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Sparkling Gems


The cloudy skies lurking over the mountain trail, the waning twilight, the flood lights at the construction site along with the dotted twinkling lights from housing societies made for a great watch! Wonder if I stay close to jewels' mine!

Thanks Supriya for sharing this picture!

----------By MocktailMommy Anagha

Linking this post to #WordlessWednesday at




DISOBEDIENCE ON INJUSTICE

Though there is consensus that we all should highly abide by ‘Law of Land’, there is also an agreement that unjust law exists. The only point which arises then is that whether we should obey them or disobey them or try to change and obey them till the time they are changed. Though you may find different views, the least a person can do is to disassociate with something which he feels is wrong. You cannot be in a position wherein you are supporting on one side and fighting against it on the other side. Even though law and justice are viewed as virtually synonymous, experience however, has taught us that injustice may be supported by law. The sense of injustice can be a powerful condition, causing people to take action not just to defend themselves but also others who they perceive to be unfairly treated. As rightly said by Martin Luther King Jr., "Injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere".


Some of the traditional practices followed in olden days have taken form of law over passage of time. Some of them have been misinterpreted and some have used this to their vested interest by taking shelter under such law. If we talk about “Triple Talaq”, it is a customary practice prevalent among Muslims that dissolves a marriage when the husband says the word "Talaq" thrice. These have been actively protested by their woman community over past few years. Several women's rights groups have also spoken out against the practice and its ill effects, especially on Muslim women. 

On the other hand, the Muslim Law Board has consistently said that "Triple Talaq" is a 'personal law' and thus, cannot be modified by the Center. The custom is criticized for being unilateral and biased against women, and is banned in 22 countries of the world

The honourable Supreme Court, few months back, termed the practice of "Triple Talaq" as unconstitutional.

Few days back, there was an article in Times of India, a 23-year-old woman of Kherli village in Alwar district has approached the court after she was thrown out of the house by her in-laws following triple talaq. In her complaint, she stated that she was given the triple talaq as she gave birth to a second girl child in February this year. This was disapproved by her husband and in-laws. Taking cognizance, thre court has now asked the in-laws to find an amicable solution.
The in-laws had also threatened to kill the child if she failed to accept the triple talaq. 


One of the big question which arises is that how do we respond to unjust law. Even though it can be tackled through nonviolent method, it would be perceived as breach of law. People engaged in such act are open to legal consequences since this shows their fidelity to the rule of law. One such larger movement of civil disobedience was led by our Father of Nation against the unjust British rule. The movement led to end of British colonization which was result of persistent resistance to unjust law.


THERE MAY BE TIMES WHEN WE ARE UNABLE TO PREVENT INJUSTICE BUT THERE SHOULD NEVER BE A TIME WE FAIL TO PROTEST IT.     

---------By Mocktail Mommy Rupa




 #writebravely  #writetribeproblogger


Linking this post to #MondayMusings by Corinne


     

Accident


They walked out of the elevator into the almost vacant parking lot. She stumbled, he held her.
"You've had way too much to drink today. I think you should get a cab."

"I'm fine. I can totally drive. Don't worry so much, honey!!" she said nonchalantly. He tried to talk sense into her, but all in vain.

She got into her car and sped out of the parking lot. He stood there and stared helplessly as her car vanished out of sight. But he could not stop worrying just like that!!! He rushed to his car and buckled his seatbelt.

He was about to leave when his phone rang.... it was her!!! She had probably realised her foolishness. He answered it only to hear a strange voice at the other end...

"Aap madam ko jaante hain kya?? Unka accident hua hai!!!"

                                                     ------- MocktailMommy Prasanna

Word Count : 141

                                                          Linking this post to #FridayFotoFiction by Tina and Mayuri


Bated Breath Birthday Surprise

I have been known as one of those species, that experiment.  My lab is none other than my kitchen! Yes, I am a Chef of sorts! I love taking risks and cooking something new. Coming from the Gujju background, everyone in my family is a foodie. Every celebration at my house thus has to have a good spread of sweets and snacks.  Add to it, my adventurous nature! I look forward to occasions to surprise my near and dear ones with a new dish. Not all the surprises are worth remembering though!

