For my Mother…I may never get another chance.

I’m so fearful of the idea that one day you will leave me, that I often forget to live in the moment. Sometimes, I lie awake, just thinking about what life would be like, when you leave me. You are the first person to love me, before any other. Your sacrifices are endless. I remember when we had to live on banana sandwiches for a while, yet you made it feel like I was eating the best meal on Earth, everyday. I remember hardly seeing you, because you were working day and night, all for us. When Anna and Akka were out, figuring their own lives out, I saw your struggle. I remember your tears, I remember you wiping them away and I remember you smiling. I remember you always telling me to try. My success wasn’t important to you, it was the journey that you were most impressed with. That’s something I have always remembered.

No one puts up with my stupidity, as well as you do. You understand what I feel, without me having to say anything. You remember what it was like being my age and you never stop me from enjoying my youth. You allow me to express myself, without being judged. You give me so much freedom. You know when to give me space and when to smother me in love. You remind me of your mistakes, so that I know that my mistakes are human. You understand the way I look at the world, you understand it’s unconventional and very unlike the way you see it, and yet you never make me feel bad for it. You show your pride through the respect and love you have for me. I only hope to extend these amazing qualities, when (and if) I become a mother.

You’re my best friend. You are so much fun to be around. I am beyond proud to call you my Mother. I know I’m not very emotional, and sometimes I beat myself over how I don’t express my love for you. It’s unusually easier telling other people how much I love you, than telling you yourself. I think since Appa’s passing, I have grown more and more fearful of losing you. I guess I think that detaching myself from you will make that dreaded day easier on me. I know I’m wrong. Thank you for showing me what love means. You have given me a very comfortable life, through your struggle. I know I’m very hard to live with; I’m a minimalist and you’re very opposite. I like how you never give up your ways for me – it reminds me of how strong of a woman you are.

I know your old age has weathered our relationship. It has also brought us closer. It’s a constant reminder of how limited my time is with you. I know what you’re going to say: “I’m not old, I’m still a spring chicken.” The truth is, I don’t want to regret things unsaid. You will never understand how much I love you, Ma. I want to proclaim it to the world. My love for you is infinite. I will always love you, for the rest of my life. Please, never forget that. I don’t ever want you to leave me. I know one day you will, and that’s something I’m slowly growing to accept. I just hope you know that as emotionless as I am towards you, I love you hundred-fold more. You leaving me will, without a doubt, crush me, but I want to relish in the memories I have of you. I love how fun you are, your zeal for life and how adventurous you are. I love how nothing stops you. I love how unbelievably strong you are. More than anything, I love how you are just you.

As your memory fades, I just hope you remember this. God knows when I’ll be able to say it to your face. I know when you read this, tears will be streaming from my eyes. It’s from the bottom of my heart, Mum. I love you very much. You have no idea. You will never leave me, even when you physically do. My love for you will carry on, beyond graves and lifetimes.

Usually, before I sleep, I say two things out loud that I’m thankful for. The first is usually something that happened/I felt during the day. The second never changes:

Thank you, Universe, for my Mother.

20 things university has taught me & 1 thing I’m grateful for

Here are 20 things I learnt at university (other than what I actually went there for) and out of everything, the one thing I am most grateful for:

1) The friends you make within the first month of university most likely won’t be the same friends you’ll hang out with in final year.

2) Laundry can be heavy if not done regularly.

3) It is absolutely acceptable to drink cheap wine as a student.

4) When sharing a cab with five people, paying anything more than £1.50 each is unacceptable.

5) If you can’t sleep in your friend’s rooms whilst they are not there, if you can’t steal their food and if you can’t wear their clothes and not return it for months – they’re not true friends.

6) Give everything you absolutely do not need to charity…bringing everything back home is a pain in the baguette.

7) Four years can go by fast. Don’t waste time.

8) Never buy textbooks. If you have a good library, they will have everything you need.

9) Saving money for a rainy day is an absolute must.

10) It is possible to make a meal out of anything!

11) Don’t trust people too easily. It may backfire on you.

12) Use the “but I’m a student” card a lot! It will save you a lot of money.

13) Four pints of milk will only last a day and a half, in a flat with five girls…especially if they are avid tea drinkers and one of them likes their tea with lots of milk and sugar (wonder who that could be).

