Failing to Live


You couldn’t get what you longed for. You had a dream and thrived after it for months and years but ,somehow, by the end you couldn’t accomplish that. You failed to live up to your dreams and expectations of yourself and others. You lost your beloved ones, your possessions, your money or your job. You lost someone or something you were most dependent on or say it something that was your most favorite.

I always wanted to become an MBBS but fate didn’t go in my favour. I opted for a completely different field or Time chose it for me. I pursued that with all my heart and got the success. And trust me, life has explained it to me later onwards that actually the former one was not for me.

Recently, I kept on running and chasing a dream that I wished to pursue for last 4 years. I kept on trying to find out the right opportunity and I got that. I tried my best, did complete preparation as per my potential or may be more than that. For around 3 months, I went through a phase of hope and despair and it really was one of the painful & agonizing phases of my life. My days and nights were spent praying and striving for that. It was like dying every night with a lost heart and fear to lose it. But every coming morning I woke up with a hope that I might get it today. I even started doubting my beliefs that what if despite of all my prayers and hard work I won’t get the success and if so happens, I might lose my trust in God. And this thought always made me flounder. Finally the day arrived, I received the most awaited call and the answer was ‘NO’, a big ‘NO’. To be very honest I wasn’t expecting it as my hopes were very high. I felt like the whole world had fallen on me. I kept the phone. Took deep breaths and to my surprise, I was neither angry, nor crying. Yes, I felt the wetness in my eyes and said Alhamdulillah (Thank God). It meant that I didn’t lose my trust in God which I feared the most. Till day, I get amused at my reaction.

I had lots of goals to fulfill during past few years of my life and I know that I couldn’t achieve most of them. So what! It doesn’t mean that I won’t ever be able to reach there and get them. This is not the end of the world.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

These are just few examples from my personal life and I know that every person outside there goes through such dilemmas in life. Some face it courageously; some lose hope and go deep down in such an agony that makes them a rusted piece. But it’s still not late. You can stand up again. There are hundreds and thousands of other opportunities waiting for you. If not today then tomorrow and if not tomorrow then the day after tomorrow.… Fate must have decided something much better for you, then why to run after something that is not meant for you or might not be as good for you as you have imagined it.

A student failing in an exam tries to kill himself just because of a silly thought that his/her future is over. A person failing to get his love jumps from a building just because there won’t be anyone else in the whole world to love him again or can fall in love with him. An unemployed person hangs himself with the ceiling as he can’t do anything for his family. What about the poor family after he dies? What about his children, who need him the most. If he is alive, he can get an opportunity by more trials. Why don’t we try???

“Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.”

Don’t go for the quick fixes rather than finding the true solutions. Stop allowing negative emotions and think positive. Look around yourself at the people who are in worse situation than yours. We often avoid accepting our failures and blame others for it. We try to minimize our mistakes and find the reasons why we had no choice but to do what we did. Each time we avoid our failings, we miss the opportunities for growth. Know you value because no creature in this world is born without a reason.

I am not trying to say that I am some super human being. I have learnt this all through the tough experiences and wanted to share it here if it can be beneficial for someone.

God has blessed us with the most beautiful gift of ‘hope’. We hope and we dream OR we dream and we hope. It goes both ways. Then we pursue our dreams with a feeling of hope deep in our hearts. We as humans are lucky to have these presents. Scientists are still unable to solve the mystery of human mind that how does it possess such feelings.

Life is another name of tests and trials. It makes us stronger. Every time you fail, remember, you have got more powers to fight the world in a better way to solve your problems. Trust me there is nothing as illuminating as ‘Hope’. What if you couldn’t get what you wanted the most! There must be a better option waiting for you but you don’t bother to try for that and miss the opportunity, blaming your luck by the end.

Pat your shoulder for even a tiny achievement. Don’t underestimate yourself. Trust me, you will feel the difference.

Stay Blessed. Cheers :)

Spicy Cheese Filled Okra with an Extra Bite


I have grown up eating it, so naturally I love it. There was a time when I was also one among the haters of it. Whenever it was part of our lunch or supper (mostly in summers), my mother used to cook something else of my choice to fill my tummy.

Okra, also known as “lady finger” or “gumbo”, is a highly nutritious green edible pod vegetable. This is one of the widely used vegetable in tropical countries.

