blogging


I started this blog in July, took a hiatus in August, and leaped back into the blogging wagon on January 2 of this year. I’ve been posting every day since, and I’m pushing myself, and just hoping I won’t stop. (Oh the backlog guilt! I still have 2 series that I haven’t finished!)

I’ve also been exploring the WordPress Site Stats section, and have been quite amused with the posts that have generated the most hits.

So, here goes–

10. Mumbai Scribbles, Day 3 — My Mumbai Scribble photos are inspired by WordPress’s Project 365. My goal is to catalog images every day that tell the story of Mumbai, a place I’m visiting, or something I’m engaged in. Cataloging images has sparked wonder in me, and it’s inspiring me to appreciate what I have every day.

9. Flounder Flops — It’s funny how this entry seems to pop up on the “how to not make flounder mushy” Google search. I haven’t found the answer, but since misery loves company, I hope that some cooks out there have discovered that they’re not the only ones with flounder flops.

8. Broccoli-Mushroom Curry and the Rat Race — I’m glad that many people have found this quick recipe. It’s a healthy no-brainer for busy people.

7. From Louie’s Kitchen: Lemon-Pepper Tilapia — I’m sure Louie would be happy to know that people have been browsing his recipe and hopefully trying them out! I’m surprised that quite a number of my recipes are on my top 10 posts. Maybe it’s time that I go back to trying at least one new recipe a week that I can share!

From Louie's facebook status update on July 14: Todays menu via the garden and friends. Tomato soup (Thanks Sacha) with Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme (Thanks Simon and Garfunkel). Maple Glazed Lemon Squash (Thanks Sacha), Cucumber/Scallion/carrot Salad, grilled Green Squash / Eggplant Sandwich on fresh Sun dried tomato/Parmigiana cheese bread (Thanks Laurie for my French bread pan, I really like it), and lemon pepper grilled talipia (Thanks fish farmers)

6. Greek Garbanzos Salad — Another healthy eat! I also bought these dishes to make my food pop out in photographs. It’s a sign! Time to generate healthy eats again!

Students representing South Africa!

5. Mumbai Scribble, Day 18: International Day — My favorite special event in school!

4. Pig Roast in Nancy’s Graduation — The fourth of July last year was one of the most beautiful days I’ve seen and experienced. This was a happy memory with B, my honey, and his family. Nancy tragically died in a car accident a few weeks before Christmas. But she didn’t die in vain. Her smile, kindness and love have left and indelible impact on thousands of lives.

Louie, Anne Marie and Nancy in the Lapp's breathtaking farm

3. Weekly Photo Challenge: Ready / Mumbai Scribble, Day 28: Kala Ghoda Festival — I love doing the Weekly Photo Challenge. It’s another venue for bloggers to share their creative ideas. I find that many of my followers discover Scribbles through this page.

2. 10 Things I Learned from Dilip D’Souza’s Travel Writing Workshop — I scribbled this entry in less than an hour. It was based on a workshop I took a couple of days ago. Little did I know that it would generate so many hits. I’m still happy to have found Dilip and the group. We’re meeting next month in either Bandra or Thane, and we need to work on our first assignment–pick two travel experiences and write an essay that connects them. What a challenge!

DD's Travel Writing Bus in Elphinstone College

Silent Noise by Saini Johray

1. Mumbai Scribble, Day 27: Kala Ghoda Festival — Never in a million years would I have thought that this photo would generate so many hits. It pops up in Google Images when you type in “Kala Ghoda Festival 2012”. I accidentally tapped into something called “Search Engine Optimization”. Thank you, Google!

In the meantime, I’m on the 10% mark of my blogging goal this year, which is to post every day.

I’m trying. Persevering. Writing. Taking photos. And posting. One day at a time.

I’m taking a brief hiatus from my Mumbai Night series. I’m just so excited and a bit high that I’ve passed the one hundred mark on two counts, which translates into I’ve officially entered WordPress geek-hood. The blogosphere is new to me so I’m still focusing on content content content, while finding my way through tags, giving constructive feedback to other blogs, and using my blog reader .

