Thursday, January 24, 2013

Oil- o- Oil

Theres a contest going on in Womens web on the role/effectiveness of coconut oil in skin care..While I thought a while about if I could do a post on the role of coconut oil in my skin care, I couldnt find very many points..However, I do have a long association with different types of oils in general.So, here they go:

-- Coconut oil:
      Initially, it was the home made oil that was applied generously to our hair , parted , plaited, ribboned and undoubtedly, hair grew well and thrived too..I used to have the longest and thickest hair among all cousins from dad's side and it was my treasure !!
      Appa had bought this Dabur Special hair oil one day and good-bye was bid to coconut oil since then..The aroma from the oil made an aunty ask me what oil I used when I was standing in a queue to fetch water from the common pipe.
     During vacations in Chennai, I saw Dabur Vatika being used by my cousin and during the next shopping for monthly groceries with Amma, I eyed this bottle and asked Amma if I could also start using this..Little did we knew what was about to happen following this purchase..Amma also thought since its from the same Dabur brand, why not get the one that her daughter asks..This happened when I was in 11th Std..In no time since I started applying this oil, hair fall started  (I still remember removing few strands of hair from the comb after Amma had plaited my hair one of the evenings standing in the balcony of our then-home) and it still continues..
    I wanted to move back to Dabur Special, but I couldnt find it in shops thereafter..So, I started living with Vatika hoping and wishing that regular usage will make my hair get accostomed to the new oil ..Hair fall didnt stop, but I contined using it for a loong time.
    Now, I have returned back to parachute coconut oil before hair-wah and a Himalaya Anti-hair fall oil in case if I want to oil on a regular day.
    Ordinary coconut oil  is used by my dada everyday as a moisturiser. My dad's mother who is all of 91 years still uses coconut oil every single day to moisturise herself and I need not mention here that her skin is soft on touch and relatively less wrinkle for her age.
     Having got dissatisfied with the results that moisturisers gave me for the dryness that my skin suffered during winter and summer , I resorted back to having a small bottle of coconut oil in my bag..Smell emnates, but for a short period , but the effect lasts longer..

-- Castor Oil:
        This oil is a wonder ..yes, thats what I have come to realize in my experience..Ever since childhood, if it was stomach ache, amma will apply this oil in our stomach, under-the feet , while we sleep, apply on our eyes..And like a magic, the stomach ache will reduce after the application of this oil..So, amma made sure that I carried this oil to college and then when I started working too..I do have a bottle of this with me all the time..It reduces the can be applied over eyes, under the feet, stomach ..For those who desire thick-eyebrows, this can be applied over the eye-brows.

--Franch Oil:
   A fancier version of castor oil is the Franch Oil. It has nothing but castor with aloe vera, badam and such and less viscous than its parent.Franch oil, when it was introduced cost around50-60 bucks, (which was expensive for an oil 13 years ago) ..Amma somehow had an instinct that this oil would work, and used to have it in stock at our home..That too, with the kind of ads that used to come in those days (Franch Oil enga paa...) , Amma feel for it and we were regular customers..And this oil didnt disappoint either..I used to apply it over-night (a lil bit of it) while studying for 12th board exams and only when batch mates in college started asking me what I use for my face, I realized there is some benefit that Franch oil has given me..being the teen years and fellow girls appreciating the soft skin on my face triggered the greed in me and I started immersing my face in franch oil :):) I think of how silly I was then that I would apply the oil and sit in the room ..I would want to wash my face , unable to bearthe stickiness and the gooieness, but still, I wanted more appreciation nah..So, I would bear and sit :):) for atleast 30 minutes..Anyways, later I used it every now and then, only to realsie later that its not more worthy than castor oil..At certain point, I applied Franch oil to my hair too believing in the ads that it was a miracle for hair fall..I just had to shampoo multiple times in one sitting of hair-wash for the stickiness to be removed, but the hair-fall persisted.(:

--Neem Oil:
    I have a dark patch in my elbow.I havent bothered about it at all..During my engagement, my aunt had noticed this and has told my mother to take me to the parlour and bleach or do something about it and that it looks ugly..Along with this, she has also given a lecture to my mom asking my mom to ask me to take care of my hair , skin etc..etc..I'm comfortable in my natural self, S is cmfortable the way I am. now for whom should I be bothered about? For the photographs, eh? Anyways, the technology has improved so much that the photoshop can make any kind of magic on anyone..Anyways, Amma got tensed up hearing this lecture and she narrated the incident to me and along with that stuffed me a bottle of groudnut oil asking me to apply whenever I had time..I did do that for a few  days, but didnt stick around long..But, I tell ya, it worked..Even for the limited number of days that I applied, it worked a little bit..or was it that I saw what I wanted to see ;)? Dont know..I carried that to my in-laws place after marriage with the hope of using that bottle and wasting it.. Only after couple of years when we changed houses, I decided to stash it away as I hadnt touched the bottle at all..May be one day, if my kids need them and they are willing to use it, I would suggest this oil for them :)