It is cooked in variety of ways for a better taste as it has a neutral flavor. Here I am going to share with you two of my favorite recipes. Hope it can turn the haters into lovers of it as happened in my case.

Ingredients:

Okra:  250 gms

Cheese (for filling): Of your choice

Cooking Oil: 2 cups

Butter (If preferred): 2 Tsps

*Lemon Juice/Vinegar:  1Tsp

*Chili Powder/Black Pepper/Chili Flakes: 1 Tsp

*Salt: 1/2 Tsp

*Coriander Powder: 1/2 tsp

Tsp = Table Spoon, tsp = Tea Spoon

Preparation:

Wash Okra in cold water. Wash it well enough to remove the insecticides if any. Keep it in a strainer to dry. Meanwhile, mix the other ingredients as mentioned above*. Add fresh lemon juice (personally recommended) or vinegar enough to make a thick paste. Keep it aside. With a sharp pointed knife make a long vertical cut on each okra for the filling. Fill in the cheese (in small amounts) or the chili paste (you can also fill in both) – I know it’s a bit crafty task. Now refrigerate the stuffed okra for an hour.

You can either deep fry the spice and cheese filled okra or cook it on a low heat with little amount of butter/oil. In both of the methods don’t forget to cover the pan.  Toss once or twice in between.

Take out on a kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil.

Remember that deep frying will take less time i.e. 5 minutes while cooking on low heat with little oil/butter will take longer i.e. 8-10 minutes.

Preparation time: 15 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Extra Bite:

One egg

¼ Cup flour

2 Tsps Corn Starch

Beat an egg. Add in the same ingredients* (used to form the paste). Add the okra (preferably fresh small pods). Toss to coat them well. Add in flour and corn starch. Toss again to coat them well. Heat the cooking oil. Add okra in batches.

Remember, oil should be well heated to deep fry the okra. Fry them until the coating is golden brown.

Take out on a kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil.

Preparation time: 15 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Serves 2 persons

~        Ingredients’ amount will be doubled for double of the above servings.

Serving Methods:

Here are some serving tips:

  • It can be served with bread (khubz, phulka), paratha or boiled rice.
  • You can also enjoy it with pickle or olives to add more spice to it.

Okra Nutritional Facts:

  • Very low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol
  • Contains healthy amounts of Vitamins A, C and K
  • Fresh pods are good source of Folates.
  • Good source of many important minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium
  • Relieves constipation condition

Note:

Always look for crispy, immature pods and avoid those with over-ripen, sunken appearance, discolored spots, cuts and too soft.

Fourteen Brilliant Ways to Kill Your Time at Office


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Do you belong to the same category I am stuck in!? I wish you are not. Although, many people will not relate themselves to it but believe me there are times that you really are in such situation.

Where too many people have lost their jobs during recession time, there are also many employees whom are working for the companies that don’t have new projects to deal with. It really creates an environment of complete boredom and monotony. Then time in the office can be hard to get by. I am not sure if I am fortunate or unfortunate as I too belong to same category.

This blog is actually how I kill my time at office. Trust me you are gonna love this and would also correspond to it.

  • Ø  Use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter etc. – if not blocked at your place .Share stupid statuses, upload pictures, watch videos, share links and all that naughty stuff. – I know this is an old one.
  • Ø  You can also read newspaper to stay updated. It might be the hard copy delivered to your office regularly–if spared by the manager, or you can browse lots of online newspapers of your choice.
  • Ø  What if you have got some artistic talent, go ahead, grab the A4 sheets – which too are fed up of not being used- and show your talent. In fact this is one of my favorites. You will also find below a superb piece of work done by me.
  • Ø  Not done yet! No worries, I have some healthy tips too. Fill in your table drawers with different types of snacks, biscuits, chewing gum and anything that is your favorite.
  • Ø  Go down to the building reception and have a chit chat with the receptionists, security people who too are dying with boredom more than you are. Know their family and job history and share yours. I assure you will not be disappointed.
  • Ø  Store water, juices and drinks on your table. As we all know, liquids make us healthy and keep our skin fresh and glowing. And yeah, looking at another aspect, it will help in killing your time when you have to rush to the toilets several times.
  • Ø  If bored of all above, stand besides your office window and start counting the cars parked. Choose your favorite ones, give ratings, and if yours is there, try to find that too – I know you are tired of yours.
  • Ø  Download desktop wallpapers and keep on changing to make yourself stay awake.
  • Ø  This one is especially for ladies. Don’t forget to visit toilets often. After all your makeup needs to be refreshed every other hour.
  • Ø  Tea and coffee are also good choices but not my favorite ones. In fact I have started hating the coffee machine installed in here.
  • Ø  Let’s play a game. Who can throw the paper ball farthest?
  • Ø  Are you a blogger? Why not post something new – as I am doing right now :).
  • Ø  If you are a victim of game addiction, why not go ahead. There are millions of online games.
  • Ø  Hey, if none of the above is working anymore, I have a special one but I am doubtful whether it’s gonna be convenient for all.