One such adventure however is fresh in my mind and will always be. How can I forget the bated breath with which I was waiting for it to come out nice, fluffy and aromatic?

It was my father in law’s birthday. This year I had made plans to surprise him with home made egg less cake. Off I went to a bake shop and gathered all the ingredients after referring to a cook book. I was excited! As I began following the steps, I soon realised that the fear factor has entered my brain ware like a creepy crawly! It was then the time to keep the cake mould in the OTG and wait!

The wait of 25 minutes seemed eternal! As if transfixed, I was standing right opposite OTG. Soon the aroma started wafting in the air. My thoughts by now had wandered into what if land. My breath was getting deeper and deeper, as if trying to shy away from the end results. As the OTG buzzed, signalling the end of baking, my thought train came to a screeching halt.

My legs started wobbling at the thought of reaching up to the other side. With bated breath and little shaky hands, I pulled the cake mould out. With a deep long breath, I pierced a skewer into the cake and pulled it out. 

Oh my my! It has come clean! I was on the moon now!

Decorating it, with chocolate frosting and some dry fruits was like a cake walk for me, courtesy the excitement that has resumed! Evening was far more than delectable, as my father in law could not stop appreciating and blessing me!

Sharing the recipe of the Chocolate cake with you all. This is the one that I have tweaked, based on my further experiments, and is tried and tested for sure!

Ingredients for chocolate Sponge Cake: 
·         1 cup condensed milk / milkmaid
·         ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
·         1½ cup maida / plain flour / all purpose flour
·         3 tbsp cocoa powder
·         ¾ tsp baking soda
·         1 tsp baking powder
·         ¼ tsp salt
·         ¾ tsp vanilla extract
·         ¾ cup warm milk, add as required
For Chocolate Frosting:

·         ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
·         ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
·         2 cups powdered sugar / icing sugar
·         1 tsp vanilla extract
·         ¼ cup cold milk, add as required

Chocolate Cake Recipe:
In  a large mixing bowl take condensed milk and butter. Beat in one direction till the mixture turns smooth and fluffy. Sieve maida, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Fold them gently. Add vinegar, vanilla extract and warm milk. Mix gently to attain smooth dropping consistency. Transfer the cake batter to a cake mould. Bake the cake at 180 degree celsius for 25 minutes.( you can bake it in cooker too. That recipe some other day, some other post!!!) Cool down the cake completely. Once cooled, cut it in two equal halves horizontally.

Chocolate Frosting Recipe:
1.     In a large mixing bowl take butter and beat it.
2.     Add cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla extract add cold milk.
3.     Beat till the mixture turns smooth and spreadable.
Decorating Chocolate Cake Recipe:
Spread the generous amount of prepared chocolate frosting on top of the lower half of the cake. Then place another half on top of it. Spread the frosting on its top and all along the side. Decorate it with dry fruits or fresh fruits or Gems or rainbow sprinkles.
Plate it in an attractive dish. Store in fridge till its cake cutting time!


-----By MocktailMommy Ruchi
 #writebravely  #writetribeproblogger



Linking this post to #FridayReflections by SanchVee and Corinne


Twin Trouble


“Show up on board. Your time has run out”, declared a stern voice.

“Pirates, this is the last warning. Show up. This is Capt. Whodunit from coast guard ship Virat”

“You can’t hide for long. Surrender and save your lives”

“What’s the guarantee of that, Captain? Black Pearl had never succumbed to empty threats. Don’t dare board our ship. Come closer at your own peril and get doomed. That’s my promise. Promise of the genuine pirate”, snide the scornful voice

Splashing of water guns followed. The screams and shouts of “Ahoy” from both the ends filled the air. And an ugly fight erupted.

