Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Singapore Diaries- The 5 challeges of residing abroad.

Hello everyone!! So this year certainly hasn't been the one where I've posted a lot on on my blog. The reason being a lot happening on the personal front. I got married in September (Oohh Yes!) and moved from home country India to Singapore with my wonderful husband, within a few days after that. My husband, my pillar of strength & suppport, has been living here for quite a while and is well-versed with the country, so it's a big plus. Even then, it indeed has been quite a big change for me in many ways. Yes, I've been to another country than my own, yes I've stayed on my own for a while, but this, this is like really different from all of that.

So yeah, coming back to the topic, Singapore.. Yes Singapore is a beautiful country. It is clean, well maintained and systematic. It has plush locales and amazing views. It has many picturseque places and amazing infrastructure. It is like a blend of modern and ancient in many ways. The country is a melting pot and blend of many cultures like Chinese, Malaysian, Philipino and of course Indian (Especially south Indian) cultures. There is always a buzz, there is a lot happening around, people are always on the go and it's got an energetic vibe overall.

So yeah, It's a good country/city.

We'll talk more about it's awe-inspiring qualities, technology and beauty in times to come.

It's an incredibly stunning place in many ways and I'd like to talk more about it in my upcoming posts.

In this post, I particularly want to highlight a few challenges/ problems I faced when moving from one country to another. If you are an Indian you will surely relate to it and even if you are not,  then I'm sure you will relate to atleast some of them. It has nothing to do with the country per se. I feel any new country one moves to, one is bound to face these issues, atleast in the inital period.

1. New norms and rules.

Every country has some rules and regulations and one just doesn't question them. One has to adhere to them. Here in singapore, you can't eat/chew/sell chewing gum in public, there is a charge for littering around, there's a ban on homosexuality, you cannot feed pigeons or you are fined, etc etc sheesshh you get the idea.. It's a totally different world with people living differently. Some laws like ban on littering are much needed. That's why Singapore is so well maintained and plus. But some others are just weird. But yes that's how it is. Accept and adapt.

2. Culture differences

Of course, any new place one goes, the culture is different. Singapore is pretty multi-cultured and has a majority of Chinese and Malaysian culture and yes a large number of South Indians live here too. If you know me, you'd know that am fascinated by new cultures and different sorts of people, it's pretty interesting. But still, there is no denying that there is a difference in the way people talk, the way they dress, mannerism, etc and no denying that it takes a while to get used to. Fascinating definitely, but also quite challenging.

3. Food.

Of course! The basis of any country and it's culture is almost synonymous with the food they eat. Singapore cuisine is really unique with Chinese, Malaysian, Philipino, Vietnamiese cuisnines available. Indian cuisine available here tastes a bit different than what one would eat back home.
I like the variety of dishes offered by this place. Even then, being the typical desi in many ways, I miss food back home and the restaurants back in India. One can relate to that if staying abroad for a long time. The only way to eat food the way you do back home is to prepare it yourself. Eating outside can often be a challenge to your palette as well as your pockets and even if food is quite good, just because you aren't used to it, you need some time to adjust. Also, as vegetarians, me & my husband hunt for places serving vegetarian food all the time and trust me, that can be quite a daunting task.

4. Cost of Living.

This is a no-brainer. If you come from a country like India, everything seems overpriced. From clothes, to food, to bags, to shoes, paying rent, to health, to insurance. One has to calculate costs and weigh options carefully.  If you are a typical Indian like me who's recently moved to a foreign land, you have this tendency to convert foreign currency into Indian rupees and then do the math. (Lol) So yeah, cost of living is pretty high in many foreign countries. Travel is cheaper in Singapore though. The transport system of the trains  and buses is fantastic and I would say traveling around here is much cheaper than back home.


5. Do-It-Yourself

When you live abroad, you have to do most things by your self. Manage everything. Everything means literally everything. From cooking, to cleaning, to washing, to fixing anything, to other stuff. Back home in India, labour is cheap and one can afford to keep house help and there's always someone available to fix things for you, like say the plumber, the carpenter, the driver, etc. Staying abroad takes-off that dependency from you. You have to fix most things yourself, cook and clean for yourself, etc. etc.

