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”.


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.

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.

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.

Fried Tofu
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.

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).

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.

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!


We often hear that patience is a virtue. Waiting, waiting, waiting. It can feel like torture. I’ve found that the things I’ve waited for in life have driven me insane. To the point where I felt like I could only be happy if I got that one thing… and now. Clearly that’s not logical, but it feels like the only solution. What I’ve learned is this: True patience is when you forget what it is you are waiting for.

True patience is when you forget what it is you are waiting for.

When you let go of the waiting, you allow room for some peace. You throw yourself into other things that matter, and you find that perhaps the thing you were waiting for was not what you wanted after all – there was something better waiting for you around the corner, a deeper lesson to be learned, or perhaps you ended up getting exactly what you wanted… and it was all worth the wait.

All this talk about patience reminds me of a story. What better tale to exemplify patience than the story of the tortoise and the hare? Both animals set out on a race, and the hare in all his conceit assumes it’s a shoo-in. He laughs as he watches the tortoise trudge along, and thinks to himself that he could easily take a little nap and still end up winning. And take a nap he does – yawning and stretching out against an old oak tree. The turtle is not one to be discouraged by such antics. Ever so slowly, but with determination and patience, he traverses the path. As he approaches the end, the hare awakes with a jolt – how on earth did the tortoise manage to get so far?! He runs as fast as he can, but it’s too late. The tortoise has won. Slow and steady wins the race.

The tortoise and the hare: an age-old tale about patience and perseverance

Are there times in your life when your patience was tested? How did your patience (or lack thereof) affect the outcome?

Speaking of patience, it’s almost 7 PM and I’m heading out to a chic restaurant called Makita in downtown Ottawa. I’ve patiently been waiting to eat all evening!

Will write more on other other emotions – gratitude, compassion, fear, anger – another day. :-)