Saturday, April 26, 2014

EXPERIMENTS IN THE KITCHEN cont.....

vanilla cupcake
This was one of the best cakes to be baked by me. It had simple vanilla cake with choclate chips.
Tasted awesome and looked great too.





Rava cake
 "Curiosity killed the cat" is all I could say from this recipe of mine. I really like rava and love everything made from it, be it chilla ,dosa, idly or upma. When I read cake I was so thrilled that I immediately baked it. Later did I realize that it was nothing but sooji halwa which was baked. Anyway, it tasted okay but I will be careful next time and will not get carried away by my favourite ingredient names.



choclate cake

 This was a simple chocolate cake . What are those black beads? Those are white chocolate chips which I decided to put during the halfway of baking only to get it charred . Sometimes I really do get intelligent ideas. Isn't it?


                                                     
     
    I made this with a lot of hope that it will be loved by my kids but
it failed to impress them . This contains chocolate chip cookies, nutella, cocoa powder, sugar and it did taste good but only to me.                                                                                                                                                      
nutella truffles

Thursday, March 20, 2014

FIZA SAYS FARIS SAYS

My blog says "Bringing up Fiza & Faris" but off late I am putting in here everything apart from them. My whole day revolves and rotates around them ( well I dont have an option ) and I get to witness such amusing and interesting talks and actions from them that I really start thanking Allah that my decision to be with them was correct. This post is dedicated to all the small talks or conversations they have. I wish our Internet connection was fast enough so as to upload their small videos too.  Again I will keep it as an ongoing post and will continue to add whatever I find funny and amusing ( Again........whatever (I FOUND FUNNY OR AMUSING)


I was teaching them English Grammar and while explaining the tenses to Fiza , I explained her first the meanings of the word past, present and future ( I always go a little overboard while teaching ). I dont know whether she understood or not but when after all the long stories, I asked her if we call today as "Present tense" then what would be yesterday called ( I waited proudly for the answer) and she said " ABSENT TENSE"

My son did his first naughty search  in our good old Google. He searched for "Potty Pics" . I came to know about this because Fiza told me and second when I opened google in my ipad , the page was opened with "Potty Pics" and the images were like awwwww, it had so many pics of kids sitting in the potty with their bums for the world to see. It was the cutest things I could have seen. But on the dangerous side , he can type any nonsense things so I have to be very careful now.
                                                                
      "Which is the largest oil producing country in the world?" We all know it , right. Faris also knows it from his GK textbook and he always starts his little research on things which intrigues him. This time he got a bit confused with the term oil and asked me "wahan pe oil se banne wala saara khane ka cheez zyada milega na?" May be he even dreamt of puris and pakodas that day.
           We are planning our holidays and he asked us whether we can go to another planet like Mars and when I told him no, he really became sad and truly wishes one day it will be possible for all of us to go for vacation in different planets. If that is possible I would like to goto Saturn. Thats a beautiful planet.

That day I had tried methi ka parantha for the first time and after giving their exams Faris had three. I was happy and just to make him know that I had put so much pain in making them, I told him that I had kneaded the dough with dal. He replied " Isliye isse itna smell aa raha hai". I was shocked and asked him why he had three when it smelled so bad, to which he replied " bahut bhookh laga tha isliye kha liya nahin to ek bhi nahin khata" . I was stunned. Anyways his favourite nowadays is methi ka parantha and he very weirdly combines it with an egg poach. I am still unable to come in terms with this combination.
                                                                                                 
                                                








Tuesday, March 18, 2014

EXPERIMENTS IN THE KITCHEN




At the time when I got married I knew how to boil water .... I mean exactly how to boil water. Other than that , I had a long way to go. Had it not been the support from my jethani i would have been sent back to ..well back to momma to learn something other than boiling water. I somehow hated all the cooking business. " Why do people waste their sooooo precious time in COOKING" was exactly my thought . The time which used to get spent in cooking can be utilized in so many productive ways ( cooking was definitely not a productive chore). It was always we both ( jethani and I) getting up at approx 5:30 am and entering the kitchen to begin our long extensive menu preparation for the day ( breakfast , lunch and dinner). We prepared all the three meals together at one go because we both were working at that time ( I quit recently) and none of us would be back by 5:30 pm. Only fresh rotis were prepared at 7:00 pm or the timing had to be adjusted in such a way that the first roti came off the tawa ( the griddle) at 7:30 pm dot. I did learn few things from my jethani but that was out of sheer pressure and not out of interest. These were my initial days , later I had joined Axis Bank and things became much worse. I detested coming to kitchen because I came back home at around 8:00 pm and the "ME" time was getting reduced tremendously. After that I became the fortunate mother of twins in the year 2007 and i had to manage the twenty four hours properly into a demanding job, a joint family, my two beautiful babies, my husband ( i always fall short of adjectives when it is time to describe him) and ME. For the next six years what followed was a mayhem of unkempt home, dissatisfied in-laws, neglected kids, all the more neglected husband and a DEAD ME. " How can women write recipes asking one another and to top it , go home and actually cook what they have scribbled " . I despised cooking to the core. In between I did get a sudden spike of interest in baking and so my husband ( lovable, adorable, dutiful, peace loving) got me an OTG. I did bake two cakes and a batch of cookies. Then suddenly it became too tedious and boring for me. By this time I had automatically learn t to cook biryani. This dish did come automatically because i had accompanied my jethani in cooking this awesome dish umpteen times . It just got registered in the memory. I think even if I get Alzheimer, i will certainly remember how to cook a biryani.  So all said and done I quit my job due to many reasons in the year 2013 and now I am a full time homemaker or better still housemother. Not in my wildest dreams I would have thought that I , Shaima Shamim would become crazy about cooking new dishes and trying out all possible understandable recipes from the Internet. My OTG is in full use . Not only I bake cakes, muffins and cookies in them, I also bake paneer, cauliflower, potatoes. I am a big fan of everything which requires baking. I never knew this side of mine. I still sometimes smile by myself that I am actually liking this whole cooking business. Gone are the days when I used to cook just because I had to feed people in my home ..Today I cook because I want people to relish what I prepared. I cook from my heart and soul. 
I thought why not put all the experiments be it good or bad in an ongoing post. So I am going to start uploading pics of what I make in the kitchen . Nope, there will be no recipes...the Internet is full of them . This is just to keep in memories what I love just as we keep pics of our kids and pets.....
NUTELLA FILLED COOKIE



