December 26, 2007
Ok. WHAT will make these Times of India people acknowledge that I do not want to look at matrimony ads….does everyone get ONLY matrimony ads or is it only me????
If you’re near Cunningham Road in Bangalore, check out Reliance Timeout….it’s a beautiful store and in the art supplies section, one of the many people who have fainted with joy and are still lying there is me. Am sure there are more branches out there.
And finally, if you have a leaky nose and a tingly throat, stay away from Gongura pickle, Gajar-Gobhi-Shalgam pickle, cold apple juice, cold dahi, sambhar, rasam, mirchi, and Nandhinis Andhra Style Restaurant!!!!! The pain is driving me mad!
December 23, 2007
So I alternately gaped and sobbed in the theatre, and now I am alternately gushing and sniffling. Go see Aamir ki fillum. Don't have a pee situation and miss some scenes like I did! Now I have to see it again! Hopefully it'll be tax free and I won't have to pay 250 bucks for a ticket! Atleast nobody stole my wallet this time!
All inspired, I came home itching to draw something and voila! I found a box of crayons in my old office backpack (no, I DO NOT use them at work!!!) So I sketched the first thing that came before me, and this
Ok, I forgot to draw the legs of the table, but please note that the Mac has Leopard!!!! And the Bata Chappals are in the authentic colour! and the Earth has a sad face! Bah! Nobody appreciates art anymore!
December 08, 2007
I went for a free (office gave me PVR “Movie Money” for some assignment I’d been in) movie with the boy today, he having promised to be good and all, and crack only paneer paneer chaand and milaa milaa chaand kind of jokes (yeah! I know!), as I hummed along with the movie's lovely songs…But the movie sucks and I hated the Jodhaa Akbar trailer also.. I don’t think I wanna watch Shiney Ahuja’s face ever again…notice how the rest of him is not out of viewing bounds, and there’s lots of it in the movie…
Since there are no free lunches (or movies) I paid for this one not only by suffering the agony onscreen and the exaggerated snoring and out-of-turn laughing from seat B6, but also ended up paying the 400 bucks the movie would have cost me….three hesitant ladies jumped onto the Forum escalator a millisecond after me, their fourth friend having jumped on right ahead of me….and all of them together gave me the touchy feely treatment that carried me back to Delhi and its Blueline buses… Five minutes later I realized it was my money they loved, not me….we rushed back to the theatre and disturbed all the people watching Jab We Met (much better movie it looked like) in the theatre by flashing torches across the floor in the vain hope of having dropped the wallet there…. That was followed by the furious cancelling of debit (three! Sheesh!) and credit (one) cards. Also lost, perhaps forever, are the driving licence, the PAN card, the LSE alumni card (incidentally, did you know that the terrorist behind Daniel Pearl’s killing is an LSE alumnus?) the frequent flier cards (wotever) and the visiting cards of the sister at the fancy B-school and the husband at the geeky job (his photo too…..was cho chweet )
Have been treated with amazing love and kindness and cool headedness, taken out for dinner and hugged enough to be ok about losing the wallet…but I insist!!!!! Khoya Khoya Chand sucks!!!! Fifteen times we all got up to go as the screen turned black! There was a standing ovation when the credits finally rolled, and then a stampede at the exit gate! Sit and home and hum the songs people!
December 04, 2007
But in Bangalore, I think apart from residential building watchmen, everyone is wearing a tag! And the watchmen are not happy about this! The waiters who serve us our morning idli-coffee flaunt their IDs with panache. If the watchman bhaiyya did not freak me out regularly with his interrogation about "mera aadmi" and "humara computer", I’d surely have made him a makeshift badge....
December 03, 2007
It's made from four screenshots... Om Shanti Om Baby!
December 02, 2007
The challenge now is to try and plant something there before the next bout of rain, so that I do not have to deal with overflowing leaf soup garnished with squiggly mosquito puppies.
The problem is that I am no gardener, and plants around me die from the radiation I emit or something. Also, we are out for long spells, when we cannot water plants, and then Bangalore can be rainy for days on end, so the plant will suffer alternate shocks of drought and flooding…
What CAN I put there that will thrive and continue to give me joy no matter how badly I treat it? There’s only one thing I know which can do that, and there’s no way my mother is gonna agree to stand still with her feet stuck in soil on my balcony parapet…
If you are green-fingered and can gimme an answer, what are the comments for??? Say something!
