After about two months of being tagged on a blog post by a blogger friend, today I am indulging myself in a bit of reveal by giving out answers.
One beauty product you would recommend to your girlfriends
I was not very good at being faithful to one brand of bath soap. And one day, I quit using it altogether!
You see, my skin is high maintenance. Oily sometimes, at times dry and sometimes really dry! Some products made the skin prone to acne, some just didn’t work. I thought it was something to do with the moisturiser I used, and trust me, I tried many!
While browsing one day around ten years ago, I stumbled upon Body Shop’s Tea Tree range of products. Most of them are alright I suppose, but the one that stuck to my life was the Tea Tree Body Wash. Since then, it has been a part of my daily routine. My skin stays clear and hydrated and I feel fresh all day long. It is the perfect regime for clear skin; skin free of acne, even on the most humid days when my skin becomes really oily. What more could a woman want?
Three books everyone must read
In the course of life, one reads and then absorbs some, then reads more. I have done the same. There are so many books! Such lovely, wonderful, mystical, thrilling, sad, happy, philosophical books that to keep a count of it is impossible. To choose any three, even more so. I like classics a lot, but when it comes to choosing any three that I think others should read, I have in my mind these books.
The Seven O’Clock Tales- Enid Blyton This is the one book I have retained from my childhood. It sits on my book shelf, waiting for the next generation to be taken to the magic kingdom.
Childhood is the best time of life. What a wonderful time it was, when all I had to do was snuggle under the covers and be transported into a magical land, where pixies and fairies resided, where Edward, the pink teddy bear could speak, rage and even comfort little Elsie, where little brownies were worried they wouldn’t reach the party on time, where the naughty shoemaker made skippetty shoes for a gnome, and so on. Once I grew up, my love of Enid Blyton books continued of course, with series like Adventurous Four, Famous Five, Secret Seven, and more. I don’t remember names of the children in those books any more, but I still remember stories from Seven O’ Clock Tales.
Gitanjali- Rabindranath Tagore One of my teachers had once said, “Poems are the means through which one human being can glimpse into the soul of another; where outpourings of emotions can become the mirror to one’s heart. ” She was so right!
Gitanjali is a collection of 103 poems, written by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Originally written in Bengali, there were translated in English first in 1912. I had a small pocket book as a young woman, where I had written my favourite poems from the collection. I found them deeply spiritual. Any time I was dejected, disappointed or even bored, I would take it out and read one of the poems. Sometimes written so simply, sometimes in complex ways, they talk so beautifully – giving comfort and at times, even strength. These days, I have a very distinctive and detailed edition of Gitanjali, with original Bengali lyrics in facsimile. The effect of the poems I find, has not worn off. Here is one I always had in my pocket book. It is a prayer from the heart, never to be forgotten.
When the heart is hard and parched up, come upon me with a shower of mercy
When grace is lost from life, come with a burst of song
When tumultuous work raises its din on all sides
shutting me out from beyond, come to me, my lord of silence, with thy peace and rest.
When my beggarly heart sits crouched, shut up in a corner,
break open the door, my king, and come with the ceremony of a king.
When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust O thou holy one,
thou wakeful, come with thy light and thy thunder.
Under the Tuscan Sun- Frances Mayes I read a lot of romance, and I do mean lots! Yet I have not come across any romance novel/book that matches the romance of the place as much as this one does. Honestly speaking, my love for the Italy, specially for Tuscany budded from this particular book.
This book has been written with love and passion for the spectacular Tuscan countryside. Celebrating, what Frances calls as a ‘voluptuousness of Italian life’, this book can be read and re-read again- maybe in the bus, maybe when you’re picnicking on a lazy summer day. It will bring the scent of fresh cut herbs, ripening olives and grapes on the trees, prosciutto and garlic bread (I feel my nose flaring for scents every time I read chapters in the book describing the countryside or the cooking). You’ll agree with me if you’ve read it, I know you will!
Favourite On-line Shopping Site
There was a time when I used to do a lot of on-line shopping in India. I bought some very good stuff through on-line shopping out there. But things have changed, and the shopping sites are not as simple or as qualitative as they were before. Australia especially doesn’t do a lot of on-line shopping. If you do, your products will come either from the U.S. or the U.K or some such country. So why bother paying extra money for shipping? Not for me. I like browsing through shop windows, and shopping leisurely.
Favourite Phone App
I suck at using phone apps! I like using the phone to make calls, or at best to message people or check one of the social media websites. But that’s the extent of it.
One dish you are really good at making and its recipe
I am not a great cook, but I do like dabbling in the kitchen when the mood takes me. The one thing that is a regular demand in my house is my Cinnamon Tea Cake. It is very easy to cook and doesn’t really need much time or preparing.
What you need:
2 cups self-raising flour
4 Tbsp. custard powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
200 g. soft butter
How to make it:
Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat them together for 3-4 minutes on medium setting.
Prepare baking pan. Grease base top with baking paper, then add two more layers of baking paper, making sure each layer has been greased.
Spread mixture evenly into baking pan.
Bake at 170 degrees C for one hour.
While hot, spread the cake liberally with butter
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar (can use a whole jar of cinnamon sugar) and decorate it with vanilla cream or strawberries if you like.