Pencil shading – Animals.

I used to make animal sketches in pencil earlier, but when I learned ink drawing, especially the Mandala art, I got addicted to it.

So, last week, I decided to get back to sketching in pencil.

I have used HB, 2B, 4B, 6B and 8B pencils in the shading work.

Sharing today, 2 of the artworks – one, not so good, and the other that turned out pretty well, to my satisfaction – that I made today and yesterday.

Pencil shading animals


Pencil shading animals


The rest of this week, I plan on making some more pencil sketches of the young ones of animals.

October will bring with it the Annual Ink drawing festival — INKTOBER!

Are you participating in it? Do join along; I am sure you will have fun!

Here’s the official list of prompts shared by Jay Parker – the brainchild  behind Inktober:

Inktober 2019

See you, guys!



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Pencil shading animals


Trust THE Plan.


Last week, as I sat wondering why things weren’t working out the way I envisioned, I came across this quote while scrolling through my Facebook Feed.

It seemed to just jump out at me from the screen and shake me to the core.

It felt like someone out there was trying to cheer me up, or motivate me during my moment of despondency, shaking me by my shoulders, trying to get some sense into my head!

I have always believed that it’s precisely when you are in need of some gyaan (read, enlightenment), the Universe jolts you with an epiphany.

Words of wisdom spoken by someone in that very moment when you need to hear them, or a motivational quote like I read that day, or even a line from a book or a news clipping.

It feels like the words are meant just for YOU, to waken you and get you moving in the right path.

I have been repeating this quote to myself ever since, especially when I need the reminder, when I feel like I am left out of THE race, or when I feel like a complete loser! Oh yes, I do feel that way sometimes. Don’t we all do, when we compare our lives with that of the others?

So, it has been since then that, each time I feel like things are not working out for me, or things are slipping out of my hand just when I am about to get a grip on them, that I remind myself of THE Plan.

The Plan that the Universe has made for me.

The Plan which will come to fruition as and when it is meant to.

The Plan which I am supposed to live, love and enjoy!

We always forget that our life is not, and will never be, like that of those we look up to or admire.

That each one of us is born with their own destiny, their life’s Plan all drawn up, which will work out as per the rules of the Universe, so it would be better if we quietly go along those rules and not beat ourselves up out of frustration.

Patience is key to accepting the rules of the Universe.

Patience and Trust.

Complete trust in the Universe and the ability to enjoy the plans it has made without grumbling about the speed at which things move.

It’s all a matter of developing that oh-so-precious Patience.

There’s a phrase in Marathi that hubby voices when he sees me getting impatient:

“Dheer dharaal tar kheer milel!” (If you have patience (dheer), you will get its sweet fruit (kheer).

So, let’s just keep working hard and enjoying the process.

Let’s also have patience…loads and loads of patience, for without it we will only be wringing our hands in despair.

Reaching our destination is not what winning is all about. But, living and breathing every moment, experiencing the highs and the lows, celebrating every little failure and victory is what will make our journey worthwhile.

I read somewhere that it’s only when we begin enjoying our journey wholly that we cease to think about the destination.

That’s precisely what I wish to achieve.

How about you? Do you find your patience slipping away from you? Do you find yourself despairing over ‘still not being there’ ?

Do share with me how you feel. I will do my best to motivate you to have patience and keep working, and enjoying. I will do my best to cheer you up, dear reader. It’s all we can do–we are in it together, aren’t we?



Trust the Plan

A Maharashtrian spinach recipe.

As a little girl, I wasn’t very fond of veggies, especially green leafy veggies, Well, which kid is!? Mum would use her creativity in preparing a different sabji every day and give it a fancy name in the faint hope that I would eat it.

I remember she had named the pumpkin sabji “Chocolate chi bhaji”, or, “Chocolate sabji”. And, the fool that I was, I would eat it with great enthusiasm! ;P

Out of all the veggies, I have a few favorite ones that I can cook and eat every day.

Capsicum, for instance, and pumpkin (yes, the chocolate sabji!), fenugreek, bitter gourd, spinach, and potato, are my favorite veggies and I try and make them like mum.

