Open up your mind and your potential reaches infinity…

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Old Fashioned Sweet and Sour Pickle


Eons ago as a teenager I had a delicious pickle at an aunts place.
For almost 4 decades I hunted for it in the aisles for pickles in desi grocery stores, searched for it on family or friends tables. I even asked if anyone knew or made it.
Some friends knew about the pickle but I never had the luck to find it ready anywhere.

So one day I hunted for its recipe on the net. And there it was,  at several places.

To my utter surprise the method of preparation was very simple. So there was no excuse left to not make it myself.  So here it is:

Sweet and Sour Pickle of Carrots, Turnips and Cauliflower with Jaggery.

Ingredients:
Carrots: half pound
Turnip: half pound
Cauliflower: 1 pound
Anise seeds(saunf): 1tsp
Black seed(Kalonji): 1tsp
Fenugreek seeds(methi): 1tsp
Mustard seeds(Rye ): 1tsp
Jaggery (Gurr): 1 pound
Mustard Oil: 2 tbsp
Salt, chillipowder, garam masala powder:  to taste

Cooking method is described with the pictures:

Step 1: Chop washed carrots, turnips into medium thickness sticks and break cauliflower into medium sized florets.pic1

Step 2: Mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar and half pound of jaggery in a pan and leave on slow flame till all the jaggery melts.
pic2

Step 3: Boil water in a large deep pan till it bubbles. Once boiling, add the chopped vegetables and cook for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are blanched. Drain off water and spread the vegetables on a kitchen towel till dry. (I did for about an hour).
pic3

 

Step 4: Heat 2 tbsp mustard oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds, anise, fenugreek and black seeds and let them splatter for half a minute. Then add salt, ground garam masala and red chilli powder. Finally added the vegetables. Stir fry them.
pic4

Step 5: Stir fry the vegetables with seeds and spices.

Step 6: Add vegetables mixed with spices  & seeds into vinegar and melted jaggery mixture. Cook till most liquid evaporates.
pic5

Step 7: Once cooked and cooled, store it in a sterilized air tight cannister and leave in the sun for 2 days to pickle well. 

Step 8: Once ready(in my case in 2 days) enjoy it with parathas and hot steaming chai. 🙂
pic6

This pickle is a delicacy prepared in winter in Northern India specially because that is the time carrots are available.

Its easy and very delicious. I wonder why did I just keep looking for it everywhere and did  not try it myself all these years? Do try it out in a smaller amount as a trial. You will not regret it.

Happy Pickling !

Advertisements

Educate a woman and you educate an entire generation…


Recently a photo of a 25 year old Afghan girl Jahan Taab from  a remote poor village Oshto in Daikundi,  went viral when she was taking the college entrance exam called Kankor Exam while breast feeding her child. Later it was confirmed that she has passed the exams and wants to go to college to study Sociology. Photo credits are given to an invigilating lecturer Yahya Erfan. He was so moved by her determination that he posted the pictures on his facebook. Link here

“She got up from her desk when her baby started to get fussy. She sat down on the floor, breastfeeding the infant, and kept filling out the answers to the test.” (Buzzfeed).

She reportedly told the lecturer Mr. Erfan that she is worried about the cost of education and that the University is 8 hours from her residence. It is the power of social media that a Go-Fund was created to support the cost of here higher education.

More about JahanTaab

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Needless to say, girls’ determination to study is never an issue. The key barrier is the systemic patriarchy in the garb of cultural mores or religious edicts.

Patriarchy is such an omnipresent barrier that hinders women in all communities and all economic strata one way or the other. And here is where the role of men becomes extremely important in bringing about women empowerment by dismantling the walls of patriarchy.

Here I must share my own story too.

(Bear in mind I am an urban educated woman with a strong will power. But even then, had it also not been the supportive men in my life, I may not have sailed through various systemic hurdles that patriarchal infrastructures create at every nook and corner of a woman’s life). 

