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


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December musings-2021

At the fag end of this October, I dug out my sweaters ,washed them, and kept them ready for the upcoming winter.

The winter months here in Hyderabad start in November and last till February.

In Hyderabad,ย  we begin to feel the change in temperatures during Diwali; the date is usually at the end of October or early November. The weather suddenly changes from being wet to cold. During the past years ,I have also noticed that around Diwali,ย  the rainy season comes to an end with a light drizzle, and the eveningsย begin to get cooler.

This year , during Diwali and for several weeks after Diwali too, the weather was cloudy most of the time. However, there was no drizzle. And when the sky is cloudy , the weather is not  cold. The clouds trap the warmth from the earth, and so it was warm even when winter season had officially begun.

The ceiling fans in our home continue to be ON even today, whereas during the previous years ,I used to have the heater ON during the nights in December. This year, until now ,I didn’t feel the need to bring out the heater. We have a small portable heater that keeps the room warm all night when it gets cold. The day temperature here in Hyderabad usually hovers around 20 degrees Celsius, and at night, the minimum is around 12 degrees Celsius . These temperatures are actually quite comforting compared to the colder countries, where central heating is a must.

It is past mid-december now, and the temperatures are slowly dropping.

Winter is the only season during which I really enjoy cooking in the mornings. Nice to feel warm around the stove while cooking  breakfast and lunch ๐Ÿ˜€.

We ensure all the doors and windows are tightly shut all the time to keep the house warm. One problem due to this is that the smells from all the cooking get trapped inside the house, in spite of the chimney and exhaust fan being ON.

I spend at least an hour in our Balcony during the mornings and enjoy the warmth from the sun while sipping hot herbal tea. Our balcony faces east, and so the morning sun helps in getting some vitamin D.

Here is the view I get to see while I warm up in the morning.

I noticed a strange astral phenomenon during the winter months. The sun seems to rise in the East and seems to set in the South. This is a practical demonstration of the Earth being tilted at an angle from the north. India is in the Northern hemisphere .During winter months, the southern hemisphere is closer to the Sun, and the Northern hemisphere is away from the Sun. When the Earth rotates around itself in this position, the places in the Northern hemisphere experience this phenomenon where the Sun seems to rise in the East and sets in the South. Surely, our ancestors keenly observed this phenomena and concluded that the Earth is slightly tilted and also observed the differences in weather is due to the rotation and revolution of the Earth. Very interesting.

No wonder our ancestors were able to observe nature closely and discovered a lot about nature and the stars, they lived and worked closely with nature ;there were no tall buildings that blocked the view of the sky.

Hyderabadi winters are cold and dry, causing chapped skin . As a result, the skin cracks up and results in an itching sensation. It is important to keep the skin moist by using a moisturizer or by applying oil on the skin before taking a shower.

Winter also disturbs the immune system and causes coughs and colds. Nature bestows us with fruits that are high in vitamin C during the winter season and wants us to eat more of these.I love fruits and enjoy oranges, custard apples, strawberries , and Amla that I order on Farmizen. These are organically grown and are delicious.

Every December ,my memories take me back to December  2011, when I was admitted to Apollo hospital in Hyderabad for my BMT. Those memories are painful, and so I don’t like December.

It’s 10 years since, but the memories are still fresh.

I will pen down my thoughts and memories in my next post.

Till then, take care and stay safe !!


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Recovery from Sore Throat and Bronchitis, Garden update, cap/crown replacement after Root canal

Recovery from Sore Throat and Bronchitis

Finally , recovered from another bout of sore throat and Bronchitis. It’s been a few years since I suffered from Sore Throat and Bronchitis of this severity wherein I required Nebulisation.

During this Pandemic , every sneeze or cough is looked upon with suspicion and the individual is treated as a potential COVID patient untill the symptoms subside or proved COVID negative after a test.

Thankfully, my symptoms have subsided after 3 days with medication using Allopathy as well as Alternative treatments.

If interested , you may check out my blog posts from the last three days on the details.

A herbal cough syrup , a herbal powder and nebulisation helped me recover in 3 days. I was able to avoid taking Antibiotics which is the default treatment for a sore throat.

I am now back to my normal diet since morning.
However, due to all the coughing , the muscles around my waist are hurting whenever I cough a little.

I was getting a phone call everyday ,during the last 3 days, from Mom and Dad. I told them about my condition on day one casually and since then they have been monitoring me. They are glad that I recovered quickly

Decided to take more precautions whenever any part of the house needs to be cleaned .

Update on my garden :

This is the best season to sow vegetable seeds. So, I planted a few Okra seeds in one container today. Checked the condition of all other plants and found that all of them are affected by ‘Powdery Mildew’ and the leaves are turning yellow and falling off. This is caused due to humid weather from the recent rains. Will wait for a couple of days , so all the leaves drop off and will then spray an Organic pesticide.

