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I Remember It Like It Was Yesterday!

My brother and I were playing outside in our front yard in a small village called Atchuvelli in Srilanka. Our mother was in the kitchen preparing for lunch. Our father was living in Canada at that time. It must have been like 11 am. My mother came out of the kitchen and looked up at the sky. We knew what was happening as this was a routine for us. The sound of a helicopter can be heard a little far away. That only means one thing, trouble is coming our way. She stood outside for about 5 minutes and the noise was only getting louder. She dropped everything she was doing and went to grab a few blankets. We knew the drill. We put on our slippers and waited for her at the front gate. She grabbed us and walked in a speed that was hard for us to keep up with.

The noise of the helicopter rotor was no match for the shells that were coming out of them. This helicopter shelling was not a new thing for us. It happened all the time. This time it was very close to home. My mother must have known. Even though we had an underground shelter in our house, my mother always took us to the neighbour’s underground shelter. She was scared that if something happened to us that no one would find us.

We got to the shelter just in time. Our mother told us to go down first and then she came in, she always did that in the hope that if anything happened we would survive since she will be closer to the opening of the shelter. There were 14 of us in that underground shelter. It was a really big one. There was room for us to lie down in case we had to stay down there for days. We all waited for that helicopter to pass by. All the adults in the shelter were praying that this shelter would survive the shells. I can only imagine how scared my mother would of been. After 3 or 4 hours, my friend’s dad told us that it was safe to come out. We did indeed survive this time. We said bye to our friends and came back home.

I can remember this incident like it was yesterday. Even after coming to Canada, my brother and I would jump every time we heard the sound of a helicopter. That fear stayed with us for many years.

The civil war in Srilanka lasted more than 25 years and took the lives of 100,000 people.

 

***Gajay***

 

January 29, 2015 - 5:21 pm

Kavitha - I think every single person who went through that war will feel the same way when they hear the sound of helicopter. I still look up every time I hear it. We had a dog and he’ll be the first one to run to the underground shelter but would stand at the entrance and bark, too scared to enter. I remember being at school when shelling happened, scrambling to find our bicycles, riding furiously to get home, dropping our bicycles and lying on the ground when we hear shelling nearby. This is all happened more than what 20 years ago and yes we still remember it as if it happened yesterday. Will never be forgotten.

Saving time in the kitchen

 

As I resumed my career on a full-time basis after being a stay-at-home mom for about 3 years, it took some adjusting to go back to the grind of daily life routines all full-time working moms juggle.  One of the main adjustments had to come in the kitchen: the quicker the meals can appear on the table, the better!  Of course, they have to be relatively healthy too.  A few tips I’ve adapted to that seem to be working well at home:

* adding veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots straight to the rice cooker during the last few minutes of rice cooking (i.e. when there’s no more water or bubbles on top of rice) – not only no need for another pot to boil water and get out the steamer, rice and steamed veggies come out ready to be served at once….great addition to salmon, chicken or pork chops.

* always keeping shredded carrots on hand – as shredded carrots hardly add any taste to a dish, it’s an easy addition to any meal to up the veggie content: works well for any pasta dish, stir fry or noodles.  When in a time crunch, tossing together scrambled eggs, sauteed shredded carrots and meatballs with rice makes a quick and balanced school lunch.

* making frittatas in the weekend for a super quick yet healthy breakfast for weekday mornings – adding mushrooms, green peppers, chopped spinach and a bit of cheese to eggs and baking in a sprayed muffin tin offers a great breakfast choice that can be had with one hand after a 30 second microwave warm up while what seems like dashing out the house every morning.

* always keeping cooked chicken (baked and shredded) also comes handy for many meals: sandwiches, wraps, salads, pastas, stir fry, noodles and more!  Don’t like the smell of cooked chicken that sits in the fridge for a couple of days?  Add garlic and celery/carrot when cooking the meat to add flavor and taste great even after sitting in the fridge over a couple of nights.

What are the secrets up your sleeves that save you time in the kitchen?  Do share…

~Anushiya

January 27, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Saumea - Great tips! One of my tips..We like to have healthy smoothies as part of breakfast or on-the-go for work. To make the morning rush easier to manage I like to to wash and freeze berries or any other fresh produce in ziplock bags so you just grab blend and go in the mornings. It also saves food from spoiling as fruits like straweberries, blueberries and fresh greens like kale can go bad in the fridge in a few days. When using for smoothies you don’t need too many of these so they last longer too.

Movie Time?

Let’s face it, we all love movies and love going to the theater to catch the latest block buster. The South Asian community is no exception to this. We love our movies. As we all know, its not easy to just pick up and go watch a movie after you have kids. If we want to watch a movie, we have to make arrangements for the children so you and your significant other can go to the movie together. Well if you are a South Asian parent, there is no need for a baby sitter because you bring your infant to the movies.

My husband and I went to the movies last week to see the latest Tamil movie and as we were looking for seats, there was a mom with an infant sitting in one of the front rows of the theater. I couldn’t believe my eyes. An infant in a movie theater where the noise level is as loud as it could get.

As we found a seat and settled in, we noticed that there were two kids sitting right in front of us, one is about 5 years old and the other is about 1. The 1 year old pretty much cried throughout the whole movie. Which one year old is going to sit through a 3 hour movie? Come on!

A movie theater is no place for a young child or an infant. These are not child friendly movies. They are PG-13 or rated R movies with violence and sexual references. I firmly believe that children should not be taken to movies that were not meant for them. They are being exposed to violence and sexual content from a young age. If you don’t have the support system to leave your children then choose a family friendly movie and make it a day out with the family.

Moving forward, let’s be mindful of what we are exposing our children to.

Facebook Post Overload!

I’m always feeling overloaded with information shared on Facebook by my “Facebook Friends”…not all, but most!  A lot of the times, I find myself wanting to run off from Facebook with the irritation of having known information about people that I’m not interested in.  My girlfriends and I always touch on this topic and although we duke it out with each other (as most of our discussions go as we all have strong opinions and the need to share), we always end on agreeing to disagree as we have different comfort levels on how much of Facebook sharing is acceptable without making the reader/viewer wanting to throw up.  On a scale of 1 to 10, some of us are around 3, some of us are around 8 and the rest are in between… View full post »

January 19, 2015 - 4:44 pm

priya - I do have the similar sentiments of Anushiya :) here’s a trick so instead of going the un friend route, I believe if you do categories for your friends list and then under notification set only the list you want to see, then I think you can weed out the too much drama :) I hope it works. Some simply love documenting every single moment of their lives on social media ;)

January 21, 2015 - 4:09 pm

Mommy Culture - Ah…good idea, Priya.

What is a Paleo Diet?

In keeping up with our new year resolution to eat better and to choose organic products, we have been doing some research on paleo and keto diet. As we looked into these diets we realized that the paleo diet is becoming increasingly popular because its so simple.

So what is paleo diet?

The paleo diet, also popularly known as the ‘caveman’ diet is a dietary plan roughly based on what our ancestors consumed during the paleolithic era. The current day diet is not an exact replication of their diet. Just a concept of what their diet would have been like – basically healthy, wholesome food that is not full of additives, preservatives and other harmful substances so often found in our current diet.

You can EAT:

  • Grass-produced meats
  • Fish/seafood
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthful oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

DON’T EAT:

  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils

Its as simple as this.

For more info please click here.

 

***Gajay***