But today, I’m taking the luxury of pausing and celebrating that I’ve written 107 posts! I’m delighted! But I know also know that it means I have to raise the bar. So I’m off to my next goal of writing 200 posts, hopefully with better writing and photos. (Help help help, Daily Post! I miss your inspiration!)

Here's proof!

I was also surprised this afternoon when I saw that I was about to pass 100 site views today!

More proof!

I know it sounds like a low number but it’s a big deal for me! I waited, obsessed, until I saw “99 site views” and then “102”! When I looked at my referrals it said (not verbatim): Google Images Kala Ghoda Festival 2012. Of course, I searched it and found the photo of my favorite sculpture from yesterday–

I love technology! I love WordPress! I love Google image!

But tomorrow is a new day. A day to sober up and pretend my site views are zero. A day to search for travel adventures around the corner, camera case slung around my shoulder. A day to squint, strain my eyes, crave for quiet, write, slap out my editing knife, and practice practice practice. Write write write.

Whether anyone reads or not.

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.–Unknown

I wasn’t sure whether to call this the Mumbai or Maharashtra bucket list, but considering some of the destinations are outside of Mumbai, I’ve decided to broaden my horizons and name my bucket list after the state instead of the city.

But before I embark on my bucket list, I want to take a detour on the topic of blogging. I started this blog in July, hoping to cook and log my healthy eats. I stopped in August because priorities at work demanded more of my attention, then hopped back on the blogging wagon on January 2. I was a wreck in December 2011. I was fat, and full of negativity and resentment. During the holidays, I slept half of the time, recuperating, tapering from twelve to fourteen hour workdays, while watching a haze of Star Trek in between.

But on January 2, in the internet cafe at the Detroit airport, I started to write my first entry for the year. It’s been 24 days and I’m still writing. Right now, it’s not about being perfect in my prose or photography. (Hide the whip, Sacha, hide the whip!) It’s just about being comfortable with writing and taking photos and not feeling pressured to figure out the manual settings of my digicam. It’s about reading other blogs and books and joining the conversation and expressing my appreciation for other people’s work. I’m still figuring out how to navigate the WordPress blogoshpere and feel like I’ve walked into this exciting new world, with diverse voices, ideas and new ways of rendering photographs.

I’m also trying to photograph different aspects of Mumbai every day, which means that I have to get off my soft Goregaon East butt and ride trains to South Mumbai, chase sunrises, and make conversation with strangers. It’s only been 24 days but because I’m on a quest to know my current city and document its complex layers and beauty, I’ve become more positive, more alive, and more in love with Mumbai. I’m hoping that this passion drives me for the next 24 days!

Last Sunday, yes it was a perfect Sunday!, after saying goodbye to Arlene and Annabelle, and fading into a sea of tourists in Colaba, I found myself inside a store, buying this book–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps if I make my bucket list, and commit to visiting the places in my list, I’ll learn a little more about the city I will one day leave behind.

2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

Prayer and fasting ended a couple of days ago. An “aha!” moment was during Sunday service when Pastor Kevin talked about planting a seed, which bears fruit, and in turn, produces more seed. It was a very encouraging message because I know that just as long as I plant seeds that are led by the Holy Spirit, they will grow, flourish and multiply. This also helps me focus and say “no” to doing things that aren’t aligned to planting seeds.

Here are five seeds I’d like to plant, and five hopes I’d like to reap:

Seed 1: Praying to God and meditating on bible verses.
What I hope to reap: A deeper relationship with God.

Seed 2: Spending quality time with B.
What I hope to reap: A deeper and more joyful relationship with honey 🙂

Seed 3: Writing, taking photographs, blogging, giving constructive feedback on blogs and learning HTML.
What I hope to reap: Inspiring, uplifting others and improving my craft.

Seed 4: Eating healthy and exercising.
What I hope to reap: Good health!

Seed 5: Tithing, saving and exploring investing.
What I hope to reap: Financial abundance.

How about you? What seeds would you like to plant this year? What do you hope to reap? Would love to hear from you!

Back to work for me means reentering the rat race. It means waking up at four in the morn to finish unfinished tasks and chat with B. It means that students, teachers, school and innovation are at the forefront of my mind. It also means self-care takes a backseat. All you have to do is look at my one month old pedicure and eyebrows in want of threading! (Note to self: visit the parlor next weekend.)

