An Evening Ruined by Rude People: Where are the Common Courtesies ????

I am warning my readers ahead of time, this is a post written in anger and frustration. As a result I may not be as diplomatic in my writing as I am on a normal day.  Today’s angry rant is about common decency and respecting other people.

Our first spot, yum watermelon

Yesterday my husband, daughter, and I decided to go to an early Independence Day fireworks display near our home. It was a big event; they had a fair with carnival rides, petting zoo, music, games, food, the works! We faced the massive traffic, and parking nightmare. We got there at 8pm two hours before the fireworks were going to start. We walked around the carnival enjoying the sights and sounds. I love the feeling of a carnival; it always brings a smile to my face.  Hearing the screams of joy and excitement from the people on the rides. The smell of fried foods and fresh cotton candy. Watching the carnival games and people winning prizes. We didn’t stay long in the carnival because our daughter is only three and cannot fully enjoy it yet. We found a quiet spot and set down our blanket, took off our shoes, and waited for the fireworks to start. I had cut up a wonderful watermelon, one of our favorite summer foods. We also had chips to munch on.

Second spot on the baseball field, chips her favorite!

Within a few minutes our quiet little oasis was soon disrupted by a group of raggedy individuals who decided to sit right near us.  They soon pulled out their liquor and their cigarettes and started to drink and smoke no more than five feet from where we sat.  I tried to ignore this intrusion! I really did try. The language got rough and they started to cuss loudly and I knew it was not going to get better. So we packed up our stuff and walked around trying to find a new place to sit. We found a large seating area on the baseball field.

The small hot balloons were fun to watch!

It seemed so nice and peaceful. It was fenced in and kids were running around playing free. It was all families inside the area. Which was an improvement over the last place we sat.  So we again found a nice little spot and put down our blankets and took off our shoes and brought out the snacks. It was great at first!  A few people had put up small hot air balloons that used a candle that filled the sack with hot air and caused the balloon to ascend into the sky! Nasreen got so excited to see these hot air balloons float high in the sky. I explained to her the science behind them. How hot air is lighter then cold air and makes the balloons rise She loved it!

As we sat waiting for the fireworks I looked around at the people sitting near us. It was a large field and many families were playing with their kids and eating. I noticed something then! Many of the families were smoking, most of them smoking right near their small kids! I even saw one lady literally smoking while breast feeding and then dropping ash on her infants face! I was so disgusted! I smelled the cigarettes all around me. My husband started to cough, he is very sensitive to the smell. We looked at each other and we knew we had to move. So we picked up our stuff and we tried to find a place where people were not smoking!  We moved to three more spots and everywhere around us was the toxic smell of cigarettes. We are really not that demanding. I just wanted a nice place to watch the fireworks free from toxic fumes!

In California there are laws that govern public smoking! It is not legal or socially acceptable to smoke in public around non-smokers! In Michigan no such laws exists! The question I have is where the common decency? I have nothing against smokers. I don’t see them as bad people. I just do not want their smoke in my lungs! I don’t smoke for a reason! Why didn’t these people  get up and walk to an isolated place and have their smoke. Why do they have chain smoke around families and kids. It made me so mad and disgusted! Finally I packed up my stuff one last time and angrily walked back to our car. By that time it was 9:45 and the fireworks were supposed to start any time.  I was so upset and angry. I wished I had been more direct with these people but there were so many people smoking and I was outnumbered and had no laws to defend my opinion.

We got back to our car and I was so ready to just go home, but Nasreen our daughter was so excited to see the fireworks. We were not far from the location so we decided to wait and watch them there from the parking lot. As we waited there was a seemingly wholesome family with three kids all matching red,white, and blue outfits. They were playing with sparkler’s.  They offered Nasreen some sparklers but she just wanted to watch. We got to talking with the mom and dad of the kids about the weather and such,  and not two feet from us they lit up their cigarettes!  They didn’t excuse themselves away from the group or anything. They just lit up and blew out their smoke in our direction while they talked to us!

So we quietly walked away and spent the next half hour dodging cigarette smoke in the parking lot. I was passed the point of getting mad; I just wanted my daughter to see the darn fireworks!

Finally the fireworks started 20 minutes late, and they were beautiful! They lasted 30 minutes and were spectacular. Nasreen loved them!

Wow!

