Happy Imamat Day

My Ismaili friends refer to me as ‘Honorary Khoji’ and let me explain why! I have studied in Aga Khan schools and of course I’m bound to have learnt something along the way. The thing is that 20 odd years on I can still recite the ginans we were taught in school and I still remember so much of those days gone by. I feel immensely proud when I meet an Ismaili and they tell me how lucky I am to have met and shook hands with His Highness.

That happened in primary school (yes it was Aga Khan Primary…!) and I was one of the selected few who were to sing a Welcome song on the school stage. Even back then I knew it was a big deal to be doing this for such a huge personality. Perhaps back then I didn’t realise how big a deal it was but as I got older and read more about The Aga Khan I learnt so much more about him and grew to respect him even more than ever.

From the many strong foundation stones that I have in my life I know that the Ismaili culture is also strongly embedded in there somewhere. Often I get asked why I give so much importance to this religion and I always retort back something my parents have always taught me – ‘If you can’t respect someone else’s religious beliefs how will you expect them to respect your beliefs?’

So having said that, I’d like to wish the Ismaili community a Happy Imamat Day and I’m wondering which Khoji friend of mine should I catch to buy me Fudge chocolate that we used to get in school during Khushali…!! 🙂

Easy Cinnamon Rolls

It’s cold and rainy here in Nairobi and I’m totally enjoying my coffee in this weather but my sweet tooth always craves a small bite of something sweet to go with the perfect mix of Kenyan AA and Ethiopian Gourmet ground coffee. I remember having some yummy Cinnabon coffee and rolls, waiting for the rain to subside while shopping in a mall in Delhi. Anyway, I came home this evening, determined to try out a recipe that I felt might work.  I’m happy to announce it did, and these cinnamon rolls are made with only three ingredients! 

Enjoy and let me know how they turn out.  


1 tube ready rolled puff pastry (I used Lyons Maid, widely available locally) 

1 heaped tablespoon cinnamon sugar ( or make your own using 1/4 teaspoon powdered cinnamon and one table spoon brown or caster sugar)

2 table spoons raisins 


Preheat oven to 200C. Roll out the thawed pastry and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over. Spread the raisins on the pastry. I always add extra raisins, by the way! Roll the pastry and wrap its cellophane paper back around it and put in the freezer for five minutes. 

Easy ingredients, roll it all out, then roll it up!

While the pastry is in the freezer, brush a glass dish with a little butter. Remove pastry from freezer and slice into half inch rolls. Put these rolls next to each other in the baking dish and don’t worry if they’re touching each other. Take a pinch of the cinnamon sugar and sprinkle all over the rolls, then put dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. 

Brush with butter, slice into half inches, place in dish.

While the rolls are baking, take a tablespoon of icing sugar with a few drops of water and mix a paste. I drizzled this over the rolls once they were out of the oven and slightly cooled. This is optional but it’s yummy! It made the rolls a bit sticky and soft and the kids loved it. 

The result? Voila! I was so pleased! They tasted delicious and went great with vanilla ice cream as a dessert. 

Delicious cinnamon rolls!

Very easy to make and with only three ingredients. I’ll definitely be making these more often. Let me know how yours turn out! 

(Cina)Bon Apetit! 

That Thing Called Anger Management

I wrote this back in 2011. Reposting! 
I think I got to know of the phrase ‘Anger Management’ after watching the Adam Sandler movie a few years ago. It was funny and I also realized somewhere at the back of my mind that angry people do need some kind of help. This is not glaringly obvious to the person who gets angry but to those around this person or the recipients of their wrath.

Anger is a deluded mind that focuses on an animate or inanimate object, feels it to be unattractive, exaggerates its bad qualities, and wishes to harm it. Check this out – when we are angry with our partner for example, at that moment they appear to us as unattractive or unpleasant. We then exaggerate the bad qualities by focusing only on those aspects that irritate us, in the process completely ignoring all the good qualities and kindness, until we have built up a mental image of an extremely faulty person. We then wish to harm him in some way, probably by criticizing or disparaging him.

And that’s when the fight started…

It’s a shame when two people who say they love with each other can fight so much that they come to a point where the bickering never ends, the blaming never ends and then comes the silent treatment and sometimes people just end up cutting each other out of their lives. From siblings to kids, from grown ups to lovers, peoples’ lives can change so drastically just because of words or actions that are said or done in anger.

So how can you control it? Don’t under-estimate the power of slowly counting to ten and if need be increase to twenty. You need to slow down and THINK before uttering something that could end up destroying something so precious. People generally tend to remember the horrible and harsh words uttered to them more than loving ones. Try not to be the reason of someone’s visit to a shrink. 