In the early 1990s, as an Indian medical graduate I had to go through a written and a clinical exam by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council to be certified to practice in Pakistan. I opted Karachi centre. When I received notification for the exam it said the exam will not be held in Karachi as there are no other candidates. The exam will be in Peshawer.

Since I lived in the Middle East, I was supposed to travel with my kids to Karachi where my in laws lived. But before I could even know and panic about how I will travel with kids to Peshawer, my husband first took an emergency leave from his hospital, and then informed me that we are all travelling to Peshawer. 

My husband Fasih and I, with our two kids- a toddler and a 6 month old breast feeding infant landed in Peshawar. It was a 3 day long exam- with a written paper and clinical exam.  From day 1, my husband sat in the lawn of the examination centre, with two babies, as he dropped me for the exam. I would come out to feed the baby every few hours in the breaks.

Funniest incident in the whole saga was when my daughter cried, “Papa potty.”
He ran with the baby in one hand and the toddler in another to the washroom.
As he entered the male washroom the guard said, “Take the girl to female washroom with her mother.”
“BUT mother is busy in exam.”
“Then wait.”
“But this baby cannot wait. She has to go urgently.”
So the guard let him take her to the washroom. And while holding the infant in arms he helped the toddler finish the job and clean her. 
Finally they came back to play and sit in the lawn again. 
And then he smelt the baby has soiled his diaper. He ran again to the same wash room.
The chowkidar got annoyed, “Ap pher se as gaye?” (You have come again?).
Fasih: “Smell this diaper.”
The guard laughed and commented, “Aur parhao biwi ko.”(Let your wife study more).

After day1 the entire examination team knew about my family and when I went from each viva and clinical exam, from Internal Medicine to General Surgery to ENT to ObGyn to Ophthalmology, first thing the professors asked was how are the husband and babies doing? 
Second question they asked was, “Where have you graduated from?”. 
On reply “Lady Hardinge Medical College in New Delhi” every single one of them began the viva with the comment, “So do we really need to test your knowledge?”
No bragging but I passed with the top position. 

The head examiner was Prof Zakaullah Beg who was my husband’s professor in his postgraduate life. He himself called Fasih on phone 2 weeks later in Karachi to break the news.

Moral of the story: Empower a woman and she will make her husband, family and entire community proud.

Silky Creme Caramelle


Traditional Creme Caramel was the first  dessert I learnt to cook.

A favorite of my Papa’s, I saw my mother make it religiously on his birthdays. After he passed away in 1997, it became a ritual dish to celebrate his birth anniversary with his loved dessert.

I found this the easiest of desserts to make and with basic ingredients which were always there sitting in the kitchen-milk, eggs and sugar. Over the years I  tried several personalized modifications like baking with pineapples, with raisins and nuts, or  adding  flavors like coffee and chocolate. However nothing worked well except it’s old fashioned caramel flavor.

We all  loved the caramel top the most, and always reserved it  for the last bite. So in my greed for more caramel I thought why not caramelize the whole thickness for once. And the result was the following creme caramel.

My folks loved it, and now prefer it over the traditional creme caramel.

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar( or more if you like it more sweet),
1.5 liters full cream milk,
6 large whole eggs,
1 tsp vanilla essence.

For topping:
Soft fresh whipping cream ( lightly sweetened)
I tbsp Caramel sugar

Method:

Put granulated sugar in a thick base pan and keep on medium heat. Let the sugar melt slowly and then caramelize to golden brown. Remove the pan from heat and add on it 1.5 liters of full cream (4%) milk. Continue on slow heat till the caramelized sugar dissolves in warm to hot milk. Take it off the stove and let it get luke warm.
Break 6 large eggs in a plastic bow and whip them. Add them to the lukewarm caramelized milk. Add vanilla essence and whip thoroughly.

The key to a silky cream caramel is its next procedure of baking it in a bain-marie ( water bath).
{I take a pyrex rectangular dish way larger than the one in which the caramel is to be cooked. Add boiling water in it to half its height. Place over it the dish with the cream caramel liquid}.

