neighbour’s oven going ‘ting’ after they finish baking whatever wonderously fantastic cake or cupcake they have been baking (the aroma is intoxicating!)

When we first moved here, we had got accomodation in a service apartment. And do you know Tasmania has no ceiling fans!!!! (not that you need them, its freezing here) But for an Indian, who is used to putting the fan on 5 even in peak winter and going underneath 2 blankets in the non winter Bombay to avoid feeling cold, it is sheer torture. How does one sleep really? The ceiling fan is my lullaby! It reminds me of the warmth which I felt in my mother’s womb and the safety I felt in my father’s arms…errr you get the drift, eh?

So imagine no ceiling fan!!!! The girls and I just could not fall asleep in the first few days. There was no noise to make us sleep, you see. RD contributed the lack of sleep to jet lag, but we know the truth, eh?

Then we shifted to this rented house. Its an old house built in the 1950s with wooden flooring and wooden ceilings. So you can imagine how it feels. Since the R family knows only how to stomp and walk (all four of us are elephant sized!) you can well imagine the amount of sound we generate! Plus we are loud when we talk. I am hoping that these houses are sound proof or else the neighbours in the third house on the left will know that R keeps forgetting to wash her milk glass in the morning or that R2 throws all the spoons and forks out of the topmost drawer by climbing on a chair, every morning!!

And its so silent when we go to sleep. Do you know old wooden houses often creak? How do you think people come up with ghost stories? They just come to Tas and live in old houses for inspiration. Trust me, the first one week, RD and I always woke up with a start hearing some creak here or there, though both would pretend not to be petrified, until one day, I confessed to RD that the sounds scared me and he admitted they unnerved him too🙂🙂

And then there are mice which run underneath the wooden floorings and birds up the roof..On cold winter afternoons when R2 and I are alone at home, we can hear all sorts of creaking, squeaking sounds🙂 R2 is not really bothered🙂

And the mornings…when I get up early to have a bath and cook, I can hear the occasional car on the main road which is half a kilometre away..I can hear the roosters from 5 houses away and I can hear the cat next door, slowly move over our fence in search for food..I can hear the water boiling in the kettle and our old fridge’s compressor resetting itself, giving me assurance that it is always going to be there with me🙂

Its so silent that I can hear RD turn in the bed and the girls whispering to each other as they wake each other up. 

Its very silent here. Throughout the day, there are barely 10 people and 3 cars which pass our house. Sometimes the silence scares me, sometimes the silence makes me feel lonely, but most times I can hear the silence speak volumes to me and take me to a happy place! 

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Queen Of Jugaad In The Kitchen – Part 2

So I was complaining about the electric stove na? It stopped working *bursts into tears* and our lovely landlady replaced it with an INDUCTION STOVE ! I mean, really????

This one is a black sleek device which makes a sound that goes guuuunnnnnnn! and imagine early in the morning when there is absolute silence (that is another post in itself), the stove goes guuuunnnnnn guuuuunnnn! And to top it all, my cooker does not work on it…it is not induction compatible *bursts into bigger tears* out of my three kadais only one works and the chapati tawa doesnt work! One small frying pan does, which means I have to make dosas, parathas, rotis and all that in one tawa…we have stopped having dal and subji on the same day..only one kadai na..so either I make dal or I make subji😉

And the fact that it costs 100s of dollars and should be scratch free makes my heart goes thud thud thud every time I use it :( 

And it is such a contrast to the electric stove because this heats up in seconds..So for the first week it was installed I managed to burn the only got set of patrams I had left! I should rename myself from RM to BurnM really! I have made fantastically blackened dosas, jale hue besan ke ladoo, burnt theplas and what not! 

We went and got a rice cooker in desperation! So rice is not an issue (btw I made dal dhokli and soups in the rice cooker..queen of jugaad na!)

And then all this phoren vegetables and fruits*laughs loud*

I have learnt a lot of things about cooking and vegetables and fruits in the past 5 months

1. Frozen cut bhindi can turn as slimy as a snake. The way to cook it is – Put it into the microwave for 10 minutes, make the subji in a wide sauce pan and use lots of oil …(They don’t grow bhindi in Oz :()

2. Zucchini can be used to make theplas, avial, handvo, pasta, kootu and errrr…I dont know what else I have used it in!

3. I miss kadipatta so much! I have not been able to find them here AT ALL!

4. There are some 150 varieties of apples in Tasmania and each one of them is yummmm

5. The Australians call the smaller sister of orange as mandarin and the orange musambis as oranges…In short, I am super confused what to call what!

