They say karma is a bitch. I say cheers to that. One such school morning my daughter to decided to take things extremely slow. I was getting frustrated because I had my GRIT class and I didn’t want to get delayed. So as we were walking to school, I decided to give her my famous ‘what will you do in life with this attitude’ lecture. And as always she mentally shut me off. So I decided to dig deeper and come up with new style of lecturing. I got so engrossed in my mom role that I forgot to watch my step. And the next second I was on the ground with a sprained ankle. The kind of person I am, I decided not to take any help and got a cab n got to the doctor. The doctor asked me to take complete rest for three weeks n start all activities. (*if you pester your doctor enough he will give into your ridiculous demands). So after three weeks I was jumping rope, jump squats and basically every exercise in book which threatened the life span of my ankle. And as everyone around me was expecting my ankle did not recover even after 2years. I was very frustrated. Did it change my annoying-pestering-nagging self….absolutely not.
Finally, I was ready to do just about anything to cure this. Meet a shaman if necessary. But my Chinese friend advised me to visit her accunpuncturist. I have done accunpuncture before. These hair thin needles are poked in your body and that is supposed to cure you.
So, I walked into this healer’s office. He was an old man with an extraordinary love for India and Indians. He immediately sang ‘meta joota hain japani’ for me. How appropriate a choice especially since I had come for my ankle. Finally he had done the typically foreigner style praising of all things Indian( one starts with food, Bollywood and ends with the beautiful women) he got down to my ankle. “One minute”, he said, and got his needles out. What are these, O gasped. These were not the regular hair thin needles. These were really thick needles. And before I could recover from this shock, he had pierced the needles in my ankle.
I was so hurt that tears were rolling down my cheeks. My gathered my pride and set off to my journey back home. But this was a small price. Within a couple of days the swelling on my ankle had completely gone and I was no longer in pain.
My daughter was complaining that the cupcakes I made were very dry. So I decided to change the recipe and here is the final version.
Beat 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1/4 cup oil and 2/3 cup sugar until soft and silky.
Add vanilla essence and 4 eggs one at a time while beating until it mixes well on a low speed.
Add 3/4 cup plain flour and cocoa powder (unsweetened) each, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 cup milk and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
In a preheated oven (190 deg. Cel.) bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out dry
In the meanwhile, let’s make the buttercream frosting.
Beat unsalted butter 200gms, until soft and silky. Add vanilla essence and mix. Now add 3 cups of icing sugar, 1 tbsp meringue powder and 1/4 cup milk. Add coloring. Mix well until the frosting is to your liking.
Spread or pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes.
Beat 200gms of butter with 1 cup of sugar (You may adjust the sugar as per your requirement) basically 1 slab and oil ( a little less than 1/4 cup).
Once the batter is smooth add 4 eggs and vanilla essence.
Add 2 cups flour and 2 tsp baking powder after sifting.
Add the zest of 2 lemons and it’s juice.
Mix well to form a smooth batter.
Divide the batter in 2 small cake pans and let it bake for 55 minutes at 180 deg. Cel.
Almost a year back – I came across a new style of martial arts – Krav Maga. The name itself sounds so sexy that I had to try it. The kind of person that I am, I have to try something new and if it is fashionably exotic – it has to be stamped on my passport of adventures. Before I started training I was quite anxious. It was a new form of contact sport – something I had never tried before and I didn’t know the level of pain, I was going to feel.
My stint of martial arts completely ended when I started Taekwondo. when in the second week. I was quite enjoying the aah hoo and kicking in the air. Then we had to kick pads. While I was holding up the pads when my dear friend kicked hard to show off – missed the pad and hit my lip. My lips were swollen and I resembled someone who had smooched too many times. That was the last day. Beauty, comes before learning to protect yourself.
However, after many years I found my courage to try martial arts again. Soon I got excited by this sport. Unlike India coaches, here, they are not out to get you. They are quite alright with taking it slow. But, I did not know that I had the basic KM attitude in me. Having born and brought up in India I had the KM attitude in me ever since I joined college. Roaming the busy streets of Mumbai, one learns to protect oneself from pinches, butt slaps and being pushed. So if you wish to catch a train you definitely need to have your elbows strong. I had gone a step ahead with an elbow on one side and an umbrella on the other. And when I started learning the art form all I had to do was dig deep inside, get to know the old me travelling in local trains. Thankfully it had stayed from then on.
