Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cooking Chronicles

“If we are what we eat then I'm fast, cheap and easy”.

Having graduated from eating to cooking, I’ve realised it isn’t easy nor fast and my husband insists it isn’t cheap either! Well, at least my dignity is intact! Coming from a long line of eaters with fetish stories spanning generations of my bloodline, 9 binging months later Ma had done her bit. The apparent gourmet gluttony you jeer at is merely a well preserved genetic trait. People complain about how they can’t cook for themselves as it results in a loss of appetite and I wasn’t willing to take a chance and until I tried my hand at being a domestic goddess! I’ve known SP for over ten years now and he realized that the way to my heart is through my stomach. (Hell no! As bad as that sounds I don’t wear the pants in this marriage, he’s just not much of a gastronome) .With expectations as low as my catering skills the runny gravies and scalded delicacies were guzzled down quickly and quietly lest the kitchen knife have other uses too :)The poor man almost got the binge-and-purge syndrome. I'd make him binge and the quality of food would make him purge!

I’ve been a perpetual milk baby, lead a life void of caffeine and tea. The wedding came and went and a lovely big box of Black & Decker made coffee for the hubby twice a day. The trick is in the presentation, my dears! Handing it over with a 100 watt smile and he’s literally melt into the coffee. Life was good,months of marital bliss and the burning kitchen, oops, smell from the kitchen may be clearing away but not quite ready to vanish yet and the in-laws arrive on short notice.

Small talk and lo…its kaapi time! I walk with my head held high to kitchen. Black & Decker, I will always love you. Husband rushes to the kitchen and whispers breathlessly, don’t use the machine and vanishes to make merry parent-son conversations. I’m stumped! Minutes later with trembling hands I conjured up a watery variation of what is commonly called coffee and prayed fervently to the God of Infusions to save my soul. As I serve the coffee, I say a little prayer for me. A sip later, My FIL’s eyes seem like they may pop out from his head and his body is still in shock and he kindly asks me how I made the coffee, secretly hoping he survives this assassination attempt. The rest was a whirl.

I knew the time had come to salvage my daughter in law reputation. Even worse, my folks who had spoilt me rotten all these years suddenly believed that they were blinded by my corporate accomplishments and had failed as parents to domesticate me! What can I say my lovelies, what followed was a nightmare. My mother badgered me with more calls than my mother-in law asking what I cooked everyday.I toiled in the kitchen armed with my laptop that churned out “Easy Recipes” in accordance to the words relentlessly typed in my google search engine since hell froze over.Even worse, I didn’t know what half the ingredients were so I had to google out “Images” to give me a fair idea before I headed out grocery shopping! Now why would I put this on print out in the blogosphere? I guess, mostly because I like a good laugh even when the joke is on me.

So now I cook and it has resulted in loss of appetite but not loss of weight.I wish Murphy wasn’t born!Grunt and that’s the cooker whistle. Adios!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ambuscades, Escapades & Accolades

Under bizarre exceptional circumstances unknown to us, we went on a holiday outnumbered by men for the first time. Rishikesh got voted over Jaipur in under a second.
The erudition of my existence dawned on me as the battle slowly began over music, shopping time vs. perpetual passive smoking and incompatible hygiene standards. What was meant to be a great holiday with friends ended up being an experiment on a select sample of men and I intend to disclose some of my findings despite the potential social impact on some lives :)

Leaky to Squeaky-Clean!
Long back breaking bus journeys lead to solace seeking in packets of calorie loaded toxic junk food. Sweaty-sweltering road trips, dirtier-dustier settings and grimier-greasier hands. Mildly repugnant? Everyone’s hands stuck in one packet till the last titbits are licked off and the next packet is hauled out. My fav B&BW sanitizer seemed like a life saver with all those hands in one packet. Who’d imagined I’d be opening Pandora’s Box, what I failed to foresee was the number of hand sanitizers I’d run out of considering the number of times men hop off buses to take a leak.

One loo & one too many people
Guys can start their day at noon (barely recovering from last night’s hangover, sipping on their next beer already), not look beyond the curtains and boast of a splendid holiday.
So once we’re all dolled up, we start waking up the men. I’ve been on many a assassination list through hostel life for the piercing virtues of my voice on a lazy afternoon. Imagine three such voices in chorus! These oblivious,almost lifeless objects could easily be snoring blissfully in the middle of a tsunami. The herculean task of bringing these lifeless objects back to life is a pretty rigorous warm up routine. Shoving opponents twice your size into the forbidden “chamber of water” is more gruelling than wrestling with Yokozuna. Just past that laudable feat you realise their bathing products need to be shipped in…you’d be surprised with the heavy weight exercise opportunity that presents itself before you.
Behold! 2-in-1 gentle extra nourishing shampoo & conditioner, frizz control serum, SPF 60 sunscreen, exfoliating face wash, mild face scrub, anti-friction shaving gel, aloe vera hair gel, black head strips, gentle moisturising cream for men with sensitive skin and…FAIR & HANDSOME(and you wondered who bought those!).We decided to hide my face in indignity than explore this zone further.They’d put any high maintenance woman to shame not enough that leaving toilet seats up, spray peeing and cacophonous bathroom singing are bad enough.So, the second half of the day is spent getting ready as they shriek,“The night is still young”.

