Apr 15, 2014

Just like that

I dont know why I am writing here again after 5 years. Maybe a wake up call by my brother who just commented on my first post.
Maybe sometimes I just need to write for myself. What a liar I am! If I had to write for meself I would write a diary, not post it on web.
Most of my blog friends have stopped writing too. Time always gives an excuse for everything and everyone to move on. And since time is ever changing, we must chnge too no?
But let me try one last time to revive the blog :)
Actually my main issue is that I am scared of publishing my personal details on web. And so the topics I can write on become very restricted. I think twice whether I should write something or not. Some of you may be laughing at me but well thats the phobic me ! I am scared and suspicious and cynical of a lot of things and people.
Anyway, as a general update, my fil expired a few days back and this has been my first close encounter with death. He was suffering for a month and my initial shock and pain gave way... to prayer for releiving him of his pain. Now a new phobia has bitten me. Fear of old age. I need to get into Vedantam seriously now.
And life moves on. Younger one getting ready to get into college. Older one ready to move out of college. How time flies.
On that note wishing that I continue blogging. Ta!


Nov 23, 2009

Power of estimation

Its a knack, I tell you. Estimation, that is! Or, maybe its there somewhere in your chromosomes. Cos I never seem to be getting it right. Try as I might, this estimation thing gives me a slip almost always.
I remember this game in one of the stalls in the school fairs (which were quite common in Delhi, in 80s). Guess the weight of a cake kept there right and, you win some good gift. Did I ever try it? No way. For one thing, I never went near the weights except to weigh myself. And two, I had full faith on my guessing power. I knew I would be way too ahead or way too back.
There was a time, not so long ago, when I used to shop for my kids clothes. My shopping spree generally took over on my way back home from the office since there was no time or patience to load the kids into the car and go back to shop. And Sunday shopping is something I hate from the bottom of my heart. I hate the rush, the search for free parking space, the madness at billing, the wait at trial rooms and so on and so forth. Sunday shopping is just not for me!
Oh I digress...so, where was I? Yes, so I used to shop for my kids and invariably ended up buying a size smaller for them. And almost always, I had to revisit the shop to exchange. I kept blaming this on my motherliness, which refuses to accept that my child is growing.
But then this same thing happens when I cook. My mother in law is a bit stingy when it comes to cooking. She believes that cooking in small quantities makes for a better taste. Maybe she is right, I will not deny it since she IS a good cook. But it is also a fact that many a times; she has underestimated and cooked less; ultimately having people waiting for food literally. During my early days of marriage, this used to get on my nerves and put both of us in many an embarrassing situation. This has instilled a sense of fear in me that I always need to be prepared with more than required. That I should not have guests and end up with less food. And so, I always keep a buffer when I cook, but which sometimes leads to too-much. And then this too-much-food gets carried forward for days. At this point in time, I must prostrate on the ground in gratitude to the person who invented Refrigerator. If you ask me there is no better invention than this! I wonder how they prevented food from getting spoilt in earlier days. Oops, I meander again.

I have a friend who loves to cook and invites us quite often. Every time I go to her place and take a peek at what she has cooked, I immediately get worried, if it would be enough. But voila, we all finish and there is still some left over. I really wonder how she does that.

I have problems even getting the recipes right. In the recipe, when it is mentioned 3 whistles, and I let the cooker blow out 3 whistles, invariably, the rice is undercooked; and in fear when I wait for 5 whistles, the rice becomes pudding!

So, this post was the outcome of the too-much-sevai I cooked today morning; half of which lies in my sweet refri. My hubby had a nice time teasing me about my ability to judge the required quantity till I reminded him that he is the one who is going to eat the extra tonight. That sent him brooding.

But there is one are where over estimation actually helps. In office! I always bargain for the maximum time for any project and end up finishing much before time. So, I guess it is not all that bad.

And yet it is never too late. I need tips and tricks. How do I judge the how much part? 


