So, the Blue Bride tagged me to take up these five questions to participate in the Sisterhood of the World Q&A.
I found it to be a pretty interesting set of questions and I think I have a lot to say so here goes.
- One beauty product you would recommend to all your girlfriends.
The first thing that popped into my head was “Argan oil”. Argan oil or moroccan oil is made from the argan tree that grows only in Morocco. Similar to saffron, argan oil has to be extracted by hand, making it quite expensive. My cousin introduced me to this product when I visited her and since then, it has become a staple on my bathroom counter. Just squirt two drops onto your hand and smooth it all over your face. Similarly, I use a couple of drops and rub it into my hair. It has a mild nutty fragrance, and is supposed to keep wrinkles away, prevent aging and do all kinds of amazing things. Hollywood celebs seem to be touting it as the next miracle product. I like it because it keeps my skin super smooth and moisturized. I use this and a quick dusting of powder from my compact and I’m good to go! Definitely try this if its available where you live!
2. Three books everyone must read:
This is an incredibly difficult question. I have so many recommendations! But I’m going to try to keep it to three books that have had a massive influence on me.
(i) Anne Frank – The Diary of a Young Girl and/or All my love, Detrick.
Both of these books are set during the period of the Holocaust. Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl who went into hiding with her family during the Holocaust. They were eventually found and except her dad, all of her family members were killed in concentration camps. All my love, Detrick is the story of a German man and a Jewish girl who fall in love during the 1940s. Although essentially a heart-breaking love story, it gives the reader a perspective on how life in Europe was at the time and the horrors that it entailed. I read Anne Frank as a young girl and it was my first introduction to what happened during the Holocaust. I read All my love, Detrick about a year ago and had tears running down my face by the end. I think its incredibly important to read these books – both to understand the atrocities that human beings were actually capable of, and also to realize how truly blessed we are today. All my love Detrick also has a sequel called You are my Sunshine (which is also amazing), and a third book (which I’m waiting for).
(ii) The Chicken Soup series.
This has to be one of my favorite collections. The Chicken Soup collection is a running series of sorts which contains multiple short stories contributed by both readers and celebrities. These are usually categorized by reader – Chicken Soup for the Teenagers’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul, Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul, etc. My favorite till date is the Chicken Soup for the Grandmother’s Soul that I purchased a few years ago for my Patti. A heart-warming collection of short stories about the relationship between a grandchild and grandparent – something that you can read over and over again.
(iii) The Ramayana/Mahabharatha and/or the Harry Potter Series.
I can’t decide between these. Each of these are truly epic (pun intended!) and offer profound life lessons and so much food for thought. I don’t think of the Ramayana/Mahabharatha as religious texts telling me how to lead my life. Simply as a story for a teenaged or slightly older reader, I believe it offers plenty of room to debate morality and talk about right v. wrong. I would recommend a slightly more serious version – like Rajaji’s interpretation. My husband and I have both read Rajaji’s version of both Indian epics and it continues to be a topic of conversation even today.
Harry Potter requires less introduction. Each time I read it I am astounded by Rowling’s power of imagination and story-telling.
3. Favorite online shopping site:
This has to be Amazon. We’ve even started getting groceries like rice, dal and spices on Amazon! My favorite aspect has to be the user reviews – I’ve found it super convenient especially while buying appliances like vacuum cleaners and water filters for our house.
4. Favorite phone app:
This is a really interesting question. I think my favorite app right now is WordPress, especially with the recent updates. It is both beautiful and incredibly functional. Easy to comment as well. (As opposed to the reader section on the website which is doing this weird thing by not opening a new blog in a new tab! Aargh!) I logged on the website on my laptop today after a really long time to write this post. If you are a blogger, be sure to have a mobile friendly layout!
My most-used and favorite app for another reason is Whatsapp. Makes it so comfortable to text and call friends and family from all over the world and reduces the home-sickness.
5. One dish you’re really good at making and its recipe:
I was thinking about for the longest time. I eventually decided to keep it simple and put down the recipe for one of my favorite comfort foods.
South Indian Style Spinach Kootu/Dal:
Cook half a cup of toor dal until mushy and set aside. Season a teaspoon of mustard seeds, a tablespoon of jeera (cumin seeds) and a teaspoon of urad dal in a spoon of oil. Once it sputters, add a generous pinch of hing/perungayam/asafoetida, a tablespoon of freshly ground pepper and a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger. Add two cups of chopped spinach and half a cup of water. Stir for a few minutes until the spinach wilts. Add the cooked dal and salt to taste.
I made this today. Served with steaming hot white rice, a dollop of ghee and appalam on the side – it was the perfect comfort meal on a cold weekend afternoon. Pepper, jeera and ginger are also good for digestion and easy on the stomach so its an ideal dish to make when you’re feeling under the weather.
And… I guess that’s it! This has been a really fun tag and I spent quite a while thinking of my answers! Thank you for the tag, Blue Bride!
I’m going to tag TGND, Pop goes the biscuit!, Green Boochi, Jan’s doodles, L.G. Iyer, and Hidden Passions. I believe I was supposed to come up with my own questions but I found these questions really fun so I’m just going to piggy-back on them! I hope you have fun, ladies! Looking forward to what you write.