A Bucket-list For a Better Lifestyle in 2019

I am surprised and equally glad that I am here in 2019 with my second post, continuing my blogging. It’s a small step on my part to make 2019 worthwhile. To start with, let me assure you one thing. Making a bucket-list and trying to stick to it, has its benefits. Because I made 9 trips in 2018 as opposed to zero in most of the years before that, all because of the bucket-list I had prepared.


Since my earlier bucket-list sort of worked, here I am creating another one for 2019.

Why a Bucket-list?

Most of us grovel under the weight of the things that we have to do, and want to do. But often, we neglect the important things and don’t realize that we are wasting away valuable time. Sometimes, I even forget that there were a dozen things I had to do. A bucket-list is a road map of sorts,

  • Giving you an idea of things you can do.
  • Reminding you the things you want to do and,
  • Giving you the push.

The goal isn’t to finish all the milestones. But to strive and complete at least a few in place of doing nothing at all.

If you aimed at reading 12 books but finished 8 books, instead of fretting over the 4 unread ones, you should be happy that you kept a goal in the first place. Without the goal, you might have read only 2 or 3!

My Bucketlist 2019

  1. Volunteer at an Old age Home – This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time, but never got to doing. I have always wanted to make a difference; be the reason for someone’s happiness and be the source of someone’s inspiration. This year, I need to constantly remind myself to make it happen. I want to give back to the Universe.
  2. Read 12 books. Read Everyday – I always keep this goal in my list but never really get to finishing it. Cell phones have reduced our attention span. I cannot finish reading a page without checking my phone in between – A perfect example of low productivity and lack of focus due to cell phones. I want to get back to reading as well as improve my concentration. A book a month is achievable.

    The Books ready to be read
    The Books ready to be read
  3. Write a blog post a week – This post is a part of the one post a week plan. The important part is to keep this going. This time I intend to focus more on the topics that I choose. I want my blog to become more useful. I want people to find happiness and help in my blog.
  4. Gratitude Journaling – I am just conjuring this up in my head. Just today, I thought I should write down the things I am grateful for. Either on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. So I’ll either write a post at the end of every month or write in my diary at the end of every week as to the things I am grateful for. That means, I just missed 2 weeks!
  5. Travel – I have decided to make 2 long trips this year and 4 to 6 short trips. This means I will be exploring North or North East India for the first time. It scares the hell out of me, but also, I am excited!
    Did you know that I haven’t been to any of the mainstream places such as Goa, Pondicherry, Gokarna or Hampi? Well, so one or more of those will be covered as well, I hope.
  6. Listen to Myself and My Needs – As I grew, at some point or the other, I began to move things around to suit everyone else’s lives. When I listen to music I am always wondering if I am disturbing others. If I am switching on the fan, I am looking around and seeing if anyone else has a problem. And these questions keep resurfacing in my head. Instead of being in my own element I am always wondering if everyone else is happy. This is a habit I need to stop – obsessing over others’ comfort and ignoring mine!
  7. Eat Responsibly – Staying in a PG has its cons. The biggest of all is the lack of nutritious food. I need to try to include some nutrition in my diet. Oats, sprouts and boiled eggs are a few to start with. I am also trying hard to eat my food on time so that I do not compromise my health.

This is a rough list and I intend to come back and make changes or additions so that I improve for the better by the end of 2019. It is always a great thing to start. So I am starting by putting this out in the Universe.

So far I have gone on one trip and am reading a book that I had started last year. I have bought Oats, eggs and green grams but haven’t started using them. The first baby steps have begun. It is up to me to be consistent.

Do you have a bucket-list? What do you want to achieve by the end of 2019?


The Journey of Water From Abundance to Scarcity, Purity to Poison

“I used to walk about 4-5 Kms everyday to bring water. I was a little girl, seven or eight years old, that by the time I brought the pots home, they would be half empty as the water used to drip.” my grandmother recalled.

Children carrying water

Children carrying water

“Do not open that hand shower. It is leaking and a lot of water is getting wasted. If at all you open the main knob, ensure that you close it after use.” she would repeat tirelessly.

As I grew up, all of this fell into deaf ears until the reality of those words began to make sense. One day, I decided to close the tap while I brushed and took the trouble of opening it and closing it only when I needed the water. Until then, I used to keep brushing my teeth as the tap water flowed and got wasted.

Honestly, I am not the best person to advocate water conservation as I am not quite there. But having learnt not to litter the streets, I am taking tiny steps towards reducing plastic and using organic products. Focusing on saving water keeps drifting in and out of my conscious efforts. But I do try.

Where do we stand today with respect to availability of potable water?

Not much about the drinking water has changed over the years or rather the centuries. The change has happened to the human population. We have been multiplying so much that the water available has become insufficient for all of us. To add to this agony, all the freshwater is getting polluted due to factory emissions and non degradable wastes.
Statistics: Here is a representation of the countries facing a high percentage of water withdrawal compared to available water in their respective area in 1995 and 2025. (Image and Information Source: Quizover) Shocking. Isn’t it?

Countries facing water stress - 1995 Vs 2025

Countries facing water stress – 1995 Vs 2025

Why we should save water?

Do you think the Earth needs us? What do you think will happen when we ruin, pollute, dirty, plunder and poison the Earth? Have you ever given a thought to the slogan ‘Save Earth’? Does the Earth need saving?

Once humans are done depriving the Earth of fresh water and polluting it, the Earth will empty itself of all of us and with time, will gradually find ways to survive. The Earth will remain. It does not depend on us, we depend on the Earth.

Now to come to the core issue. What do you prefer for yourself and your children? A clean death or dying bit by bit? We all know the answer. If potable drinking water reduces, it means one of the two things – Absolute dearth of water, parched throats, death due to dehydration or availability of polluted water, lots of diseases and intake of Chemicals. In either case, death is imminent but slow and painful. By this paragraph, I have just pointed at the dire consequence.

water contamination at its peak

Water contamination at its peak

The water content doesn’t change in the atmosphere. It just changes form and gets recycled through groundwater, rainwater etc. But consider this. If you waste half a glass of potable water today, you never know how it returns in future. As acid rain or as poisoned water from freshwater lakes? Maybe by putting it to a better use, you might leave something healthy for the future.

How can we save water and use it for something more meaningful?