14) Family and your best friends will give you the best advice and will always love you unconditionally.

15) Take pictures of everything.

16) Christelle hates hugs and may punch/tickle you if you hug her out of nowhere. 

17) Charleen is the only person who will put on an Indian accent and pretend to be an old Tamil lady with you. “Ah, you know that Kamala son? He always with those nasty girls, that too in his mother’s car! Chiiii.”

18) Holly is an English rose, a proper lady, who can now make an authentic curry – wife material!

19) Shavel will offer everyone tea and when you say you would like one, she will say she “didn’t hear you.”

20) If you randomly make animal noises, crawl on the floor, dress up like a vagabond, put on strange accents and you still have good friends – you’re very lucky. If you find friends who do the same – you are blessed.

 

The one thing I am most grateful for and something I will always remember university for, is how it taught me that my passion and talents lie in cooking. I should have done a food-related degree or gone to culinary school, but if I didn’t go to university, I may have never found my true calling.

Now…I officially miss uni!

Crazy love, broken promises, food dead, cannibalism, hybrid insects and a beautiful eye!

I’m back! *pop*

It has been just shy of  four months since my last post, and I expected this blog to have absolutely no views in that time. How wrong am I? It’s astounding how many people read this blog. I have readers from ALL OVER THE WORLD!  Not only from the UK, USA or Canada but Bahrain, Israel, Brazil, Dubai, Laos, Korea, Spain, Russia, Kenya, Mongolia, New Zealand, Turkey…the list goes on! I never expected it, at all. I don’t even have that many posts! Other bloggers out there might think this is normal, but it’s huge for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I’ll try my best to not disappoint you with late posts again! Love, love, love!

A couple of posts ago, I was nominated for the Liebster Award and I promised once I found 11 good blogs, I would nominate them. Truth is, the blogs I found already had been nominated. Also, they didn’t nominate everyone themselves (except one). Somewhere down the line, the rules have been muddled. Tut tut.

Also, I mentioned the chalazion on my eye. It’s gone! It went a while ago, I just never told you guys. Oopsy! But, I shall pass down my chalazion-fighting wisdom to you. Red sandalwood powder! Just mix it with rose water, or just plain water, and leave it on for 2 minutes and wash off, very carefully. From beginning to end, it took just under two months to clear, however the nurse did say it could take anywhere from 5 months to 2 years! I patted my immune system on its back and gave it some nutella, don’t worry.

Talking about health, I haven’t been ill more times than I have been so this year. I don’t know why, but everything is going pear-shaped, health-wise. Normally, I only have the seasonal flu twice a year, but this year, I’ve had a little more than that. I blame my vegetarian diet. On that note, not long to go before my vegetarianism is over! Not that you care…

On a completely unrelated note, I had a very funny dream that only accentuates my personality. I had been held hostage on a vintage train by life-sized hybrid insects. I say hybrid, I don’t really know what word to use.  The “leader” was a very fat, slimy, grey worm/slug/caterpillar, who wore a monocle, top hat and waistcoat. He wanted to blow up the Earth (I don’t know why) and only had 24 hours to do it in. Just as he was about to press the gooey chocolate button, his insect men came in and said that the only way he could blow up the Earth was to twist once. Yes, twist. That was the exact word they used. What they meant was he had to rotate his whole body once for the Earth to blow up. His monocle dropped and he raised his voice saying, “But it takes 10 days to twist…well, we better get a move on then, quick!” He then twisted his head once and headed for the door, whilst his insect men followed him and tried to help. Then, in Picasso-style, a moth/daddy-long leg/helicopter thing flew out very slowly, as if it were injured. And I woke up. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY! But this isn’t the first time I have dreamt about strange, strange things. Just ask my sister (okay, so you can’t really ask her); she gets annoyed at me every time I tell her one of my dreams.