6. Corriander and mint are verryyyy expensive so I use them very very carefully..

7. Frozen green chillies are 10000 times hotter!

8. The carrots here are bright orange so the halwa I make turns out to be unrealistically orange in colour..R asked me the first time if I had added orange colour to it!

9. Coconuts are a rarity..I have not used coconut at all in my cooking..On Vishu day I made avial with dry dessicated coconut heheheh!

10. Ginger and garlic are super expensive too! 

11. Beetroots are sold with their leaves so I use them to make theplas too!

12. There is something called silverbeet which is like spinach. However my family refused to believe that my silverbeet corn subji was the same as palak corn! hmpf!

13. The strawberries here also are sour! So much for thinking that only Indian strawberries are sour! Though the girls love them to bits

14. There are so many exotic veggies I see when we shop like brussels sprouts, asparagus, boychok  or something..I still dont know  why we are not buying it yet!

I have, of course, tried loads and loads of new recipes, more misses than hits but hey who cares? Its all about experimenting and experiencing eh?

PS – Folks in India, if you are into handlooms, here is a wonderful place to get them – http://www.facebook.com/Panache-735358513234119/

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And We Saw Snow For The First Time

It was Sunday morning. The weather has been totally in love with Elsa. Her magic has spread all over Tasmania, I think. We witnessed snow in our backyard..well not snow really but more of raindrops which had thickened enough to fall as fake snow. R and I tried to catch the fake snow drops on our tongues. We both pretended that we caught it but I doubt she did and I am sure I didnt🙂

Then Sunday morning, just as I sit cribbing about how cold it is and we should get the fire going, RD says lets go see the snow! What, what, what, I say. Are you mad? Its so darn cold there. I will freeze. I go on and on but he has bundled up the girls, got me my 7th layer to wear and is already pushing us into the car.

Amma, quips the elder one, stop cribbing and start enjoying. I shut my mouth. 

Off we go up the hill. We see cars coming down with snowmen on their bonnets. I can hardly contain my excitment. I am ready to park the car halfway and walk up. Apparently the whole of Tasmania wants to see the snow too. R says “why is everyone coming to see the snow? They see it every year no?” 

And then there is a jam. RD being RD, the intelligent guy just takes a u turn, parks the car and says lets walk.

So we walked. And met miracle. I could not believe I was seeing snow. Not only seeing it, I was touching it. R was enamoured. R2 looked around her and shrugged her shoulders at our excitment! The grand old lady isnt too impressed eh?

R and I built a lopsided tiny snowman. RD hit me with snowballs. R defended me. We would have played snowball war if R2 didn’t make a fuss everytime we hit RD. She is such a daddy’s girl😉

It was half an hour of sheer joy. I was drenched since RD hit me on the back of my neck with a snowball, cold snow trickling to freezing water, down my back. Surprisingly, I didnt complain. The sheer joy of being in snow just made up for everything. R2 fell and drenched her bum! ( Thank God for diapers)

We had the best time ever! Sometimes, I am glad RD insists we listen to him🙂

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Seriously? What Was I Thinking!

…rather what were RD and I thinking when we decided to have another kid!!!

The first one is already giving me grey hair and the second one will ensure I have NO HAIR left!

R2 is a riot really..and I am at my wits end at times, dealing with her..She is like this bunny with a never ending supply of battery always jumping and shouting and screaming and dancing..I go to bed every night so exhausted that most times I am asleep even before RD says good night to me!

R, on the other hand, is turning into this If-there-is-a-question-you-must-answer-it-or-I-will-bug-you-so-much-that-you-will-have-no-choice-but-to-answer …search Google Amma she told me the other day when I told her I don’t know what silver tailed dragons are!

I mean really!!!! gee thanks baby!

I tell RD I need a new kadai for my bday..one of those flat bottom ones which will work on the great electric stoves…

But Amma, you already have so many patrams..ask for something more exciting na! says the older brat!

Or when I ask her to go and have a bath… Amma, our teacher said Tasmania is facing drought conditions so I think I will skip having a bath every other day so that I can help save water..

This is like the height of laziness!

Or when I am in my crib mood telling RD about not being able to find a job and how frustrating it is!

She says ‘Look Amma, you cribbing all the time wont work! You will get a job..dont worry about it so much..if you stop worrying, you will get it faster!’

I didnt know how to respond to that one!

Or when she asked me for a chocolate and I refused saying eat it tomorrow..She said ‘Amma, why did we buy the chocolate? To eat it na! Let me eat when I feel like eating..it will make me happy..dont you want me happy?’

I just gave her the chocolate!

