Month: September 2021

5 Best Audiobooks on Audible

I have previously written about my preference for audiobooks while I work. If you need to commute long hours or go on a trip, I highly recommend taking an Audible membership. I know people who prefer to listen on their walks and while cooking as well. Here are my top 5 Audible recommendations that are epic. They draw you into their worlds with enchanting stories and enigmatic storytelling. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles: This has to be one of my favourite books and on top of my list just for how it is told. It’s a novel I enjoyed immensely. The characters and events actually seemed real to me. The idea of a man voluntarily being under house arrest for an indefinite period in a fancy hotel seemed complicated and unrealistic to imagine. But somehow, Towles succeeded in making his book realistic—and endearing! The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai: Check out the full review here. I recommend the audiobook over the written book mainly because of all the beautiful Vietnamese verses …

woman looking at the paintings gallery at salar jung museum hyderabad

Salar Jung Museum Hyderabad

Do you love museums? I like them enough to visit a few once in a while. I like it even more if there’s an explanation of how things came to be and their significance.  I had visited Salar Jung Museum over twenty years ago and had a vague memory of it. In our quest to re-explore the city, we revisited this cultural and historical landmark. Local Tourism It has taken a global pandemic for us to explore local sights in more detail. It shouldn’t have. Instead of lazing around every weekend, or getting tied up with chores, make time to explore the city you’re in. Take a break once in a while. You’ll be duly rewarded, especially in a city like Hyderabad that has so many landmarks, nature spots, monuments, and ruins. You’ll never fall short of things to do. Salar Jung Museum The Salar Jung Museum Hyderabad is considered to be the third biggest museum in the country. It was established in 1951 and now houses the largest ‘ one-person collection’ in the entire …

city park

Parks in Hyderabad – Part 1

Aren’t you tired of staying indoors already? Malls and restaurants are passé. Go for a breath of fresh air to one of the many parks Hyderabad has to offer. This list of Hyderabad parks is just the first instalment of the list of parks in Hyderabad that you should visit. Many more will follow. KBR Park Jubillee Hills Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park, or KBR for short, has been a walker’s paradise for decades. The city’s green lung is a major contributing factor to the area’s cleaner air quality. There is an entry fee, but you also have the option to walk the periphery of the park for free.  The uneven terrain gives you a good workout, and you’ll find plenty of people taking advantage of this facility. Cycles are not allowed inside the park. Kids can cycle on the outside path if they are careful not to bump into all the walkers. You’ll also be greeted by peacocks strutting along with the rest of the crowds. However, their plumage has been exploited by people looking …

woman on a chair reading a book with a cat on lap

Around the World in Books

I got the idea from a newspaper article about a teenager reading at least one book from each country in the world. What a novel thought! Why hadn’t I thought of that? All my life, I’ve read about the adventures of various White kids and adults.  We’re told how Enid Blyton books are quintessential childhood stories even though my childhood didn’t resemble it in any way. Even contemporary writers widely available in my adulthood were White. I have written previously about my quest to diversify mine and my son’s bookshelves. Here, I talk about this in detail. I’ve also added my list here, so if anyone’s interested in expanding their reading list or even help me with recommendations.  What I learned about what I read When I started paying attention to who I read, I decided to make an Excel Sheet by region and country. I was pretty surprised by what I saw, although I shouldn’t have been. The UK and US columns overflowed, while the India column was relatively modest. Even within the UK …

kids bedroom with red walls

How to update your kids bedroom as they grow

The beauty of any room is in its functionality. When form follows function, you automatically feel more comfortable in that space and use it more, filling it with your energy. When it comes to planning a child’s bedroom, the function keeps changing as they grow.  Kids rooms ideas As kids grow and change, so do their needs. We cannot, of course, keep completely renovating their rooms every year. Kids rooms do have a few things in common even as they age. Once we identify the key aspects of what we need from the space, kids room makeover becomes more manageable as they transition from one stage to the next. Kids bedroom ideas for small rooms If you have larger spaces at your disposal, then you can do much with it. You can segregate different areas for different activities for the kids without overwhelming the entire house. However, kids bedroom ideas for small rooms need a little more thought and planning. Here’s how we transitioned from a nursery to a ‘big boy’ room. When our son …

