Friday, June 21, 2013


I started this blog in 2008, with an email id that had ‘ whatdefinesme’ in it and my blog was titled, My Neverland. Well, the Neverland wasn’t altered but now the blog functions with the email id that has my name in it; some improvement at that, eh?

However, blogging wasn’t much appreciated then, as it is now and so, this blog turned dormant in no time. Nonetheless, a very personal loss of a great friend made me turn to my blog as the only place I could express my grief. It was during this time when I also opened my new facebook account. A revival of one self, you may say!
It also opened new avenues with me with the establishment of Indiblogger and I began attending blogger meets frequently. Time passed by and in no time, I made a whole lot of new friends and gradually along with my posts, my blog followers also increased.

Since then, I have always tried to encourage people to write, for I believe that all of us have a story to tell, including my eleven-year old sister. She’d in particular be envious of me going for the blogger meets and would follow me around the house a day earlier, begging to come along. But then most of the meets weren’t children-oriented so I had to decline her request every time.

Until this time, when Indiblogger came up with this extravagant HP Print Art blogger meet in association with HP where the bloggers could get the little ones too. My sister danced in sheer joy when I broke the news to her. From choosing the dress to applying pink gloss and wearing the Chanel perfume, madam managed to almost eat my head up.

On the other end, it was quite difficult to convince my parents and grandparents to allow her to come along with me for the meet. They had one point- What will she do there? And what is blogging? Why are you pulling her along in this field…..
Well that’s more than one point…
However, I explained to them the concept of the meet. That it would not be a usual meet but would have activities where the kids would participate and also win gifts. After much coaxing we left for the meet.

The event started off with great enthusiasm, and it felt great because my other friends had got their family members too. While Garima and Naina got their younger sisters, Ekta got her mother for the meet. Witty remarks and rounds of introductions were followed by a presentation by HP on print art. The emphasis of the presentation was how “Technology Nurtures Creativity”, wherein they showed how HP printers are children-friendly and easy to handle, thereby allowing children to use technology to enhance their homework and holiday work as well as present their creative inputs more efficiently with HP Printers. The cartridges are delivered at your doorstep as well as are cost-efficient and are available for both black as well as colored ink.

My sister looked at me knowingly throughout the presentation and discussions, because we’d had this discussion before and she’d demanded for a printer for her holiday homework and I’d told her to draw by hand rather than draw on paint and print. She began scowling by the end of the presentations and I cringed, realizing it was wrong on my part.

After that, it was activity time. We were divided into groups and we got the theme of “Space” and were required to create a birthday celebration for a child.  Our team got to work, Paarijat fully engrossed with the team, while I went on a motherly-journey looking at my little one getting along so well with my friends. Me Naina and Garima excused ourselves to go to the washroom and by the time we came back, it was time to present our party to the judges.

As we went through the presentation, she whispered into my ear to sing a song after the explanation was done with. So we began humming, Aasman ke paar shayad, aur koi aasmaan hoga.. and well, the judges broke into a big smile and clapped for us. After they left, I handed a chocolate cupcake to her and she grinned as she went back to the group. 

The event concluded with the other team winning the competition and though she was sad, Pari quickly recovered at the mention of Food. A lunch and coffee break followed, wherein she enjoyed gorging on her favorite idli sambhar. During all this, she was constantly conversing with all my friends, even explaining how printers help students in excelling in not just their crafts but also studies. Naina, Garima and I looked at each other and smiled, looking at how amazing our sisters had got along.



The best part about that evening was when Mr.Arvind Passey, a renowned blogger exclaimed, "Priyanka, you've lost your steam in front of her. This girl will grow to become an intelligent genius!"
And I replied… I’d love it if she grows bigger than that Passey Jee!

Pari with the Cake!

We clicked pictures, and Pari made a cake out of the materials that were remaining on our table for the activity and presented it to the Indiblogger team, thanking them for letting her come. After chatting and laughing for some time, and of course, after getting our Indiblogger Tee-shirts, we left.

This post is a conscious effort to win an HP printer for my sister Paarijat, and to mark my sister’s first venture into the world of blogging. Happy to see her part of my blogging family ~The Indiblogger Family~

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Mami and Mamu with their sons, Akaash and Agnik have come down to Delhi from London for their summer break. And mom’s first cousin, whom I fondly call Mashimuni are also coming from Texas, USA for a day’s stay with her hubby, Ronnie Da. My mother has announced a grand dinner for tonight as we sat together for breakfast. And then she served the icing on the cake by adding… “We’ll have a home-made dinner for them. A nice four-course meal for them, that’ll be great” she smiled as she finished her sentence.