“What’s happening in here? You two naughty munchkins! Enough of wasting the water and fighting. Do you want to spend the entire summer in this bath tub with your toy ships?”, Said Mom, rushing into the bathroom.

“Aye, Aye” came the chorus reply from Vidhi and Nidhi, the twins!
  
 ----By MocktailMommy Anagha
Word Count: 151 words

Linking this post to #FlashFictionForAspiringWriters 136th challenge by Priceless Joy




This week's photo prompt is provided by BarbCT/Gallimaufry. Thank you BarbCT!

Lucky Her



Shock and dread rendered me wordless... 

Spotted the charred remains of car around the corner at a busy cross road at Mulund (W), Mumbai. Learnt that the car caught fire while waiting at the signal. Thankfully, the lady driving the car, escaped unscathed. 

Lucky her!

----- By MocktailMommy Anagha


Linking this post to #WorlessWednesday


Linking this post to 




Crossroads



It was her last day in Mumbai. After landing a plum post at a designer label in Paris, she was all set to start a fresh chapter of her life.

He was waiting for her at their usual hangout. But today it was different. She was no longer his employee and he was no longer her boss. All the formalities were struck out.

They had been the best of friends for the last ten years. All of a sudden, he felt as if his world was turning topsy turvy.

She reached for his hand, held it firmly and said, "Dont look so sad...You never know, I might change my mind!!"

He held her hand in return. "I love you, Tanya. Have felt this way for long but never had the guts to confess.... Is that good enough for you to change your mind?"

SHE FOUND HERSELF AT CROSSROADS AGAIN....

                                     ---------- By MocktailMommy Prasanna

Word Count : 150

                                    Linking this post to #FridayFotoFiction by Tina and Mayuri



Last Seen At The Terminal

Its been her dream to occupy that coveted corner cabin. It had the best view of the open skies. The very skies that fascinated her since childhood. Looking up, darting her eyes towards the starry deep blue skies, she always had thought of being one amongst them. How wonderful it would be to float in the crowd of the galaxies, she had wondered, all thorough out the days of growing up. Utter silence, floating in anonymity… aha what a solace! Solace that she was searching for since childhood.



“She is a star material”, most of the teachers had opined about her while growing up. May it be academics, extracurricular activities or sports, there was not a single corner of the life that she had not sparkled with her achievements and participation.

Following her passion, she took up Astro-Physics and was soon selected as the research scientist at world renowned Space Center, post her masters. Aided by out of box thinking and hard work, a rare combination one would note, she managed to acquire the position of the Team Lead soon. A Team Lead at Extra-galactic Explorations division, at an early stage of life, was no mean feat! 

She was happy. Not for the perks that fetched the promotion, but for two distinct reasons. One was getting the corner cabin, that was pretty isolated. Here she could carry out her trials without any disturbance, she had thought well in advance. And second, she would now be able to lay her hands on reserved resources of the space center.  She now was so near to realize her dream, she had thought. Just one more milestone and she was done!

Soon, her cabin turned into a miniature R & D lab. She was found most of the time experimenting with the light sources and gauging devices. Tweaking various algorithms and programs was another thing that she was busy indulging at her terminal.  At times, the fire alarm went off courtesy her failed experiments. Occasionally thin sheet of smoke and burnt smell enveloped the entire top floor owing busting of circuits and the gadgets. The in house fire and safety department also got used to it. Her sheepish grin was enough to melt away the cobweb of lines on the forehead of the Safety Chief!  The notice board in her cabin was half filled with the clipped "Show cause" notices, though!

On hearing the loud bang and then the subsequent fire alarm, one fine day, no one was startled. However as a part of the duty, the Safety Chief brought himself to her cabin. A thick layer of smoke covered every inch of the cabin. Coughing and adjusting his eye sight, he called out…

“So what’s the celebration this time around, Ms Asta! Found a new supernova, eh?”