Food. My diet hasn’t been great recently. I started this blog to talk about food, share recipes and reviews and also talk about stuff that happens in my life. But I haven’t really been keen on anything food-related, surprisingly. I haven’t gone off food, oh no no no. I just can’t stand cooking in my kitchen. My flatmates are disgusting. They leave bits of food lying around, raw meat just sitting in bowls, they don’t take the bins out and I don’t even think they’ve cleaned the work-tops since we all moved in. I have a few times, but I stopped doing so as soon as I stopped eating/cooking in there. I only go in there if I want milk from the fridge. It’s so horrible. I’m not sure if this is insignificant to you, but for someone who loves food as much as I do, I won’t disrespect it. I can’t enjoy cooking, if the place I’m preparing food in is unhygienic. In less than 20 days, I’ll be back home in London, at my sister’s house, visiting family and friends – I know they’ll encourage me to cook and enjoy it all over again. So, until then, sorry no recipes. I can’t lie to you and post a recipe I haven’t tried. Sorry! I’ll update you on my life and the craziness that happens until then.

You lot are a funny bunch. I often look at what people search for in order to find this page. My favourites, so far, are “ninja girl eat indian” and “chocolate ninja eat indian”. I like how you know my love of eating, but I really don’t eat Indians.

I’ll be posting again soon, so watch this space. Wait, you can’t leave yet! Have a look at this camel taking a selfie, and then you can go. Ciao!

A serious post – being sad sucks!

Source: theadventuresofspreadsheetgirl.blogspot.com

Source: theadventuresofspreadsheetgirl.blogspot.com

Recently, I’ve had to deal with a few issues. Nothing too serious, but it had a huge impact on me. I started to feel very alone, even though there were so many people around me, and tried to distance myself from everyone. Kind of like a room-full-of-people-yet-feel-so-alone feeling. I can’t explain it properly, but it wasn’t nice. I realised that as the days went on, I started to become quiet and depressed. And that isn’t me – at all! Why was I quiet? I was thinking…way too much. About possibilities and outcomes of things that hadn’t even happened yet. And I really shouldn’t have…

I find that when you are generally a happy person, sometimes it’s good to feel a little sad. Sounds weird, but everyone has their moments. Without sadness, there would be no happiness, right?

I remember as a teen, the smallest, insignificant matter would arise – and I thought the world was going to end. Now, I face real issues and my reaction is nada. Just a big sigh.

Right now, a few of my close friends are on placement all over the world, but the majority are revising for their final year exams. It’s so surreal. I remember my first day at university – so hopeful for the four years to come. And then life got real. Jobs, student loan, rent, food. Plus usual university drama. It isn’t quite over for me yet, but some of my friends are dead scared for the future. Whatever career plans we came into university with, most of ours (including mine) flew out of the window.

So, the message in this post isn’t just for my reassurance. It goes out to those friends and anyone who feels lost, confused and sad.

I read somewhere about the findings of an interesting study by Dr. Masaru Emoto. If you are interested, you can read his book: The Messages Hidden in Water. He claimed that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water and held different experiments to prove his hypothesis. There were various aspects in his experiments, but in a nutshell this is what he did (i.e. what fascinated me). He took pure distilled water, observed the unaltered water molecules under a microscope and took pictures of them. He then did several things, some of which include:

1) Sticking words onto each bottle of distilled water; just written words on paper, like truth, eternal, evil, thank you, you disgust me etc.

2) Giving a bottle of the distilled water to those practising different religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam etc, and asking them to keep the bottle near them when they pray.

3) Playing music and speeches next to the bottles of distilled water.

The results were what took me back. The water molecules had changed. They were beautiful, almost the picture of innocence and pure.

Before a prayer ceremony at lake Biwa in 1999.Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

Before a prayer ceremony at Lake Biwa in 1999.
Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

After a prayer ceremony at Lake Biwa in 1999.Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

After a prayer ceremony at Lake Biwa in 1999.
Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

With the word "Eternal" stuck to it.Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

With the word “Eternal” stuck to it.
Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

With the word "Evil" stuck to it.Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

With the word “Evil” stuck to it.
Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

With the words "Love" and "Gratitude" stuck to it.Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

With the words “Love” and “Gratitude” stuck to it.
Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

After the MLK speech was played next to it.Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

After the MLK Jnr. speech was played next to it.
Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

After Symphony No. 4 by mozart was played next to it.Souce: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

After Symphony No. 4 by Mozart was played next to it.
Source: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html

There are so many more pictures, but you get the point. Obviously, his research gained some criticism because it’s very controversial blah blah. It makes perfect sense to me though. It is also good to remember that 90% of our body is water. Imagine what our thoughts are doing to us, inside? (You get 10 ninja points if you know what film that’s from!) STAY HAPPY! I’ll give you a tiny allowance for the sad times 😉

I know that in a decade, we’ll look back at our lives and laugh about how serious we were. Just like we do now, thinking about our teen years. But I genuinely believe that everything happens for a reason.