It is about investing water to make something cleaner, fresher or healthier:

  • Keep a bottle for yourself and drink from it, ensuring you finish the water every time. This reduces use of glass/tumbler thereby avoiding throwing away unfinished glass of water.
  • Even if there is an unfinished glass of water, leave it for pets or birds.
  • Cultivate the habit of not sipping the glass so that someone else can finish the water in the glass instead of throwing it away deeming it unfit as someone else has sipped it.
  • Where you have RO purifiers, collect the waste water that leaves the spare tube and use it to clean floors, water plants or wash vessels in the initial stage.
  • If buckets in bathroom are filled and you need the bucket for another purpose, keep aside or use the water for the toilet instead of using the flush.
  • Collect rainwater if possible and use it to wash vehicle, bathe your pets, water the plants and so on.
  • Turn off the taps/shower while lathering your face/body with soap and turn them on only when you need to wash it off. Most of us, for the sake of convenience, leave the water running even if we aren’t using it.
  • In fact, storing water for bathing reduces wastage of water compared to using shower.

You can take a baby step to save water right now by #cuttingpani. It is a simple initiative by livpure. This video will give you an idea of what it is:

If you are convinced with the concept of #cuttingpani, I’ll leave this graphic here of which at least some can be used to preserve water.


Hope that helped. Do you have any tips to reduce water wastage? If so do let me know in the comments. Together, we can leave some additional pure water for the future generation. 🙂

To start with, it you wish to see a difference, please sign this petition which will be submitted to restaurant owners and concerned government authorities to take appropriate measures for the implementation of #CuttingPaani.

Image courtesy: Child carrying water, Water contamination, Graphic on reducing water usage.

Disclaimer: A Few Handpicked Things does not claim ownership to any of the images in this post. Due credits as to the source have been given. If any of the images needs to be taken down, please contact me.

Price of a Cell Phone? A Cup of Tea

Cell phones and I share a special bond. No! It isn’t a bond like yours or anyone else’s. This is different. Believe it or not, I always get the defective piece in the lot. In fact, I was teaching probability to my students recently and I asked them,

‘Do you think that probability can be applied while buying cell phones?’

65 blank faces looked at me.

I said, ‘While you buy a cell phone, remember that there is a probability that you are taking home a defective piece. But in my case, the probability of me taking home a defective piece is one as it has always been a sure event. So if you buy a cell phone with me, and there is one defective piece in a thousand pieces,  you can be sure that you will get a good piece as I will be buying the defective one. :P’  Needless to say, they understood the concept of pretty well, thanks to my experiences with phones.

After I had a very bad Nokia smartphone, the model of which I don’t even remember, I became the proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy Wonder! Now, you are totally justified for wondering what sort of model that is. As my luck would have it, it wasn’t even released in India! It was a gift from someone in UAE. It wasn’t so bad at first, but if you have used a Samsung Galaxy 4 years ago, you’d know how that crap hangs. The Samsung Galaxy phones were like 2nd standard kids playing ‘Statue’. Man! They take it way too seriously. So if you want to make an urgent call, you need to dial the number 10 minutes in advance. After about 9 minutes, the phone will wake up from its reverie and go, ‘Oh! I didn’t see you there! You wanted to call up someone?’

Meanwhile, my sister was suffering from the Samsung Galaxy Ace. We bought hers after we bought mine. But after about a year, the guy decided to die on her. One fine day, it wouldn’t just work! I agree that she isn’t very careful with phones. But then, a well known company’s phone dying in less than 2 years!?

Let me take you back to my Galaxy Wonder. When we get a sickness, we google all the symptoms. Google returns the possible diagnosis which will definitely include Cancer, heart attack, tumour and a few more ailments that will freak us out and depress us. We’d panic for every micro second of the rest of our lives until the doc confirms that it is a mere common cold or a rash. Similarly, if my Galaxy wonder went low on charge (which it always did and pretty quickly), no amount of charging would bring it back. It was as good as dead. I had to send good vibrations, make it do yoga and ignore it until it decided to lift its own spirits. Didn’t get me yet? I had to open the phone, take out the battery, sim card, SD card and rub them, hit them on the bed, lay them scattered on the bed for a while and then assemble them. After that if I charged my phone, it sometimes worked. If it didn’t, I had to repeat the processes!

After being fed up of all the yoga, pampering and hours of Pooja to make our phones work, we went to a shop we were familiar with. The guys there were super friendly. We decided to ask them how much we could sell our phones for. They had already handled our phones for various repairs and so, they were familiar with them.

My mom showed my sister’s phone and asked, ‘How much will this fetch?’

The guy took it, examined it and gave it back to my Mom and said, ‘A cup of tea.’

We all started laughing and as the laughter died down, my Mom asked, ‘Come on! So tell me how much can we sell that for?’

‘You really can’t sell that thing. It is beyond repair!’

My mom added my phone to hers and asked, ‘Okay, how about the these two? How much would they fetch?’

Oru chayayum Parippuvadayum (A Cup of tea and some fritters)’, came his reply.

The laughter doubled this time. We were told that my phone will not be purchased by anyone here as the model hadn’t been released in India. The screen had broken, the software had to be updated and none of those were available here.


Well! What do I say? We couldn’t dispose either and they are lying around in the cupboards – A reminder of how much a tea and some fritters would cost. In any case, we had a lovely time chit chatting with those shop keepers and we still are good friends.

PS – Instead of visiting a hundred shops, we can sell our phones via the site Cashify.in or by downloading their app. You can know more about them here:

If you are planning to use this site/ app, use coupon code: CLEANCASH to get Rs. 250 extra on the sale of your gadgets.  Do let me know your experiences if you use their service. Simply #CleanUpCashOut !

Featured Image Courtesy: Here

How Aware are You of Indoor Pollutants?

According to WHO, 4.3 million people a year die from the exposure to household air pollution. Source

Shocking! Isn’t it? If you are on this page and not an acquaintance of mine, you are probably looking for answers. They could be about Indoor pollution or a certain ailment that could have resulted from Indoor pollutants.


The first time I got to know of indoor pollution, I didn’t give much importance to it. As long as the home was well ventilated, indoor pollution wasn’t really a topic for discussion. Or so I thought. I mean, to what extent could there be any dust, smoke or pollution indoors compared to outdoors, right?


Indoor pollution is a thing; a very serious one at that. This new information took me places within the web. A glimpse at the pollutants, the causes and solution could give you the answers you are looking for and help you be more careful in future.


1. Molds – We Indians, specially we Keralites blessed with abundance of rainfall, are way too familiar with molds. They are a part of our daily lives. You may not believe me, but the other day, I was thinking how these molds added beauty to the walls amidst all the greenery here (Kochi). Um… no! I definitely don’t think they look good indoors.

