Shutterbug's Blog

Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .


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One Pot curry in a Clay pot using Brinjal in Nellore style , in 15 minutes~Vankaya Bajji / Pullagura

Here is another simple One pot recipe which is populare in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.

All the Ingredients are added in the Clay pot and cooked till they are soft.

The curry is then mashed using a ‘pappu gutthi’ and then given a ‘Tadka’.

Check out the video –

Very quick and easy to cook.

Can be prepared in 15 minutes without much effort.

Make this when you crave for a simple traditional dish and are in a hurry. Especially suitable for those who are new to cooking , for Bachelors, for working professionals who prefer to eat homemade food.

Similar method can be used for different vegetables like bottle gourd, Ridge gourd, Sorrel leaves (Gongura) , Spinach , khatta palak etc. Just replace Brinjal with any of these veggies.


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Gongura Pullagura in Nellore Style – One pot recipe in a Clay pot

Uploaded a Recipe on my Youtube channel a few days ago.

This is a One pot traditional recipe that I made in a Clay pot.

This type of curry is popular in Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh.

Can be easily prepared by newbies , bachelors , working professionals, students in 10-15 minutes.

The ingredients are very commonly found in any typical South Indian kitchen.

Here is the video –

Hope you liked the recipe.


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21 Oct 2020 – New Phase in my Life !!

After my BMT , I continued to work and felt quite strong , Mentally as well as physically and I wanted to complete a few tasks and reach a few milestones.

Among these Milestones are :

-To see my son settled down in a job

-To complete the contruction of our house which we had got designed by an Architect just before I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.

-To do my best in the organisation that I was working for

I had decided then that I would quit by job once the above were achieved.

I am currently at a stage where I am happy that I was able to achieve all of them. I feel very contented now and hence decided to take ‘Pre-Mature Voluntary Retirement’.

Submitted the Application form to HR Department. I will be relieved on 30 Nov 2020.

The rest of my life I will be able to do a lot of stuff that I was unable to do till now.

I am extremely grateful to the Almighty for getting an extension to my life.

I am also very thankful to all my near and dear ones who have supported me in various ways.

Looking forward to a new Phase in my Life !!

~ Sarve Janaja Sukhino Bhavanthu~


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My Ayurveda Doctor, to me: According to me, you are Cancer Free !!

I have been taking Ayurveda Medication for Multiple Myeloma from my Ayurveda Doctor every month. I have been prescribed several types of medicines with different dosages during the day .

This month too my medicines were delivered , but I opened the parcel only after a few days of receiving it. You know the virus thing and not to touch parcels for a few days and leave them outside the door thingy πŸ™‚

When I opened the parcel I found that the required dosage of tablets/capsules was missing from a couple of medicines. I then messaged my Doctor informing the same. He said I should be reducing the dosage of medicines. I refused to accept what he said and said that I prefer to continue the same medication for ‘some more time’ .

He then said that I should reduce my dependence on Medicines and that I should be more confident and do meditation also.

I said OK and then …..

My Ayurveda Doctor : According to me, you are Cancer Free !!

I couldn’t believe those words. Those were some very precious words that any patient would love to hear from a Doctor. I was feeling overwhelmed and my eyes were welling up.

While it is true that my last test reports , few months ago , were all normal , I didn’t want to rush and reduce the dosage.

I do believe that my new ‘Natural Lifestyle’ along with Ayurveda is doing wonders for my body. I do feel good and able to manage most stuff on my own at home and at work too !! . I do get a lot of help from hubby and son πŸ˜›

Its been more than 5 years since I started taking Ayurveda Medication and No chemo since then.

And its been 5 months since I started following the Diet prescribed by ‘Natural Lifestyle’ . Surely the combination is working for me πŸ™‚

Thanks to the Almighty for showing me the right path.

I hope and wish more and more people give up wrong eating habits and spend more time on improving their health by eating wholesome food that comes directly from Mother Nature, by exercising, Meditation and most important to have a free mind by letting go , being grateful, by forgiving self and others , giving up resentment and being compassionate to all .