Why I avoid buying Country Eggs :

One guy selling eggs, on his modified bicycle, rang the doorbell to check if I wanted some eggs. My neighbours are his regular customers and so I began buying . I had bought a couple of times earlier . I took some eggs from him today and complained about the Country eggs that he delivered on his previous visit. Some of them were rotten. I then decided never ever to buy Country Eggs from anyone . I usually avoid, but this time I was tempted to take. I stopped taking meat or eggs but buy for the guys at home. Country Eggs are tastier and healthier compared to the ones that we get from chicken farms. Though some farms are rearing free range hens ,their freshness is doubtful. Such farms are located far from the cities and the delays in transportation can affect the freshness. So , no more country eggs till I find a reliable source closer home.

Cap/Crown replacement for my tooth :

Looking forward to a message from my Dentist. I am due for the final step in my Root canal treatment. They said they would message me when the cap/crown was ready.

If interested , you may check my previous posts on the Root canal Treatment .

Delivery of vegetables from Farmizen :

Every Tuesday , I receive a bag full of fresh naturally grown vegetables from Farmizen. My son soaked the vegetables in salt water , drying them under the fan, packing for them and storing them away in the refrigerator. This is his duty every Tuesday.

Glad that my sister finally subscribed to Farmizen and she too received her first delivery today. She is happy with the quantity and I am looking forward to her feedback on the taste of the veggies vis a vis the store bought veggies.

That’s all folks!!



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Second day into my Sore throat issues

Night of Day 1:

Last night , my Bronchitis worsened and my throat was beginning to burn as I was coughing a lot.

Yesterday, my Ayurveda Doctor, advised me not to start nebulisation.

It was late night and I was unable to tolerate the breathlessness and burning throat.

So, I decided to take nebulisation and felt better this morning.

My condition this morning :

This morning at 8am I updated my Ayurveda Doctor on my condition. He advised me to start an antibiotic or take one Herbal tablet. However, I have not yet started these as I wanted to wait till evening.

My coughing episodes have reduced and soreness in the throat too has reduced. I was continuing to cough up some watery phlegm all morning.

I was in no mood to eat ,so I had papaya for breakfast.

I was feeling mild breathlessness throughout the morning but was able to manage. I continued to take the herbal cough syrup and Mishran powder every 6 hours.

My condition in the afternoon :

I had idli and sambar for lunch. Ordered from a restaurant. Felt nice to eat idli with hit sambar.

By afternoon, my breathing was getting tougher though coughing was much lesser. I decided to take nebulisation in the late afternoon. Felt very comfortable after the nebulisation.

For dinner I had Rice with Rasam. My taste buds have lost their sense of taste and Rasam is one dish that tastes good when one is sick. Rasam is sour,salty ,tangy and peppery. It is like a soup made with all healthy ingredients like pepper, cumin seeds, garlic, coriander seeds, turmeric powder tomatoes, tamarind/lemon juice ,curry leaves and coriander leaves. All these ingredients boost the immunity too. Most South Indians prefer this comforting food , rice with rasam, when they are sick.

It is 8pm now and I feel much better. Breathing is normal and cough has reduced too.

As of now ,I don’t see any reason to go for the COVID test.

Hopefully things are under control now.

Hope to sleep well tonight :).


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Down with Severe Sore throat after more than 2 years

How it started :

Just when I was celebrating my ongoing Root canal treatment ,I woke up this morning with discomfort in my throat. I immediately drank a concoction made with a powder that I always have at home. I always keep stock of this powder and consume it whenever I sense  some trouble in my throat. I get this Mishran powder from my Ayurveda Doctor.

The usual worry started as I began to think how I ended up with a sore throat. What might have triggered this. I have been successfully managing well for the last two years and never did it get this bad.

BTW my son caught a cold three days ago and I was constantly giving him Herbal remedies. Today is the third day and he has almost recovered.

Did I catch the bacteria/virus at the Dental clinic. This was precisely the reason why I was avoiding to visit the Dentist.  Was it at Starbucks , I hadn’t visited any eating place during the last two years.

Me and my son did a little cleaning at home a few days ago. We did wear masks while cleaning. All of us are allergic to house dust and do our best to keep the house dust free.

Was the dust ,after vacuuming, lingering inside the house and did we inhale that dangerous stuff or did I catch the virus from my son. I made sure I was nowhere close to him during the last two days.

Hmmm….whatever be the reason , it is here to stay ๐Ÿ™

Advise from my Ayurveda Doctor:

Called my Ayurveda Doctor and described my  symptoms. I asked him if I should go for a COVID test and he told me to wait for a day.

