Why do I write here? Because this is a diary, devoid of emotions or reactions. A diary has everything noted, but never reads your words, and never reacts. It cannot comprehend the depth or intensity of your emotions, just being a silent witness.
One day, sooner than you know, I will have nothing left to say. Only a silence will prevail, a silence so long and resolute, that no words will be able to break through it. No words will mean anything, because that silence will devour them all. Here, in these words, let’s find our lost innocence. Our honesty. Because in our real life, I am not telling and you are not listening.
Uncategorized: being childlike Dealing with grief pratishtha shrotriya khan The Big Purge
by Pratishtha Durga
“Because if you couldn’t lose yourself to music, if you couldn’t trace your steps back to where it all started, just following the lyrics of the songs you have loved through the ages, you never lived… And you most definitely, did not Love.”
I live by these words. For me, I have found, in music, the life I have always longed for, that perfect romance, that beautiful ending, stories that followed the graph, triumphs of heroes, and pain that finally heals. In songs, I have found elusive closures, pursued unending horizons and met a girl walk past, who looked a whole lot like the woman that I am could never have been. I also met the woman that girl would have grown up into, look back at me, and she looked just a bit like someone I once knew.
You know those words I once used in an old post, “I am the Universe”? I know they are true, because inside our head, we have an entire Universe. I know I have one inside me. Countless characters live out their tales, legends are born and travel across lyrics penned by others, finding their destiny, making me laugh, cry, making my feet want to dance. Except, for some reason, in the last few months, I seem to have lost my music. I really don’t have a reason. In my world, everything is where it should be. But in my Universe, Planets full of dreams collide, on their course charted by fears, longings and journeys never quite made.
Which is why I need music. Because it completes this tiny, infinite Universe of mine. Whether it’s the languid charm of Damian Rice, or the firm beckoning of Glen Hansard… my real heroes sing, stealing scenes from my own story, penning them down, and playing them out to the world, so one day I will find those words, and know where I need to be, to find that missing chunk from my own story. In music, I find purity of human soul that our real lives miss. In a song alone, one can find that love that will survive togetherness and happy endings. In words fit perfectly my dreams pint sized and gigantic. When I am crying, and someone demands a reason, most of the times, a song can be the answer. Because music, to me, is the perfect language. It is fueled by something yet untapped in all of us.
And yet, I sometimes lose my music, and cannot quite find my songs. But then, it turns out that I had just misplaced it for a while, and my Universe comes alive again. So if you live in my world, and you think you know me, think again. Because to think that you know me, would be like assuming that I know you. I cannot. I’d rather not. There is an entire Universe, right here, inside my head. You know nothing of its existence. If only you could see… But then, you don’t sing, do you?
Uncategorized: alone in my head Dealing with grief Lifein2suitcases living alone pratishtha
by Pratishtha Durga
So this week kind of went into revisiting my old posts here, at lifein2suitcases. The dialogues I have had with myself, when no one was listening. Or maybe, they were. Maybe, you were among them. Why do I write here? Because, in my life, the life I live in the maximum city, everyone wants to be heard, but no one listens. It’s not a physical deafness. It’s far deeper than that. No sign language will break through this disability. Your words will ricochet off the binary laden walls of the cyberspace, and fall back at your feet. And you will look down at them, as they will lie there, whimpering, “But no one heard!”.
I am a bit overwhelmed at the withering relationships all around me. Where is there any reason to hope when everything you grew up believing turns out to be a dead end, or an omnipresent farce? Love, bonding, soul-mates, friendship, loyalty, destiny, patriotism, courage-under-fire… everything turns out to be a mirage. How does one survive in a world like this? I know what I do. I write. I write when I am happy. I write when it’s dark. I write when I feel longing, or hurt, or joy, or betrayal. Because if I don’t write, no one will listen. People closest to you are the ones who know you the least. My words are not for them. They are for a world that should have been mine, if everything was as it should have been. But the little girl grew up, became an orphan and the woman could never quite get back home. And we are all the same. Lost little children among a heap of unspoken conversations, unheard emotions. That’s why we have so many internal conversations. I know I do. Lots of them. And it’s okay. You are not morbid, or insane, or manic depressive if you spend hours inside your head. There is an entire world out there, inhabited by people like us. We are no freaks of this society. We are no exception, but the rule. So I write here. Hoping that one day, when either I am done talking, or when there is nothing more left to be said, someone is going to come here, read all the words, and say, “I heard you. Your story did not go untold.”
