Thursday, November 29, 2007

It is easy ........................

It is easy to critisise than to appreciate,
It is easy to judge than to accept,
It is easy to react than to respond,
It is easy to be impulsive than to be mindful,
It is easy to stay stagnant with comfort than to take risk and flow with life,
It is easy to escape from a situation than to face it,
It is easy to confront than to console,
It is easy to speak than to listen,
It is easy to be serious than to laugh,
It is easy to get caught by wordly activities than to relax,
It is easy to blame than to take responsibility,
It is easy to get discouraged than to rely on inner strength,
It is easy to be fearful and worried than to trust,
It is easy to be in the known than the unknown,
It is easy to resist than to surrender.

Thought of the Day !

Live Life one day at a time.....
Share it with people who matters most to you,
For life is a little jar of MEMORIES,
So...........fill it with people you cherish.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cook with your child.

Children grow at a blink-and-you-miss-it rate. An unlikely place to connect with them is the kitchen:) . Introduce your child to the art of cooking and bond with them better, whatever their age.

Children find kitchen work absorbing and facinating. Rolling tiny chapatis(rotis), or tossing a salad(however untidy it may be) makes them feel important and oh- so grown up...Do have patience with tiny fingers taking hours and hours over little things. Remember they are too young to do any chopping and keep them away from fire, oven and hot dishes!

Here are a few recipes that you can try out with your kids;

Fancy Puris (serves 2-4)

3 cups of whole-wheat flour, 1 cup left-over dal (lentil)or cooked veggies, salt to taste, 1tsp oil, water to knead and oil for frying.

Method:- 1)place flour in a mixing bowl, add dal(lentil) or veggies, salt and 1tsp oil, knead to make a stiff dough(make a dough before u call the child into the kitchen, so that he doesnt see the dal n veggies mixed into it). 2) Give him/her a ball of the dough and let them roll it out on a flat surface, with a cookie cutter n let them cut out interesting shapes. 3) Deep fry their master-pieces in hot oil, and watch them beam!
(Children love to play with dough, and will eat what they make. An additional bonus;healthy dal and veggies are eaten by your child without them knowing :)

Steaming Veggie Soup (serves 4)

4 cups vegetable stock or a packet of vegtable soup powder;1 cup mixed vegetables, mushrooms, green beans, brocolli, spring onions - finely chopped -sauteed(use chicken slivers for children fond of non-veg); cream to garnish.

Method: Pre-cook the soup and veggies/chicken, help your child to ladle out soup and ask to drop the veggies /chicken into the soup. Then let him garnish with a dollop of cream.
(This is a sneaky way to get your child to have a bowl of nutritious soup that they have made :)

Quick Pasta ( serves 2)

1 cup coloured pasta, 1 packet soup powder in any flavour, such as chicken, mushroom, tomoato or vegetable; 1 cup boiled shredden chicken; 1 cup sauteed veggies.

Method: Pre-cook the pasta till almost don and cool, let your child cut open the soup packet and add powder into the pot,measure out half of the water suggested in the pack to make a thick sauce-like consistency. In a plate let your child arrange the pasta in colourful rows. Pour over the ladle of soup and ask him to add as much chicken and sauteed veggies as much as he wants. Serve hot.
(This colourful dish is sure to perk up his interest as well as his appetite).

Did u Know ?

You may lose bone strength, if u diet without exercising, In a study at Washington University, dieters who lost weight simply by cutting calories, lost 2.2% of bone density. to help yourself work out and get enough calcium , take recommended 500-1000mg(as per age) a day, then u can lose weight without losing bone.


Did u know that u need less than a tablespoon of salt everyday? But most adults end up taking in much more. Salt is not only found in the cooked food that we eat but lurks in form of sodium in almost all processed food. To workout the equivalent amount amount of salt, multiply the sodium value by 2.5(by this calculation, a little more than a gram of sodium is equivalent to 3gms of salt), Also buy food that states - sodium -free, low sodium or reduced sodium or unsalted - on their labels. Avoid high -sodium foods such as bacon, sausage, cheese, cold cuts, condiments, cooking sauces, pickls and salad dressing.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

14th November - Children Day.