Whenever I have severe sore throat, I usually end up with  Bronchitis. I began coughing up watery phlegm and when I told about this ,he suggested a Herbal tonic. I was able to get this tonic from a local Ayurveda store

If the Bronchitis gets severe ,I will have to start taking nebulisation. I have a portable nebulizer at home. The doctor advised me not to start nebulisation yet.

It is 6pm now. Since morning I have been taking the  Concotion and the herbal tonic every 6 hours. Not feeling comfortable yet. The irritation in the throat continues.

Hoping there will be some improvement by end of the day.


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May 2020 :

Inflammation of Gums

This was the time when most of the world was in Lockdown. The dreaded Corona virus made sure everyone was forced to stay put at home. This was one of those rare times when people didn’t dare to visit a hospital even for routine checkups. Thanks to technology , most hospitals came up with online video consultation.

It was during this time that I started to have pain in my gums on the left lower side of my jaw. I immediately messaged my Ayurveda doctor and he told me to make a video call at a particular time. I usually consult my Ayurveda doctor for all minor issues too. I called at the scheduled time and he wanted to see the area via video. I went outdoors as it was bright outside and he saw that the gums were red and swollen.

Herbal Medicine for Inflammation of Gums :

He suggested a herbal medication that has to be used to brush my teeth instead of the regular toothpaste. I followed his advise and found that the pain reduced after brushing a few times and vanished in a couple of days. I felt relieved and happy that the pain subsided. Little did I know what was in store.

I continued using this herbal toothpaste.

Covid lockdown was lifted and life began to get back to normalcy.

Nov 20:

Teeth Chipping and Pain

I noticed that one tooth on the left side, at the site of pain , began chipping off. I had pain whenever I bit something using that teeth. While eating , at times some food would get stuck in the cavity and caused a lot of pain. Slowly , I got used chewing using only the right side of my mouth. Almost half the teeth broke off .

I was apprehensive to visit my Dentist inspite of Covid guidelines being relaxed.

I continued using the herbal tablet for a year and managed successfully.

Nov 21:

Duration and Stages of Root Canal Treatment

A couple of weeks ago the pain got worse and the Herbal tablet wasn’t helping me.

I was forced to visit my Dentist and finally took an appointment.

A Root Canal Treatment had to be done.

A Root Canal specialist examined the tooth and prescribed an antibiotic for 5 days ,as there was an infection in the teeth which was causing the pain. I had to come for the next visit after I completed taking the antibiotics.

During the second visit , when the infection was gone , the Root canal specialist cleaned up the root of the teeth. This process is a bit painful and I did make some noise to signal to the dentist whenever I felt pain. Just bear with a little pain and then life will soon be wonderful. The dentist then filled the cavity with temporary cement. I was told not to chew food on the left side. I had minor pain for a few hours after the process which was soon forgotten.

I was told to come back after a week.

During the third visit , the Cap Specialist took over . She removed the temporary filling and closed the cavity with a permanent filling. The remaining teeth was scraped off completely and the filling was shaped into a small teeth like structure and is in the same colour as the teeth . There was no pain whatsoever . A soft moulding material was used to take an impression of the teeth on the top and bottom. This will be used to manufacture a cap/crown which will be fixed over the temporary teeth. I was advised not to chew food on the left side for a few days.

I am now done with three visits that spanned for almost 15 days. The final cap/crown will be fixed during my next visit.

Feeling good that I will be able to eat comfortably in a few days.

Yayyyy !!

Here are a few pics from recent times –

Puja in Karthika month.

Visit to Starbucks on way back from the Dentist.

Latest harvest from my tiny garden.

That’s all for now.

Please continue to take all precautions against Corona and its variants which seem to be never ending ๐Ÿ™


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3 Best Desi Ghee / A2 Ghee Online , in India

What is Desi Ghee :

Ghee is clarified Butter which is obtained from the milk of Cows and Buffaloes by a process of making curd , then churning the curd to extract butter , the butter is then heated to produce clarified butter/Ghee.

However, the best Desi Ghee is made from the milk of Native Indian Cows and is preferred as it has several health benefits.

Ghee from Native Indian Cows is called ‘Liquid Gold’ as this has a golden color. It is interesting to know that in ancient India, those with the most ‘Liquid Gold’ or more cows , were the richest.

With ‘White Revolution’ , a lot of Dairy farms started rearing Jersey/Holstein cows , as they produce a lot of milk . Not many are aware that these cows are a hybrid variety and not native to India.

Since ancient days , Native Cows of India are revered and treated like a family member.

Indigenous or Desi Cows in India
Native Indian Cows at an Organic Farm, that I visited, near Hyderabad , India.

