Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vinnaithandi Varuvaya Review

Will you cross the skies for me?

That is what the title means. This is a rather unique love story between Karthik (played by Simbhu) and Jessie (Trisha). Its been like 5 months since the movie was released, much delayed, but I feel this movie truly deserves and appreciation in the form of review.

An aspiring film maker, Karthik, falls in love at first sight with his neighbour Jessie, who eventually turns out to be not only older than him, but also from a different religion. Typical formula for a Indian romance movie, you'd think... the mixture of conventional and non-conventional romance story is what makes the movie work.

While in the midst of bulding his career in the film industry, Karthik takes up all opportunities to pursue Jessie, be it even following her to her hometown to just meet and spend time with her. Jessie is shown aloof and not interested in Karthik from the beginning, but there is a twist that totally changes everything. Yet, as the story progresses, you'd notice there's more to it, and till the end, our prediction does not work. The ending can be somewhat confusing for some, but for me, it was shown from the eyes of the film maker in the film, Karthik, when he directs a movie about his love story with Jessie.

Throughout the movie, Karthik speaks and explains of the girl he loves, Jessie, but many times we ask, why Jessie? That is the beauty of love, not everything has a logical explanation.

My favourite scene is the confrontation scene in a cafe (which seems more of a overseas shot rather than Indian locale), where Karthik is trying to get Jessie to admit her attraction to him, in one quick scene we are shown a wide shot of the cafe, with Karthik sitting alone on the right side, and Karthik romancing Jessie on the left, this scene just got me goosebumps, and somewhat showed how much of chemistry and attraction between the two characters. And I also love the film references and little jokes made at the movie making front, the director was somewhat taking mild potshots at the industry, very ironical and cute!

Simbhu was excellent as Karthik, the simple boy in love, and Trisha was perfectly dressed with plain sarees, yet so sensual, with her crimped hairstyle. They both share a great chemistry from the beginning till the end. The music is phenomenal, AR Rahman comes with a fresh new theme for the movie songs, and all songs are shot in Karthik's point of view, with a set of 5-6 dancers that look young Spanish kids, work out well with the music and tempo. Be it the title song, or Hosanna, it is sure to get you humming along. So totally evergreen!

There is so much more that I could talk about the film, just goes to show how much I enjoyed and loved it, truly one of the best romance films out there. And who says all love stories need to have a happy ending? I have perhaps given away from hints of the ending, but you would still wonder, why Jessie?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cooking For Love - Cinnamon-ed Applesauce

I have started preparing purees for my baby, with http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/ being my bible (do I sound too holy? let me be a techie...), my baby food manual.

Now that he has tried the most of the vegetables/fruits suitable for his age group, I'm now moving on to introducing spices such as cinnamon to his diet, and what better than to include it in the applesauce?

The recipe/method is very simple... Just bake or cook the apples in pan, with enough water to cover the pan and boil the apples with.. say about 10-15 mins, just look out for the apples to become soft. And yeah, don't forget to sprinkle some cinnamon on the apples. Once done, just mash them up, or use the blender to puree.

The lazy me, is only good in taking pics while food are still in the pan.

The sweet aroma of cinnamon got me craving for Saint Cinnamon's. For temporary relief, I made myself & hubby this french toast with cinnamon, and for proper satisfaction, we dropped by at the Saint Cinnamon outlet in Midvalley after the parenthood expo... it was just so sinful!

Gajar Halwa Recipe - Carrot Pudding

This is one traditional Indian pudding that I have absolutely loved, the best I ever had was in India, like in 1996 (yes, thats ages back!). Since then, my various cravings for it has gone unanswered... and now thanks to the google, I was able to recreate it right in my own kitchen!

Another motivation for me to learn up this recipe was the fact that my constant boasting & boosting about the gajar halwa had my hubby frustrated because he didn't even get to try the taste and goodness of this dessert, and he started to doubt if it was any good - come to think of it, it might just have been a very clever tactic to get me producing this dish myself.. hmmm...

One one fateful Saturday, even hubby was away working, I decided to put my skills & taste buds to test. I got the recipe from the below website:

Gajar Ka Halwa Recipe

  • 1 kg Carrots
  • 1 litre Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Cardamom seeds
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 3 tablespoons Ghee
  • 2 tablespoons Raisins
  • 2 tablespoons Almonds
  • 2 tablespoons Pistachios
  • 450 grams Sugar
  • Wash and grate the carrots. Soak the raisins in water for 30 minutes. Blanch and shred the nuts.
  • Put the water to boil, when it starts boiling add the grated carrots. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the milk. Cook on a low flame for 1 hour stirring occasionally.
  • Add sugar, mix well and cook till the sugar has dissolved and all the milk has been absorbed.
  • Add ghee and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the slightly crushed cardamoms and the raisins.
  • Mix well. Remove from heat and arrange in a serving dish. Garnish with almonds and pistachios. Serve cold, hot or at room temperature.
I adjusted the recipe to fit 300gms of carrot. I only managed to snap the below picture while cooking, the picture after the dish was done was... errr... so delayed that the bowl went empty. The fact is your house will smell so delicious after cooking that you can't keep your hands off it. One warning though, grating 300g of carrots can be very tiring but a good workout considering the calories the halwa is gonna add on.

Now that I am in the 'Cooking For Love' mode (baby foods), I think this will be an excellenet dish in the future for my kid, but with reduced sugar & added cinnamon or something... what say you?

Monday, August 16, 2010

10 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me

Just 7 months down the line, and motherhood has taught me so much... 10 Major things are:

1) Blessing baby after each sneeze - I follow my mom's method, and I've got used to it that I even bless myself after sneezing without realizing it!