You may cool down eventually and forget the incidence that triggered you to utter harsh words but some people are like sponge personalities. They absorb everything and cannot let go until someone else squeezes it out of them. Learn how to express your feelings and needs assertively in situations that make you feel angry or frustrated. Do that in a non-aggressive way. Assertiveness has nothing to do with aggressiveness. Assertiveness includes respect for yourself, and respect for others. BIG difference and no one needs to lie down on a couch for an hour talking about their issues to someone who is being paid astronomical fee by the hour.

Also learn to say sorry. It really doesn’t kill anyone to apologise for something that is wrong. Your ego may not allow you to apologise even if it’s not your fault but if you’re really going to rise above it then just say sorry and allow yourself to move on. And saying sorry doesn’t mean that you will bring up the same incidence in a later argument. Saying sorry means you are ready to let go of it completely and be positive. Yes I know – easier said than done but once it becomes a habit it’s not hard at all.

Control your outburst and mean, venomous words that you spew out when angry. The damage can sometimes last a lifetime and it will be your loss. If your anger is accompanied with violence then you need to seek out someone who charges by the hour and makes you lie down on a couch and talk about what is the root cause of your anger. List down your triggers, start looking for warning signals within by being aware of what makes you angry and walk away from the situation until you are calm enough to tackle it. I tend to switch off but not many people around me like it when I do that. In their minds I’m supposed to be a happy, jolly person who is supposed to be laughing and joking and making everyone laugh at any given moment.

Well, piss off. I can’t do that all that time and I’m just as human as the next person.


(Article written in the waiting room of a person who will make me lie down on a couch and charge me per hour to help me with anger management.)

Blooming happy! 

Sometimes there are signs of positivity everywhere. You just need to look for them. 

I came home feeling a bit low but cheered up immensely seeing these beautiful orchids near the front door. Happiness. 

Up until a few years ago, I couldn’t tell a real plant from a plastic one but look at me now! Orchids, no less! I’ve had this plant for two years now and it hasn’t died. Hope and happiness right there, don’t you think? 


7 Peculiar Habits of Children


While Deepak Chopra and other self-help, life enhancing life coaches may have made millions writing about 7 types of habits, I thought I’d throw in my two bits worth. Of course I don’t expect to be paid in millions for this though if the boss is so inclined who am I to say anything? So anyway, kids do and say the darndest things; I’d know. I’m a Mum of two gorgeous kids but they do puzzle me with their peculiar habits sometimes.

Peculiar Habit 1:

Vegetables? Ewwww!
Vegetables? Ewwww!

Kids have it in their DNA to hate vegetables. Are we in agreement with this? Yes? Good. I’m trying to ascertain this because my daughter was all of five and a half and came home from school one fine day and tearfully asked me to write in her school diary to let the teacher know that she is ‘allergic’ to vegetables. Then a few months ago they started playing mind games with me. Both my kids asked me to make them broccoli. I strongly felt I needed medical attention and the services of a counsellor for a month to get over this shock. I know for a fact kids would rather eat booger than broccoli so you can understand why I got shook up with this.

Peculiar Habit 2:

What's THAT Mum?
What’s THAT Mum?

Examining their potty with great curiosity is another peculiar habit. My son, when being trained to use the loo would not allow me to flush the toilet until he had carefully examined the contents. Disgusting…! I’d have to stand there and indulge and some days he would ask me to look and explain why it was a different colour. Ewww!! I was just glad he suddenly ‘grew up’ and didn’t need Mummy to supervise him going to the toilet. This story has been filed away in my head. All Mummies have embarrassing stories about their kids. This one’s mine for my son.

Peculiar Habit 3:

I'm just going to lie down here until you don't say yes. I'll also wail loudly if I have to.
I’m just going to lie down here until you don’t say yes. I’ll also wail loudly if I have to.

‘Muuuuum…. can I have this?’ First things first, it’s not ‘can I’ it’s ‘may I’. So we go back to the correct grammar and I am asked again, ‘Muuuuum….. MAY I have this?’ If my kids were smart, they’d have sussed out by now that making them ask again is usually a stalling tactic and the answer is going to be a resounding NO. Eventually the kids did catch on and very politely agree with me if I say no to something. I always try and give them a reason why because kids also have the right to as ‘Why not?’

Peculiar Habit 4:

Sticky fingers! Nip this in the bud.
Sticky fingers! Nip this in the bud.

Sticky fingers syndrome happens to all kids at one point or another. It doesn’t matter how perfect your upbringing of them may be. At some point you will find something in your kid’s possession that was certainly not given by you. My son brought home his cousin’s little matchbox car once without asking his cousin or his Godmother whose house he had gone to stay at. He had to stand in the ‘naughty corner’ and think about his actions. He very tearfully apologised and returned the car and also promised to give one of his favourite cars to his cousin as an apology. Sticky fingers also extend to the cookie jar and the most common phrase to be heard is, ‘I didn’t do that!’ and it’s usually followed by the sibling’s name to blame them instead.

