His innocent eyes...

What do you think about the child in this picture? Who is he? What he does? What does the innocence in his eyes say?
He has put colorful dots on his face and also drawn a mustache with a black paint, to give himself a funny look and attract everyone’s attention. But he hasn’t done all this for any fancy dress competition in school… Because he doesn’t go to school…

Yes, you read it just right… He doesn’t to school. This kid has such a funny get up in order to earn his living. I've seen him several times during my journey back home. He travels in trains plying between Mumbai, Aurangabad, and Pune, with a lady, who is supposedly his mother. She beats a small drum like thing called the damru for some music to make an opening of the show. 

The child performs various activities in order to please the passengers. He dances at the beats of damru with one hand one his head and another on the side his thin waist. He sings the sizzling numbers from Bollywood, and says some funny jingles.

He then rolls over on his hands along the aisle from one end to the other and back again. Then he passes his delicate and flexible body through a ring which might be measuring barely 9 inches in diameter! After performing his tactics repeatedly in front of all the passengers, he goes around through each one of them… with a mucky bowl in his tiny hand, so that people put some money in it…

And he is not alone, not the only one. Hundreds of kids are engaged in such activities.
What an irony! This is our ‘Young India’! Where kids don’t go to school, they can’t read or write. They are pushed into all these odd jobs at such a young age.

Instead of singing rhymes and reciting poems these kids have Bollywood songs on their lips. Instead of books they carry a bowl to beg. Instead of eating nutritious food at the age of physical development, they feed themselves on leftovers they manage to get from somewhere.They are not kids with robust health, they are malnourished.

They don’t have ambitions of becoming doctors or engineers; their only aim is not to sleep on an empty stomach at night. And what are we doing? We just care to entertain ourselves during the cumbersome journey. When this kid was performing in the train, passengers were looking at his acts with awe.

They were talking among each other gesturing towards the kid. They also threw in a few coins in his bowl at the end of the act. But they fail to see the plight in his innocent eyes.They think they are doing charity and helping the kid. But in fact they are encouraging child-labour thus strengthening the roots of such evils.

And our Government…what is it doing? Apart from making fake promises and then turning their back on the people of the country?

Can we know where all the money that is allotted on paper, mind it, I said on paper, for the upliftment and the education of the downtrodden? Where are schools for these kids built? Are the located in remote locations where these kids can’t reach? Or they simply don’t exist? And if at all they exist, we don’t have well trained teachers. And that’s because teachers are not well paid, so they too don’t care to continue.

Certain government schools have an arrangement of ‘mid-day meals’ in order to attract more and more students to school and also to retain the existing count of students. But what good it does? The quality of the meal is so pathetic. There are no standards of hygiene. Children fall prey to food poisoning. It’s not a school, its inviting one’s own death.

By telling you about the small kid, and bringing the reality to your notice, I’m trying to appeal to you not to do anything that aggravates the condition of these innocent kids. Don’t encourage child labour and beggary, let us do something to educate a child…. And make India a better place to dream of a good life… 

And if everyone starts doing it, a chain reaction will definitely start. Think of the distant future. The kids we help, will learn, grow up, live a decent life and they too will help other downtrodden kids with their education, and other facilities...This will definitely bring a change. Gradual, but much faster than what our Government does.

I’ll too soon do something for a child, when I stand firmly on my own feet…that’s my promise….

You too make a promise to give a well deserved better life to an under-priviledged child…

The Maid-ical Complications!

It has been four days now, that I've been suffering from the severe side-effects of the 'Maid-ical complications'.
Yes! You read it right...And got it right too! Our dear maid just resigned without prior notification.

So let me tell you how it all started.

It was Sunday morning of 19th Feb, 2012. I woke up to a noisy conversation. It was my Mom and our maid Savita Bai, exchanging heated words. I sat on my bed quietly listening to the dialogues of the action movie being telecasted Live in our drawing room.

 The maid had started the argument over my sister's so called behavioral error! My sister was getting late for her classes and was hurrying things up. As a result she accidentally spilled some fruit juice on our dearest maid and also on the sparkling floor. And my Mom requested the maid to clean it up. Just that! And Savita Bai's battle mode got activated!

My otherwise cool-headed Mom got provoked and she scolded Savita Bai for her behavior. And so started a string of accusations and counter-accusations between the two iron women.
Finally after 20 minutes of the bickering and bawling, it ended in a way that no one wanted it to. Savita Bai quit!