Place the bain marie( water bath)  in the oven and cook at 180 degrees Celsius  for 60 minutes. Let it bake slowly in the bain-marie without bubbling. At the end check if the middle of the dessert is set by pricking it with a tooth pick. If it comes out clean, it has set well. If not, give it some more time in the oven.

Let it cool for a while, and then take out the set cream caramel. Refirgerate it overnight. Next day spread sweetened whipped cream over it, and then make a little caramel sugar again and drizzle it over the cream as shown in the picture.

Serve it cold ( unlike the traditional cream caramel which is served warm).

Its the silkiest of desserts your taste buds would have ever felt.

Happy feasting !!!

 

P.S. Would love to hear back how did it turn out? 🙂

Food 009

Food 010

Food 016Food 018

How to avoid Cancer !


What is cancer?
Cancer is not just one disease, but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer.
Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.
Cancer is a leading cause of disease worldwide (GLOBOCAN estimates that 12.7 million new cancer cases occurred worldwide in 2008).

The top 4 causes being:
• Lung (12.7%)
• Female breast (10.9%)
• Colorectal (9.7%)
• Stomach cancer (7.8%)
In all these four cancers account for 40% of deaths from cancer.

Although the incidence rate in developed countries is twice as high as the developing countries like ours, but the outcome ( in terms of death and disease) is much worse in the developing countries, owing to poor detection at early stage, and poor case management. However, the incidence of cancers related to infections like stomach, liver or cervix ( which can be prevented) are more common in developing countries.

GOOD NEWS is that about half of all cancer cases are preventable. Prevention offers the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer.
And even Cancer diagnosis is still not a death statement. If detected early can be cured.

Many reasons within our genes, our lifestyle, and the environment around us may increase or decrease our risk of getting cancer.

There are simple measures that we as ordinary human beings can take to prevent cancers to some extent.

Here are they :

Part 1

LIFESTYLE:

TOBACCO in smoke or chewable form TOPS the list.
Tobacco use is the single greatest avoidable risk factor for cancer mortality worldwide, causing an estimated 22% of all cancer deaths per year.
Cancer that tobacco can cause are of lung, esophagus, larynx (voice box), mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, cervix and female breast.
About 70% of the lung cancer burden can be attributed to smoking alone.
Second-hand smoke (SHS), also known as environmental tobacco smoke, has been proven to cause lung cancer in non-smoking adults.
Avoiding tobacco is best, however cessation of the use of tobacco, gradually reduces the risk, and in 15 yrs is as good as for non smokers.

ALCOHOL
Alcohol is a risk factor for many cancer types including cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colorectum and breast. Risk of cancer increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. The risk from heavy drinking for several cancer types (e.g. oral cavity, pharynx, larynx and esophagus) substantially increases if the person is also a heavy smoker.
WEIGHT & EXERCISE
Obesity is a cause for most chronic diseases and cancers, including breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney and endometrium.
A general goal of 30 minutes exercise every day and keeping the body weight in the normal range can avoid from a lot of cancer risks.

RISKY BEHAVIORS:
-Practice safe sex & do not share needles, sharps like nail cutters and razors. There may cause Hepatitis B, C or HIV infections which can then lead to Liver or other cancers. Cancers caused by infectious agents(viruses etc) are more common in developing nations e.g. Cervical Cancer, Liver Cancer and Stomach Cancer.

SUN EXPOSURE:
Light skinned especially should protection from sun by use sunscreen with SPF >30 between 10 AM and 4 PM. Skin cancers like Basal Cell Carcinoma(BCC) or Melanomas. BCC are less aggressive but Melanomas are very aggressive and fast growing cancers & kill 75% of those who have them.