--Gingelly oil:
     Much has been said about this oil, we use this for cooking, for vetha-kozhambu, for thogayal etc..This is used on the hair and skin once a year during the Ganga Snanam o Deepavali day..Not so fond memories of this oil..beacuse, even after applying sheekakai and shampoo, it would be difficult for the oil to be washed off from hair..Off-late after reading a lot about the effectiveness of this oil, in generally reducing heat for the body and such, I've  started using this oil , not regularly though..There is a certain method of applying this oil before hair-wash, like heating it, along with pepper and some other stuff too..But,I'm trying to just use pepper , heat it a lil bit and use ..This is a self-reminder that I need to remember and use this oil , going forward..
     I've used this oil for oil pulling too for a brief period. This worked for me, in that the plaque that gets accumulated in between the teeth come out of this pulling all by itself..You need not do anything ..Just do the oil-pulling for a few days..if the plaque is less, you will have a clean teeth in just about 2 weeks without going to the dentist to get it cleaned. I've also heard about oil-pulling beging effective in reducing the frequency in which some people get mouth ulcers, though I cant vouch for it..

--Olive Oil:
      I've known  cousins who use olive oil on a regular basis for hair and for cooking..I have dismised the idea of using the same, one I was not convinced about using this oil and other for it being expensive and I was not sure of using it for a long term to reap some benefits..I've now started using olive oil both for cooking (thanks to Musa brand which offers buy 1 get 1) and I started carrying a bottle in the bag and using this oil for moisturising too..Pretty ok on the skin and quite effective as coconut oil too..But, for skin, prefer the light looking one , for it gives lesser odor and less viscous too.

There is this corner of our room which adorns all of these oils , much to S's chagrin. I'll apply oil on hair, on hands and legs before oil-bath ritual.I'm married to a man who loathes the word applying-oil, never applies oil to hair, except on the day of Deepavali. So, on days when I soak myself in oil, S will be half a mile away :) ..

Friday, January 18, 2013

Happy Pongal/Sankranthi and Thought-Action duo

I've generally observed that there is a tradition of giving "seer" for Pongal to the daughter of the house after she is married. It is my guess that , in olden days, when women were not allowed to work outside or did not have a means of supporting herself or was was under the strict regimen of in-laws that she was not supposed to ask for anything for herself, during festivals, such kind of goodies from her parents side would cheer her up. And so the tradition continues till day. As of what I understand, there is no such rule like, only certain stuff  needs to be given or should be given..Its upto the family to give whatever they want to to the daughter.

This custom in place, I've observed that some of women demand, ask for stuff, few others sulk if not given what they wanted, few others smirk if given lesser than they they expect..Having witnessed all these, I wonder how can one behave like that at all, what gives them so much of an entitlement..Anyways, ignoring what people do or behave, let me come to the point of what I wanted to record here..

I receive a call from my cousin who has just started working a few months ago..And me being the terrible me, I havent yet picked up the phone to call him and wish him luck in his career though I've been constantly checking about him through my mother who is in touch with the cousin's mother who is my mom's sis..He calls up and asks for my bank account details and says now that he has started earning, he wants to start giving Pongal seer as token of being my brother..In simple words, I felt truly happy..Now, there is no necessity for him to pick me and my sis ..He could have chosen his other cousins..shamelessly, I have to mention here that I havent gifted/given him anything so far..So, I told him that the very act of thinking about it and making a call is enough to give me joy ..Then, my mom calls up and says its all ok to feel happy and all that , but most important isI need to be a responsible sister to this brother of mine..I ruminated about the event and told myself again that if I think on doing something, I need to A-C-T..Not just keep thinking..I have been thinking about calling up and wishing this guy since October when he started to work..Then, once this event was missed, thought of calling up during Diwali, then New year only to receive a call from his end..Let me see how I fare this year in this regard..Atleast a simple ping or hello email once in a while..

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Plan for the New Year : 2013

Let me jot down what I wish to do this year ...This would also later in the year indicate how my interests have changed, if they do..

--> Read more:
            2012 saw a huge dip in my reading habit. If I need to point out the reason for this, I would most certainly pin-point to my work-place which gives me more than enough during the day and expects me to attend conf calls after I return from work..I could have still found time to read, but my body and eyes didnt co-operate..So, I am going to make sure that I read atleast 7 books this year..Why 7? just a random number which crossed my mind now..

--> Do paintings.
            2011 saw me learn pot painting..Yes..Please do laugh at me for I'm the one who would go to a class to learn pot painting..Being artistically challenged, I didnt have any other option, but to enroll..But 2012 made sure I simply didnt touch the materials all through the year..So, this year, I'm going to make atleast 2 paintings..

--> Write more.
        I read too many blogs..Also I need to enhance my writing skills which is in a pathetic state now..I believe practice will help..So, I will try and put down all the posts/thoughts in my head to the blog..Do atleast 1 post a week..Try a marathon blogging and try a short story ..This provides an opportunity to mention: This blog has seen 100 posts so far !! Yay to that!! A reason to celebrate..?