Well, trust me, women and their last lines are deadly! They save the worst for the last and phuff! Out they blurt right when you begin to relax to their ideas. I am a woman and I am not ashamed to admit to these maneuverings! And everyone sitting on that table knew who’d be responsible for the bon appétit.
Thus, I got to work right away. I took out a notepad and pen and began scribbling in the order of the Grande Dinner.

      Nachos and Salsa Dip
-         Stirred Fried Prawn with Vegetables
-         Chicken Pockets

For Kids
-         Orange Squash
-         Chocolate Milkshake

For Adults
-         Watermelon Margarita
-         Long Island Iced Tea
-         Whisky
-         Vodka

-         Chicken Lemon Coriander Soup
-         Sweet Corn Soup



-         White Boiled Rice
-         Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani


-         Phulka Rotis
-         Garlic Breads
-         Garlic Breads with Cheese


-            Mutton Curry
-          Chingri Shorshe (Prawn in Mustard Sauce)
-         Chilly Chicken
-         Phoolkofir Torkaari (Cauliflower with potatoes in dry curry)
-         Chholar Dal
-         Deemer Jhol (Egg Curry)
-         Aloo (Potato) and Begun Bhaja (Brinjal fry)


-         Maalpuya (Pancakes)
-         Moong Dal ka Halwa
-         Paayesh (Bengali-style Kheer)

After deciding upon the menu, it was time to get hold of the ingredients. Thus, before I went out to the departmental store, I thought of browsing the website and making a list of all the ingredients I’d require.

Making the Appetizers is not a deal, as most of them are easily available in restaurants. It is the main course that is of great concern.
Apart from the flour, rice, egg, mutton, chicken, prawn and chicken, I made a list of the fruits and vegetables I’d require that included tomatoes, cauliflower, brinjal, potatoes, onions, chilly, ginger-garlic paste, garlic, apples, banana, mangoes and milk of course. Special Masalas always do the trick and with my hands on the special masala mixes by Kitchens of India, I don’t think I’d have much of a problem.

 I personally love this mix because it contains all the necessary ingredients like saffron for the subtle fragrance and color while tamarind for that Hyderabadi tinge along with other masalas like turmeric, red chilli, cumin, coriander powder.

All my guests love my biryani and I am sure it'll be the show-stealer this time too!

Shorshe Chingri or Prawns in Mustard Sauce is a hot favorite amongst bengali dishes. The good thing is that I prefer preparing the mustard paste myself rather than using other ready-made pastes available in the market.

Served with white boiled rice, and cooked in Mustard oil, you'll know of a synonym for the word 'zing'!

This mix would help me cook the Mutton Curry as I like my kosha maangsho spicy hot with a thick gravy, adding a little sweet to it, creating the perfect sweet-spicy taste in Bengali Food.

I am not too fond of Paneer and equally hate cooking it too. Thus, I will be using the gravy mix of this to my deemer jhol or egg curry.

The ingredients in this mix tastes excellent when cooked as an egg curry. Haven't tried it, have you? Well, mix n match is the taste of the season, haven't you heard?

I will also use thus mix to the Phoolkofir Torkari (Cauliflower and Potatoes Stirred fried). Only need to add some ginger and jeera to the oil and peas to the curry.

The Heat & Eat products by Kitchens of India are a blessing to those who work at the last minute, but are not willing to compromise on taste. I have decided to us the Dal Bukhara Heat & Eat pack.

Here's how you can make one.

Along with that, some Aloo and Begun Bhaja are great complimentary side dishes.

The malpoyaas are again a Bengal speciality, and 
a secret every Bengali family preserves
with great care. But then, I also have Paayesh (a thicker version of the North Indian dessert, Kheer) and yes, of course, Moong Dal ka Halwa, another of the Heat & Eat pack by Kitchens of India.

 The Venue should undoubtedly be the area right outside my house with the tables placed in the green lush lawns. The children can play in the ground while the young adults can sip on their drinks.

 Considering this isn't a huge area, I have decided to keep it real simple, the place shall be lit with dim LED lamps that have been installed around the lawns. Also, I will only use my laptop with my pre-designed playlists.

A mix of Hindi and English songs to help us sway and move around.


 This weekend is going to be a legendary one with me adorning the Chef Apron, with the venue, the food and the music blending perfectly into one revered experience, what Sufis would call, Mehfil.

This post has been written for a contest organised by Indiblogger along with Kitchens of India under the theme "My Weekend Party With Gourmet Food"

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Rendezvous With The Pandavas

Now that I am so close to Nature sitting in a cosy room in a resort near Dalhousie, with the lightning striking almost atop my hair, I decided to meet some significant people living on the other side of this world. What use is technology if it does not help us in reconstructing the… blurred lines? Thus, I am all set to have a group chat with the help of a super cool app called WeChat. (I have written a review for the app, you can read it HERE.) I have added my contacts in the list I have named, The Misunderstood.