His question was lost in the smoke. Sensing something ominous, he reached out to his walky-talky. A waft of air whispered in deep tone…

“Don’t worry mister, this was the last”

Before he could pull it out, he felt a gentle breeze passing by and the smoke was cleared, as if something had vacuumed it. Not a trace of it was left behind.

The charred remains of the terminal, innumerable wires and circuits and a revolving chair greeted him. And then where was she? There were no human remains to be seen. As the support staff banged into the cabin, they saw their chief standing in the centre of the cabin, dumbfounded! The silence was broken by the fluttering of the pages coming from the diary at the corner of the table. He walked towards it almost hypnotized and held the diary in his shaking hands.

“Tomorrow, I will be one amongst them. I will be in the company of  many orphans, just like me, my clan… Yes, these stars and galaxies are orphans. No one mocks them for being abandoned at birth. Isn't it cool that they are not bothered about their origins! I am Asta, the star, and will remain one forever.”

The dairy fell off the chief’s hand as it stopped echoing  the words.

Umpteen server dumps from Ms Asta’s account later, confirmed that she was working on tele-porting ! "A bright star is spotted from the M42 nebula", announced the official statement from the Space Agency…


The case of mysterious disappearance of Ms Asta was marked unresolved and yet closed with the statement of the Safety Chief…

“Last seen at the terminal”

 -----By MocktailMommy Anagha

*Asta- Name with a Greek origin, meaning "a Star"
*M42 nebula is 20 light years across earth and can be seen with naked eyes in the night sky. It is the nearest nebula from earth.
* All pictures courtesy Pixabay
  


 #writebravely  #writetribeproblogger


Linking this post to #MondayMusings by Corinne



Migratory Wings

Looking out of the plane's window, the vast expanse of the blue skies came greeting me. The loneliness of the skies was dotted with the fragmented and scattered white clouds. Just like the wandering threads of thoughts in my mind! Or may be it was simply mirroring my mind! 

The plane had taken off the Mumbai air space and was heading towards UAE. To give me company this time was my kiddo and many random thoughts!

He never thought even once, I reiterated this sentence. Probably this was the anthem for me in those days. My better half had decided to take a leap and go beyond the boundaries to better his resume. I was left with the choice, join me or otherwise, no issues!


I had my high flying career and family life at war heads, courtesy his decision. Reluctantly and after giving a considerable thought, I took the decision to join him. It took me almost six months to take this step.  So here I was on board with my son flying off to Sharjah. From take off till landing at Sharjah, I was cursing my decision. But I could no way reverse the clock now…

Things do settle down in life. One needs patience to see the dust settling. And it did. Life was back on track in less than six months.

Courtesy my son, I soon had many new friends. Mothers of his friends, were my new bunch of friends too. Coming from an orthodox background, accepting the friends from different faiths and countries was little difficult. But being alone and lacking the support of the extended family in the foreign land were good enough the reasons to cling to this bunch!

My first two friends in Sharjah were a Lebanese mother of twins and Syrian  grandmother. They both did not know anything other than Arabic and French and I was helpless beyond English. Kids then turned our interpreters! Beyond the barrier of the language, lived and thrived our friendship. I woke up to the reality that no matter what country you belong to, no matter where you pray, no matter whether you are a vegetarian or otherwise, the concerns of a mother remain the same... her brood, her family! Sick kid worries every mother alike irrespective of the language she speaks. And one more surprising discovery was our common concern… Getting a good maid!

Celebrating Eid and Christmas along with the Diwali became the norm of the year for us. Thanks to friends from every state of India, we learnt about Baisakhi, Onam, Vishu, Karava Chauth and many such. Feasting on Kadhi Pakoda Chawal on Baisakhi was enjoyed with same fervor as having scrumptious Sadhya on banana leaf on Onam. I learnt a lot of Punjabi and South Indian cuisine too! My gurus were none other than my friends, who not only taught me to cook but also pampered me with their delectable preparations!