Lord Krishna says that if one worships a Cow , it is as good as worshipping Him. Lord Krishna was a Cow Herd and loved cows and hence called ‘Go-Pal’ , one who rears Cows.

Lord Krishna , with Cows

What is A1, A2 Milk and why we should consume A2 milk products :

The Milk produced from Native Indian Cows is called A2 Milk , whereas the milk from Hybrid cows like Jersey, Holstein is A1 Milk.

Ghee prepared from A2 Milk of Native Indian Cows has numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation. For that matter everything should be taken in moderation.

The protein in A2 milk is good for our health.

It is observed that the incidence of Cardiovascular diseases and Diabetes is more in those who took A1 Milk products.

I am using Ayurveda Medications since almost 6 years. My Ayurveda Doctor prescribes 1-2 tsps of Cow Ghee per day for me.

Health Benefits of Desi Ghee :

Here are a few health benefits of incorporating A2 Ghee in your diet -Contains Butyric acid which increases the generation of T-cells in the body. It is these T-cells which improves the immunity in the body.

It is good for improving memory.

Lubricates the connective tissue and hence prescribed for Yoga practitioners

Ghee is a yogavahiโ€”a catalytic agent that carries the medicinal properties of herbs into the tissues of the body.

Acts as a medium for absorption of all fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K .

Has antioxidant properties as it contains Vitamin E and Beta carotene and reduces inflammation in the body.

Induces Apoptosis in Cancer cells.

Slows the aging process

Enhances Digestion

Contains antiviral properties

Has high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which is good for heart health

…and many many more

How is the Best Desi Ghee prepared and what is the price :

I have learnt from various authentic sources that to prepare 1kg of Desi Ghee, around 25-35 Liters of pure Desi Cow’s milk would be required. This depends on the fat percentage in the milk. Fewer liters of milk would be required if the fat content is high. I was told that the price of 1 liter of pure Desi Cow’s milk is Rs200/-.

This works out to a minimum of Rs5000/- for 1kg of pure Desi Cow Ghee. Any price which is drastically different from this is not a genuine product.

No wonder it is called ‘Liquid Gold’.

Where do I buy Desi Ghee Online :

My search for various sources of A2 Ghee began a few years ago , when my Ayurveda Doctor told me to use Ghee daily. I even spoke to a few folks from near by Villages, who worked in the city, if they could help me get Cow Ghee. Unfortunately, none in the villages are into A2 Ghee business as there is no demand .Basically, the knowledge of the wonderful properties of Desi Ghee is lost. Native Indian Cows give a lower quantity of Milk and also has lower fat content. Hence, most people prefer to rear Buffaloes.

Ghee adulteration is rampant and hence one should be aware of the source of the Ghee.

I then started searching for A2 Ghee online . Thankfully, now a days, there are several brands of A2 Ghee online. After checking the reviews , reading about the people who are behind the product and the method used to prepare ghee, I went ahead and ordered.

Klimom Desi Ghee :

Initially I used ‘KlimOm Ghee’. KlimOm is based in Hyderabad. I found it on Amazon and liked the product. The grass which is fed to the Gir Cows is grown in their farms without using any pesticides. Cows are not injected with any hormones and are milked using hands.

Traditional methods are used to prepare the curd from milk and churned to extract the butter. This butter is heated and then it gets converted to Clarified butter.


A2 Ghee from Isha Vasyam :

I began searching for another product and bought A2 Ghee from Isha Vasyam. The quality is very good. Mr Vivek Sharma , founder of ‘Isha Vasya’ wanted a cure for his parents health issues and rediscovered the ancient vedic remedies for the current age health problems.


Desi Ghee from Amorearth :

I am always on the lookout for Organic/Naturally grown produce. During my search I came across ‘Two Brothers Organic Farms’ . There are some videos about their farms that I watched on YouTube. They are into Natural farming and I am impressed by their farming practices. The brand name of their products is ‘Amorearth’ . They have free range Native cows, which are fed with Organic grass and other feed , from their own farms. The manure from the cows is used to fertilize the plants and the cycle continues. Cows are the basis for Natural farming and they have a symbiotic relationship. They also sell several other Organic products.

Currently , I am using A2 Cow Ghee from Amorearth.

       

Time to switch to Desi Ghee :

It is high time , we revert back to our ancient way of living. Let’s do the best we can to access the healthiest food products. No doubt , such products are in shortage and the demand for these is slowly increasing. There is a shortage of supply, however, the more we purchase , the more will eventually be produced.

It is true that A2 Ghee is very very expensive compared to Ghee from Buffalo Milk. But, Ayurveda recommends 1-2 tsps of A2 Ghee to those who are keen on regaining their health. So, make sure the source is authentic and if you have access to a Goshaala or anyone who is rearing Native Indian Cows , then you are the luckiest.

