SUCCESS, MIRACLES, LIFE!

“How can you invest in yourself today for a promising tomorrow?”
– Life-Coach Rima Desai

Have you known anyone highly depressed, anxious and suicidal? Have you seen them completely transformed from that WITHOUT the use of any medications? I was once that – a totally depressed teenager with suicidal behaviors. But something drastically changed my life and it started with something small, a choice. Here is a VIDEO on SUCCESS, MIRACLES, LIFE!

 

When Rahu met a Super Star

It is funny how in today’s world of ‘Rahu’ Kaal (The immortal North Node) we consider that a hero who can show much physical strength and power, often shown in movies with special physical powers as that of Spiderman, Ironman and so on. And even though there is emphasis on the internal strength and concentrated energies to activate and sustain those super powers, yet there is just a heavy bodily element there.

The Super Star I am talking about today is nothing like that. He possessed no particular bodily powers and in fact, did not need any. Dated back to 599 B.C. he was and continues to remain one of the most inspiring figures in Indian History. Originally known as ‘Vardhaman’ (birth name), he gained the title of * MAHAVIR (Maha = Super or Great, Vir = Courageous). Thousands of Jain followers bow to Mahavir Bhagwan (Bhagwan = God) on this special day of his Birth (Mahavir Jayanti; Jayanti = Birthday). As per the English calender it fell on April 1, 2018.

mahavir

For those who are new to JAINISM- It has been comparatively a small but extremely powerful SECT within the Indian cultural setting. Jains are followers of Jainism – a religion that focuses heavily on liberation of the soul by means of conquering the 5 senses and living a life of renunciation and unconditional love. Lord Mahavir was the 24th, last of the Tirthankars (Guide, Spiritual Teacher) of Jainism in this Era of the Earth’s cycle.

I have been lucky to be born in a highly religious Jain family, a family which owned a Jain Temple in India which was open to public. Not only did we pray diligently, we did several group satsangs (spiritual meetings) and attended religious teachings where we were taught and guided by inspiring stories of Lord Mahavir and other previous Jain Lords.

So What makes Lord Mahavir a Super Hero after all?

Mahavir Bhagwan was born in the city of Vaishali (current day Bihar) in a wealthy, kingly family of King Siddharth and Queen Trishala. The birth of a great man was expected by the 14 auspicious dream symbols his pregnant mom received in her sleep.

 

2. trishala mother dreams.jpg

Despite having several wordly pleasures and services at his command, he exhibited a kind, virtuous nature and deep respect of his parents since childhood. As per his parents’ wishes he married beautiful Yashoda at a young age and had a daughter with her. Vardhaman had immense love from family, good health and unimaginable prosperity and yet he continued to feel disconnected, detached from all those worldly pleasures. He donated tons and tons of gold and charity with ease to several of his people. 2 years after his parents’ demise, he renounced all his worldly pleasures, prosperity, personal bonds and became a homeless ascetic in the search for TRUTH and ENLIGHTENMENT.

For 12.5 years after that he spent his life in a single piece of cloth (to give up sensual pleasure, Jainism taught giving up all that belonged to one’s senses and using the bear minimum needed for survival), with no other bodily belongings (no shoes, no jewelry, no possessions or belongings) and deeply meditated in the jungles with silence and discipline. His massive courage was depicted by his unconditional patience and kindness towards animals, humans and demons who made every attempt to harm him and break his indomitable meditative pose. He was whipped, burnt, bitten, hurt, hammered into by cruel deeds and yet he remained unwavering in his resolve to be at peace and silence. In his meditations he received deep revelations about God, Godliness and liberation from Life and death.

 

vard.jpg

Once of the most powerful stories of Lord Mahavir’s monk life is when he was passing through a jungle path and all villagers had warned him to stay away from that path for the venomous and outrageous snake (Chandkaushik) would immediately kill all those who walked that path. When Lord Mahavir exhibited invincible courage and walked that path with a heart full of unconditional love and peace for the snake, the villagers did not expect him to see him alive again. The snake tried all he could to defeat and scare Lord Mahavir with his fierce moves, bites and behavior. Not only did the snake bite heal itself on Lord Mahavir’s feet but he shed white milk liquid from his body instead of blood when he was bitten. With his loving heart, Lord Mahavir held up his right palm to bless the snake and eventually with his unconditional love, he melt all of the snake’s anger and even healed the snake’s past life emotional patterns of rage and pride. The snake bowed to Lord Mahavir and the villagers could then safely travel that path never to worry again about being attacked.