Peculiar Habit 5:

What is this life about? Why isn't everything going the way I want it to?
What is this life about? Why isn’t everything going the way I want it to?

Lying down on the ground in a screaming fit especially in a crowded supermarket wanting something is another habit. My daughter spoilt me as a Mum. She was a perfect little girl who never bothered me at all and then came along my son. I made the mistake of taking him to our local supermarket when he was 2. He wanted to use his own little trolley which I gladly allowed because it would be a learning experience. Then he started putting in everything and when i dared stop him he started screaming and lay down on the floor and started kicking his feet around. My eyes widened in horror not knowing how to deal with this so i calmly just walked away from him and pretended he was someone else’s kid! After that, I decided he could go shopping with me when he’s 16.

Peculiar Habit 6:

Mum said.... Oooops! I shouldn't have repeated that!
Mum said…. Oooops! I shouldn’t have repeated that!

Saying things they shouldn’t be is actually, if you think about it, not that peculiar. ‘Mum why is auntie having more and more cake? Weren’t you saying she’s too fat and needs to lose weight?’ I’ll say no more. This is when you wish the ground would open up and swallow you…

Peculiar Habit 7:

Too many weirdoes out there, perhaps?
Too many weirdoes out there, perhaps?

Getting on with anyone without distrust is an admirable yet peculiar habit. How do they do it? We all probably did it as kids too. So when did we stop trusting and start distrusting…? Aaaah….. to be a child again and to indulge in these peculiar habits.

I’d love to hear of any peculiar habits that you know of in kids!

Mumm’s the word!

It’s always such a pleasure to receive an invitation to try out Nairobi’s finest food and drink, handpicked by EatOut Kenya and SHK Consulting. An invitation to a private champagne brunch was a welcome sight in the inbox and I promptly accepted. 

The brunch was being hosted at the lush and serene Zen Gardens on Lower Kabete Road. Cyrus Ndegwa, the supervisor, warmly welcomed us and led us to our reserved table and talked us through what to expect. We were served by Patrick for the rest of the afternoon and were introduced to Charles, who is the head barman at Zen Gardens. 

I always like to ask at restaurants what food can be paired with what I’m drinking and since we were going to indulge in Mumm Champagne, Cyrus recommended steamed foods. We chose the Zen Dimsum platter and the Maki Sushi Set which are for sharing. I also requested the prawn cigar rolls which happen to be my most favourite item on their menu! 

Top Left: Prawn Cigar Rolls. Top Right: Mixed Dimsum sharing platter. Bottom: Maki Sushi Set

Charles then invited us to the bar, on request, to watch the cocktails being made. The first cocktail we tried was a Mummosa. This is your regular mimosa given an extra oomph with Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne


This was followed by, what I feel was a personal favourite, Strawberry Mummy. I’m a fan of strawberries and when cocktails include decadent bubbles AND strawberries, it’s a win-win situation. 

Strawberry Mummy

By now we had finished our meal and decided to order dessert. My kids always say that food goes to the tummy and dessert goes to the soul. I strongly agree with that and Patrick suggested we try the passion cheesecake. 

Good choice because the next cocktail was The Passionate Mumm. As the name suggests, the passion was definitely derived from the fresh passion fruit pulp topped with Mumm champagne. 

The Passionate Mummy

You can never go wrong with the food, ambience and service at Zen Gardens, and if I didn’t have another commitment to honour, I would have stayed there all day sipping away delicately these lovely champagne cocktails and Instagramming them on @kamz26. I did manage to put a few pictures up so do check out Instagram too. 

Coming up shortly, I’ll share the cocktail recipes of all three drinks we had. 🍾🍹 

How much is too much? 

I’ve always been accused of tipping ‘too much’. There’s no such thing. People, in especially the service industry, slog a lot. I have got this receipt from when I was in Mumbai in 2008. My total was Rs. 311 & I put down a Rs. 500 note and asked him to keep the change. 

He came back with this note written, and a sweet for me. 

It made my day. I kept the receipt. It makes me happy to read it every once in a while. 

Anonymous abusers, do get a life!

This was written for The Star newspaper in 2012. It’s still so relevant. I thought I’d share it again.


Kids on FacebookYou’d think that you have to be a celebrity of some sort to be hated by someone but these days anything goes, really. You just have to be a bit better off in any sense of the word – be it wealth, health, looks, happiness, friends, anything at all, and that is usually enough to trigger a sad pathetic loser to vent their resentment and jealousy on you. You’re there, just minding your business, getting on with your life and suddenly you’re on the receiving end of some idiot’s deranged thought process.