Let’s spend our hard earned money to buy healthy food for our family. Nothing else is more important than healthy eating habits. Thankfully good products are available.

~ Jai Gomaatha~


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Best DIY Natural All-purpose Cleaner using Soapnuts

Hair shampoo , Detergent , Bath soap , Floor cleaner , Pesticide , Dish washing liquid , Jewelry cleaner , Mosquito repellent , Bath soap for Pets , Kitchen cleaner : Using Soapnuts , an environment friendly and sustainable solution given by Mother Earth.

After having experienced a life surrounded by chemicals and pollution , I have begun rediscovering all the traditional healthy practices that were followed in India since hundreds or thousands of years. In this journey , I have recently rediscovered Soapnuts. The most Eco-friendly , Natural All-Purpose cleaner .

My earliest memories of Soapnuts , also called Soapberries, are from my childhood days when my Mom would give us (me and my sister) a hair wash using the liquid extracted from Soapnuts .

Soapnuts or soap berries grow in India , in the Himalayas and in South India. They are light to dark brown in color when ready to pick and one to two centimeters in diameter with a hard black and big seed. When dry they are shelled and can be used like soap as they give a lot of lather as they contain Saponin which is a surfactant. Soapnuts are a natural cleaner given by Mother Earth.

I remember my late paternal aunt used to get a big sack, full of soapnuts whenever she visited us. She lived in a village adjacent to the Tirumala hills. The soapnut tree grows wild in the forests on the Hills.

Soapnuts for washing Hair :

Ok, So let’s go back in time, almost 3-4 decades ago , when shampoos were unheard of and the soapnut ritual took place every sunday at my home. Come Sunday morning , two big handfuls of soapnuts were broken by placing each one on the floor and breaking them open using a small round granite stone or placed in a Mortar and Pestle which was dedicated for breaking up the soapnuts. The big black seeds would be separated from the shells and the shells would be soaked in water .While the soapnuts were soaking , a copper water boiler would be filled with water and coals would be fired up at the bottom of the boiler drum.

The soapnuts would soften while the water got hot and they were squeezed with the hand to extract the juice from the soapnuts. The soapnut extract would be filtered into another vessel and more water was added to the remaining pulp. If required the soapnuts would be squeezed again.

This extract was the shampoo during those days. At times the liquid would get into the eyes and the eyes would burn and become red. We would sprinkle cold water on the eyes and get some relief. Very soon the eyes were back to normal.

After washing the hair , it was time to dry the hair using towels and letting the hair dry naturally in the sun. We let our hair down and stood under the sun. Mom didnt let us use the Hairdryer which Dad had bought from Italy when he went there on Official work. She felt that the heat from the dryer would damage the scalp and make the hair brittle.

Once the hair is around 70% dried up , Mom would comb our long hair to disentangle the knots and then braid the hair into one or two plaits. All our neighbours envied our long hair.

This was the morning routing every Sunday morning.

It was this ritual which helped in the growth of thick long and healthy hair , soft hair , no dandruff ,no loss of hair and no grey hair.

Very soon , we starting washing the hair ourselves and found a short cut to extract the soapnut liquid. We simply put the soapnuts in a vessel, poured water and heated the water. While the water cooled down , the soapnuts would become very soft and it was very easy to squeeze and extract the liquid. Mom somehow didnt like what we did, and complained that we were too lazy ๐Ÿ™‚

Soapnuts as a Body scrub :

I also remember Mom telling us to use the soft soapnut pulp to scrub the skin instead of using a soap. This natural cleaner is good for the skin as they prevent/heal skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. These nuts have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties too.

Very soon we began hearing of shampoos and initially we used these shampoos once in a while when we were in a hurry and didnt have the time to soak and squeeze .

Didnt take very long for all to forget soapnuts and shampoos were here to stay. The comfort , convenience , instant solution for a hair wash was too good. What followed was dandruff, loss of hair, brittle hair , split hair and grey hair.

Having realised the benefits and advantages of soapnuts over shampoos , we are now scrambling back to the traditional methods.

Since a couple of years I had been searching the shelves in the supermarkets for soapnuts and didnt find any. I was surprised that they had disappeared.

To this day , I dont see them yet in the supermarkets, but glad they are available online.

Washing silks and woolens with Soapnut extract :

For my wedding , I had several heavy silk sarees and maintaining silk sarees is an art . While discussing as to how I should clean and maintain Silk sarees with Mom, she told me to soak my silk sarees in soapnut extract diluted in a bucket of water and give them a gentle scrub with the hands.

Delicate and expensive garments can thus be cleaned using natural soapnut extract so they last long compared to using chemical based detergents.