 

Many a stories have been told about Lord Mahavir’s UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, irrevocable KINDNESS and unshakeable internal will power. There were days and weeks he spent on forced fast with no food to be found anywhere as he refused to eat Non-Vegetarian (organisms with 3 or more senses) or Underground food (roots have unlimited amounts of micro-organisms) of any kind. He liberated Chandanbala from her shackles and ultimately attained Kevalgyan (ULtimate, Universal Knowledge) owing to his constant dedication to peaceful instrospection. Kevalgyan is attained only by those who are completely conquered the 5 senses, have no sensual desires left to fulfill.

He then sermoned for several years, enlightening not only humans of all languages but even animals and other organisms by his own single speech and dialect (He was internally so powerful that each organism understood his speech in their own language). His spirit was then liberated from the birth-death cycle forever and became an enlightened, liberted soul, inspiring, motivating and guiding millions of Jain followers for centuries later.

 

jinvachan.jpg

My love for Mahavir Swami (Swami = Lord) is very deep. When I was in my early 20s and had visited Jodhpur, Rajastan, my family went up to the top of the fort to get the view of the city and tour the fort. I however, sat a full 2 hours in Mahavir Swami’s temple, looked at him, meditated and cried for wanting to be like him, with him, following his path. Post that deep connection that I had found with him in that temple, Lord Mahavir visited me in my dreams early in the morning on the way back to my home. The bright, bold Halo around his head and his charismatic presence and words are still fresh in my mind – soul after a decade and a half.

It was Lord Mahavir who gave us the words – “LIVE and LET LIVE” which meant do no harm to others not only by action but also by thought (don’t judge, don’t criticise, don’t anger) and allow others the freedom to self-expression and life.

Today across the world Lord Mahavir’s Jayanti (birthday) was celebrated with pomp and joy. My celebration of this day was by a Loving Silence for a few minutes and stories of Mahavir Swami’s courage and kindness to my young daughter.

So if you ask me who is my role model, you know that it is no human born in this era! So what or who do you call a SUPER HERO, a SUPER STAR? One that embodies unlimited physical strength to win others through physical power or one that exhibits ultimate Soul Power merely by Unconditional Love, Kindness and Will Power?? What kind of power would you want your children to learn? How do we resolved conflicts in our lives??

* Please note that many Indian names and words don’t traditionally end in an ‘a’ . The ‘a’ in the end is what I have found as an adaption by the western world. There is nothing like Yoga in traditional Indian dictionary or dialect. It is Yog (Exercise of the Soul), It is Mahavir not Mahavira and so on..

m

 

 

 

The Screaming Story of a Silent Death ~ true story of my cousin and what follows thereafter

I am rushed with disappointment and anger right now and this leads me to write this article. My anger is not only to this shocking incident questioning my cousin’s life but also to the woman who wrote a more dramatic version of my cousin’s death, on her Fb page. This incident occured in 2011, I shared a post a week ago and today one of my Fb friend has an ‘inspirational’ looking post but with so much of what sounds  ‘nonsensically dramatic’. Are we women done beating each other down?

Before I share this incident, I want to ask you all, if I share that she did not want to marry her husband who was her childhood friend but finally married him because she felt persuaded, does it make you question her integrity? Is that what we women can ‘gift’ other women?!

komal2.jpg

I was in Tanzania, Africa. As usual we were out of electricity. My in laws were dining and I was in the kitchen, finishing up the dishes before it was time to retire for the day. The phone rings, my sister on the phone tells m e – “______ committed suicide_______” details follow… I am frozen with shock! Can’t believe it. Is it this same cousin who was so close to me several years ago.. the same girl who was always so affectionate, so full of live and so beautiful? 5 years ago as I got engaged and married, I left country and lost touch with her. I was surprised when one day I got the news that she finally married him after even breaking her engagement with him. I had passing thought why she did it but not the faintest idea that she was stepping into what news say was a ‘hellish’ place.What a misery that it seems like my cousin lost her life because she did not or wasn’t able to step up to the insensitive and greedy behaviour of her in-laws. But notice how I write “it seems”. There is no conclusive evidence so far and I was in a totally different country for several years to know any of that. Her name or the link to her news is not important. What is important to know is that as far as the news went, she was earning very well, was in her later 20s and hence capable of being independent. I know that the person she got married to was her childhood friend and she was doubtful about accepting his offer of converting the friendship to companionship. Alas, it hit her hard when she finally did!