WhatsApp Image 2017-09-25 at 12.00.49 AM.jpeg
I personally feel that the mold on the wall adds to the beauty of the greenery. This is Kerala, my Homeland, to me.

These molds release spores in the air, land on damp surfaces and multiply. Skin contact with them or breathing them could cause itching, sneezing, runny nose, red eyes etc. Hm… think of all those unnecessary allergies, untimely sneezes and itching that you or people around you are familiar with. The molds could even partly contribute to Asthma or aggravate the same in patients suffering from it.

Indoor Mold
1. Indoor Mold

How to Get Rid of Molds?

Find the source of mold, clean it, and prevent it from resurfacing. There are various ways of clearing out mold.

  • Spray Vinegar on the wall, leave it for an hour and then wipe it off.
  • Mix 1 Tsp. of Tea tree oil in one mug of water. Spray it on the surface and leave it overnight to kill the mold. Scrub the area later on with the solution to clean the surface.
  • Use Hydrogen Peroxide instead of Tea tree oil in the same combination as above. After scrubbing the surface, leave a layer of the solution on the surface to avoid the mold from returning

2. Volatile Organic Components (VOCs) – VOCs are carbon containing compounds that evaporate into the air, react with the elements therein and pollute the environment. Present in cleaning supplies, pesticides, moth repellents, air fresheners and so on, VOCs could be responsible for eye, nose and throat irritation, dizziness, nausea etc. Certain rare cases could lead to damage to kidneys, liver, and even cancer.

Remember that chemical fragrance of a newly painted home that you inhale with so much joy? Those wall paints contain VOCs too. Yes! They’re used to improve the product shelf life, enhance texture, increase the color variants, and for many more properties. But how harmful could a mere paint be? I asked myself this question.

Indoor VOC levels are, in general, many times higher than outer levels. You are right. The levels are the highest during and immediately after painting. Yet, it could be said that only 50% of the VOCs maybe released from your wall paints after the first year. You (and I) might be inhaling them right now, while reading (Writing) this.

How to Reduce exposure to VOCs?

Getting rid of VOCs isn’t easy, but you could definitely reduce them. Here is how;

  • Choose safer products instead of picking up just about anything off the supermarket shelf. Choose products containing low or no VOCs.
  • Consider making your own household cleaners.
  • Use paints that contain low or No VOCs. The paint industry is very much aware of the hazards and we do have several companies coming up with paints complying with the Green Seal (GS-11) Standards when it comes to reducing VOC content.
  • Ensure that you do not store open containers of products containing VOCs indoors.
  • Increase ventilation while using products containing VOCs

3. Biological Contaminants
I’m about to list a variety of familiar pollutants that you might have overlooked in your household:

  • Bacteria
  • Virus
  • Pollens from plants – They are present in the air and drift in through the windows.
  • Animal dander – Scales from hair, feathers or skin of animals.Contaminants from rodents, cockroaches and other insects – Do not discount the harm roaches could cause. People could be allergic to roaches and it could result in continuous sneezing and allergies.

    2. Some Indoor Pollutants


Reducing Biological Contamination

Biological contaminants can be reduced through regular cleaning as the contamination occurs on a daily basis due to living beings:

  • Mites, animal dander, pollens etc could be reduced through regular cleaning.
  • Take preventive or corrective steps to get rid of roaches and mites frequently.
  • Identify damp or wet areas and take actions to reduce the dampness and keep it clean.


4. Combustion

The common combustion pollutants are resultant from burning fuel namely LPG, oil, kerosene, wood, coal etc. The types and amount of pollutants vary with each appliance. Carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are the major pollutants released, and they are to be taken seriously. The former causes headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea while the latter could cause eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath etc. Carbon Monoxide poisoning isn’t unheard of.

At this point, let me bring to your attention another pollutant that we don’t consider at all – Incense sticks. My grandmother had this chronic cough that lasted for over a year. My aunt, a doctor, asked my grandmother not to light those incense sticks and in two days, the cough reduced. Shocker?

3. Incense Sticks causing silent harm?



How to Reduce Combustion Pollutants?

Use vented appliances with ducts or pipes that carry the pollutants outdoors. Select, install and maintain appliances with utmost care. Read up before purchasing any Combustion appliances.

As we spend a majority of our day indoors (be it at office or at home), we breathe and live in the indoor air which is 5 times more polluted than the outdoor air. You cannot discount the importance of choosing a good paint for your walls. It isn’t just about the finish or the color. These days, we have paints that releases fragrance,  absorbs bad odour like that of cigarettes, garlic etc. They provide activated carbon technology that helps purify the air and have to confirm to strict international environmental and safety standards. For instance, Asian Paints’ Royale Atmos is one of the products that focuses on all the above properties. Choosing the right paint and regular, careful cleaning could do wonders to reduce air pollution indoors.


Material Source: 123
Image courtesy: 1, 2,3, Featured Image,

Place of Origin – An Answer to Your Snack Cravings

If you are fond of local dishes from all over the country, you would always be on the lookout for people who go on trips to various places to bring you some. During my college days, students used to wait for the Keralites to arrive with their Banana chips and  the Tapioca chips, the Telugites to open their pickles and Nippattus, the Gujarati Theplas, the Nepali Titoras and Waiwais and so on.

“I am going to Ooty next week. What do you want from there?”

“Homemade chocolates!”, comes the spontaneous reply. Ooty has been always associated with the cold and the home made chocolates.

Gone are the days when you had to either go on a trip or wait for someone to go on a trip to a certain place to savor their local dishes. E-commerce has made life easier not only with respect to buying clothes but now your favorite local snacks, savories and sweets are available online too. Place Of Origin is India’s first and largest platform for famous local foods. With over 4000 varieties of sweets, snacks, biscuits, and pickles from around 400 brands across India, the platform is the answer for all your local food cravings.

Snacks are an inseparable part of Indian households. We always have a wide range of snacks stored up like treasures in a huge dabba in our houses and when visitors arrive, we daintily lay them before the guests and let them have their fill. With time, we have experimented various types of snacks from Jammu & Kashmir to Kanyakumari and we know quite a lot of the local flavors and their origins. Place of Origin brings all those snacks under one name and you could order them from the convenience of your home. I have seldom found Karela/ Bitter Gourd Chips in my locality and so, I always purchase a packet when I visit Coimbatore. Now, these could be bought from the site and while you wait, they come to your doorstep.

Karela Chips

Gujarat is famous for their Khatarnaak dishes – as referred to by Kareena Kapoor in 3 Idiots – such as Dhokla, Thepla etc. We in Kochi, sometimes crave for these delicacies and with a tiny request, our Gujarati friends would satiate our cravings.


