Festivities and Food

It is Rakshabandhan today. A festival where sisters tie rakhis to their brothers, and brothers promise to protect their sisters all life. A beautiful, strong and pure bond.

Super delicious Tawa Pulao
Upvas Aloo Sabzi. This is eaten when someone is fasting i.e. just once a day.
Upvas Saboodana Vada. Since the festivals have started in India, people fast on various auspicious days.
Classic Cheese Nachos
Ceasar Salad
Potato and Brinjal Sabzi
Pulses Rice. Rich in proteins and super healthy.
Rakshabandhan Lunch Plate. Bhajiyas, Chole, Jeera Aloo, Shirkhand, Gulab Jamun, Puri, Chutney, and followed by Rice, Dal and Papad
That’s me. A tea lover 😅
Happy Rakshabandhan

Step by step Black Pav Bhaji

Step by step Mumbai special Black Pav Bhaji

Veggies needed. You can also add Green Peas and Coriander.
Potatoes boiled, other veggies chopped.
Oil + Garlic
Then add onions
Then add Cabbage once Onions are pink
Once Onions and Cabbage are soft, add tomatoes. Cover cook on a low flame.
Once tomatoes are semi soft, add Black Pav Bhaji Masala. If you want to make normal Pav Bhaji, add regular Pav Bhaji Masala + Red Chilli Powder. Cover and cook till Tomatoes are soft.
Then add Potatoes and smash them with the potato smasher. Add a little water + salt + lemon juice.
Pav Bhaji is ready
Bonus: Potato Brinjal Sabzi
Bonus: Palak Paneer
Made this painting for a baby boy’s room. He loves seeing construction vehicles, so made a construction site 😁
My best friend was relocating to London. So she had come to meet Junior and me.

Breaking the Taboo – Divorced and Smiling!

Let me make one thing clear before I elaborate on this topic – No! I do not encourage divorce. But I do encourage being single and enjoying yourself, self love, appreciating your space till you find the right partner.

Marriage is a sacred institution and divorce is taboo in Indian society. … The concept of “compromise in marriage” is gradually fading as women feel economically independent and liberated. Modern Indian men and women no more believe in marital compromise the way our past generations used to do. Divorce may still be a taboo, but sometimes letting go is the best option.

As per India Today, unsurprisingly, India has the lowest divorce rate, which goes as low as being less than one percent, this in a country which has the highest domestic violence and depression rate. In India, one out of every three married women, face domestic abuse, and, yet we have so many happy successful marriages. Are people really happy or have they forced themselves in wrong relationships just because of the stigma that comes attached with a divorce or the common norm “what will the society say!”

Is it really worth staying in a marriage which brings more of misery than peace and happiness, and the fear of society or break free and live the life you deserve?

I was married at the age of 23 to the love of my life. My family, friends and relatives were very happy and as per the traditional myth, everyone (including me) thought that the typical Indian marriage lasts forever, even when it’s irretrievably broken. For various reasons, things went downhill. We split up, which initially came as big shock to family and friends. People all around started giving me lectures and emotionally blackmailed me to “compromise” and get back to my ex-husband inspite of knowing the reason of separating which was beyond compromising.

I was mentally tortured by the society and even shamed by my own close relatives and friends. Some said, “I failed in marriage”, others said, “I broke my marriage” or “I will never get another man if I am divorced” or “divorced woman breaks others houses so keep your husband’s away from her”, etc. I never really bothered about all this because my parents supported my decision and stood by me through all this. Infact, even they were shamed because they stood by my decision. What did hurt was, only I was called out because I am a woman, and no one said a word to my ex-husband.

Eventually, I was legally divorced and now I have a title called “Divorcee” instead of “Single”. Not just this, even the legal system considers a divorced woman as an untouchable. The process of change of surname and from Mrs. to Miss is no less than a torture.

When I got legally divorced, I was relieved and felt like a huge burden off my shoulders. I was looking forward to start a new life and get back on my feet. Since I am a very mentally strong woman, the taunts of the society don’t affect me at all. But I am writing here to encourage other women.

I have never shied away from telling anyone (when asked) that I am divorced. But the look on their faces after hearing that, makes me wonder that we are still far behind in broad minded thinking, especially in India. Soon, the society started lecturing me to remarry as I am aging, I won’t be able bear kids later, I will not get a good guy, looked at me in pity, etc. As if, the only work for a woman here is to marry and have children. When I would tell them that I will not remarry until I get good partner, they would tell me that I have too much attitude which doesn’t suit me as I am a divorcee. Does that make sense?

But look at me; I am living my best life, independent, happy, fit, a smiling and a dynamic divorcee. I will remarry, but only with the person I connect on all levels – mentally, physically and spiritually. I don’t come under the pressure of the society, never have and never will. I respect the society, but I respect myself more. Getting divorced is not the end of the world, and getting remarried is not the only thing left in life to do. Enjoy the journey, rediscover yourself, make new friends, build a career, travel, donate, and just live in the present.

For me, I had a very strong support from parents and siblings. Besides them, I had Casper and I still have Junior who never let me slip into depression and always kept me healthy and happy. I do not regret my divorce, nor am I happy that it happened. But that was the only solution for both of us to be happy again. Sometimes things don’t work out as expected, and there are many reasons for a divorce. Do not judge anyone. Everyone has their own reasons and fighting their own battles which we do not see. Be patient and loving. Life is beautiful, and without the downs, we will never appreciate the ups. Live and let live!

We Went On A Vacation

So many things going on at the moment! Although it is difficult to balance it out and simplify life, but sometimes it is too much to handle. Junior is scheduled for his blood test before his stye and cataract surgery, my work is expanding which has increased my work load, all of a sudden my electrical gadgets are mutilating, my car broke down on the highway in heavy rains, etc. Knowing the person that I am, I can handle every punch thrown at me by life. But sometimes, it becomes overwhelming and I need to shut down or take a break for a few days to recharge myself.

And that’s exactly what I did! I left for a short trip with Junior and some cousin; not just to give myself a break, but also for Junior to have a little change. We had gone for only two days, but trust me when I say this; those two days were enough for both of us to recharge and come back fresh. It all mattered to the company we had and the place we went to. Junior was the center of attraction and he was playing and running around like a free bird. Seeing him being a happy dog made me so happy that I was automatically rejuvenated.

We went to a place called Deolali in Maharashtra. Deolali was a British Army camp 100 miles north-east of Mumbai (then called Bombay). It was the original location of the Army Staff College. Basically, it is an Army Camp in the Hills. However, now there are many civilian residents there and we have a home as well. So Junior was going from one home to another. The difference is, Junior had ample of open space to run around, the weather was good, we were in nature, we were in our private property where we didn’t have to wear our mask or fear the CoronaVirus and we were with our best people.

In this post, I won’t write much. I just want you all to see the beautiful place and how Junior had fun.

Besides our vacation, today is my elder son Casper’s birthday. Had he been living, he would have been 11 years old. Every passing year I miss him more. All I can do is, hold on to his memories until the time comes and I get to hug him Heaven.

Casper

What’s in my plate?

Parathas, Chole, Cucumber Raita and Sevaiyan. I missed the chopped onions though 😜
Typical Gujarati Lunch – Theplas, Aloo ki sukhi Bhaji, Pickle and Curd.
Rice Flour Roti, Bhintu, Salad and Dal
I am the happiest when I am right next to you 💞 When I paint 🎨
We had a busy week as Junior’s pre surgery preparations have started. He has a stye and cataract which is going to be surgically removed by the end of this month.
After his check-up, he slept like a baby 🥰