While all the talk about her dowry, in laws coercing her for money, her great job position and the fact that her father refused to support her after her constant requests goes on, I wonder if there are any answers to some mysteries. Our family still questions if it was murder or suicide? I don’t know what truly happened but this incident and news raises some key issues in our Indian society. I ask all women to rise above ‘society pressures’. If your parents are unwilling to accept you, are too bothered about ‘log kya kahenge’ then do hell with them. Tell them that society will say that you were not a fit parent!!

Women, you no more need permission of your parents to leave abusive relationships, nor do you need to feel guilty or doubtful of stepping out of households where you are treated as a ‘commodity’ or with a ‘give and take contract’. I know today of a friend who lives with a highly abusive husband who curses her with the worst comments, hits her, drinks, abuses her in front of her family members, does not allow her to own and yet she wants to stay in the marriage because her parents want her to continue living with him, just because of “log kya kahenge!!!” Today we have multiple women empowerment centers, homes, places to turn to in times of need. I know that nothing can stop a woman once she makes up her mind. The immense strength we show in caring for others, we must show in caring for ourselves too! It cannot be harder to walk out of a monsterous home than to hear judgement from others for a few months. People talk, forget and accept. The ‘spicy talk’ lasts for a few days and burns out. This society needs more women leaders that step up to injustice and LET-IT-SHOW.

Will the society come to wipe your tears, to free your soul, heal your bruises? Such parents must be shameful of themselves for these are not what we call parents. Culture and tradition is good within limits but when it moves into orthodox rigidity where women are forced to bow down to injustice, gender bias, severe prejudice and abuse, we must reconsider our cultural ways. Is this want you want your daughters to grow up and hear from the news? Is it so important that if our kids do a love marriage, they must be held responsible if the marriage does not work out and furthermore if the in laws lash out torture and coercion? I do not know what happened to my cousin and my facebook post was a scream of pain to ask for help for someone who may be able to help me know the intricate details around her death.

Unfortunately, someone who I called my friend says that it makes her question the girl’s integrity and that I share information that is confidential. Really! Is it so hard for today’s modern world to accept that women have as much of a right to be loved as men? That women have a right to choose partners and deny if needed and that boys can be ‘just friends’ too. How sad that we can’t just get over pointing fingers at one another and then ask men to show us respect. Wake up women, if you want freedom, justice and respect, ask yourself if you watched an item song along with your boyfriend, ask if you thought of another woman as a ‘slut’ in your mind and if you play cheap tricks on other women, shaming them and even worse, exercise negative power against other women…Charity begins at home and so be it!

Zero Membership, Full Benefit!

It is so easy to say – “You should meditate” but it is so hard to actually do it, in fact, even want to do it. Meditation has that boring, serious or ‘difficult’ connotation to it which gets us to push it to – “Maybe someday I will do it, but not today!” If you have been in this in-between of knowing how great meditation can be and yet not sure if you want to do it, this is the article for you. In this article I will briefly describe meditation, how to and touch on my recent experience with Vipassana meditation. I have a video at the end of the article which explains my views on all these in greater detail.

m

Why Meditate / What is Meditation?

Just like we exercise our body to strengthen our muscles and body immunity, we meditate to strengthen our mind muscles and be stronger. We need to build our mind muscle by stillness of the mind. Quiet and stillness gives our mind a break from non-stop working. Imagine a car engine that never stopped, what would happen to it? Can you guess the average number of thoughts we think in a day? Know the answer in my video.

In short, meditation is silence of the mind, not silence of the tongue or stillness of the body. We may not speak but yet our mind may continue to work. Especially at night when the body rests, the mind decides to remove all of its collected waste. That we call either anxiety, worry, dreams or insomnia. These conditions come about when our waste basket hasnot been emptied on a regular basis and results in over spilling.

 

How to Meditate?

Hence, for daily mind clearing, a few minutes of meditation is a must. Why ignore our mind when it is so simple? Let’s say we have no more than 5 minutes a day. For that, all we need to do is, find 2 minutes of silence twice a day. In that silence, we must close our eyes and focus our mind on our breath and feel free of any things planned for the day. This can be done while travelling to work / home or just before lunch, before bed time, etc. This is the simplest way to meditate and yet very effective if done twice a day, daily.

With more time, say more than 5 minutes, one can even play meditation music on YouTube and sit in a comfortable place of privacy. Just close one’s eyes, with a straight back (take back support if needed) and hear that music for as long as one wishes.