PART-2
FOOD

What makes some foods cancerous?
Refined sugars: They act as fuels for the growing cancer cells, as ready energy. Terms suggestive of refined sugars on food labels are: high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, sucrose, enriched bleached flour, white rice, white pastas, white breads and other “white” foods. Refined flour are also lacking in fibres which cause cancer.
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils: Besides being a cancer factor, trans fats promote heart disease, interrupt metabolic processes, and cause belly fat(obesity) that in turn are again another cause of cancer.
Sodium nitrite (and nitrates): Added to give pink color to the meat. During the digestion process, however, sodium nitrite is converted to nitrosamine, and that’s where the cancer problems begin. Nitrosamine is a carcinogen. Nitrosamines are also found in food items that are pickled, fried, or smoked; in things such as beer, cheese, and fish by products, and tobacco smoke.
Saturated fats: Usually of animal origin which may cause obesity which is indirectly or directly related to certain cancers.
• Some chemical additives like coloring agents and flavouring agents have also been known to be cancerous.

Top cancerous Foods:
1. Soda pops, sweetened drinks: >2 servings per week increases Pancreatic cancer by 87%. Glucose and Fructose both feed cancer cells. Women who ate the most high-glycaemic-load foods were close to three times more likely to develop colorectal cancer.
2. Fried foods: French fries, hash browns, potato chips, samosas, pooris. – Apart from calories, they contain saturated fat and trans fat, they also contain acryl amides. They should be called “cancer fries,”
3. Processed meats and bacons: burgers, sausages, bacons. Nitrosamines are produced from fat at high temperature cooking, as in tobacco smoking. People who eat a lot of processed meat may be 50 percent more likely to develop colorectal cancer, stomach cancer or pancreatic cancer.
4. Red meats: Beef. Researches show even eating twice a week, they raise a risk by 20% of cancers of breast, colon and prostate cancers.
5. Donuts, Cookies, chips and crackers: Refined sugars, refined flour and trans fats. They scream for themselves that they are cancerous foods.
6. Charred meats, smoked meats: Many studies including one from Harvard have shown a high link between charred meats and cancer of colon, stomach. Even delicious smoked meats are high in nitrosamines due to the nature of their cooking. Trick is eat them sparingly, if cannot avoid.

How can healthy eating prevent cancer?
The main principle is eat simple:
Eat unprocessed foods and base your diet largely on plants. Consume foods that have omega-3 fats and other essential fatty acids.
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables; many common ones have known cancer-fighting properties.
Get regular vigorous exercise, since tumors cannot thrive in highly oxygenated environments.
Keep your blood sugar stable to avoid being an all-you-can-eat buffet for cancer cells.

Top cancer preventing foods:
Green leafy vegetables: These cute little green trees help to fight off stomach, liver, skin, lung, bladder, prostate, and breast cancers. Broccoli contains sulforaphane, an antioxidant that rids the body of cancer-causing toxins.
Hint: Cooked Brocolli tastes mushy, so avoid over cooking, leave it crunchy, or make stir-fry, or eat raw in salads.

Berries: The darker the berry the better still. Blackberry, blue berry, strawberry, raspberry. They contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that slow the growth of premalignant cells.

Garlic: Fights the nitrosamines in the red meat.
Clue: Add garlic to your tomato puree, sauce.

Tomatoes: contain lycopene, which has been shown to stop cancer cell growth according to research. The sure fire way to increase lycopene is by cooking tomatoes.

Walnuts; are the best among nuts for fighting both breast and prostate cancers. Adding just an ounce of walnuts a day will help to keep the cancer away. Vitamin E (gamma-tocopherol) found in nuts and plant seeds may slow the growth of cancer cells.

Beans: Navy and black beans help delay cancer growth of breast and colon cancers. Add a half a cup to your diet a week, at least!

Coffee: Research shows that coffee may contain healing antioxidants as well, preventing colon cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. An alkaloid in coffee may even prevent cavities!
Studies also show that drinking coffee helps reduce muscle soreness and improves stamina
Harvard researchers are finding an intriguing link between coffee and the prevention of an aggressive type of prostate cancer. However, it’s too early to recommend boosting coffee drinking to men, although one cup of coffee might be helpful.

Green Tea: Antioxidants of green tea are also known to be cancer preventive.

ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS:
Many environmental toxins are blamed to be carcinogenic.

