The best cure for a short temper is to keep the mouth shut. . .

I’m practicing what in Sanskrit is called ‘Mauna Vrata’ meaning, the vow of silence.  The belief is that, if practiced from time to time, it will help master one’s tongue, which can kill as well as heal.  In the ancient Vedas, it is said, when the tongue evolved, God ordered it to be kept locked in a cave-like fortress, and even so He was not satisfied so He provided 32 guards to watch it. Even then when it speaks it spits out poison.

 

I’ve concluded that I specially need to practice the art of ‘voicelessness’ around my 16 year-old daughter, the high priestess oflow tolerance.  Just yesterday, I told her to get her applications for summer programs done and this was only because the pricey high-school counselor we’ve hired had sent me 3 e-mails, each marked “Urgent,” with the subject annoyingly labeled as “Needs immediate attention!!!”

An Inspiring Story: Tell Me Something I Can't Forget. . .

What I should have known about that incident is that it would indelibly be engraved in my subconscious.  I should have known that my mother's words would define every future action, every decision I took.

My memory of it is blurry as childhood memories often are.  

My brother who's two younger than I were squabbling. I may have been 11 or 12 years old. We were fighting as we were inclined to do, and soon it developed into a full-blown scuffle where he hit me on the side of my head.  

"Pow." My brother was two years younger than me but bigger and more aggressive.  

"Waaaaah." The force of his blow knocked me down. I remember getting up from the floor, nursing my hurting head in my right palm and running to my mom to complain.  

My Adventures in Corfu, Greece. . .

The sleepy and rural island of Corfu is different things to different people.  It is home to 4 million olive trees, thanks to intermittent but torrential rains from September to June.  It's also a designated Unesco heritage site because the Old Town of Corfu, dominated by its fortresses of Venetian origin constitutes an architectural example of fortification.  In addition, it's home to endless sandy beaches with stunning sandstone formations, as if the Ionian Sea moulded the sand like a potter.  How many shades of blue can you count?  Just sit back in your lounge chair and watch the waves breaking. . .

Eat Your Heart Out . . . Intermittent Fasting Works!

Let me begin by saying that I'm a girl who loves to eat.  Being East Indian, food has always been a driving force in my life.  

Cookies with morning tea?  Yes, Please.

Rice with beans for lunch.  Yes, please.

Cookies with evening tea?  Yes, please.

Chicken curry and Naan for dinner.  Yes, please.

Hot halwa for desert?  Yes, please.

But I'm also a girl who loves to look good in my clothes.  So, any time, the scale tips by even one extra pound, I either hop on a new diet or I'm pounding away at the gym.

Monsoon Wedding, A Musical. . .

Looking for a way to feel upbeat and happy again?  Seeking some humor in your life?  Searching for fun and romance in a modern setting?  Go catch the Monsoon Wedding musical currently running to packed shows at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.

It's been almost 15 years since the indie film Monsoon Wedding about a Delhi family preparing for a Punjabi Hindu arranged marriage broke records at the box office.

A Colorful Character. . .

It was always the rings I noticed on Lovely Aunty's hand.  There was the huge diamond ring on her engagement finger.  It could have been five or even ten carats.  Had she told me that I would have believed it because it looked gigantic on her right hand.  

Or maybe, it looked humungous because her fingers were short and stubby?  That was my older sister, Gurpreet's unkind observation.

Then there was the emerald ring on her left hand.  It winked and twinkled in the light from the overhead chandelier as Lovely Auntie looked at the deck of cards splayed in her hand.  She curled her lip in annoyance.  

"I'll pass on this set," she'd say with assumed delicacy like a mother would turn away from a child who'd been too naughty. 

MARRY ME, MARRY ME, MARRY ME. . .

Our deepest instinct tells us that joys are increased and pains diminished when we meet them two by two. . .like geese, like penguins we seem to be pair-bonding creatures.  it takes four wings for us to fly."  - Erica Jong

My friend who has two daughters in successful marriages gives me dating advice for my niece who at age 24, is considered of 'marriageable age".  My friend is Gujarati but an emancipated one because one of her daughters is married to a Punjabi boy.  Nearly two years into the marriage, the couple couldn't be happier, she says.

"I tell all my Gujju friends, 'let your daughters dare men of all ethnicities.  How else will they decide who they want to settle down with?' "

What To Know Before Your Next Colonoscopy

Dr. Smucny orders a colonoscopy for me and my Pilates instructor who at age 28 has already had one colonoscopy and one endoscopy sniggers and states, "Hah, I  don't envy you that experience."  Hmmm . . . I'm curious and mystified as to what's gonna happen, but I think I can safely check off the box that states, "Not going to be a fun experience!"

6 p.m., the night prior: I start drinking the prep liquid as instructed, followed by two 16 oz glasses of water to be finished in the same hour.  Whew! Why did nobody warn me this should be labeled 'Draino'? In other words, once you drink your prep, anticipate incessant bathroom runs.  Add to this that I'll probably still be having loose or liquid stools for a couple days after. . .yup, colonoscopy prep is the intestinal gift that just keeps giving!

FOOLPROOF COOKING. . .

Last night the waiter put the celery on with the cheese, and I knew that summer was indeed dead.  Other signs of autumn there may be—the reddening leaf, the chill in the early morning-air, the misty evening—but none of these comes home to me so truly. There may be cool mornings in July; in a year of drought the leaves may change before their time; it is only with the first celery the summer is over.

There is a crispness about celery that is of the essence of October.  It is as fresh and clean as a rainy day after a spell of heat. It crackles pleasantly in the mouth.  Moreover, it is excellent, I am told for the complexion.  One is always hearing of things which are good for the complexion, but there is no doubt that celery stands high on the list.  After the burns and freckles of summer, one is need of something. How good that celery should be there at one's elbow.

                                                                                 A Word for Autumn by A.A. Milne

In theory, I'm a good cook.  I have the recipes collected from Mom, sheafs of paper now bound in a frayed pink ribbon that's unraveling in a multitude of threads.