Actually, we are gonna install LCD televisions in few of the areas to save us from the ultimate boredom. Isn’t that great one!!!

I hope that at least one of the above will be of your choice. Indeed they all are working fantastically well for me. Try them but make sure boss is not around. By the way he won’t be around for most of the time. After all, he too deserves some time to be spent outside.

And yeah, don’t forget to add your healthy suggestions. It might be helpful for me or someone else. Have a good day at office :).

 

 

 

Perseverance – Thats Whats Needed


‘We learn through our experiences in life.’ I know it seems quite an old statement but as a matter of the fact THIS IS THE TRUTH.

I am still not much clear that why am I writing this blog today but I feel a strong urge inside me to share it, say it and let all of it out that is so agonizing. Yeah, it truly is agonizing. I started writing my blogs only few months back and the main reason behind it was the aching feeling to let out the agony and depression that I feel from time to time.

Sometimes you face inhuman people in life. Favoritism, discrimination, the egoistic attitude is most often found at work places but to the extent that I have experienced myself is completely gross and immoral. When you become a victim just because of the reason that someone’s authority is challenged due to his/her egotistical behavior, you actually want to turn the world upside down. Unfair and discriminated behavior has never been acceptable nor will it be.

“I’ve fallen for so many tricks.
Some of them, I knew it.
I just was stupid,
And gave in to the flesh.
Just to say, I’d experienced it.”      quoted from ‘Tests of Life’
 

Oops, it’s getting quite emotional now. What my point is that if you are truthful and can point out the weaknesses and injustice going around you, never stay silent. Most probably, you will lose your position but at least you will be self satisfied when you leave. The efforts that you make will bear the fruit of success for sure, if not now then in near future. Selling the self respect in hands of the untruthful people is the worst decision that you can ever make.

In my native language, it is said that ‘Aik dar band, so dar khulle’ which means, ‘If one door is closed, hundred doors are open.’

Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.

The reality is that truth is very sour. It has one moment of success and lots others of hardships.  And when you have the courage to speak it out, you must do it. Telling lies like others and being a member of the herd that is following the wrong path only promotes darkness.

The egoistic and self centered people might get the temporary success but it is never long lasting.

What I have learnt from the painful and upsetting experiences of life and most specifically through the recent one is that these are just challenges. They test our strength. Although, they are very hard to endure sometimes but the patience and perseverance is what we need the most.

“Oh you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer, for God is with those who patiently persevere.” (2:153)

Another challenge is going to get over soon. It’s just a test time. There will be a new beginning. But yeah, one more challenge will be waiting for us to measure our temper. That’s what life is.

“You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind.”

On My White Board


Fed up of sticky notes, reminders, diary notes, to do lists, planners and blah blah blah. What to look into, what and when to carry with, are all some wearing questions of daily life whether you are on job or at home.

Then why not find a way to note all of these details at an easily accessible and one place only . You don’t need to run around for your diary, your planner and a pen to note down the sudden ideas, reminders, contact details etc. I heard of a lady scribbling sudden ideas and to do’s on her car window while stuck in a traffic jam or standing at a red signal :) .

To avoid procrastination and getting things done on time, I thought to have a change with ease.For that I bought a white board. Yes, a white board. Not to hang in a classroom or in a lecture hall but to hang in my house.  And to tell you honestly it’s doing wonders for me. My white board has become my best friend with whom I am sharing every idea, every thought. It’s my planner, note pad, diary, to do list and a calendar too.

Since I have started using it, there is bombardment of new ideas each passing day and I am working to implement those too. The best part is that I have become more organized in my daily life activities.

