Monthly Archives: November 2012

How would it feel to have it all?

In life, I have never been perfectly satisfied for long. There are times when I take a moment to thank God for what I have and how good my life is. I truly feel blessed but the feeling does not last forever. Now and then I feel like there is something missing in life, I feel like I’m not where I’m supposed to be. I feel like I’ve been wasting my time all life long and ignoring that one true calling.

Everything happens for a reason, its not hard to believe in this. I can see the reason why I am here and I can see the reason why things happened in the past and I am very thankful to be where I am; I feel blessed to have my family and friends around me, they are my support system. I know I am strong, head strong and I can get what I want. I also know that change is essential, being in one place for a long time is not my thing. I need change, I need wings, I want to fly. Today is one of those days when I feel like what the hell am I doing here, does everything in life narrows down to money and will I spend my life just thinking about the three basics of living that my eastern values have taught me? Will I live like my parents who spent their entire life worrying about food, home and children? All I’ve ever learned is that life is only about earning a living! I am so confused right now.

Sometimes I wonder, how life would be, if I could just do what I love to do, how would life be if I were to discover that one missing ingredient. But again, life lures you into thinking that there is this one thing that exists that will change the way you think and change the way you live. It makes you alive, curious and you venture out in a life long search of something that probably doesn’t even exist. The enigma of life never fails to fascinate me, the passion of poets never fail to confuse me. Sometimes I wonder, what did the greats discover and how did they feel when they had it all? But there is no perfect life, there is no example of a perfect living and there is no example of a perfect being.

Today is one of those days when I feel like doing nothing. It is one of those days when I feel like digging deep and finding answers. I just wish I could be at peace. I wish I could just read a book, stroll in the beach, sip margaritas and do nothing. May be I need a vacation o_O!!

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Dhunga khojda deuta vetiyo(Mexican food joint in Bangkok)

There is a saying in Nepali, “Dhunga khojda deuta vetiyo”, which literally translates to, when I went looking for stone, I found god. Although the meaning of this saying is deep and profound, we use it in our daily lives too. Something similar happened to me during this weekend, dhunga khojda deuta vetiyo. We went looking for a normal shop and we found a great place to eat :).

A and I were out for shopping trying to find one particular shop in Bangkok. By the time we reached the place, we were already hungry but we had to go for dinner with friends in less than two hours. This meant we could grab something to snack before dinner. Then by the same building where this shop was, we saw a small outlet where few tourists were merrily eating. We went in to check what it was. It was a mexican food joint. I like Mexican food, but I hadn’t tried it many times to judge how it really was. I had been to few places that served Mexican food while in C city. In Bangkok, we had been to Sunrise Tacos which is like a Mexican fast food chain and the food is okish, not too good and not too bad.

But there was something special about this little place. The pictures in the menu looked yummy and there were more than one thing that we wanted to order, but since we had to go to this dinner in the evening, we decided to order some light starters and a drink.

I ordered a snack size Quesadilla and A ordered corn chips with Guacamole dip and Mexican chicken wings.

Quesadilla

The Quesadilla was amazing. The chicken was grilled and juicy, it had red beans, cheese and capsicum filling. Each bite was juicy and succulent. And next was Corn chips with Guacamole dip. Guacamole salsa is my favourite dip in the whole wide world, I often make it at home. But whenever we ordered this in some restaurants either the portion was very small or it was mixed with mayo, which we didn’t prefer. But this dip was perfect at this place. It was a bit different from what I usually make, this might be because I had never tried the traditional Guacamole before and I tend to put more lemon. Also the portion at this place was good, we got a bowl full of Guacamole and basket full of chips for 160Baht, which is not bad at all.

Corn chips with Guacamole, I couldn’t wait so took the pic after first few bites ๐Ÿ™‚

The chicken wings was also good, it had a nice tomato sauce and dried fish on top of it which made the taste unique (same as the newark golbheda ko achar/tomato sauce with dried fish). I had Mexican strawberry/kiwi soda to go with the food, which I expected to be as good as the Ranjana galli soda that we get in Kathmandu but it was not as good.