November 30, 2007
November 28, 2007
UPDATE: Kya mausam hai! Ae Deewane dil! Chal kahin door, nikal jaayein! From Doosra Aadmi... Imagine stealing from Rajesh Roshan!
November 24, 2007
In Chak De, go to the scene where Shahrukh is locking his house and leaving. Check out the background music...very haunting sound. Now in Life in a Metro, go to the scene where a defeated Kay Kay comes home and the kid runs up to him saying "daddy!"... same music???? I don't have access to Chak De to Check de! :(
In other news, my husband and I bacame proud parents during the blogging break. It's a boy. No, it's an "Oh Boy!": the 24" iMac, lovingly called Apple Gulati and we're fussing over it like a baby. It does not poo and pee, and is cute and smart. Nazar na lagey!
And I am going bald, but that is another story. I suspect it's the job.
And oh! I finished LOTR! So I almost named the Mac "Precioussssssss"
October 29, 2007
The fresh veggies on the first floor are plentiful and you can pickup your weekly quota in an ergonomically-designed basket and head to the weighing section to have them weighed, packed and barcoded. Each species(?) of vegetable is put in a separate clear bag and weighed, and the bag is then sealed with the barcode sticker, which is read by the machine at the checkout counter. This step filled me with mild horror on my first few visits, since I buy 200 grams or so of many things, and end up with a lot of waste plastic.
Today, however, I was delighted to see they had figured out a way to solve this environmental and logistical problem. My motley 200 gram veggies were all weighed separately, stickers were printed out, and then all the veggies were thrust into one clear bag, and all the stickers were put on it! The checkout dude just beep beep beeped the bag thrice, and that was it!
Ambani uncle became the world’s richest man today, but in my humble opinion, the fact that a megastore figured out a way to cut plastic use is equally important news. Yay Spar (Ok. Yay Ambani uncle also.)
October 28, 2007
A word about the beautiful sarees the audience members wore to the play: thanks ladies, you made my day!
The boy has bought an iPod Touch and we’re playing with it! Very very nice! Here’s to jobs that fund toys!
October 23, 2007
ek baar santa singh sadak ke oopar jaa raha tha
ek baar santa singh sadak ke oopar jaa raha tha
ek baar santa singh sadak ke oopar jaa raha tha
saamne se roadroller aaya, peeche se coaltar ke truck ne maara
tab se sadak santa singh ke oopar se jaa rahi hai
Thankyou very much ok bye horn please....
October 21, 2007
Everyone probably finds a reason to love the book. Here's mine!
Sing hey! for the bath at close of day
That washes the weary mud away!
A loon is he that will not sing:
O! Water Hot is anoble thing!
O! Sweet is the sound of falling rain.
and the brook that leaps from hill to plain;
but better than rain or rippling streams
is Water Hot that smokes and steams.
O! Water cold we may pour at need
down a thirsty throat and be glad indeed;
but better is
and Water Hot poured down the back.
O! Water is fair that leaps on high
in a fountain white beneath the sky;
but never did fountain sound so sweet
as splashing Hot Water with my feet!
October 02, 2007
September 25, 2007
This one is a much better performer. Presenting: Tying a turban in five steps and not quite succeeding.
1. Contemplate the task at hand.
2. Check to see if task is tasty.
3. Use minimum of three limbs for precision and control.
4. Check to see if audience is cheering.
5. Give up with a “someone throw me a bone here” look.
Pics by Saawariya, offkores
September 20, 2007
September 18, 2007
September 15, 2007
September 11, 2007
As a person, I am very much dedicated to my work, to say, over-dedicate. I always willing to work completely. I am a time-conscious person.
If you are in Bangalore, looking for a writing job, have a couple of years’ experience, and are willing to take a grueling test, write to me. The email ID’s in the profile. And if you are over-dedicate, shove it!
September 10, 2007
September 03, 2007
And talking to phrand about creepy guys visiting her blog since she put up her pic, I told her “pic daalegi to parwaane to ayenge”… “pervaane you mean” quoth she…
It is the nice to bees with the peepuls with the sense of humour, peshally when most of the day is spent with pecimens who have the sans of humour……
August 31, 2007
Of course my grandfather did not recalibrate the story for inflation since his childhood, but you see the point.