The 3rd easy way to meditate is ‘Aum’ chanting. Sit in a comfortable position with straight back and chant A-u-m by pulling the sound from one’s navel / stomach. It gets better with practice and some youtube videos may be available for the same. Chant with an emphasis on A sound first and less of U and M. Repeat that. Then move to short A sound but longer U sound and short M sound (repeat it). Last go to M sound for the longest time and repeat that. Do as many Aum repetitions as needed. It is ok to do a short Aum chant to start with. Our breath may not permit a longer chant and that is ok. It gets better with daily repetitions. We must not do more than what our body permits.

The next level of meditation is sitting in complete silence and allowing our thoughts to come and go without any focus on them. This is the best way to remove ‘mind waste’ and create a space for deeper introspection. Through that one builds mental strength and self-awareness of deeper emotional layers.

There are many other ways to meditate but the above 4 are the simplest. If one likes chanting mantras, one can do mantra meditation to increase mental power.

For increasing focus, concentration and memory:

1.      YouTube – Look at the changing designs of mandalas for as long as you can, you can YouTube Magic Mandalas or Mandala meditation.

2.      Fix one’s gaze on a candle’s wick.

3.      Color Mandalas with intent and focus.

4.      Labyrinth – Walk a labyrinth.

 

There are several other types of meditation. Just like different types of medicines or fitness regimes suit different people, same is with meditation.

Vipassana Meditation:

 

This week I visited Belapur center for Vipassana Meditation for the 10 day course. The accommodation and food facilities at the center are awesome and overall the atmosphere feels conducive for meditation. However, like I had imagined, Vipassana is not a course of complete silence. While students remain silent, the group meditation (about 3 hours a day in total) involves teacher’s constant instruction played through a recorded tape, first in Hindi, followed by English repetition. Besides that, there is a discourse daily and recorded audios focusing on karma theory, moral values, how Vipassana helps, etc. In my video I have mentioned in great detail, the truth that I felt about Vipassana and in comparison to other meditation techniques.

 

Brahma Kumaris
Personally, I am in love with Brahma Kumaris. To avail of their meditation services, we must first do a 7 day course (which is just 1 hour a day of meditation for 7 days) and then attend any center for meditation whenever we feel like. Their audio which states – “Om Shanti Om, I am a peaceful soul” is my most favorite audio for meditation.

 

Do watch my video link which will be added here soon. You can even YouTube Rima Desai or Google – Rima Desai YouTube to find all my videos. Remember to meditate at least 2 minutes a day. Your lovely self deserves at least that much pampering. How much do we all do for others throughout the day? Let’s do some for ourselves too!

Important Points:

Never meditate right after a meal
Never force yourself to meditate no matter what others say
Meditation is  joyful experience, not a serious, sad matter!

HOW CRUCIAL IS IT TO HAVE MORE THAN ONE CHILD?

Are you worried to have just ONE CHILD? Read my article below to know how it is O-K-A-Y to have NONE, ONE or MORE CHILDREN. You are not the one WHO DECIDES THEIR DESTINY.. read the powerful article by me from my other blog link below:download

http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/parenting-booth/article/single-child-or-more-a-powerful-and-introspective-message

The Biography of a Fearless Parent

~ Copyrights reserved.

Parent of the Month (July 2015): Deepak Chheda: aka ‘BHAISHREE’

“The waves of the sea tide high and low to test the strengths within you. They rise up high to see if you can fly when you cannot swim. They bow down low when they know that you shall glow even through a whole bunch of grey clouds!” ~ Dedicated to Dad by Rima D.

It is tough enough to be a Parent, think of being a Single Parent to two young girls with no real career or earning to begin with. In a NEED TO GET INSPIRED?! Read how this parent fearlessly faced all the challenges that life hunted him with…

deepak

Dad was just about to be 34 years when Mom’s sudden demise struck him with immense shock and grief. Then, he had an older daughter at 9 years and me at 6 years. Call it trauma or chaos, he not only had two daughters to care for but also an immense financial burden.

I still remember the day when I was wondering why people all around me are all dressed in white and why they are all crying. What would I understand at 6 years of age? One of the following day, there was an exaggerated silence in our extended living room. Dad was sitting quiet on the 2-3 seater sofa we had – the only furniture that accompanied the long room. Everything seemed empty, not only our hearts, but also our home, and it felt like even the dead living room was crying to be more ‘busy’. I was wearing my white and red two-piece night dress with red hearts on the pockets, beautiful frills. It was my favorite dress. I asked dad – “Where is mom?” He sat there with no response. I can only imagine, how life’s painful demands must have blown upon dad like a loud, commanding trumpet that shakes us from our dearest dream. But he made it through…!

