2013 Beckons.......

Cause I don want this space to be as despondent a "Mayan Doomsday site"(Ho my frnd Sabs used this v term term to describe it!) as we welcome a new year, I will leave u with a pic of the X-mas celeb at home(pic as well as the cake is courtey hubbs)

Here is wishing all of us a V happy New year n hoping that this year gives us more chances to smile, to be happy n fill us with hope!

Ho 2013, Plz be nicer to me.....

Sky is the darkest now....

Almost a fortnight for the year to end, but its a year that I will thru this life remember as one where the most precious of the gifts was handed to me only to be taken back before I had a chance to even relish it!

They say the sky is darkest before the dawn... but will the dawn be here soon enuf?

My Teacher!

From the time I remember as a student, one of the biggest banes of life was my 'Handwriting'. It was the subject of many a ridicule and pulling-up by my teacher and fellow class-mates. As I reached the dreaded class 10, many predicted that this handwriting will be the reason of my downfall! But things soon changed, my then class-teacher decided to take it as a challenge and change it for good!

So everyday for next month or so, she would literally hold my hands and painstakingly make me trace the alphabets in the "4 line copy" book. Well miracles of miracle , slowly but surely my handwriting changed for good ~~ it at least is no more a eye-sore! Come to think of it, she wasn't being paid a penny more for this extra one hour ~~ she could have chosen to spend this time at home tutoring her own sons who were in class 12th and 10th then . But she instead willingly chose to spend that time with me and all other students who needs that 'Extra help'!

This is just one of the many instances where she has permanently changed a students Life for good. Speaks tons for the kinda person she is.

Today when I met her after more than a decade, the tears that welled up in her eyes(and mine) touched me
like nothing else has in near future!Of course the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.

Indeed more teachers who will go beyond their call of duty with a heart to love is all the doctor has prescribed for India . Thank you for being there to be one of the biggest influences in my life

Linking this to  As Beautiful As Your Work  as a part of Mia contest, for Womensweb!


Linking this to Write tribe prompt "Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart. "

Write Tribe Prompt

Spine Poetry....

.....seems to be the latest rage on FB! For those of u who hv been hiding under a rock, its basically "books arranged in  clusters so the spines(read book title) could be read like a sentence\poem". Here hv a glimpse of the pic n u will know what am talking of.....

This one is courtesy Sabs ~~ A classical example of "Spine Poetry"

The White Tiger
eats,shoots & leaves
in search of a distant voice.

N here is another - This one is courtesy hubbs. Need I say its one of ma favs too :-P

Yea yea its courtesy these two tht I for once wasn't caught napping under the rock :). Would you ike to join in too - If so you may choose to jump onto this FB group - "Where's Your Spine Poetry?" Imagine poring over the books in ur collection, arranging-rearranging them till the 'play of titles' fall in place... sounds definetely like fun rt :)

Happy Diwali....

A diya lit on a Diwali eve is supposed to abolish the darkness of Amavasya Night. May this Diwali banish all the evil n miseries in ur life! Hapy Diwali ....

The litt pleasures......

Isnt she a doll!
Sometime early last year I wrote this post on my cousin who was expecting her baby soon. What I dint mention then was that she was the first(and to date - the only) cousin\sibling of my age circle(as against your elder cousins) to become a mother.

So yesterday when I first had a glimpse of her daughter, almost a year after she was born - my heart literally went out to the little imp! Tht naughty glint in her eyes will have you gush with warmth n love. What I wanted  to really give her was a big-tight hug! But the danger of having her scream murder, ensured that all all of us followed her mandate of "Keep distance - Min 10 ft" v meekly! Love u sweetheart, muah! Cant wait to see you again.......

This along with the fact that my maid who was AWOL for more than 10 days has finally shown up today and the promise of some retail therapy with ma sis post lunch today, promises to make this a happppie weekend!

Before And After....

                                           The theme for thursday Challenge is


A pic of artists in their full costume ready for a performance of Yakshagana - a folk dance from coastal Karnataka. This was clicked @ The Bengali durga puja Pandal this dusssera and the story being told thru this dance form is of Maa Kali and the Demon Raktabija.
This was the first time am seeing a live performance of Yakshagana. The accompnying song in Kannada was beyond my cpmprehension - but I guess the beauty of the dance is that you really don need any words to capture their essence.

The New Eatery In Town!

Thts my pretty little chef in action whipping up her fav Jelly! Now that she has up her sleeve the tricks to whip u up a delicious meal - read jelly\pudding from ready-to-make-mixes, tea(which is more milk than chai) nof course assortment of cookies, cakes from the next door bakery - She's decided to start in collaboration with two other partners(her aunts - me n my sis) a small "Next-door eatery"!

On the menu are of course all the usual suspects listed above( jelly-cakes-biscuits). But the entrepreneur that she is, she already foresees a problem of not being able to cater to all sections of crowd(read - people who don consider jelly-cakes-biscuits as a meal) and so has decided to rope in her uncle(ma hubbs) to whip up any fried rice, nong-veg dishes of your choice! So there u hv ur complete meal.

But due to logistics issues(of the entrepreneur n partners being in different cities) this eatery will be operational only during X-mas-Summer-Dussera vacations! As a freebie, the first 100 customers would be provided a free personalized signed photo with the chef (photographer is ma BIL)

So the next you in vicinity of B'lore, U know where to drop in for a complete sumptuous meal :).

Linking this to Color Deckors and ABC Wednesday(P is for Pretty litt Chef!)  

PS: Now u know what I did last weekend - conceptualizing n freezing up on this entreprening idea of my litt niece :)

Book Review: The house of Blue Mangoes

If there was a book written around "growing up",  set in an Indian context, then one definite contender for it would be  - "The house of Blue Mangoes" by David Davidar. Just that the "Growing Up" bit spans not jus a litt boy but actually he n his Gen-Next! Set in a idyllic south Indian village, it touches up on all aspects of life in India- of castes, of religion, of poverty, of 'brawny' men, Of Indian mothers and DILs! 

One thing,  I liked about the book is its a "Men's" Perspective of the Indian world - not something I hv read much before. lemme tell thou, this really ain't a breeze read - Its a book you sit, mull on and read it over a few days. (Hopefully am slowly getting "there")

30 on 30!