~Love U Life ~


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First COVID +ve case confirmed in my company followed by panic

The first COVID +ve case in my company was confirmed yesterday.Thousands of Employees and Non-Employees work in our company. The news spread like wildfire within minutes in all the different whatsapp groups. All the primary contacts of this person have been told to quarantine themselves at home.

Our HR department immediately convened a series a meetings and formed a few committees which will oversee such cases. Procedures to inform HR regarding sysmptoms, going for the test , quarantine for self and family , referrals to Panel hospitals etc were quickly decided and circulated on our Intranet.

Senior colleagues in my department met this morning to decide as to how we can restrict movement of others coming into our building. It was decided to put up a barricade at the Main door of the building and have the door manned so as to stop others from entering our building. The decision was implemented immediately and we heaved a sigh of relief. Glad that we have reduced the probability of the virus sneaking in.

I had always been wondering as to how people are get infected , in spite of taking all possible precautions. I got my answer today when I observerd a colleague taking of his mask while talking on the phone. I noticed that he touched his face several times during the conversation. After his talk ended , I told him my observations and he was surprised. I now have a clue as to how we are committing blunders …. purely by ignorance. Even the so called educated are not exempt from such blunders.

All my family and well wishers are worried for me and have been suggesting that I work from home . Unfortunately our HR doesnt permit WFH , as we are a manufacturing company. The maximum possible is to work in Shifts , so the workforce is staggered. But with thousands of people it is not practical.

The best we can do it to limit meeting coworkers , have very short conversations, not to remove the mask at any cost and keep sanitising the hands.

The Enemy has surrounded us. Have to be very cautious at every step. Quite possible that I might have touched the virus and then gave it a nice wash with the sanitizer πŸ™‚

Have to be overly cautious as I have comorbidities.

I still feel confident that I can defeat the enemy πŸ™‚


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Father’s Day 21 June 2020 , World Yoga Day and Solar Eclipse

India celebrates a lot of festivals which are more religious or connected with Nature , Seasons or Harvest.

With all the communication happening all over the world and people travelling all over, we too have incorporated some of the special days being celebrated in other countries. Father’s Day is one such day.

Father’s play a very important role in Indian society. They are the bread earners in majority of the families and take care of the children till they are grown up and begin to earn. There are several families where the parents and son continue to live together even after the son is married. A lot of respect is given to parents.

Everyday is a Father’s Day in such families.

However, this specific day which is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June every year since 1910 is definitely special. This day gives us the opportunity to recall all the guidance and support given by our Dad’s during our growing years. It is an opportunity to stop and think about Dad’s who have made a lot of sacrifices to provide for the children. An occasion to celebrate the day with some special moments with our Dad’s and to show our love and affection.

Today is ‘World Yoga Day’ too. If Father’s Day is imported into India , Yoga Day is being exported to the World. This is exactly what the world now requires. To imbibe the best from all over the world and evolve into better human beings. Hubby wanted me to click a few pics while he does a puts Yoga poses. It was fun directing and clicking. These pics were then sent to their HR team asproof of doing Yoga πŸ™‚

In this part of the country the Solar eclipes today was partial. All of us at home decided to do some cleaning of the house during the eclipse. Most Indians follow the tradition of not cooking or eating during this period and we followed suit. Had lunch very late in the afternoon and had grilled fruits , vegetables and Paneer (Cottage cheese) for dinner πŸ™‚

This time we used skewers which we ordered online and it definitely made grilling much simpler and faster. I was a little apprehensive about an Electric grill but it is very convenient and we are enjoying the time spent during the grilling process.


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Learning the lessons of Life while Gardening

Thanks to the Lockdown , I was able to spend some time everyday for almost 45 days with my plants. I dont have a lot of space for gardening , but whatever little space I had , I used it to the maximum.

Unlike other hobbies , I think gardening is one hobby that makes you fall in love with Life , all over again πŸ™‚ .

And that is because a lot of lessons in life are learnt while pursuing gardening.

We learn to appreciate nature and creation. When you sow seeds and see them sprout , when you see the first leaves appear, when you see the flowers bloom and when you see the fruits , at every stage the happiness increases manifold.

