I have been ransacking my brain for a while as to what should I write about. It gets even more hard to focus on anything while the entire world and my own country battles the deadly COVID-19 with no respite whatsoever. Even though all we can hear and see is anguish and people loosing their loved ones everywhere, I have finally settled down on the decision that no matter how tough it’s going to get moving forward….

I will only try to uplift spirits and cheer up others including myself. “

Because that’s the need of the hour… And because I firmly believe in the power of positivity, more so now than ever!

I don’t know how many people will I be able to reach out to… And how many of you will read a blog like this when there are numerous brilliant and moving articles already on the internet to bring smiles and hopes on your face… Even then, I will not shy away from contributing to the great work that others are already doing. ๐Ÿ˜‡

So I will be dividing this column of mine in two parts where I will be talking about two things that are currently giving me my little moments of joy and sunshine. In the first part of my blog ๐Ÿ˜›, I will be sharing with you all – the new ways I have learnt to find my little moments of joy ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŒพ by appreciating our environment – the mother earth ๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿƒ. In the second part, I will tell you how cooking is helping me in maintaining my sanity and keeping me alive and kicking.

Nature and its beauty has always been a mystery to me. I am not an environmentalist but nature has always brought to me – peace and calm and has also been immensely mentally soothing; just by looking at it and admiring the various colours and seasons it’s made up of. I must admit that I always longed to be a part of the concrete jungle (metros and cityscapes), but somehow, it’s the natural environment that draws me more towards it now (probably signs of aging๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿคช๐Ÿค“). I am still an inhabitant of the city life, yet I managed to capture nature’s beauty amidst the concrete jungle from an amateur lens and felt all joyous and proud about it. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜Œ

(I would like to mention here that all of these pictures have been taken before the fresh lockdowns in India were announced.)

There is nothing pleasant than walking down a green pathway to the office building in the mornings. It always recharges you no matter how tired or bugged you are. I can assure you I find it the most positive way to start a day. Likewise, a glimpse at the randomness and beauty of nature while returning back home from office definitely helps in taking the stress away.

The pathway to my factory office!
Somewhere random in the city while returning from office!

The skies evoke a different set of feelings altogether. For we all know, sky is the limit, and to me as well they always evoke a sense of being limitless while spreading cheerful colours all around us.

The evening skies spreading its charm!!
Every cloud has a silver lining! โ›…

One of the most entertaining beings at my current work location are the geese sitting comfortably and idly in the sun. ๐Ÿฆข๐Ÿฆข๐Ÿฆข. What a respite they offer from the crazy work schedules ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿ˜‡.

And last, but not the least, and I will repeat here, the random trees and skies act as mood lifters always even though they have been there from times unknown.

Random tree and it’s shade!
The hide and seek of the sun!!

In conclusion of part 1 of my blog, I just await for the lockdowns to be over and vaccination to be administered quickly all over my country and the world, so that we can resume our normal lives and start traveling like earlier to enjoy nature at its source, away from the concrete. And I pledge not to spoil but to contribute in conserving it!

I have always been in the category who would enjoy food but never cook for themselves…call it laziness, impatience, slow time management skills ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ฌand I will be honest here that I was not able to balance home and work up until pandemic gripped the world๐Ÿ˜ท. One of the positive things and I believe the most important thing that I did during the pandemic last year was to work on this shortcoming of mine.

Anyhow, when there was a national lockdown in the country and my parents were unable to leave hometown to be with me, the only option left for a bachelor me (for whom food outside was readily available than at home๐Ÿ˜ฌ) was to finally start cooking at home ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿค in order to survive, couple that with whiling away time too as most of the offices were shut for two straight months๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ!

Gladly, I was able to come out with flying colors ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ (as certified by my family) when it comes to home cooking. And I made significant improvements in balancing work and home ๐Ÿ˜Ž(again family certified) …. it’s still a work in progress though but I am hopeful I can ace that too!! So! what follows next are snapshots of a handful of delicacies๐Ÿ”๐ŸŸ๐Ÿฅ™๐Ÿง†๐ŸŒฎ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฉ that I tried at home. Most of the dishes that I cooked were either for lunches or dinner. Breakfast was mostly lemon water and some itsy bitsy snacks.

I hope you like the dishes that I tried and would try yourself too and I promise the instant the lockdowns and social distancing and the Covid-19 protocols are relaxed, I will treat you myself with these. โ˜บ๐Ÿค—

Bread pudding and pancakes to tickle your sweet tooth ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿซ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿช
Mexican Rice and Naan bread & Chickpeas curry (Chole) ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ
Pizza, Noodles and a medley of Mushroom & Cottage cheese! ๐Ÿคฉ
I left no part of the country untouched in order to hone my cooking skills even though most of them were just staple food – Idlis, Dhoklas & Laccha Parathas with typical Indian curry! ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ
A protein rich diet – Soyabean, Egg curry and Paneer tikka! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅ˜๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅš๐Ÿณ
Cakes and Halwa needs no explanation! ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿคช

Well not everything turned out to be good as above!! I had a tough time trying to make frothy coffee and dishing out perfect chickpea patties which nevertheless turned out extremely oily!๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคข

๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฅ๐Ÿคฅ๐Ÿคฅ

In conclusion, it turns out – I can cook as well! What a relief!! ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿฅณ

I will keep you posted on more such silly and simple things in life that helps you stay sane despite adversities. ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜‡

Also, stay safe, sound and healthy and take care of your near and dear ones.โค๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™

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