This one I recently prepared and My kids just loved it. It really came out well but as the name in the recipe says, cookie. This turned out to be more like a cake. Have it with a bit of actual Nutella by the side and you will be in heaven.








MATHRI








This is the famous mathri which my family loves. It has cumin seeds and pepper powder and the healthy wheat too in half proportion. But do not make the mistake of considering this as healthy just because it is baked, it has half cup oil..........boo hooo half cup of oil. I also had put a little more salt in it so it was not so liked by all.





CHOCOLATE CAKE
The specialty of this cake is that it has no eggs and no butter......HEALTHY????? NOOOOOO
It has 1/4th cup oil....yippeeeee. If you think about your waistline, don't eat cakes....I have sprinkled some icing sugar on top for that glamour. 


RED VELVET CAKE
  See this cake, this is supposed to be "Red Velvet cake with Vanilla frosting" . The cake was uhmmm salty , i dont know how, i dont have the slightest clue. For the first time Faris told me "Yeh cake bilkul nahin kha sakte". Yes for the first time, I had to throw the cake in the dustbin, my heart, my love. Though the icing was fantastic , I could have licked the entire preparation. This cake was my BIGGEST DISASTER. The pic on the right looks good though.


KULCHAS




The very same day I made the above monster , I also made this delicacy , the Kulcha. It turned out to be very soft and tasty. Actually I wanted to make Naan but then after reading the recipe, I felt it would be a bit tedious and lengthy so switched on to this easier version. Now I personally feel it is very similar to Normal maida ka paratha of course but a little variation here and there. My both the kids enjoyed it and I was a happy mother at the end . 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Guilty as Charged



How about certain moments of our life which makes itself very memorable due to certain of our lies, misdeeds ….yes I am talking about the darker side of an individual, the so called ‘grey shades’ of a person. It may or may not be as serious as to be called a “crime” which ends somebody in jail but it may or may not be as casual also as not be called a “crime” because after all it was intentional.

My sister was born when I was exactly eight years and seven months. So my reign ended, not that I was a victim of “sibling rivalry” but sometimes I just felt plain happiness in scaring her. When she was around four or five, I used to take her to our beloved Gymkhana ground; this is our desi “Eden Garden”. Those days it was covered with tall grasses and for a four year old it used to reach till her chest. I basically used to take her for a small play so that she can run around and get some open fresh air. Of course I used to play with her but in between I used to leave her in the middle of the grass and hide myself far away. After three to four minutes she used to get really scared standing alone and the moment her face got distorted into a big cry, I used to emerge and I played this several times in one outing and simply loved her scared expressions. Ive told her this; I mean after she grew up but haven’t told my mother yet. 

This incident happened in Shanta mam’s class when I was in fourth standard. I was really quite a dumb girl in my primary classes. I was a below average student and not into sports or any extracurricular activities and also very silent. Once when we were reading through our lesson “The Tajmahal”, our teacher suddenly asked us “Who all have seen The Tajmahal?” I knew Tajmahal was somewhere in Delhi and it was one of the wonders of the world and that was it. Till today I don’t understand what had gotten into me that I stood up with seven others of my class. I lied that I had seen “Tajmahal” and the whole universe were a witness to it. I was so affected by this lie of mine that whenever any conversation between any friends had “Tajmahal” in it, I used to go numb fearing that someone would point out just now “Hey Shaima, you had been to it, how many front doors are there” or “how many minars are there” . This lie of mine actually became a nightmare for me and I was living with this until finally one day my would be husband to impress her would be wife asked “Where do you want to go for honeymoon?” No guesses for the correct answer. As I stood in front of the Tajmahal along with my husband, I was all smiles as I was finally getting relieved from this lie. 

