Food for thought

‘I’m blind and this is how I cook’: Watch MasterChef winner Christine Ha at her best

“Most of my cooking is done with my other senses.”


“If you lost your vision, what would you miss most? What could you do to be able to enjoy it again? This is a challenge for you to think creatively.”  

Those are the words of Christine Ha, the first visually challenged contestant to win the competitive cooking show, MasterChef. The Vietnamese-American’s cooking skills brought her into the limelight when she participated in the third season of the reality show in the US in 2012.

Ha overcame great obstacles while performing cooking challenges and even earned effusive praise (video below) from Gordon Ramsay, a celebrity chef known for his fiery temper on the reality show.


Ha is also a writer and blogger from Houston, Texas and currently documents her daily life in her YouTube video series called Blind Life of Christine Ha.

“People ask me, how can you cook if you are blind? It’s like any other challenge in life, you just face it head on and hope for the best,” she points out as she prepares her typical weeknight supper with a camera on her head.

Ha can be seen taking a few seconds to feel the ingredients and utensils in her hand, before quickly chopping the vegetables to cook red snapper steamed with black bean sauce and Sichuan green beans.

If you’re already feeling hungry, here’s a video of Ha trying out Indian cuisine in the London restaurant Dishoom.


Ha began losing her eyesight at the age of 19, when she was diagnosed with a rare disease called neuromyelitis optica in one eye, a condition where her weak immune system gave away to damage of the optic nerves and spinal cord. By 2007, she became visually impaired.

But the disability never stopped her from cooking or trying out new things. In the video below, Ha shows how she puts on makeup just like how she used to do during the filming of MasterChef.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.