Chicken wings with fish and tomato sauce

Our overall experience at the restaurant was very good. We were pleasantly surprised, it also had a free salsa bar from where you could select salsa for of your choice to go with the food. The only thing that I didn’t like about the place were the bench. It was not comfortable at all. It had a hard wooden bench and table kind of setting which is not too uncomfortable given that the restaurant does not come cheap.

La Monita

If any of you are in Bangkok or planning to visit Bangkok and want to try Mexican food, you can visit this place. The address is:
La Monita,
Mahatun Plaza, Ploenchit Road,
Ploenchit BST Station

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Nepali Malpuwa Recipe

On the day of Laxmi Puja, I made some Malpuwa to offer to Goddess Laxmi. Malpuwa is like a deep friedย  pancakes. I was never a big fan of Malpuwa before but this time it turned out really yummy. I didn’t do special shopping for making this, I just used whatever was available at home. So, I want to share my Malpuwa recipe with everyone here.

Ingredients (for 18-20 pieces)

Whole wheat flour-3 cups
Sugar-1 cup or less (according to your taste)
Ghee-1 tablespoon
Cardamom-10-15 pods, peeled and ground
Dried dates-2-3
Dried coconuts(1-2 tbs grated or finely chopped)
Baking soda/Baking powder-1/2 teaspoon
Oil for deep frying

First mix the flour and ghee and rub together. Warm 2 cups of water and add 1 cup of sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the sugar syrup in the flour and ghee mix to make a pancake like batter with moderately thick consistency. If the syrup is not enough, put some more warm water in the mixture. Put the rest of the ingredients except the baking powder in the batter and mix well.

Malpuwa batter: I forgot the take a picture when the bowl was full.

Now heat oil in a deep pan to deep fry the malpuwa. Mix the baking powder in the batter just before frying. Pour the batter mix with the help of a big kitchen spoon into the hot oil (I used the spoon that comes with rice cooker). You can fry 2-3 malpuwa’s at one time but make sure that it is totally emerged in oil and does not stick together.

Frying the Malpuwa batter.

Fry until golden and crisp and your malpuwa is ready to serve :).

Yummy! Yummy!

You can also add fennel seeds, almonds and pistachios in the batter for more flavor. Also to make the malpuwa more crispy, you can add half a cup of Suji(or semolina) flour to the batter and adjust the batter consistency accordingly.

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Laxmi Puja

The day of Laxmi Puja holds always brings special memories. It is the third day of hindu festival Tihar. On this day, hindu goddess of wealth Laxmi is worshipped. For basic info about the festival Tihar, please read this post.

Lately I’ve been busy with work and other stuffs and hence I hadn’t made any special preparations for Tihar. So on the day of Laxmi Puja, I decided to take a day off to prepare for the puja and celebrate Tihar. As I informed A that I wanted to take a day off so that I could make puja preparations, A decided to take a day off as well :). Unlike other non-working day, on the day of Laxmi puja, we got up early. We were invited by our Indian friends P and AC for the evening at their place for a potluck and puja and since Laxmi puja is performed in the evening after the sunset, this meant we had to start our puja exactly at sunset. So the day started by cleaning the house. Since the maid had cleaned the just a day before, this didn’t take much time :). After this, A prepared the dough for puri(deep fried flat bread). Since it is auspicious to buy metal on this day, A went to the market to buy his new metal gadget while I stayed back and made preparations.

Puja preparations by me and A ๐Ÿ™‚

For the prasad(offering to God), we made puri, malpuwa and home made rasbari. A helped me to fry the puris and malpuwas :). By this time, it was almost evening, so we took bath and got dressed to perform puja. During puja, I usually put on traditional dress “Kurta” but this year I didn’t have any :(. We started puja lighting diyo and making way for Goddess Laxmi to enter our house. I used marigold flower instead of making traditional Laxmi ko paila. Then we lit diyos to show the way to Goddess Laxmi. Then puja started by first bathing the idols and pictures of god and goddesses. Then we put red tika with rice grains on the forehead of idols, then we offered flowers and prasad that we prepared earlier during the day. After this, we lighted dhup batti(incense sticks), rang the worship bells and completed the puja by applying tika to each other. Once the puja was over, it was time for dinner and we hungry too. So we had some prasad, packed some for friends and went to our friends’ place.