This post was originally written on April 15, a good week before i was supposed to hit 30 n has been sitting in drafts since then. But huh a 6 months post is a good time as any to post it rt :)

Sigh! Am hitting 30 in less than a week(sob sob sob!) :(. Now I would hv hit this milestone happily only if I had become a mother by then :(. Yea I know age is no bar(K upto some point at least) when it comes to having a baby but well this is more of a personal goal that I would hv been happy to have a tick mark against! Now there is no point in crying over spilt milk. So here's a list of 30 things(in the order they pop up on my mind - that am Happy, unhappy, proud, not-so-proud,of in the 30 years(eeesh! Sounds like a LONG time) of my planet on planet earth

  1. I absolutely look up to ladies who hv gone places with their own steam n hv a strong persona! As year tickle by, the person who seems to be right there at the top seems to be my mom(I hv my mouth definitely wide open at this revelation... yea its been a revelation to even urs truly)
  2. Delirious that I was always a daddy's gal
  3. A great regret of life is that there are mistakes I hv done as far as he's concerned, tht I never got a chance to correct
  4. Happy that I hv a hubbs who will unflinchingly be a partner-in-crime
  5. I should learn a thing or two from my litt sis - from being happy with what she has(as long as she has her share of dresses that is :-P) N being generous(too much for her own good) n jus having a loving heart!
  6. Proud that I hv a in-laws I can be proud of!
  7. Not-so-proud of not having made them grandparents yet!
  8. Never eva knew that there was a feminist(too strong a word thou) hidden in me - its no more a surp to me that I go ballistic or at least put a token of protest the moment I see anybody being smartie pants!
  9. Glad that I discovered that the hobby I enjoy most is reading n devouring books! A good book can ensure tht u don hv a boring moment!
  10. Not-so-glad that music, dance, painting don't show up in ma hobbies list!
  11. Proud to have gone para sailing .
  12. Not-so-Proud that I cannot drive! Restricts my freedom-of-movement like nobodys business!
  13. One thing I wouldn't regret having a wee bit more in life is to rake in a litt bit more moolah!
  14. Not-so-proud tht I still hv trouble in keeping frnds! One would assume tht 30 odd years was good enuf time to correct this folly
  15. I definitely love good things in life ~~ but hubbs has taught me the art of looking at silver lining in even the not-so-goos-things!
  16. I should thank this certain friend - sabina (ha yes yes shes shown up here!) for inculcating some dress-sense into me!
  17. My biggest insecurities - of growing old alone, of aliments n financial insecurities!
  18. I am still a foodies foodie thou I realize my palette aint good enuf to distinguish not-so-good from good!
  19. Surprise! Who would hv thot tht theres this (thou tweenie-meanie it is) tiny bone in me that loves homely homes!
  20. I wish as a child I wasnt this sad-geeky creature n learnt to shake a leg!
  21. Love travelling - N I can truly get into the spirit of the place am travelling - from eating the local food to scourging the local market - yeaaa to me n hubbs for it!
  22. Not-So-Happy that I have not got to travel around the world with hubbs n hey a peter-pan time u grew up :-P
  23. Wish things came to me a litt easier - ho yes they do work out k at the end of the day but should I pin n crave for it everytime before the apple is dropped into my lap(now wht kind of a similey is tht huh)
  24. I betta learn to concentrate on the task-at-hand esp when its not I enjoy! Jus hoping that the hour will pass or tht it will get done magically jus doesn't work.. does it!
  25. When you do your homework pretty well, the worst-scenarios never even play out. But huh, dare to do a shabby job then Dilberts principle of "What can go wrong, will go wrong" plays out to perfection
  26. To always hv a belief to hold onto - U can cal it god or whatever!
  27. When u do something - from work to cooking to home - do it with a intention of doing a good job n not make it a race to finish!
  28. Speaking good English isnt really a trademark for well anything(should be commonsense rt - but man! I still hv hangups if the other person cant speak decent english! Phew!)
  29. Take each day as it comes! Give things a chance to fall in place, they usually do.
  30. Jus be happy :-)

Dussera - The destroyer of evils!

There has been this certain thing that I have been waiting n waiting for few weeks now. The last couple of days have been spent fretting(n in shedding tears) over its non-appearance and it definitely topped my list of prayers this navaratri season:-/

So imagine my pleasure, when today as soon as I sit down after the morning arthi, am greeted by its sudden "appearance" :-). It definitely makes me say "Thank U ma" ... No betta day to destroy the evils of my life rt. Here is hoping that this dussera season is the herald of all happiness and good luck for all of us.

Ma Shakti....

As I grow older(:-/), the festival that seems to top my list of favs is Dussera... for the simple reason that its the only festival that celebrates Women's power :).

Ma Shakthi!

The word "Ma Skathi" in itself encompasses the two extremes that only a women can possess.... To love n to protect! Here is hoping that the Goddess blesses us all with choicest of her blessings! Hv a good one....

Linking this to ABC Wednesday - O is for Omnipresent; Omnipresent is the supreme goddess and ofcourse the women in our lives who are our strength!

Book Review - "Small Remedies" by Sashi Deshpande

This is the first time am picking up a book by Sashi Deshpande. She came recommended by another cousin whose taste is again a notch too high for me(or so I thot). So it was with some degree of skepticism that I picked this book up... Only once again to be proved wrong :-D

 The story is set in post-Independence era - may be sometime in 70s-80s. The two main characters in the story are - One, a well-to-do lady who shuns everything to embrace music but down the line feels a need to be disassociated with everything 'immorl' in her life and Two, a gentle yet strong who will embraces life giving three hoots to whether the society accepts it or not. The story is of their lives and of everybody else they touch. There are thus plenty of stories running in parallely but all v neatly tied up n interconnected to each other.

What I loved best is the finesse with which each character is developed - You will fall right deep into the story and almost re-live the story! Its a book that has a nice lullaby feel to it

Look whos visiting this weekend...

...... This little imp of mine :-D
Bliss of childhood!

Haa the pleasure of looking fwd to a out-of-the-blue trip from one of ur fav nieces... promises to be a fun weekend **anti-jinx**


After almost 5 years in Bangalore, did I manage to make a visit to Shravanabelagola on the way back from Chikmagalur.

This place figures in prominently in the religious circuit of Jains. Its known for a austere but mighty statue of one of the Jain gurus located on a hill-top which can be viewed from Kilometers away and is supposed to be awe-inspiring. Here's a click of the same.....
But makes me wonder in today's times of Internet, skyscrapers haven't the words 'Huge' taken a different meaning? I mean, yes I was awed that somebody caved this out centuries ago but in today's time is the size of the statue in itself(app 57 ft) awe-inspiring?? Maybe not.

