Uncategorized

Jamun fruit jam

An innovative recipe indeed 😀

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065Both my maids are back in action! I know lot of Indian women would understand my joy. I got a new cleaning maid because the previous one has disappeared without any information and my cooking aid is back from her vacation. So finally life is back to normal and I can think of cooking something apart from the routine food.

The two jamun trees and one mango tree in my building compound are heavily laden with fruits. The building manager gave 4 mangoes to each apt resident which I gave to aunty for making mango pickle. However picking jamuns can be really tricky. They are soft mushy berries and have to be delicately picked with a basket attached to a long pole.

The other day I had gone to stock exchange for a meeting and happened to see a street hawker selling purple juicy jamuns. I bought half a kg and…

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Food Recipes

Healthy Indian Breakfast-Poha

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I simply do not like eating boring food. Hence, I experiment a lot with my breakfast. However, there is one dish that I make a lot so it is kind of my staple breakfast option. It is poha or flattened rice.

Poha is essentially a dish from Indore and Maharashtra. It is essentially spicy but you can vary the taste according to your taste buds.

My version of poha is a sweet and salted one.

Let us now get to the recipe.

You will  need

  1. Poha or flattened rice (1 big bowl)
  2. Peanuts (a handful)
  3. Onion (1 no.) chopped to long slices
  4. Tomato (1 no.) diced
  5. Carrot (1/2 chopped)
  6. Lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  7. Tomato Ketchup ( 1 large spoon)
  8. Honey ( 1/4 of a tsp)
  9. Kadi Patta
  10. Oil (2 tsps.)
  11. Black mustard seeds (for tempering)
  12. Green chilli (1 no.)
  13. Spices-turmeric (1/4 tsp), red chilli (1 tsp- this can be increased if you want it more spicy), salt (to taste)

Preparation:

  1. Take oil in a pan.
  2. Add mustard seeds and peanuts and let them crackle.
  3. Once they start crackling, add kadi patta.
  4. Now, add onion to it. Keep cooking the onion till it turns translucent.
  5. Then, add carrot and tomato together.
  6. Let them cook. You can cover the container and let the veggies cook properly. Once the tomato is a little mushy, add the spices and honey and mix them.
  7. While the veggies are cooking, take the poha and wash it with water. Immediately drain out the water. If it stays more in water, it becomes all soggy and will form lumps. You would want to avoid that.
  8. Now, add poha to the pan. Add tomato ketchup to it and give it a good mix. Also, add lemon juice to the poha.
  9. Mix it again and turn off the stove.
  10. Garnish it with aloo bhujia if you want added crunch.

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Food Recipes, Uncategorized

Mango Phirni- A Royal Dessert

Cooking, how it takes time yet gives pleasure seeing the face of the people eating it. Hello lovelies! I hope you guys are having a great week. I am already waiting for the weekend. Can you blame me 😛

Last weekend was mother’s day and I decided to make a dessert for my mother. I have been so much into trying out new dishes. This time it was mango phirni.

What is phirni?

Well, phirni dates back to the Mughal period. It is a rice based dessert often served chilled. There are different variants of phirni-basic phirni, rose phirni and almond phirni.

Is it healthy?

Well apart from the sugar, everything else added in this is healthy. So people who are diabetic can maybe skip sugar or can add sugar free to it.

Let’s now jump straight to the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kg full cream milk (toned milk does not give taste to phirni)
  • 1/4 cup of basmati rice
  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • 1/4 cup sugar (you can increase or decrease it according to your taste)
  • 4-5 cardamom or 3 table spoon cardamom powder
  • 6-10 Almonds
  • 6-10 Cashew nuts
  • 6-10 pistachios

you need to chop the nuts before you use them 

  • Desi ghee or refined oil for cooking (I prefer desi ghee but absolutely your choice.)