When I was six-years old, I had to make the biggest decision of my life, to date. I don’t really want to say what it was, for personal reasons, but if I chose the other option, I would probably be in India struggling to find my way. Or I could be in London; I don’t really know. But either way, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t have met the incredible people I have, in my life, or found my passion for cooking, amongst many other things!

No matter how lost, lonely or helpless you feel – hang on! It can only get better. My mind tends to be relatively solution-based, rather than problem-based. So, when things get bad, I will think and dwell (unfortunately) about the issue at first – and then I start looking for positives. I look for either the solutions or positive outcomes of the situation, obviously depending on what the issue is at hand. When things get even worse, you’re the only one who is going to benefit from it. Whatever the situation, one way or another, you will overcome it and you will become stronger, more wise, experienced and more insightful. It’s all in your mindset.

So, switch off the pessimistic inside you and start nurturing the optimistic. There is nothing you can’t handle that the universe throws at you. Except a meteorite…that might be painful.

But seriously, wake up happy and seize the day. Life becomes so much more beautiful and worth living.

Never lost faith! Persevere, and you’ll realise just how strong you really are.

I hope you all have a brilliant day, and remember – smile 🙂

The Liebster Award – my response and…wait, what? I’m breaking the rules?!

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Thank you to Dutch Guyana for nominating me for the Liebster Award! To be honest, I had no idea what the Liebster Award was, so I researched and it sounds quite fun, more than winning itself – so I thought I’d give it a go.

The rules are: publicly thank the person that nominated you; then, tell everyone 11 things about yourself. Answer the 11 questions asked of you, and, in turn, make 11 questions for your own 11 nominees. Link to those 11 nominees, and tell them about it at their blogs.

I might have to break the rules a little. Okay, maybe by quite a lot. Rules are meant to be broken, right? I’m not sure if I know of 11 bloggers who entice me to their blogs – I can hardly keep up with my own! (On that note, sorry for being MIA recently – I’ve been quite busy!) As I was saying, the blogs I follow aren’t really new; they’ve got quite a strong fan-base. So therefore, I’ll tell you 11 things about me, and I’ll answer the questions Dutch Guyana has set for me – but my nominations and questions for the nominees will have to be withheld for a little while until I find new blogs I think deserve to win!

So here are 11 things you may or may not know about me:

1) I’m a female of 21 years of age.

2) The first item of food I ever “cooked” was a boiled egg, at the age of four.

3) I’m studying a biology-related degree, but I’m on a placement at the moment.

4) The person who knows my deepest, darkest secret is my Mum!

5) My real name has 9 letters in it.

6) My favourite colour is white. Red is next.

7) The closest person in the world to me is my sister.

8) I have a fear of needles/anything that pierces the skin and humanoids.

9) I’m double-jointed.

10) I can speak Mandarin-Chinese fluently, as well as read and write.

11) I’m secretly addicted to the Kardashians.

And here are my answers to Dutch Guyana’s questions:

1) Describe yourself in an elevator pitch.

An incredibly crazy “fun-sponge”; mature yet childish, with a weird sense of humour. You’ll never be able to fully understand me.

2) How do you look back on yesterday?

A triumph. Since Saturday, I have had a chalazion on my left eye, that is incredibly painful. Working in a white-washed lab didn’t make it any easier so I’m quite glad I worked well, under the circumstances.

3) What are your plans for tomorrow?

I’ll be heading down to London after work, to see friends and family. Nothing too spectacular otherwise.

4) What will you do today?

Well, today has already finished…nearly. I could tell you what I did today, but it wasn’t fun, so I’ll leave it out.

5) What will bring a smile to your face at the mere mention of it? Is there a story behind that?

Riverside. It’s about 30 seconds from my house, but it’s my most favourite place. And there are a thousand stories relating to it!

6) What will get you angry just by thinking of it? Why?

Hmm, this is a good question. I try to not let things bug me too much nowadays, so off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything. Oh, I know. Ignorance. I severely dislike people who say they do not like/agree with/want something without knowing what it is.

7) Name a documentary that made a big impression on you? Why?

