Wednesday, December 31, 2008

You know its recession time when...

...the career openings supplement in your daily newspaper gets reduced to mere 6 pages from an average of 20-24 pages.
~~ Keep Smiling! ~~
Sent on my BlackBerry®.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Parental/Peer pressure on children

I just now read this article where a girl of 9 years becomes the youngest person to become Microsoft Certified Professional. And immediately my thoughts were "WOW!" When I thought of myself at that age I realized we were too busy playing stapu, reading famous fives and watching Telematch to be doing anything so intellectually driven.

Then my next thought went to the "parental pressure" to perform high in academics. Lot has been said about it, more in the negative way, and how its not a good thing, the long term psychological impact etc etc. At the same time I feel without a bit of parental pressure, we kids would not have even picked up a book to study. We would have been playing and whiling away our time. Its the parents who need to push us to study. Without this push I wonder if most of us would have reached where we are today. And its also the parents who figure out if their child has the capability of doing something outstanding and to provide means and support and sometimes even put a bit of pressure for the kids to take on the roads like this little girl did.

But this doesn't mean that I'm pro parental/peer pressure. There has to be a balance. In this era we as parents need to constantly guide our kids into focusing on studies more than what was required earlier because of the amount of distractions such as internet, movies, over use of cellphones etc is there. Arriving at this fine balance of studies and extra curricular activities is the toughest part. I really don't know if I will be able to strike any bit closer to this balance even though I would definitely be trying consciously.

We parents also get pressurized by the peer to further pressurize our kids to perform. "Ohh my child can do this and that etc" and that gets us to think lowly of our kid if he/she cannot do the same. And then we tend to push our kids to be at par with the child of our peer group.

I faced this a lot when we got Anirudh admitted to formal school. Everyone was asking us why are we losing 1 year and why are we getting him admitted in Nursery instead of KG. First of all I didn't have a choice, thanks to the chaos caused by rules changing every year. I agree I was under the pressure and kept thinking of how can I avoid this loss of a year. After many sleepless nights I realized, it doesn't matter. Its just fine. Its only one year. He has a full life ahead of him and if he turns out to be extraordinary brilliant and super intelligent I will see if he needs to be promoted to a higher class. But not now. Let him be in Nursery. And after 10 months I'm happy that I took this decision.

And not so long ago, when we were called to see their half yearly progress reports, I didn't go to see how has he been graded, has he scored well or not. Nopes. I just wanted to talk to his teacher if he has been enjoying school and not being a brat. That's it. With my daily conversations with Anirudh I knew he has been picking a lot of new stuff from school and I was happy with his progress. But when I saw parents of kids in nursery and KG discussing and comparing the grades of their wards, I realized this is what the parental pressure is. And this is what I definitely don't want to be doing. I just smiled to myself and walked away.

I don't know if I'm making any sense here but I hope you see the point I'm trying to make.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It woke up from its coma!!

Yippeee! Am so elated and so happy and so jubilant and so...ok ok I will stop. Still don't know what I'm talking about? Really no?

Its my BlackBerry!! Remember I was trying to make it learn to swim but the poor thing had drowned? I had been surviving on the borrowed BlackBerry till now but that also had to be put to rest thanks to my temper :(

So the Christmas holiday went trying to revive both of them and managed to revive my pearl partially. I say partially because I still needed to buy a fresh battery which I managed to do today and its finally woken up from its long coma after we spent 2.5K over it. The one that bore the brunt of my anger still needs to be repaired which am sure won't take too long. We need to buy the display screen which is going to cost us 3K only!! :(

After being phoneless and blackberryless for more than a week, its really good to have it back.

Ok ok..go ahead and call me addicted and I won't stop you coz I know I'm :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I burnt my brownies...

While going through my recipes sheets yesterday I found a quick easy recipe for blondies (a kind of a brownie). So when I reached home I saw that I had all the ingredients at home to make them. Me and Betu together worked on it and got the batter ready. I spread it on the tray and kept it for baking. 7-8 minutes later I could see that the living room was getting a bit smoky. It took me about 5 seconds to realise what was happening and I ran to the kitchen but was a bit too late.

I had actually forgotten to turn down the temperature knob after setting it at highest when I preheated the oven.

