Inspired by Life

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Food for Thought


This morning, I made French Toast for breakfast and had this with Blackberry Jam and whipped cream. YUM-O, right? Not so much for me - I had the "food" in front of me and my "thoughts" were elsewhere...more specifically, India.

Although I have always had a sort of love-hate relationship with India, my palate has however, remained loyal to the food of the country of my birth. And this morning, I was craving idlis and sambar and coconut chutney - the Breakfast of Champions for South Indians...although they could eat it at just about any time of the day. It is soooo good!!!! It is made from rice that is soaked overnight and ground up in the morning and poured into moulds and steamed. Very healthy and very tasty!!If it is served on a banana leaf - even better - Indians love to eat with their fingers. We believe that it adds savour to our food and fills us up. Usually in India, this means you could walk into a hotel in the morning and find many people eating off a leaf and licking their fingers and then punctuating that with a very loud burp as if to say the meal was satisfactory to their stomachs.

Let me clarify the word "hotel" in India...it does not always refer to the kind that you can stay overnight at. Hotel in India can be any place that serves food. And you find the locale dotted with hundreds of these all varying in size and shape and the type of food they serve, but always full of customers.

Don't be fooled that this is the only meal the South Indians have for breakfast, specifically the Tamilians. We have a variety of foods that constitute breakfast. Some of my very favorites are Pongal - also made from rice - usually overboiled and can be made sweet called Chakkara Pongal or salted...my favorite is the latter. Mmmmm..mouth watering!!! The next in the line-up is Dosa - made from
rice and a bit watery in consistency, it is poured onto a hot flat pan and made into a circle. They are cripsy and we call them Paper Dosas since they are sometimes made super thin. These are so delicious and can be eaten with sambar, curries, chutneys, spicy potatoes, and many more side dishes. If you are really hungry, you can go for the 6-foot dosai to appease your hunger.

There are seveal other breakfast items that you can look up on the internet to find pictures of...they have funny names sometimes, but they are the tastiest finds: Upma(oopma), Chappati, Poori, Vada, Bonda, and more...

Not only are India's culture, climate and geography diverse but so is its food, which is an integral part of life and completely influenced by religion and tradition and customs...Food is a celebration of life and color in India and speaking of food, I am prompted to write a few more blogs dedicated to the food-culture in India, so look for some more....

Thanks for indulging my trip down Memory Lane, although I have seen a Spice store in Berkeley that could put to end to my virtual meandering of Indian foods that I like and allow me to actually make some Idlis and Sambar soon enough...

Go Idlis!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A GEEK PARADISE

A large portion of my day was spent swimming...not the kind that involved any sun screen, beach towels, big umbrellas or even water. This kind of swimming involved large volumes of information about website design, HTML, PHP, web hosting, servers, Ad Sense, Google Sites, Yahoo Small Business, blogs, podcasts, webinars, domain names, articles on web content, and the list goes on... and on...

As a confirmed and confessed "knowledge-addict", this trip to a geek paradise not only was enjoyable but also empowered me with the knowledge to create and host my own website. Although my brain feels like mush, I am equipped with more information than I will ever need about these kinds of things.

Having always had the inner need to be an entrepreneur and the drive to be one, I realized that this is as a good a time as any to start my own business. YAY ME!!! The reason I am talking about it is 1. Free publicity 2. To inspire others also on a similar quest and 3. To be my own boss and make some $$$$.

I have to admit that GEEKS RULE THE WORLD. I was amazed at the myriad of info out there to assist the greenie entrepreneurs and I don't mean the global warming color of "Go Green". I was impressed with the free and readily available information "out there" to get started and to be successful. I learned how to create websites and web pages, how to write web content, what to avoid when getting started, where to go to get things done and what steps to take to include growth when opening your own business. Amazingly liberating to me - that is what knowledge does to me - it liberates corners of my mind that are sometimes filled with cobwebs since I have not walked there for a while or ever and then it electrifies it in a way that puts Times Square during Christmas to shame.

There is nothing more empowering than choice. God had it right when he underlined the Plan of Salvation and laced everything with his recipe called "Free Agency" a.k.a CHOICE.

Here is what Will Smith said in an interview once - this stuck with me deeply and I go back every once in a while and listen to these words. (Yes, inspiration can come to you from a movie star.) But here goes:

"I dont want to be an icon..I want to be an idea..I want to represent an idea, I want to represent possibilities, I want to represent magic...that you are in a universe and that two plus two equals four...two plus two only equals four if you accept that two plus two equals four...two plus two is going to be what I want it to be...

There is a redemptive power that making a choice has rather than feeling like you are an effect to all the things that are happening. Make a choice,right..you just decide what its gonna be, who you're gonna be, how you're gonna do it and then from that point, the universe is going to get out of your way...its like water, it wants to move and go around stuff...

I want to represent the idea of possiblities..that you really can make what you want. I believe that I can create whatever I want to create, if I can put my head on it right, study it, learn the patterns...but I feel very strongly that we are who we choose to be".

- Will Smith interview with Tavis Smiley on YouTube.com

Thank you for taking this trip with me to Geek Paradise. Hope you enjoyed your tour and learned something... :)


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ever Wonder...

Here are some great quotes and questions I found in a book called "EVER WONDER" by Kobi Yamada.

For those of you who are like me and ponder, think, analyze life's every nuance, you might feel a bit redeemed with these quotes.

"If we would have new knowledge, we must get a whole new world of questions" - Susan K. Langer

"The important thing is not to stop questioning" - Albert Einstein

Boys, this one is for you: (okay, this might apply to some girls too)

"The one who asks questions doesn't lose his way." - Akan proverb

"Never be afraid to ask a question, especially of yourself. Discovery is the mission of life." - Brian Kates

Here are a few FABULOUS questions to ponder:

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

If you think life is hard, what are you comparing it to?

What do you pack to pursue a dream and what do you leave behind?

Well, I think that is good enough for now. Great food for thought. If you want some more quotes and questions, you can do two things, Go and buy the book or just visit my blog page again and I will post some more.

Have a happy day.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Introduction

Wow..what a way to start a blog! After spending almost an hour of checking availability of blog names (super fun to do at midnight), I came up with this name and was thrilled to know that it was available! In my pensive and by now, somewhat irritated mood, I had altogether bypassed the fame that is attached to such a title - Rolling Stone.

They are legendary, they are immortalized in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they are a group of old men with unruly hair, leathery skin, raspy voices affected of course by years of (cough) singing, disastrous sense of style and old enough to be grandparents and they still ROCK!! However, this blog is NOT about them. I was referring more to the other type of rolling stone...

...the one that gathers no moss..