My vision broadened and so did my identity. I started identifying myself as an Indian rather than anything else. Over these years I learnt that relationship need not only be sealed by birth or blood. Strong and lasting kinship can also be built gradually over mutual trust beyond blood relations.

Seven years stint at Sharjah made me a content and tolerant person, compassionate and accommodating  as well than my earlier avatar! 

It was a blessing in disguise, I now contemplate. Migratory wings have ushered new colourful horizons in our lives. Happiness doesn’t has just one address, isn’t it?

-----By MocktailMommy Anagha

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.



Arrival


School mates then… life partners now!  Coming from different faiths, but harbouring same feeling helped us sail well. Was it easy?’ Varun mused. Of course not but with Valeria by side, I can handle anything!

His thoughts were aptly listening to self.

Migrating to Australia, we have left the scrutinizing eyes back at the borders. However, something is amiss now a days. She is not so much into me. Why otherwise, Val, would like to meet me here, at the cafĂ©, halfway through the day?

Tap on the shoulders brought Varun back to present. Here was Val. She was glowing. Settling in the opposite chair, she pressed his hand.

“Someone has arrived in my life, Varun”

Varun was shocked. His face turned purple, mouth went dry.

“Why are you wearing this look? What’s on your mind? Graduate up to be a “Papa” now! Is this not what we longed for?”



------By MocktailMommy Anagha
Word Count: 150 words
Linking this post to #FridayFotoFiction by Tina and Mayuri


Cashing In On School Years... Nostalgia!

As I hurried out of my hospital towards the parking lot one busy early evening, I happened to pass by the small playground of the adjoining primary school. The chatter and commotion created by those naughty brats made me retrace my steps and take a quick peek as to what they were up to. Apparently, it was a group of boys who had been punished for misbehaving in class & were arguing to clarify whose fault it was...... I smiled silently as I saw those young minds standing up to prove their innocence.

It took me back to my school years, the fun, the mischief, the camaraderie and the innocence. It all came back to me in a flash....Just like that I got all NOSTALGIC!!!



Everyone has varied memories of their school years. Some fade away, but some stay etched in your minds forever. Having been in the same school for 12 years before I graduated out, I have loads of memories attached to my school.


During my first few years, I remember how much fun we had experimenting with colours, playing in the park and listening to stories from our teachers. But a memory which stands out from the rest is the terror that the helper maid(Ayah) had struck in our minds...even the unruliest kids were scared of her and obeyed her orders. Recently I met her again,when I visited school and discovered that nothing has changed over the years...hehehe....


Sometime during middle school, I remember being punished along with two of my classmates for arriving late to class in the morning. We were made to stand outside the class. Instead of being ashamed for being punished, we took it as an opportunity to show-off how "cool" we were....not everyone gets punished, right???? Doodling on tables, throwing chalk pieces around when teachers weren't looking, passing chits in between class.....name it, we've done it.

High school came with its share of fun, tensions, studies and friendships. We were constantly chided for not being serious about our lives and careers. There were constant threats to us that we would repent for our actions later in life if we didn't study well now. Not that any of it affected us.... Studies were the last thing on our minds, after all the extracurricular activities, sports, competitions(which were more important as we represented our school!!)




After all these years, I feel that those were indeed the formative years of our lives. We are now those people whose seeds were sown back then. These bouts of nostalgia keep creeping up from time to time. Although I might not be in touch with every person who was a part of my life back then, they hold a special place in my heart, nonetheless. No matter what we do with our lives ahead, each time we meet up with a school friend, we go back to that most memorable phase of our lives.....Getting all nostalgic about our "School Years"!!!!


                                                          ------ By MocktailMommy Prasanna



 #writebravely  #writetribeproblogger


Linking this post to #FridayReflection hosted by Sanch and Corrine