Surviving the German Winter ;)

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Here’s an easy guide to enjoy a cozy winter season in Germany. These are practical tips distilled from my five years here! You have come to the right place to save your skin ;)

I recently figured out that a mixture of JOJOBA OIL and BABY ALMOND OIL, is the perfect oil to apply on the hair and body after a shower. It has no strong smells and is quickly absorbed into skin too! Also, HIBISCUS OIL applied on semi-dry or dry hair makes the hair super soft.

For a universal and inexpensive hair pack, apply CURD with SUGAR to hair for 5-20 mins before rinsing off, to have really soft and shiny locks. Curd when used in face packs also helps shrink pore sizes for a smoother finish.

My favorite home made body scrub consists of  SEA SALT+SUGAR+OLIVE OIL+TURMERIC POWDER+FRESHLY CUT RIPE FRUIT (eg; Avocado, Papaya, Strawberry or Cucumber extract). Olive oil is one of the best moisturizing oils like coconut oil (although both have a strong innate smell). Jojoba oil is a great oil, quick absorbing, although expensive, but a completely non-smelly option!

The LIP BALM sticks are best applied to lips after exposing them to warm air (say from a heater blower), so that they spread more generously on the lips.  Jojoba oil, Vaseline and Melkfett are also great for the lips.

For a running nose do the simple “JAL NETI” technique for instant clearing up of nose and sinuses and immediate relief from the most complicated cold situations. (Fill up a bottle of water with luke warm water and a pinch of salt. Tilt your head over the sink towards one side and let the water from the bottle pour over the nose from above. It will automatically clear the passage through the sinuses and nostril and flow out the other nostril. Just keep your mouth open throughout and continue breathing from your mouth. Repeat on other side. Then clear away your nasal passages normally. You will instantly feel alive. You needn’t be a great yogi to do this, and it will give you a good night’s sleep too! Use sea salt preferably and moisturize your nostrils afterwards). To protect your nostrils from bleeding due to the dry winter days and nights, dip clean ear buds in pure OLIVE OIL (cooking grade will happily do), and apply to inside of your nostrils.

For a sore throat or cough, your best bet is GINGER+HONEY and LEMON if you have it. (Make a syrup of grated ginger extract with honey and have as many times as you like. Alternatively, add chopped ginger and honey to boiling water and store in thermal flask to have through out the day. A few drops of lemon juice in it will improve the flavor too!)

To survive the common cold or sinusitis  avoid all milk/dairy products (like curd, cheese), as these enhance production of  mucus. Instead drink APPLE CIDER VINEGAR that acts as a mucolytic (breaks mucus) and also improved body immunity against cold (1/2 table spoon diluted in a glass of water, once or twice daily). The apple cider vinegar is a must buy for every home for its many therapeutic effects. It is known to naturally cure several diseases by improving the strength of veins and clearing up the digestive system (drink diluted in water), clearing up skin imperfections (apply on skin in combination with olive oil overnight), as a mild scrub in shower (rinse with water afterwards).

If you have had to take too many antibiotics, then your stomach may get upset. If it gets upset too much stop with the antibiotics and contact your doctor. There is in fact a strain of bacteria (Clostridium difficle) which develops upon taking antibiotics too long, as these also kill the helpful bacteria of the stomach. PROBIOTIC tabetss may be taken without prescription to re-establish good bacteria in the stomach and keep them fortified during travel also (eg: Parenterol).

To cure constipation, treat your stomach muscles well with regular overall exercises and also regularly drinking warm MILK with a pinch TURMERIC POWDER just before sleeping. It smells nice like saffron, makes the body strong in general, the milk also really calms the mind for a good night’s rest, the turmeric in it also has antibiotic properties. Turmeric paste in water (not curry powder mix of spices) can be applied to open wounds to act as an antiseptic. Please take care not to spill any of the turmeric on clothes as it leaves a permanent yellow stain.

For lovely hands and feet in winter, nothing will help you better than VASELINE. Alternatively one may also use MELKFETT and a few drops LEMON JUICE, the latter is also known to brighten complexion (and a cut lemon clears the room/fridge of strong smells like that of garlic or onions)! I recently noted the Garnier Urea body lotion even has a sweet taste!

For most ailments, one could easily find ‘NATURAL TREATMENT FOR —-‘ by a simple Google search :)  Often easy, reliable, safe and inexpensive prevention and cures are all on the web!

Happy New Year !!

My Quirks

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I know, I have my quirks. Here are some of my favorite, that I can recall from the top of my head!

1) I enjoy tasting the many flavors in my food, exploring every bite with great pleasure and sense of excitement. I therefore have recently become a fan of eating my meals quietly, instead of the more modern and sophisticated culture of conversing over a meal.