Contrary to the belief men have that they are born with the GPRS facility genetically tuned into some part of their mammoth brains-Men have no sense of direction, men cant read maps AND what’s worse is that they refuse to ask for directions! Men can ask unknown women for their numbers and unfamiliar men for cigarettes but asking directions is really the lowest I assume that they believe they can stoop. Wonder why we’ve never heard of a man’s instinct…well, that’s because it doesn’t exist. The unexpectedly remarkable result was that we got to a lot more sightseeing between the bathing & drinking.
Garfield’s award for the World’s Laziest
Watching sports on TV endlessly is undeniably a tradition of the lethargic. The lazier than Garfield dogs in AK’s house burn a few calories changing channels from WWE the second AK walks out of the room. Sometimes I wonder if men toss a coin to determine who would take over this noteworthy responsibility. Flipping sports channels are after all the highest level of brain and bodily activity, almost like interactive media-they watch and pretend to be playing too! Talk about being in control,sharing the remote is indeed a possibility very remote. I hand it over the men for that.HA!

Amen. A rather abrupt one at that, but that was a lot of male bashing.

P.S- I owe this to the celebrities featured in this post.
I swear by Almighty God that I will write the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth with a pinch of exaggeration.There IS no smoke without fire.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lost and never to be found

It’s complicated.
Sometimes I think I live inside of you, in your possession,
Very prized, I’d hope.
Then I realise that you live inside of me, I can’t seem to move on.
When you left words unsaid,
I completed them for you,
I said everything I wanted you to say to me,
I thought that was love.
I loved the sound of your name after mine,
I’d thought of names for our kids,
I’d was happy tailing your footsteps and dwelling in your shadow,
I wanted in every sense to be one with you.
I hate myself, for dreaming.
Seasons have come and gone,
I tried to forget things about you,
I wonder if you had to try too hard,
Time is so kind; it does a phenomenal wash job,
Yesterday faint and fading,
Today all gone,
The smell of you, the sound of you, the feel of you,
This is nirvana!
I can’t believe I can feel so good again.
You've finally come looking for me?
I'm not sure whom I empathize with more
You'll never find me,
I'm not the same girl anymore.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fear of the dark

It’s a starless night. It doesn’t matter. The windows are shut and the blinds are drawn.
I’ve locked the world out and yet they bother me.
I lie in bed reading, hoping to fall asleep. These things don’t come easy anymore.
It’s cold, but I can’t do without the fan clamoring in the background.
It blocks every other noise out. It’s a familiar calming sound, almost like a lullaby.
Weighed down by a room full of emptiness, loneliness closes in on me.
I shut my eyes. It’s really dark in here.
Artlessly, demons of the past descend upon me whispering, “Our time has come”.
They seep into the depth of my soul. They know their way around.
Had somebody pledged my soul a long time ago?
“Did you really think I’d go away without knowing every part of you?” they sneer.
I cry in my sleep. Can you hear me?
My helpless hands grope for you, only to find vacant spaces.
I want to wake up but I’m trapped in my own dreams.
They’ve take over my mind. I’m a captive in this vicious cycle.
I feel violated but I know there can’t be another way out.
There will probably be another day. Dawn is only a few hours away.
There is no trace of struggle. Tears are traitors. They only scar in places you can never see.
At the break of dawn,the relief of sunshine brings inspiration.
Inspiration to face up to a new day and put up that façade again.
There is only one way this will end.
Someday we will say goodbye to each other. ---------------------------------------------- Dedicated in loving memory of Rach,Sheen and Seem. You may have left us too soon but you forever live in our memories.