N ho! jus so you know, the approach to it is thru well-laid steps, but be prepared for the seemingly endless stretch of steps to reach the summit :)

Linking this to ABC Wednesday(M is for Monument)

Waking up, now that September has ended.....

Hmm what does Oct bring in its wake?? Its the first reminder that yet another year is over. The reaction to it can vary from 'Yeaaa! I hv had a gr8 year" or well  the other extreme! Unfortunately its the other extreme tht am dangling with now - the sinking feeling tht my biological clock is ticking off :-/

Anyways tht rant apart, Oct is always been synonymous with planning upcoming hols for me. Like I read somewhere the months between Nov-Feb are the perfect travelling-season in India. The added bonus being those few days left in leave calendar which if not consumed by year end will get expired!

Are you one of those like me, for whom the plan-up to hols is as exciting as the actual hols! The excitement as you finalize the place, freeze on the hotel, the working out of logistics. And the best of all ~~ reading up reviews of the place\hotel\restaurants of a place that you hvnt yet stepped into ~~ - cause this would invariably involve looking up other people's hol pics -- Haa the thrill of imagining that in few weeks you will be right there indulging in these very pleasures ..... yummmmmmm :-D

You know what tops my hol list for the year? Funnily, its not some fancy foreign destination or even the Kahmir(Leh Ladakh is on list - But late in year aint the perfect season to be there). Its the by-lanes of Delhi-Agra  thats been beckoning me for sometime now. The promise of the street food in those gullies of Delhi, the cold Delhi winters, the charm of exploring a new place with hubbs as my guide(a few years in his growing days were spent year), the lures of the monuments that pepper Agra(courtesy the mughal trilogy of Indu Sundaresan) :-)

Haa jus writing this down gives me a unexplainable thrill! But well my holiday prospects this year aint v promising as I hv a few post-laprascopy sessions scheduled over next few months! Or possibly I deserve a hol jus to shake off this definite depression that the v sight of big hospitals can set in -- May be a short break to Hampi? May be -- lets wait n watch :)

Thi p ost is courtesy BlogAddas - WOW initative

Weekend Tales!

The weekend started on a not-so-high note what with staying cooped at home thru sat thnx to the Bangalore bandh and with no bright prospects  in TV or books (Bang the head!).

It was only at the fag end of the day, tht hubbs decided to shake off some lazines n done his cooking cap :). And see what came out of his cooking expeditions ....

His first attempt at dishing up a choc Mousse spiked with 'Amarula'! Tasted yumm.... Nee I don claim to be a unbiased wife :-P

The topping on the cake(or should I say mousse) is the prospect of laying hands on J.K.Rowlings Latest 'Casual Vacany' sometime this week and the promise of some tasty lunch courtesy sisters In-Laws! Haa the bliss of a hearty lunch on a Sunday afternoon esp when u don hv to life a finger to dish it :-P

Linking this to color deckors weekend wrap up - this site truly adds colors into life!

I wish someone told me...

.... that topping your class doesn't exactly qualify you for a free-ticket to a better job(read high-paying job!).

Should be common sense rt? Esp after being in the corporate scene for close to 7 years, one would have thot that this basic sense would hv creeped into this head of mine!

Am I glad I joined my current work place which is literally a ocean!! So U will hv a Diploma-pass rubbing shoulders with a IIM grad provide ofcourse he\she proves his\her mettle! This to a large enxtent has broken my bubble, but the damn creature of habit keeps raising its head once in a  while!!!

You think theres still some hope for me?

One lesson that I never miss passing onto the younger lot is to not to unduly really worry about their grades..... Nothing really depends on it!

Linking this to Write Over the Weekend Initaive by Blog Adda.. So what if am a week late :-/

Food Tales!

The 'sides'\ accompaniments to Rice-Kanzhi\Conjee\Rice gruel - from fryums to chilies to pickles - U can take ur pick! Indeed this version of street food is novel to me.....Clicked near mettur dam @ TamilNadu

Looks yummmmmmm doesn't it! While I hvnt tasted it at this place, this dish was a regular at our home during those hot summer days in Hyderabad! N a real thirst-quencher it is.

Now if Food in itsef were a indicator of our culture-tradition, what would the above pic speak of? Rice gruel in itself is more of a poor mans food, but topped with these 'side-dishes' should indeed be a relishing dish that will leave you with a contended sigh - So what does it speak of our people? People who fight against odds, but can make a feast out of nothing..... so true of our country rt or at least of the poorer strata of the society.

Linking this to Thursday challenge - CULTURE (Food, Dance, Clothing, Festivals,...)

Only Love....

... Can make somebody in their late 60s, whos bed-ridden, can take a feeble 10 steps at a time n hasnt been out of his house for months(except for the dreaded hosp visits) ....to actually step out of and accompany you..... jus so that you make it to the 'View-point' in the tiny-village that he is made his home without getting lost in the criss-cross of by-lanes that dot the village!

 Here's to the man(My dads bro) whos followed his heart thru his life but has unfortunately been riddled with illness in what should hv otherwise been the golden years of his life!

My little sis!

Over this weekend, me n sis were home-alone. This took me back a few years ago - When both of us would spend a good time of the day together - the blessing-curse of having working parents.

These 2 days was time enuf to remind me how easy it is to love this litt sis of mine! She will bend backwards jus to keep u happy(A Blessing-curse again!). Always makes me wonder how did both of us turn out so different - considering we both were bought up in near-similar conditions!!

5 months of her marriage n it has cemented what I always knew - she is happiest playing the 'Puurfect-traditional' D-I-L(perfect as long as cooking aint a criteria) - She will without a whimper put up with all kinda customs n traditions. I hv this fleeting suspicion that if she was a pro at sari-draping, she would hv gone dressed ala the TV-Serial Bahus everyday to work :-D. Ask me how diff was it to get her to wear jeans n cut tht lifeless hair of hers into a more hep-looking shoulder-length(I tell yea - she has a allergy to the word 'Hep') !. N ho how lightly she carries her degree from one of the top-notch colleges n a high-paying job with abs no airs abt it!(Something I will do good to pick a tip or two from her)

Now I am ready to almost bet my last penny that its not the initil euphoria of marriage thats making her play this role to perfection - its jus what she is. I played the purrfect DIL until the newness of marriage faded off - post that am jus the practical one.