We women are a strange lot. Not more or less strange than men. Just a differently strange lot. We bleed for five days a month, and live to tell the tale. It does strange things to us. Shedding blood becomes just a thing that happens to us, nothing more. Think about it. It’s kind of strange. It does not make us braver. Or stronger. Just in that one more way different than men. And strange in a way women are strange. In any case, I don’t think being braver, stronger, better has anything to do with being a man or a woman, being rich or poor, being gay or straight. It’s just a matter of being what you are, who you choose to be, and where you are too scared to be heading.
I have been a bit peeved about turning this blog into a darned food blog. Was not comfortable with the idea from the very first day. And now, it seems, I might lose this space. But this space, in the first place, was about letting things go. And I have been a miserable failure at that. It’s about time I call that bluff and come clean.
A couple of days back, a maniac went out and shot twelve people he had never seen before. I don’t read the news, or watch any, but stuff like this comes to me. It gets me thinking. Human race would kill its own kind, without passion, without conviction, in a bout of madness, just like that. Someday, some guy not able to take this city’s madness might turn around and shoot a few, and I might be one of them. And I don’t want to die not having told you all that I am back to square one in my life. Yup. Square one. Not an inch moved.
Do I travel? No. Did I achieve even a fraction of what I wanted? No. Have I failed myself terribly? Some days, it does seem like that. So what have I done to shift my life into those two mythical suitcases I so desperately wanted it packed into? Practically nothing. The sad bit is that I was almost there, and then, I gave it all up, fell back into my old patterns, and today, I find myself exactly where I was a few years ago. I have gone back to accumulating so much that even my shoes won’t fit into two suitcases, leave alone my life. And I have gladly let myself be inducted into that sloppy club of mutual admirers galore, where everyone is telling everyone else how great they are and how fabulously talented they are, and how much they inspire those around them, and what great stuff they are doing for the world. When in fact, we all are just a bunch of mediocre muck, trying to look cool by hanging out with cool people, not realizing that those cool people are siphoning of their own coolness off someone else’s cool. I don’t know if that made sense, but tonight babies, I drank the Truth Serum, and stuff isn’t pretty inside my head.
Oh, so one teeny important bit. I won’t be putting that Food Stuff here. Not anymore. This is the only place in the world where I can let my thought be what they are. Where I don’t have a Followers List, where I don’t care who reads and who doesn’t, because this is one place where I can hope to one day find what I have been looking for. At least, I know I will keep looking.
Uncategorized: 356 Breakfasts in 365 days Food Blogger Healthy Breakfast recipes life changing project Lifein2suitcases pratishtha shrotriya khan Simple sandwiches Tomato and Basil Sandwich recipe
by Pratishtha Durga
Can’t believe the Bitch Karma is ! I might lose this blog and all its content as the domain name was bought for me by someone else who can’t quite figure out how to transfer it in my name Well, life goes on. In any case, I have always been a bit mixed up about mixing food with Philosophy. Whatever gives! I might move this blog to another name, and hope you all read it there. After all, what’s in a name! The show must go on. And all that jazz. I hear a lot of talk about blogging around me. Phrases like SEO, Monetization, Blog Integration, Sponsors, Go-Pro… But truth be told, I never started blogging for money. I have a day job, and I love doing what I do. More money has never been an objective. Finding joy and balance in life are truly the pursuits I prefer. This blog has been a healing power for me, and perhaps that’s why it irks that I might have to move house. But as always, cooking comes to the rescue. Ironically, more people have started reading the blog since recipes made an appearance here. Just goes to show, that food heals faster than Philosophy, right!
For now, I leave you not with the burden of my rant, but with a simple and easy breakfast recipe. never ever again can you excuse yourself for leaving for work hungry. Just a couple of minutes to have some happy food sticking to your ribs.
Tomato and Basil Sandwich
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
Italian pizza bread or a baguette
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Butter or Nutrilite spread
- I used Pizza bread for the sandwich. Lightly toast the bread, spread the butter or Nutrilite on one side, and keep aside.
- I usually toss everything together in a large bowl. To give it an extra flavor, I used a thin sliver of an amazing Hungarian Pepper Sauce I had, but you don’t really need it for this recipe.
- Spread a layer of tossed sandwich filling on the buttered pizza bread base. Top it with another base, and slice into four pieces. There are many things you can add to this sandwich, like avocado, prosciutto, roasted peppers and anything else you like in your sandwich. I prefer this simpler version.