Monday, October 13, 2008

August-The Month That Wasn’t

Well, I’m back! Blogging has been at a low end for the most part but this time I’m back with new vengeance. There’s enough space to clear my head, recount a story, exaggerate one and sometimes even make one up. (Sometimes it’s sooo worth not letting the truth come in the way of a good story!). Why would I not write?! The possibility of sharing a random rambling yet with no one in particular, not having to worry about sounding redundant or obsessing incessantly over trivialities...all of this is truly liberating. You could stop listening to me right here and I wouldn’t be hurt. Even better, I wouldn’t even know :D
So, write I will.
I was so caught up with August that I forgot to tell you that it was fantastic. September kept me drowning in grief and wallowing in self pity. Now that October is here, I’ve decided to make a fresh start at writing. Nevertheless, I cannot move ahead without telling you how special August really was! It kept me happy, busy and saw me getting a year older sprinkled with surprises and a lot of mollycoddling. I’m grateful for another year and all the amazing people in my life.
I dread birthday’s as much as I love them. Since I turned 20, it’s almost been like a deadly disease my parents have been living with for years now, having an unmarried daughter.
Somehow, it’s never really affected my parents as much as it has affected the world. Enough reason for me to believe I easily could be the daughter of the nation.
So when this national fever really builds up year after year my mother gets affected too, she is the biological mother after all. She habitually dresses me up like a temple elephant and parades me to every distant great grandfather’s maternal uncle’s son’s wedding.
I’ve obliged and been through this circus routine few times a year.
Trust me more than getting me married, my mother was hugely satisfied as long she got back home and got a few enquiry calls. It almost made her feel like a business magnet sitting on phone and investigating prospects.
I love digressing, anyways coming back to birthdays, like every birthday there was the whole surprise thingy. And somehow in the midst of all that banter I always forgot to get depressed about my age. Isn’t that simply the best part!
So this year I decided to give myself a gift too. I cleaned up my life, literally.
To me, there has been always been something therapeutic about cleaning. As outrageous as it may sound, cleaning out my closet sometimes makes for a favorite late night activity .This year; I did a lot more than my annual spring cleaning.
I got rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or sentimental. Trust me it takes a lot of determination when you’re emotionally attached to even safety pins.
Level one: So out went old clothes, shoes and memories not worth glorifying in a scrapbook.
Level Two: Heavier stuff. I decided to let go of people that didn’t matter anymore. It’s a controversial topic and sadly contemplative too.
So that’s that.
My friends took me on a surprise holiday to my favorite place in the whole wide world-Hampi! I claim to have been born there in all my previous lives. (Well, that’s another story to look out for!). I got back to Bangalore, all way worn and overwhelmed only to find myself in the middle of my surprise birthday party and all those birthday gifts. Well, wasn’t it Madonna who sang Material girl? :)
All in all- It was truly a happy birthday for me!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Window into a windy week

Its been all gloomy, deep inside and outdoors too!
Got back to a routinely uninspiring Monday morning. Except this time, I was only glad to leave behind the last week. It’s been a week since she’s gone.
I’m thankful though for today and everything that it holds. Like Calvin says, that's one of the remarkable things about life. It's never so
bad that it can't get worse. The last seven days have been eventful.
Best friend stuck in hurricane Ike left me chewing every nail off my fingers.
Boss thinks I need to be in office before 10:00am every day. He makes it a team rule. He is soaring high on the popularity chart.
158-year-old Lehman Brothers choked by the credit crisis have been forced into crying out Amen.
The working week pretty much a movie marathon to ameliorate my plaintive frame of mind. Dull days are for movies to takeover my life and they always seem to work magic for the cinemaphile in me.
Watched Mumbai meri jaan and a Wednesday, the Saturday blasts at Delhi followed soon after. Some timing, huh.
Communal comity seems to be a distant dream with every passing day. Sadly, we’re waking up every day to the acceptance of these very things.
Neeraj Pandey’s, A Wednesday may rekindle an awakening inside of you like it did for me. I hope to catch Tahaan one of these days.
Watched another flick that had been sitting in my rack for some time now…Meet the Robinsons. Liked the movie and loved the sound track, Little wonders by Rob Thomas.
Never really been such a big fan of Matchbox Twenty but this song is something else .Really!
The main chorus goes;
Our lives are made in these small hours, these little wonders, these twists and turns of fate…
Time falls away, but these small hours, these small hours still remain….
It’ll make quite an anthem for a small-things person like me.
Watched Sense and sensibility. I love anything to do with Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite movies.
I also loved Becoming Jane. There are so many more Jane Austen on my to-watch list.

