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Archive for December, 2009

I never took any New Year resolution till date. However, I want to break this trend of mine and have identified a few things that I must and will do in the coming year 2010. This is not just that I want to increase the number of my blogs, but to make it public so that if I’m not able to achieve what I’ve planned or promised to myself, it will at least be able to make me embarrass before whoever read my blog.

So, after lots of cautious thoughts and measurement of the pros and cons of my abilities, I’ve promised to myself that I’ll achieve the following goals in the coming year:

1. First and foremost, to lose at least 5K of my body weight, otherwise I’m gonna burst definitely. It is also started affecting my health. So, I’ve to be cautious about my weight and I’ll try my best to lose a bit of it by ASAP in 2010.

2. To read the Percy Jackson series, a fantasy series authored by Rick Riordan. It is quite difficult for me to read a fantasy series after reading Harry Potter, because the bar set by Harry Potter is something that I have not found or more precisely I believe I’ll not find. However, a couple of weeks back I along with my wife and a couple of friends went to watch AVATAR where I saw the trailer of the Percy Jackson movie. Immediately it clicked and after watching the movie I Googled about Percy Jackson and came to know about the entire series by Rick Riordan. Somehow, it aroused my interest and since it’s a Penguin publication, the next day I asked my wife to order a copy of the first book. Meanwhile, I downloaded the eBooks for the entire series and started reading the Book 1 online.
Just day before, I completed it and I must confess that I was satisfied after reading it. Though it definitely has some Harry Potter influences, it is a fun and enjoyable read and I think it will fill the vacuum that I felt after completing the Harry Potter series to some extent. So, I’m now looking forward to complete the next 4 books of the series as soon as possible in 2010.

3. Last weekend on the Christmas Holidays, me and my wife went to Dehradoon and Mussoorie – the very first trip where only two of us were going and we were not planning to visit someone’s place but some new places. Needless to say, we bumped across a couple of our friends in the train itself and we visited Mussoorie together. But then also, it was the first of its kind trip and we enjoyed a lot. I like exploring new destinations very much and to remain honest to this interest of mine, I’ve decided that I will travel at least 10 different destinations that is not too far from Delhi. I will exclude any place from the NCR region for this quest of mine.

4. Next resolution of mine is to learn the Guitar Staff Notation to some deep extent. This year, I’s introduced to the very basic of Staff Notation and I found it very interesting. But I have not able to devote much time on learning Staff this year. It’s not that I’ve not played the guitar a lot this year. In fact, I improved quite a lot in my guitar playing. Thanks to the various tutorials uploaded in YouTube. They are tremendously helpful. So, I’m quite confident that I’ll be able to learn and explore Guitar Staff in more detail by the end of 2010.

5. My 5th resolution is related to my office work. Since I’m in eLearning and that too in rapid eLearning, I have to be hands on with the different eLearning and rapid eLearning tools. Currently, I’m quite proficient in Lectora and PowerPoint. However, I’m planning to explore my capabilities in tools like Adobe Captivate and Adobe Flash, which will definitely going to provide me an edge in the field of eLearning.

6. Another book series that has been remained long pending in my to be read list is the Artemis Fowl series by Eion Colfer. A couple of months back I’d started reading the Book I of the series. I found the first few pages not much interesting. But as I went deeper into the book, it seemed quite interesting. It was entirely a different experience in Artemis Fowl. But due to some reasons, I was not be able to complete the book. And since then it has remained in my pending list. My wife read the complete series and she like it very much and told me that it was a must read. So, ultimately I decided to include this series also in my agenda of resolution in 2010.

7. Last but not the least, I’ll try to learn swimming in 2010. This will be a very big achievement for me if I’ll be able to learn how to swim because, I really fear water and you will not believe me if I tell you that whenever I went the rivers and ponds in my village with my friends of uncles for a bath, I always used to carry a mug or a jug so that I could draw water from the river for my bath. It was a rare feat for me to getting down in the river or pond and having my bath. But I’ll try to overcome my worst fear to learn swimming in the coming year. Wish me luck guys.

Apart from these seven resolutions, there will be many more things that I’ll do in the year 2010. For example, citing the two series of books in my New Year resolution, does not mean that whole year I’ll read only these two series of novels. I’ll definitely read more books more and more than 2009. Similarly, I’ll try to learn some more eLearning tools and will try to reach out some more places of my interest. I’ll also try to continue my regularly discontinued gym sessions and will start playing my kinda tennis in the IIT grounds once again. This year lots of people has visited our place. So, we have decided to visit you guys in the coming year. So, be ready, we will be going to appear from nowhere at your places sometimes in 2010 (lol 🙂  – don’t worry, we’ll inform you before). One more thing I’ve forgotten to mention that I’ll try to be more regular in my blogs. Last year I did at least one good thing by creating this blog and I’ll try my best to keep this going in the coming new year.

So, this is how I’ve planned my new year. Let me know if you guys want to share your new year resolutions. With this note, I’ll end the last post of 2009 for my blog. Wish everybody out there a very happy and wonderful new year. Enjoy and have lots of fun.