The wise monks have always preached the importance of doing things mindfully. I find eating and sleeping are ways to thank our bodies for their contribution towards our actions. Of these two, I find great joy in being an attentive observer of the flavors on my tongue as I eat. For me it is a meditation of sorts, enabling me to focus on its ever changing perception, as if focusing my minds eye on a slightly waving flame of a burning candle!

2) Another one on a related note. When I find something easy to cook and super delicious, I love to cook it very often, until I have consumed enough to go without it for six months ;)

3) Then again, I believe night time is peace time (even in ancient times, armies at war, are said to have paused their attacks at night time). When I am super tired I just want to sleep more than anything! I so love to keep the hour before sleep, phone free. This also applies to while having lunch. Unless it is absolutely urgent, I prefer to keep family meals free of receiving any phone calls.

4) Also I feel it is a great practice to not discuss stressful topics just before sleep or over meal-time. That time is sacred time, where everyone should be allowed to be at ease and comfort to replenish their stamina and bodily resources for strength to meet all of life’s challenges.

5) I also used to often catch myself striving endlessly for perfection in things small or big. I have come to see this is not always great. It saps precious time & action from achieving other important things. Our actions and our time form the very co-ordinates of our life’s graph. Thus, I now try to actively train and push myself to do things best, not losing time and effort in search of an undefined perfection.

Given that we have only so much time in this life, I am learning to accept that, often the quest of perfection is endless and futile. Doing our very best is simply good enough! Accept this and then smile :)

Will add more to the list when I can spot more.

I think only very few people in my life know some of these things about me. Do you also have secret quirks, which no one or only a very few people know?!

Distress or Test?

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A commonly forgotten sin is to despair or to have sorrow over what one cannot control.

What may appear as a source of distress, can also be viewed as a test; a test of one’s faith and determination, a test of relationships. It also builds an opportunity for new growth.

Life flows at its own sweet pace. Just as the cold winter poses a threat for foliage of plants, a healthy and strong plant will stand its test and tide through it, to bloom far richer and in full glory, thanks to its strong roots.

Problems often come not to create trouble, but to help us see the depth of our faith. I have found it greatly empowering to view distress/threat as simply a test. It lends a higher and more peaceful perspective on problems, enabling one to see that our daily obstacles aren’t even tenth as big as they may seem!

A more creative and optimistic approach to facing our fears might be by seeing them not as impassable obstacles, but simply fun challenges, soon to be overcome! When dealt with unwavering determination and faith, they will only serve to strengthen the foundations of our beliefs and color our life with even deeper shades of joy :)

Stay Glad and Grateful!

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Meaning of Beauty!

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My very first subscriber, PEW, has shared a mesmerizing line from an Algebra Text, that sparked off a mental duel in my head, between beauty and meaning!

Read it for yourself first:

” In simple cases, it relates l-adic representations of the étale fundamental group of an algebraic curve to objects of the derived category of l-adic sheaves on the moduli stack of vector bundles over the curve.

– About the “Langlands Program” in abstract algebra ”

I confess, its meaning flies miles above my head, and yet I find it priceless and trance-inducing!
Somehow, it appears less perplexing than it actually is, I guess, mostly because I do not have to understand it for an exam. Rather, it leaves me with a sense of awe (for the depth of its content) and beauty, as if watching an airplane fly above my head ;)
Funny, it seems poetically beautiful, even though its meaning evades me!
I think while beauty stirs interest, meaning conjures discovery. Each has thrill of its own :)
Perhaps beauty and meaning could be likened to two valuable pieces on the chess board of life, strengthening each other when moved with vision, although I always thought meaning was mightier than any other!
I still wonder if beauty could ultimately originate only from a deeply associated meaning, which may be often obscure (rooted in our instincts and conditioning). In case of the algebraic text, perhaps my appreciation of the novel/complicated jargon lent it meaning from my conditioning (for liking of advanced technical description), and thus made it beautiful for me, overriding any additional desire for its comprehension.
I am drawn to conclude that beauty is a child of meaning (apparent or elusive), while meaning may remain independent of beauty.
Are you drawn to agree with the supremacy of meaning over beauty too?
I would love to know!

Namastey!

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Hello World!

This is my first time blogging and I intend to kiss, keep ishort and simple in my posts, that is :)

I have started this blog, to share with you, the fascinating small and big things, life brings forth before my eyes and soul, every now and then.

I have named my blog as ‘me in desh videsh’ simply for the reason that India is my homeland (called ‘desh‘ in Hindi language) and I study abroad (called ‘videsh‘ in Hindi).

Also, as I study in Germany, feel free to read it as ‘mein desh videsh‘ (as ‘mein’ means ‘my‘ in German)!

Whichever part of the globe you may be in, I look forward to knowing your outlook too on the topics I talk of!

Stay Bright & Happy!

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