Always makes me wonder if it is other influences in life that have made us this different(it cant be family cause well we are the family) - was it the friends n books n movies. Books - that I devore in dozens. Movies n friends - that she devourers in dozen - As a chid they would be the typical 90s hindi-telugu move - U know the kinds am taking of - where being the purfect DIL was considered to be the epitome of a woman's life!

Does that make me right n her wrong or vice-versa. Not really - but then it will help for oth of us to pick up a lesson or two from other! Time I accept that my kid-sister is grown up huh :-)

PS: If U notice, the operative word here is "Perfect DIL" n not "Perfect Wife" :-P. She can still make tht hubbs of hers to pull his hair off(now u know whom to blame for his receding hair line... lol!)

Memoirs of a Geisha!

Another book reco by Sabina Zacharias! Again a book I wasn't eager to kick off on as it dint seem of my genre - only to be yet again proved (Happily!)wrong.

A book that revolves around the life of a Geisha - the concept of Geisha was itself new to me (Geishas are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various Japanese arts such as classical music, dance and games.you can read abt a Geisha here). Thou this book was set in a completely unknown terrain to me, the description in the book was so vivid that you could picturize it with not much effort - from the place, to their dress(that's the beauty of books rt - it lets ur imagination soar!). The clincher for me was the many tantalizing hum relationships that this book traverses thru(One thing that will never ever change or evolve in anyways thru the history of mankind)

Indeed a good read.

Intricate Designs!

A click @Halebidu on way to Chikmagalur. This place is truly a delight for every historian - But is a dream-come-true for a photography buff! To quote the exact words of hubbs "This place will drive me crazy - I dono where to start n where to end!"

The stones used(N they made 100% from stones n jus stones) are supposedly quarried from Tumkur and the reason they are used so extensively in temples is cause they are easy to chisel n the more they are expose to sun n rain, the stronger they become!

Linking this to Thursday Challenge - "FANCY" (Decorated, Embellished, Deluxe, Frilly, Intricate,...). Truly Intricate designs arent they?

Sub of the day...

... From my home with love!

with bacon, salami napoli, turkey salami, cheese, fried eggs and the works

Hubbs in action again! Time he makes food his true calling I say.

Linking this to ABC Wednesday(K is For King-Sandwich)

N ho while we on food, I think the below incident deserves to be recorded here.

Yesterday, after more than 5 years of marriage - I caught hubbs while he was lying thru his teeth. He bought this 'something' online and then tried passing it off as a 'Freebie'! But of course he got caught red-handed when I had a glimpse of the transaction on his lappie.   

 What disturbed me most is the fact tht he lied to me for a paltry 1500(k not-so-paltry)!The reason mister musters up with a unhappy face is that it was a thing he had set his heart on n it was a deal he couldnt let go. Pssst... he adds in under-tone that he was half-afraid I will shoot it down right away(do I sound like a hilter) :-/. Some excuse Bah :-/

Anyways wouldn't u wana know what was this precious thing for which he did all this drama.... no not a gadget, not a gizmo, not a book... it turns out to be some "Magic Bullet Food Blender"  ! Can U beat this... He was right thou, I would hv definitely shot it down :-/

N ho he has the cheek to add that he cant be trusted to not to lie when it comes to kitchen purchases n his shoes! Whoa! I kid u not, I will soon hv to file for bankruptcy ... Boohooooooo 

Of Modak n other sweet things....

Happpy Vinayak Chaturthi! This festival has been almost synonymous with Kozkathai\modak for me :-D
A click from today morn..... This purrfect shape of modak is courtsy hubbs(I tell ye athis guy is defintely in a wrong proffesion - food is his calling !). His Ammama thou feels it resmbles a garlic :-D ... But taste was defintely a melt-in-the mouth... yummmm

Linking this to ABC Wednesday - J is for Jaggery (n all other sweet things this festival is synonymous with)

Here is hoping that this year is filled with many such sweet n happy memories!

@ Mullayanagiri

Mullayanagiri is the highest peak in Karnataka. N thts exactly where we were on our anniv. The road all the way to the peak is well paved - but the person behind  the wheels betta be a competent one!

Now the view from up above is supposed to be amazing. But as I said the place was ravgaed by rains when we were there which on afterthought was the silver lining!

The wind was raving mad! This was the state of our umbrella the moment we tried opening it!

As we trekked the few step up the peak, the wind was blowing madly wooosh in ur ears n the rain drops felt like a knife pricking on our skin n it was cold beyond belief.... brrrrrr! Definitely what I call a thrilling experience.......

Look at the smile on his face ~~ doesnt tht tell it all :-D

Linking this to Thursday Challenge - "PARK" (Woodland, Recreation Area, Playground, Garden,...)

Few books by Jaishree Misra

I read a sinppet of Jaishrees Misras book "Ancinet Promises" when I was flipping thru the book the book "Where the rain is born". She  came highly recommended by Sabina Zacharias ~~ n ofcourse undoudetly i was hooked!

So this book - "Ancient Promises" has been on my to-read list for ages now! The book revolves around a educated-outside-Kerala, smart young bride getting into a rolling-in-money family ~~ written in a simple straightforward manner thts a joy to read! But unfortunately, I hvnt yet got around to reading the entire book

I hv thou chanced to read two of her other books - "Rani" and "Secrets and Lies". "Rani" is a historical fiction centered around - Rani Lakshmi Bai. I had picked it up with high hopes after a dose of mughal trilogy by Indu Sundaresan. The book started to a good start ~~ but somewhere off lost the steam :-/.

Now onto the other one - "Secrets and Lies" will not fall in one of the "must-read" list. But then not all books need to fall in the list ~~  Its a book I still enjoyed reading. A simple story revolving around friends, teachers, relationships etc.....

A writer whose writing seems as much a joy to read as her stories.. So "Ancient Promises" it is!

Romanticism ~~ Hubbs version!

When hubbs whisks u off from office on a weekday from office, to celebrate his B'day(was a good month ago) .... more like to make up for screwing up my day by not getting me in time for a meeting @ work, I go all week-kneed envisioning a 'romantic' sojourn! But but knowing hubbs, I knew there has to be a catch somewhere! Of course the apple doesn’t fall off v far from the true....

