Sitamgar September…

sitamgarSeptember has become one of those months that I don’t look forward to – AT ALL! No offense to anyone who have their birthdays, anniversaries or other important dates during this month..  2 years ago, I didn’t have this bias towards September as well..

My dad always used to say that September was a month of major significance in his life.. he was born (Sept. 17th), got married (Sept. 22nd) and lost his older brother (Sept. 18th) – all in the month of September. He used to tease my mother regarding their wedding anniversary being in September as well…

“Bara bharee para hai mere zindagi pe yeh maheena..” 

The September of 2014 – the toughest time ever, in our lives… we celebrated his last birthday in the ICU.. we celebrated Ammi Abbu’s 45th anniversary in the ICU…and 2 days later he left us..

2 years ago today, on 25th September 2014, my dad passed away.. with his hand in my hand…. I saw him leave this world… I saw him taking his last breaths, I felt his hands losing their warmth… I couldn’t sleep for months.. because every time I closed my eyes, it would play like a movie in my mind… He just slipped out of my hands…… with all of us helpless beside him. Seeing death, this up close and personal changed everything for me….. everything!

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The immortal belonging of us mortal beings… My dad’s ring which I treasure more than anything!

Losing a parent is like getting exposed to the direct scorching sun.. like someone has taken the roof above your head… It can not be explained in words but only understood when someone loses a parent. I never understood it before that day… I never felt that pain, before that day.. but there is an ACTUAL pain that you feel in your heart!

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August 2014… If only I could feel the warmth of his hugs ..just one more time..

My granddad’s death (who I used to call my best friend and who coincidently passed away in September as well ).. was a horrible time for our family… my first experience of losing a loved one.. I was in my teens at that time.. and it hurt badly… Although, we miss him so dearly… but I don’t feel that pinching pain in my heart whenever I remember him….(I am sure my mum does..). Instead, my heart fills up with warm ,loving  and happy memories of him…BUT not incase of Abbu…I feel a sharp pain, in my chest when I think about him..

My dad was an amazing man.. (read more about him here.. ).I am SO proud to be his daughter!

Can I please ask you to recite a Surah-e-Fateha for my father…

Dr. Hasan Bin Ahmed Rizvi s/o Syed Hussain Ahmed Rizvi

17 September 1941- 25 September 2014

 

My Recipe Book and More…

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After almost an year of coming into the blogging world, I wanted to take this opportunity  to tell my followers , of how grateful I am for their love and support. I cannot put into words,the immense pleasure it gives me when people tell me that they tried a certain recipe and loved it.. I have valued every single message, be it from friends or from total strangers. It’s amazing how far things go on social media.. I have had the most amazing and astonishing experiences! I get so overwhelmed to see the feedback on the recipes I have posted. Thank you for all the love!

Initially when I entered the blogging world, I kept asking my husband, if i will ever start making any money out of it…like professional bloggers do. And he kept saying, keep on building your site’s content… But then one day, during Ramzan, a lady messaged me after trying out a recipe, that her kids love it and she gave me so many duas (prayers) for sharing them.. and that day it hit me! This is much more precious than making money. The love and prayers I am earning, is so worth the effort I put in all my posts. If I can touch and make a difference in the life of even one human being.. its all worth it..

The MOST popular section of the blog is the “Recipe Of The Week”.  But I am often asked a few questions by my readers, like..

  • They sometimes miss the recipes I post on Facebook,
  • or struggle to get the link to the recipe page,
  • or if the pictures I use in my recipes are mine or do I take it off the internet.

So, let me tell you… Yes! the pictures used in all my recipes are taken by me.. they are not off the internet.. they are the actual result of the posted recipe. In fact,most of the pictures on the blog are shot by me( I enjoy playing with my camera…) and if they are not my photos .. you would see a picture credit underneath the photo. I try to take pictures step by step during the whole cooking process, to show how the food would look at each stage.🙂

Now regarding the problem of missing the posts on Facebook.. If you don’t want to miss any post, you can change the notification settings on my blog page. This would ensure that  instead of the new recipe getting lost in your Facebook news feed, you will get a notification every time I post something.notification-setting-2

The recipes I have posted until now are all available on ONE page (Menu -> From My Kitchen ->Recipes) or directly access through the link

https://diaryofapmpmom.com/from-my-kitchen/  

(You can bookmark the link if you don’t want to go through the blog menu..)

You will get the list of all of my recipes, divided into categories like Desserts, Juices and Smoothies, Snacks, Chutneys and Sauces, Chicken, Seafood, Vegetarian and Beef and Mutton. You can click on the recipe to get the detailed recipe.

Hope this helps! Have fun cooking and do let me know if you try any of the recipes! I love hearing from you!

xoxo

Review: PINK

pink-movie-review-and-rating-2Most of you probably know that Amitabh Bachchan recently wrote a letter that caused mixed reactions from his fans. While some loved the message, others criticised it as a PR stunt for his latest film, Pink. I, myself was disappointed in the letter and his choice of words and therefore wrote a reply to him,which was published in Dawn (Read HERE if you missed that.. ).