10 Child Commandments To Parents.

My hands are small; please dont expect perfection, whenever I make bed, draw a picture or throw a ball. My legs are short ; please slow down , so that I can keep up with you.

My eyes has not seen the world as yours have; please dont expect me to see things the way you do.

I'm only little for a short time, please take time to explain things to me about this wonderful World.

Dont scold me for my inquisitiveness. Treat me as if you would like to be treated.

I am special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do , disciplining me in a loving manner.

I need your encouragement to grow; you can critisize the things i do , without criticizing me.

Permit me to fail, so that I learn from my mistakes.

Please dont do things over for me, and please dont compare me to my brother or sister.

Please dont be afraid to leave for a weekend together; kids need vacation from parents, just as parents need vacation from kids.

Please set a good example for me to follow, I enjoy learning.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque - Brunei.

This is the one of the prettiest buildings in the east! The Mosque was built from imported Italian marble and special handicrafted stained-glass windows from England and carpets from Saudi Arabia, and was finished in 1958. There is an elevator going to the top of the 44 m minaret. In the artificial lagoon that surrounds the Mosque, there is a replica of an 16th century Royal Barge. The building is as impressive looking during the night when it's lit up by different coloured lights.Amazing in appearance, but too beautiful to be true, The Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque is Brunei's proudest architectural achievement. It sits on an artificial lagoon near the Brunei River in Kampong Ayer, which is appropriately enough, known as a "water village." A structure in the water that resembles a ship was at one time used for official state ceremonies. The mosque is the largest in the Far East, and considered among the most beautiful in the world. It reaches a height of 52 meters and is topped with a gold dome supported by walls of Italian marble, which also forms the mosque's columns, arches, and towers.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Discover India - Palace on Wheels.


The Palace On wheels is a splendid and enchanting royal journey through the bygone era of the erstwhile Maharajas. Though times have changed and the winds have shifted, the Palace On Wheels cruises along in royal style, the kind only the Maharajas of yesteryears could have perpetuated and enjoyed.

The exquisite and exclusive Palace On Wheels has luxurious cabins, wall to wall carpeting, a well stocked bar, two dining cars and a very personalized service... in fact, almost everything that could compromise of heaven on earth for seven days!

The Palace on Wheels comprises of 14 fully air-conditioned deluxe saloons, equipped with world class amenities to enhance the pleasure of traveling.

The Coaches ::The 14 coaches are named after former Rajput states matching the aesthetics and interiors of the royal past. Each saloon has a mini pantry and a lounge to ensure availability of hot and cold beverage, and refreshments and a place to relax and get together.

Rooms ::14 fully air-conditioned deluxe saloons, each a combination of 4 twin bedded chambers with channel music, intercom, attached toilets, running hot and cold water, shower, wall to wall carpeting and other amenities. The furniture with its inlaid motifs has been specially created for the Palace on Wheels.

Restaurants ::The train has two lavish restaurants "The Maharaja" and "The Maharani" with a Rajasthani ambience serving palate tickling Continental, Chinese, India and Rajasthani cuisines.

Bar ::The train also boasts of a well stocked bar offering the choicest of sprits of Indian and international brands. Each coach also offers a good collection of books to choose from.

Facilities ::The Palace on Wheels is regularly refurbished to a great extent. The decor in the saloons, bar lounge has been changed, keeping in mind the traditionally aesthetic yet modern, Palace on Wheels. Toilets have been redone and are maintained sparkling clean. Each saloon lounge has been equipped with color television and a CD player. A satellite phone is on the way to make you communicate anywhere in the world from the train.

Explore the romantic land of Rajasthan, while experiencing the luxuries worthy of the Maharajas of yore. Rajasthan opens its treasure chest and presents all its mystical charms for the astute tourists.

It offers a 7 day tour starting from Delhi to Jaipur then Jaiselmer then Jodhpur to Ranthambore to Udaipur to Agra and then back to Delhi.

Anyone going or planning a holiday whether from India or outside India i suggest that experiencing journey on this train is a must :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wishing u all A Very Happy Diwali.