Immediately writing down any idea or task on my wb that occurs to me over the course of the day is wondeful. Once it’s on my white board, it means I don’t walk around feeling preoccupied by it — or risk forgetting it.

Recently we had a trip and a two nights stay at a resort. The feeling of carrying what and what not for the tour really made me crazy. But my best buddy told me not to worry at all. A week earlier to the trip, I started jotting down the ideas, list of things to carry, do’s and don’ts. The night before we were leaving, almost everything was under my control. It made our trip wonderful and exceptional.

  • Scribbled ‘to do lists’ are 90% done by the end of the day.
  • Important meetings, people to call, pending mails to compose, contact numbers to call on are there.
  • Its helping me to build up my vocabulary too. I had always been wondering for how to work on my vocabulary and tried lots of tools but nothing helped much.
  • Things to carry on a long commute or for a stay away from home got listed there too.
  • To dash off sudden ideas for writing blogs is another amazing thing.
  • I write down number of missed prayers  and try my best to offer them all one by one.
  • The surahs from Holy Quran which I want to learn keep on coming too.
  • My shopping list, how can I forget that :) . Yeah, household items too.

It’s been more than a month now and I am in love with my new buddy.

Hey, this white board is not mine. Mine is more jumbled one :$.

Poor Cucumbers Deserve Some Respect


 A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing :).

Have you heard the phrase ‘cool as a cucumber’? Although cucumbers get added in your menus during the warm summer months when they are in season but they are also available year-round. It’s because they are rich in dietary fiber and have cold effect. It’s high water content gives it a very unique moist and cooling taste.Cucumbers are believed to be an ancient vegetable, originating in southern Asia around ten thousand years ago.

 Have you ever imagined that cucumber is the vegetable which is used for so many variety of purposes in our daily life. This poor vegetable really deserves some respect :)Why? You can find out below.

  • It’s often relegated to the relish tray or salad bowl, or pickled and left to languish in the refrigerator. There are so many types of pickles made of cucumbers alone or with other vegetables. I find lots of varieties here in UAE. It’s sometimes pickled as a whole, sometimes sliced or diced in different shapes crying for help  inside the enclosed chamber made of glass. It feels more offended when it sees the world around enjoying the freedom. What calms down is when it watches the other poor fellows of it’s species in the same situation.
  • They are refreshing during sultry weather and can be more than an ingredient in salads. You see many types of salads with cucumbers. Sometimes peeled and mostly with skin on. I often have tried many salads at different restaurants and hotels as I love it. This miserable vegetable is sometimes tossed with olive oil, youghurt, cream or used for garnishing.

  • Just ask the cooks around the world who use them in gazapacho, tzatziki and other dishes. I recently came to know that cucumbers are also cooked. Even when cooked – they can be delicious. It gets sauted in butter – cut into tiny footballs, yeah, footballs – and eaten as you would zucchini.  A New York based, cook book author Julie sahni likes to cook cucumbers, with one caveat: ‘never overcook them.’ There is also cucumber juice that is considered very healthy and refreshing. You can find hundreds of recepies of cucumber juice on the web

Cucumbers come in dozens of varieties but are generally devided into two camps: slicers (smooth skin & large), and picklers (smaller in size & bumpier skin).

  • Cucumbers are often used for skin remedies. People use them for removing eye wrinkles, dark circles under eyes, skin glow and smoothness, even for acne removal and blah blah blah. It’s mostly used in cosmetics to lighten,cool and moisturize the skin like in cleansers, lotions, soaps, creams and the list goes on….

 

  • Recently I came to know that cucumber peel is used to get rid of ants in home. Just put the peel at the entrance from where the ants come out and they’ run away. Whta’s left to do with them now.

So, Pity the poor cucumbers please.

If not :) then try some of Cucumber Appetizers below:

  • Use frim cucumbers, slice off ends. Remove several lengthwise strips of peel; do not peel completely.
  • Slice into 1/2 -inch thick rounds.
  • Sprinkle slices lightly with salt and let stand a few minutes.
  • Rinse, place slices on paper towel; and pat dry with a secong towel.
  • Top with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of a favourite flavoured spread. Or spread with cheese and top with a small curl of smoked salmon.
  • Or top with smoked or salted chicken or mutton.

Enjoy it.

Interesting fact: The sea cucumber is not a vegetable but an animal that lives in the sea. It has a cucumber-like shape.