Preparation Method:

  1. Take the rice in a bowl and soak them in water for an hour. If possible, soak them overnight. The better soaked they are, better is the paste that you will make for the phirni.
  2. Take some oil in a pan. 
  3. Add chopped nuts in it and roast them for 2 minutes. Once you smell the fragrance, remove them in a container.
  4. Now, take the soaked rice and grind it to get a coarse paste. It should be think and not runny.
  5. Next, remove the pulp of the mango and give it a blend.
  6. Meanwhile keep the milk to boil on the gas.
  7. Once you see the milk boiling add the rice paste to it and keep stirring. Make sure there are no lumps formed.
  8. Keep stirring the mixture after every minute.
  9. Once you see that rice has mixed properly with milk, add half of the nuts and sugar.
  10. Give it a stir for the next 2 minutes and turn the flame off.
  11. Add mango pulp and cardamom powder to this and mix them well.
  12. Remove the phirni in a container and keep it in the fridge to chill.
  13. Serve it chilled by garnishing it with nuts.

Do try the recipe and let me know how it turns out!

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Until the next recipe, Adios ❤

 

 

 

Food Recipes

A unique dessert-Beetroot Halwa

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A meal is incomplete without a dessert. My family is really fond of desserts. I ain’t a dessert person. But, I had this dessert at a friend’s wedding and was meaning to try my hands at it.

This is the beetroot halwa. You might have heard of semonila or carrot halwa but beetroot halwa sounds strange, is it?

Well, it tasted so good. Without further ado, let’s delve into the recipe.

 

You will need:

  • 2 beetroot (You can increase or decrease the quantity as per your wish.)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I took powdered form. You can use the normal sugar as well)
  • Nuts (cashew, almond and whatever you like )
  • Cardamom powder (Again, I took cardamom and grounded it. You can directly use the powder)
  • Milk (about half a cup)
  • About 3 table spoon ghee or oil

 

What to do:

  1. Start preparing for the halwa by grating the beetroot.
  2. At the same time, chop the nuts into pieces.
  3. Now take a pan and add 1 tsp oil to it.
  4. Let the oil heat and then roast the nuts into the oil. Remove them once the nuts start changing colour. You will smell the aroma when the nuts start roasting.
  5. Now, add some more oil to the pan and put the grated beetroot in the pan.
  6. Cook the beetroot till it starts to change colour. You need to do that for approximately 2-3 minutes.
  7. Then, add milk to this and let the beetroot and milk cook.
  8. You need to keep checking them after every minute to see that they are not overcooked.
  9. The more they cook, the milk start to decrease and the beetroot turns darker.
  10. Halfway through, add cardamom powder and sugar to this and keep cooking the beetroot.
  11. Make sure you cook it properly such that the beetroot does not taste raw.
  12. Add some nuts and keep the rest for garnish.
  13. Serve the halwa hot.

 

Try it out and let me know how it turns out. I would love to hear the feedback.

If you love my recipes, you can follow me at: http://www.instagram.com/thecoupleventure for more food updates!

Food Recipes, Uncategorized

Aam Panna-Refreshing Summer Cooler

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Aam Panna is one of the most refreshing desi cooler of summers, popular in Indian household. It is made with raw mangoes and Indian spices. Not only does it taste good, it has health benefits too.

Since it is made of raw mangoes, it contains pectin, that improves the digestive system of the body.

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It provides the body with the needed salts and iron and hence it is really beneficial for summers.

Recently, I have been trying my hands at cooking. I had wanted to try this one out for a long time and it turned out pretty fine.

Let’s stright delve into the recipe.

You will need:

  • 4 raw mangoes
  • 20-30 mint leaves
  • roasted cumin powder
  • 2 tsp of rock salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • a bowl of sugar

Step by step procedure:

  1. Wash, peel and cut the raw mango into small pieces. Make sure you remove the mango seed.
  2. Put these pieces in a vessel and boil the mangoes till they are soft (It took me approx. 5 minutes to make the pulp soft). With a spoon, check if the pulp has turned softer.
  3. Now, put the pulp along with 2 large cups of water in a blender. Use the same water in which you boiled the pulp (You want to retain the goodness of the mango). Give this a smooth blend.

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  1. Pour this in a big container.
  2. Now, take the mint leaves and add the leftover mango water (approx. 1 cup) to the mint leaves and churn them in the blender. You can leave them thick or make a smooth paste as per your wish.
  3. Add this to the blended mango.
  4. Now, add 6-7 large cups of water to the mango+mint pulp and give it a good mix with a big spoon.

