Monday 30 June 2014

Influence of a Good Teacher

I sincerely feel that teachers are those great souls, who inspite of being TEACHERS, turn to be our second parents in a certain way... They mould our lives in most constructive shape n direct us to the best possible track towards success in life.

Though i owe my success to all of my teachers but there is a person who has been my role model since the day I came into her contact....

Of all the things that my English teacher Ms. Swastika Gautam taught me, I've been most grateful to her for fuelling in me that needed love for education..

because this thirst for knowledge was the only reason that i never tried to soak it all up in me, and she was there to spontaneously ponder her innovative ideas to make me learn the hardest topic in simplest manner at such a tender age.

My golden schooling experience had been so fulfilling, enriching n bursting with enthusiasm only due to her passion for instilling every single virtue in me like patience, humbleness and empathy.

I feel myself ‘oh so lucky’ to have her as a stand-out founder of my personality. She left such a positive imprint on my memories and heart that will never fade n will keep me going forever when I'm proudly following her footprints with similar vivacious spirit being a well-groomed teacher now.

I really owe the best traits in my profession to Swastika Ma'am like being affectionate, thoughtful, providing a non-threatening n welcoming environment to my students. She deserves to be one of the most fabulous woman I came across ever.

I agree that a teacher affects eternity. He can never tell where his influence stops. A teacher is indeed influential in moulding the destiny of a child. To express their deep devotion and reverence in my life, I wud simply say-

T - Trust they build in our relationship gives meaning to our life....
E - Endearing students' self-esteem that pumps confidence in each of our actions...
A - Amalgamation of Liberal and Rational Approach...
C - Correcting our mistakes and not concealing them ever...
H - Heart of pure gold always beating n praying for betterment of students..
E - Evolving a delicate brain into mastermind of own sphere..
R - Rarest of GEM that can never be bought or sold for any monetary value ...
Lets show our gratitude to our teachers !!

Miraya and Baggout trim Nani's 'Whole Nine Yards' Shorter ;)

Baggout's Blogging contest
P.S. This post is being written for ongoing blogging contest and is purely a fictional work with no intention to hurt anybody's sentiments.
It is such a GRAND thing to be the mother of a mother - 
that is why the world calls her a "GRANDMOTHER" ...
I bet every granny must be feeling privileged reading this cute, yet meaningful expression :)

The same stands true for Sonia Gandhi Ji too. Sonia ji, pretty fond of her grand daughter Miraya, feels proud pulling out leisurely moments from her packed schedule to spend special time of uninterrupted play and talk with her darling princess. The fascinating bond of these two lovely ladies with each other always gives them a feeling of 'undivided attention' and 'pure endearment'.

Like all grandchildren love hearing stories of good old days of what their grand-parents were like when they were little, Miraya has been no exception to that... For her, every summer vacation spent at nani's place has those curious, chirpy, dreamy moments at night when nani opens her virtual storybook and reads her li'l princess soulful fun stories or sings songs. Miraya too loves holding treasure troves of happy memories passing down their family heritage to her generation by Nani close to her heart.

That day, wandering from this room to that.... feeling bored with nothing much to do, Miraya thought of glancing at nani's old photo album kept on the top shelf, which she never had seen. Flipping through just few of those B&W pics only, Miraya was like "OMG, nani looked no less than a charming film star in these lovely outfits !!! "
 Suddenly, her HOTS (high order thinking skills) lightened the bulb of her creative thinking to make her day worth memorable (*wink wink) .... she quietly catwalked to nani's studyroom where her workstation (a latest PC with all facilities to get connected the the world) was set up and got it powered boost. She knew exactly how to execute her plan ... In her browser window, she quickly typed (the name of the online shopping buzzword which she overheard about from her school teacher recently)

Miraya kept smiling-n-talking to herself "I'd not ever imagined myself exploring this whole sea-full of exciting deals n offers on so soon, but i think its high time now to dive in to discover something unparallel.."

woah!!  The shopping extravaganza welcomed her to take a walk through many popular websites like Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong on a central platform that she knew till then from TV commercials only ...

She fanatically logged in and was mesmerized by the divalicious collection of products available, best suited for people of all age groups, physical appearance or even varying budgets... The cool accessories (bags, footwear, eyewear, jewelery, makeup, watches nd what not) to go with every outfit with such vast variety had been showcased so gracefully on the site.... And there she started handpicking those thoughtful gifts for her nani by clicking on WOMEN tab on the top of page...

Nope, it was not that easy as she expected it to be...  the choices were so pleasant to the eyes that she didn't realize spending almost 3 hours or so, when she looked up at the wall clock after zeroing on some classy stuff...