She told me the fireworks were bringing colors to the world, I thought that was a sweet idea

I want to say that the fireworks made up for all the frustration and anger I felt! It honestly didn’t, and that is why I am writing an article!

Was I asking too much! I mean honestly am I being too dramatic? Should I have stayed on the grass surrounded by smoke? Is it asking people too much to walk away from the group to smoke?

My daughter did not know what was going on, and why we kept moving. She did not know that we were trying to keep her lungs free from second hand smoke.  She does not know negative consequences of inhaling second hand.

According to the CDC

“In children, secondhand smoke causes, Ear infections, More frequent and severe asthma attacks, Respiratory symptoms (e.g., coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath), respiratory infections (i.e., bronchitis, pneumonia) A greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) In U.S. children aged 18 months or younger, secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for an estimated 150,000–300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia annually and approximately 7,500–15,000 hospitalizations annually.”

Breathing in second hand smoke is actually more toxic than actually smoking. The smoke that burns off the end of a cigarette or cigar actually contains more harmful substances than the smoke inhaled by the smoker! The smoker consumes the smoke through a filter in the cigarette, while the people around them get the smoke straight and unfiltered.

My daughter did not know any of this, but I do, and it is my job to protect my child. So I ask again where is the common courtesy!!!! In the future I will be more assertive with people who act this rudely! These people ruined my evening!

How do my readers feel about the issues I have brought up?

Do you feel it is common courtesy to walk away from a group when smoking a cigarette?

Am I being dramatic?

Tell me how you feel about smokers smoking near you. I honestly would love to know.

 

Why I love Being Married to an Indian #2: The Clothes

My first ever Salway Kamiz given to me by my best friend

Its hard to see but I made this suit. This was before I went to India and got some made. It was a simple white one!

The shops have so many fabrics and designs! You simple buy the fabric and for a low cost in India the suit will be made for you just as you like it by a tailor! So many options, this curvy girl was amazed!

I love Indian clothes! When I met and married my husband a whole new world of Punjabi suits, chunis, Indian Jewelry, Tiikas, Bindis and Anarkali dresses. All these new options opened up in front of my eyes. I have never tied a Sari but I would like to sometimes. I have mostly worn Punjabi suits and Anarkali dresses.  Suits come in so many colors and designs!  All custom made, you just pick the fabric and the style and it is made to your size and shape. The shops holding all the designs are huge! No worrying about getting the size right, you can literally have any of the patterns, fabrics, and colors you like.

I love how chunnis flow down!

This was so refreshing for a plus size girl like me.  I was so used to going to a store in the USA and being so disappointed by a lack of clothes in my size on the shelf. If the American store did have my size it was usually shapeless clothes that made us curvy girls look even bigger.  I was in heaven shopping in India . I looked to my sister in law who was shopping with me and I was in shock. “ I can pick anyone I want and it will fit me?!, Are you sure!” , She was like yeah! It was amazing!!

simple cotton suit for hot summer days!

A Suit can also be worn with a sweater if it is cold or too tight hehe

Not to pat myself of the back or anything but I look cute in suits. I am what you call curvy, so most jeans and shirt outfits make me look too sectioned off. Punjabi suits make me look slimmer and they are just so glorious and comfortable!

Me in an Anarkali dress!

Punjabi suits are called Salwar Kameez , but most people just say suit. A traditional suit is made with a long decorated tunic top. This can be any fabric from cotton to silk. Some suits are simple for the house others are more decorated and are called party wear. They come will all kinds of embellishments from embroidery, to mirror work, beads, and all kinds of shinny accents. The length of the tunic varies. Some people like it long and some like it shorter, but it almost always covers the butt. The tailor can custom design the neck line and back. Some are made to zip up for that fitted look others have a low neck line in the back to show a little skin! Anarkalis dresses are also popular. They are more expensive and often have netting in the design. They flow like a dress.

My Salwar is Patiala style with the pleated look

The pants worn under the suit is called a salwar. There are two main types, fitted or pleated. The fitted ones are Pajami pants. These look great under longer suits or Anarkali dresses. They look especially nice if you have thin legs. The more traditional style of salwar is called Patiala style. This is named after Patiala a city in Punjab India, where my husband’s family is originally from before they moved to Chandigargh. This type of salwar is my favorite. The fabric is gathered at the ankles, and gives it a pleated look. The Salwar is tied with a draw string.