I hated bathing when I was young. I lie again; okay I still hate to take bathe so I skip the Sundays. During those lazy childhood days whenever I felt like not having bath, I used to throw mugs of water inside the bathroom pretending as if I am taking bath to my mother who used to be in the next door kitchen. I just used to wash my face and hands and come out. I very recently told her this and she gave me very dirty look. Well I deserved it. 

Our favorite pastime during my childhood days was going to “Marina Park”, this park has been the sole companion of all the children here in Andamans especially kids born in the 70s and 80s (until of course “Gandhi Park” came into picture). Those days Marina Park was like a huge gorgeous garden with flowers of beautiful colors and varieties adorning the entire place. It was such a splendid sight entering into the park and taking in the beauty. And not forgetting to mention the ’maalis’ who might have really done such a task of decorating and maintaining the entire place. And yes “nobody was allowed to pluck any flowers”. Okay, so once I had gone like the normal evening-outs with my friend Hema and Devamma( she was my mom’s helper) to the park and were playing in the swing. Later as we were roaming in the garden, I very carefully plucked a beautiful huge (yes it was...) hibiscus flower and put it in my jeans pocket. Then after much playing as we proceeded back to home, a maali blocked our way and asked us “u guys are plucking flowers, isn’t it?” I was shocked but tried to keep the expression away from my face and boldly answered back to him(You see, among Hema who was three years younger to me and Devamma, I was the smartest) “ what are u saying, we were just playing”. Within a snap he came forward and pulled out the hibiscus flower from my jeans pocket which I was hiding securely (well I was a kid) and asked “What is this, then?” I was dumbstruck, in fact we all were. Saying this he scolded us and left. I was embarrassed to the core and we all ran from there. Needless to say, I did not visit Marina Park for so many months after that. Very unfortunately Tsunami destroyed the entire park and they had it rebuilt but nothing close to what we had experienced in terms of the garden.

I think this happened in class seven, this incident doesn’t exactly fall into this category but come on, it is my blog, I can write whatever I want, wherever I want, isn’t it? As I said, I was a dumb girl in my childhood days (I stress this every time coz I became a real bookworm in my Senior Secondary and very very vocal during my college days). Quite obvious, I was not the first ten choices for any girl’s friend options. I had limited friends and I was happy among them. There was a girl “Devarchana” and she used to be the hot favorite among all and I don’t remember exactly but we had some serious conflicts those days. She was hosting a big party and those days having a party only for the friends was not even luxury, it was considered to be a phenomenon. Everybody was busy talking about the party venue, dress what one is going to wear and I again had a silly fight with her. In front of my entire friend circle, she shouted at me and asked me “You don’t like me, isn’t it?” It was a moment of decision, the party, food, fun, friends were dancing in front of me and I blurted out at the top of my voice ” I hate u, I hate u” ( Yes, you got it right, I said that twice). I think only seven of us including both the sections did not make to her precious party list. Rest as we all say, Que sera sera.

This incident occurred in Axis Bank. One of my so called friend’s (wait when you read what I did) birthday was there and I was very much aware of it. Now the custom of Axis Bank was this that we all celebrated every employee’s birthday (some definitely got missed due to it falling on holidays or some new entrants whom we never bothered and some rare forgotten cases). I was so pissed from her behavior in the bank that I did not wish her and did not remind others also so that nobody wishes her on her big day. That day somehow passed and quite obviously, she was so depressed. Things took a turn when early next morning my boss called me and told me that we had skipped her birthday and we need to makeup that mistake so I was give the charge of celebrating it. I couldn’t believe it but still I did not lose hope. I went to the market to get a gift and selected the worst possible necklace for her (tacky and cheapo type). The look on her face when she opened her gift…..PRICELESS.

I could think only of these as of now but I would definitely add the wicked side of me more.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

THE BOOK 2013 THAT WAS.....

                        
          