Diwali - Festival of Lights.
Diwali, 'Festival of Lights', is celebrated with great fervor and gaiety. Deewali is celebrated by young and old, rich and poor, throughout the country to dispel darkness and light up their lives. The festival symbolizes unity in diversity as every state celebrates it in its own special way.
Diwali has many legends and religious accounts to it. Lights and diyas are lit to signifying the driving away of darkness and ignorance, as well as the awakening of the light within ourselves. Diwali is a time for family gatherings, food, celebration and pooja.

So may the festival of light bring joy and sparkles.
Have a crackling Diwali.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Few Interesting Facts .

Well guys here are few of the interesting facts , that I happened to read somewhere and thought to share with all .

1. Chewing on gum while cutting onions can help a person from stop producing tears. Try it next time you chop onions.

2. Until babies are six months old, they can breathe and swallow at the same time. Indeed convenient!

3. Offered a new pen to write with, 97% of all people will write their own name.

4. Male mosquitoes are vegetarians. Only females bite.

5. The average person's field of vision encompasses a 200-degree wide angle.

6. To find out if a watermelon is ripe, knock it, and if it sounds hollow then it is ripe .

7. Canadians can send letters with personalized postage stamps showing their own photos on each stamp.

8. Babies' eyes do not produce tears until the baby is approximately six to eight weeks old.

9. It snowed in Sahara Desert in 1979.

10. Plants watered with warm water grow larger and more quickly than plants watered with cold water.

11. Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.

12.Grapes explode if you put them in the microwave.

13. Those stars and colours you see when you rub your eyes are called phosphenes.

14.Our eyes (pupil) are always the same sizefrom birth, but our ears and nose never stops growing.

15.Everyones tongue print is different like finger prints.

16. Contrary to popular belief, a swallowed chewing gum doesn't stay in the gut. It will pass through the system and be excreted.

17. At 40 Centigrade a person loses about 14.4 calories per hour by breathing.

18. There is a hotel in Sweden built entirely out of ice; it is rebuilt every year.

19. Cats, camels and giraffes are the only animals in the world that walk right foot, right foot, left foot, left foot, rather than right foot, left foot .

20. Onions help reduce cholesterol if eaten after a fatty meal.

21. The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Patience : A virtue of the Righteous

O you who believe, be steadfast; be supreme in steadfastness...
(The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 3, Verse 200)
God has revealed in a verse, "This is a Book We have sent down to you so that you can bring mankind from the darkness to the light, by the permission of their Lord, to the Path of the Almighty, the Praiseworthy" The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 14, Verse 1, thus drawing attention to the Quran's attribute of bringing people from darkness to light.

The Qur'an defines patience as one of the paths that lead people from darkness to light and as an attribute of morality that is superior to, wide-ranging, and very different from the daily behaviour of many people. True patience is a moral characteristic displayed in the face of difficulty and in every moment of life. Moreover, it requires the demonstration of determination and consistency during times of ease and hardship, and is a lifelong endeavour that never goes astray, even for a moment.

God gives the most striking examples of patience in the lives of the Prophets, because they showed patience while teaching God's religion and leading a moral life. They never deviated from their devotion to God, and were patient people who sought only God's approval. The Qur'an tells us that God loves those who trust Him and show patience in all circumstances:How many of the Prophets fought (in God's way), and with them (fought) large bands of godly men? But they never lost heart if they met with disaster in God's way, nor did they weaken (in will) or give in. And God loves those who are firm and steadfast. The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 3, Verse 146.

Life comes and goes just as quickly for those who live morally as for those who do not. Those who exhibit impatience when facing the tests that God creates while they are in this world, who revolt against them by becoming impatient, and who are not constant in their morality and worship one day will die and find themselves between Heaven and Hell. Those who choose patience and surrender to Destiny spend their temporary life here in the finest possible way and will enter Paradise due to their trust in God. Those who spend their life being impatient, and complaining about their difficulties and troubles will find themselves in the darkness of Hell, just as they lived here in the darkness of irreligion, and will realize that they have sacrificed eternal life for a short temporary life on Earth.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: Whoever remains patient, God will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Moms Around The World .