I’ve started reading “The house of Blue Mangoes”, it was a gift from SRP. I’m sure he bought it for me so he can read it :)
Finally finished “Freedom at midnight” after putting it away for years. Think I liked Dominique Lappier’s “City of Joy” so much better or maybe it was because I was a lot younger?
None of my opinions have changed about partition. Found out something I thought to be an eerie coincidence, Jinnah died on the 11 September,1948.
Maybe I’m babbling. Yawn. Let’s call it a day. Nighty night.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

On a day like today

I’m feeling under the weather today. Uninspiring work days when I shamelessly crave human attention. Medication leaves me staid, oats leaves my tongue dead and I make sure everyone around me has an equally bad time. My family and friends have learnt that the trick is to lionize and empathize, but somehow everyone put together can’t make up for my mommy.
With the very first symptoms come an aborning sense of mommy longing-ness.
I’ve given mine hard enough times while growing up, now that I’m so far away her life doesn’t get any easier.
So on days like today, I call mommy and make small talk on the phone, many times, all day. Puling over trivialities, pining for her attention and she already knows something’s up…“Is it the boss or are you unwell”?
Sigh. My mother thinks these are my only two problems. I must lead a very uncomplicated life.
I call up mommy today, woebegone. The first time I call, she is elated about an old friend she met after ten years who tells her she hasn’t changed one bit. Oh yeah, we can sometimes be vain! I don’t have the heart to dampen her spirits so I fake joy through the conversation.
I get back to work and decide to listen to a song that never fails to uplift my spirits….“I’m a Believer” by The Monkees. It’s the song I’d always wanted, to be dedicated to me. So, now you know!
I listened to it repeatedly, it helped for a while.
I try mommy again in a few hours, this time she leaves me salivating with the lunch menu, halfway through which she launches into a tirade about my inability to peel a potato. This is soooo not the anodyne I was looking for! I excuse myself quickly with a “Boss is hovering around my cubicle” story. Phew!
I want to pour out my deadly disease symptoms to mommy. After a few minutes of wallowing in self pity, I reached for the phone grudgingly, all set to whimper and whine. Fingers crossed and hoping she’ll ask me the million dollar question, “Is it the boss or are you unwell”?
This time she asks me if I have started saving yet! Can you believe my luck?
Then she starts off this whole thing about how she never asks me what I do with paltry salary and it’s about time I stopped shopping. Oh no…now we open an angrier discussion about all the shoes I own.
Mommy sure can burst bubbles or maybe today was just not my day.
Apparently, dwelling on my ailments is not doing me any good either! I feel worse than I did before I started off.
I’m gonna sign off for now and down some chicken soup.
Chick flicks, more chicken soup and few more phone calls. This seems to be my POA for tonight.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Intangible asset?

They'd just picked up his swanky new laptop on a vapid working day after office hours.
It gave him a nosebleed. He doesn't invest in fancy gadgets too often, says he's already spending beyond his means and looks at her accusingly.
She retorts grudgingly, "Mr. Only Son! I have to actually shell out my hard earned money; all you ever do is DDD (Dial Daddy Directly)!"
Her: "This has been one of your most expensive investments, in a long time, no?"
Him: (Very nonchalantly) "Not really…hmmmm"
She thinks to herself, he seems preoccupied and then returns to star gazing and when there are none which is mostly the case she looks at the endless hoardings lining the roads.
A few moments later, he says aridly …"No, it’s you."
She's a little lost…"What is me?” she enquires.
He: "My most extravagant investment by far is you"!
She is gloating half way through the star studded night skies she was only admiring a few minutes ago when he brings her down crashing.
He:"Any idea how much money I've blown up on you?"
For a split second all she could feel was her brain spinning around inside her little skull.
Needless to say, the next fight began right there.
You can't buy love, but you do pay heavily for it.
The Beatles should have known a little better when they were singing,Can’t buy me love!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

And the rain came down...

Some wise man once said...Nature, like man, sometimes weeps from gladness.
I just love the rains.
Flirty monsoon gusts, car wipers that slide almost rhythmically, writing against the fine mist collected on the windshield, kids in gum boots going splitter splatter, bright umbrellas, rolled up jeans, paper boats in puddles, the sound of rain on rooftops, funky PVC bags, steaming momos and piping hot lemon tea.
All this, provided the heavens open out when I’m snug and safe within the four walls of my house. I can sit by the window with some hot chocolate and look out endlessly.
Have I told you how much I hate being trapped out in the rain?
Clouded skies, toxic drops of acid rain, flooding ditches and gutters, vehicles that spray water at your face, monsoon traffic jams, frizzy hair, dampness, wet clothes, seepage in buildings, umbrellas blown inside out, power cuts, thunder and lightning...God, I hate the rains!
But what I do love is the “after rain” effects...sunshine after the rain, the breeze that carries the smell of wet mud, desolate rain kissed streets, clear skies, beaming rainbows and hope.
I’m gonna bury myself in my cubby hole, book, quit et al. I hope it rains for a really long time.
For me,for the farmers,for everyone.