The year 2013 had been like "kabhie Khushi kabhi gham" film for me. This number 13 had been worst at certain moments and also had been my truest best in some. Though all the years and all the months in my life have been eventful for me ( what more events u require from a woman who was a relationship manager at a pvt bank in India and to top it, a mother of hyperactive twins), this year had touched an emotional chord each time and I feel the chapters of life in 2013 had taught me much much more than the rest of the book put together .The chapters are in random order.
                                       It was October 3 and my mother had complained of a slight pain at her back a day earlier. I was taking Faris to hospital that day and I rushed to be with her ( I normally accompany her to the clinic visits) at Maricars. She was not looking good, she was unable to sit and unable to talk because of the immense pain. Later the pain had become so worse that she was falling onto me unable to stand by herself , let alone walk. Dr Maricar told me she was undergoing a multiple organ failure . This kept ringing in my ear. We got her admitted in ICU , her sugar was 590 ( Anshads mother had told me that she had lost her mother in law to a cardiac arrest at 550 sugar level). Dr Omkar told me that he doubted my mother will be able to make it through the night. I wept , my sister consoled me and Tabraiz told me to have faith . The next 5 days my mother did not talk, she blabbered, she passed urine in a pan, her teeth were unbrushed, her hair was uncombed which went to a total irreversible messed state, her cloth was not changed, she went totally disoriented, she did not eat , she drank in little sips, she was not able to sit. During these 5 days I became oblivious to hunger, sleep, pain. All I wanted was my mothers life . I can recall that all I could manage to have was a glass of milk every day coz I no longer felt hunger. I saw death very closely, I felt it . This was the worst chapter of the entire book and there was no escape, I had to read it and live it.
                                      My mother spoke to me properly on 8th October . I asked her " kiska mummy hai" she said " tumhara aur kiska, kyun poonchtin ?" It was the most blessed moment and this cannot be forgotten ever. Later my sister,father and Tabraiz took her to Chennai and Alhamdullilah she became much better. Now I try to cherish each moment spent with her. She has been my mentor, my idol, my friend, my mother. Today though I know she is not well , she can never be like before but she is with us and that's what makes this chapter the happiest and special from all others.
                                      March 31,2013 I bid adieu to my eight year old job from Axis Bank, Portblair branch. My stint at Axis Bank came to an end, I took a child care leave only to resign later. I was leaving a job which was giving me a take home salary of Rs 58000/- . My decision were based on two main factors .The first and foremost was because of my kids who were getting severely neglected coz of my coming home at 8:00 pm. The second was that I became too exhausted by the work pressure and the same monotonous job of selling bank products. Axis Bank had taught me to walk confidently, to talk smartly and I had come to know of certain qualities within me that I never knew existed. Since April 2013 I was as free as I could be, I was the happiest with my kids. They loved my being at home with them. The twinkle in their eyes when they returned from school made me flutter. I am trying to become a mother like my mother had been. It is impossible but if I reach atleast 50% of how she was with us, I'll still be happy. But there was a flip side to it, after being financially independent for almost 12 years , I suddenly felt awkward to use my husbands account for my very personal expenses like a costly facial, an unwanted shoe, a not required expensive dress, small gifts for my friends.Now I strongly feel the need to earn money, to be financially independent once again but definitely not at the cost of my children's time. This chapter still leaves me puzzled, I am yet to understand the conflict of time/money/love/relations but still I am happy that love won at the end.
                                  The most entertaining chapter was my first international trip to Malaysia and Thailand in May. Oh I loved it. I enjoyed every bit of the 15 day trip. Also for the first time we were handling our little monsters all by ourselves ( normally we also take a maid along with us). It was so much fun and they did not trouble us that much.
                                 August 2013, I weighed 85 kgs and my self esteem weighed much more. A friend of mine introduced me to an aerobics class which had very recently started. I enrolled in it and the pretty instructor was full of advices and much more she encouraged us, motivated us. There were too many instances in my life when I was put down or laughed at coz of my size. I feel I respond equally to 'moti' as I respond to 'Shaima'. I stopped telling people that I used to be slim once because that seemed decades back to me. I decided to give my weight loss programme one more chance. My fear of Type 2 Diabetes also was forcing me to become fit .So I started eating healthy, no I did not diet, I ate what was required and that was healthy. Today on 1st January, 2014 I weigh 76 kgs, yes I am not slim but I managed to reduce 9 kgs. My self esteem is much better. I have started wearing jeans and for the first time I went to the dance floor in the New year eve. This chapter taught me " If you think , you can or you can't .whatever ..YOU ARE RIGHT."
                                      How it is to lose a very good friend in a way that u don't want to see or hear from the friend any more. This chapter was the biggest teacher . Never trust someone too much that you divulge all your information about yourself . If it is not your parents or husband or kids then its always your happiness that should come first . 
                                          My sister was here for her holidays recently and she said a sau taka ki baat . She said " Shamim ki beti ban kar jiyo ,aap bahut aage jayegi". This was a statement which meant a thousand things. So I dont have any specific new year plans because i feel HE is the only one who will make plans but yes this year I want to be M A Shamim's daughter more than anything else.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

RANDOMS ABOUT ME....

Some Random facts or confessions about myself........(I too am confused)
I’ve seen so many blogs in which I’ve come across random facts about different people. So I thought of doing one for myself. I recommend each one of to do this little exercise coz u’ll be amazed at the results.

1. I am an Aries Taurus cusp. I always wanted to be a true Taurean just because it said ‘this zodiac is ruled by the planet of Venus, beauty’. Off late I’ve finally realized that the Aries characteristics in me are much more than the traits of a Taurean. 

2. I generally like talking with people and enjoy making friends but I easily get annoyed by people also, particularly their behaviour. By behaviour I mean everything , it could be their continuous use of English language(We are Indians, remember), their eating and purposefully escaping the bill on a regular basis, gossiping about someone for a particular thing which even you are guilty of( I hate them), always bragging about themselves ( hello , who are u? ….Mukesh Ambani), false compliments ‘u looking so good, hawwwt’ to a 85 kg woman(they can look good but definitely not hot) ‘my God are u dieting, uve gone down so much’ (I’ve haven’t budged 100 gms).