Recently my partner was diagnosed with diabetes. I thought it was a dream. Well, you see my family has a history of all sorts of rich fat Indian diseases.My husband on the other hand comes from the not so much of an Indian family. They have healthy lifestyles, better food habits and all sorts of non-vices. Indians are asking me to check his background. They don’t think his family is really Indian (they are probably faking it to be a part of a very rich culture).Yeah, I haven’t married an Indian in the true sense. However, fate had something else in mind. It brought us to Hong kong and then things changed. A high pressure job, late nights, bad food habits and social drinking. He was finally on the right track. That’s how Indians are sucked into being Indian.
Nonetheless, he is now diagnosed by diabetes – another proof that he is an Indian. Life has now changed for the worse. We can no longer have deep fried food, drinking is minimal and late nights are out ( I meant not happening). There are a whole lot of other problems that might be waiting for us once the word gets out. Oil companies might sue us for suddenly dropping the use of oil, the poor might start getting healthy because more food is available on the planet and increase in the price of vegetables due to higher consumption.
So this is the new chapter in our life. No wait, it is a new book since I can’t seem to go back to any of the previous chapters.
As a child, the only bully I ever had, had been my brother. One would think that it would toughen me up. Indeed it did – for the rest of the world. He was like an in-house training module for me. Oh! so you can endure this – let me take bullying to the next level now. Thanks to him nobody outside of the house ever bullied me. I could say to some extent I turned into a bully myself or was that just being popular.
Once my mum thought it was enough of me putting up with my brothers bullying. She always wanted me to stand up to him. So she sent me to a Taekwondo class. But as all Indians my Taekwondo coach was a bully himself. If I was studying in Hong kong he would have been sued by the parents like a 1000 times in the same evening. But Indian parents – they probably hired him to bully us. No talking, pay attention, 10 rounds for forgetting your belt, blah, blah, blah. Thankfully I had my best friend who went to the class with me and pretty much did everything possible to make me feel better. On one unfortunate evening we were practising with pads. And our self-confessed bully the coach was barking at us to hit harder. I was standing there holding the pads. My friend was next in turn to hit the pad. He winked at me, so I knew he would be nice and kick softly. I relaxed a bit. The tyrant actually saw this and sternly looked at my friend. That look was enough for him to forget all about our friendship and looking out for each other – he kicked so hard that my lips swelled up the next minute. That was the last time I ever put foot on that ground. Beauty comes before learning to protect oneself.
After many years, I came across a new form of martial arts – Krav Maga. The name sounded so exotic and anything Israeli (actually anything middle eastern) sounds sexy to me. I have no idea why. So I decided to give it a try. Initially I was quite anxious but soon I discovered I had the KM attitude in me. All I had to do was dig deeper – my childhood with my brother, the local trains in Mumbai, the traffic at Churchgate, etc the list continues. The aggression was there and now it was released. Soon after, I started boxing – not only am I in love with this sport but want to get better at it.
You know how they say that karma bites you in the backside when you are not looking. Well! to my brother here is a warning – Karma is getting ready in HK and it will punch you in the face when it next sees you.
Note: I love my brother a lot and so does he. I have just exaggerated a bit to make it sound interesting.
So had a baby, had post baby blast, had post baby blast depression for having a post baby blast and said ‘enough is enough’. I mean my excuses were getting repetitive even for me. I could actually recall when I had last made that excuse. And this really scared me. For when this happens, depression is just round the corner, lurking with a big box of fatty goodness.
After having spent my husband’s fortune on different gyms and other things, I decided to take things in my own hands. And ended up relying on someone else. I got myself a trainer. He was an angel in disguise. That is because from his disguise, I really couldn’t make out that he is an angel. He does not have the angelic looks, he is brutal and he really doesn’t care how many excuses you come up with, for not working out. And put that all together blend it well and TADA – he is a good motivator. It shows, coz my pants can move all the way up. Now comes the difficult part – buttoning those up. But I know with his help and my zero motivation we can get there.
This morning I woke up, and have decided to start on the next phase of my challenge. Get on the healthy food band wagon. After I started office, I started eating at all the dai paidongs. And the food there although tasty, has a lot of oil. Not doing any help there. Hats off to all my Chinese friends, who can eat there and still stay so slim. I am actually JEALOUS. I love that food and have been finding excuses of not giving it up. So since I can’t give it up and my motto is not to deprive my cravings while still losing the fat – I have come up with a solution. Change the breakfast bit. So from now on it is all fruits and yogurt for breakfast. I did it before and I know I can do it now. Just have to stay committed.