It does make one very self-reliant and good at managing a lot of stuff. Nevertheless, it's quite challenging initially and fatigue can take it's toll. It's especially tough for students studying abroad as well. Yes, we do gain a lot, it makes us independent and resilient, but it's still one of the biggest challenge Indians face, while staying abroad.

So yes, there are a lot of issues one faces when he or she moves to another country. If you've faced any of these, or any other issues do share with us in the comments. In the end, I'd like to say moving out of India to another country has it's own perks and the challenges can be overcome in due course of time.

That said, I'd say Singapore is a good place to be, and so is the rest of the world. I love my country but that doesn't stop me from appreciating other countries and their awesomeness. Whichever part of the world you are in, just enjoy and live life to the fullest. That's all I'd like to say.

Till then,

Dream. Imagine, Be Crazy. Be You. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Have we justified our Freedom??

Hey everyone!! So, this blog- A Moment Of Freedom celebrates it's 100th post! Wow! I never really thought I will make it till here. Honestly, I don't post as often and especially this year, it's been quite busy, especially on the personal front.

Anyway, without you all reading my posts, this blog wouldn't have been anywhwere at all, and I am committed even more to bring even more bettter posts and content for all of you to read.

All my posts have always been heartfelt and I usually don't write something which I don't agree with or relate to.

To all those who read, thank you. I am extremely grateful to everyone who's read this blog.

We have crossed over 1,30,000 views for this blog and I am so happy with that!!

Through this blog, I 've grown not only as a writer, but also as a person.




So, as I write this, Independence day 2018 is already here. A lot of things have been spoken about
and go on in our country. I would say currently, it is a tough period for all of us, with politicians fighting, riots happening and opinions divided, it's quite a confusing phase for the nation here.

We have achieved Independence from many things, but we are still chained and bound by outdated idealogies and selfish motives.

Just today, I was reading the news of Army Major Kaustubh Rane who was martyred, along with other three army men, during infiltration operations on August 7 in the Gurez sector of Jammu & Kashmir in which two terrorists were eliminated.

We keep reading, hearing news of army jawans losing their life. Sometimes, we feel sorry, but most of the times, we remain unmoved by such kind of news.

Today, the word nationalism has been misconstrued and misused more than ever. There are people in this nation who refuse to stand up for the national anthem, just to prove a point. There are people in this country who oppose the government, who play politics, create unrest and try to divide people in the name of religion and caste.

There are people who feel pride in opposing the rules and criticizing the army. Media houses are paid to be in favour of certain views and opinions.

I say there are a lot of people with seflish agendas and vested interests in the political parties that we have in the nation. The one thing common between all of them is that they want power (and of course money.)

The problem is majority of the people today, get influenced by these people and thus fights are happening in the country in the name of caste, creed, religion and what not.

Divisive politics is a very smart strategy played by these power hungry people and they have influenced a majority of the crowd in this country.

Thus we have one set of people in the country who are blinded and prejudiced and have contrasting views. Then there's a major set of people in the country who is indifferent. They have total apathy about the country and the happenings around them. They speak up only when it suits them.

Also, these days, it is supposed to be a fad to be criticizing the government, criticising Indian culture, disrespecting the national anthem. It's become a trend to bash each other and get outraged at the tiniest of the things.

Under the guise of being an intellectual, liberal or a social activist, there are quite a few people who are discreetly promoting their agendas and subtly influencing people in direction they want to.

Today, on the occasion of Independence Day, I want to ask you all, everybody, including myself, a few questions...


  • Are we citizens of this country, worthy enough for that soldier to lay his life for us? Do we as citizens deserve to be defended?'



  • Are we acutely aware of the pain these people undergo just to protect us at the border and keep us safe?



  • Are we citizens who are worthy enough to represent our culture and tradition with pride on the global level?



  • Are we as citizens, growing, evolving, educating and learning on a personal & professional level?



  • Are we as citizens sensitive to others around us and do we show humanity and compassion when required?



  • Are we living upto the expectations our ancestors and freedom fighters had when they lay down their lives for us??



  • Are we citizens worthy enough to be looked upon by the world??


  • Have we justified the gift of freedom bestowed upon us??




As citizens of this country, we have full right to demand a better nation, a more safer, technically advanced and competent country.

But, as citizens it is "we" who form the nation and it is upto us to be better people in order for this country to develop.

These questions, their answers have to be sought by each one of us in our own way. There is no one right way. We have to find our path and get on to it. So that we become better citizens and people.