Place of Origin has all these and much more. The listings are endless and you are bound to get confused seeing the spread they have displayed. For the foodies who love experimenting and learning the culinary cultural variances in our country, this site gives you most of it.  Their iconic local specialties include Shrewsbury Biscuits from Pune, Dharwad Peda, Sandesh from Kolkata and Pachranga from Panipat as well as unique local specialties such as the Chanachur of Bengal, Thokku from Andhra Pradesh, Pinni from Amritsar and so on.

Here are a few more Snack items available on Place of Origin to give your salivary glands some exercise:

Anjeer (Figs)

Anjeer (Figs)

Jam Biscuits

Jam Biscuits

Husked Green Gram Crackers

Husked Green Gram Crackers (Chilli Flavour)

Food has no language, region or cultural differences. Food knows only hunger and hunger knows only food. Place of Origin has taken a brilliant step uniting food items from all over the country so that we could indulge in them forgetting all cultural differences. Ventures like these inspire us to love Gujaratis for their amazing Dhoklas and Telugites for their tangy Gonguras.

Matrikas Journals for The Creative Minds

The little child whispered, ‘God, speak to me’. The Meadow Lark sang, but the child didn’t hear. So the child yelled, ‘God! Speak to me!!!’
And the thunder rolled across the sky. But the child didn’t hear.

The child looked around and said, ‘God, I want to see you.’ A star shone brightly but the child did not see. The child shouted, ‘God show me a miracle!’
A life was born.
But the child did not know.

So the child cried out in despair, ‘Touch me, God! And let me know you are there.’
Whereupon, God reached down and touched the child but the child brushed the butterfly away and walked away unknowingly.

An excerpt, from my Journal, that dates back to 2006. I love diaries/journals and I have close to a dozen of them maintained for various purposes. Back during my college days, I had one in which I used to write down quotes and stories that touched me. This is one such. The moment I found something meaningful, I’d find its owner and copy it down. Our college was such that, we did not have access to computers or phones. So I wrote a lot on papers with a pen.

The benefit being, I still have those quotes and stories. They never got deleted or lost in the mess of an internet.  You see, that is the thing about journals. They will wait for you to pick them up. Even after years, you could go back and find that piece of memory still there tucked safely between the breathing pages of a yellowing old diary, the memories you thought had vanished when your brain cells died.


Most of the times, these journals have found me. Dated diaries from Mom’s workplace, some came as gifts, a few I stole from Mom because they looked too tempting and another set was from Matrikas. Now, I have 3 journals from Matrikas as a part of their blogger outreach programme.  Most of the journals remain half used since I either stop doing what I did with them or use them as and when I like. I did not do anything systematic with them and that kept disappointing me.

As I began to focus on my Self Development recently, I decided that it was high time I started working on a journal; more of a Life Handbook. At this opportune moment, Matrikas Paper Products send me a fascinating piece of stationary, an answer to all my questions – A Creative Journal for women.


About the Journal


This isn’t your typical, simple ruled or plain, dated journal. This is a creative journal with which you could experiment yourself and your limits. It is well bound with cloth and available in four designs – Butterfly, Dragonfly, Feather, and Fish each for the dreamer, thinker, writer & the one who wishes to soar not in that order.


It has an elastic band to keep the book closed & bound, also a loop to keep the pen in place. The paper, as I had given in an earlier review, is of high quality, thick and smooth. It has a classy-cum-ethnic look and feel about it. This particular journal has been designed keeping in mind women who wish to experiment their artistic side.

What Makes this Journal a Class Apart?

1. They have ruled pages, undated, and interspersed with blank pages.  It doesn’t stop there. The blank pages are thicker than the ruled pages so that you can reveal your artistic side with colors or glues or a little something they have provided themselves for you.


2. If you aren’t an artsy person on blank pages, they have provided 8 adult coloring pages in which you could try out your luck. If you really miss those childhood coloring books like me, this is truly a blessing! 🙂 Have a look.

Teapot, Leaves and Flowers


Butterfly garden

3. Did that awe-inspire you to own one? Well I am not done yet. They have provided sheets of stickers (A Little Something ) so you could play with your imagination and make a Life Handbook from this journal. These could be used on those blank pages to make them more artistic.

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Remember the Life Handbook I mentioned about in an earlier post? This journal has everything to make that work. To make bucket-lists, plan your days, vacations, wishlists, quirky thoughts to be written down and what not! If anyone wants to maintain a journal and have no clue how to go about it, this one is a self-help. If there was anything I could change about this journal, it would be the size. I would prefer something bigger and heavier. Well, that must be just me because I always say; books? Bigger the better! 😀

Do not let your memories fade away as your brain cells vanish. Preserve them! Not in hard disks or emails. But in pen and paper. Let your fragrance linger, your fingers brush through those pages and the fingerprints remain. Let the pages yellow and give that exuberant scent of memories as you open them. Let the fragrance and the writings conjure mental images of those golden days. 🙂


Daintily sitting on my table with everything nice!



PS – This is not a paid review. The journal was sent to me by Matrikas for an honest review and promotion. I haven’t honey-coated anything here. The journal is as good as one could get. I’d recommend this anytime! 🙂




Story Time With Kids

The moment my nieces come home, the first thing they ask for is noodles. This is followed by the request to apply nail polish for them – Both hands and feet. I am the cool aunt who grants all their wishes. This hullaballoo ends with a game that we all play together.

But this time, when they came home, I had the packs of Colgate ready and I showed it to them. If you are wondering if I am crazy, the Colgate packs have space figures drawn on their insides which you could cut out and make figurines from them. I had cut them out and kept them ready since I didn’t think they will be able to manage it. Kids and scissors really don’t go well.


“What is that?”, the elder one who is 9 years old asked me.

“You tell me what that is.” I told her.

“This is Sun, this is a girl and a guy. Why are they holding helmets?”

“They are part of the spacesuit – Astronaut’s uniform.”

“Astronauts meaning?”

I told her about space stations and how astronauts went to outer space to know what lay beyond the earth far into the universe.

“Aliens!”, she exclaimed.

“Hey! So you know a lot more than I gave you credit for. In that case, today’s game is going to be a role play. You and the baby are going to outer space. You can use these props to help you.”


“Okay. Baby come on. Let us play a game. You listen to me or else you will get lost in the outer space.”, she is always the grown up with her baby sister.

“Okay but can we take Cookie with us?”, the little one enquired.