The topic of environmental carcinogens is vast and controversial. For details on each aspect and toxins see the link: Here

Part- 3

KNOW YOUR BODY:
Keep a regular check on your body- any moles on the skin, or your breasts ( in women) or testicles (in men), especially while taking shower, or changing clothes. If you feel any change in the shape size, or feel any lump, or feel any change in your body or symptoms which appear unusual to yourself, you must take doctor’s opinion. Please do not panic. This does not mean you necessarily have cancer or a serious problem. But even if it is, it will be detected early.

BE INFORMED:
Cancer Prevention and Early Detection strategies:
Certain cancers are known to be caused by viruses, and being infectious spread easily in developing countries. They can be avoided by using their vaccines:
Hepatitis B Virus: A set three vaccines given will prevent Hepatitis B which is a common cause of Liver Cancer
Human Papilloma Virus: A sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer. A new vaccine against HPV protects 99% against Cervical Cancer.
Helicobacter pylori: For stomach cancer. Hence when detected, must be treated promptly by consulting a Gastroenterologist.

ALSO BE INFORMED THAT: There are certain cancers which can be screened and detected early and prevent complications and premature death.

Following two blogs shall explain in detail how to prevent or detect cancer early. There are specific screening tests and issues in men and women which shall be discussed in next two blogs: Early Cancer Detection in Women & Early Cancer Detection in  Men, respectively.

There’s a famous saying: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. The ( not so secret) apple for cancer prevention is:

Take home apple, oops message is: “Half of the cancers are preventable and can be avoided through healthy living and better awareness.”

King of fruits~ a twist with the taste !


Hindu Gods claimed it to be the Food of Gods, the emperors and nawabs called it the King of fruits, poets like Ghalib called it pots with honeyed juice , scientist call it Magnifera indica, with all the special names given by special beings.

To the ordinary, however,  it remains a simple ‘Aam’ ( which itself means ‘ordinary’).

What generous qualities is this wonder fruit not bestowed with—soft silky texture, gorgeously golden color, a mesmeric aroma for the olfaction, and a heavenly sweet delight to the taste buds. And not just the quality, in the peak of its season, it comes in abundance, making Aam ( mango), yet another symbol of generosity. And as if these qualities weren’t enough, it comes in hundreds of varieties.

I love the way, when in abundance, mango sells at a reasonable price making it affordable to many if not all the poor.
“Till last week, in Delhi, some variety of mangoes were being sold at as low as Rs 30 per kg,”, tells my Mom. Still in this world of commerce and trade, India though  the greatest producer and remains the largest consumer of mangoes too, with 99% being consumed locally and only 1% is exported.

Thinking of mangoes, mind goes instantly to a few cues—of mango orchards in Rataul,  where one went to eat just mangoes, or of childhood visits to grandparents where buckets of mangoes soaked in cool water waited for our arrival, and of mangoes being brought home by parents in pettis( wooden boxes) and tokras (baskets) not polybags.  Abundance was common to all.

Beyond eating them as it is, mango shake or mango lassi are universal favorites too.

Right from unripe green to a pulpous ripe fruit, mangoes are worthy of being used in a variety of recipes. The strong mango flavour that obstinately stays even after cooking or mixing with other ingredients, makes it stand out and still remain the main ‘hero’ of any recipe.

The itch to break the monotony and use them in different recipes had always been quite intriguing. Having experimented with various recipes, there are some which have hit really well with my folks at home. And now each mango season, their demand is refreshed.

I share here those  household favorites

Aam Panna:  An age-old traditional drink, that elderly claim beats the heat stroke or LOO (in the desi jargon. Made from unripe or semi ripe mangoes, boiled and pulp sieved, which can be used as either sweet (with sugar) or sour ( without sugar). Adding a dash of chunky chaat masala( desi spices), and a twig of mint leaves makes it a great delight. The resultant sweet n sour drink is a great thirst quencher.