Kharboojas (muskmelons) were in regular supply in our home. They came in those delicious early days of the summer I secretly felt thrilled that though it was May, it was not really as hot as summers are wont to be. It even rained once or twice, to delude me into believing we were going to have a cool-ish summer. Kharboojas are all about the heady fragrance and succulent coolness of the early summer, and when the blazing heat kills the infant summer, it tries to make up for its crime with the frontal attack of the mangoes, making the kharboojas taste bland in comparison.
Each home probably cuts up and serves muskmelons in their own unique way. Our style was long slices (never cut along the ridges on the skin of the fruit, for some unfathomable reason) from which the rind was separated with a clean sweep of the knife, but left joint at the end…maybe to catch the drippy juice, maybe for ease of holding, maybe as an umbilical connection. Thus each one of us had a pile of rinds on our plate when the kharbooja session was done. My pint sized sister made sure grandpa had no more slices than she did, being born in a democracy and all…
Another ritual was to save one half of the first kharbooja if it turned out to be exceptionally sweet, in case the rest were disappointments (the family being in the insurance business). Some were so bland that we refused to eat them, but Grandpa stressed their “utility value” as roughage, an argument that has never historically worked with children.
The kharbooja sitting in the fruitseller's shop is so unyielding of its mysteries. Who knows what lies underneath its thick skin? Many standards for selection were tried with varying degrees of success: dark green lines, sharp contrast, no lines, small ones, light ones, early ones, late ones….
And now we go to a fancy vegetable store and but Sardas (called some fancy name in English that I refuse to look up). They look like lemons gone berserk sizewise and have very thin skins, few seeds, and are almost invariably sweet. All the fun of the kharbooja, and none of the mystery or hassle. I love the taste , and hey, they’ve been here almost the whole year now… But they’re non-magic food.
I can live on sardas, grandpa, and I don’t worry though they’re close to 25 rupees for one now. But what about my horse and hens?
August 17, 2007
August 14, 2007
I’m going to take some time to regain my strength and fit into the “fit” world, most importantly the job about which I seem to have only vague recollections now…
People use their illness to rethink their lives and priorities. I don’t think I used this opportunity well enough, but I did manage to get some thinking done. That’s confidential, of course, but what is quite public is my fantastic experience at the very multicultural and very bumbling-idiot-like hospital in London, from where I emerged no better, with no medical guidance, with a painful hole in my arm where a very inept Mallu doc inserted one of those contraptions that make a semi-permanent input-output channel into your bloodstream, and a painful hole in my ankle where the X-ray lady rammed my pretty yellow wheelchair in (ow!). The hole in the ankle persists feebly, while the four inch purple bruise on the arm is now faded, after excellent service as Voldemort’s death eater mark in my Harry Potter reading days.
Also, what is it with putting you in that nangu hospital gown???? I mean, it’s all strings, and after I took ten minutes to tie it up, they came and told me it was backside-front and whatnot! They expected me to tie a million knots behind my back??? When I am sick enough to need emergency treatment?? Loonaticks! The gown was not even pretty!!!! And they gave me a cheese sandwich in unopenable packaging for a snack in the evening, which looked oh so tempting but my drip-waali right arm was no good at opening it, so it just lay there…
Compare this with the Emergency section at the Delhi hospital where my parents took me in Delhi as soon (I mean AS SOON) as I landed. The nurse knew more about everything than any doc in the London hospital, told me which tests would be negative even as she drew my blood, put me in a wheelchair that was not yellow but which she did not ram into my ankle, and packed me off in an hour, while in the neighboring cubicle a young man was reassured that he DID have heart disease at his young age, as did a lot of other people, and that the swank hospital could not be funded by the heart diseases of the elderly alone… It is another matter that the hospital’s thermometer recorded 103 degrees temperature in my left armpit and 98.7 in my right (Hello!) and there is some reason to believe they messed up my samples. So basically, when you are ill, you are in the hands of God Almighty only.
So children of the world, rest adequately after a baby viral or momma viral and granny viral will come get you…do not mix your paracetamol and ibuprofen…stay away from Wikipedia when ill, and trust in God. Change your path labs till you get normal results, and try and have whatever fun you can. And I am serious: No Wikipedia!!!!