I have seen Dad take heavy loans in an attempt to give us just basic living. We lived in a huge home which was granted by grandpa but besides of that, we literally struggled for even basic clothes or good food. People judged us from the home we had and thought we were rich. We also lived in a suburb that belonged to the elite class since grandpa built his home there and we had cousins that were truly very well off. Our family was socially knit and religiously driven. Hence we had several rituals to attend many times in a month and when all of this is put together, dad had a lot to keep up to: The worry of building his business from scratch, educating his daughters while on a heavy loan, having someone take care of us after school (since school ended by 1pm);  get us enough clothes to keep up with the family and religious rituals, have maids to help us with house work – which was always a huge challenge, and a lot more… I remember his tears and worry when his very own close family members wanted to snatch our home and have us come on the streets. Dad had a legal battle to win to save his two daughters from being homeless, I remember that day when, the little child became his parent and said – “It will be okay dad” but inside my heart, I was hurt, scared, in anger. I remember tons of days of darkness, sadness, struggles in our lives where dad had to fight many social, emotional and financial battles…

I don’t think even a 100 pages can suffice for what I would want to express or vent you may say. I can say that no matter what faults others find, I can vouch for what he did right! In spite of massive financial burden and almost no support from outside, he gave us the best education. He put us in the most competitive and expensive school in one of the most elite areas of the prestigious Mumbai City!

That education has today led me to be this person who is writing on this blog, serving the community, and build a personality that can adapt to any cultural backdrop across the world. I haven’t had a problem conversing in English and interacting with the general public across different countries. My School played big role in it!
uss

I am honored to have learnt some amazing things from dad:

  1. Excellent Organizational Skills: Until date, I haven’t met anyone who can beat dad in his organizational skills.

  2. Social Skills: Over the years, I saw dad as very sociable. He was friendly, helpful and was quick to make them feel comfortable and good about themselves.

  3. Hard work and the value of being Responsible: Maybe there are people more hardworking than my dad or maybe there aren’t! I cannot owe him enough to teach me this important value. Dad gave his best swim across the tough tides of life. He never backed from his responsibilities even when he had several strong enemies in his business and life. I witnessed him face them all with great courage.

  4. God-fearing and religious – Dad exposed us to deep religious knowledge of Jainism and its rituals. Sometimes it felt like it was too much for a child but today I cherish those experiences and knowledge. It has imparted great wisdom and strength into me. He believed in God and taught us values like being kind, never eat animals, etc.. By belief in God and by modelling courage, he taught us to be Brave and Optimistic in life.

  5. Skills with Kids: Dad is just super with kids. He did great in having cousins stay overnight, arranging games and activities with them, teaching us in fun yet educational ways, entertaining the younger tots, etc. I subconsciously learnt a lot about playing with kids by watching dad over the years.

  6. Have the Faith: Dad taught without the use of words, that having faith and having an optimistic ‘expectation’ out of Life, always leads us to a ‘good’ place. He always taught me – “Never fear”.

  7. Strong cultural roots: I learnt to interact with elders, be courteous, be rooted to my homeland, to my religion, culture, be curious of other cultures, etc all from dad through his wise advices and by observing him.

  8. Business Skills: I have observed him to be an honest, fierce and powerful businessman.

I have learnt a lot from him and still continue to. No parent is perfect and no parent should be, because all that matters if we are bonded with ‘Love’. Love makes it Perfect.

“Dad I am Honored for all that I have learnt from you. You deserve all the success that is coming to You for Jee and me know how much you have invested into us and into life! We love You Unconditionally and so do your Grand-children”. Also, a Big Thank You to Jinal di for participating in this and for being a great sister through and through all the years till now”.

d-n

IMGA0275

Elder Daughter: JINAL

“Whatever I am today is only and only because of my Father. A highly organized person and extremely dedicated to his duties he has brought us up in a very cultured and disciplined environment. Playing the role of a mother and father is not easy. We have seen hardships he has faced in order to raise us so diligently. Spiritual and honest in his ways, he has given us a strong base to face the outside world. He always wears a smile and his simplicity adds a charm to his personality.

He can be like a child with his grandchildren and mold himself easily to his surroundings. Words are not enough to say or justify what I owe to him. Also Dad, Sarthak receives so much joy learning and playing with you”.

IMAG0647


A sincere and heartfelt ‘THANK YOU’ to you Dad for all that you have done for us. Love You!