“Dogs can’t go to outer space. Can they?” the second part was aimed at me.

“If you must take her, you can. It won’t be a problem.”

“Now, you are at the space station and all those scientists you see here are preparing the spaceship that will take you to outer space. And there is your rocket!”

“So we are going to find aliens in the outer space.”


Her story went like this:

As we reached the outer space, there were lots of stars around. It looked so beautiful. We took a tour around the space and came across a dizzy Venus. I think he is exhausted from going in the wrong direction. (I had told her that Venus went around the Sun in the opposite direction with respect to all the other planets). Mars waved at us as we passed by and then we passed by Jupiter.

“How was Jupiter?”

“Huuuuuuge!”, she said while the little one joined along with her.

“And then what happened?”


“Saturn looked nice with those rings. But did you know that the rings were made of dust?”



“We decided to go back and explore any one of the planets and on the way, a comet came flying. He was a cheery guy and we decided to conduct a race. We whooooshed and he whooooshed and finally we gave up.”

“Why is that?”

“He has been whooshing all his life. He is perfect at it. Usha Ma’am told us Practice makes us perfect. I was reminded of that.”


I had to control my laughter at how she related this to the quote.

“Yeah. You can practice well and race with the comet next time.”

“I think so too. So, we had just landed in Mars when we spotted another spaceship.”

“You mean UFO?”

“Why do they call it a UFO? You know that it is a spaceship. So you have actually identified it. It ceases to be unidentified right?”

“Right. But when such things fly over the Earth and people just have a glimpse at it, they aren’t sure they have identified it as a spaceship. Hence they call it a UFO.”

“Oh that is why!”

“Then I had taught baby everything about controlling our spaceship and I decided to confront the alien all by myself. I screamed, ‘I’ll shoot you if you harm us!’ for which the alien just stood watching me.  I inched closer and he said, “I heard that people from Earth had come to visit and I just came over to meet you. I also came here to explore the Universe just like you.”


“How did you get to know about us?” I asked

“From the friendly comet who passed by. Can we be friends?”

I said okay and then we spoke for a long time. He told us about his planet and we told about ours and when it was time to leave, we bid goodbye.

“What did he tell about his planet?”

“I can’t tell you that. It is top secret. Enough of this. Let us play something else?”

Saying so, she picked up all the space figures and put them inside a cover.

That night, my cousin called me and told me she was shocked listening to my niece’s stories about space, spaceships, planets and aliens.And that they were insisting on coming home more often. It was a revelation to me too about how children could learn so much through stories and how we could interact better with them when both of us have stories to narrate. 🙂

I’m blogging my #ColgateMagicalstories at Blogadda in association with Colgate.

One Stop Gifting Solution – IGP.com

A couple of years back, my sister and I had decided to celebrate Mom’s birthday with lots of gifts and surprises. One thing we had planned was to send her a bouquet. I tried searching for shops online since we wanted to get it delivered to her office which was in another district. But no luck. Recently I came across a gifting portal and I was blown!


Indian Gift Portal or IGP.com is one of India’s largest online gifts store specializing in gifts for all ages and occasions. They specialize in categories such as flowers, Cakes, chocolates, personalized products, festival merchandise, kids products, home & living and fashion. The best part about the site is their hampers section. You can gift a set of related products to a loved one with absolutely no hassle! You can see how the gift discovery platform works here – https://www.igp.com/how-it-works


My Experience with IGP.com

I believe in gifting something useful to people. So, when I decided to gift something to my Mom for no reason, I was skeptical about giving her bouquets or chocolates. I went into the depths of this portal and found this black sling bag at a reasonable price. There were no second thoughts. Our entire family loves black and something that looks this gorgeous could never be disliked.


They were very prompt in delivering the gifts and opening the package was pure bliss! For a second, I considered keeping the bag but alas! I will be using it anyway. So it really didn’t matter. 😛


Why choose IGP.com?

  1. International Shipping! Now if your better half is away from you, you can surprise him/her on special days. IGP ships orders to 150+ countries (including USA, UK, Australia, Canada etc) in addition to 7,000+ pin codes in India. 🙂
  2. If you are really bad at choosing gifts and you know that, most of IGP’s gift ideas are really thoughtful. Especially the hampers. You just have to click, click, click, pay and click!
  3. There are a lot of hampers and some classy gifts of perfumes and ties for men. Gifting men is not so difficult as you thought it was.Capture6.JPG
  4. They have personalised gifts where they will type the recipients name on the gifts. I thought that was very nice specially with these jornals and diaries. Being a writer and a diary lover, this would be a very thoughtful gift for me. (Ahem 😉 )
  5. Their site categorized gifts in umpteen ways. As you can see below, it categorizes recipient wise, product-wise, occasion-wise, age-wise, personality-wise and so on. For instance, in the category women, they have sub categories like girlfriend, wife, friend, sister, mother, daughter, colleague, boss, teacher, neighbour, aunt and niece. An in depth sub-categorization right?Capture.JPG

While there are plenty of e-commerce sites, a portal solely for gifting is really a boon during emergencies. If your girlfriend is upset or if you forgot to get her a Valentine’s Day gift, you could simply order a readymade hamper during the last moment. Because IGP has same-day delivery in some cities too! So where will your Holi online shopping be from? 😉 😀

All the images without the watermark are from the site of IGP.com. A Few Handpicked Things do not take credits for them.

Online Shopping – A Step Ahead With Shimply

Online shopping has become the Mantra of the Era. Those who have had a taste of it know how addicting & convenient it is. Apart from that, people love shopping online because of the variety it offers. There are umpteen sites and shops online that offer a wide, unique and quality range of products. If you know what you want, you have it there. Simply apply the filters and choose what you like. With ‘no questions asked’ return policies offered by most of the e-commerce sites, nothing could really go wrong shopping online.

Yet, when it is about apparels, you definitely wish for one more boon – the option to try the clothes on and see how they look on you. Choosing the favorite color isn’t difficult. But many people face that dilemma of choosing between the sky blue and turquoise blue, Violets and Purples and so on. The colors look wonderful and pleasing to the eyes. But what would suit you the best? Many have similar dilemma when it comes to choosing the patterns too.

Will Anarkali look better than the umbrella cut on me?

Women are the ones almost always facing it. The color, fit, the compatibility with your skin tone, comparison with other available colors of the same product etc are few of the many factors that trouble women while buying clothes. You buy one, try it on, don’t like it much, order the next and wonder whether the earlier one looked better. If you are a frequent online shopper, these hassles get on your nerves after a while.

Behold! You can now try on the apparels you buy online!