His idea of a 'Romantic' day ended up driving off into some unknown nook off the city (luckily far far off from the maddening traffic), treating u to a roadside dhaba lunch. If u think me exaggerating here hv a look at this pic!

Yea u see that rt, beer in a plastic glass... how much more romantic can it get huh.. Grrrr!. Don u miss tht dog at the background BTW this is a v common visual whenever we head out outside the city.... Dogs(n monkeys if its his lucky day) follow him ala the piped-piper story! Doesn’t he look like a perfect 'Devdas' in here :-D. (Dhaaru in one hand with the dog curling up closer)... Some definition of a romantic date huh!

When we on this topic lemme also show u a pic of how his romantic-date lunch looked like too ~~ Roti, Dal Fry, Chicken Tikka with some green chilies(n beer in platsic glass :-P) .... sob, sob sob. Go ahead, roll ur eyes!

I hv to add(thou grudgingly) that the topping on the cake was the sighting of this lovely, deserted, a treat-to-city-tired eyes water-body tucked in far far away from the maddening crowd. The rain drops (for once i welcomed the rain) that showered for jus a litt while, cooled the place giving it a magical glow:-D. Ho no, don let ur imagination run wild.... the romanticism ended with enjoying the nature! Somebody has to take ma hubbs thru a crash course in being romantic I say!

Finding Nemo!

The caption n the pic are courtesy hubs!

Beautiful it of course is, but what I like abt this pic is the setting where it was shot. No it wasnt shot when he went snorkeling(:-p) or in a giant aquarium! Believe me if you will, this was shot at a dusty small aquarium on a way side hotel on the Kerala-B'lore highway!

Of course it drives me up the wall - imagine the heads tht turn when he goes click click click with a SLR at these wayside hotels or a village-side..... eeeeee! But when I see these results like above, I end up indulging him yet again :-D (Like I hv a option)

Linking this to thursday Challenge - "ATTRACTIVE" (Beautiful, Good Looking, Handsome, Cute, Sweet,...)

Good News syndrome!

So as I said in previous post, we celebrated 5 years of our marriage recently(Aug 31). "Learning Together" is the best that describes these 5 years for us - starting from being clueless(Ho who am I kidding - I think we still are!) to being wee-bit-less-clueless(:-D). Donno abt hubbs(I think he is slowly grudgingly getting there :-D) but its definitely true of yours truly(:-P). U C now growing old, Bank balance(or rather lack of it), health-n-lifestyle are all giving me palpitations - truly sign of growing up na :-D

The v obvious q tht we are asked as soon as we mention 5 years of marriage is but of course the much dreaded "So how many children" - n ho this can come from your relatives to next-door-aunty to the lady at beauty parlor (baaa!). As long as its at this non-intrusive level, I laugh it off ~~ but ho! if u try nget too intrusive abt it  - with no qualms whatsoever are u placed in the "ignore" list (n ho me good at it!). Giving somebody a dose of "ignore maadi" gives me a definite high - so beware! While I would love to throw some attitude around n say tht we will hv a baby when we want one - this subject is a sensitive one for the simple reason tht the missing child is not cause of lack of trying :-/

On this note, lemme tell u tht I hv a laprascopy scheduled for tomo ... sob sob sob!

PS: I think its only fair tht I thank my stars that not a single person(not even hubbs 85 year old grandmom) even whimpered of a child(or make it lack of it) when they wished us on anniv!

Monsoon Magic at its Best!

This space is been silent for too long for my liking! So in an attempt to revive this space, here is a review of the place we stayed at our last weekend getaway to Chikmagalur (it was our anniv if u wana know!)....... Guddadamane

First things First - this is a "Home stay" in its truest sense. So u are allotted a room tucked right in the heart of their home thou don yea worry u will have all the privacy u want!

Now lemme start with the negatives - as they really arent many

One of the many pathways!
There are some lovely outdoors out there- what with it being bang in the coffee estate. So it seems atrocious that the rooms you stay at do not open out to the outdoors. Especially considering that for many city-breeds a holiday equates to spending time in midst of nature! As for food, the variety is great but at least in non-veg u get this distinct feeling of it being put together in a haste(so chicken seems not properly marinated)

Now for the plus - beautiful property in midst of nature(they could definitely do more to use that to their advantage) - ha the pleasure of waking upto chirping birds.Great place to sit back with a book over cups of hot coffee, go for long walks. The topping on cake is the fact that if you choose to do more touristy things like tick off the 'To Visit' places list - you arent really v far off from them either.

Now isnt tht Truly a desi-style Barbeque!
One thing u should definitely do when you there is go for a walk on their estates - Gumboots, walking sticks, umbrella are v thoughtfully provided - hubss got some amazing clicks of the flora n fauna that abound there.

As for the food, One thing I absolutely loved is the lip-smacking good live - barbecues(v much our desi style) and home-made wine devoured as u huddle around a camp-fire!

All in all a value for money (2500 per couple per day including breakfast-lunch-dinner - monsoon weekday offer i guess)! N definitely a place where monsoon plays its magic... the place is so green after a shower of rains that it’s a balm for city tired eyes!

PS: Ignore the lack of pics - these are from the "Mobile Uploads" on FB courtesy hubbs! More will follow

Linking this to ABC Wednesday(H is Hols)

Hang Our heads in shame!

Did u read this article on mass exodus of people back to their homes in Assam - for they fear that they will bear the brunt of the back-lash of communal riots.

Imagine they must be people like u n me who have made some other state their home in search of livelihood(More often than not - they will be the only breadwinners of their family with no other financial backup). And today, they will hv to abandon everything and flee to save the own skin from their own brethren.

Sadly, this happened on the day of our 65th Independence day... Someway to being in th eindependence day huh!!! Time we hang our heads in shame....

Dinner is a Delight.....

...... When you know each morsel of food u eat is not jus healthy but equally Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :-D

That soup u see there is a hearty mutton soup - Some bread to dunk into it. You could of course eat that up with the Bulls-Eye-On-Capsicum or the scrambled eggs (made with the left-over yolk  - the egg white went into the soup).

Definitely Delightful rt :)

Linking this to ABC Wednesday (D is for Delightful Dinner)

Daddy O' Daddy!