Anything with David Attenborough is pretty much amazing; he has that Morgan Freeman effect with talking about nature. Other than that, I really enjoyed the Food Unwrapped series, on Channel 4. It’s not really a documentary, but it was so interesting. I now know to make sure my tiger prawns have two eyes on them!

8) How would you suggest to end modern-day slavery?

Invent a powdery substance that induces thoughts of sunshine and rainbows into people’s brains, and deposit it into drinking water. By sunshine and rainbows, I mean a dose of happiness, sharing-is-caring-policy and we-are-one theory. In other words, I have no idea.

9) What are your thoughts on ‘world peace’.

There will never be any peace until everyone remembers that we belong to each other. Then again, there would be no peace if it weren’t for conflict.

10) Did you help Nature today? How? Why?

I threw my rubbish in the bin, instead of the floor. Does that count?

11) Do you have a cell phone? If so, what do you use it for?

I do have a mobile phone. I use it to keep in contact with everyone; text, call, social media etc – as well as the odd games here and there. It also comes in handy when I need directions getting somewhere. …oh, technology.

Wahey, all answered! I promise, when I find 11 new bloggers, who should be nominated for the Liebster Award, I’ll follow up another post and let them know, along with my questions!

Also, in response to my absence, I’ll be posting 5 new recipes and also give you an update on my chalazion, once I’m back from London. If the chalazion goes down before the 6 week mark I’ve been given, I’ll share what I did to you all. Sharing is caring! And if it doesn’t, I’ll do a post-surgery post.

Until next time (which will be sooner, rather than later hopefully), have an awesomesauce day!

I’m vegetarian for another few months. Uh oh…

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I recently turned vegetarian. I know, I know, I feel your sympathies, but do not fear! It’s only for a few months. Why you ask? Let me explain.

My Mother brought us up to follow a Hindu custom; be vegetarian for two days in the week (Tuesdays and Fridays) to detox your body from all the meat that you consume. That didn’t work with me. I am a 100% happy carnivore. Or was shall I say? I read in Steve Jones’ book, In The Blood: God, Genes and Destiny, that blood group was once thought to hold personality traits, in Ancient Japan. I’m an O+, which apparently goes well with large amounts of protein. Who would have guessed? But that all changed.

I have a few issues with religion in itself – don’t get me wrong, I believe in God completely. I just get frustrated when people can’t justify “religious” things that they do. I have asked many Hindus if they know the reason behind their vegetarianism on certain days; 99% do not know. They just do it because their parents told them to. As a result from my understanding and perception of religion, I only become vegetarian when I want to. Not because it’s Tuesday or Friday or whatever other day. Because I feel the need to detox my body, to cleanse it from the “negative karma”, if you will, and be that one step closer to Godliness. But only when my heart (or soul, who knows!) wants, and feels, it is time to. And that’s exactly what’s happening now. I was vegetarian for a month back in August – and that went well…except for my intense craving for Nandos after about a week! However, when I decided to become vegetarian this time around, it felt a lot more different. I didn’t have that aching crave for hot wings, Nandos or my Mum’s mutton curry. I felt lighter, happier and so much more emotionally and physically better. My skin was looking good, I lost quite a bit of weight. It was amazing. Until I saw my Mum make her mutton curry again. It all went down the pan from there.

I don’t know what came over me. I had all these visions of me eating just the curry, and not the actual mutton. It. Was. Crazy. That’s when I realised the real reason behind this vegetarianism. Self-control. I always thought I had enormous amounts of self-control, but evidently I do not. So this is my challenge now, it’s taken a whole different spin. Forget cleansing my body and mind. It’s Mind Vs Body! My body will crave, stomach will rumble – but it’s up to my mind to not give in.

There is another upside to this. I’ve eaten different varieties of food, which I wouldn’t normally eat. I’ve grown to like broccoli (five-year old me is crying right now), and I even enjoy eating kidney beans – only if they’re mixed with something else. But still, baby steps forward.

If I do cave in, don’t worry, you’ll hear about it. Probably followed up by a rant about how vegetarianism is horrible etc. It really isn’t. It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be. And I’m not going to pretend, I still get huge cravings…but the mind is winning so far.

How will it end? Only time will tell.

Have you got any vegetarian recipes I could try? Comment below, and I’ll give them a go! (ooh that rhymed!)

Until next time, have an awesomesauce day!