But as I’ve discussed in previous posts, within the limits of my schedule, I would like to continue eating healthy, writing and taking photos. There’s so much learning that occurs while I do this. Besides, hopefully improving in my craft, I’m exploring the WordPress blogoshphere and it’s opened up a whole new world to me, a new dimension that has somehow made life more interesting. I’m thoroughly enjoying reading and listening to the various talents out there and learning from them. I’m learning how to give feedback and encouragement. I’m also convinced that blogging can be used as a valuable tool in 21st century education and it’s something that I’d like to slowly introduce to my school’s interested students and teachers.

So why the diversion into reentering the rat race when I’m supposed to be sharing my broccoli-mushroom curry recipe? It’s because this is a quick recipe. And perhaps I should add a category called quick recipes for those who are always on the run but still want to take care of themselves by cooking 30 minute meals with minimal dish washing.

This recipe serves one and is pretty good with basmati rice.

Ingredients:

1 cup broccoli, sliced
1/2 cup button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 red onion, chopped
4 cloves, chopped
1/2 cup of low fat milk
1 teaspoon of Thai green curry paste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Pour the olive oil into a pan and saute the garlic and onions until the onions are translucent.

Add the milk and Thai green curry paste. In India, I’ve found this curry paste in Nature’s Basket. In Manila, you can get it from Cash and Carry, and in the States, I’ve seen this in the Asian section of Walmart. Stir the curry paste until it dissolves.

First add the mushrooms and cook for around three minutes. Then add the broccoli and cook for two.

Pour the veggies on top of steaming hot basmati rice and it’s all ready to eat! Bon appetit!

It’s a commitment, my heart is beating.

But I’ve weighed the options.

I’m committed to eating healthy.
Although my cooking has improved, my writing has deteriorated over the years. I’m still finding my voice and the right words. Blogging is practice.
I want to practice photography. Photos from other bloggers inspire me.
If others get motivated to eat healthy along this journey, that would be awesome!

The cost:
Time, time, time!
Perseverance.
Developing the habit of eating healthy, writing and taking photos.

I eat everyday, therefore I can post everyday. (At least until December 31.)

The daily post is a win no matter what angle I look at it from.

So here we go.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m now back in this harsh reality which I call Mumbai. Within less than twenty four hours I’ve managed to cab ride through heavy rains while the driver smashed through potholes, sneeze my way through my apartment filmed with dust, wipe fungus off a pair sandals I haven’t worn in a month, and get rejected by five rickshaw drivers on my way to the grocery. Did I mention that I’m now battling the unpredictable rifts of jet lag?

This is where I slam on the brakes of my negative thoughts. Why? Simply because ranting doesn’t help me. The last thing I want to do is slide down the slippery slope of a post-vacation funk, which the Woman in Thrisis describes. And why? Ranting seems to be the rage these days, the norm to get something out your chest. I have nothing against it if other people do it and feel better. But when I do it, it’s toxic and I get depressed.

The truth is–I miss B.

The present reality is–I’m here in Mumbai with bills to pay and work to do, which means that I need to get out of this funk…fast!

Here’s a list to help keep me on the mental health trail–

1. Pray, pray, pray! So far it’s helped me get a rickshaw and unpack.

2. Remember the reason that I’m here. Less than a year ago, I was starry eyed as I deplaned. Since then, I’ve gazed at Mumbai through the eyes of a traveler, where every corner was waiting for an adventure to unfold. I refuse to let this love affair end!

3. Start working at home every afternoon to help me warm up and focus.

4. I’m inspired to do blog posts every day until the end of the year. I found The Daily Post from my friend Paula’s blog, You Are Here. I’m seriously contemplating joining it, at least from now until the end of the year. Will let you know if I do!

5. I’ll continue eating healthy and blogging about it. I still have some posts that I’m working on from my trip to upstate New York. So please bear with me as I hop from Mumbai to Cortland and then to Philadelphia, NY in my entries.

6. You may be wondering what the photo gallery at the top of the entry is all about. These are good moments that I’ve had in Mumbai and want to remember. There are so many positives things about this city: the people, the culture, the community I work in. Right now, I want I need to remember.