Out of these, spinach sabji is the one I relish and will be sharing its recipe with you all today. It’s a typical Maharashtrian spinach sabji. Some of you might be familiar with this recipe. For those who are not, let me tell you, it’s easy to make and tastes beautiful when eaten with chapati or paratha. 

So, here’s the recipe of PALAK CHI PAATTAL BHAJI, or, spinach in curry form, or palak ki patli (thin) sabji.





Spinach leaves – 1 bunch, leaves sorted and stems removed.

Tomato – 1 medium-sized.

Gram flour (Besan) – 1 tbsp

Green chilies – 2

Garlic – 4 to 5 cloves, crushed.

Oil – for tempering

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp.

Sugar – 1 tsp.

Salt – to taste


Clean and wash the spinach leaves and place them in a colander for the water to drain out.

Maharashtrian Spinach Recipe


Once the water has all drained out, chop the leaves fine.

Maharashtrian Spinach Recipe

Finely chop the tomatoes, too.

Chop the green chilies and place all these in a vessel for pressure cooking.

Pressure cook for about 15 minutes or 2 whistles.

Switch off the gas and allow to cool.

Remove the vessel from the cooker and transfer the mixture in a plate to cool it thoroughly.

Once it is cooled, mash it all with your hand (the reason why you need to allow it to cool completely).

Maharashtrian Spinach Recipe

Then, in a bowl, take a tbsp of gram flour, add some water and make a thick paste.

Maharashtrian Spinach Recipe

Add this paste to the mashed spinach-tomato mixture.

Add water to give it a dal like consistency and mix well.

Transfer this curry to a pan (or, an iron kadhai if you have one), add turmeric, chilly powder (if you want it hot), salt, and sugar.

Mix well and bring it to a boil.

In a tempering pan, take 2 tbsp of oil and heat it.  Add cumin seeds and once they turn brown, throw in the garlic cloves.

Once the garlic cloves turn brown and crispy, add the tempering to the sabji in the pan.

Maharashtrian Spinach Recipe

Let it boil for a few minutes and switch off the burner.

Your Maharashtrian Spinach Sabji is ready to eat.

Serve hot with chapati, paratha, or rice.

Maharashtrian Spinach Recipe

Don’t forget to add some ghee to it before serving. It tastes heavenly!

The sabji takes around 30 minutes of cooking time and is easy to make.



Benefits of spinach


Spinach is full of nutrients. Loaded with iron, vitamins, and minerals, it’s a boon for those suffering from anemia.

Iron, when taken along with Vitamin C, helps our stomach absorb it better. So, in the above sabji, we are cooking spinach (iron) along with tomatoes (Vitamin C).

Spinach is also rich in magnesium that’s good for your heart health, immune system, muscle, and nerve maintenance.

Its high potassium content makes it beneficial for those suffering from high blood pressure as potassium brings down the effects of sodium in our body.

Being high in fiber and water, spinach also helps the digestive system by preventing constipation. So, if suffering from digestion-related issues, include spinach in your diet for some relief.


The Vitamin A present in spinach makes the spinach recipe a natural beauty potion for your skin and hair! Plus, its iron content makes it a good tonic for hair loss.

Check out this easy-to-make SPINACH SOUP RECIPE which I shared on Instagram. 


So, there you go. So many nutrients in this bunch of greens!

Do try out this recipe and let me know if you like it.




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4 signs someone you care about is thinking of committing suicide.

10th September is a day dedicated to awareness and prevention of suicides by the International Association for Suicide Prevention, in collaboration with WHO.

There are many activities and programs conducted the world over to bring about awareness by educating people about suicides, signs of suicide and how it can be prevented.

With the kind of stress that we all live with today, suicides seem to have become a disease.

Mental illnesses are definitely major risk factors, but suicides are also an impulsive act, committed in the spur of the moment by a person who may have been suffering from unbearable stress and displayed signs which people around may have failed to notice.

Today, I host my friend, Mahevash Shaikh, a blogger who writes on mental health at her blog, Mahevash Muses, to share this post on the warning signs of suicide.

Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about culture, society, and mental health. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. Do visit her here at to download her free book, ’30 Powerful Affirmations To Boost Your Mental Health.’ 