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  1. Then, add your spices to it and keep mixing them.
  2. Lastly, add sugar and mix it well.
  3. You can increase the water content if the cooler is too tangy for your taste.
  4. Keep it in fridge for the next 3-4 hours and bam your drink is done.
  5. You can garnish it with some more mint leaves and serve it to the guests.

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Try this out and let me know how it turned out.

Relationships, Self Care

Five Most Inspirational Women in my Life

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You might have seen the world celebrating Women’s day yesterday. There were tons of posts and messages and blogs and what not about how mighty and great women are. How they should be treated equally and what not. In between all the messages and posts were people who talked about how the whole idea was bullshit and there was no need of a special day to celebrate womanhood. If you respect women, show her that respect and she would feel celebrated.

Talking to such people made me introspect how right they were. We are mighty kind and we don’t deserve to be celebrated just for a day. We command and deserve respect daily. I originally had planned to post this blog yesterday but then bailed out. Because women’s day is everyday and not just on that day.

I have learnt a lot of shits in life. But there are some women in this space who have taught me and made me who I am. So ladies, this one is for you.

Let me talk about the four superwomen in my life.

Mommy Dear

The list of inspirational and kickass women would be incomplete if I do not mention my mom. My mother is basically a homemaker. But that does not make her less kickass. She is like a bud not only to me but to all my friends that know her. Without her, I cannot imagine being this independent woman that I am today. She basically made me push my boundaries and limits by not being that come-depend-on-me mommy and instead asking me to step up and be independent. Thanks mom for making me independent and strong headed to fight the world on my own. Thank you for not being a crying shoulder when I failed because that helped me work harder for the success.

Miss Monita aka my Language Teacher at school

I seriously owe the English I know and speak and write to this woman. In the class where everyone else was practically sleeping (sorry ma’am but that happened!), she made me all interested in the language. I still remember her correcting my grammar and language in the write-ups that I gave her to read separately (I still have them ma’am, all marked red). You made me improve and I practically have my current job because of you :D. You inspired me to love the subject and to read. So, thank you for trusting me and helping me improve.

Lilly Singh aka Superwoman

Who doesn’t know her. If someone does not, you probably are living under the rock because she is the world’s highest paid Youtube celebrity. For people who don’t know her, you should check out her channel, ||Superwoman||. I have always looked up to her whenever I have felt sad and low in life. All her videos have made me laugh and cry and feel all sorts of emotions. Honestly, I look up to her for being such a kickass woman, doing all the things that one could dream of, all by her hard work. She gives me hope, dreams and courage that you can achieve success if you work hard.

Lilly, my girl, I owe you for all the dreams that I see. They are because of you. You give me courage and hope that I can achieve them and maybe, I would.

Ms. Bhairavi Sagar

This woman is basically doing my dream job. I followed her for she resonated my love for travel. Let me introduce you to her, Bhairavi. Bhairavi has travelled across 50 countries (like, wow!). Right now, she owns a travel company, Voyages Overland. This woman has been a total traveller at heart. Fortunately, I even had a chance to talk to her. She says, ” I have always been a traveler at heart and a hands-on road travel enthusiast ever since I can remember. Voyages Overland was formed to bring the idea of overland travel to India and is solely driven by the love of travel and the experiences it offers. When asked what she would like to tell other aspirational entrepreneurs, she quickly says, ” Always have a Never Say Die attitude, regardless of how impossible the task in front of you seems. Simply Go for it and give it your all, for if you don’t, you would never know what you are capable of.

To all these women who know me or not, thank you for coming in my life and adding the necessary zing! And to the ones who I haven’t mentioned but have been with me through thicks and thins, I love you girls.

You are all my “superwomen”.

Relationships, Self Care

Love- It is all about expression

Finding happiness isn’t an easy thing to find these days. It has no recipe and sure shot ingredients to be added. But, one thing sure shot brings happiness to your life. It is the people and the relationships in your life. This holds even truer for your life partner. Don’t you think?