Oh no! I had already imagined this but didn't want it to happen! Good god man...Why? I was almost about to wail and cry. My heart ached. It skipped a beat. I was chocking on my breath! But alas....we can't change the reality. We can't turn our face on the truth. The damage was done. And I was the one who had  to pay the price.

After Savita Bai left, Mom spilled all her anger on my sister for not being careful, and for sleeping late at night, waking up late and hurrying up in the morning, etc etc. And Dad too got pulled into this mess. He told Mom to calm down and he too got a dose of her anger. I chose not to get out of my room until the drama was over.

Since I won't let Momma dearest do all the work, my dear little sis is studying for her board exams and I've just resigned from my job and have become a Certified Berozgar, what could have been a better time than now for doing Zhaadu-Pochchha and Bartan?

Well, this isn't the first time. The Kaamwaali Bai-s and their nakhraas are legendary and monumental! It is the hottest topic of gossip among the Aunties in our neighborhood. They complain about their respactive maids and nod understandingly. They sympathize with each other saying 'Behenji, hamari kaam waali to isse bhi battar hai!'

Our previous maid quit, stating the reason that my Mom doesn't give her snacks with her evening tea!
Another instance, when a maid quit just because my Mom didn't buy her a brand new saari for her nephew's wedding!

Get me a new Saari...Or I quit!
They want a weekly off too!
Maids and there demands...Sigh!
It seems like they don't care about the work and money. We are the needy people.

So this is how my condition is!

I just hope I will get a nice maid soon....To relieve me of my misery....
I know she will come soon. She comes in my dreams too, asking me in her sweet voice, "Ma'am, I hear you need a maid."

I know she will come....Very soon...

Zesty Italian Dressing recipe!

Dear Bloggies, as promised yesterday, I'm sharing the recipe of Italian Dressing that I had used in Texas Caviar recipe. This dressing is really easy to make, and the ingredients it requires are easily available in the super-markets.

Italian dressing basically is made by combining the dry mix of pungent spices with olive oil and vinegar.

The benefit of using the home-made dressing is that, it would be free of additional preservatives and artificial flavors, that a ready-made dressing would have contained. You may also add or subtract the ingredients as per your choice. Scope for innovation is always there...Also, home-made dressings are cheaper.

So lets start with the Italian Dressing recipe!

Preparation time: 10 minutes.
Ready in: 1 hour


For dry mix:

Onion powder- 1/2 tbsp.
Garlic powder- 1/2 tbsp.
Dried oregano- 1 tbsp.
Dried basil- 1/2 tbsp.
Dried thyme- 1/2 tsp..
Dried parsley- 1/2 tbsp.
Sugar- 1/2 tbsp.
Black pepper- Freshly ground, 1/2 tsp.
Celery salt- 1/4 tsp.
Salt- 1 tsp or as per taste.

For dressing:

Extra-virgin olive oil- 6 tbsp.
Water- 1 tbsp.
White wine vinegar, or white vinegar- 5 to 6 tbsp.


1. In a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Store this dry mix in an air-tight container. So this way yo have the dry mix ready for future use and have to follow step 2 for instant dressing.

2. To prepare the dressing, take 2 tbsp of the dry mix powder, and add in the olive oil, water, and vinegar, and whisk well. Let it stand for an hour in the fridge, so that all the flavors combine well.

3. Use it for making Texas Caviar recipe!


1. You can also use fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder. But it would give out a really pungent and raw smell. So I used dried garlic powder available in the market.

2. You can use fresh parsley, oregano, and thyme if you do not wish to store the dry mix for future use.

Texas Caviar- A delicious and nutritious treat.

Hello Bloggies! Today my Mom made this really nutritious and tangy Texas Caviar...and believe me...It was finger-licking good! And don't be baffled by its name...It contains no caviar and is a vegetarian recipe.

Texas caviar is a traditional dish from the southern part of America. It is made from black-eyed peas, vegetables marinated in Italian dressing. It is supposed to be served cold, so that in the meanwhile all the flavors get nicely blended.

So, I wish t share the recipe of Texas Caviar. It is extremely simple to make Texas Caviar. I'm sure you and your family members are going to love it. So, lets get started.

Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Ready in: 60 minutes
Serves- 4


Black-eyed peas- 300 grams, boiled and cooled.
Onion- 1 small, finely chopped.
Spring onions (Green part)- 3 to 4, finely chopped.
Cherry tomatoes- 3, chopped.
Green bell pepper- 50 grams, chopped.
Yellow bell pepper- 50 grams, chopped.
Red bell pepper- 50 grams, chopped.
Jalapeno peppers- 2, chopped.
Sweet corn kernels- 5 tbsp, boiled.
Honey- 2-3 tbsp, can be adjusted as per your taste.
Home-made zesty Italian dressing- 12-15 tbsp.
Cilantro/ Coriander leaves- 1 tbsp.


1. Soak black-eyed peas overnight. Boil it with sufficient water and a pinch of salt till they are soft. Four whistles in a pressure cooker would suffice. Then let it cool.

2. Take black-eyed peas and add in all the dry ingredients , one by one, and mix well.

3. Now add in the honey and the Italian dressing and mix again.

4. Serve at room temperature, or you can also serve it cold by refrigerating for an hour; as you may prefer.

5. You can serve it as a salad, or with tortilla chips.


1. You can also use pickled jalapenos if fresh ones are unavailable. Make sure you wear gloves when you chop them. Do not touch your eyes after chopping jalapenos, for a while.

2. You may use ready-made Italian dressing, but home-made one would be a better option.

P.S.- The recipe of home-made Italian dressing would be shared tomorrow.

The taste of life!

Hello my dear Bloggies! Long time, no see?? Yes, that's my bad, I didn't frequent this place for last couple of months....
So...I'm back home..to my hometown...I finally quit my job...Initially it was very depressing, but now I feel better. At least I won't be forced to do something I didn't like. Getting stuck in the wrong job is one big problem, and mine finally got solved. But I'm a Berozgaar now! *Chuckles*

Last year, when I received the news that I had been placed in Mumbai, I had mixed feelings. On one hand I was happy for my first job, thinking that I would be able to learn new things and support myself. On the other hand, I was worried as I was placed in Mumbai. I used to hate Mumbai since ever. I didn't like its climate, crowded places, fast-paced life, and the fact that Mumbai is a soft-target of terrorist attacks; to name a few reasons. I've been there a couple of times before, but staying there for one year sounded like a challenge to me.

Mumbai is a bustling city, and one of the most liberal cities too. I've been to several cities of India, but the culture and lifestyle of Mumbai is totally unmatched...

The Gateway of India, Mumbai!

But now that I'm back, I'm definitely the new and improved version of me. I've become a better human being. And the best thing is, staying away from home made me realize the value of love and family. It taught me how difficult things can get but you have to overcome them. It made me self-dependent. I could now take my own decisions. Yes, sometimes I made mistakes but I made it a point not repeat them.

Mumbai indeed teaches you life. If you survive in Mumbai, then probably you can survive anywhere. I stayed with many girls, interacted with them, got to know them, their lives and realized that there is much more to life than just material things, sorrow, cribbing, and life is too short...We must enjoy every moment of it...Lets not waste it cribbing about the hard times...

I initially felt lonely in Mumbai, had really bad room-mates. But then eventually I found better ones too. We had great time together....So I discarded all the bad moments and brought back home a bag full of happy memories...

I made new friends, learned to love people outside my family circles. I learned what my elders call it Duniyadaari.

I am now in a better position to make out how a person is, how to react in a given scenario, how to tackle problematic situations and people. There have been major changes in my personality, and all is for good.

Me, by the sea-side.

I've learned to forgive, and move on with life. I have given up hoarding bitter feelings....I dumped all the bitterness in the Arabian Sea and lightened my heart. I've given up hoarding things...I don't keep them for better times. When you already have the best, why go look for better? Today, the present is the best...What can be a better occasion to utilize the things you own?

And yes...I am no more scared of local trains! I used to have a phobia for Mumbai's local trains...but all of it has vanished.

Overcrowded stations and local trains of Mumbai
And on the professional front...hmmm...it was good enough, though not excellent. I got myself familiarized to the corporate culture, and what goes on at a workplace. I was a witness to a lot of office politics. I saw how some people survived in the office jungle, while the others succumbed.

All these experiences will definitely help me out when I will take up a new job after I complete my further education.

So, I want to say thanks to all the people who contributed for changing me into a better person...Who gave me the opportunity to taste life in real terms...
So, Mumbai is not that bad after all, I don't hate it now...Neither do I love it...Its a neutral viewpoint now!

.....Yesterday is history....Tomorrow is a mystery...But Today is a gift! That's why it is called Present!

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