August 08, 2007
So I am 28 now, and though no maturer, infinitely more happy than, say, at 25. Which is great. So thank you God for everything!
August 07, 2007
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (Funny!)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (queued up at Piccadilly AND Covent Garden for the launch. Kiss my little finger.)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Re-read, again during an unexplained fever)
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (Which probably explains why I am not getting better)
Short Stories by Roald Dahl (Creepy but nice!)
Movies seen in the same period:
An Inconvenient Truth: Overrated
The Namesake: Weeping copiously into airline orange juice makes a nice mocktail
Flushed Away: Loved the Underground London!
Cheeni Kum: Ok. Again.
Moliere: French for “I Kick Shakespeare In Love’s Ass”
Annie Hall: Funky Cool!
Sideways: What was all the fuss about?
Music And Lyrics: Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. What? You want a story too??
Blades of Glory: Hilarious!
The Pursuit of Happyness: Hype killed it for me a bit I think.
TV Shows That I Can Now Write Dissertations Upon:
Home Improvement: Did not rest until I found out where the third kid went in the final season!
Eight Simple Rules: Too many broken families on TV
Scrubs: Not nice to watch a hospital all the time when sick
Frasier: Amazing as ever
Hope and Faith: Irritating but addictive
July 30, 2007
Anyhow, it’s interesting to know that if I survive, I’ll have a severly curtailed profile. Wonder if the old authorities will have me back… worth a shot, I’d say….
July 29, 2007
July 26, 2007
Watch this space for more. For now, this is about all I have the energy for. Take care of yourself.
July 14, 2007
July 13, 2007
India plans a national mandatory registry of pregnancies and abortions to stem selective abortions of girl fetuses, a minister said, according to a report on Friday.
Ok. So forget for one minute about the complete insanity of thinking this a viable programme, and tell me this: Do we want the birth of girl children whose parents wish they were dead? Tell me about the right to life, and whether the right to dignity, or the right to happiness figures anywhere in it…
July 10, 2007
Earliest Childhood Memories of Maggi: When the strictly rationed half packet a fortnight, and that too cooked with healthy beans, without Masala tastemaker, and served with ketchup managed to brave the odds and still be the favorite food. Of course, many healthy lunchboxfulls were secretly swapped for congealed Maggi blobs in school. (Note to Mommy: Whatchya gonna do NOW?)
Worst Memories of Maggi: When one childhood upchuck was blamed on Maggi and the Era Of The Blanket Ban began, and lasted for about ten years (The shrink uses this as the explanation for my….condition) The ban was removed when my Sis and I discovered the facts of life, the primary one being that we were two and mom was one, and we were loud and mom could give up under certain decibel conditions.
Best Memories Of Maggi: At the Chhota Canteen in MICA, eaten every Thursday during lunch because the mess made, well, a mess on Thursdays. Made with onions and tomatoes, and cooked just right in a pan that was, in all respects, absolutely wrong. And oh! The discovery of Sakthi Stores in East Ham (again courtesy NehaVish) with 25pence Maggi packets! Maggi ki hai jo khushboo, tu kaise bhulayega…..
My Worst Maggi Experiment: Maggi with sprouted moong dal. Never, EVER, try this at home. Either guilt trip yourself into a healthy meal or have Maggi chupchaap. Ne’er the twain shall meet! Damn! Just thinking of it killed my appetite!
My Safe And Best Maggi Recipe: Sliced onions, tomatoes, capsicum, chilli sauce and chili flakes from Pizza Hut. No frying just boiling in the water. Guaranteed to bhulao most gham. Not for the fainthearted, obviously.
Favorite flavour: Masala
Favorite Consistency: Non-watery
Favorite Eating Equipment: Bowl and fork. (Marriage is all about adjustment, so now plate and fork)
Now this is looking like a meme, and I dunno if anyone reads this blog anymore, but if you do, please take up this meme if you want and leave the URL in the comments box!
July 03, 2007
1. Clean Apple-y interface with minimum clutter, big text, and the apple logo discreetly used somewhere.
2. Early entries should be links to Apple’s publicity of the iPhone. All the ads are wow and nobody thinks otherwise.
3. Then have pictures and interviews of people queued up for the iPhone. This must include variants of the following:
a. The man who has been sitting in the queue since the first ad came out…he is seventh in the queue
b. The man who has been in the queue since Steve Jobs was born. He is second in the queue
c. The woman who is sitting in the queue in place of Lindsay Lohan, who will replace her as soon as the store opens.
d. The family that is reconnecting after twenty years of separate dinners. They are almost together now: numbers 13, 15, 19, and 327 in the queue.
e. Interview with the guy who thinks this is the soup kitchen queue and nobody bothered to correct him.