Thank you god for all you have done

For giving me a friend, the best under the sun

He guides me in whatever I do
Always with me filling my life with hue

He makes me laugh and makes me cry
With him around life is never dry

Sometimes he is someone who I really hate
Other times he is my very best mate

Life is crazy with him around
To him I am eternally bound

He can be the worst critic on his part
When he appreciates something, it comes from his heart

He is someone I will never understand-a complete enigma
His character and patience unchallengeable- hundred percent six sigma

He makes me happy and he makes me sad
But then I'll always be his lad

By best friend in the world
U guessed it, will always be my dad!!

This lines were penned by my husband a long time ago. But each word still resonates with truth today - a decade n more later. It must indeed speak of something abt a person who sticks to his ideals thru thick n thin of life! Selflessly helping others has been the motto he is lived thru his life - giving back to the society much more than what hes got, never being awed by problems, seeking new challenges daily - Qualities of a true leader or should I say of a true rotarian.    You see  ma FIL is now the president of one of the chapters of Rotary club in Chennai :-)

Sweet Somethings!

Lemme show a glimpse of the dessert I licked clean(literally :-D) over the weekend!

Doesn't it look yummmmmmmmm! This 'Tomato Halwa'(yea u read it rt) was dished out by hubbs grandmother - on our recent visit to Chennai. Just for records, she is hitting 85 soon.

What amazes me is the verve with which she
 follows cookery shows even at this age  and then v religiously dishes them up! Dint I tell yea tht cooking runs in their genes. But imagine doing that at 85.... Hats off to her!

Of course the 'Aaaw' factor for me is the fact that the only one at hubbs home with a sweet tooth is me n invariably a sweet-dish gets plated by the grand old lady only when yours truly is visiting :-D. The fact that we come back loaded from there with all kinda masala powders is jus the topping on the cake (I tell yea they hv a magic ingredient in them which ensures that any dish u add them into will turn lip-smaking good). Whats there to not to love in it :)

Linking this to ABC Wednesday(C is for cooking; C is for chennai) and Color Deckors Weekly Story!

PS: Jus realized tht my space now seems to be having posts of only food n books! Yea agreed that they are truly the two loves of my life... but huh aint there nothing else happening in my life! Not a good sign people....

Notes from a club.....

There was this "club"(Not to be confused with pubs, lounge bars etc. Am referring to "Club" in its truest meaning - A group of people meeting up wih a specific purpose that can vary from "entertainment" to "social (or anti-social) causes) that I recently had a chance to interact with at close-quarters. Here are few of my "Thinking Aloud" thots post that:

This "Club" is a place where you will see movers-n-shakers of the city rubbing shoulders - the typical member-profile would say Self-Employed Entrepreneur (more often than not!) rolling in money And yes, they do a lot of donations-contributions and try n give back something to the society.

Now if you ask me their main objective seems "Networking" and "Expanding their own business circles"! Of course there is nothing wrong with it esp with them never calling themselves a NGO! But my point is will these same gentle-men have been so "selfless" with their time-n-money if they dint have anything to take back?? Or possibly its a good business-model - You do ur bit towards society n at the same time reap more-than-ample opportunities (profits) outta it? A win-win situation? Thou they need a bit of moderation when they speak of "their selfless services".

But what completely beats my v limited understanding is when people whose family, is while not struggling to make ends meet are a far cry from being "Rich". Whats that which makes them "donate" money(Mind you its money only - not time - thats "donated" with its fair share of hue-n-cry) for "Social" causes - Is it jus the inherent goodness - I am not denying that there are people who belong to this almost-extinct sect. Or is it the "Pat on the Back", the popularity and power that you invariably get when you ready to spend money like water?

Book Review: Boy's Life by Robert Mccammon!

Any book that I hv read is either a pick from on of ma fav authors or hv been a reco by somebody from my circle or is a pick of hubbs. At the min, I read the preface of the book n then pick it up. No surprises here- I guess most of us do the same rt!

But recently I made a exception ~ a exception am glad I made. It so transpired that my kindle was full of the action jumbo-mumbo that hubbs swears by(read: David Baldacci, Jeffrey archer etc) that yours truly dint hv the heart to read. So on a whim, I pick a book from the archive randomly and start reading it....

Only to fall in love with it... A book that you relish a page at a time (unlike my usual style of race to finish!), A book where you let each page wash you over n refresh a few wisps of your childhood memories. A book about life, a book abt growing up ... so much ala one of my other favs 'To Kill a Mocking Bird'.

Only when I googled it later, did I learn that this was a bestseller of its time - Boy's Life by Robert Mccammon!

'Bombay Toast' And Other Tales....

The tasty,filling,delicious yet easy-as-a-jiffy sunday morning breakfast... Jus puurfect for a cosy, cuddly Sunday morning :-D

More Food Porn For u! Pic courtesy Hubbs....
If u want to know, this is french toast with a twist! French toast minus the sweetening agents n of course topped with cheese strips - supposedly called "Bombay Toast" in these parts!
Now onto some other interesting news, my mom is decided to become a egg-iterian n a Fish-iterian after a long gap of 13 years! For once am happy that she decided to heed the docs advise...  Our incessant breathing down the neck jus kicked out the last iota of doubt she had :-D. Indeed its time for a "Pat On The Back"!

Linking this to Color Deckors weekend wrapup and ABC Wednesday(B is for Bombat Toast :-P)

How do you Break Abstain-ism...

How abt some 'Chicken Soup For Soul'??

.. Follow it up with some 'Beef Cordon Bleu Steak'

... And then wrap it all up with some sinful Chocolate!

All pics clicked @ a old Bangalore Fav - Juke Box. Chose this place cause wanted to show ma mom what a "English pub" looks like without scaring the hell outta her n then trying to gett her to taste something other than her usual suspects. But damn! she chose to stick with her 'holier than thou' veggies!!!! Brrrrrrrrrrrr .. So much for all my plans!

PS: While the Abstain-ism did end, hubbs n family couldn't unfortunately make the sabrimala trip due to some unavoidable-unfortunate circumstances :-/ May be next time?

Linking this to ABC Wednesday(A is for Abstain)! and Color Deckors weekend wrapup :)

Mirror on the Wall!

The beauty parlour tht I frequent is this small dingy place down the road from ma place! Not for me those fancy places where if u choose to go with anything less than their "premium", they do such a half hearted rendering!(despite burning a hole in the pocket). The only exception thou is the hair saloon where we(me n hubbs) hv been loyal customers for more than 5 years(!!!) ~~ come to think of it thats the only retail brand to which we have shown any loyalty!