        HBDD

BHAISHREE’S PARENTS – My Grandparents :))

IMG-20141011-WA0040

BHAISHREE’S ACTIVITIES

Dad continues to live independently by himself since 9 years now. He is as active as before but is living a simpler and a much more religious life now. He is now fiercely active in the Jain religious spectrum with his organization https://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Jain-Foundation-IJF-Mumbai/

He is working towards creating more awareness of and support for the Jain Sect. His recent, Jain event in Mumbai was embraced with a huge sucess. He is commonly and respectfully referred to as ‘Bhaishree’ by all who know him in recognition of the work he is doing for the Jain Community. This name has been ‘gifted’ to him by a Jain Monk.

 
 bhaishree

VEGAN HIGH PROTEIN CREPE

Crepe is a French word for a thin pancake which can essentially be curled up. Crepes have been an integral part of North and West Indian cooking for several decades. They make for a nutritious and a filling meal, all curled up together.

Being an artistic leader is an essential part of my personality and that shows up pretty well in the kitchen too. Rarely do I read a recipe from start to end and follow it to the T!  I have always preferred to be the one creating a recipe than the one who follows it. Today was something like that. I brought out the ingredients and then asked myself – how to use these to make dinner? ‘Ting’ went my mind – OATMEAL CREPE

20150626_215621

Find the Ingredient Photographs below.

  1. Oatmeal – 3 cups and churn into dry powder
  2. Poha (Beaten Rice) – 2 cups and churn into dry powder
  3. Urad Daal (Split black gram: split and hulled so that only the white part is used) – 2 cups and churn into dry powder
  4. Kale – 4 cups
  5. Spring Onions – One bunch – appx. 5 thin.
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Pepper 3-4 Tbsps.
  8. Cinnamon powder – 1 Tbsp.
  9. Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp.
  10. Water to make a medium thick, flowy batter

HOW TO:

Churn all well in as many batches as needed. The batter looks a bit grainy and that is ok. Add water whenever needed. If the batter is not used immediately, it may soak up water and look thicker when removed for use. Use your discretion in adding water. Spread on warm non-stick skillet. Make crepes as usual!

PROBLEM AREAS?

If it lumps up on the warm skillet, then it surely needs water. If it is so thin or soft that the crepe breaks on the skillet, then you may churn up either of the above dry ingredient into a powder and add it. You may even directly add Bengal gram flour which helps in binding ingredients. Remember at least part of the batter a churn in the blender once you add any dry flour to it. This will help keep the batter smooth and easy to spread.

The batter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days however, best flavor when consumed within 3 days!

SUCCESS STORY!  :D

My family over-ate today! They said they loved it! It is a great recipe for kids too since they can roll it and eat by themselves by dipping in butter, sauce, or cilantro and tamarind dips. Use it while travelling!!!

20150626_211108

Poha - Beaten Rice
Poha – Beaten Rice
Urad Daal Or Split & Hulled Black Gram
Urad Daal Or
Split & Hulled Black Gram
The batter
The batter

20150626_205321-1-1

20150626_215621

 

crepe

 

Also read: INDIAN GINGER TEA (CHAI)
with a Video Tutorial!

Falafel Fiesta – Yum!!

Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right
Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right

Although Falafel is a Mid-East recipe, every Indian knows how to incorporate his /her own taste and definition to a recipe from around the world. In case if you haven’t already heard, Indians are good ‘Creative Copy-Cats (CCC)’, the way I put it! lol

So here is my CCC Falafel half inspired by me watching my talented aunt cook Falafel a few years ago and half inspired by my crazy mind. This purely Vegetarian dish can also be made VEGAN by keeping out the Optional Ingredients and can be awed for its nutritional fillers- high proteins, calcium, iron, with moderate carbs and fats.

We need:

  1. Butter as per needed on the bread slice when preparing final serving
  2. ½ Onion – white or red (in India onions are way smaller in size, may require to use 2 onions, refer to my picture below to know the quantity)
  3. 2 inch stick of cinnamon
  4. 2 cloves
  5. 1 tsp black pepper – crushed or powder
  6. Sesame seeds – ½ cup
  7. * Optional ingredient: Yogurt – ½ cup
  8. Salt as per needed for each time of use
  9. 1 cup chick peas or garbanzo beans soaked for 6hours.
  10. 1 big palm sized potato or equivalent number of small size
  11. * Optional: Paneer – cottage cheese, crushed to make half to one cup. Make at home by boiling and tearing boiling milk with vinegar or lemon. You can find tons of recipes for how to make paneer at home or get Ready paneer from store. In Usa, you will find Paneer in the frozen section of Indian stores
  12. * Optional: Cheese – 1/4th cup
  13. Tabasco: 4drops
  14. Sriracha Sauce: 1/4th to ½ tsp (as spicy as you want