Misunderstood… because they have been portrayed in a different light unlike the person that they truly were. The politics of representation and that of absence is a repertoire used by everyone to attach power to those who could control it more effectively. My list consists of

The Pandavas i.e.

1.     Yudhistir

2.     Arjun

3.     Bheem

4.     Nakul

5.     Sahdev

And of course, Duryadhan from the opponent’s side. Krishna is omni-present and thus, he says, needs no app. What can I say, well for him! He anyway is quite perturbed when it comes to his role in determining the difference between being Clever and Cunning. He usually seems to be smiling with a certain discomfort camouflaged in the creases of his smile.


They are punctual and appear online in my friend list and I receive a pop-up message…
“Are you there?” from Nakul. I had turned my appearance to invisible, I recalled. And though I didn’t check, I could feel Krishna smiling.


I begin with wry chain of thoughts scribbled in my mind, not having heard of such an event happening before this. Talking about the advancement of science and technology!

Dear Pandavas,

Welcome. I wanted to let you know that you are not celebrated heroes for me. In fact, I think it was a battle that the Kauravas should have won, considering they were so much more well-equipped and strong. Moreover, according to the way kingship worked in ancient India, it was their right to ascend the throne and not yours.

I do not understand why you guys are celebrated, for what virtue, I reckon? You went ahead and first, accepted Draupadi as the ‘common wife’ and then later agreed to treat her like your common ‘property’ and gave her away?

I had typed a little too much, and no one was responding. Fine, my tone was accusatory but then, it was straight from the heart.

Yudhisthir typing…

We felt terrible for that. It was all due to that evil Duryodhan and Shakuni Mama!

I felt like punching them on their face. I bet history would have changed then!

Sahadev: We asked for forgiveness after that incident, PD. C’mon! You’ve got to stop being so rude!


That’s rubbish! What good is your chivalry if five of you could not prevent the humiliation for your woman? Krishna had to come as the savior? He could have stopped the battle from taking place, from your side winning the battle, from Abhimanyu being killed…The list can really go on guys!

Krishna smiled and commented, “Who told you to speak from the heart? Don’t you think that if that is what I wanted, I would have placed the mouth above your heart and not on your face, near your brain.”

I cringed.


Krishna! It is Krishna’s support that let you win the battle. He is always celebrated as some heroic icon with Godly virtues innate in him. While all I see, is the manner in which he twisted and plotted, who stood by his promise to not use a weapon against the Kauravas but used every other twisted repertoire to assure their defeat. Such politics has been terribly underplayed! But hey, I am a Masters Degree-holder in history. I know better now!

Krishna roared in laughter this time, my angst peaking to further levels. “It is good to have a clever enemy than to have a foolish friend, my dear” he said. “Everything is politics, it is an inevitable part of one’s existence. You talking about it, having an opinion, about the Mahabharata or Me, is politics! Why not learn it and destroy those who are less powerful, than to let the others use it against you anyway?”

I could not believe this! Not just that Lord Krishna was directly conversing with me, but because he was admitting to it. I have in my five years of studying History have wondered why Krishna is called clever while Shakuni is called cunning. Was it because Krishna had the virtue of being a ‘God’?

I was cursing the advantages of being a God when thunder struck. So wild and violent, I thought I was dead, with all the effect it had.. The lightning was followed by series of lightning, each worse than the earlier; thunder crackling like conflicting against me. I jolted out of my chair and my phone fell down from my lap. I let out a swear and picked it up. The WeChat app was running and no, there was no group called The Misunderstood. No, I did not have the Pandavas in my friend list either! It wasn’t possible, was it?

Thus, I solemnly pledged to instead find the Pandavas, Kauravas and Krishnas of today and show them their place while they are here. Who knows who shall be erased with the passage of time in the histories of a people who love to worship a cunning/clever Krishna and an extremely patriarchal Rama..

This post has been written for a contest organised by WeChat and Indiblogger

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Teesta? Teesta… Where are you? Your friend is on the line, she wants to discuss your history homework. Only God knows what you’ll end up doing such stupid things! Only if you’d studied well! Teesta… shrieked Mr.Sen, opening the door to his daughter’s room. He stopped short as he entered the room and froze in his steps. A stream of liquid was moving gradually towards the door, in an awfully slow pace, dividing the room into two halves; the study table with her books unevenly spread on it and above it, a paper which had something scribbled on it. And the bed on the other side, draped with Teesta’s favorite bed-sheet, now stained red with the fluid and there she lay in a pool of blood, half-dropping from the bed to the ground, unconscious. Gautami… Gautami!!! Call the ambulance…

Teesta hated blood, she hated the sight of blood and it had taken him considerable time to acquaint her with her periods too. How could she then, do this to herself? My little girl, how much trauma did she undergo to slash her wrists so cruelly?  The thoughts clouded his mind as he held her hands delicately in the ambulance that was striding towards the hospital.
Mr.Sen’s conscience tugged at him, as the ambulance jerked due to the potholes and he cringed as he held his daughter’s hands with foremost care. Gautami Sen was a silenced woman, partly by shock and partly guilt taking over her as the couple sat next to each other looking helplessly at their daughter. Mr.Sen gave her a nudge that the mother needed to come to terms with the reality and she broke down, sobbing profusely.

