Gemini

“I’ve only ever fallen in love with geminis” he once told me.
I flashed my eyes at him. He had my attention.
Ummmm what is that supposed to mean, I wondered. What was he
trying to tell me? Did that mean we were destined to be
together, that I was the next gemini on the list.
Did that mean that the stars had already decided long
ago, or was it all just a tease,
Meant to lead me astray.
He shook his head in disbelief as he looked at me.
He almost couldn’t believe it himself.
You know, and you’re all so similar.
Love to travel, Athletic (Really? Me?),
Compassionate,
You want to change the world,
Funny,
Loyal,
Beautiful….
Well maybe he didn’t say that last one,
I just wished it.
Did that make me just like the others?
Just another gemini?
or were all the others
just a dry run
For me.

Gratitude

It’s good practice at the end of each day to remind yourself what you are grateful for. At times when everything seems horrible, or it seems as though everyone and everything gets on your nerves, this can be as simple as “the sound of the rain” or “solitude” or “the soft feeling of my bedsheets.” In times of pain, we can still be grateful for these things; actually, these things feel even more intense during times of pain because they are in extreme contrast with the bad feelings. Apparently with life and with feelings, it’s all relative.

Apparently with life and with feelings, it’s all relative.

Be grateful for where you live, for your family and your friends, for the fact that you are alive today. In many parts of the world, people do not have access to secured housing, clean water, healthcare and education. Be grateful that this too shall pass.  Be grateful for God and for the universe.

Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations With God, says “The way to move out of Judgment is to move into Gratitude”.

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One of the most difficult things is to be grateful for yourself.  My counsellor asked me to describe what I appreciate most about myself, and I found myself a little tongue-tied. I didn’t want to sound conceited, which is crazy because obviously there are things you appreciate about yourself!

What are you most grateful for today?

M is for Makita

This past Saturday I went to Makita Kitchen & Bar in downtown Ottawa with my friends Hetal and Manasa. One of my New Years Resolutions for 2018 was to visit 10 Ottawa hotspots (but as my cousin Hiten said – “Isn’t ‘Ottawa’ and ‘hot spots’ an oxymoron?!”). I am venturing to prove him wrong.

Makita was recommended to me by my brother Raju, who went last month and said it was excellent. The restaurant is easy to miss, but you can spot it by the fancy “M” jutting outside of the roof’s shingles.

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Makita Kitchen & Bar, The Glebe, Ottawa

The name “Makita” means “Due North”, and the restaurant is located in the North end of the Glebe. The cuisine is “Pan Asian” or “New Asian”, and they successfully combine elements of Asian cuisine with dishes such as gnocchi, steam buns, and falafel.

Manasa and I arrived a little late (due to the snowy weather) and we found Hetal comfortably seated, enjoying a glass of white wine. She looked amazing in her pink sweater, dangling earings, and bright smile. We soon joined her and each ordered a Cab Sauvignon.

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A glass of Cabernet Sauvignon to start the evening

For appetizers, we shared the Fried Tofu, Steam Buns, and the Sesame Tuna. I absolutely loved the Sesame Tuna, it might’ve been my favourite dish of the evening.

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Fried Tofu
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Sesame Tuna

The steam buns are the restaurant’s specialty – freshly baked doughy bread with a tasty filling. Initially we weren’t going to get them, but then we thought that we couldn’t get the full experience without them, so we changed our minds. Hetal and Manasa had the shrimp shui mai flavour, which was inside a squid-ink bun, and I had the falafel vegetarian version, sans squid.

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Sticky buns, a Makita specialty

For the main course, Hetal and I shared the Thai Gnocchi and Manasa had the Ramen noodle dish (not your $2 grocery store kind, but a sophisticated blend of pickled shiitake mushrooms, nori, pork belly, soy egg, scallion, and togarashi).

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Enjoying our meal and the company

We had a blast laughing and catching up, discussing life in general, networking events, and politics.

Our waiter James was super nice, and even danced for us. And of course we had to take a few fun selfies!

The ambience was great – not too loud, cozy, trendy, and outside was beautiful with the snow falling gently.

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View of Bank Street, Ottawa, from Makita Restaurant & Bar

Hetal joked that the restaurant would get full points for its bathroom, which had a small men’s room, and a larger women’s one (makes so much sense).

My bill came to $52 (not including tax and tip), which is not bad at all considering the amount and quality of food, and the two glasses of wine.

Overall I would rate the restaurant 8.5/10, and I would definitely go back! Can’t wait for Hot Spot #2!