Laxmi Paila, with marigold flowers.

This friend of ours is very religious as well and I love attending puja at her house. As we reached there, we lighted diyos around the beautiful flower decoration(rangoli) she had made. Then we went to her puja room and performed puja at her house too. Puja at her house was longer than ours as she had books with hindu chants and we chanted prayers for goddess Laxmi. After that we performed Ganesh arati and finished the puja. After puja, we gathered in her living room and had dinner. It is so much better to be surrounded by friends and family during festivals :). The tihar party was not over yet. After dinner, we even lit some fire crackers!!

Puja at P and AC’s place

This years Laxmi puja brought me and A even closer. We did everything together and I feel very lucky to have a partner like A :).

Firecrackers!!!!!

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Tihar

As I have mentioned in my earlier posts Dashain is the most important festival for Nepalese, the second most important festival for us is Tihar or Deepawali. While Dashain is all about Goat meat food wise, Tihar is about home made Nepali sweet dishes such a Sell Roti, Anarasha, Fini, Malpua and so on.

Tihar is a five day extravaganza with each day holding some religious significance. Tihar starts with “Kaag Puja” worshipping the crow. Crow is considered as the messenger of hindu God Yamaraj. On Kaag tihar, we offer food and puja to crow on a plate made of leaves which is called tapari. This tapari is usually put on the terrace so that the crow will be able to eat the food offered to it.

Kaag Puja

The second day is “Kukur Puja”, worshipping the Dog as an avatar of hindu God Bhairab and as Yamaraj’s gate keeper. On this day we offer puja and good food for the dog in our house and if we do not have a dog we offer puja to stray dogs.

A has this picture as his gtalk image right now ๐Ÿ™‚

The third day is the most significant day and we offer puja to hindu goddess of wealth Laxmi. This day is also called as Deepawali or Laxmi Puja. On this day, we clean our house and decorate it with marigold flowers to welcome the “goddess of wealth” in our house and bless us with prosperity throughout the year. Laxmi puja is my favourite day. On this day I make rangoli, “laxmi ko paila”(footsteps of goddess Laxmi), and light “diyo”(oil lamps) all over the house. After this we perform puja and eat sweets.

This years’ puja in my room ๐Ÿ™‚

The fourth day is “Goverdhan Puja” for Bahuns and Chettris and Mha puja for Newars. Goverdhan puja is done by making a small heap of cow dung and offering puja to it. Goverdhan literally translates to Gover=cow dung and dhan=wealth, which means cow dung is equivalent to wealth as it makes the soil fertile. This is basically to show respect to the cattles who give us milk, plough our land and make our land fertile. Even though my Mom is a Newar, I don’t know much about Mha puja other than the fact that is a puja of the self done to purify and respect god within us.

The final day is Bhai Tika, which is today. In Nepali bhai means brother so it can be called brother’s day. On this day we perform puja on our brothers and pray for their long life. This is also my favourite day since my brother spoils me with gifts on this day. Its been three years since I celebrated Bhai tika with my brother, so I’m missing him a lot today :(.

This is a brief description of 5 days of Tihar. In my next post, I will talk about my this years’ Laxmi Puja in detail.

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All about Us

I am an ordinary person and I have lived an ordinary life. I keep discovering myself every day. I have always been drawn by mysterious philosophies that revolves around human emotions, sentiments and the life we live. Isn’t it strange how people behave in a certain way? How events occur and how it leads to a situation that we never even imagined we would be in? My story with A is something like that. I have always been teased by P, my best friend regarding the possibility of A and me being together in a relationship. I was never to know, her innocent yet casual thought would come true in the most awkward and unlikely scenario.

A was working since last few years in the same company that I work in. He was the only Nepali in this company before I joined. I had had few conversations with him over Facebook which was generally regarding how the company was, the working environment and so on. Even though we graduated from the same university, I had never met him. I had only heard of him.