You can also find her at

Over to Mahevash…

When someone commits suicide, one of the first and most common responses to it is something along the lines of “I never saw this coming” and “if only they had reached out to me (then this wouldn’t have happened).”
Knowingly or unknowingly, most people tend to shift the blame onto the victim as he or she never expressed how urgently they needed help.

But the thing is, the person who is now gone probably did leave signs that they were thinking of ending their lives.
It takes a trained eye and some lived experience to be able to see these signs for the red flags that they are.
I have thought of committing suicide many, many times, thanks to my depression and to ensure I don’t act on the thought, I have made myself and my loved ones aware of certain signs to look out for.
To prevent suicide, it is important to recognize these signs and address them in the right manner.

So without further ado, here are 4 signs someone you care about is thinking of committing suicide:

Warning signs of a suicide

Sign #1 – Losing interest in everything they used to love
If your friend has suddenly stopped caring about all the things that previously held their attention, it’s a dead giveaway that they are feeling suicidal.
Losing interest in hobbies and life, in general, is also a symptom of depression, which often accompanies suicidal ideation and the act of suicide itself.

Sign #2 – Becoming reclusive and aloof
No, your coworker has not suddenly turned into a cold, distant stranger because of something you did.

Chances are high that for some reason, she is thinking of taking her own life.
When a person is in a suicidal state of mind, they tend to feel physically and emotionally drained.

They also believe that nobody is going to understand their feelings anyway, so why bother trying to talk about them?

Sign #3 – Behaving recklessly
So you think your uncle is having a mid-life crisis because he is suddenly spending money on things he doesn’t need, like the SUV he just bought or the branded (read: overpriced) suits he has recently taken a strong liking to?
While behaving uncharacteristically is a sign of a mid-life crisis, it is also a sign of a person feeling suicidal.

An individual in a suicidal frame of mind thinks that they can get away with pretty much anything because they are going to leave this world very soon anyway.

Sign #4 – Actually talking about it
If you find your partner often making statements like “What’s the point of living?” or even joking about the topic, do not treat it lightly or excuse it as a passing stage of sadness or even depression.
The fact that they are talking about suicide is actually a cry for help and should be treated as such.

You could start by having an honest conversation about it and then consult a professional.
There is a common misconception that talking about suicide makes a suicidal person want to commit the act.

This is far from true; in fact, it is conversations like this that help prevent suicide.

So go ahead and be as direct as you can be.
Please bear in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of suicidal signs.

Always consult a mental health professional if you or your loved one is exhibiting suicidal behavior.
Don’t worry if it turns out to be a false alarm, for it’s better to be safe than sorry.
In your experience, which signs of suicide do suicidal people exhibit?

Do let me know in the comments below.

4 warning signs of suicide

Urinary Tract Infection – Causes, symptoms and care.


Urinary Tract Infection, or UTI, is an infection common among women than men and can be treated if reported promptly and when limited to the urinary tract. It can become serious if left untreated and can travel up, towards the kidneys.

It can get rather frustrating, suffering from the varied symptoms, but Urinary Tract Infection treatment, if taken in time, can save us from a lot more trouble.

Sharing today, some information on this common infection and the causes, symptoms and home remedies that can help us deal with it.

I got the information and learned about the home remedies for Urinary Tract Infection from my gynaecologist friend, whom I turn to when faced with such issues. Some information is also gathered from Wikipedia.

Urinary tract infection - causes, symptoms, care


UTI causes when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra.

The urethra is the tiny opening through which urine is passed.

The distance between the anus and the urethra is very short; the bacteria can travel faster from the anus to the urethra and into the urinary tract causing an infection.

There is also a higher chance of infection of the urethra from the vagina due to sexually transmitted bacteria, as the urethra is situated really close to the vagina, too.

So, the female anatomy is the major reason behind a UTI: the short distance between the urethra, the urethral opening, the vaginal opening, and the anus.


1 Burning sensation while urinating.

2 Constant urge to urinate.

3 Passing very little urine whenever the urge to urinate.

4 Strong-smelling urine.

5 Cloudy, dark-coloured urine, or blood in the urine.

6 Unbearable pain in the pelvic region, or the lower abdomen. Spasmodic pain (spasms) that makes it impossible to either sit or lie down.