Father and son spending quality time with a science-themed activity box for kids

6 Awesome Activity Boxes for Kids

When my son was a toddler, I had gotten one of the popular activity boxes for him to try. I was pretty disappointed with my purchase because I felt I could’ve done all of it at home without spending half as much. As he got older, especially during the lockdown, I looked for ways to engage him constructively. We tried the activity boxes again and were pleasantly surprised. They were things to build, to learn, and to experiment. Most of it he could do without our direct supervision since he was already building Lego sets. There are so many good options for activity boxes for kids now. I prefer to buy individual boxes instead of starting a subscription. That way I can be sure I’m getting things that would interest my son and not go to waste. Here are some of them we tried and loved. 6 Awesome Activity Box for 4-year-olds and above Skillmatics This is an excellent activity box offering many different themes. My son loves vehicles, so we got him the Transport …

On Persistence

This right here is my hundredth post on the blog! I didn’t think I’d get here in just over two months. I didn’t think I had it in me to be persistent enough or interested enough to follow through. I had wanted to start a blog soon after I had my son. I wanted to talk about things I wished someone had told me about. I also wanted to share my thoughts on a whole bunch of things that randomly cropped up in my head. However, raising a baby, then a toddler is a full day and night job! I just couldn’t muster enough headspace to take on another commitment. However, I jot down points and thoughts I had during that journey, so I didn’t forget whenever I started my blog. These came in handy. It gave me a few almost-ready blog posts to start with and helped me remember things I would’ve otherwise forgotten six years later. One thing that has sustained my persistence is my interest in blogging. I didn’t think I would …

a Buddha Bowl of quinoa, roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, with hummus on the side

What’s in your Buddha Bowl

There was a time when all food blogs were filled with pictures of Buddha Bowls of various kinds. They looked so lovely and fulfilling that I wanted to try something too. I don’t prefer the oatmeal or smoothie in a bowl kind, so I opted for something savoury. A Buddha Bowl is a dish that has five main ingredients:  Whole grains like rice or quinoa Protein like tofu or meat Vegetables Dressing Garnish such as nuts, seeds, or microgreens Here’s what went into my bowl: Quinoa cooked as per instructions Crispy chickpeas for protein Baked cauliflower Hummus Mixed seeds and mint leaves Instead of quinoa, any millet or grains like barley will do. Just rinse and cook in the pressure cooker. I also like to add a little salt and garlic for more flavour. You can make crispy chickpeas by seasoning boiled chickpeas and baking them in the oven or the air fryer. I also like some of the packaged ones available when I don’t want to put in a lot of effort. Baked cauliflower …

Kid making rotis while his mom supervises

Kids in the Kitchen

I am not fond of cooking. I cook for sustenance or because I happen to be craving something, rarely ever for enjoyment. I first saw the programme Masterchef Australia Kids before I had even thought of having kids. The show gave me a new perspective on how they could be helpful to have! Do men belong in the kitchen? Jokes apart, I was sure I wanted to raise a child who would be self-sufficient and independent. Especially as a mother of a boy in South Asia, I’d did not want him to grow up to be a man-child. I’d seen enough men who couldn’t find their way around a kitchen even to get a glass of water, and the women (mother, wife or sister) who found it funny or exasperating but never did anything to correct that behaviour. My husband has, over time, become pretty proficient in the kitchen. He took up more kitchen duties after our son was born. Our kid has not known a day when his dad hasn’t been part of the …

Buddha mural surrounded by plants

Weekend Stay in Hyderabad: Palm Exotica

As the world is slowly starting to open up, we have also started to move beyond the walls of our home – cautiously of course. We’re still not venturing outside the city limits and not using public transport. That leaves us with a few places we can go to over weekends. We had been to Palm Exotica pre-pandemic and had liked the open atmosphere. Although there wasn’t anything new this time, it felt good to be out and about. Since we went on a weekday, there were hardly any other guests apart from us. The benefits of work from home extends to work from anywhere you like! Our luggage and us got a sanitising spray while we checked in at the reception. The short walk to our rooms was beautiful with the pathway flanked by greenery on both sides. The fresh air and quiet ambience meant we could hear the chirping of a variety of birds. Our rooms were clean and spacious. We had an issue with the geyser not working but it was soon …