3. I am shit scared of butterflies or to be more precise any insects which flies. To be all the more precise anything which flies, like birds?

4. I am a beauty and makeup fanatic. I can read the “uses of gram flour in beauty” 10 times in 10 different websites everyday without getting bored. I love to watch the YouTube videos of makeup.
 
5. I am totally a fan of pink lipsticks. It is never enough for me to get a new shade of pink.

6. I also read a lot about health and fitness and diet. I feel I can easily become a diet instructor (they will see me and go running away ….that’s another part of the story)

7. I am also into a lot of stuffs like home d├ęcor. Though I feel I don’t do it so well but yes if I will be given a free hand I can make homes look better.

8. I love baking cakes and biscuits...no I haven’t baked anything more than a simple plum cake or simple butter biscuits.

9. I love to teach especially crafts and DIYs and stuffs like that.

10. I love experimenting new hairstyles on Fiza

11. I like to read and write (this blog…….)

12. I hate selling products….i was doing this for eight years .I don’t know but I simply hate selling now ( never liked it then too) , giving wrong reassurances about the products, disgusting.

13. I hate eating bhindi (ladies finger) . I have specified this coz I enjoy eating every other edible thing on earth but I hate this thing.

14. I can have dosas and omelette three times a day, 30 days a month…..yummmm

15. I hate anything complicated…theorems, functions of electronic gadgets. Yup I am very clumsy in handling any electronic items. I think I have a E.M.F around me which causes all the electronic gadgets to malfunction and finally breakdown as soon as they come into contact with me. 

16. We have a  Digital camera, video camera, an SLR, a home theatre….I don’t know even 50% of the operations of any of this.

17. I cannot play video games especially the car racing ones and hero fighters in which u have to fight against all different evils and shoot them. I can only play puzzle games (like Sudoku, Solitaire) and Mario Luigi (in which I know what is coming next). I have come to a conclusion that I cannot coordinate speed, direction, time at one instant so according to Amir Khan in “Taare Zamin per” makes me 30% dyslexic. Yes to support this theory I cannot even catch objects thrown at me.

18. I tend to develop a favourite boy and girl (among subordinates) wherever I work and I am quite vocal about it so it makes me a partial boss because I support them always and the degree of scolding also lessens tremendously if they have done a mistake.

19. I have a stupid face which cannot hide emotions and feelings. So if I am pissed off my face is also pissed off irrespective of the situation I am in. I am also quite vocal about everything.

20. I get angry if I don’t eat when I am hungry, I cannot control my hunger. I get hungry every two hours. That is a very good sign according to Rujuta Diwekar’s book “Don’t lose your mind, lose your weight” if I have little food every time but I tend to gobble huge portions every 2-3 hours.

21. I have a bad and gross habit of scratching the skin of the nail bed (I don’t know what to call that area, it is the place where your nail begins, I mean the area above the cuticles) which has eventually made by hand and fingers look ugly. I need a lot of concentration to stop it, the moment I feel stress or anger or fear, I start it.

22. I was a dark girl when I was young and I don’t understand how the transformation happened for me into a wheatish one. 

23. I don’t like my routine to be disturbed, I get irritated.

24. I have the shortest of the shortest possible temper. I get angry at the drop of a hat and also forget things in the same way but then it always becomes too late.

25. I like Shahrukh Khan…hell….(This is a major confession, hope Tanki never reads it) yeah but I like him .

26. I love Salman and Akshay . They are the two most handsome heroes of Bollywood.

27. I love M.A.C Cosmetics, how I wish I could purchase their entire store.

28. I don’t know to walk in heels, even a mere one and a half inch freaks me out. 

29. When I was young I used to read a lot about IVF simply out of interest. It used to intrigue me; I never had the faintest idea I will have to undergo this treatment in future. I am a proud mother of IVF twins. Yes, I ve stopped reading anything in medicine nowadays especially if it is a disease.

30. I always wished my husband to be tall fair and very articulate from College days. Allah has taken care of this wish 100% and also many more. I find myself very lucky. Alhamdulillah.

31. I find striking similarities between Fiza and Tanki. I love both of them. Ya ..i can do a separate post on this.

32. I find my mother very broad minded and intelligent and understanding irrespective of the fact that she has done only Senior Secondary. And my father the most patient.

33. I am allergic to cigarettes and ashes of it. I will be unable to eat if I sight cigarette buds anywhere.

34. I am 100 % sea sick person. Any sort of long movement in the flight or ship or car nauseate me severely.

well these are for now, i will keep on adding more.