There are times when the plant struggles to live and it collapses one day. During these times , we learn to accept failures in life. That whatever we do need not always result in success.

We learn to be patient. We wait for the plant to grow at its owns pace. We learn to see how life unfolds and accept the pace at which events happens around us. A lot of factors affect how well a plant grows. Similarly , a persons growth also depends on various environmental factors.

We provide additional support to plants , and give sufficient resources like water, fertilizers , sunlight etc. Similar support is to be given to our near and dear ones to help them grow. We usually dont blame the plant for not growing well. We only try to give it more support.

We see the interconnectedness of all things on Earth. Not just the relationship between living beings , but also the interdependency between all living and non living entities like the sunlight , the water , fire , earth and space. We learn to see that even these so called non living entities are as lively as the ‘living’ beings. Without these 5 elements , ‘Life’ isnt possible.

All the hard work that goes into growing plants yields a lot of ‘fruits’ …. and vegetables πŸ™‚ . The same applies to hard work in real life too. More often than not , success follows hard work.

We learn to see not just the life which lives over the soil , but a lot of other creatures which live under the soil.

The plants do their best to thrive in all kinds of extreme climatic conditions. They are very strong and patiently wait for the right conditions and bounce back soon. When there is no water , their roots grow further down to reach places with water. They grow towards the Sun if planted in a shady place. They are intelligent creatures too.

If required they do take support of nearby objects to grow. This is an important quality to be learnt by humans too which is to take help from others if required. There are many plants which are creepers , which grow only if they have good support. So, it is important to take the required help whenever necessary and not hesitate.

While a plant is growing , if the main stem is cut , the plant grows several other side branches. It doesn’t give up and die , it grows more vigorously and bears more branches , flowers and fruits. We need to learn this trait from plants. A never give up attitude.

Creepers are very flexible , they grow any which way that is comfortable. They can bypass any obstacles on their path and continue to grow.

I strongly feel that everyone has to spend time in Nature to understand and appreciate all life on Earth and to learn from each other and to coexist with each other.

Nature needs more and more gardeners πŸ™‚

~ Love you Life ! ~


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My current Diet – “Natural Lifestyle”

I had mentioned about my new diet in one of my earlier posts. I am currently following the Diet recommended by an organisation named “Natural Lifestyle” .

I read all about the founder Shri Acharya Mohan Gupta and his Gurus. Watched a lot of videos on their youtube channel. I got convinced to follow the diet prescribed by him.

The diet recommends Intermittent fasting for 16 hours every day. Most of the food is eaten raw and only one meal during the whole day comprises of cooked food.

The diet is based on the belief that ” One who eats once a day is a Yogi, who eats twice a day is a Bhogi and who eats thrice a day is a Rogi “

In the above statement the food that is eaten is food that is cooked.

The aim is to eat just one cooked meal in a day and Raw food / juice during the other meal times.

This diet helps in cleansing the body and to treat diseases.

Here is my diet on any normal day :

Pre-Breakfast : 8 am – one glass of Ash gourd juice

Breakfast : 10am – A plateful of Raw vegetables with a few slices of coconut

Lunch : 1-2pm – 3 Composite Rotis with lots of vegetable curry

Dinner : 6-7pm – A plateful of fruits (any one type of fruit) with a few slices of raw coconut

This has been my diet for the last 5 months.

I do cheat once in a while and eat a little bit of regular food like rice with curry or vegetable fried rice or breakfasts like upma , dosa and junk food like noodles too πŸ™‚

I have lost a lot of weight after following this diet. My family and colleagues do comment on my appearance but I am happy as long as i am healthy.

I am able to carry out simple tasks like cooking , going to work and spend some time in my garden. Not doing much physical work .

So far so good.

It is a bit cumbersome to follow this diet as my diet is different from the diet of family and this requires more cooking time. Hubby and I plan our meals and so we are comfortable.