7 Shivering followed by fever.

8 Pain during urinating.

Home remedies for Urinary Tract Infection


Urinary tract infection treatment is available at home, provided you take prompt action. Waiting longer could lead to worsening of the symptoms, which need antibiotic treatment by a medical practitioner.

DRINK LOTS OF WATER: Drinking lots of water results in the flushing out of bacteria and helps reduce the intensity. It does seem frustrating having to drink water because then you will have the urge to urinate frequently. But, it’s one of the most helpful ways to solve the issue.

Make sure you drink enough water on an everyday basis so as to prevent an infection.

Read this: Drink enough water.


NEVER HOLD IN THE URINE: Whenever you get the urge to pass urine, just go! Holding it in allows the bacteria to grow inside your system. This is one of the commonest causes why we suffer from an infection.

So, however busy your schedule, never put your urine on hold.


CRANBERRY JUICE: Cranberry juice has antibacterial properties that make it an important home remedies for urinary tract infection. Eating cranberries can help, too.

The antibacterial properties help fight the build-up of the E Coli bacteria that is the cause of  UTI.


 CORIANDER WATER: This is one of the home remedies for Urinary Tract Infection treatment that my doctor friend swears by. This is the first advice she gave me when I complained of the UTI.

Take two glasses of water. Add a spoonful of coriander seeds and boil for some time.

Switch off the gas and allow to cool. Drink this water to bring down the burning sensation.


DRINK WATER/URINATE AFTER INTERCOURSE: Because the distance between the urethra and the vagina is so less, we are at risk of catching an infection from sexual contact.

Drink water and pass urine after intercourse so that the bacteria gets flushed out.

Make sure you or your partner isn’t suffering from an infection before sexual contact.

Also, sexual relations with multiple partners puts you at a higher risk of developing infections. So, stay safe!

MAINTAIN INTIMATE HYGIENE: Be sure to keep your intimate areas clean.

Wash during your shower using an intimate wash that has the right pH balance and which does not contain any chemicals.

Using scented vaginal wash could lead to skin issues as our intimate areas need gentle cleansing and the harshness of chemicals can harm the area as well as the natural flora present in our intimate areas.

Our vagina–the area tucked inside our body–is self-cleaning and takes care of itself. It’s the vulva–the outer part–that needs regular care and hygiene.

Be sure to clean from the front to the back–from the urethra to the anus–so as to avoid the bacteria from the anus to travel up to the urethra.

Read this Sustainable Period Wear.



Certain birth control devices like the diaphragm and scented condoms can cause bacterial growth. Get advice from your gynaecologist about a birth-control method that won’t put you at risk of infection.



Your doctor will prescribe an anti-spasmodic that will bring down the pain and the spasms. It will also bring down the shivering and fever.

DO NOT wait for the symptoms to die down on their own because they won’t. The situation will only worsen.

So, the first instance you feel things abnormal ‘down there’. begin the treatment by home remedies mentioned above. And, if that fails to help, get a doctor’s help.



  1. Always wear cotton undergarments as these give the skin a chance to breathe.
  2. Be careful when visiting a public restroom. Line the toilet seat with a toilet paper before use.
  3. Always keep a toilet paper roll in your handbag for this purpose.
  4. If there’s an absence of toilet paper, then pass urine in the half-sitting/half-standing position.
  5. DO NOT sit on the seat as it’s teeming with a huge colony of harmful bacteria.
  6. Keep a watch on the colour of your urine. It should be pale in colour. If you notice darker coloured urine, increase your water intake.
  7. If you detect an unnatural odour emanating from your vagina, contact your doctor, as also if you notice a change in your urine.
  8. Include probiotics in your daily diet as these contain helpful bacteria that keep our urinary tract in good health.



An infection is often caused due to lack of hygiene. A matter of cleanliness, hygiene and self-care, it’s in our control staying safe from infections. Developing a healthy lifestyle and forming healthy habits will ensure we stay free from infections.





Urinary Tract Infection - Symptoms and home remedies



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