So onto ma hole-in-the-wall parlour -  I am generally so engrossed in my Kindle that I hardly bother about its ambiance(or rather lack of it!). But yest on a quick glance up the roof, I realized that this beautician (something tells me that she is a divorcee for whom this is the sole source of survival) had made a valiant attempt to cover up all the dirty wiring dangling from the roof-top(Which was a eye-sore on ma previous trips there) by a false roofing.

Nothing out of ordinary abt it u say - the 'out-of-ordinary' bit here is that the 'false roofing' she has used is these mirrors stacked along-side! How wonderful n apt for a beauty-parlour rt - for a moment u forget that u sitting in this dingy parlour. The fact that these morrors must be the low-quality cheap ones picked for a deal at some wholesale market doesnt take out the wow! factor from it(if not for nothing but for the thot thats gone into it!).

Its these small elements of beauty in such unexpected places that brightens up my day.

PS: There is ofcourse a element of exxageration involved in this post :-D.  N hey! with this I finish 400 posts in this space. So time for Cheers it is!

Pic courtesy Hubbs!

Note the usage of 'Milk' for bringing in the celebrations(yikes!) ~~ well with the 'Absistence' period still going strong, we obviously cannot hv Champagne flowing can we.. duh!


Thats Ma Little Niece Up there!
Reaching upto the skies, riding way up the tress, letting the wind caress your face........Now if this aint zest for life than whats :)

Linking this to ABC Wednesday(Z is for Zest)

With This I end a successful season of ABC Wednesday! U can look them all up here........

You bet, I had soopa fun doing them! At a time when life was crazy this was my only anchor to blogging. The fun of trying to weave a story around a pic n the joy when u happy with the end result.... Priceless!!

Thank You ABC Wednesday!

Friday the 13th :-D

Does it spook you? Nee not me... at least one superstition that I don horde on to!! The reason thou is got no scientific bend to it.. its jus tht 13th of aug happens to be ma hubbs bday n I cant afford to be spooked if it falls on a friday rt :)

Today - Friday the 13th also happens to be ma BILs B'day... did anybody say "Devil" :-D

Yummy(licious) huh!

Rain Rain..

...Come again, TODAY!

Nee not any rain-romanticism happening here! Its the very earthy-practical taurean in me speaking.

You see B'lore is Hardly seen any monsoon yet, thou we into Jul already! This will of course mean water scarcity! Now imagine what that will translate into - A hole in the pocket(who will pay the water tanker!), Some erratic regulated water timings... N I can bet ma last penny, that the organized selves that me-hubbs are, we will miss this sacred few drops of water n then run helter-skelter looking for a bucket of water!!! Stuff of Nightmares I say......

Mr.Varuna, Please be a sport and do shower some blessings this side of the town! Come to think of it - you more often than not are the uninvited guest on most of our hols n now u act pricey!!!! Phew!!!!!!!

Come to think of it ~~ What marriage does to a care-free gal like me! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Poori Tales!

One of the biggest attractions of a Sunday is a king-sized breakfast\Lunch! In my childhood, Poori - crispy-paapad pooris(minus any sabji) was the definite favourite!

So time passes, I get married and then one of the v first experiments was of course the pooris. But by then, me realized that the sign of a good poori is for it be fluffy and soft(A far cry from my crispy-paapad ones :-D). So with all gusto, I dish them out -Now only if I were re-living my childhood fantasy then these pooris would hav truly been 'Picture Perfect'(So hard n Crusty were they)! Post a couple of other such disasters, poori was shelved off into the back-burner!

Fast-forward to present - A newly-joined colleague would bring this as-soft-as-can-be poori in his lunch dabba n I would literally drool over them! A oft chance conversation gave me a tip that they use a 50-50 ratio of wheat Flour-Maida. That coupled with another tip from hubbs to not to roll out the pooris too thin(I told yea he has cooking in his genes) gave me the push to try my hands at them again.

N lo-n-behold, I plate my first eva soft-n-fluffy(at least in my definition.. nee they not yet as fluffy as it should be!) pooris :-D

Me now off to do a Poori(licious) dance ... yummmm!!!

A tall Story...

Literally! Go, look up this link to know what am saying...


You guys rock!!!

I am going all-empathetic with  them.Cause thou am no-where near their 6'+,  Right from my kinder-garden days I was the tallest girl around ~~ so much so that when me was a little more than 10, I could give any girl-boy of my age a run for their money what with me towering above them at a good 5'7'' :-D. (Reason for quite a bit of heartburn for my mom... no prizes for guessing why)!

Thou today am proud to be the tallest lady in at least my circle, it was reason enuf to cause more than fair share of despondency especially during those not-sure-about-myself awkward teen-age!

Why O Why?

I respect people who go out of their way to help others - I respect all the more, people who stand up in situations from which the average Jack will shy away! 

For Instance - I hv seen people (I claim guilty myself) who laugh their guts out at some funny typos on billboards(n indeed they are funny). But how many of us will take the effort to let the concerned people know abt the typo and have it corrected!

But what I don get is - what makes these do-gooders think the entire world is laughing behind their backs?? Some insecurity? Or did some insensitive dude(or dudette) indeed laugh at them for this? But then shouldn't we know better as we age - Why carry this bitterness around that that the world is full of "laugh-behind-my-back" people when its not indeed the case!

Tales of Absistence.....

Must be this abstinence for close to a month now, that the word "Beverages" pops up the images of Beer, Wine in ma mind :).

The reason for the abstinence, is the fast hubbs is on for his up-coming sabrimala visit. Now knowing him, his concurrence to go on a religious sojourn without kicking up a hue and cry, is a surprise in itself :). The bigger surprise is that he has been able to stay away from meat, booze n smoke(strictly in order of his indulgence) without showing any obvious withdrawal symptoms. Way to go ma boy!

Funnily enuf, the person who is showing the worst withdrawal symptoms - for lack of any kinda "entertainment"(use ur imagination) -  is been errr... yours truly :-O. Added to it is the fact that ma sis is busy entertaining her set of in-laws n Sabs is gone on a self-imposed social out-casting mode! Truly boring times I say :-/. The only relief is been my kindle :)

Well until then here is some food-porn(Dint I tell yea I luv the word) to stare at

Clicked on ma B'day - pic courtesy Hubbs!

Linking this to Thursday Challenge - "BEVERAGES" (Tea, Coffee, Wine, Beer, Water,...)