HOW TO COOK IT

  1. 20150408_181124 Roast white sesame seeds in a non-stick pan on med to low heat until they turn light brown. Stir every minute, making sure you are tossing those seeds around pretty well. They do love carousel rides!
  2. Once light brown remove from stove and allow to cool in a cool area of home, preferably out of the kitchen and under the fan (make sure your fan is clean ;))
  3. Meanwhile, we will prepare the base of our stuffing.
    20150408_180147 chop fine. Red onion is ok too.
  4. Pressure cooker or any untensil to boil the garbanzo beans.
  5. In med. to big sized Pressure Cooker (or Rice cooker), 1 Tbsp of oil; when hot, add 2 inch stick of cinnamon, 2 cloves, 1 tsp crushed black pepper or black pepper powder.
  6. add onions, roast on med to high flame till translucent in color.
  7. Add garbanzo / chick peas and fill water to 2-3 inches above chick peas.
  8. To make the chick peas softer, add salt to
  9. Boil in cooker with 6 whistles. (Adjust whistle no. as per your cooker)

20150408_180303 Kept to boil in pressure cooker

10. Meanwhile we will make our own version of ‘ Tahini Dip’. Crush the cooled sesame seeds in a dry grinder 1st 20150408_183101

11. Once crushed, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the dry, ground sesame powder. Churn it once if needed. Add 3 Filled Tbsp of Yogurt (*optional, this is my own addition) and store this dip in a tightly covered container to preserve the flavor.

12. When the pressure cooker cools, separate the potato from the chick peas

13. Peel potato skin. Mash the boiled, peeled potato and add paneer – cottage cheese. Top with salt and 1tsp of red chilli powder (add more or less as per requirement)

20150408_181155

14. Add quarter cup cheese

15. Mash the chickpeas, potato, paneer all in one

20150408_184536

16. Add salt, tabasco 4 drops, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (as spicy as needed)

20150408_184801 (1)

17.  images All the parts are ready. Unlike Traditional Falafel, I do not make them into balls. I leave it like a paste.

Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right
Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right

18. Take your Bread slices, add butter, layer with tahini dip, chick peas paste, bite into this delightful dish!

The Biography of a Dedicated Parent

 Parent of the Month: Feb 2015

MR. DINESH ARYA

mr. dinesh

 

 Talent and Intelligence are nothing without the benchmark of Courage and Hard work. Add a spice of Maturity and Modesty to it and boom you have a sparkling gem. Few people are able to wrap all of these six qualities in a perfect balance like Mr. Dinesh Arya. Today on 19 Feb, we are celebrating his 65th Birthday!

Sir, Wishing you many more years of success from Parenting Booth’

Hb

Coming from a very humble upbringing, Mr. Arya had learnt some important values early on in life. He was very young when his father moved from Pakistan to India. Going back to the history of India’s freedom struggle, Pakistan’s separation from India brought immense trauma on the masses and to Mr. Arya’s family as well. The lack of vaccinations victimized him to three lethal diseases at a very small age – diphtheria, small pox, and meningitis. There on, another challenge was growing up in a Muslim-Christian dominated locality. Again, India has faced many mob riots based on religion from time to time and the situation was graver in the mid-1900s. The main challenges for the family were mere survival and providing good education to all the siblings. But, life’s troubles didn’t end there.

While at 11 years other classmates and friends enjoyed their childhood, Mr. Arya and his sister helped their father to deliver his business boxes. Imagine the agony of changing a school due to lack of funds and then having to study and work all day! Yet, Mr. Arya never ranked beyond 2nd in all his school years. With his diligence, he stood 42nd in India and won a scholarship to IIT, Mumbai (A highly prestigious institution for higher studies).

From there, he topped in GRE and won scholarships to all the universities in USA. Back in those days, winning a scholarship to study abroad was like discovering an ocean in a desert – an opportunity only for phenomenal students. But, Mr. Arya’s sense of responsibility towards his family was much higher than the need to capture this sparkling opportunity. He knew that being the eldest and the only son, his family needed him a lot more. He chose stay back and be a pillar to his family. Thereafter, many a challenges crossed his path but Mr. Arya’s moral values, humble and patient nature stood the test of time.

Even after getting a job from IIT campus, he had considerable financial responsibility towards his family. He helped get his sisters married and supported a sister after the loss of her spouse. He had to give up his job twice to a fresh new start and even hit rock bottom times where his family lost everything.

As his family puts it – “His life has been like a Sensex with huge up strings and down strings. The beauty is that his values have remained the same in all situations. People around him, even in his career, gained so much from him that he became a catalyst to their extra-ordinary success and yet he humbly took pride in their victory.