Valentine’s Day is round the corner and I see couples gifting each other special gifts and cards, writing I love you on each other’s facebook wall and what not. But I may ask, why just valentine? Why don’t you express this love to each other throughout the year? (P.S- if you already do, you are on the right track :D)

This is exactly what today blog focus is: the need to express in a relationship.

I have so many friends who have been in a relationship. They often complaint about how their partners do not tell them “I Love You” anymore. They feel like their relationship doesn’t have the spark anymore.

I too have recently gotten married, that too in an arranged setup. To those who do not belong to India, it is basically a type of wedding set up by the parents wherein they find a groom for you. So basically it is kind of going on a blind date. In such a kind of relationship, the need of expression is even more.

To people who have been married just like me, high five. You would understand from where I am coming from. You get dressed and go on a date with your partner and he says nothing. Just, nothing! You don’t know if he likes this dress on you or not. A short tempered person like me would be like, fuck you; I won’t take any pains for you the next time.

So, you see, here comes the need to tell your partner how you feel.Child holding I Love You sign

Imagine how your partner would feel if you tell them “I Love You” just out of the blue, when they least expect it. It for sure would melt them and touch them deeply. Trust me, they need it and deserve hearing this at regular intervals.

Let me try to help you by listing down some ways by which you can express that you care to your partner.

  1. Ask them about their day- Imagine you are having a rough day at work and suddenly you get a text by your partner asking about your day or a small call just to talk about sweet nothings. It for sure breaks the monotony of the day and calms you down. Remember, I am not asking you to become that chasing boyfriend or girlfriend or wife that keeps bugging the other person after every few seconds. All I am saying that you should always try to touch base with each other at least once a day, just to make each other feel relaxed.
  2. A little surprise here and there wouldn’t hurt– Just bring home flowers or just surprise your partner by coming home early. Spend some quality time at home, talk to each other or maybe just Netflix and chill. You would always cherish those moments when you have less time for each other.
  3. Expression builds the bridge- You didn’t like something that your partner did. But instead of telling them, you straight go into mute mode. It is such an Arghhh feeling. You know what I mean, right. Communicate. Just tell your partner what you didn’t like. It would build upon the relationship and tell your partner what they shouldn’t repeat the next time.

Remember, it’s never too late to tell the other person what you feel. Even when your relationship is facing hard times, just talk. Never assume that your partner knows that you love them.. Just them them!! It will for sure spread love and harmony in your relationship.

 

P.S- Just look into their eyes while you say those magical words. It tells how truly you feel for them and they would reciprocate it!

Try these and come back to tell me if talking and expressing helped you ;)!

Happy Valentine’s ❤

 

Relationships, Self Care

The Lost Art of Appreciation

“Appreciate what you have, where you are and who you have at this moment.”- Tony Clark

I follow a lot of motivational blogs and often read this in many blog posts.

Let’s re-read the quote and try to think about it by imagining a real-life situation. Your mother cooks food for you daily. She makes sure she cooks stuff you like. How often have you told her thank you for doing so? The chances might be very feeble. Right! Don’t worry I am also somewhere a part of the population who have taken things around them for granted. Until recently, when I did something for someone and felt bad when I wasn’t appreciated for the same. I kept thinking at least a few words of gratitude would have made my day and so it made me realize how I too did the same at several occasions. The thought kept lingering in my heart.

I realized how the art of appreciation is missing from our lives. We are so demanding from our lives and from the different people in our lives. We often think and expect different relations in our lives to do things for us. But we never think of what we should do for them in return of all these things.

We fail to show gratitude to the most important people in our life. And honestly, it sucks.

Have you ever imagined how our mothers would feel if we told them the dish tastes good? Or thank you for keeping the lunch in my bag? After a long day of selflessly working for you, she would have felt great because well that told her she holds an important place in our life.

Mother is just one relation. This holds true for your spouses, friends and even teachers. These people have pushed you, stretched you at the most difficult times and made you what you are.

It is rightly said:

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” –William Arthur Ward

Because I missed the gratitude, I wanted to list down some of the ways by which we can tell these people how thankful we are to them.