Hey, but that's not the end of all the fun n frolic here...
As she decided to go through the fine details of products before placing an order, a new term "Cashback" caught her attention ... Now what the hell does it mean here ??     Digging in more deeply, Miraya discovered another fantabulous "icing on the cake" kinda feature that has been generous enough to share a part of its earning from online retailers with the shoppers in the form of cashback that gets credited to shopper's A/c.  

Oh My My!!   It felt just heavenly getting every desired products from any shopping portal right here sitting on my comfy couch and also getting rewarded for that ;)  I could see myself as a lifetime customer of Baggout as i grow up ...  Aaha !!

Few days later, Miraya was now ready with her pristine expressions and a considerably strong script in her mind ...   Stepping in the room where Sonia Ji had been busy in some work, Miraya touched her chin gently to have eye contact before she could actually start expressing her wish in a lighter mood ...  
then she continued "Nani, I always admire your
style quotient that speaks volumes on how elegantly you drape yourself in pretty sarees and your personality is beaming with the fervour of being drenched in 'Indianness'.  I have got a surprise for you today .... Come with me & you will surely love it..." 

Stepping in the studyroom with nani holding her hand, Miraya tilted the computer screen towards Nani showing her the exact replica of the tunics/kurtis that she had worn years ago when she had just got married..... Miraya could observe nani's moistened eyes behind her spectackles and her emotions chocking up her throat with unuttered words of nostalgia.... Miraya continued saying "I know how much it matters to keepsake the things of such sentimental values with us, so i have already ordered these dresses for you to wear the warmth of your love around you. I hope you like this token of my respect for you and please accept my wish to wear these dresses ..."

Sonia Ji was touched by the thoughtfulness and selfless love of her li'l princess and didn't want to leave her heart broken. So she nodded 'YES' and hugged Miraya lovingly and could say "My princess, you filled a place in my heart that even I didn't know was empty" <3

And the li'l princess had one more pleasant word to share with Nani, when she giggled and said "Nani, and you know I also got a decent dress for Veera (their cook's daughter) with the Cashback money I saved that you were wanting to gift her on her engagement coming week.."

Nani's joy knew no bounds and she could just  silently thank Baggout for discovering a newer n transformed version of her persona !!

Saturday 21 June 2014

Bharwan Achari Karela : Recipe Of The Day

Hi Foodies

Last night I cooked karelas (bitter gourd) on hubby's request. Though raw karelas are quite bitter in taste; but when these are cooked in proper way, they taste delicious and provide health benefits too...Many people cook it differently either by chopping in circular pieces or with some dry spices with potatos, but since my childhood my mom always cooks karela with stuffing in it.

So here is my step-by step recipe with pictures ...

8-10 medium sized bitter gourds (karela)
3-4 medium size onions (finely chopped)
2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp red chilli power (lal mirch)
1 tsp coriander powder (sookha dhania)
salt to taste
4-5 sp leftover spicy mixure from mango pickle
Mustard oil for shallow frying

P.S. (There is no need to add any other spices or herbs like fenugreek seeds (daana methi), fennel seeds(saunf), mustard seeds(sarson) or nigella seeds (kalonji) because these are all readily added in the mango pickle.)

Preparaion Method:

1.     Wash and peel the karelas. Rub some salt with your hands on the karelas and keep them aside for an hour or so. It will minimize the bitterness of karelas to certain extent.
2. After some time, you will notice a li’l watery liquid on karelas which you should squeeze by pressing them in your hands.
3. Now, slit each karela lengthwise with a sharp knife and scoop out the seeds insides carefully creating a hollow. (if you like the crunchy taste of its seeds, then the soft seeds can be left as it is) You can again rub a little salt inside the karela and keep aside for 10 minutes for better taste.

4.  Mix the chopped onions, mango pickle mixture, salt, turmeric power, red chilli powder, coriander powder in a bowl to get the stuffing ready.
5. Now, fill in the stuffing liberally in the karelas.

6. And I tie the karelas with thread around them so that the stuffing does not roll out while being cooked.

7. Heat the mustard oil in a flat surface pan on medium flame and start frying the stuffed karelas (don’t cook them on high flame, because the thick skin of karelas might not be softened, but will burn itself very soon)
8. If some of the onions do come out while cooking as in the picture below and get burned, take them out with a spoon so that they don’t stick to the karelas.
 9. Keep the karelas turning around till they turn golden brown from all the sides.
10. Serve hot with chapatti/parantha and Moong Daal as a part of traditional North Indian Thali... ;)

Happy Cooking, Healthy Eating !!!

Your feedback/suggestions and inputs on the posts are really valuable to me ...