MY TRIP TO PHOREN

MY MALAYSIA TRIP

Ever since Tabraiz had been to Singapore for our new venture, the dream of visiting a foreign land had grown with leaps and bounds within me. Though he had been promising me to take me somewhere outside India for the past 3-4 years but something or the other kept us rooted back here or max to CHENNAI ( I adore this place...) . We were contemplating between Singapore and Malaysia and obviously Ringgit won from SGD. We combined Thailand along with Malaysia just to purchase LED tv ( believe me, that's why Tabraiz added Bangkok). The D day arrived and we were off to Bangkok , well due to dates and flights problems we were supposed to go to KL via Bangkok. The total journey including the waiting periods everywhere was approx 18 hrs. I was so worried about the kids but they were the ones who actually slept in any possible place and in any possible position (JUGAAD).

So the flight journey ended well. Yes, we were tired but then everything felt worth it when we were driven through the majestic (yes, I would call it that, they looked gorgeous) roads of Malaysia. The hotel was good and we had a beautiful view of The Petronas from our window ( we were charged extra for that feasting on Petronas ). We slept and got up by 8:00 and just took a cab to see the Petronas at night. Allah.......it looked breathtakingly beautiful, and there were fountains which danced. The whole cascade was so peaceful and satisfying. Yes I don't know why I call it satisfying but there was a calmness which overpowers your brain and body that time and you become numb to the outside noise and the only sense which prevails is your sight with which u see and hear and feel- all at the same time. There was no chaos from the puchka wala/balloon wala/jhaal moodi (I LUV all these and totally missed it in those 14 days). Even the kids there were only on  20% of their naughtiness... Haha. Faris was so impressed by these twin structures that he decided to make one when he grows up...Inshallah .    



view from the window
from GRAND SEASONS, KL
                                                    


PETRONAS at night
the fountains





The greatest currency shock came to me when I wanted to go to the loo badly. We entered the KLCC SURIYA MALL and there was a paid washroom ......2 ringgit ...what the ****,36/- Rs for a piss. I would rather hold it for my hotel toilet. Anyway I paid 4 ringgit for Fiza and myself. Okay...so what if you can sleep in that so called washroom or best even have a lunch date with your partner, it had the best possible flowers , plush sofas, two types of flowery hand washes, wet wipes etc and the whole scene smelled like heaven. I don't know what's the point in having a washroom like a living room.

I forgot to mention about the cabs , they bore the name of the drivers on them which I found extremely necessary. It will lessen the crime rates which involves the cab drivers. There was another interesting thing, my darling girl kept her new pink flowery slippers in the locker of the room...awwww that was so cute, when we asked her as to why has she kept the pair there, she said it is used to keep important things and her slippers are very precious to her (lol) . That winded up our first day....


I was delighted and squealed with joy the moment I saw Idly in breakfast in "Grand Seasons", how much I LUV idly ( these are the healthiest options I feel and quite filling too). My happiness was short lived and ended as soon as I touched one ....eeks it was not cooked properly and had no salt and was totally bland ( I mean actually BLAND) so back to bread and omelette for all of us except for fiza who just enjoyed eating seasonal fruits there.
  
  
                                                                          


Visit to Petronas was first. It stood there, the 452 m tall beauty, looking majestic in all its glory. There was a small cafeteria and I was able to get ENO there. I was all smiles seeing ENO ( Yayyy we get it in India too, the boy behind the desk just did not seem to get the reason behind my smiles). Then there was THE SKYBRIDGE, a bridge which connects the two towers at 41st and 42nd floor. It is interesting to know that the skybridge is not fully connected to the towers, it is designed in a way to slide in and out incase there is a earthquake, to prevent the structure from falling ( I dont understand this theory, I mean it sounds a little scary to me). I had never been to such heights and we all were so intrigued by these structures. Later they took us to the 86th floor where we saw an imitation of the towers in glass..it was lovely. The last two stories ( It has 88 ) were not allowed for visitors , they are used by the defence forces I suppose.
                                        
the SKYBRIDGE
                                     











                                                                         
 
                                                      view from the SKYBRIDGE


 Then came the turn of Lunch , we chose an Indian restaurant ( for obvious reasons).The curry was good but the rice in all the cases was too hard. According to our standards it was not cooked properly and all the dishes especially the rice ones had a smell, a nasty smell. The only person who enjoyed the meal....well i managed to take his pic (above). Anyway it was yuck for me all the way. I also visited a Malaysian doctor(he turned out to be a Patel though...Is there any place of the world where you dont find Patels.)We all went for "The cocoa factory", nothing much to write about it, lots of chocolates ( that we have it here in India too and I felt our Dairy Milk and 5 star tastes much better) .

Okay after that we went to Aquaria, a lovely fish museum. Now I've never been to fish museums , I mean at home I've seen small fish tanks which are kept as a museum in which fishes which are teeny weeny go on moving here and there. And here I am witnessing for the first time in front of me, sharks and rays and huge star fishes and enormous turtles. Also they had kept some of the fishes in an open tank where you could touch them...well I found it quite gross.