Uncategorized: 356 Breakfasts in 365 days Broccoli and sweet potato stir fry Healthy Breakfast recipes Lifein2suitcases
by Pratishtha Durga
Life is like a 5 year old driving daddy’s car. So dangerous, and unpredictable. You never know if you will steer clear of the oncoming traffic, or dive straight in, just another roadkill. My life tends to get stuck in second gear, every now and then. But when it accelerates, I have to push myself to the extremes to keep pace. It’s entering that phase now. I have not slept for two of the last three nights, and tonight’s sleep seems like a remote luxury. But I am not really complaining. In fact, I wish I had started earlier, and not been so slow in taking stock of my life. Everyone else seems to have raced ahead, not knowing that I intend to walk the tracks at my own pace, and I might not necessarily be heading where they all are going.
And every now and then, I am comfortable with that fact. That I am not running in the same general direction the world seems to be rushing off into. I am, every now and then, okay with being left behind. Like, a couple of years ago, I wanted to be a famous fashion blogger. Now, I am really quite happy being a little known Lifestyle Blogger, having way more fun doing things I love doing. For the first time, perhaps, I am able to step back, take a break, and look at my life. And you know what, there is another first that’s happening right now. I am liking what I am seeing of my life. I am even admiring it. And that’s quite an unfamiliar feeling for me.
The breakfast project has given my life the discipline and focus I generally lacked. There is no getting away from it. It has generated so much buzz, gotten so many eyes fixed on mee, that I cannot step back, and call it quits. Something I have always done with my life. And this same focus is very, very slowly seeping into other aspects of my life. I am so full of positive energy, though I must confess that there is still a whole lot of negative baggage to rid myself of. But things are definitely changing. And I am glad that I have reached here, however late. Every now and then, a pang of envy strikes, seeing the younger, more glamorous lot doing so much more than I can ever think of doing. But of late, it subsides faster.
Funny how we find ourselves in tiny events. There really must be a damn fickle God of Small things out there!
Now for the recipe. This is among my favorites and it’s mood-food for me. Try it on a day you aren’t particularly kicked about life. Apart from being delicious, it’s a health packed recipe! Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and D. This means better heart health, better skin, higher energy levels, stronger teeth and bones.
Broccoli is great for your nervous system, blood pressure, immune system, and prevents cancer!
SWEET POTATO, BROCCOLI STIR-FRY
2 medium-size sweet potatoes, boiled
Vegetable cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup sliced broccoli stems (1/4-inch thick)
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened orange juice
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- Boil some water and soak the broccoli for about 5 mins. Drain and rinse in cold water. Keep aside.Peel sweet potatoes; slice into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
- Coat a wok or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Keep it on medium heat. Add sweet potatoes and garlic, stir-fry 4 minutes. Add broccoli; stir-fry 3 minutes.
- Combine soy sauce, orange juice, and ground red pepper. Add to vegetables, and stir until thoroughly heated.
Uncategorized: 356 Breakfasts in 365 days Apple Sandwich recipe Breakfast Ideas Lifein2suitcases
by Pratishtha Durga
I know, I know! I haven’t posted, like in an eternity. And now that I am back to posting, I have decided to post only my favorite recipes for now, instead of each recipe in a chronological order. If you want any specific recipe from the Pictures posted on the Facebook page, do let me know. Thanks for putting up with my sporadic posting. I have a lot happening in my life right now. Will share that soon. Back to the recipe now.
This was our day of indulgence, so I added the cream biscuit to the recipe. On a good day, skip the biscuit and add Granola instead. The protein and fat in the peanut butter provide a good start to the day, while the apple and the quercetin it contains provide fiber and protection against some cancers and heart disease. You can try numerous variants with this recipe, and even serve it at a party. If you are not going to serve the sandwiches right away, don’t forget to brush them with lemon juice to prevent browning.
2 small apples, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
3 tablespoons peanut butter
4 Cream Biscuits (I used these instead of Granola in my version of the sandwich)
- Start by brushing the apples slices with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Spread one side of half of the apple slices with peanut butter then add one biscuit. Top with remaining apple slices, pressing down gently to make the sandwiches.
- Transfer to napkins or plates and serve.