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I love bindis, the little jewel between my eyes

Traditionally a chunni also called dupatta ( long scarf) is warn with the suit. This can be drape in all sorts of manners, or can be worn to cover the head. I used to hate wearing a chunni, because I had issues keeping it up and it kept slipping. Then I learned the beauty of pinning it in place with safety pins, and now it is quite easy to manage. Chunnis are great because they serve so many purposes and they are beautiful. So lets say you don’t want  your tummy to show, you just drape it the right way and boom you look stunning! They are also great for breast feeding moms. Your wearing it anyway and in public you can just drape the really thin material over your child for privacy and they don’t get to hot. This helped me a lot in India while we were visiting. I have used mine for covering my face for going on the motorcycle on dusty polluted days! My husband told me a story about how one day him and his mom were traveling by rickshaw and they went threw a swarm of bees and his mom put her chunni around them and they didn’t get stung, and the driver did. You can use it to keep the sun out of your face, or even in a tight stop wipe your child’s face. I love the fact that when you are wearing a suit you are always ready to go to Gurdwara, because you have the scarf  with you to cover your head .

Ready for motorcycle ride through Chandisgargh, the many uses of a chunni

Ready for motorcycle ride through Chandisgargh, the many uses of a chunni

 

 

My Mother in law giving me the beautiful jewelry set it was quite an honor to be wearing such history!

Nasreen styling in her suit

My bangles

I also love Indian jewelry. When we went to India my mother in law gave me a beautiful set of jewelry. It had been passed down several generations of family from daughter in law to daughter in law. It included a beautiful gold ring, necklass, earings, and beautiful 24k Tikka. The Tikka is my favorite, its is the jewelry that is attached to you hair and goes down to you forehead. I also love all the matching bangles you can buy to match all the Indian suits. My husband loves to arrange them for me in interesting and beautiful designs. It is just something that he does for me, mixing the different ones into a beautiful design.

Over all I just love Indian clothes and I always look forward to Indian Party’s and going to the Gurdwara so I can wear my beautiful suits. I find that unlike so many other cultures that are shedding their traditional clothes for jeans and shirts, there are an overwhelming amount of women in northern India who still very much prefer Indian clothes! These women wear suits nearly every day, and I don’t blame them. The clothes are beautiful, comfortable, and totally unique and stylish! I am so glad I have the opportunity to learn about and wear these beautiful clothes. IMG_8499

 

Gobi Musallam – Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Gravy

I love cauliflower, but my husband always complains that my cauliflower is always overcooked and does not keep its shape. I have tried so many ways but the texture was always the same, kind of mushed. I came across this recipe where you bake the entire cauliflower head. The cauliflower came out really great, and the texture was wonderful. The cooked cauliflower is placed in a creamy gravy and tastes divine.  facebook-9676-2

Ingredients:
1 Cauliflower head  – leaves, tough stem removed and washed
Water to blanch
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

Gravy/curry:
2 teaspoons oil
1 medium red onion chopped
1 inch ginger chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic chopped
1 green chili
3 medium tomatoes chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon of butter

1 cup frozen peas

Method:
Bring a large pot of water to boil. use enough water so all of the cauliflower can be immersed in it.
Add salt, turmeric and chili and blanch/cook the whole cauliflower.
Cover and cook for 4 minutes on each side(top and bottom. Flip after 4 minutes)

spiced cauliflower

spiced cauliflower

Gravy:
In a pan, add oil and heat on medium heat.
Add chopped onion and saute until golden, 6-7 minutes
Add ginger, garlic chili and saute for another 2 minutes.
Add the spices and mix.
Add tomatoes and cook covered until tender. Mash them a bit in between. 8-10 minutes.
Cool slightly, then blend with butter until blended
Taste and adjust salt, spice.
Oil the baking dish if desired.
Place the blanched cauliflower in a baking dish.
Slowly drop the puree on top to cover the entire head of the cauliflower.

The cooked cauliflower will have a browned appearance

The cooked cauliflower will have a browned appearance

Some gravy will fall on the side.
Keep about a 1/3 of the gravy to serve on the side later. Add peas to the gravy.
Bake in pre-heated 400 degrees F for 40-45 minutes till the cauliflower is dry to touch and gravy thickens a bit. Turn the dish around after 30 minutes.
Heat the remaining gravy to just about a boil so it thickens and serve on the side.
Serve hot with flat breads or roti

Great with Roti

Great with Roti