Celebrate Sweetness without Sugar

What to cook, what to eat? These questions often disturb me. We keep hearing so much of ‘Cut the sugars. cut the cholesterol’. There’s so little left to eat then 😦 Especially the sweet savouries we’ve been relishing since ages! Now, at the age of sixty, refraining from having nice sweets is difficult.

I’ve been reading about rock candies and sugar free substitutes. I tried one of our favourite family sweet dishes with Sugarfree Natura. Here’s the recipe:

Semiya (Vermicelli) Kesari

All semiya recipes are, in general, easy to prepare, Semiya upma and semiya payasam are the most common dishes that are prepared using vermicelli. Semiya kesari is seldom popular. For once I replaced Rava (suji) with semiya in preparing kesari and also substituted white sugar with Sugarfree Natura. This recipe requires very less ghee; so overall, it makes a healthy and yummy kesari!



Semiya (Vermicelli) – 1 Cup

Sugarfree Natura – 1/2 Cup

Water – 2 Cups or required quantity

Ghee – 2 tsp

Cardamom – 3 pieces

Cashew nuts – 5 nuts

Kesari powder (Orange) – A pinch


  1.  Heat 1/2 teaspoon of ghee in a pan. Roast the cup of semiya in heated ghee for two minutes or until it turns golden yellow.
  2. Add two cups of water in another pan. When the water comes to a boil, add the roasted semiya and wait till it gets cooked. You can wait till all the water is evaporated and semiya becomes soft. If the semiya seems to be uncooked, add more water and let it boil for some more time until completely cooked.
  3. Add sugar Free Natura to the cooked semiya, mix well. Add a pinch of orange, kesari powder, stir well.
  4. Add a spoon of ghee and stir continously until the semiya mixture comes out of the sides of the pan.
  5. Finally, roast cashew nuts in heated ghee separately and add it to the semiya kesari along with ground cardamom.

For Your Information

Sugar Free has two variants:

  • Sugar Free Natura, made of Sucralose
  • Sugar Free Gold, made of Aspartame

This table, adopted from the Sugar Free official website provides information about the two and how they are different from the regular, white sugar.

Sugar Free



Know about Honey Diet

I am surprised to see and hear what all these youngsters do these days in order to lose weight. In olden days, we had enough physical activity in our daily life. We walked several miles to schools and colleges. We ground chutneys and dosa batter in manual grinders. At the same time, our diets were simple yet healthy. Homemade food was the only option then, so we hardly had food outside home. Fruits and vegetables were a part of our everyday routine. We grew vegetables in our garden and they were just pure. Thus, we didn’t have the necessity to lose weight at all. Even after begetting several children year after year, mothers stayed healthy and lean. Probably by our forties, we might have began to put on weight because by that time, mixies, grinders and transportation starated to be in regular use.

It is funny today to hear how people in their twenties sweat out to reduce their weights. So much automation has come into existence for every single chore in life. There is bus and van pick up and drop for all schools and colleges. Need not to mention, mobiles, laptops and tabs have given a comfortable life to get things done with a click. Especially, I see many girls of around twenty being obese. When the time of their marriages come, they run to gym, take crash diet which is almost equivalent to starving.

Crash diets may seem to reduce body weight quicker than any other form of diet. However, people must understand the nutritional compromises one has to make by taking a crash diet. In a crash diet, fats and much of carbohydrate-rich foods are avoided. Literally, the body remains in a hungry state for long. This deprives the metabolic system of good cholesterol which is essential for the proper functioning of the circulatory system and immune system.

On the other hand, a balanced healthy diet comprises of fruits, vegetables, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates in the right proportion in which case, the system never has to face a deficiency crisis. It boosts immunity and acts favourably at the physical, mental, emotional and the spiritual levels.

One advice that I can give to people of the younger generation is to try the honey diet. As you might know, a teaspoon of honey a day can be beneficial to health in several ways.

  • For people craving to reduce weight, I would advice to mix a spoonful of honey in a glass of warm water to be consumed early in the morning in empty stomach. This is said to cut down the unnecessary fat content from the body.
  • Also, honey is a good alternative for sugar as it contains lesser calories than sugar.
  • Honey is known to be an excellent source of skin nourishment.
  • It also helps digestion and alleviates cold and cough symptoms.

Come Closer to Radiant Skin

As a baby, we all have the perfect skin; soft and smooth. With age, as stress, pollution, untimely food and sleeping habits creep into our lives, our skin succumbs to harshness and slowly gets tanned, rough and debris-filled until and unless we take proper care and nourishment.

From my years of experience, I have come to know a few at-home skin care tips that are helpful to get a radiant skin. These can be made from simple things available at home for our daily purposes and also have no side effects, unlike the chemical based products available in the market.

Unboiled milk is a great cleansing agent of the skin. Regular application of milk on the face will remove the dirt that keeps accumulating within the pores of the skin. It is the best home therapy to open the pores and cleanse them effectively. For advanced cleansing, a few drops of raw lime juice can be mixed with milk before applying.