Cleaning Gold jewellery with Soapnut extract :

Mom also once told me to clean gold jewelry with this extract. I just soak the jewelry in the soapnut extract for a while and use an old toothbrush to clean them.

Soapnut extract as an Organic/Natural Pesticide for Plants :

I have been doing some kitchen gardening using Organic fertilizers/pesticides since one year and I watch videos on YouTube whenever I require some information. I also learnt how soapnut extract can be used as a pesticide spray for plants. This is a natural way to control pests.

Mother Nature’s Detergent :

Eco friendly products and sustainable solutions are the need of the hour and soapnuts are the Natural cleaner that Mother Nature has given to humanity.

The soapnuts can be used as a detergent to wash clothes in the washing machine. Tie around 4-5 soapnuts in a cotton pouch or put them in an old socks and toss it into the washing machine.

How to prepare and use Soapnut Extract :

Method 1 : Prepare soapnut extract by soaking the nuts overnight. Next morning , squeeze the soapnuts with your hand for the best results and strain the liquid using a strainer.

Method 2 : Boil the soapnuts in water for 15 mins. Let the water cool down. Now you can squeeze the softened soapnuts and extract the liquid. Strain the liquid using a strainer.

The extract can be stored in a refrigerator. If left outside it will begin to smell bad and has to be discarded.

Fresh extract is recommended.

Other uses of the Soapnut Extract :

The extract can be diluted with water and used for all the following purposes .

  • Dish washing liquid
  • Washing Fruits and vegetables
  • Floor cleaner
  • Mosquito Repellant
  • Glass cleaner
  • Hand wash
  • Glass, Tiles, Kitchen counters
  • Giving a bath to your pets
  • Shaving cream

The water that is left after all the washing, can be let into the water harvesting pit or used for watering the plants in the garden.

I have begun using soapnuts for laundry, washing utensils, floor cleaner, as a bath soap, washing hair, as a pesticide, washing silks and also as a hand wash.

Laundry detergent , Dishwash liquid , Handwash liquid etc are also available online.

With COVID around , I began searching for a good product to sanitize fruits and vegetables, during the ongoing pandemic , I came across one good product named Bubblenut Wash which has soapnut as one of the key ingredients . I began using this before I started using soapnuts as it is very easy to use. Here it is –

Bubblenut Wash-Natural and Organic Fruits and Vegetables Wash :

There are other cleaning products sold by the same company .

Bubblenut wash Laundry Detergent :             

Bubblenut wash – Natural and Organic Laundry Detergent Bar :

…and many more

These products are especially very useful for those who have skin allergies and are unable to use the normal soaps/detergents.

Initially , it is very convenient to buy and start using them. Later on you can buy soapnuts and make your own Natural cleaner.

However, if you wish to buy the soapnuts and use them directly you can use them in the following ways :

  • Full berries can be used directly for Laundry , by placing a few berries in a pouch or old socks and tossing them into your Washing machine.
  • The extract of these berries after soaking in water can be used for washing hair, in the dishwasher, Floor cleaning, cleaning gold jewelry etc
  • The soap berries can be powdered and also used in the washing machine, soak in hot water and use as a shampoo
  • The left over berries from which the extract was prepared can be made into a paste in the mixer-grinder and used for cleaning kitchen counters ,sinks, stove etc

Feel free to experiment and you will not go wrong.

I recently bought the following product and started using them.


I now prepare a batch of soapnut liquid by soaking the soapnuts overnight and use it the next day for all my cleaning jobs.

Take the following precautions while using Soapnuts:

-If the soapnut liquid gets into your eyes while washing hair, do not panic. Just splash cold water over your eyes till you get some relief. There is no danger to your eyes. Your eyes may appear red for a while but do not worry , they will be back to normal soon. To prevent the liquid going into the eyes , just make sure that your eyes are tightly closed ๐Ÿ™‚

-Soapnut liquid tastes bitter. It is not poisonous. However, just make sure it is out of reach of small children.

-Freshly prepared soapnut liquid has to be used within a day. Store it in the refrigerator if you wish to use it over a longer period.

Old is gold !!


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Life during and post Covid-19 Lockdown

Had a brief experience of a slow paced life. However, it didn’t last very long and the usual hectic lifestyle is back.

No more stocking up on Groceries :

All of us had started stocking up on Groceries the moment we learnt that a Lockdown would be imposed. Everyone stocked up for a couple of months ๐Ÿ™‚ After 6 months of Lockdown , we continue to have some non-perishable food items that are unused as we were able to buy fresh groceries very soon. Now that everything is almost back to normal , there is no need to stock up anymore. Finally , Glad to free up some space in the Pantry and that’s a relief.