However, in a recent interview, Amitabh Bachchan accepted that letter was actually related to Pink…

“When we were promoting the film, a lot of people were asking the story and concept of Pink, shared Amitabh. “We were getting a little hesitant as to what we should say. That’s when [producer] Shoojit [Sircar] suggested me to write a summary of the film in a letter and send it to my granddaughters. It will be for all the girls.”

This confession disappointed me further, as the ‘intent’ with which the letter was written became questionable.

Having said that, being a BIG B fan, I normally would not miss any of his films, specially that has good reviews. So we went last night to watch the movie, Pink. And half way through the movie, I couldn’t help but think..

“Why in the world did they (the team of movie Pink), even think of doing such a epic fail,PR stunt for a movie that didn’t need ANY -AT ALL! The movie speaks for itself! And it does so, simply put, BRILLIANTLY!”

The movie is about three independent middle class Delhi based girls, who escape a molestation attempt by a group of politically influential guys, by hitting a bottle on the head of one of them. She is then sued by him in a case of ‘attempt to murder’, which Amitabh Bachchan ( a lawyer suffering from bipolar disorder) takes up, as their defense lawyer.

Pink is a very powerful movie, that questions the society’s mindset where men and women are judged by a different yardstick. Women are judged by a certain set of standards that we, as a society have set (only for them ,not for men). And that’s why Pink is so relevant to us, specially in the Indian subcontinent (not only in India).  

I was (once again) blown away by Amitabh Bachchan’s performance in the movie. He’s one of the finest actors EVER! (and should stick to what he does best- acting, not publicity stunts ). This movie wouldn’t be the same without him!pink-movie-amitabh-bachchan-1024x681

Hats off to the creative team behind the movie that has managed to touch such a difficult topic with so much courage. The very strong message the movie screams, without beating around the bush…

“When a girl (no matter who she is, wife, sex worker, girlfriend… ) says No.. it means NO!”. 

What a powerful medium (cinema) to get such a powerful message across millions of people, at a time and place, when it is needed the most! Bravo!

My verdict: Pink is a powerful, bold, brutally honest and thought provoking courtroom drama thats slays the double standards of our society towards women. It’s a MUST watch!

WALK @ Home – A Workout For Lazy Bums!

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Do u LOVE food? Do you LIVE to eat? Are you too LAZY to exercise? Do you absolutely HATE going to the Gym?

If that’s you, then this post is for you! Read on..

So back in the days when I was still in my twenties, I had an absolutely awesome Body Metabolic Rate. I ate like a pig, yet I never gained any weight! I had so much of Coke/Pepsi that my friends used to say, my blood group should be ‘Pepsi +ve’! I was envied for my huge appetite and yet slim body..  To make matters (around my appetite) worse, I belong to a crazy type of a foodie family, who think about what to eat for lunch, even though we would still be sitting at the breakfast table .. and make plans for dinner before clearing away the lunch dishes! I never ever HAD to exercise (other than the P.E training in school😛, and we all know how enthusiastic we were about that!). And to top it all, our family history is loaded with cases of Heart disease, Diabetes and Hypertension.

So basically in all these years, I never took care of my diet or my health at all.. The first time I got a reality check was when I got Gestational Diabetes in my first pregnancy, and then in the second and then in the third one too.. So that makes me a high risk candidate for Diabetes, anyways. Now in my thirties, the metabolism has slowed down and I have started to put on weight.. This year I had two episodes of unstable blood pressure as well … so finally I decided that it’s time to stop and take care of my body and health.

Having the crazy foodie gene in me, I cannot STARVE myself at all! I hate diet plans because I have to have good food to satisfy my tastebuds..  I cannot live on boiled or grilled stuff.. Therefore I have done a few ‘sustainable’ lifestyle changes..

  1. No Soda (except for weekends or with biryanis and bunkababs)- I have stopped bringing Coke with the groceries..It’s only a weekend treat for me. I cannot quit it completely because I know if i do that.. I’ll relapse into it soon enough and would be begging my husband … “Zalima Coca Cola Pila De..”
  2. Lots of Water – I try to drink as much water as I can.. I keep a bottle with me even at home..
  3. No Skipping Breakfast – A healthy but hearty breakfast!
  4. A Big Bowl of Salad – before lunch (thats what I did during my Gestational Diabetes days). The salad usually fills me up and I automatically eat less carbs (bread/rice). I put whatever salan/gravy I have cooked on top of it as my dressing.. (A brilliant tip I learnt from my Sister In Law – keeps it light and the taste buds happy!). 
  5. A Very Light Early Dinner – usually just fruits.
  6. And last but not the least – Exercise! – Yes! (My friends just died of shock right now! )
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I have put on these before😀