4. Then there will be some pics of the Apple store with people checking out the phones, getting their fancy bags, and everyone looking very happy. Later, someone can download these pictures, Photoshop in an alien or celebrity, and host the pics on their blogs, from where other people will pick it up and Photoshop in a Zune or something instead of the iPhone, by which time people will be queuing up for the next-gen iPhone (iPhone With a Vengeance? iPhone and the Order of the Phoenix? iPhone and the Dead Man’s Chest?)
5. Token photograph of you holding your iPhone in your hand. In your excitement, you’ll forget your crush reads your blog and is right now staring at your unkempt dirty and geeky fingernails. That’s the end of that! To sound cool, say that you disapprove of the too-close-together onscreen keys and the lack of copy-paste (which is the foundation of your career in the IT industry), but the fingernails have done the damage.
6. Then pics of people opening up their iPhones to figure out what’s inside. The following procedures MUST be documented
a. iPhone opened up to line up all component parts in a single line
b. iPhone opened up by curious toddler
c. iPhone thrown under a moving truck to see what happens
d. iPhone put back together creatively to make it look like Steve Jobs
7. Then stats from the users, a.k.a the iPhone Awards
a. The first iPhone accidentally flushed down the toilet
b. The first iPhone thought to be lost or stolen
c. The first iphone thought to be lost or stolen but actually left at home. Duh!
d. The first iPhone broken unfixably. Preferably by throwing under moving truck.
e. The first iPhone used to take naked picture of self.
f. The first iPhone to play a Himesh song. That’s it!
8. Then you can have market anal-ysts fighting it out over how many iPhones sold over the first weekend. Vary the numbers wildly: “Microsoft-R-Us refuses to acknowledge that more than three iPhones were sold over three days”. “Exageneration claims 3 billion iPhones were sold, about twice as many as were manufactured.” Nobody reads these articles through. I bet YOU are so sick of the iPhone that you stopped reading this blogpost ages ago.
July 02, 2007
I had tested the waters with Die Hard 3 to brace myself for the big screen onslaught, so I was expecting lots of flying cars and bullets, lots of wit and lots of fights and blood. I was not disappointed. It was a smashing movie in all senses of the term!
What was most peculiar and to me most amusing was the premise of the movie. Warning: spoilers ahead if you’re dumb enough to care for the larger plot. So some guy threatens to disrupt the traffic, take away internet and cellphone connectivity, shut down the power, spark off false alarms, and crash the stock market. BIG DEAL. What he’s doing is not finishing off America, he’s just converting it into India. Imagine if the movie were set in India. Instead of widespread panic, there would be widespread normalcy. In fact, Mister Villain should have considered stages four and five… pollution and population explosion. It’s tried and tested and whole countries keep going on despite this five-point programme. If Bruce Willis had not killed him off after so much running about and fighting, the disappointment of his plan would have finished him off!
Still, you should go for the movie if you wanna have fun. But if you’re gonna sit next to your boyfriend and giggle unstoppably at every smart line in the film, then please wait for the DVD… Patience among the audience is in short supply when there is a provocation for violence every second onscreen.
In other news, after seeing the trailer of Ratatouille, I’m wondering if there are others like me who find the thought of a rat as chef completely unpalatable. I’ve made friends with ants, bugs, and creepy crawlies for Disney-Pixar’s sake, but a rat in the kitchen is a bit too much for me….
June 28, 2007
June 26, 2007
2 medium sized tomatoes cut into stripped
Some shredded ginger and garlic
One baby bottle gourd chopped into about half inch cubes
Water: very little
Soaked arhar/tuur dal: ½ cup
Dump all of the above in the pressure cooker and go whoosh, and then simmer for 10 minutes and switch off the gas. The contents should be gooey, not flow-ey
In a katori, put
A tablespoon of desi ghee
Red chilli powder
Curry leaves (if you use mustard)
Sputter sputter and add to the cooker.