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The day before yesterday was my wife’s birthday. I promised my wife before her birthday that I’d not allow her to cook anything on her birthday. The cooking department would be mine on that special occasion. Though we’d invited only a few of our friends, I was a bit confused regarding what to cook. It’s not like that I don’t cook. Both me and my wife cook regularly at home. I like to cook plain, simple and fast, while my wife likes to go for organized cooking and try her hands on new things.

But on this occasion, I was hoping to do something special for her. So, that’s why I was a bit confused over what to cook. I bought dressed chicken as usual apart from mushrooms, paneer, and some other vegetables. I was clear about cooking chicken curry. The difficult part was the recipe. With chicken, my most common stint was to prepare plain chicken curry with Indian spices. Sometimes I would go for a little bit of gravy, while some other times I would like to go with dry fry. But on her birthday I wanted to do something different, something new. So, ultimately I decided to cook chicken with Worcester sauce and fish sauce, which we bought the previous night.

So, my first dish for her birthday was chicken cooked in Worcester and fish sauce. I’s a bit scared at first, because I’d never cooked anything using these two sauces before. But hoping for the best, I cooked the chicken. I didn’t used any other spices like, turmeric, cumin, or chicken masala. The only things apart from the sauces I used a little bit of black pepper and some fresh coriander. I must admit that while cooking I was a bit inspired by the movie “Julie and Julia” that I watched with my wife. It’s a very good movie, but we’ll talk about the movie some other time. In half an hour I cooked the chicken and I think I was satisfied with the smell coming from it. I was sure that it might not be of great taste but it wouldn’t be that bad either. SO, after cooking the chicken, I’s off to my next dish of the day – mushroom with soybean (Nutrela).

The night before Yasmin’s birthday, she cooked mushroom with soyabean and it was awesome. So, I’ve decided to try my hand on that. So, first I soaked the soyabean in water and in the mean time I sliced the mushrooms so that they won’t take much time to cook. After few minutes, I squeezed the soaked soys to empty the water. Then I sliced them too. Thereafter, it takes very less time to cook them in mustard oil with a bit pepper and coriander. But while cooking I was checking carefully that the mushrooms as well as the soys didn’t get overcooked. So, my second dish was ready and I felt a kind of satisfaction to try another new thing.

My third dish was also a new one for me. It was paneer cooked with tomato and spring onions. While I’s let the mushroom and soy to cook, I chopped the spring onions and tomatoes for my third dish. Also, I cut the paneer in square-sized pieces. I’m not too fond of paneer, but one my wife’s friend was vegetarian. So, I’d decided to keep multiple options for her. For my third dish, I first fried the spring onion and the tomato in hot oil for some time. I’ve also added some solid cumin. After 5-7 minutes, when the combination seemed to be half cooked. I added the paneer to it. Then it took only few minutes and my third dish was ready. It was really fast. Don’t you think? 🙂

Then, I saw some chopped potato in the kitchen, which I got chopped earlier by Chandan for the chicken. But while cooking the chicken, I didn’t feel like including the potato. It’s like ruining the new thing I was trying. Then Yasmin suggested me that I can cook the potato with mustard sauce, which will be a very good delicacy. Then in no time I was ready to cook my fourth dish of the day. It was the simplest of all the four dishes that I cooked that day. I just heated the oil and then add some cumin and black pepper in it. Then I added the chopped potato and fried it for 10 minutes. When the potato got cooked, I added a teaspoon of mustard sauce in it and cooked it for another minute and my fourth dish was ready.

So, I was ready with my four dishes along with the plain daal that I cooked before cooking all these four dishes. I must admit that I haven’t cooked such a variety of dishes in a single day. However, I felt a kind of satisfaction for being able to make all the things. May be the dishes are not of great taste, but I was happy that I had done something special for my wife on a special day of hers. That’s the most satisfying part.

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I Love Gems :-)

Apart from the recent visit to Assam and my appraisal, nothing significant is happening in life now a days. Due to consistent work pressure from the past few weeks my blogging status also remains standstill. Even I’m unable to give proper time to my new guitar that I brought hoping to improve my guitar learning.

However, between all these, last week I received a testimonial in Orkut from one of my former colleagues. She is not only a colleague but also a very good friend of mine and my wife’s as well. I was nostalgic reading her testimonial, when she wrote about our working days and how I used to eat Cadbury’s Gems. I literally forgot how much I loved to eat Gems. I am not a chocolate lover, but I like Gems from the day I ate it for the first time. But reading her testimonial, I realized that I hadn’t eaten Gems for a long time may be a year or two. This is not like that I started disliking Gems but I forget to cherish my tastes due to lack of time or may be due to my reluctance to think what I used to like earlier. But this very small incident has inspired me to think over again about the things I liked to do in my earlier days, like reading tinkle, playing online pool, a little bit of singing, chatting with my friends, watching movies with friends, and of course pop in Gems, and many more.

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