You read that right. Shimply, India’s multi-category online Bazaar, launched its mobile app recently. There are a huge variety of unique products on Shimply, curated from across the country at affordable prices. The highlight of the mobile app happens to be the ‘Virtual Trial Room’ facility which is such a relief for many shopaholics.


I know what you are wondering.

How could a virtual trial room work?

The app has a trial room section where you have the option to either choose an image from the gallery or click a picture. Once the image is chosen, a wide range of products appear below the image from which you can choose the ones you like, for trial. The apparel can be placed anywhere on the image, zoomed in & out and tilted to fit the size of your image. You can easily alternate between products trials to determine the one that suits you the best.

I was skeptical about the color aspect. I wondered how I’ll know if the color actually suits me. Astonishingly, the apparels not only fit well with the image used, but I also got a precise idea of how the colors would look on me.

The icing on the cake? You can have trials with Home Decors too. That totally enthralled me. Simply click a picture of your living room and see how the decors look in their respective places. Choose the ones that suit the paint color and go well with the other furniture in your home.

Is it safe?

Virtual Trial Room claims to work on the Patent Pending Technology where, once the image is clicked, it is saved nowhere in the phone. This makes it much safer, keeping at bay, the peeping Tom problem.

As mentioned earlier, while women are the ones most benefited by the feature, men will definitely be relieved thinking about the time saved. Now you have more reasons to shop online and stay at home, rather than walk into store after store with your better half.

Shimply has around 1.7 crore products ranging from casual wears, formals, bridals, Bollywood designs and specialties, beauty & personal care products, furniture, home decors, books, jewellery of all kinds and just about everything. There are some unique products that define the diversity and culture of India. With the added advantage of virtual trial for all these products, it has taken online shopping a step further.

To He-Man, With Love, Teela

He-man dearest,

This will be one among the hundreds of letters written by me to you and this will find you at the right time. This time, I wouldn’t write poems stolen from great writers. This time, it isn’t cheesy lines or mundane anecdotes. On the contrary, it is about some promises I’d like to extract from you. Knowing me, you should be scared of what I might ask. But once you begin, you will know. These could come in handy some day, for both of us.

One Date a Month – Love is like coal. It needs constant flame to keep it burning and convert it into something precious. As our relationship gets deeper, we might think that there wouldn’t be any necessity to fuel it. On the contrary, when the novelty of the relationship fades, that is when we need to go out of our way to do those charming things. I wouldn’t ask you for your undivided attention.

But promise me that one Saturday every month will be ours and ours alone. Whether it is a long drive or a romantic dinner or a conversation, in those few hours, our world will consist of just you and me. No gadgets or other living beings.

One Vacation A Year – Or more if that is possible. When we become busy with work, family and social commitments, sometimes, we will forget about us. We keep aside what we want and we begin to listen to what others want. Complains, deadlines and laments aside, promise me that we will go on a long vacation once a year to some mysterious place. A place comprising of different people, culture, language and lots of beautiful landscapes.

Following Passion – Many of us do not follow our passion and eventually regret about not doing those things we dreamt of. I don’t want to be in the way of your passion. If anything, I want to be the one to fuel your passion.

Promise me that all those dreams and passions that you nurtured; you will tell them all to me. Let me tell mine to you and together let us work towards following our passion and keeping the love alive. After all those years, I want you to say proudly that you followed your passion no matter what.

Sport that Stubble – Bah! Well, promise me to sport that sexy stubble. Alright? 😉

Phew! Had to bring Ian Somerhalder all the way from FB to prove my point on stubbles. Sheesh! Why is it so hot in here? Summer is early 😛

Keep the Chocolates Coming – Not everyday. I’ll get bored of it. Not every week either. It shouldn’t be in a certain pattern. You get it right? Promise me that you will send me chocolates when I am least expecting it. That is most of the times. When I am at office, or when I am attending my dancing classes, when I am cooking or sleeping or reading (that will be super-sexy!) or writing.
Promise me, however cliched this sounds, there will be a chocolate for me from you. 🙂

Write me Letters – Oh Come on! You don’t have to write me lengthy poetic letters withlovey-dovey lines and ornamental vocabulary. Just plain simple four lined chits would do. I’ll save them and treasure them forever. 🙂

Tell me Your Blues – During all those years we are together or away, if anything goes wrong, if you don’t like something the way it is, if something upsets you or you simply feel blue with for no apparent reason, promise me that you’d tell me. If it is a word of solace that you want, or a mere company and a shoulder, I’ll be there.
Promise me that you’d sought me first and formost and talk your heart out.

When I am old and withered and the claws of forgetfulness prod me, promise me that you wouldn’t be mad at me. Promise me that you’d take my hand, hold it in your palm and narrate to me our days together. The day we first met, the day you took me on a trip, the day you confessed your love and the day I confessed mine. Promise me that you will never let us fade in my memories. Promise me that you will never forget any of these promises made, ever.




I’m blogging about the kasams I want from my man this Women’s Day with the #SadaSexy activity at BlogAdda in association with Set Wet.

On that note, here is Ranveer Singh’s kasam this women’s day

Of Chores and Laundry


She walked out of her office too tired. The cash section had not tallied with the accounts, they had received a complaint from a customer and she had been receiving calls from her superiors. The complaint was against her, though it wasn’t her fault. She had done as her immediate manager had asked her to do and now, it was all upon her. As she was about to cross the road, a car honked past, cursing her. Her mind was so pre-occupied that she had crossed without bothering to look around.

She reached home by 7.30 PM. The house was as she had left it in the morning – a mess. Her husband would be home in a while. She had to cook before that. She freshened up and entered the kitchen. The clothes that were washed were still inside the bucket. She decided to put them out to dry before they began to stink. By the time all the work, cooking and cleaning were done, she was suffering from a severe headache. She informed her husband and went to sleep.

Next morning, she woke up listening to her husband getting ready for work. He was unusually loud that day. He did that only when he was annoyed. She suppressed a yawn and asked him what the matter was.

“You hung the clothes yesterday. They were not only wrinkled, but some of them were hung on those dirty rods. If you can’t do anything for me, just say it!”

She blinked off the remaining sleep, thought for a moment and said, “I had wiped the rod before hanging the clothes.”

“Really? Come with me right now! I’ll show you the dust. I know you are doing this on purpose. Office has always been your priority. When it comes to doing household chores, you are lazy! Here is what you could do. Just don’t come home and stay at office all day.”

From then on, he decided to do his laundry and never spoke to her for days together in spite of her repeated apologies. After a few months, there was another row between them.