  1. Hug them– Isn’t this the best way to show love to these people. For me, it is. Just go and hug the person you want to thank, maybe your friend or your parents for holding you through or having your back when you were facing tough times.
  2. Say the magical words– I would re-emphasize this again. I know they are just words but saying “Thank You” to people for their help makes them feel happy and satisfied. Happy that you care and satisfied that they are going in the right direction.
  3. A surprise doesn’t hurt- A surprise doesn’t have to be costly presents. It can be taking them out, coming home to them early or maybe just buying them flowers. It would make their day, for sure.
  4. Shower compliments– The best way to show gratitude is to compliment them and make them feel that it was what you needed. Compliment them for their talents, for their habits or strengths that you admire and love about them.
  5. Give them attention– They will know that you care when you pay attention to what they are doing for you. Remember, they took pains for arranging that surprise for you or cooking for you. If you just treat it like it was just another thing, they would be discouraged for doing something again for you in future. So just make sure, you show them that they have all your attention.

So, to all the people who held me through a biiiig thank you and a virtual hug to you.

You too shut this down and go hug or call that special person and say thank you to them. You never know this is what they might need today.

Self Care, Travel

How Travelling Changed Me as a Person

 

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“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

This quote has been a massive source of inspiration in my life. People who know me understand how much I love to travel and explore new places. If you see my work station, it is full of quotes about travel. Honestly, it is my way of telling myself I haven’t travelled enough.

People always tell me that I travel so much. Yet, I always answer back saying, no, not enough. I wouldn’t say I have been travelling for years, but yes, travel has become an important part of me since the past 2 years.

And well, who doesn’t love travelling. Right? I am that person who sees pictures of places that I want to travel, trips I want to plan for future and trust me they make me want to pack my bags instantly and began my voyage.

People who have been travelling for a long time would agree with me on the fact that travel changes you a lot as a person. If I talk about myself, I have changed so much as a person, since the first time I started travelling.

Let me just list some of the things that travelling did for me and I am sure it does for most of us.

  • Makes you spontaneous– Even if you go on the most planned trip with all the packages that you have taken from the travel agencies, travelling still has elements of surprise. The more you travel, the more open you become to such spontaneous surprises.

I remember going to Goa last year during the time that all travel blogs say is the “best time” to go to Goa. I was all super excited about the weather there. But, bam, Goa welcomed me with rains. The moment we went out it would start rain and we had to go back to the hotel because the roads were all messy and just not so good to go out. So yeah, brace yourself for surprises.

  • Makes you social– This is the best thing travel did to me. I was a quiet person who took her time to open up to people (I am sure people who know me now would be like whaat!!). This changed after I went on a road trip with a bunch of strangers to Rajasthan. By the end of the trip we became such good friends that we planned the next trip just there. The whole journey taught us new definition of friendships which all of us still cherish <3.
  • Makes you happy- Trust me, the sheer happiness of seeing a new place is unmatchable. A new place gives you a thrill that cannot be described in words. It just brings a special energy and positive vibe in me and I am sure it does the same to people who love to travel.

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I remember how I kept smiling the moment I saw Leaning Tower of Pisa. I had seen the place only in books and back then I didn’t imagine I would see it in person. Trust me, I kept looking first at Leaning Tower and then at my husband with glee because I couldn’t believe I was standing there.

  • Gives the much needed “me” time– Travel brings with it the much needed “me time” or in my case “our time”. We have a buzy schedule which leaves us little time to spend. It is travelling that gives us time to relax, unwind, talk to each other and do the thing we love the most, that is, exploring new places.
  • New experiences= new memories- Travelling is all about the memories you made and the moments you captured. With every trip comes tons of memories we make, as a couple. It is these memories that push us to plan the next trip. I still remember while I was on Mt. Titlis, how afraid I was while walking on a bridge and my husband kept laughing at me. Till date, he laughs at me for the same reason. But remembering those moments resonates the happiness we felt just by being The feeling is unmatchable.
  • Makes you less materialistic- While travelling, you don’t have all the things for comfort with you. Yet, you adapt and understand how little things make you contended. Travel makes you understand the importance of enjoying even the smallest things.
  • Exposes you to cultures- Every place has its own culture, food, climate and what not. Even if you travel to places in your own county, the culture is diverse. Travelling these years has helped me learn so much about different cultures- from Rajasthani to European and what not. I am so sure there is so much that I still do not know about these cultures but yes I have had an exposure to it and I sure loved it.