On the book front, I just finished The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and I have been eating my words back. I had half thought of dumping the book after reading first few pages. I kept arguing with Smita on how this book could have made to the top bestseller. I thankfully, continued reading, and here I am in love with the book. The recent book to have moved me this much was The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Simply awesome!


Oct 22, 2009

Aura of Aurangabad

Well, trying to post this using the email option. Let me see if this works. If it does, it surely means a lottery to me, if not for the readers. ;)

Let me first test the image by adding this. A small rangoli I made for Diwali given the shortage of time since we were leaving for Aurangabad right after the morning oil bath and the rituals.

Post Diwali, we had a nice 4-day trip to the city of Aurangabad (of which 2 was spent in driving to and fro).
It took us 6 hrs drive from Mumbai to Aurangabad via the Pune route. We reached in the evening and just chilled out at the hotel. I must add that the Lemon Tree hotel where we were put up is fantastic. For the price of 2750 per night, they serve buffet breakfast as well and allow the usage of the swimming pool. The speciality of Lemon Tree Hotel is the fresh lemon fragrance that lingers always. They also have a uniqueness that there are almost 2000 jokes printed and framed onto the walls across the hotel. It was fun reading some weird ones.
Day 1 we covered Ajanta and Bibi Ka Maqbara. Ajanta needs no introduction. I was in awe looking at the Ajanta Ellora caves though they were in sorry state. I only wish our government was more serious in preserving the national heritage. One of the world heritage, the paintings and sculptures easily can be called the zenith in arts of all times. Maybe we, with our crumbling houses and dull paintings should look back and learn a thing or two. The 30 caves kept us busy for 2 hrs.
Bibi ka maqbara - the poor imitation of Taj was a case study of its own kind. The similarity and differences between the two were striking out. Heres a snap taken by my hubby! He was so engrossed in focussing on the tip of the maqbara that he missed the top of my poor girl !!!! Here she stands headless.

Day 2 found us in Ellora. Again the caves are too good to be missed. Divided into the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain caves, these mainly comprise of a more developed form of sculpture as compared to Ajanta. Kailash temple in cave no 16 is the highlight.
We missed going to Daulatabad fort. Oct heat was the deterrent. But people planning to visit Aurangabad must go there.
We also visited Panchakki - the water mill ( I did not find it impressive). We tried rushing to Paithan to see the silk weavers at work but alas, the factories close by 3 it seems. So, we had to return all the way back.
Even though the mornings and noons were packed, evenings gave us some relaxing times and left us with nothing much to do. Luckily, there was Fame multiplex right next to the hotel and yes, you guessed right. We saw 1 film each on both the free evenings ;) - Blue and All the best. Blue was a huge disappointment while All the best was too good and a riot! My tummy ached with too much laughter.
On the whole, a good break it was. And here I am, back to waiting for the next one :(


Sep 28, 2009

Navratri Picture session!

Heres why I love this festival. I have already written about it earlier here. Here are the pics of my this years Golu

The 5 steps

Tried to make a hill temple!

The Ragi seeds refused to grow... truly failed rains this time :(

Attempted rangoli on top of water!! But the moment fan was switched on, the colours ran helter-skelter ;) ( CP, I will reply to your mail on this!)

Paper bags I made to give the haldi kumkum in.

Hope you all had a great navratri and heres wishing you happy Deepavali in advance. I love this festive season.