“You call yourself my wife? Really? What have you done for me? For the past few months, I have been doing laundry by my own. You don’t have enough time for your husband, do you?”

She thought of all the days when she woke up early just to prepare breakfast for him, sent the children to school, took the days off for their open house, checked on her husband during the break when he was ill, bought all the groceries, prepared food after work. And then, she said nothing.

This was my friend Priya, a hopeless romantic at heart and a loving mother. Before her marriage, she took all the necessary coaching to become an ideal wife. She believes laundry and household chores are a woman’s job and she does them dutifully. When she is blamed, she accepts the blame. She tells me everything and I keep singing the ‘chores aren’t for women alone’ song.


As I sat in the living room of their house, her daughter walked in. She left her lunch box on the table and walked into her room.

“Ammu! Come here! Open that lunch box, wash it and then go. I can’t do all the work on my own. Besides, you’ll have to practice all this before you get married.”

Ammu looked at her brother’s lunch box on the table.

“Mom! We have had this conversation before. If Appu doesn’t have to wash, I don’t have to either. I am aware of your burdens. But I can’t be like you.”, she said defiantly.

“How dare you-”

“Priya, look at yourself!”, I said for the nth time. “You aren’t willing to change. At least don’t make your children like you. If you teach Appu that Ammu should wash the vessels and do laundry, he’ll expect that from his wife. At this moment, you are laying the groundwork to make another woman miserable. Don’t you realize that?”

I looked at Ammu. I remembered how she was before she met me. She was almost like her mother. I wasn’t able to change her mother. But, I was able to make her realize that she was to grow up to be an independent woman. Probably, the right direction in the right age was what mattered.

Priya wouldn’t give up as usual, “What would happen if she grows up without learning these stuff? What if her husband and his family expect these things from her? Her life will become miserable!”

“You know every chore, yet look at your life Priya! We won’t let her marry someone who will treat her like a servant. As simple as that!” I called Appu and asked the two of them to wash their respective lunch boxes. Priya was silent for a while and soon the conversation was forgotten.

I knew she wouldn’t change. But if I was with her forever, I will definitely be able to change the next generation. The root cause of the problem was right there before me. It was her parents’ mindset that was deep rooted into her and she was unable to snap out of it. To make it worse, she was instilling the same thoughts into her children.

The irony is that, women are the reasons for their own sorrow and burdens. We are the only ones who can liberate ourselves. It all begins at home.


If you teach your daughter a chore, make sure your son learns it too.


Priya does her husband’s laundry now and things have turned back to ‘normal’ in their house. The only ‘abnormalcy’ is when Ammu reacts when she is asked to do chores and not her brother. Oh! The irony!

Here is a video that gives a strong message as to why laundry isn’t only a mother’s job. Every mother is pretty much like the lady in this video. There are many men who help with the chores, but a majority are like the guy in the video. Do watch it and share your views.

I am joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation

Tips for Your Leather Shoes

“There’s an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes”

You must be familiar with this quote from Forrest Gump. You must also be too familiar with how our teachers insisted on jet black, polished, shiny leather shoes. Though we never bothered during those times, we are well aware of how shoes speak a lot about our personality.

Good quality Leather shoes do have a charm and they could be maintained to last long if the required care is given. Choosing the right polish, a brush with the right material and tending to the shoes at the right intervals; they all matter. Here are some tips for long lasting shoes:

  1. Brush The Shoes: Whenever we are in a hurry, we tend to squirt the polish onto the shoes and spread them in just the visible area and run off. This is bad for two reasons; excess polish could damage the material and applying polish on the dust could lock the dust permanently onto the shoes.
    Hence, before applying the polish, the thumb rule is to brush the shoe with a not-so-hard shoe brush
  2. Wipe With Cotton Cloth: This is an extra protection tip which is recommended but not mandatory. Any minute dust particles remaining in the leather could be wiped away using cotton cloth. Specially if your shoes are a bit old, the remnants will always be there.
  3. Use Quality Polish/ Creams: Ensure that you use good quality polish/ cream with soft applicator. Also, while applying, be gentle and considerate. You just need to apply a little quantity of some of the polishes. Applying too much could damage your shoes.
  4. Carry a Cloth: If your shoes are of high quality, it doesn’t hurt to be cautious. During bad weather or while walking through mushy or dusty roads, cleaning the shoes instantly with a piece of cloth could spare you a lot of trouble in future.

I recently came across the product launch of Helios Liquid Shoe Polish for Shining & Conditioning and Helios Premium Shoe Cream. When I read about them, I was impressed due to the following aspects:


Liquid shoe polish.jpg

1. Performance: The product is made out of quality wax that gives a glowing, long-lasting shine to the leather with just a few strokes.

2. Range of Colors: While most of the brands give barely 2-3 color varieties, Helios comes in four colors – Black, Brown, Tan & Natural


Shoe Cream.jpg

1. Performance: The product comes with an applicator foam on the cap which helps in applying the shoe cream to the surface of the leather and gives best results after buffing it with a cloth or a brush. It ensures long lasting life for the shoes.

2. Range of Colors: The cream is available in five colors – Black, Brown, Natural, Tan and E.Tan.

Economical & Handy: Priced competitively, Helios polish and cream start at Rs. 60 and Rs. 99 respectively. They have a premium look, an easy grip and is extremely handy. For business meetings, conferences and presentations out of town, you could easily carry them due to their portability.

You could try their products and let us know about your experience. Their products are available in many e-commerce portals such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal etc.


Whats & Whys of Ezebee.com


Almost all of us are variants of tech-savvy entrepreneurs these days. Most of us either sell products or provide services and many of us have considered about starting a business of our own at some point of time or the other. The next thought that comes to our mind is the source of investment and we drop the entire idea. Starting an online shop involves a lot of effort and entail expenses – or so it was until now. Until Ezebee.

Ezebee is a free online marketplace  where entrepreneurs can sell their products (including second hand items) or services or even provide them on rental basis. They can sell anything & everything without any additional payments as long as they are legal!

Ezebee in a Nutshell

Why Ezebee?

While selling online through various platforms could be expensive and entail payment of commissions to the platform owners, ezebee.com brings the marketplace home for  entrepreneurs sans any commission payment. This enables the sellers to make money online without unnecessary revenue losses.