 

AQUARIA
                                                                     the BIRDPARK
 
After that we proceeded for "The bird park". Now this is one of its kind. Ive never been to an aviary ( that's what they call it). All the birds are kept open ( except for ostriches because of their over friendly nature), Can they fly away? .....well, no, because they have netted the entire circumference of this park as if there is a netted sky beneath our blue sky. And yes it is not low, it is as high as multistoreyed building . Wow this is some idea ( Abhishek Bachhan should endorse this park). A funny incident took place here , there were many peacocks roaming in the park. So one peahen ( yup ) came to bite a small kid , the kids mother shooed her away but this affected our Farisu a lot and he got so scared that from that point onwards all he said was to go back to hotel. Then it started raining and it rained just as it rains in Andamans ( I LUV ).

Well late in the evening we just went for a stroll and I WENT TO SEPHORA.........YIPEEEEE. How I wished to visit one someday . Our own New Delhi has one but now I feel for me it is easier to go International than visiting Delhi. Though it is a very small shop in KL unlike in New Delhi which is huge( I've seen the pics in various beauty blogs). I purchased a Sephora black shimmery eye liner, this is a wonderful pencil liner just the way as I like them....very black with shimmer ( I LUV shimmers, glitters, sequins,) I also purchased an NYX liquid lipstick in red ,yup in red . It looks good on me but I am sorta afraid to wear it in Portblair. I guess it will dry by itself. Sephora is a dream come true for anyone who is into makeup. I just love makeup , at the age of 34 I aspire to become a makeup artist. You get to see so many shades and brands of cosmetics and makeups....so finally the day ended and we all were happy.


Next day we were all supposed to leave for Genting Highways. We purchased some souvenirs for home, it was pewter mugs and a plate with Malaysia embossed on them ( Pewter is an alloy of majorly tin as its main component and other hardening agents like lead, antimony added to it. It has a silvery appearance. I did not find it that amazing but all the tourists were purchasing it so my husband put his foot down to spend 20000 rs for it).

We visited Batu Caves, a huge statue of Muruga, lord of Tamilians. I forgot to mention that there are a good amount of Tamilians in Malaysia and they even have an optional subject Tamil in most of the schools. All the Tamilians residing here are generally the descendants of our Indian Tamilian ancestors who had migrated to Malaysia long back for business maybe. All of them can speak fluent Tamil but no hindi and have never been to India , also i could make out from them, tney were not interested to visit India ( i found it strange).I also witnessed a Tamil Hotel in Batu Caves serving Idly (yum) and dosas. I wanted to eat but my hubby would have slaughtered me then and there. For him food always comes secondary, it is always luxurious travel ,luxurious stay and luxurious spending on shopping and only then comes food. For me it is any type of food whether simple or complex-all the time.
   
       
BATU CAVES
GENTING founder







                                                             THE AWANA.....SUITE
And thus began journey from KL to Genting Highways .

On our way to Genting, we came across a small lovely spot filled with flowers ( even the flowers are different here ) with a statue of some person. Our guide told us that this was the man owned the entire Genting theme park, he is a Chinese ( no doubt about that) and was a vegetable seller when he came here back in 19 ( Malaysia apna Dhiru bhai Ambani). Apart from selling vegetables he started getting small contracts for construction and while doing so he conceived the idea for developing the Genting Highlands into a mammoth sized theme park with a CASINO.This is the only legalised casino of Malaysia and people say that this is where the real and BIG money is churned , the park is just an eyewash. Now this is what the guide told us . Wikipedia has another story to tell but I loved the filmy guide wala. 


We reached Genting and checked in our resort "Awana " .Tabraiz had booked a suite for us, I've never stayed in a suite and this one was gorgeous, the view from the lawn had the whole of the golf course with colourful flowers near the road end. The morning with a hot cuppa in the lawn, you could have asked for nothing more. I am not a very consistent nature lover, I might appreciate some things here and there but not every time coz I hail from one of the most beautiful islands on this planet. So for me I've seen the scenic beauties everywhere while growing up. All said and done, we were off to The theme park (indoors) .

 Before beginning about the park I just want to explain a bit about the geographical structure of it. This park and resort is on a mountain peak about 6100 ft above sea level. The Awana was somewhere in a lower hill , we can either drive to the theme park which will take around 40 to 45 mins or we could take cable cars ( gondolas) which takes exactly 15 mins. Now this gondola is definitely a cable car but not like the usual cable cars. The height through which it takes us those 15 mins is enormous, could be like several multistoreyed stacked together. It is scary and for the first time when we were in it, I was praying and faris was not even looking down . And one thing I have noticed about our brain is that when we are in such situation we continuously think about bad things. Such is the popularity and craze for riding in a gondola that it becomes next to impossible during the peak hours of the day to get your turn within an hour. Such is the rush and so long is the queue. This was the only time I found Malaysia's resemblance to India, the long long waiting period to ride on a gondola. While returning there was a huge statement painted on a wall, it read " NO OF ACCIDENTS TILL DATE-------", THE FIGURE READ " 0" . Somehow this reminded me of " Titanic" , the invincible, the unsinkable.

