When ‘homemade’ no longer means ‘your’ home

He who depends on himself will attain the greatest happiness reads a Chinese proverb. So it comes as no surprise that everything today is ‘Made in China’ ! Unfortunately, no one really loves mass produced factory-made goods and advertisers were the first to realize this. Advertisers are always the first to realize everything. Labels like ‘Homemade’, or ‘Hand Painted’ or even ‘It’s a family company’ allow products to move into a ‘premium’ category. But when was the last time your home, your hands or your family made something (other than money)?

The process of creating by and large is always more satisfying than that of consuming. It does not need to be valuable or even praise worthy. It can simply be mediocre. Vincent Van Gogh once wrote in a letter to his brother Theo;

I do not at all despise mediocre in its simple sense. And one certainly does not rise above the mark by despising what is mediocre. In my opinion one must at least begin by having some respect for the mediocre, and know that it already means something, and is only reached with great difficulty.

These are my attempts. First being the cardamom mava cakes, which I must admit were delicious. Here is the recipe. The perfect accompaniment to a mava cake is some tea and a book. I picked up “Marrying Anita: A Quest for Love in the New India”. Now this ones far from being a classic, very far indeed, but a chick lit once in a while never hurt a soul. I even wrote a little review for the book on amazon.

This was a fun book, and I enjoyed reading it. However, you might be disappointed if you were hoping to find a deeper connection with the author and her life. I believe a lot of the negative reviews reflect that, since after a certain point it is difficult to relate to Anita’s experiences, especially the fact that her failed relationships seem to teach her nothing. Everyone has the right to act silly at any age, but one hopes the wiser ones realize their folly and correct themselves once the moment of insanity has passed. And one definitely hopes to be wise by thirty !

But I like her honestly and clarity and she is not afraid to say it like it is. She does have her preferences; she likes the poor boy from the village who works hard and becomes an artist, she does not like the poor boy from the village who works hard and becomes an IT engineer in New Jersey. But at no point is she pretentious which I find quite refreshing. She has preferences, we all do.

Surprisingly, Delhi seems to be light years ahead in terms of dating if compared to Mumbai. I can imagine smoking and drinking to your hearts content in Mumbai, every day, for FUN. But to do that when you’re here to find a husband? Hmm, never heard of that one! I have yet to meet an Indian woman who partied her way to marriage. What a boring world I live in!

So if you want to enjoy the book, don’t take everything it says too personally. It is about her, Anita, and not about the Indian woman you are, you love or hope to meet !

And finally a painting. It’s a concept called paint by numbers, where the supplier will send you a canvas with a drawing sketched out. There are even little numbers indicating the colors one must use for each section. Takes you back to primary school doesn’t it? Good old days, where the only worry you had was sticking inside the boundaries. Who says painting has to be hard work?

So there you have it. Nothing fancy, but truly homemade :)


Loving too much? Don’t!

women who love too much

Baby, Baby please don’t go
I think I’m getting high on feeling low…

A chapter from Women who love to much starts out with a song. Robin Norwood, the author, is trying to drive sense into women who – you guessed it – “love too much”! That’s right, too much of anything is not a good thing, and love isn’t spared either!

I share a love-hate relationship with self-help books. I LOVE buying them, but I HATE reading them! I rarely get past the second chapter, and by then I’m outraged by the absolute obviousness of the ideas and the lack of practical techniques that actually work. Soon the book is nothing more than the Asian Sky Shop exercise belts that give you a six pack while you relax! Who would buy them, you ask?

But this book I like, probably because its not pretentious and has so far not suggested any ridiculous 10 point technique. I haven’t completed it yet, but I came across a para on portrayal of love by society which I couldn’t resist sharing!

The author explains how art and literature have always dramatized and glorified the lover who suffers and bleeds in love. From the classics to the soap operas of our times, if someone is not suffering for love, its not love. It is just “boring”. If you meet someone and sparks don’t fly and your neighbors don’t burn, its not love. It is just “boring”.

I really really liked how she sums it all up – “..the quality of emotional interplay in healthy relationships is often more subtle than the blatant drama of unhealthy relationships …”

If you too (like me, I admit) believe love without great excitement or passion is not love, you might want to read this book. May be all those boring couples aren’t so boring after all ;-)

Keep loving :)