I’m not sure what makes a person go to these levels. Yes, I have established that it’s either jealousy or some sort of mental imbalance but to stoop so low as to hide and abuse? You seriously need a grip on life. I worked with a fabulous editor once and she was telling me how a certain celebrity-wannabe would hide behind a fake email ID and abuse co-workers who fared better than her. She’d go to the extent of even writing good things about herself while spewing mad hatred at her object of hatred and perhaps feel good about herself. What she didn’t know was that people had caught on and in this day and age of technology acting like Big Brother nothing is ever hidden.

No one confronted her – in fact they let her make a fool of herself for quite a while until she changed jobs. After that I didn’t hear any more gossip about her but needless to say I don’t think she’s ever stopped doing what she’s so used to doing!

I’ve been on this receiving end many times. At first it really used to get to me – in fact right up to late last year I was really disturbed with the malicious messages I was receiving. I had an idea who might be doing it but then you can never be sure without proof, can you? But in one message the idiot let out who it was and I pounced on that and gave as good as I got. It astounded me to find out that it was someone I knew very well and actually liked a lot so I was really disturbed about this person’s attitude towards me.

A friend of mine was also on the receiving end and the more I talk about this the more I find out I was not the only one. A lot of people have gone through this at some point or another.

Look… I don’t care what you do as long as you don’t abuse me for it. If I’m good at what I do and you don’t like it then just better what I am doing and get on with it. How do you know that I’m not perfect? What makes you think that life is a bed of roses for me? How can you even think that abusing me will make me do less than I already do? It won’t so take your nonsense elsewhere or just forget the whole sorry affair and start off as my friend. You have more benefits that way because I won’t be the type who’ll send you anonymous abusive messages. I’ll tell you straight up what I don’t like about you and if I’m jealous of your new sexy shoes which I can’t afford, I’ll let you know that too. I won’t go to the extent of buying a new phone SIM card so that I can anonymously let you know that I’m jealous of you.

As it is, a jealousy shared is a jealousy halved, right…?

“Excuse Me Please, Have You Got A Moment…?”


“Excuse Me Please, Have You Got A Moment…?”

Usually when someone says that to me I groan inwardly because these words are generally uttered by those relentless people standing at strategic places in shopping malls trying to sell you time share holidays you have no interest in. Or maybe it’s just me who attracts such people.

The thing is that I’m usually rushing to get something or the other done. In the past few years I have realized that I have no time at all for myself. I was looking at the split ends on my hair today and recalled that the last time I went for a haircut was about two years ago when my very close friend got cancer and started losing her hair with the chemotherapy so to give her my support I cut my hair really short because she always did admire my hair, having being blessed with lovely locks herself.

The hair looks like it needs help now, the nails would love a pampering session at a spa, the body would love to be indulged in an exotic massage with scents to calm and relax the core of my soul. You may be forgiven for thinking I don’t have access to these luxuries but I do and need a severe kick for not utilizing them.

I was honoured with a ‘by invitation only’ membership to the country’s top-notch spa that’s been listed amongst the world’s best and what do I do? I neatly stick the membership card into my wallet and instead of making use of this heaven-sent opportunity I slog and slave and drive myself further into the ground. Despite being aware of the fact I still don’t slow down to heed to my needs.

Look around you. Everyone seems to be rushing somewhere to do something. Not many can brag of being able to slow down to put their feet up and enjoy something leisurely. Even a cup of tea with the feet up seems like a distance memory. Everything is done on the go and we’re all part of this rat race trying to finish off. But you know what? Even if you do finish up the rat race, you’re still a rat. I’m being metaphoric here so don’t start writing to the Public Editor to whine. Think about it. We’re so engrossed in being over achievers that we forget to slow down and give time to things that matter more.

I’ve always laughed at people who wish there were more hours in the day. What on earth for? I’d mock them. The tables have no turned and I would be ever so grateful that instead of 24 hours in the day we would somehow get something like maybe thirty hours a day. Every single day I feel I wish I had more time to do this or that. I’m not so awful at time management but some days I really do wish I had a few extra hours because no, I don’t have a moment at all.

Basically my life revolves around my children and work. I love both aspects completely. My children ensure I don’t turn into a heartless bitch and my work ensures I don’t start getting frozen yoghurt for brains. Then on the social front I’m not so active any more. If there’s something that’s work related I’ll go out otherwise I’m really very happy sitting at home in my pyjamas, painting my nails and reading a book.

The point is that I have no point. I’m just trying to demonstrate how time seems to have become so sparse and precious that I’d love to have a few more hours increased in the day. If you’re related to Father Time, please sort me out will you…?raymondweil