Shutterbug's Blog

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


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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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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 – 4 June 20 : Random musings

Feeling very happy today.

My first Bhendi’s are here. Several buds were drying up and falling off and I didn’t know what to do.

Finally these have stayed on. Feeling very happy seeing these  πŸ™‚ . This plant is growing in a container.

Another reason for being happy is because my son has made scrambled egg on his own , without any help from me.

Every mom is very happy whenever the child does anything on their own for the first time and this too is a memorable event.

My son loves to make omlettes and was using a non-stick pan all these days. I ordered a steel pan online today for making omlettes only and will gift this to my son :). Am sure he will love the gift.


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Lock-Down Dairies 30 May 20 : Restaurants , Religious places , hotels and shopping malls to be open, my first Bhendi / Ladies finger ,Β  organic seeds online, unboxing a Jet water spray gun

New Lockdown guidelines in India:

All Restaurants ,Religious places, hotels and shopping malls to be open from 8 June onwards.

Opening of Schools, colleges, congregations ,intra state and interstate movement , international travel, cinema halls will be decided in the next phase.

Got to wait and watch whatΒ  is in store for the population in India ,now that the monsoons are also arriving.

My first Bhendi :

After several buds drying and falling off ,my first Bhendi successfully survived :).

It is very exciting to see the life cycle of a growing plant, especially something that we have personally tended to.

Organic seeds online :

I had a few vegetable seeds at home but they were not sprouting . I didn’t know where to get good ones and googled. Decided to buy online. I ordered a packet with 15 varieties of seeds and received them today. These are the seeds that I received.

Will be sowing a few of these soon.

Jet water spray gun :

A few weeks ago , we had a lockdown party with my brother’s and sisters families in our cellar/stilt floor. Since it is open and dirty ,we decided to wash the whole place. It took almost one hour for the three of us to wash the whole place . It was then that I decided to buy a jet spray gun . Received the package today and unboxed it.

However, we found that the hose pipe we had at home didn’t fit into the gun. A clamp is required to fit the pipe to the gun. We are hunting for a clamp. I am looking forward to do some good cleaning of the windows on the first floor too, which has been difficult.

Will review once I start using it.

~ Swasthirasthu~


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Lock-Down Dairies – 14 Mar 20 : Hubby is back to work , Vegetables to be sown in May, Plastic shields inside cabs

Hubby is back to work today after almost 50 days of social distancing. While getting ready to go to work and wearing socks and shoes he said , ‘I feel like a school kid going to school after Summer vacation’ πŸ™‚ .

I have a few emply containers now and ready to sow some seeds. I googled to find out which seeds are best sown in May and found that Parwal , colocasia, ginger, turmeric, onion, capsicum, okra, brinjal, chilli, coriander are to be sown now.

I had planted 4 colocasia roots in the beginning of May unknowingly and two of them are growing.

Colocasia

I sowed chilli seeds last month and transplanted them around the last week of April. They are growing too. I have capsicum seeds and sowed them today.

I too have to start going to work from 18 May onwards. I called my Ayurveda Doctor to ask him for his advise, as I depend on a Driver. He asked me questions like , where does he stay , whether he stays in a slum or a proper house, whether he has a separate bath/toilet . Said I should give him Tinaspora cordifolia and zincovit . That I should keep the car windows open , if possible use a full face cover , to use a plastic shield between the front and back seat of the car, to spray sanitizer on this cover frequently.

I know one vendor who is supplying Face shields and I am checking if he can give me a few. He is usually supplying to Hospitals and Health workers.

The plastic shield in the car is something that I was hearing for the first time.I assumed that a lot of people in Mumbai are already using these as the number of C19 cases in Mumbai is very high. Doctor lives in Mumbai. I looked up on the Internet to check for some pictures as to how these plastic shields are fixed and came across very few videos that too only from China. These are being widely used by Cab drivers.

A thick plastic sheet fixed between the front seats and back seats

Got an idea as to how to fix these shields . I now have to get hold of a two sided tape and a big thick plastic sheet. Seems like a big project. But I like the idea. Very useful for people like me who are dependant on a driver to move around. Surely the Drivers too would prefer to be safe and this is a great way.

Hopefully these plastic shields will soon be available in the market.

Anything and everything to be safe.

Take Care folks !!


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Lock-Down Dairies – 12 May 20 : Passenger trains restarted, Migrants moving from cities to their towns/villages during Lockdown , My mint harvest, Containers/pots made from empty plastic rice bags.

Several passenger trains started towards various cities from Delhi. Several citizens are stuck in other cities/towns during the lockdown and with this step they have some hope that they will finally reach their hometowns and meet their families. There are strict thermal screening tests at the Railway Station. Some of the destinations may insist on the passengers being quarantined but that would be next to impossible. Most like passengers will be told to self quarantine at their home for 14 days.

Meanwhile the number of COVID positive cases are continuing to rise while the number of positive cases that are recovering are also rising.

Mr Modi has addressed the nation and encouraged all to go local and be vocal. He also stressed on being self reliant. There is no other option but to go local and all countries eventually will do the same. That we should go ahead with building the economy while taking all precautions.

A lot of Migrants also moving to their hometowns by whatever means they can. They are even walking hundreds of kilometers. Unfortunately some have even lost their lives on the way.