But I still managed to save 6-7 of them from the sides and for the rest I scraped off the darkened tops. It wasn't as soft as it should be because instead of baking at lesser temperature for longer duration they were baked for shorter period at high temperature. Here is the pic of the 'saved' ones -

I'm definitely going to be making these again coz if they can taste this good the way I baked them, they would taste heavenly if baked properly. Here goes the recipe for those wanna try-

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups light brown sugar (powdered)
  • 2 2/3 cups plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts; optional
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan or line the pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix together oil and brown sugar. Then add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients and then add them to the brown sugar mixture. Mix well.
  • Stir in chocolate chunks & walnuts, if using.
  • Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Batter will be thick!
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut into squares as desired.
Personal Notes:
  • I used only 2 cups sugar and still found it to be a bit too sweet.
  • Since I didn't have brown sugar, I used normal sugar and added 2-3 tbsps of cocoa powder.
  • I used raisins instead of walnuts and chocolate chunks since I didn't have any of both.

I'm loving it!

Thank you Mampi and HDWK for these lovely gifts that you got for me when you guys came over.

Mampi, you shall be the culprit behind all my weight gain because of gorging on this delicious chocolate walnut cake. I've already eaten 75% of it in the 3 days..all by myself!!

And Howdy, thanks for such a beautiful candle in a glass bowl. Its just beautiful!! And goes so well with my place mats :D

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Whats the worst thing you have done in a fit of anger?

I'm so so no one but myself for acting so insanely...

I threw whatever came in my hands on the ground on Saturday morning during a MAJOR fight with hubby. I had reached my saturation point that day.

It was only much later I realised I had thrown my wallet, table mats and *sob* *sob* my phone too..its broken now...bwaaaaaaaahhhhhhh..I really want to whack myself. I've never done such things before and I have made a resolution "Never again"

So here I'm phoneless and more than that Blackberryless since Saturday :(

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Meeting friends

Imagine this - Calling a friend every 1 hour who is traveling to Delhi to find how far is she and where has she reached. And when she arrives, you are hugging each other tight even before the friend takes a step inside the threshold. You are so busy chattering away that it takes you a few minutes to realize you didn't even offer them water after their 7 hour journey.

I'm sure each of you would have imagined two very good friends meeting after a long time. But obviously. But what if I tell you I was meeting her for the first time? Yes..thats right. We WERE meeting for the first time in person. Our main interactions were through the blogs and a little bit from the chats. I'm not talking about anyone else but Mampi! And we were joined soon in this ecstatic bonding session by How do we know.

I just cannot describe how much fun we had. The word 'fun' also doesn't describe what we all felt. And neither will I try to explain it. Nothing will come close to it.

And it was not just us. Anirudh and Howdy's son also had such a wonderful time! For a moment we felt that probably they were having as much fun as we were :D

Not to forget Mampi's hubby who was so sweet because he patiently sat with us yacking females despite being the only male in the house. I guess the 2 young boys can hardly be called company for him.

I had always read that it takes no time to make friends for life. And I could actually feel so this time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Who says different religions can't stay side by side?

They definitely do in our house -

We celebrate Id with the Khans who are our next door neighbors. I take gifts for their grandchildren and Anirudh gets Idi from them.

We celebrate Lohri with out Sikh friends and they celebrate Sankranti with us.

We put up a Christmas tree for Christmas celebrations and my christian friends celebrate Diwali with us.

We all can stay together and be happy but only if we all want to! The decision is ours and don't we all know which is the better way? :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

As long as it lasts...

I'm talking about my job here. With the current market conditions, this is on top of the minds of everyone. Last time when we had the slowdown in 2000 (?), it affected primarily the IT sector. But this time the wave has covered the entire economy and all the sectors. Lay-offs have started in huge numbers everywhere and we at my current organisation were sitting with bated breath if our company shall follow suit soon.

And yes it did even if in small numbers so far. 12 people have been asked to resign and that includes 2 Project Managers. Some more developers have been asked to move to their support center. This means change from the role of developer to the role of Customer Service Executive. Some agree and accept the demotion while some don't and are leaving.

After a group interaction with the senior management, the main criteria for these exits was not performance. The criteria was being on bench i.e. no work since a long time and cost to the company.