We have to make ourselves worthy of the freedom given to us and not just feel entitled to it.

Only then can we proudly say that we are truly Independent.

Till then, Happy whatever!

The fight continues..


Until the next post..

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au Revoir!

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Humanity vs Brutality: The Battle.

Hello everyone!!

So, it's been quite a while and I'm back to blogging after long! I've made a mental note now to be more frequent with my posts here.
 Sharing with all of you a poem on humanity and it's battle with brutality.

........

"When people fight over petty issues
Humanity cries
When people support the wrong
Humanity is astonished
When there are wars
where people kill
in the name of religion
when they masscare the other
without a care
Brutality is filled with smugness of it's victory
While in the corner, Humanity bleeds...


When innocent children are harmed
when young girls are maimed
when injustice is done
Brutality gloats in glory
and slowly strangles
Humanity with it's bare hands..

When the cloud of brutality
overtakes the morals and ethics of people
when there are hidden agendas
and selfsh motives
behind harming others
through words or actions
Humanity struggles to breath
she struggles to survive..
she struggles to break free
and wants a chance to live again..

Whilst Humanity is dying a slow death,
in her battle with brutality and cruelty..
don't you want to know,
what could keep her alive and thriving?
what could keep her happy and carefree?

'You' my friend can keep her breathing..
 you can help her survive through your gentleness
Through willingness to listen
with an open mind
through accepting people
irrespective of their caste, culture or creed
through speaking up when it's due
and standing up for what's right

Just a small gesture
a small act of kindness
a tiny bit of help
makes Humanity shine in all gloriousness

Humanity thrives on justice
She'll flourish on forgiveness
and glow when there's compassion..



Humanity, the essence.. binding us all
without which we will all fall
It's upto us to make Humanity live
and help her defeat brutality with all might
by standing by what's right..





Only we can aid her in keeping her spirit

Because no matter where we are
and what we do
we simply are
HUMAN... "






...











So there you go. Hope you all liked this one. and see you all soonest with a new blog post.

Till then

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au revoir.







Sunday, 25 February 2018

4 simple ways to get out of the Comfort Zone.

Hello everyone!
So it's the first blog post of 2018! It's already been almost two months into the year and I hope the year is going good for all.


  I would like to bring to you 4 very simple ways to get out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons.

What is the comfort zone?
A comfort zone is a zone for each one of us where we feel safe or at ease, where we use only tried and tested methods which can yield only the same type of result.

Why get out of it?
Getting out of the zone, means essentially adding more value to your life, growth in terms of personal and professional life. It basically means expanding your horizons, facing your fears and doing something you have not done before, to make your life more meaningful than it is now.

In fact, writing a blog post on something like this, is me getting out my comfort zone as well, because it's different from what I usually write.

Here I am sharing with you four effortless yet significant ways to change the way you perceive life, and help in giving you enriching experiences.


1. Go out and eat alone.
Yes, you heard that right. It may sound simple or bizzare or unimportant, until you actually go out and do it. In a country like India where going out with company is a norm,eating solo can make you feel embarassed or as if you are doing something inappropriate. Especially we women are totally so used to being surrounded by people and we always need someone to go out with, whether it's your friends, family or someone special, we are constantly in company. Having company is great. It is the thing I crave for love the most in fact. But what if you went out alone to eat? Sounds weird?? That's exactly why you should do it then. You know what, if you really want to get a unique experience, the best thing is to go out to an eatery/ restaurant/ mall/ cafe, sit there and eat alone. Trust me, as an Indian woman, even someone who has lived in the cities, it was tough and awkward for me when I did it, but the liberating experience was definitely worth it.



2. Smile More.
This one seems to be very easy, but when you try it, you actually realise how less you have been smiling. Try smiling at that co-worker you don't like. Try smiling at the homeless kid on the street or a stranger on your way back home. Do you smile often enough at your family, friends and the special
people in your life? Do you smile when you look at yourself in the mirror?? Most of the times, we forget to do that. I forget it as well. So just smile looking at them and yourself and see the difference. Not only are the people around you happy, but you'll be happier as a result. Initially it seems difficult, it seems so to me many times as well. You would have to force a smile in the beginning but later on it just happens naturally on most occasions. You feel different inside and of course appear much more pleasant.

