If We Were Having Coffee…

… I’d tell you that after buying an earthen surahi, experimenting with growing our own vegetables, and switching to hand-made, chemical-free soaps, we have taken a couple more steps towards healthier, more sustainable living. We have begun experimenting with a couple of entirely chemical-free shampoos and hair wash bars, virgin coconut oil, and sugar-free toothpaste. We still haven’t decided on brands that we would like to continue buying, as far as these things go, but I am excited about this. I am satisfied, too, happy that we are taking more baby steps towards our goal of going as much chemical-free as we can. I am also experimenting with unprocessed, organic apple cider vinegar in the bathroom, for my scraggy, dry-as-grass hair. It is still way too early to tell you how much we have been benefited by these changes, but I hope we reach a conclusion soon.

… I’d tell you of one more baby step we took recently to ensure the use of less packaged products. Instead of buying packaged wheat flour from the supermarket like we always do, we picked up wheat from a grain merchant and got it ground at an old-fashioned flour mill. Tedious process, but totally worth it. The colour of this flour, the texture, the taste, is so very different from packaged flour that it is a revelation. Now, I know my whole wheat flour is just that – wholly wheat flour! While I was at the flour mill, I was struck by how tough the operator’s job must be, and felt sad that these mills might be a thing of the past soon. 😦

… I’d tell you that, lately, we have been trying to rotate the foods that we consume, on a weekly basis. Oats, quinoa, ragi, rava, vermicelli, bread, butter, ghee, pulses, wheat, idlis, dosas, adai, rice – everything is now being consumed on a routine basis, not too much or too little of anything. The same is the case with the vegetables and fruits we are eating. I am very conscious, these days, of how many times a week we are eating rotis and rice, or how many times we are consuming processed foods like bread, rava and vermicelli. Sugar has been cut down, too. That said, all of this is still in the very initial stages, and we have a long, long way to go before we can proudly say we are a healthy-eating family. We do still have our cravings, our sugar fixes and pigging out of doors, but we are trying to be more conscious and aware about all of it.

… I’d tell you that I went in for blood work in an attempt to resolve the health issues that I was talking to you about, here. The results have left me only more confounded than before. My doctor tells me not to be worried, but I am. I hope to find a way out, to see the light soon. Please do keep me in your prayers, will you?

… I’d tell you that I am falling more and more in love with Bohemian and Turkish-style jewellery of late (There’s definitely something about my connection to Turkey, in spite of my never having visited the place!). Thanks to a picture of South siren Nayantara wearing a Bohemian neckpiece over a very simple cotton saree at a recent awards ceremony, I began checking out more such jewellery and falling head over heels for it. I even went ahead and picked up a Bohemian-style necklace for myself – now, I can’t wait to inaugurate it! And this comes from a person who finds it hard to get dressed, for whom junk jewellery was a big no-no till about a year ago! The further I dig into the world of junk jewellery, the more amazed I get these days. πŸ™‚

… I’d tell you that, lately, I am also falling deeper and deeper in love with sarees, especially those simple handloom ones. I think they have a charm of their own. I think they look classy, and are suited for any occasion. I think you can wear them just about anywhere, as long as you pair them with the right sort of accessories. There are so many gorgeous sarees from different parts of India, and I so want to hunt down at least one piece of each for my wardrobe! That doesn’t bode very well for the concept of minimalism that is fascinating me too, these days. What do I do now, people? (On the subject of handloom sarees, you must check this out. Isn’t it sad that these sarees might disappear from the face of the earth, soon, if we don’t do anything to save them?)

… I’d tell you of how, lately, I have become a wee bit more conscious of where the clothes that I buy come from. I loved listening to the stories of the weavers and vendors about the clothes they sold, at an exhibition that I recently visited in HSR Layout. On the subject of conscious cloth buying, you must check out this video. It is an eye opener!

… I’d tell you how surprised I am that it is going to be Diwali soon! Last year’s Diwali is still so fresh in my mind, I can’t believe a full year has gone by – and I don’t remember doing anything particularly noteworthy in this one year.

… I’d tell you that I recently finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and Lisa Grunberger’s Yiddish Yoga. The first book was an utter disappointment, but I quite liked the latter. I will be putting up detailed reviews on the blog soon, hopefully.

