I was at a wedding today. I had lips tinted with a lipstick I had found on my Mum’s dressing table, my hair dolled up and left to its own devices in exasperation, my eyes lined with heavy black kohl in an attempt to hide the insomniac pupils. And my train of thought focused on my life, the people I love, the heartbreak I am going through, the fears that crawl onto my skin every night, that cling onto every essence of my being so that I wake up shivering at 3 am, desperately longing for comfort. But instead, find just the bleak darkness eclipsing everything.

I have had a secret to cheer myself up when I feel like my demons are trying to get out. I climb onto the bathroom vanity and stare for hours in my eyes. I ask myself, who am I? A daughter? A sister? A friend? Just a woman to work the chores and cater to a man’s sexual and metabolic appetite? Who am I even?



You know what the brown eyes show? They show countless, multiple, faces of me. They take me on a journey through my past- the girl crying due to a lost doll- a guava tree- a 100 in Math- a departed best friend- a meek midget- a house with the safety railings- the first crush- the separation- a foundation on the brink of collapse – the night of destruction - the rebuilding to continue forever- tears- a drug with a common name- the submersion into the cold reality- more tears- the strength- and the attempt to love and trust again.  And you know what do I see next in the reflection? I see someone who is strong, who makes mistakes, who is a bad liar, who is willing to work with you, who is the first one to mend things after a fight, and I know, no matter how many people desert her, I’m there with her, for her.  And so I wipe my eyes free of all the residue dirt, and go out to face another battle, with fresh is not fragile hope.


I am currently found at home, due to the holidays given out as the aftermath of the Peshawar school massacre. In just two months, the University has taught me, helped me grow, and has shown me many new sides to life, and while a reinforced resilience is required, I am fine with it. I am fine with the new drama surfacing everyday, the days when I come home at 7, the empty money bags, the depressing variety of individuals, the bitter pills. Because there is a part of me that says, this too shall pass. It will go on- the story continues to be written, the ball must roll. And with some self-actualization, renewed relationships and a healthy dose of faith, there’s nothing to be sad about.

With my busy schedule, I haven't been able to bake, post or write much. And it is one of my New Year's resolutions not to abandon this space or let it to the dust motes. This cake was just baked a couple days ago, and this was supposed to have a beautiful marbling of the vanilla and chocolate batters inside, but somebody was too hasty. And likewise, the images have bad quality, but I was too impatient to try again and honestly, I have been dying to write out to you all. I missed you, your blogs, your comments. Here's to a beautiful 2015.



Marble Bundt Cake

Adapted from here.

Ingredients-

3 ½ Cups Cake Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Butter (room temperature)
1 Cup Milk
4 Eggs
4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 Tsp Vanilla
¼ Tsp Salt

Instructions-
  1. In a large bowl, with electric mixer at low speed, beat sugar and butter until blended. Then increase speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Add flour, milk, baking powder, vanilla, salt, and eggs; beat at medium speed until well mixed. Increase speed to high, and beat batter 4 minutes longer.
  3. Remove about 2 1/2 cups batter to a medium bowl. With a wire whisk or fork, beat cocoa into batter in medium bowl until well blended.
  4. Grease a 10 inch tube pan or 24 cm Bundt form. Alternately spoon vanilla and chocolate layers into prepared pan. With a large spoon, cut and twist through batters to obtain marbled effect.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan, and on a wire rack, for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan, and cool completely.



It's 4 AM and I'm awake typing this post. Procrastination seems to know no bounds when it comes to me, isn't that so? University life is tough. Let me just put it out there. The 2+ hours of commute every day, some paces covered by bus, some by car and then the incredibly long walks to each class, it's been a big slot for some adaptive behavior. I remember during my second week of University, I got stuck in an incredibly bad traffic jam at Mall Road. And when I finally got back home, I was wiping back tears, while massaging the migraine pulsing through my forehead. That was the day I realized what it felt like to be so exhausted that all you could manage was to stare at your food, limply trying to fork the greasy strands of pasta into your mouth before giving up. 

But that is simply just one side of the picture. I have also begun to love University, the time lapses between each class, the amphitheatre where everyone hangs out, the friends, the people and the way the sunlight filters from amongst the trees. And everyone is incredibly helpful. 


So did I find time to bake? Well, believe it or not, it took me two weeks to even start posting to Instagram again. The adjustment to all of the newness took time. But I did bake, a batch of brownies in the wee hours of the morning once, and a very typical soup earlier this week. I have a couple of recipes lined up, but I've been in a creative rut bad enough to even try to write something without a prompt. 

I can't predict what the schedule of this blog is going to be. Perhaps I'll find the determination to post regularly, perhaps I won't. Who knows? The only thing I can say at this moment, even if I post after weeks, my blog is always going to be my haven, the place that taught me, reformed me into a tolerable photographer, a better writer, a 'baker' and brought my existence closer to that of several others whom I now love. What more could I ever want?

Today, I'm guest posting for one of the beautiful women I've come to know over my two glorious years of dabbling in food blogging, who runs a pretty impressive place at The Big Sweet Tooth. I have enjoyed every minute of self expression through this writing, every crumb of cake left over and every single image taken from my Camera. I have enjoyed it all. But something that is perhaps less glamorous but much more beautiful is the friendships formed throughout this lapse of time. I've met amazing people, who have helped me in their own way, who have made every moment of this incredible journey seem worth it all, even on a bad traffic day.

And one of those people happens to be Rafeeda, the baker, chef, recipe creator, photographer in a one man team. Head on over to her blog to check out the recipe I guest posted for her; and make sure to give this dear friend of mine some blog love.

And as far as I go? I'll be back soon with a long, boring post littered throughout with anecdotes and stories. Till then, enjoy the images and bon appetit.