But now my worry starts because if my guess is right, they will focus on newcomers in the next batch of exits. And I will definitely come in that batch coz its not been even one year since I joined this organisation. I was quite nervous initially. But over the past few days I've kind of prepared for this mentally. There is so much I can do to save my job since the criteria has not been performance so far. And if the company doesn't get any new projects, I'm definitely doomed!!

I've no clue what I will do if god forbid this happens. But I definitely know that I'm not having any sleepless nights thinking and worrying over the issue anymore.

So its a wait and watch game for me and any day you might hear from me that I'm a free bird! :D

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two awards

Meira and Monika sent 2 different awards my way in the past fortnight.
Meira gave me the "Thanks for Writing" award which one gives to their favorite commentators (or is it commentors?).

Monika gave me the "Proximity" award which one gives to, as the award name says, the people they feel the nearness and a bond.

Every time I receive one, I feel a certain sense of high. A sense of feeling good about yourself. But at the same time it makes me take a step back and take a look at myself and wonder what did I do to deserve such an award. And frankly I get no answer. So after many of such 'self-analysis' sessions which resulted in no answer, I've to actually make a lot of effort to just accept them graciously without thinking too much.

So thank you Meira and Monika. Thanks a lot for thinking about me and thinking of me as a deserving candidate for these awards.

I pass on these awards to
How do we know

Monday, December 15, 2008

You know its the recession time when...

..the cabs at the company get scratched off.
..the food available at the office canteen is either maggi or some biscuits.
..the tubelight fittings are reduced by 25%.
..the stationary gets more strictly rationed

But what takes the cake is when..

...there is no tissue paper in the toilets!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Current Status

Current unread entries status in the reader -
  • Blogs: 584
  • Technical Blogs: 56
  • Food Blogs: 172
VERY GOOD progress..isn't it? :D

Friday, December 5, 2008

Observations about some people in my company

I'm sure each one of us has come across something about a colleague which amuses you or maybe even disgusts you. I also have a few colleagues about whom I've observed a few weird quirks.

There is one colleague who matches lipstick colors with her dresses. You may so whats wrong with it. Yup. There is nothing wrong with it unless you wear orange lipstick to match your orange outfit. Unless you wear purple lipstick when you wear purple dress. Unless you wear bright pink lipstick when you wear a bright pink dress. So you get the drift? :D

Is it just me who finds these combination a little off? Is it just me who's old fashioned and doesn't know the latest trends? I think a nice red lipstick goes well with a nice red dress but orange lipstick?

Then there is this another colleague who wears a leopard print chiffon scarf every single day. It's immaterial if it matches with her dress or not. To me it does seem a little weird. I'm sure that in this case I can't called old fashioned for sure! I like leopard prints but then they have to go with your whole attire. And even if it is the style factor, how can one wear the same darn scarf every single day is beyond me. I've been seeing her wearing it since the past 7 months!! Probably its just her lucky charm *wink*.

And there is this newly married girl (got married in Jan'08). I don't even know her name. I just know her because every time I go to the loo, 80% of the times she is there applying either a lip gloss or a lipstick. Be it 9 in the morning or 12 in the afternoon or 5 in the evening. And I wonder..does one really need to do so much? I agree I'm not a makeup person at all. Rarely are the days when I even put on a lipstick. I'm one of those carefree, nonchalant about my appearance kind of a person. I know I'm one extreme of not doing applying any makeup but retouching your makeup 6-7 times a day is a bit too much. Isn't it?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How long can you hold on?

I have been having slight stomach ache and upset stomach since 3 days. And because of that I was eating very light. Primarily zeera rice with curd. I've had 5 such meals over the 3 days and today when I came back from work I just couldn't resist taking a bit of gazak. One bite of kaju burfi. One spoon of bikaneri bhujia. I just couldn't hold on any longer!! I had to eat something besides rice and curd!!

So tell me is it just me or you guys also give in? Or can you guys hold on longer on your food desires especially in such stomach upset situations?

~~ Keep Smiling! ~~

Sent on my BlackBerry®.

Current Status

Current unread entries status in the reader -
  • Blogs: 762
  • Technical Blogs: Marked all as read
  • Food Blogs: 184
Good progress..isn't it? :D