3. Modify your routine.
Perhaps you keep doing the same old routine, like some people. And that's okay. It's good. Routine is a necessity for all of us. But if you want to expand your horizons and bring a change in your lifestyle changing  tiny things in your routine can be good and make you feel better about following it. It can be as small a change as trying different clothes for work, or changing the road you take to travel your destinations or simply going out and meeting an old friend. Or just change the position of your dining table in the kitchen or put that vase in a different corner. Small little things. Whatever you feel can bring about a change in your current schedule or in the way your current life seems to be.



4. Travel.
Of course, this one doesn't need an introduction. It is already my favourite thing to read about and write as well, so I'll keep it short. Much has already been written about traveling by so many people out there. That's because it does add value to the way you perceive things in life.Traveling doesn't
mean taking exotic trips and expensive vacations. If you want an enriching experience while traveling, make sure you learn about the history or culture of that place, interact with a few locals and learn how things work there. It's not just about the destinations, but the effort you make to understand and enjoy the journey. You can even travel to various places in or just outside your own city or town which you havent explored before just for a different experience. Go out with your friends, family or your significant other, or the much talked about solo traveling way.  Doesn't matter what, but when you come back, remember to carry a new piece of experience with you which will enrich your life.





These were a few of the ways which I find simple enough to help me broaden my horizons. Hope atleast one of them appeals to you all.

There are 100s of ideas out there. Find what suits you the best. Perhaps you can invent a different concept yourself!

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Till the next post;

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You

Au Revoir!

Monday, 25 December 2017

Chocolate-Orange Biscuit Cake. Christmas Special.

So it's Christmas time!! I guess almost 90% of the people around the globe enjoy this time of the year and so do I. Regardless of religions and borders, everyone loves playing Secret Santa and celebrating Christmas with friends & family.

Since Christmas is all about sharing and enjoying I am sharing a quick recipe for all of you. Chocolate-Orange Biscuit Cake. This cake is very easy to prepare and requires no baking in the oven. You can simply steam it and have it!! And yes, it's totally Vegetarian, without eggs.

A simple easy to prepare recipe to enjoy in the festive season.






Ingredients:

1. Parle G- 20 biscuits.
2. Hide & Seek- 10 biscuits.
3. Cocoa Powder.
4. Sugar.
5. Lukewarm Milk.
6. Baking Soda.

Procedure:

1. Grind the  Parle G and Hide & Seek biscuits separately in the grinder/mixie.

2. Powder the sugar.
3. Mix it well in a bowl.
4. Add milk according to quantity. Batter should not be very thick or thin just right.

5. Beat and mix the paste well. Don't beat it too much.  The batter should flow like a ribbon.






6. Add a pinch or two of baking soda and let the batter sit for few minutes till you find pores in the batter rising.
6. Heat a pan. Pour batter in a tin/vessel whose shape you want to give to your cake. Line the tin/vessel with either butter or oil. I have used oil since I am not a big fan of butter.




7. Close the baking vessel with a a lid of your choice.
8. First steam the mixture for 10-15 mins on high flame.
9. Then steam it for another 10-15 mins on low flame.
10. Your steamed Biscuit Cake is ready!!




Allow the cake to cool before you take it out and place it on your plate.

If you wish. You can serve it the way it is. without any icing. It tastes good just like that as well and makes for a good tea time snack.

Since it is Christmas I decided to make some icing as well.

Icing On Cake: 
For icing too, I used biscuits instead of the usual cream. Now here I have tried to give the cake an orangish taste. Bringing that taste is simple enough as well.

Take  6-10 biscuits of 'Sunfeast Orange Marie'. Grind them well in the mixie. Add a little bit of sugar and milk. Beat the mixture well. Your Orange Icing is ready!! You get the orange flavour which is not too strong, subtle and enough to add a great taste.

Now spread the icing on your cooled cake.

To add more chocolate flavour, you can simply mix more Hide & Seek biscuits, some Cocoa and milk and repeat the same procedure of mixing in the grinder and preparing the icing. You chocolate icing is ready. Pour it around the edges wherever you feel it will give desired effect.

For more decoration and effect, I have used grated Cadbury Chocolate, One Waffle and 3 Gems for decoration.

You can cool the cake in the refrigerator for sometime after which it is ready to be had!

All the icing and decoration part is completely optional and totally up to you. You can be creative and come up with your own ideas. Or enjoy the cake just by itself.