Mango-Avocado-Crab Salad: Layered as avocado cubes with crushed garlic at the bottom, mango cubes with ginger juice in the middle, and crab meat sitting on top. The outcome is pretty cool, with much economy of labor and time.

Mango Salsa &  mango chutney with barbecued chicken:
Mango salsa includes tomato and mango cubes, red onion and jalepino pepper with lemon juice and mint or cilantro garnished. The resultant is a colorful, crunchy mix that is hot, sweet and sour.
Mango chutney is made from green mango pulped, and cooked with sugar and achar masala (pickle spices). Vinegar is added as preservative, after it cools.

Mango Crepes &  Waffles: Hot Crepes or waffles with mango cubes and whipped cream or custard.  Kids love it for a weekend breakfast.

Mango Rose: This is almost a decade long favorite dessert  in the house, a must inclusion in the parties arranged in  mango season. The recipe is an in-house creation and hence kept secret :). Got to eat before ask for the recipe.

Happy mango season !

OsteoArthritis ~the wear and tear joint disease


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the commonest form of arthritis that occurs as a result of wear and tear of the joint.
As the protective cushion over the bones within the joints, called cartilage, gets worn out gradually, the symptoms get worse. The joints begin to crackle, get stiff, then pain and ultimately cause limited mobility.

Note: This is different from Rheumatoid Arthritis, which occurs in young age, and is less common, but more severe.

Which Joints?

It can occur in any joint, but the most commonly affected are those joints that are used the most- of hands, lower back, knees and hip.

What happens to the joints?

In knee joint:

In the spine:

What can a damaged joint do?
From stiffness, the joints progress to pain off and on, then more lasting pain, ultimately leading to limitation of joint movement, and restricted mobility. The damaged joint can cause blockage of blood supply to the joints, bleeding in the joint or permanent bone impairment.

Although there are pain killers, acupuncture, physiotherapy which can reduce pain, or even surgical procedures like joint replacements, which can improve joint function, but it is the wisest to slow the wear and tear ahead of time.

Risks that are associated with increased wear and tear osteoarthritis are:

Older age.
Gender: Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, though it isn’t clear why.
Bone deformities: Some people are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage, which can increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
Joint injuries:Injuries from sports or from an accident, hasten the wear and tear, and hence OA.
Obesity: It is common sense that heavier the weight, faster and worse is the wear and tear.
Sedentary lifestyle as the more the activity, the more nourished is the cartilage.
Occupational: Jobs that cause repetitive stress of a particular joint also increase the wear and tear-like the joints of hands in typists, computer users, knees n those who stand for long like the policemen, etc.
Other diseases.: Diabetes, underactive Thyroid, Gout or Paget’s disease of bone can increase the wear and tear OA.

How can we slow down the wear and tear of joints?

OA is not inevitable with old age one follows a healthy life style. However,  cannot avoid age related wear and tear, but one can certainly minimize the damage caused by misuse of our joints.

You can be a best friend of your joints if you:

1 – Maintain Your Ideal Body Weight : A force of 3-6 times a person’s body weight is exerted across the knee while walking e.g.being 10 pounds overweight increases the force on the knee by 30-60 lbs with each step taken while walking. The force across the hip is, at most, 3 times the body weight. Losing weight reduces stress on the joints substantially.

2 – Exercise Regularly and Participate in Regular Physical Activity For optimal joint health, it’s recommended that people perform 30 minutes of moderately strenuous exercise at least 5 days a week. It’s an established fact that regular exercise has health benefits

3 – Protect Your Joints: There are several joint protection principles, which if followed, will help to conserve energy and preserve joint function. The advice is quite simple, but you must be mindful of proper movements and recognize body signals (e.g., pain). Good posture and proper body mechanics is important.
Check the various Joint protection techniqueshttp://www.spectrumrehab.net/Articles/joint-protection-techniques.html

4 – Avoid Repetitive Stress on the Joints: Signs of repetitive stress include too many uninterrupted repetitions of an activity or motion, unnatural or awkward motions, overexertion, incorrect posture, and muscle fatigue. Unfortunately most of them are occupational and hard to avoid. Hence one has to create innovative ways to avoid them.
{Clue: Search on internet prevention of joint stress specific to your occupation}.