Typical accompaniments with our morn cup of tea is 2 Marie n one choco cream bisc! Now ma hubbs who cant otherwise be trusted to do the grocery shopping without a list in hand, does a enviable job of ensuring that they are stocked up!

It so happened that this sat night, he opens the fridge only to realize that his stock of choco cream bisc is run out while the marie bisc is almost overflowing. So  cooking-in-my-genes enthu-cookie of hubbs who is already high on his regular dose of  Food porn(:-D I think I luv this word) thanks to Masterchef Australia~~ pre-heats the oven, stuffs his fav Lindt Dark choc(yuks) in between two marie biscuits, Microwaves it for couple of mins n lo-n-behold look what you hv!

Tastes best when frozen!

PS-1: How I wish he replaced that dark choc with something more edible :-D
PS-2: I know there is no word like Yummy(liciouc) - but am allowed to coin new words ... lol!

Linking this to ABC Wednesday(Y is for Yummy(licious)!) and the Color-Deckors weekend wrap-up!(Ages I linked there simply cause my weekends off late hv been crazy!)

Where the rain is born.....

... Gods own country, Kerala should ofcourse be the ans rt? :-D

Pic Courtesy - Google!
No, am not being a Kerala-Fanatic. This is actually the title of a book by Anitha Nair. Its in fact a collection of stories from diff novels, diff authors where the subject was centered on 'kerala'!

Two things I luved abt this book. One, gives different perspective of life in Kerala ~~ All v distinct but all v. correct - If u ask me, no other books has so concisely captured the spirit of life in kerala in all its myriad colors!

Two, gives you glimpses of writings of different authors ~~ many of them unknown(at least for me) ~~ N for all you know you will end up finding your next fav author from here. I definitely did - more on them in the next few posts!

So if you a lover of Gods-Own-Country then go ahead n gift urself this! N no, dont jus take my word for it ~~ I was gifted this by Sabina Zacharias who definitely knows her books!

Of Trust n other issues.....

I hv been the types who from the time I remember, wasn’t a big fan of being in places where I seem to hv no control! Possibly why, I was never fond of slides n all those contraptions u see in amusement parks ~~ of course the absolute lack of motor skills was the cherry on the cake!

Fast fwd to post marriage era! As luck would hv it, Hubbs thou well into his 30s now, can still give any child-teen a run for money once he sets foot in a amusement park!

Now my dear mister decides that not only will he climb up each of this like a monkey but will drag his mrs along (atleast on the easy ones!). But of course I firmly refuse to be a part of this hideous plan of his! Now comes the most interesting twist to this post....

The reason he accredits to this non-cooperation on ma side is my "Lack of Trust" in him! Now tell me plz how does not wanting to subject one to all those topsy-turvy stomach churning (who in their sane mind will!) be attributed to "Lack of trust" in him...... **Bangs my Heads**

Men I tell Yea!!!


I seem to belong to a generation (Man! I officially feel old now) who believes that a phone is well jus a phone which means u use it to make\receive phone calls ~~ msgs, pics are all aded freebies but yea nothing more! I hv seen my frnds who hv the fanciest of phones but well really don use it for anything other than calls-msg-photos ~~ so yea I was quite happy with my stone-age generation phone.

But when I see ma hubbs n few others flaunting their smart-phones(!), I realized I was clueless around it ~~ no prizes for guessing that am no gizmo-geek nor am I known to embarace new technology(or any change for tht manner). Hmmmm :-/

Pic courtesy ~~ Xolo Website
So yea when an "opportunity" presented to set things right, I well hv decided to jump right into the wagon! So presenting to you my soon-to-be-possession! Xylo ~the Blink phone!

Now now lemme be v frank ~~ the "opportunity" was well the only reason I jumped into the wagon. You see one reason for my absistence from these fancy phones was the "Price Tag" ~~ My wallet wasn’t(isn’t) jus big enuf to accommodate it and neither did I hv any fascination for them! The "opportunity" being that my sis who happens to work for Intel could pick up the phone at almost 1\4th the market rate :-D and she being her generous self kindly gifts it to me n hubbs(who v conveniently lost his phone around the same time!)

While I of course cant yet review this phone ~~ ma hubbs is pretty happy with his thou he aint a bg fan of its camera n believes that its priced on the higher side.

So Xolo it is for ABC Wednesday (X for Xolo)

Graham Bell never Invented Telephone!!!

Yosh! U heard it right..

Go look up these links to see what they say ~~ Here n here! Some news that huh.. Had ma jaw literally dropping when I heard this......

What led me into this google search in middle of weekday is a conversation that brewed over lunch @ work. Here's to some great conversations over umpteen lunch n tea breaks... One of the things that makes office bearable :-D

Lifes Surprises!

I had always thot that I inherited the love of reading from my dad, seeing him devour books as we grew up! Possibly am right, but things over last few weeks makes me wonder ~~ is it jus from my dad that I inherited this love for books???

Today my mom~~ who is ridden off quite a few of her responsibilities(read marrying off her daughters) in life has at-last some 'Me Time'. N surprise, surprise!! She seems to be devouring books(Thou they all are these spiritual books!) at a pace that surprises me. Her excitement when she lays her hands on the latest edition of her fav book is as palpable as a 7 year old when he gets hold of his fav comics book....

N not jus books, she is suddenly this kool-mom who seems to be enjoy looking up cook-books and now has her definite list of 'To-see' programs in TV. Now if you are somebody who knows my mom, you will know that she was somebody who believed in cooking-for-survival(at least once we grew up!) and who thot that TVs are meant for jobless people in the world!!!!!!!

Life can still surprise you huh!

Wood Fired Pizzas!

Wood Fired Pizza @ Bier Club, B'lore

One item that I see flying off the shelf at quite a few lounges is the "Wood fired Pizza". Yea, we hv had it too .... N if u ask me it definitely tastes betta than ur regular pizza.  Of course goes without saying that you pay a premium for it cause well they are "wood roasted"!

But come to think of it, isnt it how the food was always cooked at least until a few years back in villages across India! Heres a click, clicked at a roadside eatery somewhere on the Kerala-B'lore Highway... "Wood Fired Dosa" anybody :-D

Funny huh, that we end up paying "premium" for what was(is) still jus a regular way of life! Signs of changing times??

Linking this to ABC Wednesday(W if For Wood-Fired)