Decided to harvest Mint leaves from my tiny garden. The easiet greens to grow by a beginner who wants to grow food is Mint leaves. Can be grown in very small spaces and in containers too.

I also made a short video on my Mint harvest. Here is the link –

There was no more space in my tiny garden to sow any more seeds. There was no way to buy some containers/pots too as none of the plant nurseries or online sites were delivering these items. Looked around the home so I can reuse/recycle some stuff and convert into containers, and came across some plastic rice bags.

Containers made with empty rice bags

I had red soil , sand , some cocopeat and manure and quickly took help of hubby to fill these emptly rice bags with this stuff. Before putting the soil I made small holes at the bottom of the bags.

Very happy to see these Lockdown Container s :). Am yet to decide what I will be sowing in these.

I am continuing to work from home and experiencing the busiest days in my life πŸ™‚ .

~ Om Shanti Shanti Shanti ~


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Lock-Down Dairies – 9 May 2020 : My ‘Natural Lifestyle’ Diet and Daily routine

Time to share the exact diet that I have been following since 15 Jan 20.

This is the diet prescribed by ‘Natural Lifestyle’ lead by Acharya Mohan Gupta.

BTW, you can get all the details of this organisation at http://naturallifestyle.in/

The Day starts with a few yoga stretches that I am comfortable doing .

Followed by Pranayama and Meditation.

Use the Cotton Patti for 30 minutes.

Coming to my Diet –

Pre Breakfast : 8am

The first meal of the day is a glass of juice made from Ash Gourd. I make the juice using a juicer and it hardly takes 5 min.

Breakfast : 10am

A plate full of Raw vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, Beetroot etc. along with a fist full of coconut slices.

Lunch : 1-2 pm

2 Composite Rotis with lots of Curry.

This is the only cooked meal of the day.

Tea time : 4-5pm

If hungry one can eat coconut slices , drink coconut water or eat a fruit.

5.30pm

Use Cotton Patti for 30mins

Dinner : 6-7 pm

A plate full of fruits . Any one type of fruit may be eaten .

Appears very meagre compared to the ind of food that we usually eat. Thats the reason for ending up with numerous diseases.

It is difficult initially but when we have to choose between food or health then the answer is very clear.

~Om Shanthi~


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Lock-down Dairies – 5 May 20 : Update on my garden , commencement of operations at work, my support system

I had sown Fenugreek seeds in a container. Today is the 5th day after sowing. This is how my Organic Methi looks today.

My baby Ridge gourd is also growing well and is now 4 inches in height πŸ™‚ . This one is Organic too.

I have also harvested some organic curry leaves today. Should be sufficient for a week and more πŸ™‚ . These leaves are a very healthy ingredient and are added in almost all South Indian recipes.

Yes, all my produce is Organic πŸ™‚

Work has commenced today and those living very close to the Office premises attended . Almost 1/3rd of the employees attended which is a good sign. Will know the next plan of action in a day or two . I too have been making plans to go to work .Those who have kids below 5 years , are more than 55 years of age and have any health issues, those with any disabilities Appears I have no valid reason for not going to work . Unfortunately I am dependant on my driver which is the major hurdle now. Called my Driver and told him that he has to do his best to come . He lives almost 50km away from the city and not sure how he will be able to get back into the city. Waiting for the cabinet meeting to come out with a decision today as to the current Lockdown which is upto 7 May 20.

I have been supported by two maids , one cook and a Driver during the last 8 years in carrying out my daily chores. Thanks to them , I am doing well and able to manage work and home. I informed all of them to take a break after the COVID was declared a Pandemic. It is now my responsibility to take care of them by doing my bit. I decided to pay 50% of the salary to them. Hopefully that should take care of their expenses to sail through these tough times. I wish them and their families good health. Will definitely help them as much as I can. Our salaries have been reduced too and no one is cribbing.

I am a bit apprehensive as to how i will manage home and go to work even with the help of hubby .Will be very strenuous preparing and packing breakfast and lunch everyday.

Hoping for some miracle to happen.

~ None of us is safe untill all of us are safe~


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Lock-Down Dairies – 2 May 20 : getting rid of Ants Ants , harvesting Ponnaganti koora – a leafy veggie

My ixora in full bloom.

After using several methods to get rid of ants in our garden , this plant is blooming well. I am feeling very happy today πŸ™‚

Here are the different ways we adopted :

Using Laxman Rekha – A chalk ,with which we draw lines whereever there are ants. Quite effective.

Using Neem oil – One spoon of Neem oil mixed with few drops of liquid soap is added to one litre of water and sprayed all over and around the plants.

Using Boric powder – one spoon of Boric powder and 4 spoons of sugar added to 2 spoons of water and made into a paste. This paste is poured into small containers and placed wherever there are ants.

Last but not the least , using Talcum powder. I sprinkled talcum powder on and around the plants.

Next weapon is to use camphor. As of now it appears there is no need for this.

Really tough to protect plants from these ants.

I harvested my leafy veggie called ‘Ponnaganti koora’ in The Telugu. Recorded a video and uploaded it. Very easy to grow these greens. Here is the link to the video-

My first Ridge gourd of his season seems to be growing, after I hand pollinated the female flower using the male flower. Another reason to be very happy today πŸ™‚

~Om Shanti~