The youngest to the oldest know him as – ‘compassionate’ and ‘generous’. He has believed in the philosophy of giving without expecting and taught his children the same.

 

A message from Niti Ranjan – Daughter

 Special memories

Dad’s work required him to travel a lot but whenever he would return, he made him for his absence. He would bring something special for my brother and me, talk about his travel, and spend time with us. He helped me a lot with Math and Science.

It was very tough on dad to realize that at the tender age of 11 years, I had become an Insulin dependent diabetic. He did everything he could to cure me but he finally felt helpless and I began taking shots. Until today, I live on shots but dad’s positive outlook helped me live through it.

He has taught me to be a good human being, be affectionate to others, and love my own life too. Most of all, I have learnt from him to be generous, helpful and modest without expecting anything in return.

Special qualities of dad:

  1. I can talk anything to him without him judging me
  2. His zest for life is amazing
  3. He gets along with any person. He is equally friendly with and respectful to people of any cast, creed, position, or background.
  4. He is extremely compassionate, caring, and intelligent.

A message from Dushyant Arya – Son

Childhood memories with dad:

-Playing cricket

– Helping me in my studies

– Entertaining Foreigners over Dinner from his workplace

-Watching movies

-Taking walks together and discussing about life and many other things

What I learnt from dad:

It is impossible for me to pen down the infinite number of things I learnt from dad. Here are some:

  1. -Compassion and concern for everyone
  2. -Doing good for others without expectation
  3. -Forgive others (this is difficult for me but dad does it so easily!)
  4. -Love your family
  5. -Interest in the growth and self-discovery of others around you
  6. -Reading
  7. Adapt to any situations like fish to water
  8. Ability to stay positive in all times
  9. To work with passion and do my best in all endeavors and success will surely follow

For you my dad:

“Dad you are my hero, mentor, guru, friend, philosopher and for me, the closest form of God on Earth. I deeply adore you and idolize you in all your roles – as a father, boss, coach, uncle (mama), etc. For me, no other man I know can equal you and I have never loved another man as much. As you celebrate your 65th year, I wish you good health. I wish to imbibe your good qualities. I want to spend as much time with you as possible. Do know dad that ‘You are the Best’ and we all Love You!

Mr. Dinesh Arya’s Message

“We were living in a joint family when my first child, Niti was born. I was in a touring job, requiring 20 days travel. I landed home and realized that my wife was already in the hospital. Next day wading through rain and floods, I reached the hospital ‘after’ Niti was born. Years flew by in a whirlwind of tours due to my job. My wife played both: mom and pop to Niti in every way.

Now Niti lives far, I cannot make up for the lost time with her but my granddaughter fills my heart with joy. With my son Dushyant as well, I did not get to spend as much time as I wished. A turning point in my life was when I bought him a computer, and he became my teacher. Today, I am proudly the father of a fine entrepreneur. I would love to have the same kids in the next life so that I can watch them grow, pamper, and play with them. In this life, I will make do with my grandchildren J I am blessed to have children who admire, love, and forgive me despite lack of time and attention from me.

I am forever indebted to my wife – Rita for her contribution in raising the kids while I was absent from home to make two ends meet”.

Mrs. Rita Arya’s message

I am proud to have a husband who is a caring, loving, and giving person even though he has missed out the fun of life in his young days. He could not spend much time with our children due to his travels but whenever kids needed him, he has supported them emotionally, mentally and physically. He makes an adorable father who is always optimistic and sending positive vibrations to his children. We all love him a lot!

—–Copywrite Rima Desai, Feb. 2015——-

 Also read: https://mystyrimz.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/biographyofavictoriousparent/

Delicious Mix Vegetable and Dip Rice salad (Bhel)

20141109_192706-1 (1)

Bhel is a highly popular dish in North India. The main ingredient is roasted or shallow fried puffed rice. There are lots of raw vegetables and two highly nutritious dips (chutneys) added to the puffed rice.

This is my own (Rima Desai’s) unique recipe to make your bhel even more nutritious:

Mix veg salad of your choice – cucumber, corn, onion, potato, tomato, broccoli, carrots, etc. lightly salted

Roasted cashew, peanut and almond powder all mixed together

Raisins and pomegranate – optional

Cilantro chutney (dip) and Tamarind + dates chutney (dip)

Ready Bhel mix or home roasted kurmura (puffed rice) mixed with bhujia (sev or fried Bengal gram snack)

Chaat masala and cilantro.

MIX IT ALL and feast!