The cake is entirely vegetarian.

It is pretty simple enough to prepare. Just steam it and it's ready!

Hope you have a great holiday season and enjoy the festivies around you.

Do try this recipe and let me know if it works for you.

In case of any questions , please let me know in the comments below.

Catch you all soon with another post.

Merry Christmas!!

Till then,

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au. Revoir.



Saturday, 16 December 2017

Rising like the Phoenix..

As we are towards the end of this year, let us take a moment to review how the year was. I guess everyone has had his or her own experiences of good and bad during the year. Personally for me, it was a tough year, where I went through many changes, ups and downs, highs and lows, many changes and many harsh realities to face. I moved back from Mumbai to Pune. Had some changes related to my career, faced lows in my personal life like mourning the loss of my grandfather, facing criticism from people when it was not my fault, being judged for what I do and where I come from, etc etc. I ended up feeling low for quite sometime.

But as I look back, I just see how far I have come. I see how this year has changed me for the good, for the better and made me more resilient, more practical, more proactive and more accepting of people and situations. I see how going through the things I went through, has made me more positive, more compassionate and more careful of how I react to situations. I see how wise and thoughtful this year has made me and I feel thankful. As I write this, I have a smile on my face. As I write this, I am reminded of the Phoenix. 

If you are a Harry Potter Fan like me and remember Fawkes the Phoenix bird from the book (or the movies) or if you just believe in or love the bird Phoenix, then you know what I am talking about. For those who don't know the Phoenix is a mythologically magical creature, originating from ancient Greece, who rises from the ashes and get's reborn once he is burnt. It has many references in many books, poems and literature. 



So here's a poem from me, for all of you. 

RISING LIKE THE PHOENIX..

The fire which burns the Phoenix
is hot, scalding and terrifying
yet the phoenix faces it's fate
burning in flames
with courage and bravery
It goes through the painful transformation


The ashes from the fire scatter all around 
and just when you think the Phoenix has given up
just when you think it is no more
It peeks and looks up at you
alive and thriving.. 




That Phoenix 
Get's up in resolve
and Rises
It's new birth has just begun..





It spreads it's glorious wings to fly
It soars high and above
Shining in it's all glory
 beaming in it's beauty
and soaking all happiness

It flies up and above
never to look back again...














So rise just like the Phoenix,
From the ashes of pain
the ashes of guilt
the ashes of blame
and the 
ashes of hurt

Rise like the Phoenix
from the ashes of the past
from the ashes of yesterday
from the ashes of sorrow
and the worries of tomorrow

For every end
marks a new beginning
for every night
is followed by dawn
Rise and spread your wings 
of joy and happiness
of positivity and courage
of ambition and action

Soar high into the sky
of your hopes and dreams
of your desires and wishes
and never look back again

For inside you 
lies the Phoenix
who can transform itself 
Always and forever...


Thank You.

Hope you all enjoyed reading this post. Do enjoy the last few days of this year and soar into the new year like a just reborn Phoenix bird full of joy and happiness. Catch you all soon. 

Till then

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au Revoir. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Change...

Most of us go through all sorts of changes through our lives. Small or huge, good or bad, we all go through them, don't we??

Here is a poem on change for all of you ☺


Change
It can render you helpless sometimes
It can make you feel out of place
awkard and astonished
unclear and unfinished
Change...

It can make you think
It can shake you to the core
It can leave you in tears
of either joy or sorrow
and make you wonder
what will it bring tomorrow

Change 
well it can either bring happiness
or sadness
it can either be disturbing
or exciting..
Change......

Whatever it makes you feel
It will always teach you
and make you grow

Oh Change
It can make you move out of your comfort zone
make you realise your potential
and the numerous possibilites
that life offers

It can help you expand your horizons
and see life
from a broader perspective
It can make you soar
and make you take a leap
towards your growth

Oh well Change
Change is challenging
Change is tough
Change can be hard to accept
but
Change is intoxicating
Change is addictive
Change is inspiring
Change is thrilling

The power of Change 
cannot be denied
because
 afterall
Change is
Inevitable





Hope you enjoyed the post ☺ P.S. Thank you for loving the stuff on my blog. we have already crossed 1,09,658 pageviews as I type this!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who read!!! :)

Will be back with a new post soon

Till then

 Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.