2) Space optimization (read squeezing items onto each other) in the car... We travel down south pretty often and this skill is very much needed with all the baby things everywhere.

3) Online shopping is the best - Not just they have better promotions and cheaper prices, we also can cut those trip down to shops which only incur extra time in packing/preparing/getting baby ready.

4) Thinking green while cloth diapering my baby. I've never been an environmentally aware person, but hey I can save $$$ while do good for the earth, why not?

5) Appreciate watching movies on DVDs, as we have close to zero chance of visiting the cineplex ever again (ok, maybe just for a couple of years), but I wish those DVD mongers would be more honest about the quality of the copy.

6) Steaming food - Indians, my family in particular, never ever cook any steamed dishes, so steaming fruits & vegetables for Sanju was my first, and I am looking forward to adapting it into our daily meals.

7) Restaurants with highchair - I have definitely started appreciating restaurants that provide a cosy highchair for my little one.

8) Checking food labels for sodium content - Well, I am not an overly pro-sodium, neither do I detest it, as long as we take it moderately, it works for me. But now that I need to get cheese and some other foods for Sanju, I gotta be more aware of the contents of sodium and other preservatives.

9) Buying up-sized clothes for baby - He grows so fast, nothing lasts more than 1-2 months, so its always better to think ahead and purchase 1 or 2 size larger... yes, just like how our parents did it those days, and we wondered why!

10) Bringing up a baby is daily education, in terms of baby care, food, nutrition and daily planning, no amount of university or training can ever train me for that!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bamboolite CD giveaway!

Still seems very dream-like to me... it is not like I have not raved enough about Bamboolite cloth diapers on my blog. And now they are having a giveaway for us Bamboolite-crazy mommies! It just can't get better! Link here

Being a first time mom, I did most of my research through mommies I found on online forums, as well as online shops. All of them provide very accurate and useful information and tips for a newbie learning up basics of baby care for their coming little one.

Cloth diapers are indeed quite costly as compared to the traditional diapering. But weighing in the pros in the long term, it definitely beats the cost of using the disposable diapers, and not to mention the impacts on waste & landfills.

My first every cloth diaper was indeed Bamboolite, which I purchased from the lovely owner of LovelyGoody, Hannah. She helped me a lot in learning better insights of Bamboolite CD in particular, and I am glad I chose her store as my baby step on CD. Alternatively, Bamboolite is also available at Baby My Luv Online.

What I absolutely love about Bamboolite diapers is the bamboo soakers that is super-absorbant, my baby has been on it for night use till now, full 9pm-6am with no leaks, no complains. Apart from that, the bamboo velour inner is not just soft and gentle to baby's skin, its natural antibacterial properties are worth shouting over the rooftops about. And now the new Bamboolite CM-TrueFit even comes with an extra booster, what else can a mom ask for?

My favourite colour CM-TrueFit has got to be the Lavendar... nice soft touch for a soft CD!

The best thing about Bamboolite CDs is that they are Malaysian made, under SAGM (Stay-alone-grand-ma) project. So, you know that no overhead shipping or tax charges are incurred in the price, just pure quality and goodness. More info on Bamboolite's giving back to society here.

Bamboolite's official web page is this .

Here's a pic of my baby flaunting his yellow bamboolite...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Bollywood Idol

Friday evening, I received mms from my dad with the above picture. My dad has this all time, old time, favourite stationary shop right in the heart of JB city for his office supplies, and guess what, Daddy-o spotted SRK doing Indian brand pen advertisement, for Linc.

He also did not forget to mention, if SRK were to do the ads on air, it'd be Li.. Li.. Li... Linc!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Smurfs are back!

Here's the trailor for the Smurf movie coming in 2011. For those 80s kids, you would definitely remember the blue cuties that lived in mushroom houses, and the evil Gargamel terrorizing their village. When I was little, I simply loved it, together with Care Bears and Jem & the hologram.

After Avatar came out, people pointed out that the Navis were inspired from Smurfs, and now, seems like the Smurfs have been inspired by Avatar to come up with their own movie. Sounds like the chicken-egg conflict, LOL!

My first reaction after watching it, what happened to the good old cartoons? I am not against computer generated animations, in fact my most favourite movies are animations, but I think Smurfs looked great and natural(ly cartoon) in the older version. What do you think?

My Baby on Solids

Yes, it is official now. Sanju took his first solid bite just 3 weeks ago and so far he is loving it. I have religiously followed guides and tips from www.wholesomebabyfood.com to ensure the best, the right and only the non-allergen is given to him during his first few days.

He started off with Heinz rice cereal, his first bite was sort of a confused one. A few weeks before he was already excited seeing us eat and always curious to put the spoons or food into his mouth. The taste that he finally got is something that would have never expected, probably thinking, WTH?

After getting him accustomed to the rice cereal, I started to introduce fruit purees such as apple, banana, pears and peach... all of which has completed testing & evaluation, now confirmed to be compliant with his system (for once I sound like an engineer here). Although the super-mom I try to be, I have to confess that his first few purees were not homemade, but from Heinz and Gerber's which I had bought earlier. Well I don't know it was laziness or just doubt of preparing it the right way, or maybe it was just both. And also the fact that they were easily available in the hypermarkets, made me even more lazy to prepare my own!

Anyhow, now as I plan to introduce vegetables to him, I am gonna prepare a few purees on my own this weekend and freeze them for next week. Lets see... I think I will get potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin & carrots... After he is ok with each of them, maybe prepare portions of mixed vegs of the 2 different colours for daily feeds, now its starting to get interesting! And yeah, he is also taking baby oats, which he loves most with bananas!

Where are the pics? Well in my camera, and I will soon update this entry with it.. till then, stay tuned!EDIT - pic updated, as promised!


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