Aug 26, 2009

Whats in a surname

Let me on the onset admit that this is not a review of any movie but the fact is that I saw Kaminey last week and loved it to the core. It’s THE movie of recent times for sure. It had just the right combination of everything and made a perfect treat for hungry eyes, ears and minds.
A fistful of darkness
Liberal sprinkle of humor
Loads of guffaws
Earful of lovely music
Mouthful of awesome lyrics
2 hours of hot masala
And Tears to taste (for insane people like me, who can cry seeing a cute hero getting beaten up!)
All these made to simmer over brilliant direction made for something not to be missed.
But then this dish is like the continental and exotic serve. Either you have the taste for it and will love it. Or you will not! Simple. There have been a couple of my friends who have felt let down and have been found exclaiming “paisa bhi hum kharch karein aur bheja bhi? “ (Meaning why should we spend money as well as brains? ;) You get the drift!
I will not go into the storyline or a review here since I feel too inadequate for that. I am not one of those who can observe and comment on the nuances. You can read many of the brilliant posts already published.
The point of the post here is one among the many points which was raised in the movie- that of division on the basis of region.
I have already written once against the anti-north-indian attitude of certain politicians in Maharashtra. This movie beautifully brings forth the issue without dwelling too much upon it and yet making sure that it makes its presence felt.
But isn’t it true in our everyday affairs to categorize a person solely based on his surname and/or region, especially so in India. This categorization is not on the basis of external characteristics but more on traits.
I remember my growing up years in Delhi. My father had a shrewd, calculating, bully of a colleague who also happened to be a Sindhi. Needless to say, one of the favorite dialogues mouthed by my father was “trust a snake, but never trust a Sindhi” while I listened attentively and processed the information for future usage!
My father being a Palakkad Iyer, obviously has good words for his brethren. Oh, they are the neatest lot and the most hardworking at that.
After shifting to Mumbai, I started attending my PG classes. During one of the classes the Maharashtrian teached started rattling off in Marathi in answer to a query from a student. He did not even bother to notice that a few of us could hardly make head or tail of the conversation! Irked by this, one of my Tamil friends remarked “These marathi people are just so ill mannered. They start chattering in their language irrespective of other people around”.
It was quite ironic that years later, another of my juniors, who happened to be a Marathi, and working in Chennai, called me up and started complaining over the same issue- that in meetings, everyone starts speaking in Tamil while she has to look around clueless!
How can I forget to mention Gujjus. When I got to stay in Gujarat, there were ofcourse the typical statements like “oh these lazy gujjus. They sleep all through the afternoon!” Or, “These people live to eat”.
Ever wondered why is it that certain traits are attributed to regions?
Why is it that Maths teachers are generally Tamilians? Why are nurses and stenos from Kerala? Why are the most famous singers of Bollywood from Bengal? Why are most of the successful businessmen from Gujarat? Why are many of the soldiers from Gurkhaland?
Maybe regions do have an effect on the nature. Could it be that climatic conditions play a role in conditioning all this? Or is it the food habits that have been passed from generation to generation? Is it the traditions, the customs behind the display of such typical characteristics?
Here is the summary of various tidbits I collected based partly on hearsay and partly by observation.
1. Punjabi (Punjus)
Loving, believe in PDA (public display of affection), exhibitionists, Spend more than they can afford (you can see from their grand marriages)
2. Biharis
Polite Hindi speaking, more inclined towards public services and politics, hardworking.
3. Malayalees ( Mallus)
Systematic, Neat, Short-tempered, would readily help other mallus, a clos community.
4. Maharashtrians (Marathis)
Culture loving, fanatics (for good and for bad), extremely loyal to their state.
5. Bengalis (Bongs)
Like Marathis, these people love their state, language and culture, artistically oriented, a bit loud, believe-in-me-first, again a close community
6. Gujratis (Gujjus)
Laid back, great business mind, live-to-eat, loud
7. Tamilians (madrasi)
Religious, artistically inclined, good sloggers, timid (save a few politicians), too rigid, less tolerant.
There are exceptions to the rules but I feel that nature of a person is the resultant of the environment he is growing up in and that very well constitutes the region.
But having said all the above, the fact remains that India of today is changing for sure. There are people like me who are basically metro-born-and bred, who have mixture of habits borrowed from all around. So, this hybrid breed is surely breaking all the rules that have no basis. And till such time, this hybrid breed takes over India, we will keep having fight between states and our neighbours would keep using such differences as a weapon against us!
Jai Ho!
Take a look at this for a hilarious note on mallu habits
As for Bongs, read this for a good laugh

p.s. the mudra on the header is mine... some 20 years back. Gosh, even I cant believe it!


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