An age-old skin companion for woman is turmeric. Even now, woman in the villages follow this practice of applying turmeric to the face on a daily basis. Turmeric is a good anti-septic and kills any unwanted growth of microbes on the skin surfaces. Also it is known to prevent hair growth on the face giving a brighter look to the face. Turmeric can also be made into a paste by mixing equal parts of sandalwood powder and a few drops of milk. Apply this paste evenly over the face. Sandalwood has the property of keeping pimples away. So this mixture is a boon to woman who are prone to pimples and those with oily faces.

Seldom known skin care tip is the use of tomato juice over the face. Fresh tomato juice when applied on the face is known to give a glow. Regular consumption of tomato juice too has the same effect.

Another greatly appreciated skin remedy is Aloe vera. It is a succulent plant that can be grown in households. I would say it is one of the essential plants that all homes must have. If the leaf of Aloe vera is crushed, it gives out a gel like substance. Extract the Aloe vera gel, dip cotton into it and gently apply over the face. Let the gel dry for a while. Wash with water and be surprised to feel the suppleness back on your face.

Yet another helpful skin care ingredient is honey. Honey can be either directly applied on the face or can be mixed with a few drops of milk before applying. Honey gives a natural glow and makes the skin soft.

Instead of going crazy behind expensive chemical-based products, such home care solutions have proven to be effective for skin care. People who do not find change after regular usage of home remedies can also try ayurvedic products.

VICCO Turmeric Cream is one of the most popular and most fond skin care products of several generations now. Check the latest ad here:

My Airtel App

I am new to this world of smart phones, tabs and apps. It is interesting to explore all that this world of technology has to offer to make our lives more and more luxurious. With every little thing I find, I am amazed a little more day after day. Apps are one such amazing things that I am slowly starting to use. I cannot state that I’ve tried a number of apps. A few social network apps and a few handy apps like torch light and notepad are the only ones I’ve used so far.

I came to know about My Airtel App yesterday. It seemed to be of help to my airtel mobie network services. So I downloaded and went through a few of the app features that I could relate to. I am convinced of its utility value and hence here I mention those features that are most helpful for my usage.

Check Balance

*121# is very difficult for me to remember. sometimes I dial *123# or #121*. And when nothing seems to work, I call somebody, speak to them formally for a while. When the call gets over, balance will be displayed on the screen. Yes, a funny way to check my balance. For old people like us, sometimes a small techie thing is too much to assimilate. However, the airtel app requires a one time installation. I could add my mobile number to the app so that it gets permanently saved. Anytime I want to check my balance, I can go to app and opt for balance check.

I want to…

Another useful method I read about the app is the ‘I want to’ shortcuts. That is, I can choose those services that I use frequently like checking balance, recharging etc to be added as a shortcut to my home screen. That means checking my balance is just a click away. I can also access the recharge page at one go.

Prepaid Balance Recharge

When I hear young people saying that they recharge mobile services online, I wonder how they do it. I’ve tried earlier to visit the airtel website to do a recharge but it seemed a little confusing and I didn’t want to take the risk of using netbanking over something I didn’t quite understand. I’ve always relied on the shop wallas not only to recharge my mobile but also to choose the prepaid package that suits my usage. However, now with the help of the my airtel app, I am overjoyed to be able to recharge easily without having to go to a shop. I can choose the denomination amount that I want to recharge for. I can also store my debit card details in the app so that the next time, when I recharge I don’t have to re-enter the banking details. I am not thrilled now but also thankful for an app like this that can make our old lives easy.

Kapil Dev’s Ek Nayi League

Did you get to guess Kapil Dev’s Ek Nayi League rightly?

Well, not heard of it yet?

There has been a trending topic in Twitter about #EkNayiLeague since the last few days. Our fond former captain Kapil Dev is in a full spree for a campaign for ——–! Yes, all of us are still unsure of what it could be. Paaji has posted video ads of the campaign in his Twitter timeline. In all the ads, he speaks of a new league that is set to come up soon and that if one plays with all his heart, they are sure to loose 🙄 Yes, you heard it right!

There are ads in which he particularly address celebrities like Kapil Sharma, Sania Mirza and Dhoni. He says all the googlies that Kapil Sharma gives out in his show cannot work out in the new league because it demands something more unique. In another ad, he is appreciative of Indian women who have reached heights in sports like Sania Mirza. He comments about Dhoni’s retirement from cricket in another ad and says he must participate in this league to gain much more money than what IPL can give them.

At the bottom of the videos, the website asks viewers to guess what the new league could be about. There’s a submit form where one can submit their answer to participate in the Ek Nayi League contest. It says the one with correct answer can win Rs.1 Lakh 🙄 Yeah, a huge money!

There are no other information or clue that could be found from their social media pages. The only clue I found was a tweet on their timeline says something like, “Dream big and fulfill them.” And it is clear that lots of money is associated with this activity.