5 – Listen to Your Pain: This recommendation seems so obvious, yet people don’t always do it. Learning to view pain as a signal that you are overdoing it and that it’s time to rest requires conscious effort. Balancing rest and activity is optimal for healthy joints. It’s part of self-management to learn not to overuse your joints and to learn not to push past your limits. Consider that the pain is like a stop sign.

6 – Avoid Injury to Joints: Previous joint injury is recognized as a common cause of osteoarthritis. In joints burdened by improper alignment due to injury, articular cartilage wears away and osteoarthritis can begin to develop. Avoid injury if at all possible — and if you do injure a joint, seek treatment immediately.

Myths about OsteoArthritis:

slide-1

Reflections of a little mind !


For years as a little girl I did not know the exact literal meaning of the word ‘socialite’.

Having seen pictures in the centre pages of magazines, I knew they were pretty, mostly in full make up which looked so natural, nearly always dressed nicely and almost always wore the most enviable jewellery one could imagine.
Honestly, at times I did not even find them pretty, but everyone, in their hi-fi circles thought them ‘beautiful’ or stunning’. Not quite sure if they thought them beautiful or just called them beautiful on their face. But yes the magazines did quote them ‘good looking.’

I also wondered why they took so much pride in being called “Heyy sexy!”  Weren’t they annoyed or scared, when someone called them that?  Perhaps they did not have to travel in crowded buses, or pass through quiet alleys after dusk, where if they were ever hurled that same phrase, it would have taken life out of their limbs and made them run for their life. So how would they know that?

I also wondered what was it that made them be called ‘socialites’. Did they do social work?  But I never saw any mention of that in those glamour magazines they made regular appearances in.

Imagine, I did not even have the common sense to guess they did a lot of social events like throwing birthday parties, barbecues, celebrations, bashes and sometimes even parties without any reasons to earn that title. I wonder perhaps I envied how come they were able to hop from one party to another like butterflies. And how is it that their parties always got coverage in those glossy magazines, when it wasn’t even a fund raiser for a cause?

As a little girl I also wondered, “Didn’t they ever get bored of just enjoying, partying, wearing nice dresses all the time? Weren’t they ever bored of being happy go lucky and smiley all the time?”


“If it is all a hullabaloo because they are rich, then why and how did they get rich?” I always wondered as a little girl.

I was stupid enough not to understand they had rich parents, who let them do all this. But then how could I know this, because my parents weren’t anything close to rich. They didn’t even let me have enough pocket money for buying a puff pastry in the school cafeteria, I just had to suffice with a sasta samosa, that too once in a while.

I actually wondered how their Moms and Dads raised them, “Didn’t they have to study hard to grow up, to be ‘something’ in life?”
I could guess they didn’t have to get good grades in school; just an expensive school’s name where they’ve been was enough of a merit for them.

If there was twitter then, I am sure I would have wondered why they had so many followers while they barely followed back only a hundredth of them.

And the tweets they tweeted were just too ordinary to be given so much attention.

With tweets showing off like

“Went into my helicopter to Las Vegas”,

“Ate a red velvet cake with fresh cream”,

“Wearing a ******** (big brand) pink dress” with a Fickr image of it.

Well I would certainly have wondered how was that 10k dress any better than my pink lace frock I wore on my 6th birthday, which Ammi just tailored herself after buying the lace from a bumper sale.

I would even would have wondered why some serious people were so very concerned to clarify what their tweets meant, when on rare occasions their tweets weren’t that clear and straight forward:

Example
Socialtie: Went to a spa, had a massage and got adjusted.
A follower: Adjusted?
😀

Well, perhaps I wasn’t made of that material to fathom the depth of what a socialite is meant to be. And, understand,  I was just a little girl then.

But tell you a secret; I still cannot get the sense of the purpose of this word Socialite.