By the way, this is not the first time, I have tried exercising, but those attempts failed.. Heres why:

  1. Gym: I once tried going to the gym, but for me, its too much work to get dressed, go downstairs at the Community Gym (though its free!) and that too without a gym partner! (I NEED a very motivated gym partner to keep me going!). And then even if I somehow managed to reach the gym, I would feel like crap looking at such fit people around me.. It made me very self conscious and therefore it didn’t last that long.
  2. Zumba: Yep, I have tried that too! It was just downstairs at the Community Room, but the effort required to get dressed (looking socially acceptable!), go down, pay for the class and then jump around feeling like an idiot ! I would stand in the last row, to avoid people to see what a total fool I looked like, trying to catch up and dance along with the instructor with my uncoordinated dance moves. Hence Zumba, died a natural death as well for me!

That is when I gave up on exercise. But then, my cousin lost about 12 kgs in a few months time and curious to know what the hell did she do.. I asked her.That is when I found about the Leslie Sensone 3 Mile Walk At Home program. walkathome

So what is it? Its a workout program in conjunction with The American Heart Association, comprising of indoor walking exercising programs: a one mile “gentle” (15 minutes) walking program and a two mile (30 minutes) and a 3 mile(45 minutes)”Brisk Walk”. Each walk is hosted by Leslie herself who keeps the aerobic style exercise  “easy” to follow but effective in results! Designed with “walking based” moves so that all fitness levels, all ages, all walks of life, can do it! There are just 4 basic moves (Brisk Walk, Kicks, Knee Lifts and Side Steps), so no need to worry about learning the dance moves or doing it wrong..Its just walk.. You can’t do it wrong! Basically you just have to walk in place, to the beat of the music! It starts off with a warm up walk and ends with a cool down walk. And it does get brisk and sweaty in between! (trust me!)

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All that you need for your workout..

You can buy the DVDs, or use their mobile app or simply just find the workouts on Youtube!

The best part is.. its so easy to incorporate in your daily routine..

  • You don’t have to get ready and go anywhere..You can do it in your home clothes.. (I do it in my pjs!). Just put on the right walking shoes!
  • No Gym/Fitness Class fee.
  • No embarrassment of how stupid or unfit you look! You can do it in the privacy of your room!

This is what I do now..once the kids are off to school, I have some fruit, put the lunch for cooking and while the food is cooking, put my walking shoes on and do my 3 mile walk. By the time I am done.. the food is ready too! (And then I message my cousin, that I have done it, and she does the same when she has.. that keeps me motivated!)

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You just need the right walking shoes! That’s all you need!

I started off with a one mile walk and gradually worked my way up to the 3 mile walk. I must confess that I absolutely LOVE it! Its such an amazing workout.. so do-able.. pretty brisk, yet in the privacy of my own room and without any fancy gym equipment or fee!  I have started this routine since I came back from the Summer holidays and have been loving the way I feel after doing it. Have never felt better!

It’s the perfect workout for all the lazy bums like me! Try it out.. No one is watching!🙂

As Leslie says..

Walk. Walk.Walk.Walk… Walk Your Way To A Healthy Heart!

Just keep walking…. Until next time!

 

Eid-Ul-Azha Mubarak!

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Eid-Ul-Azha Mubarak to all my readers across the globe.. and a very special one to all the Hajjis,who were blessed to perform Hajj this year!

May God, accept your prayers and Hajj!  This year two of our friends have gone for Hajj, leaving their children behind with the grandparents (such awesome grandparents and such brave parents MashaAllah!). A very very special Hajj Mubarak to them! img_7516

Wishing a blessed Eid to everyone with your family and friends and  a safe journey back home- for everyone who has gone for the most spiritual journey this year…

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For the rest of us, enjoy the Kaleji, Mutton Leg Roasts and BBQs guys!  Have FUN🙂

Aik Azaad Nazam, Ravi Ke Naam…

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If you are wondering who this guy in the picture is.. thats my husband, Mohsin… but I call him Mr. Incredible (why he got his nick name, find out here..).He’s a thinker, a poet, a musician and a very patriotic Pakistani.

On this September 6, while the Pakistani nation was celebrating our War heroes and the victory in the War of 1965, he was lost in his thoughts of what actually comes out of war…. and hence this azaad nazam.

Let me give you a little background on who “Ravi” is… So, during one of the travels, Mohsin came across a taxi driver, who was an Ex-Indian Air Force Pilot, who fought in the War of 1971.This nazam is based on Ravi’s true story.

This is a letter to Ravi , beautifully written by Mohsin… screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-8-24-00-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-07-at-8-24-23-pm


Here it is  -the Roman Urdu version, for people who CAN understand urdu but can’t read the urdu script.

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Nothing good comes out of war, EVER!

P.S. I apologize to my readers, who don’t understand Urdu, but the poetry will get lost in translation…