Earth's Mothers
(Extracts from the Oprah Winfrey Show).
Can you imagine raising your children in a place where milk costs about $8 a gallon? Or living in a place where your kids play outside in total darkness because the sun only shines 45 minutes a day? From Africa to Alaska, we're meeting moms from around the world!
The first stop on our trip around the globe is Kotzebue, Alaska, a small village 30 miles north of the Arctic Circle. For mom, Mary Swisher, an Inupiak Eskimo, life in Alaska can be challenging.For two months a year, Mary, her husband and two daughters, live in darkness because of a phenomenon called polar night. "We'll get only about 45 minutes of sunlight. The sun will actually rise about 10:45 and then it will set about 11:15," Mary says. "And then it's total [darkness] again."Surrounded by water, the only way to get to Kotzebue is by boat, plane or snowmobile. Like most families there, Mary lives in a small home to save on energy and fuel, which is brought on a barge in the summer before the Bering Sea freezes in the winter.Alaska's brutal winters last six months, with wind chills sometimes dropping to 100 degrees below zero. "If you threw out water outside in the sky, it would come down as powder. That's how cold it gets," Mary says.Because of transportation costs, food in Kotzebue is expensive. A gallon of milk can cost up to $8—four ears of corn costs $12!"The groceries are so expensive because the only way that you could get to Kotzebue is by flying in or by boat in the summer, so a lot of our groceries and our milk, they're flown in daily," Mary says.Mary says to keep warm and healthy, her family eats meat every day. The main source of protein for most Eskimos comes from their own backyards. "My husband hunts. He goes caribou hunting as well as moose hunting," Mary says. Two or three caribou will last Mary's family through the winter. The family also eats a lot of muktuk, a dish made from bowhead whale blubber and meat.Despite the high cost of living and brutal winters, Mary still feels Kotzebue is the best place to raise a family. "The culture here is very awesome. Being a little kid here, they like to celebrate life. I love this close-knit community," Mary says. "I'm proud to be an Eskimo, and so is my family.
According to the Seventh Annual Mother's Index, Norway is one of the top spots for moms!With free healthcare for children seven and under—and paid maternity leave that lasts a year—this Scandanavian paradise makes sure family comes first."It's a very family oriented society and the family is very important to the government," says Trine Grung, a mother of two, who calls Oslo, Norway, home.Along with extended maternity leave—which can be divided between a husband and wife—moms and dads each get 10 days off with pay to take care of their kids if they get sick! Plus, during the first few years, families can get about $100 a month from the government to help pay nanny costs.If your day care provider falls through? No problem! Trine says it's okay to take the kids to work for a day or two.Trine says obesity is becoming a bigger problem in Norway, so she tries to make sure her two children, Frida and Kasper, have as healthy a lifestyle as possible."When they come home from school, they're outside playing soccer, going in the woods. I want them to be active. I don't want them to sit down just being paralyzed in front of the TV," Trine says.So what is her impression of American moms? "The impression we get from TVs and what we read in the papers, I think they should be more strict…the health issue and the eating and everything," Trine says. "I'm very strict with my kids. Like there's no peanut butter ever in the house…There's a lot of love behind a no."Despite being health conscious, however, Trine says the best advice she gives her kids is about their emotional well-being. "To believe in themselves…like my little girl, for example, … if she comes home and said somebody said something bad about her hair I said, 'Do you like your hair?'" Trine says. "That's the most important thing. To believe and be strong in yourself."
Talk about lifestyles of the rich and famous! We traveled way down south to meet Andrea Santa Rosa in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Married to well-known Brazilian actor Marcio Garcia, Andrea basks in the good life with their two children, Pedro and Nina. "I have a nanny. I have a cook. I have a housekeeper," Andrea says. "I think that Brazil is so [much] easier than America because the women [in America] don't have time for them[selves]. Just for the children. And for the house."In Rio de Janeiro, Andrea says looks matter. "It's very important to be beautiful. I love to work out. I like to buy some clothes," she says.But in a country with one of the world's highest crime rates, Andrea's top priority is keeping her family safe. "The violence here is terrible. I have security because I'm afraid sometimes. I have a bulletproof car."Like every mother, Andrea hopes that she is raising her children right. "When they grow up, I'd like them to be a good person and to do everything in the right way," Andrea says.