With all the ways trips and travel have made me feel these years and by penning them down, I am already having the feeling of wanderlust and I can’t wait to start planning the next one soon (I might be secretly planning one, you never know ;))

As they say:

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” -Agustine of Hippo  

Relationships, Self Care

Five most important things you should do for the people you love!

We are always surrounded by so many people in our lives. But we are not close to all of them. In this life full of hustles, we all need people to rely on, to vent our emotions on or to just call at random hours.

Don’t you love when someone texts you saying this image reminded me of you. This simple text sure brings a smile on my face. When your friend tags you in those stupid memes the whole day, howsoever irritated you are by them for this, you know you have their back. I swear I wanna hit them when I get notifications on facebook or instagram from them but then I laugh at them and flood them back with equal notifications ;). That’s how friendships are.

We all need such close connections in our life. Even if it is just one. It is these relationships that hold us strong in situations when you need support.

On days when I am sad or have a hard day at work, I call my mum or my closest pal and just shout loud, bitch with them till my heart feels light. That’s how it feels with the closest connected people.

They make you believe that it will be all right. They will stand in front of you to fight these situations or people who make your life difficult. For them it is like-“tell me the name, I will beat that jackass for you. You stop crying.” And you just forget all your anger just by the statement.

If you are smiling or probably teary reading it, chances are you have that person or more than one person in your life. Trust me, you are super lucky. So, give yourself a Hi5. Most of us don’t even have that.

In a big picture, it is very easy to lose them as life moves forward. You might even have lost some due to changing schedules or changing life. We take these relations so granted that we de-prioritize them till they are one day no longer available for us and then we end up regretting or missing them.

But, I am one person who is super afraid of losing relationships. I hate when I lose a person even due to my mistakes. I end up feeling guilty about it, forever. This year I have decided to be proactive in my relationships and try hard not to lose them. You never know, life is short and you don’t want to spend it feeling guilty.

For this there are some things I wanna try doing. You can maybe try doing these too.

  1. Be an active listener– Imagine you calling your best friend because you want to rant how bitchy the day was for you and the other person is giving you just “okays” and “yeahs” and you know he isn’t paying attention to you. You will for sure think twice before calling them again. I do not want to be that friend. I want to be totally present to hear my friend out and then I also expect the other person to do so for me. Because, well you are important to me.
  2. Be truthful- When you make new friends, you try to hide your messy side because you want to put your best foot forward. But do not do that with people close to you. I want to be open and be truthful even if that involves sharing my most messiest part. If you love me and are close to me, you will accept me with my mess and I sure would do the same for you.
  3. Forgive more- You are not closest pals if you have never had a dirty and ugly fight with them. But, a fight can always be resolved. Never lose a close person (because honestly it is very difficult to find even one these days) just because of it. Learn to rise up in this situation and forgive them. Work it through together. I for sure will try to do the same.
  4. Appreciate- I like it when my friend appreciates me or anyone appreciates me for the efforts I make for them. I promise I will appreciate you even for listening to me peacefully when I was ranting and shouting. I promise I would hug you even for making a small call to me on my birthday (even kick you for not making one).
  5. Love you for your mess– Even if you are moody, short tempered and judgemental, I will take you for who you are. I would never generalise and make judgements about you in such situations just because you are at your worst in these days. You will have my back on these days too!!

There are days when you struggle, feel low or lost. There are days when you feel that there is nothing good in life. But, on these days, think of that one person who cares for you. Just overcome that day by thinking of that person.

Someone with whom you can talk at length about anything and everything. Someone with whom you want to share the bests and worsts of everything. I, for sure, want that friend in my life and I want to be that friend in someone’s life too.

Because remember,

In the end, life is about the relations you make and the people you have ❤️.