Now here comes the most interesting guessing part.

Ha! Most of you thoughts it’s a television reality show? That’s why Paaji repeatedly said it needs too much of brain power.

In one of the ads, he says it can fetch lots of money to participants. Well, what can bring such huge money?

Think. Think. I thought.

There’s only one thing in the whole world that can bring big returns without much effort. Yes, online trading! I suppose Ek Nayi League is going to be something related to stock markets, investments and trading. But what confuses me is his insistence on sports in general, cricket and tennis in the ads. There are already popular quiz shows that include sports questions. So I think game shows must be kept away from the guesses.

For now, I assume Ek Nayi League to be something related to online trading. Well, the launch of this programme is happening right now in mumbai. So, in a couple of hours, we would get to know the suspense!

Start a New Life!


That was the year of a huge change for our family. After having lived in one of the major cities of the country for fourteen long years, we had to move to a smaller town in 1996.

As grown ups, it was difficult for us to think about adapting to another environment, especially which is going to be less trendy and comfortable than our present lives. And we could understand how demotivating it would be for our children to make this move at the peak of their teen years. However, life left us in a situation where we had no choice but take this decision. The business we were running wasn’t going good enough to provide us food for the future. The other business at the native seemed promising though. It was a tough decision, but we decided to move to our town and live well. We hoped all would find the change warmer as days go by.

From a far sight, it seems a no-big-deal situation. But that moment of change, it was a huge crisis for the entire family. Our children were in the same school from the beginning of their schooling. Now, to move to another place would mean, change of school, making new friends and adapting to just everything. We didn’t feel quite well for them. But we took the bold step; to start a new life again. We kept from discussing this to them until the day we had to move so that they had less time to worry about.

Well, for a few days it was challenging. The challenge was more in the mind than in reality. We were amazed that children made a fast move to cope with the changes. They were in fact excited with their new school and friends. That was a huge relief.

I had lived with the company of my dear friends and relatives in my old place for years. There weren’t known people to interact with in the new town. With age, it is even more harder to bend the will and mind according to situations. Even though we were surrounded by friendly neighbours, it wasn’t easy for my heart to accept new relations in my life. I found that my kids could do it more easily than we imagined.

And thus we started a new life!

Before we could realize how we all got set to this town, another move waited us in a few years. It was much more easier the second time, may be because, we had already come far from our roots.

Yet another learning that ‘this too shall pass’.

Such life experiences only leave me to accept that life moves on no matter what. People, places, occupation, wealth, possessions – there is a constant change in all of these aspects of life and in our priorities. Sometimes we fall, yes. But we won’t remain fallen forever. With time, we learn to pick up ourselves at some point to Start a New Life!

The sooner we learn, the better!

Bye Bye Alto

You guessed it right! It’s been a while with our Alto K10 and now it’s time for a new car to drive our dreams. And guess how I would go about it? Simple!

I would go to Quikr.com

Post an ad about my Alto.

And then get started with Quikr NXT!

If you are not aware of, Quikr NXT is a bew chat feature in the Quikr website that allows one to communicate in real time with a buyer or a seller just like in any other chat service. By far, it has several advantages over communicating by Email ID or phone. First, I can save my privacy. I do not have to disclose my Email ID or mobile number to a stranger because Quikr NXT requires only me Quikr username to login.

Well, this is how my chat with a potential buyer of my old car would go:

Buyer: Hello

Me: Hi

Buyer: I’ve seen the ad you’ve posted about your car

Me: Yes, tell me

Buyer: I see it is Alto K10, bought in 2012

Me: Yes

Buyer: May I know why do you want to sell your car? It’s been only a couple of years since you bought.

Me: Well, the family size is getting bigger with grandchildren coming in every year 🙂 So we need a bigger car now to accommodate all of us.

Buyer: I see. Is it in right working condition?

Me: Yes, ofcourse

Buyer: In your ad, there’s only one picture of the front view. May I see more pictures of all the sides to make sure there are no scratches. Also can I have a look at the inside as well?

Me: Sure. Please give me a minute while I take the snaps.

I am done taking the pictures.


Buyer: Thank you. Seems fine. How about the price?

Me: The on-road price when I got it was Rs. 4.1 lakhs. I am willing to sell it for Rs. 3.1 lakhs.

Buyer: Any negotiation?

Me: May be 10k, not lesser than that.

Buyer: 3 lakhs sounds good. Can I meet you by evening to have a look at the car and make the deal?

Me: Sure.

And thus I got a buyer for my Alto by Quikr NXT.

If you had noticed, I didn’t have to reveal my personal details throughout the conversion. Good, isn’t?

Also, if I quote different prices to different buyers, I can keep a track of them through their individual chat saves. Generally this is so difficult with phone calls because you would receive humpty number of calls within a few hours of posting the ad and it’s hard to remember what price I had quoted to each.

The next step is to buy my new car.

I would search the site for new cars that fit my new dreams.

Once I spot sellers, I would get started again with Quikr NXT.