The benefits from creating an online marketplace on Ezebee is multifold:

  • The word free wasn’t used in the previous paragraph for naught. There is absolutely zero cost involved to sell online through ezebee.
  • The upcoming brands, start ups, small businesses, budding entrepreneurs etc need not compete with the bigger brands for a marketplace. Simply list the products  on ezebee with the right description and the same will be available for millions across the globe to see.
  • This means international exposure.
  • If you open a Facebook page on your own, you will take ages to find the right audience. Get your own free Facebook shop through Ezebee. They help you with the exposure & customers can buy directly from your Facebook page.
  • Psst! Sell those unused stuff lying at home.

Do you know a wonderful artist looking for space to sell their creation? Do you know people looking for space to advertise their services, sell their products be it of any industry? Or are you one of them? Create your free online shop.



Home is Where the Heart is

As I swerve and maneuver through the city traffic, I notice all the buildings lighting up. I have way too much time to look at all the decorations since there is a heavy traffic. Though I am not a fan of traffic, I know what this means. It means development. It means in a couple of years, the traffic would reduce. I look at all the pillars constructed and try to imagine how the place would look when the metro is ready and running. I can’t wait. Soon, Kochi known as The Queen of Arabian Sea, will have another name to it, The Metro City.

I have heard my colleagues and friends say that Kochi lacks the kind of coolness and serenity that many other districts in Kerala have. I think they don’t look well enough. I think it is the other way round. Kochi has everything provided you look for them at the right places. We have the rich history and places that narrate them, we have the waves kissing the shore, we have the city lights that dance and twinkle at nights and we have those silent greenery that invites you in. The best part is, no matter what Keralites think about Kochi, they are bound to come here for something or the other. For Kochi, is the center of everything.

The city is designed with a perfect blend of city life, cultural heritage and breathtaking beauty. We have Mahatma Gandhi Road, Convent junction & Broadway where the city life is at its maximum. While you get all the branded stores and a wide range of restaurants in M G Road, Convent junction offers you a combination of rich, sophisticated as well as inexpensive stores. Broadway is the most crowded of all with their wholesale  shops, aroma of spices rending the air and the tag of ‘everything at low prices’. Go a bit further and you will find our very own Marine Drive facing the waters. The Rainbow bridge there is offers one of the most beautiful sunsets. Every time I go anywhere near Marine Drive, I am tempted to go and sit there for a while.

The Rainbow Bridge at Marine Drive

Then there is Fort Kochi & Mattanchery where the tourists pour in to see the Jewish Synagogue; the oldest active Synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations, Santa Cruz Basilica; one among the eight Basilicas in the country, the Cochin Palace/The Dutch Palace that preserves the story of the Kings of Kochi and the fragments of their lifestyle during those times. Buildings constructed by the British during their rule and the streets named by them, stand out from rest of the city. You know the difference when you see the building or the street. Here is my account of our trip to Fort Kochi & Mattanchery

Interiors of the Jewish Synagogue

Visiting Thripunithura will leave you confused because, it isn’t like anything I just described. It is that part of Kochi brimming with Palaces of Gods. Though there are a lot of famous temples, Thripunithura has lot more around. Chottanikkara, Chakkankulangara, the Poornathrayeesha, Thamaramkulangara Sree Dharma Sastha temple and many more. The Hill Palace which is the Thripunithura Palace is one of the best tourist places here.

Poornathrayeesha Temple Ulsavam


Flanked by Alappuzha & our cultural capital Trichur districts on both sides, Kochi is well connected. Anyone in Kerala would have heard of the North and South railway stations that serve as the common-point for all the malayalees. Isn’t train your favorite mode of transportation? You have our KSRTC bus stand near the South Railway station. And also the Vytila bus Hub.

The pride of Kochi lies in the Cochin International Airport – Nedumbassery that witnesses umpteen happy and sad moments daily. The airport, which is the first entirely solar-powered airport in the world, is what connects us to the entire world.

Cochin International Airport – Nedumbassery

Kochi hosts India’s first bi-annual art biennale, Muziris Biennale where a number of artists display their experimental arts. I have come across some mind-blowing artwork in the Biennale.  This is an example for our appetite for adventure and that is what drives us.

You will come across a wide variety of people here with different goals, aims, looks and behavior. Ones embracing the culture and traditions and wearing them in their persona, others open to experimenting, who are still as desi as one could be, but also have the thirst for adventure, to try something new. The ones who celebrate all the temple Ulsavam (Festivals in temples) day in and out, who dance for the Panchari melam (Percussion ensemble) in temples and also dance for the DJs. The women who wear all sorts of modern dresses, yet bow their heads when they pass by a temple, church or mosques. The love for our city and culture and the openness to explore the world is what drives us. That is what makes Kochi a potpourri of cultures, traditions and adventure!

A Proud Kochiite reluctantly ends the endless saga of her city – Kochi – which is indeed made of great.

PS – I have to mention that India’s largest mall – Lulu mall – is right here. Barely 3 Kms from my home and people from all over the state come to visit this mall. There is nothing you don’t get at the hypermarket there. 🙂


Image courtesy for all images: wikipedia.org

Delving into Kesari

Kesari is one of the easiest sweets to prepare. Let me assure you, there is no compromise on the taste. Kesari is the oblique yellow sunshine melting in your mouth. For me, Kesari smells like home with the rich aroma of ghee and fried cashews.

Are you thinking about any of those relatives who cannot have too much sweet? To make it healthier, Kesari could also be prepared using Sugar-free Natura instead of sugar. Here is how:


  1. Sugar Free Natura – 25 Pellets
  2. Semolina (Rava) – 1 cup or 250 g
  3. Ghee – 1 cup and a few extra tea spoon-full.
  4. Water – As required
  5. Cashew – A few
  6. Kismis – A few
  7. Yellow edible color
  8. Cardamom powder – One-fourth tea spoon


How to Prepare:

  1. Fry the semolina in 3-4 teaspoons of ghee. Keep frying until it turns light brown. Keep it aside.
  2. In 2 teaspoons of ghee, fry cashews and kismis until they turn brown. Keep them aside.
  3. In half a cup water, add the Sugar free pellets and heat the water. Keep stirring until the pellets melt.
  4. Add the fried semolina to this mixture and keep stirring to avoid formation of lumps.
  5. Add half cup of water, the remaining ghee, yellow color and  cardamom powder.
  6. Keep stirring until the mixture turns thick and the ghee begins to float on top.
  7. Garnish with the fried cashews and kismis. Serve hot.


Kesari is a very common sweet prepared here for festivals like Deepavali, Navratri, Karthikai and also they serve it for marriages and functions. But you don’t have to wait for another occasion to prepare this. Do it right now with the above handful of dishes and let me know if you liked it. 🙂