When Dina, a mom in Cairo, Egypt, began looking for a pre-school for her son, Aly—who was born with Down syndrome—she learned about the striking lack of opportunities for people with disabilities in her country. She says administrators at schools would ask, "Why do you want to send him here? Maybe you should send him to an institution."Though she had no business or education training, Dina opened the Baby Academy Preschool for Children, which provides top-of-the-line facilities. "I wanted a place that would treat every child as an individual, that would help him to achieve his maximum potential," she says.Now Dina has three schools, 1,000 graduates, and plans for further expansion!
Motherhood takes on a different meaning in Sudan's Abushok Refugee Camp. The camp, situated in the volatile Darfur region of the east African nation, is home to 54,000 displaced refugees. While visiting the camp, CNN reporter Jeff Koinange met Makha, a 25-year-old mother.Makha and her husband were living with their six children on a grain farm when their village came under attack by "Janjaweed," the ruthless mounted militias who have executed many of the atrocities in the ongoing genocide in Sudan. Janjaweed militiamen killed Makha's husband and two of her children, and raped her. She escaped and, with her surviving four children, fled 60 miles on foot.When Jeff spoke with her, Makha had been in the camp for seven months. She was building a six-foot mud wall in a desperate attempt to protect her children. "Perhaps if the Janjaweed come here, they'll see that wall and pick an easier target," Jeff explains.Despite everything the refugees of Darfur have been through, another mother at the camp named Fatima says she still has hopes and dreams for her children. "For me, life has no meaning. I just want my children to be able to live normal lives like children anywhere," she says. "Not as refugees."
In India, the legal age for marriage is 18, but more than half of the country's women are married and starting families by their 15th birthdays. On average, women make up only 6 percent of India's workforce—but that is changing.Over the past decade, hundreds of U.S. companies have outsourced jobs to India. Over 300,000 Indians are employed as customer service phone operators. One of these workers is 29-year-old mother Bharti, who works from 8:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.—literally through the middle of the night. Bharti rarely spends more than 15 minutes at a time with her husband or son. She says she hasn't spent a night with her husband in two months."My ultimate dream is to have our own flat, and Ishu [her son] have his own room, and I'm not working at all," Bharti says. "I would love to teach dance. That's what I want—a simple, very small life."These jobs imported from the West are changing Indian culture, especially how families are structured, "Their lives are in reverse. They adopt these American, Western lives at night and come back and try to live their Indian lives during the day," she says. "The mothers are still obligated, even though they're working all night long, to come and cook first thing in the morning, pick up the kids during the day. Their duties have multiplied.
In Thailand, 65 percent of women work and the average household income is only $6,000 a year. Muhlee, a mom in Bangkok, Thailand, works six days a week as a masseuse—making just enough money to pay for the one-room apartment she shares with her 18-year-old daughter and husband. In addition to her busy work schedule, Muhlee says her husband also expects her to do all of the housework.Because they do not have the room or the money, Muhlee's 9-year-old son does not live with his parents in Bangkok. Instead, he lives in the country with Muhlee's parents. She rarely gets to see him, but they talk every day."She would do anything for her kids," says Muhlee's translator."Muhlee is actually very lucky because she talks to her son every day," Lisa says. "She's one of millions of women around the world who are from the countryside, but have to leave their homes in search of work. Some of these mothers in China, in Mexico, in Thailand see their kids maybe once a month. Some see their kids maybe two times a year.
In Uganda, Lisa Ling introduces us to one woman who is almost single-handedly raising her country. Bakoko Zoe, a former government minister, has personally adopted 40 orphans whose parents died of AIDS. "Virtually that's all I do with my income," Bakoko says.As she raises these 40 children, Bakoko simultaneously lobbies to change laws that give men unlimited power over women. And she starts changing those laws at home…with her 20 sons. "In the future, when we have our wives, we must learn how to give them the freedom and how to empower them to look for their own survival," one of her sons says."Even if I am poor, even if I don't have what others have, I have fine young men who will transform our society,"