In My Hands Today…

Bombay Duck Is A Fish – Kanika Dhillon

11393736When Neki Brar moves to Mumbai to make it as a film-maker in Bollywood, little does she suspect that she will find herself standing on the terrace of her building, a bottle of wine and her diary in hand, plotting how best to jump. A small town girl, Neki has one ambition: to live in Mumbai and make it big as a film-maker. As she comes closer to her dream, she is also faced with a new reality.

The make-believe sets of Bollywood, the cramped existence with her three roommates and the battle for power on the sets of her debut film as an assistant director force her to understand the ground rules here if you don t learn the art of survival, the train back home is your only option.

Falling in love with the second lead actor, the charming Ranvir Khanna, further complicates her life, along with the realisation that she seems to have a unique ability to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and in the middle of every disaster that happens on the film sets. Battling political games, rivalry, love, betrayal and burning egos of film stars, she discovers the beauty of her own ambition and the ugliness of true love. The stakes are high. The dreams are big. The pressure is tremendous. If unfulfilled dreams keep you alive, can broken dreams push you to end it all?


2018 Secondary 3 Week 22 Update

The children are still in the school holidays with GG going back to school almost all days whether it was for CCA or even as a student guide for her seniors at the Former Ford Factory. This place is a national World War II museum, which was the place where, on 15 February 1942 (commemorated as Total Defence Day now), the British army led by Lieutenant-General A. E. Percival, the British General Officer Commanding (Malaya), met Lieutenant-General Yamashita in the Boardroom of the Ford Factory, and surrendered unconditionally to the Japanese, effectively sealing the fate of Singapore for the next three and a half years.

We also went to one of the local polytechnics for parents talk about the polytechnic education for our children as well as the Early Admissions Exercise for Secondary 4 students. The biggest draw for us was the tips given by the registrar to ace the EAE process. You need to have two write-ups, a 600 character one which is a more general write-up on why you want to join this particular course and a 1000 character write-up in bullet points on why you should be chosen. The larger write up is where you get to toot your own horn about the courses you may have done, the competitions attended etc.

Next week, GG has an intensive CCA schedule of almost 6 hours of singing each day, broken into two parts with a lunch break in between. BB also goes for his much-awaited field trip to an RSAF camp.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Recipes: Parangikkai aka Yellow Pumpkin Kootu

This is another kootu I love eating and until today I had been unable to replicate how my mum makes it. I’ve tried making this earlier but always felt that there was something missing. Then at the end of last year, when my parents came to Singapore, my mum made this one day. I did see how she made it but forgot to take notes. Then on Labour Day when I wanted to finally make it, I needed to get her to take me through the steps. I’ve seen various recipes on the internet, but none seems to be like how my mum makes it. So this may be a family recipe and I for one am glad I managed to take it down for posterity.

Parangikkai (Yellow/Orange Pumpkin) Kootu


  • 2 cups yellow/orange pumpkin, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup boiled toor dal
  • 1/2 cup + 2-3 tbsp fresh or frozen grated coconut
  • 6-7 dried red chillies
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ghee or oil
  • 2-3 tsps jaggery or sugar (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  • In a pan, heat the ghee or oil and when it warms, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add the urad dal and let it brown slightly. Then add 2-3 dried red chillies, after breaking them and the asafoetida powder and finally the 2-3 tbsp coconut and stir well.
  • Keep stirring this coconut mixture till the moisture completely leaves the coconut, and you should get a nice brown and crisp coconut mixture. Remove from pan and keep aside and let it cool.
  • In the same pan, put in the chopped pumpkin and with very little water (just enough to cover and cook the pumpkins), jaggery and salt to taste and cook it till it gets cooked and starts to lose its shape.
  • In the meantime, in a blender, make a paste of the remaining coconut, the remaining dried red chillies and cumin seeds. The paste should be a smooth one, so add water as needed.
  • Make sure the cooked toor dal is completely smooth. If you don’t have a smooth paste like dal, use a hand-held blender to blend it to get the consistency you need.
  • When the pumpkin is cooked, add the dal and the coconut paste and water if needed to bring it to the thickness you desire. Check for seasoning at this point also.
  • When the kootu is completely cooked and the dal and coconut paste mixed in thoroughly, switch off the gas and add the toasted coconut. Mix well and serve.
  • This goes very well with a traditional South Indian meal or if it’s slightly watery, you can also have it with rotis or other Indian flatbreads.


World Book Day

world-book-dayIt’s time for a new World Book Day. I’ve written about this event before here and here so do click these links to read in more detail about what this day means.

To reiterate, the World Book Day or World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days) is a yearly event on April 23rd, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote reading, publishing and copyright. In the United Kingdom, the day is recognized on the first Thursday in March. World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995.

world-book-day-1This year’s World Book Day theme is “Share A Story” and encourages adults, parents and older siblings to participate by reading and sharing stories. The ‘Share a Story’ theme will be encouraging people to ‘Take 10’ and recognise the positive impact that reading together for only 10 minutes a day can have on a child’s outcome.

Different countries commemorate this day in different ways. In Spain, Cervantes’s Don Quixote is read during a two-day “readathon” and the Miguel de Cervantes Prize is presented by the Spanish king in Alcalá de Henares.

In Catalonia, Spain, St. George’s Day has been ‘The Day of the Rose’ since 1436, and involves the exchange of gifts between loved ones and respected people—it is analogous to Valentine’s Day. Although World Book and Copyright Day have been celebrated since 1995 internationally, books were exchanged on ‘The Day of the Rose’ in Catalonia since 1929, in memory of Cervantes.

world-book-day-3In Sweden, the day is known as Världsbokdagen (“World Book Day”) and the copyright aspect is seldom mentioned. Normally celebrated on 23 April, it was moved to April 13 in the year 2000 and 2011 to avoid a clash with Easter.

In the United Kingdom, World Book Day has been held annually on the first Thursday in March, as 23 April sometimes clashes with Easter school holidays; 23 April is also the National Saint’s Day of England, St George’s Day. A separate event, World Book Night, organized by independent charity The Reading Agency, is held on 23 April.

In Kensington, Maryland, the United States of America, the International Day of the Book is celebrated with a street festival on the Sunday closest to April 26.

So why are you waiting? Go on and read a book…..




2018 Week 16 Update

Another week has gone by and we’re at the last week of April.

I have been in a bit of a funk this week and it’s taken me almost the whole week to come out of it. But I am fine now, hopefully, this feeling of wellness lasts longer this time around.

Othe than planning our June holidays, I’ve done nothing much this week. We’re planning a driving holiday to Malaysia.

Have a wonderful week folks!