Maids are back inside the homes :

In India , most Urban population employ housemaids for doing the day to day household chores. During the Lockdown and also for a long time after the lockdown was withdrawn , everyone were forced to do all the household chores by themselves and everyone in the family contributed. This was one of the best things to happen because of COVID :). However, this didn’t last very long. The maids are now back inside the homes with Masks. Even during the lockdown , I continued to pay my maids/driver some amount.

Home Services are growing faster :

We were hesitant to use the services of househelp, plumbers, electricians, etc during the lockdown and learnt to do everything ourselves and also postponed certain activities. Now , we have House cleaning , Repairs , Beauty treatments etc. being carried out by professional agencies with all Hygienic practices and precautions in place. Organizations like Urbancompany , Housejoy , Quickr etc are growing fast.

Hubby and Son called up ‘Urban Company’ to get a haircut at home after 3 months of No-haircut. They didn’t want to visit a salon.

We also engaged ‘Urban Company’ for deep cleaning the home and they did a great job. These services are the need of the hour.

Shopping is back to normal :

During the lockdown , we started ordering everything online and avoided going to the stores. Everything , including vegetables were ordered online. Numerous makeshift vegetable vendors mushroomed everywhere by the roadside. People preferred to buy from them as they were in the open, rather than going inside a Supermarket. Supermarkets are now providing sanitizer’s and disposable gloves and visits to Supermarkets have increased. The makeshift vegetable vendors are not seen anymore. Not just groceries , but all kinds of stores are back in business. Festival shopping too has picked up and all clothes stores are doing well.

However, Online Shopping has increased and is here to stay. The comfort and options available are definitely more convenient.

Local transport like Autos, Cabs, buses, Metro :

For several months there was no Public transport. Public transport was permitted much later. Autos and Cabs installed a Plastic Sheet between the Driver and Passenger seats. I too installed a plastic sheet in my car as I have a driver. Initially there were a handful of passengers in Buses and Metro was not operational. I now see Buses are almost 50% occupied and Metro too is operational.

Takeaways , Restaurants and Tea/Tiffin stalls :

Eating out was a No-No for a long time. Roadside stalls selling Tea/Snacks /Street food were the first to make a comeback. Restaurants were later given the nod and instructions given to operate at around 50% capacity. Takeaways were permitted. People who were used to eating out on a regular basis in Pre-Covid era, were tired of eating healthy homemade food and are now glad they can enjoy restaurant food ๐Ÿ™‚ .Street Food is something which people cannot resist ๐Ÿ™‚ . ‘Panipuri’ carts are also doing good business. Few care about health/hygiene or they are confident of their immunity .

Visits to Religious Places :

The familiar sounds from Temples/Mosques/Churches are back and visitors have also increased.

Noisy world is back :

Loved the peaceful atmosphere during the Lockdown. The only noises that were heard belonged to the birds or someone who was selling their wares , mostly veggies , in a pushcart or a 3 wheeler. Whenever a Vendor was heard , I used to rush outside to see what was being sold and if we needed that item. Not just me but all our neighbors too would be out of their homes to have a look at what was being sold. These Vendors were like a boon and I would look forward to them ๐Ÿ™‚ . There were hardly anyone on the street. All the peace has now disappeared and noisy days are back with a bang. Grrr…brrrr…honk honk…

The Sky is BLUE !! :

Finally got to see the original ‘Azure’ Sky. Unpolluted air gave a glimpse of the beautiful Blue sky.

Clicked this from our Balcony , one fine morning during the Lockdown ….

Don’t get this view anymore.

Not much to Spend :

Didn’t have to spend for clothes , fancy stuff , restaurants , outings , attending events . We did survive but at the cost of the economy . Daily wage workers struggled to cope up.

Vacations and Holidaying :

Tourism continues to be affected , however post-Covid travel has just begun and I know friends who have started vacationing with family after being stuck inside the home for several months. Hotels and Resorts are taking all the precautions and giving offers to attract tourists.

Travelling by Air :

Air travel has resumed. Contactless Entry at the Airport , contactless Boarding and other Contactless services are in place. Social distancing in the Terminal and inside the flight is also being ensured.

Nature doesn’t need us , we are dependent on Nature :

Human greed is never ending and we want to show our superiority all the time . COVID-19 and the Lockdown made us realize that Nature is more powerful than humanity. It is now obvious that Mother Earth doesn’t need us and Humanity is the virus that is plaguing the Earth.


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Quick fix for Stretched EarLobes at home without Surgery !

Almost all Indian women wear earrings/ear studs on a continuous basis .We love to wear different earrings/studs on different occasions and also prefer stuff which matches our outfits :).

Over a period of time the ear lobe usually starts stretching .

I am a victim of this problem.