When I arrived at B city to work, I hadn’t informed him of my exact date of arrival. When I arrived at the place where I was supposed to stay, there he was, at the corridor of the same floor where my room was booked. My first thought was, damn I should have informed him about my arrival! Then we just exchanged an awkward conversation and he wished me goodnight and went back to his room.

As I opened the door of my new room, I had no idea I was opening the door to my new life with the person I just saw and met at the corridor. I entered the room that night and took a deep breath, I was relaxed and excited to be where I was. I came to B city because I wanted a life of my own, independence is something I’ve always loved and freedom is what I had longed for. Living with my parents at K city was a safe but boring option. Especially at that time, I really wanted to get away from the responsibilities for a while. I wondered why did I have to meet him there that too in a purely co-incidental manner. I could not help thinking this could be some kind of a sign, but at the same time I laughed it out loud(literally).ย  I told myself that my imagination is silly and dismissed this fancy idea. I was not looking for a relationship at that time and as it turned out later, neither was A!

As days passed by, I seldom thought about it again. But there was something in him that I was drawn to, not exactly in a romantic way but I liked talking to him. We went along pretty well and we talked for long hours. But I was not particularly fond of his careless attitude towards his life. His friends would always brag about how good looking he was and how girls would buzz around him like bees buzzed around a flower. To me he was just an ordinary guy. One time I even told his friend that he is just an ordinary guy, not so special and there are many guys like him in Nepal, his friend did not quite like my candid expression about one of his closest friend, obviously!! Duhh!!!

As I got to know him more, my perceived idea of him and his natural self always contradicted. He was nice, humble, down to earth and logical guy.

There were frequent casual conversations with him after that which lead to knowing him more. He had well adapted to the environment he was in for over 5 years. He had little expression on his face, had a nice smile, seldom looked me in the eye when we talked. This made me look into him more, made me want to find more. I didn’t have aย  slightest clue what was in store for us and I guess neither did he. Everytime I met him, the depth of his light eyes had some ethereal appeal to it. The more I looked into it, more it drew me to it. We were hanging out with the same circle of friends. This meant, having dinner together, going out to the city together and all other group activities. By this time, we had established a certain kind of relationship. Our friends used to tease us on our favoritism for the fellow countrymen. I guess in a way I brought him a little piece of Nepal in B city. I frequently held dinner parties in my room and treated everyone with Nepali food but A enjoyed it the most. We celebrated festivals together and it bonded us, yet we were unaware of what was to happen.

Then slowly, I wanted to be around him more, wanted to breathe in the same air he breathed out. When I look back now, those conversations at dinner, times spent playing cards after dinner were little excuses to spend more time with him, be with him. When I think now, why was it that I wanted to be in his company, the only thing that comes to my mind is how simple it was for me to be happy and carefree when he was around. How easily he made me laugh and how contempt he would look when I smiled at his jokes. Yes this was it for me, the simplicity of life and simplicity of being myself when he was around, the simplicity of him being himself when I was around.

He is a simple kind hearted person who cannot not make anyone sad. But yet he is very strong willed and knows what he wants. He wanted simple things for himself. He is emotional, sentimental, a tiny bit of self centered and human in every possible way. The person who was to come in my life, was him. It was not so easy for me to accept what was happening. The little confusions existed in the beginning. I tried to escape from what I was feeling. When A first asked me the possibility of us being together, I had been hesitant and reluctant to verbally accept him and say “yes” but my actions were a clear yes.

In a way, I had stopped believing in mad love. I had given up the idea of head over heels in love and convinced myself it only existed in fairy tales. I thought I would grow to love someone I lived with, I didn’t believe in the idea of crazy love at that point in life. The idea of romance, the sweet pain and longing that comes with it was missing in my life at that time. Although I have always had this surreal almost perfect idea of love and romance, I thought it didn’t exist in reality.

But love knows nothing, it does not tell right from wrong, it does not distinguish good from bad, it has no boundaries and it flows, it cannot be captured nor confound. It knows no language and it knows no evil.ย  And just like that love happened for us as well. And the rest as they say “is history”.

You and Me

P.S: Happy Anniversary A.

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