Uncategorized: 356 Breakfasts in 365 days Breakfast Ideas Food Blog Healthy Breakfast recipes Indian Food Blog pratishtha shrotriya khan
by Pratishtha Durga
This wasn’t a good day for me. I had woken up with the blues, and felt a bit feverish. So I needed a filling breakfast, that might also do wonders for my mood. I am a great fan of Zucchini, and use a lot of this wonderful summer squash, whenever it’s in season. Add to that it’s many health benefits, and you will run out of reasons to make friends with Zucchini when it comes to breakfast! Please remember, one cup of zucchini has 36 calories and 10% of the RDA of dietary ﬁber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar and curbs overeating. So here is my recipe for a goodness filled breakfast that also washes away the blues.
Zucchini and Potato burgers in whole-wheat burger buns
4 whole wheat burger rolls
250g potato, boiled, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 zucchini, grated and excess water squeezed out
1 egg lightly beaten
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup bread crumbs
- Mix potatoes with garlic, parsley, zucchini and egg. Form into 4 patties.
- Roll patties in bread crumbs
- Heat large non-stick frying pan. Brush it with oil and heat. Cook patties over medium heat for 4-5 mins on each side or until cooked. Keep warm.
- Halve the rolls and toast. Top one half with burgers. You can also add lettuce, onion and tomato. Place the other top on this one and serve warm.
Uncategorized: 356 Breakfasts in 365 days breakfast project Food Blog life changing project pratishtha shrotriya khan
by Pratishtha Durga
Idli and Rawa Dosa at Walton Hotel
Poha, Omelet, toast at Bordi
We went out for a road trip to Bordi, and what a trip it was! It fascinates me that right outside Mumbai are such beautiful treasures tucked away within thick green covers, by the beachside… On the first day, we decided to stop for breakfast at this joint called the Walton Hotel. Now, I must confess that I love eating at roadside joints. I think some of these have really amazing food. At Walton, I ordered a plain, steamed idli with Sambar, while Husband ordered Plain dosa and sambar. We ended our breakfast with some excellent coffee. Watching the Highway as we ate was an added bonus delight.
I have to confess that I am a road trip girl. And I am fortunate to have as a partner, someone who shares my passion for road travel.
Once we reached Bordi, we checked into this lovely, quaint guest house run by a wonderful Parsi Couple. The place is very basic, with a swimming pool, and the beach a small walk away. But what makes it a truly special experience is the food. Cooked in their own kitchen, the veg and non-veg meals are truly divine. Our Sinday breakfast, served under the Garden Gazebo, was simple onion poha, omelets, and crisp toast. But amidst all the green cover, and super-relaxed after our morning swim, we devoured the generous helpings, enjoying every bite.
The trick to breakfasts while travelling is to keep it simple and stick to the basics. Most places won’t go wrong with these. Also, keep yourself hydrated, and ask for fresh juices.
I am now looking forward to our next trip. On an average, we aim for at least one weekend trip every month. That ways, we cover at least twelve new places around our city.
Uncategorized: 356 Breakfasts in 365 days Food Blog Healthy Breakfast Ideas Healthy Breakfast recipes Lifein2suitcases pratishtha shrotriya khan
by Pratishtha Durga
Leftover scrambled Roti and leftover paneer sandwich, coffee shake
I love this kind of breakfast. I think that leftovers from the night before so often make perfect inspiration for a delicious morning meal. So on this day, we had a stack of chapattis (Flat bread), and some paneer tikkas from the night before. Together, they made an excellent morning feast!
- 8 leftover chapattis, broken into tiny pieces
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped spring onions
- 6-7 pods garlic, chopped
- 1 small carrot, chopped
- 2 tbsp Tomato ketchup
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup water
- Add the oil to the broad non-stick pan. Once it heats up, add the chopped garlic pods and let them brown a bit. Add spring onions and stir for a while.
- Add water, salt and chopped carrots to the pan. When water boils over, add crumbled chapattis, slowly, stirring continuously.
- Cover with the lid, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring in between.
- Remove the lid and add ketchup, stirring till water evaporates, and the scramble begins to dry.
1 cup paneer tikkas
6 slices of multigrain bread
1 tbsp schezwan sauce
- Crumble the paneer, and heat it in a pan. Add the sauce and cook for a while. Remove from the gas.
- Put a thin layer of butter (or any spread of your choice), and toast the bread slices.
- Put a thin layer of paneer on a slice, cover with another slice and press gently.
- Grill in the oven for about five mins.
- Serve hot.
Instant coffee powder
Sugar/ Agave nectar/ Splenda or any sweetner of your choice
- Put together in a blender and blend of a couple of minutes, till frothy and light.