--> Cook n Bake
         The later half of 2012 saw me dishing out a few different recipes in the kitchen ..To name a few are: Eriseri, Aviyal, Bisi bele bath, Vaangi Bath, Mor Kootu, keerai Sambhar, lemon rasam, pulav ,  almond-date burfi..(I'm laughing at myself while I write this..:) The above mentioned items cannot even be included in the special, different categories and here I am , proudly mentioning ..Yeah..let it be this way, getting documented..Many years down the line, I want to read it and see how far I have come..Hopefully, I get to improve year after year..This year, I'm going to try and make different dishes atleast over the weekends..and I persist in this, thinking of buying an OTG to try my hand at baking..

Welcome 2013

Welcome 2013
 Wish everyone a Very happy and a Prosperous New year! May this new year bring in good health, peace, happiness and prosperity to one and all. Last year was a mixed bag for me, with work occupying the center position and I was testing myself how far I could get on with it..
There were definitely times when I thought it was getting beyond what I could endure, but somehow I did stick on.Thank heavens for that. Having worked in an organization earlier for more than half a decade whcih had pressure only during couple of months in a year and the rest of the time was slow paced and relaxed ,I found this place where everyday was like a milestone day  and being responsible for both mine and my team members' results were quite challenging and kept my brain and mind occupied..I've got used to this schedule where I  have hands-full, when the work -load is comparatively lesser ,I find it hard to slow down and just be in a blank-state , at least for a small duration

 2012 also saw me trying to begin to accepting things as they come by, trying to endure difficult circumstances, trying to accept the fact there are certain things (rather many things) beyond human control and trying to be more-thankful for all that is given to me. However, I still have a long way to go in endurance, perseverance, to let-go, to accept things as they come in, to believe strongly that all that happens  is for a reason..But, I started and attempted a bit of all of these in various situations to calm myself down.

 I also need to definitely mention here regarding one another thing that I started doing differently in, cooking..Yes, I just cant believe myself hat I'm typing this ..I've never entered the kitchen for cooking, untill I got married..Yes, most of the times, it turned out literally too..I used to stand in the entrance of the kitchen and gossip/talk to mom..My mom in turn has never allowed me into the kitchen too..I would handle more of the buying veggies/groceries stuff, cleaning home rather
than being a helping hand in the kitchen..After marriage, I learnt cooking, mostly by observation from what my mil does..There have been only few instances when  I've asked for tips/instructions for cooking..Most of it, I learnt through observation..I do read a lot of blogs, but have never paid attention to food-blogs.. But, in 2012, especially, the later part of 2012 saw me getting interest in cooking , and I tried making different dishes atleast on weekends, instead of the usual sambhar-rasam which I generally do. Many Thanks to GB for posting yummy, delicious, recipes on her blog..

 I tried to learn swimming in 2012, though I'm not a pro at it now, I did push myself to try out something different , which I've wanted to for long, and I'm happy that I started it..I would like to get more practice in swimming this year..Lets see how it goes..

 Dad's shashtiapthapoorthi was celebrated in 2012 and I got a first hand experience in organising a function along with my sister, with huge help from mom,dad and sis..starting for planning on the invites, whom to invite, the inviting, choosing a caterer, the menu, the vaathiyaar (saastrigal), budget, the venue location,arranging accomodation,return gifts , having long-distance communication and co-ordination etc gave me a good experience in what it takes to organise a function and felt more responsible too..Though sis is a good 9 years younger to me , she is excellent in planning, thinking level-headedly and implementing..Kala Tika. Appu, may you grow to be an awesome woman and inspire everyone with your good actions, words and deeds..

 Amma had hysterectomy done in March 2012. I was shown her test results well 6 months later after the tests were taken..It was a tough 2 months for us, when we had to take a second opinion,
decicing what is good for her, convincing Amma on the surgery , getting her admitted, getting the surgery done and her recovery ..It was during her recover phase that my grand mom (Amma's amma)expired and this upset Amma very much..We used to call Grand mom as Tambaram Paati and her thoughts still continue to come to me even after many months of her passing away.I owe a post on her for a long time now..Hope I get to do it before her first anniversary.

 Dad fell from ladder and had a fracture , which upset all of us. Due to the fracture, Dad was asked to restrict his movement,  he had to be rested on bed except for moving whe its necessary.
Now, I dont remember seeing my dad being rested at all, I think it was all because of the drishti ..Anyways, he had his much needed break from work in this way and it wrenched my heart to see
him having limited movements..That too, with power cuts in Tamilnadu, the first two days when I went to see him before Diwali, we simply didnt have power overnight and the inverters turned out useless,as there was no power available to even charge them and all of us struggled to sleep two to three days in a row..We all somehow managed by moving here and there, but Dad because of his
limited mobility, couldnt have that luxury too..We all took it in our stride and managed those two months..And now Dad is back to kinda, he has resumed his regular activities, with caution though. Thank you God for helping us sail through such circumstances.

 And I turned 30 in 2012.Yes, it happened..All these years, I was wishing and hoping that I become a mother by the time I turn 30..I'm hoping that it happens very soon..:)