Story of my Stretched Ear lobes :

One of my ear lobe began to stretch after I did a big mistake more than two decades ago. I wanted to wear big and heavy Earrings for a wedding and noticed that my ear hole was too small for them . As I was in a hurry I used some force to push it through and there was some bleeding too. I just ignored and went ahead without realizing what was coming up in the future. That incident cut one important tissue in the ear lobe which actually helps in holding the earrings and prevents stretching and tearing :((

Slowly over the years the size of the hole kept increasing.

I soon stopped wearing earrings. For a few years I used earrings which can be simply pressed on the ear lobes , thanks to my sister who got these for me when she went to other countries on official work. These type of earrings were not available in India during those days , sometimes they were too hard and painful or too loose for my ear lobes.

Whenever I came across a jewelry store I would ask for this type of earrings and sometimes I was lucky. Soon I started wearing very very light earrings but I found it very difficult when I had to attend events and wanted to wear heavy jewelry. Tried using buttons at the back of the ear lobe but they didn’t help. I was unable to wear my favorite and expensive jewelry sets. Sometimes I would use ‘Champaswaralu’ to hold the earrings up.

What are ‘Champaswaralu’ :

Indian jewelry which is like a chain that holds the Ear-ring on one end and the other end is hooked to the hair. This can be used to lift/hold the Ear-ring.

Simple and Effective Solution for Stretched Ear Lobes :

I was very unhappy and discussed with friends and colleagues about how to repair my damaged ear lobe and they suggested to go for a surgery but I hesitated.

Couple of years ago , I started looking for solutions on the Internet as to how I can close my torn ear lobe ,without having a a surgery . Was looking for a way of just sticking up the hole using some special Medical grade adhesive which is similar to the one used for healing small cuts and wounds without stitching up by using sutures.

It was then that I stumbled upon ‘Ear Lift’ .

I was amazed at the simple solution.

More about ‘Ear Lift’ :

These are small oval shaped transparent stickers which has to be stuck behind the ear lobe over the hole and these are available in different packs with 30 patches or 60 patches.

I have been extremely happy ever since :).

Detailed instructions are mentioned on the package.

Advantages of ‘Ear Lift’ patches :

  • You can wear all kinds of Ear rings. Especially when wearing heavy jewelry for special occasions.
  • One can also have a shower without any problem. These patches are waterproof.
  • These stickers are transparent and invisible too.
  • Each sticker lasts for at least 10 days. The patch then slowly starts peeling off and then it is time to replace.
  • Very easy to fix behind the ear lobe. IT does take a few attempts to know where exactly to fix the patch. You can take the help of others to fix it.
  • Quality of Adhesive is very good. It does have a life , so they have to replaced once it starts to peel off.
  • This is an imported product.

Please change the sticker whenever you find that it begins to peel off or you find any discomfort.

Here is the product which I am using and is available on Amazon.

                                                             

Preventing Stretched Ear lobes :

Your Ear lobes may be perfect as on date , however , it is advisable to use these stickers whenever you are wearing heavy Earrings during special occasions. This will prevent any stretching of Ear lobes in the future.

Here are images of my ears ‘Before’ and ‘After’ using Earlift.

Before using Ear Lift

After using Ear Lift

I bought this product on Amazon.

Click on the below image if you are interested in more details of this product.

I am so grateful for this invention and for having stumbled upon this solution and so glad to share with you.


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One month to go before I Retire from my job – Retiring young

Taking the decision to Retire from work did not happen overnight.

I am working in a Government Company where security of the job is assured till Retirement at 60 years.

However, I had been mulling over this for the last few years and eagerly waiting for a VRS Scheme (Voluntary Retirement Scheme). The VRS Scheme would come with Medical Benefits after Retirement along with any additional Monetary benefits.

Several other Government organizations had declared a VRS scheme in the past. My own organization had one such scheme a couple of decades ago.

For some reason my company wasn’t coming up with any such VRS scheme.

Fortunately , an alternate Retirement scheme was declared few months ago called Pre-Mature Voluntary Retirement. This scheme is applicable for those who have crossed 50 years. Medical Benefits are provided after Retirement.

This was the final trigger for my decision.

I had submitted by application to the HR Department last week. There is a one month Notice period and I am coming to work. I am also using up some of my leaves .

News spreads like Wildfire isnt it ๐Ÿ™‚ …. Life was very hectic before I applied for Retirement. Once the News spread all over the company , things have changed drastically :)) ….I get very few phone calls, very few mails are addressed to me directly , no meetings , hardly anyone dropping into my cabin….hmmm getting bored while in the office.

Started cleaning up my drawers , physical files and sorting out all the information in my System and my mails.

Planning for handing over all my work.

Expecting to complete several formalities required by HR, Finance etc.

Feeling relieved alreadyย  ๐Ÿ™‚ and looking forward to be at home.

…and much much more :))

~ Love you Life !! ~