I am proud of her, she is my princess. I haven’t really told her that. You know, few days back she asked me if I am proud of her and I did not tell her directly that I am. I told her that she hasn’t done anything to be proud of. In fact, I told her how she has brought shame to us by scoring so badly and then choosing to study arts…

“…humanities”, Mr.Sen interrupted her. Gautami nodded silently, tears running down her cheeks as she continued praying with folded hands. Teesta had interrupted him similarly few days back, in the same manner. She had been browsing her Facebook account when he’d entered her room and smirked, “So, congratulating your other friends who’ve scored so well? 100 in maths, science and social studies while the highest you got in any paper is 85 that too in SST! And I should not even begin talking about maths or science!

Teesta’s eyes had welled with tears, as she hid her face in her curls and turned to the computer screen. And to add to her pain, the news feed was full of congratulatory status updates and pictures. People tagging each other… congratulating…and wishing each other luck… 96.6%, 94%, 92%... How could so many people score better than her? Was she really not good? Her teachers had always appreciated her, especially her English teacher. He’d gone to the extent of telling Teesta that someday she’d be known as a great poet and laureate. And yet, she had broken all hopes by scoring a 70 in English.

The next day, Teesta hardly got out of her room. Whenever called, she’d excuse herself saying that she was studying. The same routine had followed for weeks now. It had been two weeks since her new session had begun and she had chosen to study Humanities. Her parents had already been disappointed by her ‘dismal’ results that’d been announced only days back. But she, opting for humanities had crushed all hopes that Mr.Sen had brewed for his daughter being an engineer or a CA. That night she again refused to come out of the room with the same excuse. “What on earth do you need to study for the stupid arts subjects?” he’d snarled at her. Teesta came out of the room, winced and muttered, “Humanities, Baba. It is humanities, much more than arts. Why don’t you at least try to understand what and how much it means to me, Baba? Can’t you give me one chance, I asked for just one!” before she turned around and went into her room and closed the door behind her.

Only if he’d stopped her then, only if he’d said that he’s okay with whatever she does as long as is seriously pursuing it. That he was so proud of the wonderful human being and daughter she’d become. But we never say such things, because these are exposures of our own vulnerabilities. In the path to guiding Teesta to her path to success, Mr.Sen realized that he’d failed in walking his own path properly. He had not been appreciative of Teesta, in fact he’d always been cynical right from her birth. First that she was a girl child and he had wanted a son. Secondly, Teesta always seemed to get disappointed by him, though she never expressed it, he’d read his failure as a father, as a friend and as a hero, in her eyes.  

And he always put it on Teesta, scolded her for being imperfect, for not being ‘good enough’ while the truth was that he was not good enough. His intentions were always to guide his daughter, to curb her from doing the mistakes he’d done, the suffering he could’ve avoided by not trespassing into things that wouldn’t have made Teesta successful too. But how was he so sure? How could he not see the talent his daughter had, that he never had. The determination with which she pursued her passions such as poetry and painting, he’d always lacked such instinct. And today he failed as a parent too. He joined Gautami in her prayers, asking God for one more chance to make things right.

The Next Morning…

Sir…Mr.Sen, just one question Sir. The students deserve to know Sir. What is going on in your mind?
Sir…Why did Teesta choose suicide over life?
Sir..Sir… What would you like to say to the youth of this country? And to the parents?

A flock of press reporters rushed in front of the hospital entrance loaded with questions and cameras. Mr.Sen turned to the media, moved his hand to the pocket on his chest, where Teesta’s last note resided and broke down, falling on his kneesI am sorry babu… I am sorry Teesta..Come Back! Come back… Give me one more chance…

The last post she’d made on Facebook was this:

 “And they’ll say told you so
We were the ones who saw you first of all
We always knew that you were one of the brightest stars…”
I wish someone would sing the song in my funeral…I wish I was worth it. I wish I too, was one of the brightest stars…

Don't ignore the signs you get from your children and sibling. Listen to them. Understand them...While you still can. We don't always get a second chance, do we?

The post has been written for the theme, "The Moral of the Story is..." by Colgate in association with Indiblogger. Colgate runs a blog called, My Healthy Speak which turned one year old this May. The blog is your one-stop answer to all dental-related queries, making it not just informative but also interactive with facilities such as Dentist Appointments, Virtual Dentist and Dentist Locator.