I got to meet a really creative blogger during one of my blog event. She has a vision of the food she is going to cook in her head and that’s it, she shall go for it.
She loves food blogging and photography. She is one happy-go-lucky person 🙂
The name is Nandita Pai Shirali. She is the first guest at Beyond the URL 🙂
- Who is the person behind the blog? Tell us something about yourself.
Hello there, I am Nandita Pai Shirali, a Konkani born in Cochin, Kerala; brought up in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and now settled in Bangalore, Karnataka! 🙂 I love to bring colour in everyday life and find happiness in those little moments in life. I love to reminiscent nostalgically over the treasured moments of the past, live up each moment as it comes by and dream of a lovelier tomorrow! 🙂
- Take us through your blog journey.
I was not much of an enthusiastic cook back at home, when mum was the chief chef. Kitchen was a mum-thing and I used to venture in mostly to check out what was cooking and only at times to really work my hands around in there. It was an official trip to the States and a 2 yr stay away from home, which made me realize what a joy cooking can be. And this joy only increased in bounds post wedding, when I had one more tummy to feed and of course my very own kitchen kingdom!
My cooking was mostly experimental and I would click pictures of the final outcome to share with family back home. One day, around a year back, those many clicks of my successful experiments made me think of starting my own blog page, (mainly to help me remember the dishes I had successfully prepared in order to be able to recreate them!) What started in a very small way, has come to become one of my most cherished hobbies and a platform for me to reach out there and make new friends in the blogosphere.
- Share the most proud moment as a blogger.
When I started out, readers were very few and were trickling in very slowly.
One day, one of my readers sent me an email with the subject ‘Many Thanks!’ and ecstatically claimed she had ‘made her daughter proud of her’ for successfully baking Stuffed Bun from my blog and she had also attached a photo of delicious looking stuffed buns that she had baked! Oh, that made me realize my posts were actually of help to people out there! It definitely was my proudest moment so far 🙂
- What are your tips to keep a blog worthy of it’s followers?
My moto is to keep it simple. Blog pages with too much going on distracts readers and I personally find it annoying when there are too many advertisements, bling animations and other fancy add-ons.
Recipes that are easy-to-follow, quick to dish out and that use every ingredients work well with readers. Step-wise pictures help. Being interactive and appreciative of your readers is important to keep them coming back.
- What are your other interests that keep you sane?
I am deeply passionate about writing. I portray my writing here: My Little Space. Music, movies, long rides and good company of friends and family keeps me happy.
- What kind of food the family appreciates? Does it affect the content on the blog?
My family loves the food I cook. Each person has a different preference… that works both ways for me… it gives me an avenue to try out different cuisines while it also makes it difficult for me to make a single dish and please one and all! But I have nothing to complain, as they are appreciative of my cooking and yes, it does help me get more content for my blog.
- How do you promote your blog?
I do not do much to promote my blog. I have a Facebook page for my blog where I share my blog posts. I also participate in events that interest me. My family and friends encourage me by spreading the existence of my blog by word of mouth.
- List out your top 5 favourite blogs that you love to follow [Should include 2 Indian Bloggers]
I admire the patience and dedication of most bloggers out there. I have not browsed through too many non-Indian food-blogs as yet. The top 5 of my favorites from India are:
- Do you sometimes feel that you will not be able to blog after “X” Years/months? If yes, how do you deal with it?
No, not really. I am doing this purely out of passion. There is no pressure here. Down the line, if anything, the posts may not be as frequent as they are now… but that doesn’t matter, as I have no boss here, who does my performance appraisal 🙂
- Final Question on personal effects:
Favourite cuisine – I love variety in my food. So my favourites just keep changing 🙂
TV Show – Not too much of a TV person really. Some of my fav shows are: Big Bang Theory, Two and Half Men, Masterchef Australia, Highway on my plate.
Book– Chicken Soup for the soul series.
Beverage– Watermelon juice.
Restaurant– Again, since I love variety… I have a no particular favs. Some of the good ones I have been to – Sangeetha and Saravana Bhavan from Chennai, Kumarakom, Veekes and Thomas
Birthday– August 29th 1984
Film– Life is beautiful (there are many more, but I like the name of this one…… )
Music genre– Not too particular. Love listening to most types of songs that have good music, lyrics and voice.
Gadget– My cell-phone and laptop
My purse must have– Money!!! 🙂
One habit I am proud of– I do not procrastinate much. I make sure I make time for things that matter to me and do not blame lack of time for such tasks.
Thanks Nandita for the wonderful replies.