… I’d tell you of how miffed I am that the husband is currently off on a sudden work trip to Kolkata, a place that I have always dreamt of visiting. The trip was so unexpected, and everything got finalised only at the last moment, so Bubboo and I weren’t able to accompany him, much as we would have loved that. First Istanbul, now this. I get the feeling the Universe has this big smirk on its face at having played this joke on me. Gah!

… I’d tell you of how tough it is to jostle for space with your parents, to try to reason with them and request them to let you bring up your child your way. It is a huge help having family nearby and we hugely appreciate their help (It is not for nothing that they say ‘It takes a village to bring up a baby’). I don’t subscribe to the belief that you should do every single thing for your child and your house with your own two hands, but with the whole lot of emotional drama that asking for support from parents or in-laws brings with it, I do understand the motive.

… I’d tell you of how it just doesn’t feel like Navratri in our little bit of the world. I would so love for something to happen to get me into the festive spirit, before the nine nights end. There has been no special cooking, no dressing up, no dressing Bubboo up, no going out to visit temples or golus, no watching of garba. 😦 I miss Ahmedabad like crazy at this time of year.

… I’d ask you if you had checked out Deepika Padukone’s Tere Saath Tu for Myntra. I absolutely love it! Here’s the link, if you haven’t heard it already!

… I’d also ask after you and your loved ones. I’d ask you what you have been up to lately, and what has been making you happy and sad these days.


For Weekend Coffee Share, an interesting meme here. Do check it out!

9 thoughts on “If We Were Having Coffee…

  1. Hi TGND I have been a regular reader of your blog but this is perhaps my first time posting here I enjoy your blog and your recipes as well I have noticed your inclination towards handmade and natural products Wanted to share the website http://www.indiakala.com It is my brothers venture along with his friends I didnt share it earlier because it might seem like plugging But when you mentioned handloom sarees I had to comment All the products on the site are handmade and sourced directly from artisans from all over India
    Also had to mention Vicco brand toothpaste which I have been using for many years now Hope you find this useful Keep writing !


    1. @Rangili

      Thank you so much for the suggestion. I am glad you took the time out to suggest the website to me. Will definitely check it out. πŸ™‚

      Vicco was the only sugar-free paste I could find when I recently went to the supermarket. So, that is the one I have bought. Yet to try it out, though.


  2. Hi TGND, on the haircare, try using shikkai (soapnut). You should get it easily in Bangalore. My mother buys the soapnut along with various fragrant and good-for-hair herbs like hibiscus, rose petals, amla, etc and has everything ground into a fine powder at a flour mill. I think you get the whole thing as a package at supermarkets. Then she packages and sends them to me. Its available online in the US as well but ridiculously overpriced.

    I’ve used shikkai for years and its kept my hair long, lustrous and healthy. Once I started using shampoo, the dandruff and other problems started. So for now, I’m back to having Amma send me shikkai regularly. Oil your hair well with either gingelly oil or coconut oil – let it sit for a little while, then wash it off with a thick paste made of the shikkai podi. It is a little time-consuming, but trust me, once you try it, you’ll never go back. Works equally well for oily and dry hair.


    1. @Perspectivesandprejudices

      Hey there! Thank you for taking the time out to write such a detailed comment. Really appreciate it. πŸ™‚

      I have often thought about getting soapnuts, mixing in some herbs and getting them ground to a powder in a flour mill. But then, I have heard from my brother-in-law’s wife about how difficult it is to get soapnuts ground in Bangalore – not many flour mills are ready to do it, since their main business is grinding flours like ragi, wheat and idli batter. Could you tell me where your mom gets the soapnuts ground?

      Yes, you do get ready-to-use soapnut powder in Bangalore, but then, that would again be depending on unknown brands, no? As long as I can, I would prefer using something that I can make from scratch.

      The non-chemical hair wash bars that I have been using haven’t been all that bad, either. I can see a difference, that is for sure. That said, I would definitely like to try the soapnut powder out. Amma used to wash my hair using shikakai powder when I was a kid, and I would love to bring back those memories. πŸ™‚


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