Or when I was trying to complete a job application and R2 woke up..I looked pleadingly at R..

She not only made R2’s milk, she also made her drink it sip by sip and put her on the potty..She would have even cleaned the bum if the guilty me hadn’t gone to clean up🙂

Guess this is why RD and I had R2! *Makes note to self to come back and read last part of post whenever I get bugged at R*

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The Queen Of Jugaad In The Kitchen Part 1

I can write a book on the mad stuff I have done in the kitchen after coming to Tasmania…

Part 1 is all about my frustrations with an electric stove! Honestly, I seriously believe an electric stove is one of the most unwanted inventions among all the inventions made in this world. Why, why, why on earth are there plates which take 10 hours to heat up and then are so hot that they take 10 hours to cool down!!

So imagine its 7.32 am and you need to leave home at 7.53…thats 21 minutes right? In a gas stove this means making 10 dosas with an average of 2 minutes something seconds per dosa…but if you are a novice to electric stove cooking…the darn plates take 22 minutes just to heat up…which means you can either forget the dosas or forget to leave home on time..!!!

Like a friend said (who by the way is Tasmanian and has lived here all her life!) the first pancake takes 5 hours, the second takes 5 minutes and the third is burnt in 5 seconds! That happens every time..I swear EVERYTIME I make dosas!!!

When we came here..our stuff hadnt arrived so RD got me a set of basic nonstick utensils to use..one kadai, one pan, one tava..you get the drift eh? And I thought..gosh what am I going to do with so much patrams when my stuff arrives…

But I feared unnecessarily…really faltu mein! I burnt EVERY SINGLE VESSEL!!! E.A.C.H Of them!!!!! It was sooo frustrating…and I could not even use those vessels anymore since the teflon coating went for a toss!

So then it was tapping friends time..The lovely Srividhya and the super Pixie gave me some tips to survive before I burnt the kitchen down in frustration! I even sent pictures of my stove and oven to Srividhya who actually search a manual for me online and told me to follow the settings! I cant be more thankful to both of them..

Then, of course, there is the curious case of the dried coconut and the frozen green chilly…but that is a story for next time!

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 The Difference Between Raising My First Born And Second Born….

….is that with my first born I was ultra careful about everything! and I mean EVERYTHING!

From ensuring that her baby clothes were handwashed till the age of two to panicking everytime she sneezed to not allowing her a gadget or watch TV till she turned four to giving her junk food only after she turned 5…you get the drift eh? I was this ultra careful mother…I remember once she slipped from our hands when she was about 11 months and with one tooth just sprouting out, it cut her mouth with some blood flowing out. While my MIL told us there was nothing to worry, RD and I rushed her to the hospital (drama really!) till the doctor looked at us and said it is just a small cut which has already sealed (facepalm moment!)

On the other hand, the younger brat has managed to pour blood all over the cupboards by cutting her hand and the blood flow wouldn’t stop! R got so bugged at my sheer coolness about it saying ‘Amma she will lose all her blood and become a bloodless R2’ I told her not to worry too much! The more bugging part seemed to be cleaning up all the blood marks she had put on the white cupboards! (for those who are worried, R managed to keep holding the kerchief over R2’s squirmy tiny fingers till the blood flow stopped completely) 

Or when I take her for a plaything and just let her slide down a slide which is as tall as me🙂 The teacher told me that she thought I had a lot of confidence in my brat’s sliding abilities🙂

Or the fact that I give her whatever we eat. Including pizzas and chips. The only thing I think I have not let her have is aerated drinks but that too because we dont drink it anyways!

Or the fact that she watches TV whenever R watches..I dont stop her!

Or when R2 has cold and cough or loose motions. I am so much more calm and relaxed…its like I know I should worry too much until a certain point..

Is this confidence in myself or is that by the second child is born, I realised that panicking is not taking me anywhere?

My friend N who had her kids nearly two years apart met me with her family when I was pregnant with R2. I had warned R before meeting her, warning R not to ask for any juices since N’s daughter R was really small and of an impressionable age. When we met, N asked R if she wanted juice. A sudden hushed silence fell on the table as if she had spoken the name of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. R looked at me in horror while RD smirked. The little darling daughter of N started saying ‘juice juice’ N looked at me perplexed. BUT BUT I started…N being N the practical friend said ‘ Oh she drinks all juices..can’t give it to the older one and not give it to the younger one, eh? She then went on to tell me how the second born usually gets things so much faster.

And she is so right! R2 gets stuff a lot earlier than R🙂

So parents to two or more kids….does the same hold true in your house?

We should be in the shelf..not the patrams! Amma does not understand that!

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