Add a bit of garam masala if you want, a bit of chaat masaala or lemon juice, and fresh chopped coriander if u did not already do the greening with curry leaves.
Quick and healthy!
June 17, 2007
May 28, 2007
Something between a gastronomist and an astrologer, I call myself a gastrologist. It’s in my email signature and on my business card. I’m two steps away from quitting my job and taking it up full time, with a board in front of my house:
Love? Money? Health? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind…
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not gonna go about sniffing out people’s problems (eeeyuck!)… I’m just going to predict their ordinary future in conjunction with their expected flatulence, assuming a direct relationship between the two.
Also I think it’s quite a challenge to come up with twelve sets of predictions according to the zodiac, so I’m gonna just come up with seven according to the day of week on which you were born. I am sure most people know which day they were born on, because they would have taken the trouble to find it out when they heard this poem by the famous poetess Mother Goose about how those born on Monday are gora hotties and those born on Sunday prefer lovers of the same chromosomal configuration:
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
I am Thursday’s child and I have far to go…but I have been unable to understand what that means so far, so it probably means that I have far to go before I understand nursery rhymes….
So here is a sample prediction to test the waters before I make a commitment to my new science:
You will be surprisingly efficient at work today, as all the meetings you attend will end ahead of schedule, leaving you lots of time to do work. It has to do with your well-honed decision-making skills as much as with the fact that you will be burping up the garlic chutney you had for breakfast.
Your relations with the family will be strained and past problems might be raked up again. Expect tensions at home as your loved ones constantly bang on the bathroom door while you’ve locked yourself in and are creating bum music.
May 18, 2007
Meanwhile, as more and more empty steps form and rise, form and rise, the queue of people behind them grows longer. Uncle moves from coaxing to annoyed to exasperated, and a loud scary encouragement or two is uttered. In most cases, it achieves what loud, scary encouragement generally achieves: Aunty backs out. Uncle either stays back, or heads the queue of patience-depleted persons up the escalator. In either case, Aunty smiles, she is embarrassed, but too afraid to trust the machine…
Aunty grinds her own masala, stitches her own blouses, cleans her own house, brings up her own children; how can aunty let the stairs do the climbing for her?
Never mind Aunty, when your Bala or Rajan or Smitha call you to visit them in America, you’ll get enough practice! For now, psst: there are steps in McDonalds for ground to first, in Landmark for first to second.
May 08, 2007
May 07, 2007
All around Coorg we saw Jackfruit trees and I was torn between asking for an unripe one to be lopped off for me to take home and cook, and the realization that all I knew about cooking kathal was that is was a nightmare to prepare.
Back in Bangalore, the kathal pangs struck with renewed intensity this weekend, and I marched off to the local sabjiwallah demanding an enormous slice of unripe jackfruit. He said he stocked none, but pointed at a tree across the road where lots of jackfruit was growing in clusters, like batches of bloated porcupines learning tree-climbing. When I petulantly asked for one to be plucked for me, he said he did not have a sharp enough knife! I threatened to come by with mine the next day: now I would either have the jackfruit or this guy’s head!
I was at his shop demanding my pound of jackfruit flesh Sunday morning. Reluctantly, monsieur sabjiwalla brought me the smallest fruit from the tree, and I demanded that he skin it for me. His first attempt can only be called…. depilation. Thankfully, an elderly lady customer was looking on and guided the proceedings in kannada, all the while also advising me on how to cook the veggie. So at this stage I had the complete recipe…in a language that I do not know.
Mom and mom-in-law dispensed advice over the phone, and the sabjiwallah moved to oiling the knife and slicing off the thick rind with greater ease, all the while being guided by the panwallah on the exact angle at which to hold the jackfruit to facilitate ergonomic efficiency. Life went on as usual in the street, with a goat butting its thankfully tiny horns into my legs.
Icky white liquid that reminded me of shoe polish flowed freely out of baby Jackfruit. When my hand brushed against it, the stickiness engulfed me and soon flying bugs were caught in the trap of glue. This was the low point of the exercise! Soon however, the jackfruit was peeled and cut into pieces, the core removed, and it was all set to be cooked. The sabjiwallah refuses to take any money, and mumbled something about regretting the day he was born.
I ran home with the bag and cooked the kathal as best as I could! I boiled it, chopped it up, and then fried it in onions and tomatoes with random spices for hours… I had some sticky utensils, an aching arm, and a whole lot of yummy kathal at the end of the exercise. We hogged on it at lunch, and stashed the rest of it away.