 The first day we went to the indoor park. Lots of rides, lots of people, lots of food, chaos....we got totally confused. Anyway somehow things got sorted and we started the rides for fiza and Faris but such long was the queue in each and every ride that only the waiting period comprised of at least half an hour for an 8 min ride. We went to all possible rides for them. These were nothing special, the same you could find in any of the amusement parks, the excitement lied in the journey to this park. It was becoming late as per our standards so we proceeded back to Awana. The amusing part was that the frequency of people coming in was more than before and the gondola queue was all the more....I mean what the **** . Don't these people sleep. So at last we were off to sleep.  


THE GONDOLA



 


the LAWN VIEW
THE GOLF COURSE









 


THE DREADFUL FRAME




 

The next morning was beautiful . The scenic overview from the lawn was mesmerising. We all got ready and went to have our complimentary buffet breakfast ( I LUV buffets ). There was a huge spread of different cuisine. How did they mange to prepare so much for so many people. Indians were the maximum present followed by the local Malay ( it seems there was a holiday for kids the following 10 days so many locals along with their families had also come to stay ). So no idlys for breakfast but parantha and aloocurry, upma was available in indian. Lots of pastries and juices also decorated the place. After a sumptuous breakfast we all went for the outdoor theme park. 


 There is a series of escalators to cross as soon as we reach the genting highway to get to the outdoor park. Now this was one huge park. Awesome rides but for me most of them were a NO as either they involved extreme heights or vigorous churning . Well there sure were few for me, a train which seems to go at the same pace as some of our Indian trains. It had bogeys in which Fiza and me shared one and Tabraiz and Faris were in one behind us. Fiza like me has problems of feeling dizziness and nauseous in heights and during speedy movements. We both just strolled the park, ate ice creams .

 Some of the rides here I had witnessed for the first time. One was in which 4 people were made to lie down straight on their front side facing down on a frame. They were sort of harnessed to this frame. After that this frame ran at a very high speed in its track, which is similar to a roller coaster track. 'Ya this was not enough',might have thought the inventors of this ride coz the frame also rotated in itself at frequent intervals. I searched for signs of puke in the tracks and on the ground, they were none. Concluded...people are brave except for fiza and me, and if comparative analysis of age is carried, conclusion is left for me alone. To further dip my already sunken esteem, I saw a lady in saree getting harnessed to that dreadful frame. That was it, I moved from that place. There was another ride which is present in every park. It is the one in which you sit with proper harness on a seat along with several other people and then u are propelled upwards to a good height and then from their it is just sort of loosened and allowed to fall on its own will(as if the strings attached to the seat is removed which allows it to fall ). The difference here was the height, it was tremendous. I think I am quite fascinated by the heights , everywhere I seem to notice huge heights and get scared. Anyway there was a cute miniature version of this ride for the kids. I made fiza and Faris ride this one twice. It was lovely. 

We had lunch there in a small food joint, mostly all the food joints there had indian food stuff as maximum were indian tourists . So we ordered for mutton biryani for all the four of us. The order which camewas in a small pack consisting of lil bit of pulav and 3 smallest mutton pieces curry, ya it was not biryani neither was it enough for adults (at least for me it was like 3-4 morsels). Thank God my stomach was a bit upset so it was a light diet for me. 

One beautiful thing happened there while we were having our lunch. It was getting very cold there, we actually felt very cold and saw a fog ( I don't know what to call it, it was like a soft cloud ) which was travelling and was coming towards us. It was lovely seeing that and then we were sort of engulfed and the coldness which we felt cannot be explained . It was the coldest which I could have felt on my body, much more than keeping my ac on full for 2 hours ( that's the maximum I keep my ac on at night because after that I feel I am entering into the cryogenic state). My body began to ache and it felt like it was going numb. As soon as the cloud or fog or whatever it was passed through us, it was like normal cold again. I can never forget this incident. So the day passed and we came back to hotel. We rested for a while and went to the lobby . There was a wonderful cafeteria and I ordered a cappuccino ( I found it horrible, it was just an order for the sake of ordering cappuccino ). We were scheduled to leave for Bangkok the nest day.








On the way to KL airport we came across some artificial trees which had blue , green, pink, yellow leaves. It looked very pretty so I made our guide cum driver stop the vehicle and take snaps. Some things which I want to conclude generally about Malaysia are:-


# it is a very clean place. We did not see litter or any sort of garbage lying here and there. The roads were like cleanest of the cleanest. You could sleep on that ( I hail from India)


# the people here are quite soft and calm. Like giving way to you while in the queue ( I read these only in novels). I did not find much people standing in groups and talking loudly.


# the people are not friendly. They will never engage themselves in a conversation with us except if they are selling something. May be they just don't like to talk (like TANKI)


# the indian food sold over there is horrible. Even the indian restaurants fail miserably. They have a smell in all their preparations, I am not good with smells but this one was just getting to the brain.


# you don't get clothes my size, I am size 14 ( Atleast not in the branded malls). They seem to limit their size till no 10.


# they are not interested in India and Indians.


//these are the conclusions which I have come to based on only MY EXPERIENCES in Malaysia . it could be true or not true.//


Nevertheless this was my first foreign trip and I loved it. This place will always hold a special place for all of us. See you Malaysia .....hope to visit you once more some day...Inshallah