Very difficult to control the senses of taste and smell :). There are times when I feel, what is life if I am unable to eat all that I would like to. But I console myself that i have to do anything and everything to stay alive and this keeps me motivated to continue this diet πŸ™‚

~


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B-Roll , Inaugurated my first Lodge Cast iron pan and Electric grill , Extension to our tiny garden

B-Roll :

Heard about B-roll from my brother recently and since then I have been checking out Youtube videos on what a B-Roll is and how to shoot B-Roll videos. What I understood so far is that a B-Roll is a little diversion during the regular A-Roll which is the main theme of a video. There are several ways to plan , create and incorporate a B-Roll footage into your videos. The B-Roll will reduce the monotony in a video and will help in retaining the interest of the audience.

I have been uploading a few videos on my youtube channel but these videos have only the A-Roll πŸ™‚ . Creating a B-Roll does require creativity and more time to edit a video. As of now i am just learning the ABCs of making videos.

Lodge Cast iron Pan :

My obsession with traditional cookware started a couple of years ago and during this process I also came across Cast iron pans made by Lodge. Wanted to own one since then . However, I actually placed an order only now after getting the confidence that I can maintain these cookware. I have been using a few locally made cast iron cookware which do not have a good finish. My first Lodge pan finally arrived and I inaugurated it by making Aloo egg masala curry.

Loved the piece. It is pre-seasoned and quite heavy. The best way to maintain this cookware is to clean it immediately after cooking , dry it well and season it with a little oil, warm it up for a few minutes and then put it away so it doesn’t rust and is ready for your next use.

Electric Grill :

I also wanted to do some grilling for a long time. Didn’t know what is the best type of grill for my requirement. Did a lot of research and found pros and cons for each type of grill. There are gas fired, charcoal based and Electric grills .Finally zeroed in on an Electric grill and ordered on Amazon. Inaugurated it by making Paneer tikka with capsicum and onions.

The result was beyond my expectation and we enjoyed the process and the final result too. Quite easy to assemble and use.

Extension of our tiny garden :

One hobby I developed during the Lockdown is gardening. Hubby and I have found a common passion in gardening πŸ™‚ . We have been experimenting with different veggies and have been quite successful in growing a few veggies. We didnt have much space to grow more veggies and so decided to create more space by removing the cemented path along the compound wall. We dug out the existing soil which was rocky and filled it with red soil and manure.

We got an additional ten square meters of area now for our vegetable garden and we are happy :). Plan to grow more veggies during the monsoons. This space should be sufficient to grow a lot of veggies. We look forward to spend half an hour each day in the evening as both of us have to go to work and this is the best part of the day πŸ™‚


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Lock-Down Dairies – 8 June 20 : Will there be a growth in rural areas, reviving my old Mortar and Pestle , Minimalist kitchen

Growth in Rural Economy :

Now that the Migrants from cities are back to their villages , is it possible for the migrants to give a boost to the rural economy. While the cities now face a shortage of skilled labour , these skills are now available in small towns and villages. Would this segment of population help in setting up new businesses in rural areas. But right nowΒ  they are jobless and they are struggling with hunger too. Also heard that a lot of houses in the cities are now vacant after the migrants have vacated.

The shortage of these skills in the cities is now leading to an increase in the wages of labourers and they are in a position to demand a hike. Only time will tell what is in store for the future. Appears that the situation is going to improve the lives of rural folks , povided the government lends a hand.

Reviving my old Mortar and Pestle :

I recently joined one Facebook group named ‘Roti Pachallu’ . This group is all about making Chutneys with different veggies , lentils , greens etc. Been coming across a variety of new recipes which I never knew existed. Water melon rind chutney , Asparagus chutney , Cluster beans chutney , Tamarind flower chutney etc. All these are prepared in the traditional way using a Mortar and Pestle. My Mortal and Pestle which I bought just after my wedding was lying in the attic. Now that I am inspired by the posts in this group , I got mine down the attic and this is how it looks.

Need to spend some time curing/seasoning it , and then it is ready to be used to make chutneys. Since last one year , i have been fascinated and obsessed by the traditional ways of cooking , be it the type of Utensils or the recipes.

Minimalist kitchen :

I am also currently researching on how to achieve a Minimalist kitchen. Surely it is a more disciplined way of life and helps in having a neat and clean kitchen with minimum effort.