Shilpa Bindlish

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Dabur Vatika Enriched Olive Hair Oil Review

Hello Everyone

                               While scrolling through my FB page last month, I came across a nice giveaway post by Be Beautilicious wherein the participants were supposed to enter the giveaway in 2 phases...

1. Simply answering the giveaway question to win phase 1.
2. Using the giveaway product for few days and sharing the testimonial (ofcourse, only for the Winners of Phase 1) .

Here is the link of the giveaway post by Be Beautilicious where she offered the Dabur Vatika Enriched Olive Hair Oil packs ...

I found the idea quite interesting and could not resist participating in WEEK 1 itself and luckily won the same :)

I received my prize hamper quite soon after winning and it consisted of 2 packs (100ml, 200ml) of Dabur Vatika Enriched Olive Hair Oil...

So, here i enter PHASE 2 becuase i've been using this oil for last few days and will be reviewing the oil today ....

An effective hair oil is the most wannable product for everyone who is in love with his/her hair like i'm ;) 
Dabur Vatika Olive Hair oil is formulated with three active ingredients that are perfect remedy to most of our hair problems, which are..
* Olives: to help treat problems like dandruff n flaky skin.
* Almond Protein: to prevent hair loss, provide shine and strengthen hair.
* Aloe Vera: to reduce irritation on scalp.

Other than these 3, some more ingredients of good old times have also been mixed well for reaping more beneficial properties of each like ...
*Bhringraj (an Ayurvedic herb used to maintain and rejuvenate hair),
*Hibiscus ( an edible red flower believed to encourage hair growth by stimulating circulation, reduce split ends and prevent pre-mature greying of the hair strands),
*Cyclomethicone (a clear, colorless liquid that gives silky & slippery feeling to the touch)   *Vitamin E Acetate

Quantity: 200 ml
Price: Rs.120/-
Shelf Life: 2 yrs from the date of manufacturing

My Experience with Dabur Vatika Enriched Olive Hair Oil:

Let me begin with a confession...I had been a gal with gifted dark long tresses that i used to call my CROWNING BEAUTY. There was set hair care regime that i used to follow without a miss. But for past few years, I have NEGLECTED my  hair to greater extent due to my overburdened schedule. I knew my hair demand much needed food for them, but i've been careless.

But, I'm feeling blessed that i started using Dabur Vatika Hair oil and said GOOD BYE to my hair problems.
The oil is in green color and of quite running consistency, so i found it easy to apply. As i applied it on my undernourished hair with my fingertips in circular motion, it gave a cooling effect to my dry scalp. For the next few minutes, I could smell its strong fragrance (might not be the same case with everyone) which was a bit uneasy for me due to my sensitive nose. But gradually as i left the oil on my hair for few minutes, i was comfortable n relaxed with no such irritation in my nose.

The oil is quite light and non-greasy on application;  so i was really pleased to imagine that on a certain working day, I would be able to just rub a little olive oil on my fingers and run them through my hair after styling for smoother non-frizzy hair :)
You can see how my oily  hair looked like BEFORE and AFTER oiling --

I decided to keep the oil on my hair overnight and to wash it the next day. Here I want to make a point that I always use fresh water (even in winters) to wash my hair to avoid getting flaky scalp. Since this oil is less greasy than usual mustartd oil or coconut oil, it washed off without much effort leaving my hair more voluminous, healthy-looking and lusturous. Infact I felt no need of conditioning my hair after head bath.

After its regular use for last few weeks, I can claim that this olive oil rich in vitamins E and antioxidants seals the moisture in my hair and minimizes dandruff considerably. The hair fall rate has dipped down pretty well and my comb comes out neat without many broken hair from roots.

Talking about the packaging, the oil comes in a transparent plastic bottle with Flip-Open kind of cap which is not lockable tightly. So I don't think that this bottle is travel-friendly. I've been careful to press the cap properly, still a drop or two leaked out somehow.

I even tried to use this oil to get rid of my severe headache few days back in lukewarm state followed by head massage. And it worked wonders.

Completely Budget Friendly
Harmonious Ingredients
Easy to Apply and Wash off
Easily Available
Relatively Non-Sticky, Yet Equally Nourishing
Makes Hair More Pliable
No Adverse Effect on Hair

Packaging Not Travel Friendly

Conclusively, my hair have found a worthy companion in Dabur Vatika Enriched Olive Hair Oil and I'm more than satisfied with the outcome. So it will be surely in my shopping list next time onwards. :)
I'm looking forward to get those similar heart-warming compliments for my hair from family and friends in coming days that will boost my confidence once again...

Happy Hair Care!!
Shilpa Bindlish :)