So summing it all up – the exercise has begun and has to hit the next level, dai pai dongs I am not breaking off with you yet, and breakfast – sorry but we are now sticking with fruits and yogurt….Seriously, if there was a fairy godmother can’t she hear me sobbing.
I am in Hong kong for a little over five years now. And I must say that change was inevitable. I have a come a long way since the first time I placed my dainty foot on the the Hong kong airport. Dressed up in a salwar kameez, totally irritated because I was travelling all alone with cabin baggage and a child. My hair dishevelled and I basically all over the place.
My sister had come to visit me in the first few months that I was here. Now she wanted to buy a pair of designer sunglasses from Hong kong. At this I was still very raw. This is a thing about Maharashtrians, we are a tribe which is extremely down to earth. Buying designer labels, spending our hard earned money on fashion, is something that we are averse to. Now what do we spend money on – actually we don’t. As a tribe we actually take pride in showing off , how much we have saved over the years, by living modestly. Now coming back to the sunglasses. So, we only new brands like Prada, Armani, Gucci, Chanel and a brand here and there. So as we were looking through some shops in Casueway Bay, we came across a pair that we just loved. And started to wonder if it was by one of the design labels that we liked. We couldn’t make out and soon came to know that it was Coach. And we both looked at each other with vacant expressions. Neither of us knew what that brand was. I even went on to say, ” that it must be some new unknown brand”. Obviously, we did not buy that pair and ended up buying some other brand known to us. Happy with our shopping we set off for Central. And as we were passing over the bridge near Times Square, we saw a huge billboard, with Coach on it. And we couldn’t stop laughing. This happened in 2007.
Today, I was getting off from a bus chatting with someone I recently was introduced to. We had a great conversation about children, schools, their timetables, etc. Finally we reached our stop and said our good byes. And as we were getting off, I realized that I was checking out the brand of her purse and shoes. And as I thought, I realized that, I was a changed person. I can actually name at least 10 brands in one breath. And everytime I am somewhere, I check out brands that different women are wearing. This is happening in 2012.
And for this I would like to thank Hong kong. Over the years, Hong kong has taught me how to live. It has taught me that it is ok to spend a little and look awesome. It absolutely alright, to look stunning and let people around, admire you for that. I feel that I have reached a good balance in life. My Maharashtrian roots have taught me the importance of modesty, while Hong kong has taught me the importance of living. And I have brought a good balance with these two teaching. I owe it to HK.
Alright then, I had my baby and a lot of pampering during pregnancy. Moreso, because my husband was scared to say, ‘darling, don’t eat it, you will get fat’. So from puranpolis to an all I can eat a la carte lunch at one of my favorite restaurants. I had ‘eat’ all.
But, looks like now the party is over, and the hangover is killing me. I mean literally, my stomach is hanging over and it is killing. It definitely is the time to get on track once again. So one slow step at a time, everyone has been telling me. But, here is what I think. Bad habits – you stop those right away. You cannot say, I will start slow. One cigarette instead of the regular 10. Or just one cup of tea instead of sipping it all through the day. You can either do it or you don’t. Getting rid of bad habits is not easy. So we have to attack those and make our life as miserable as possible. The truth is you might slip. But, ask yourself this, would you not slip if you took it slow? You are probably nodding a yes. And weight loss is actually an easy thing to do. In my head it is. Because, I don’t have bad habits. I do not snack through the day, my sweet tooth isn’t desperate to satisfy its needs and I am happy to eat what common sense expects us to eat. The problem is – having the discipline.
Discipline is required for weight-loss. Planning your meals way ahead. That is a weekly task. So your helper or you do not wake up in the morning looking for stuff to cook. So you have got to make sure that the pantry is stocked at all times. Eating every couple of hours. Drinking loads of water.
Now that I have decided to get on track – there is just one thing I have to work at. Discipline.
You either love Hong kong or you hate it. I have never met anyone who thinks it is ok or says will do’/ That’s the beauty of Hong kong. However, if you have stayed here for a year or a little longer chances are you will fall in love with this place. This city of Hong kong with its tall buildings and its people running around like the seconds hand on the clock, is actually very delicate. When I think of Hong kong I can compare it to a Disney princess. Like any Disney princess the city is working hard all the time but still manages to be polite and nice to everyone. That is the beauty of the place. And this city grows on you. Slowly and steadily it makes you a part of it and you don’t even realize it. But one day you wake up and you are loving this place. You want to settle down here. When I came here 4 years back I had made a pact with my husband that we will leave Hong kong and return within a year That did not happen and today my daughter considers Hong kong has her own country. That is the magic of Hong kong.