So if you’re looking for a recipe or are planning to make this dish anytime soon, just drop into our house while we’re away and the kathal is in the big round steel box in the middle shelf in the fridge.
April 30, 2007
1. Fiona the Labrador, pictured here: There was a time when “Princess Fiona Ugly” was the hottest Google keyword linking to this blog, and I’d deleted the relevant post and vowed never to mention her again, but what do you know? We run into this adorable lady with the histrionic skills that most Bollywood starlets cannot even hope to achieve. Ms Fiona hoodwinked my softie husband into feeding her his share of chikoos and then pretended she had not even tasted any when her owner walked by! He’d told us she’d eaten three already, so she wasn’t supposed to have any more. Also note that Fiona did not take very kindly to my singing to her, but then that is unremarkable because nobody ever does…
2. The priest bug: Ever since we landed in Coorg, we were assailed by something that looked like a cross between a bee and a “bhanwara” and this person muttered mantras under his breath and maniacally circled around me and the husband collectively, uniting us now and forever in the bonds of holy matrimony. For variety, it made “8” shaped loops around us, probably implying that the union had been sealed by it for infinity… In vain did I tell it that a pandit had already performed the rites, and that we had even got our registration form and were filling it for legal purposes in earnest…. We kept getting married for three days non-stop.
3. The punjabi bug: This gentleman was spotted near Irpu falls, which, by the way, is a beautiful place. It was unbelievable that something so tiny could look so flashy and make such a ruckus…you get now why we’ve dubbed it what we’ve dubbed it….We got this chap’s dhinchak audio on our videocam, and boy, it’s bugging!
4. The OINKs: These were the One Income Numerous Kids couples who were giving us company at the homestay. Let’s just say that because of me, none of these little ones got to sit on the swing, and they had to contend themselves with killing each other over a beach bucket and barking at Fiona. I remarked at the peace and quiet of the place: “This is DINK heaven”, to which the wise husband replied “DINKs are in heaven wherever they go!”
April 27, 2007
I should mention that's pound sterling, as one astute flickr pal notes...
Just found this while browsing through "London Backup" on my laptop, and also found this conversation:
Me: i want chocolate eclair
She: i want unlimited money, brains and greek men
Me: i have those already. once u have those, u need chocolate eclair. skip a stage
She: ????? you never told me
April 14, 2007
InkSpill: Hehe! Do you think Ravan ate with all ten heads?
Mr Spill: Yeah!
InkSpill: How? He put in food into one at a time? That would be tedious…
Mr Spill: No, he put all the food in a big plate and ran all ten heads across it and lapped up his food. (with actions)
InkSpill: He was rich. He could have had people feeding his heads… Achchha, do you think he ate roti with one and sabji with another? Or everything with each head? Or did his wife only make slop*?
Mr Spill: Can we please talk about something else?
*Slop: Frequent dinner at the Spill household: consists of veggies, daal and rice all cooked together and eaten with dahi, plum chutney, and good humored tolerance…
April 08, 2007
April 04, 2007
Though we are in two hot cities in two hot third world continents, and real life has dust and pollution and anxious waiting for letters, never forget that my you and your me are perched there on the riverside ledge, dangling feet in coloured socks over the rocky banks of a muddy river…
March 30, 2007
In class 10 or 11, there was this girl in my class: A.R. She looked like Utpal Dutt minus moustache even at her age of 14-15…I don’t know how she managed but she did. Anyway, one day she stands up in Biology class and asks the teacher: If urine is not at a much higher temperature than the rest of the body, how come it feels so hot when it’s coming out? 59 laughing slaves of the Indian education system shut her up instantly, and the teacher never responded to her question…
A.R, I hope you made it big in life. You deserve to, much more than any of us spineless idiots ever would…
March 12, 2007
March 10, 2007
February 28, 2007
February 27, 2007
But you cannot play with “sifaarish” so lightly, or you end up in knots, which the husband and I untangle through parody quite regularly. Here are some we came up with:
Chaand maalish jo karta tumhari, deta who tumko chamkaa
Chaand parvarish jo karta tumhari, kehte tum usko pitaa
Chaand baarish jo karta tumhari, lete hum raincoat silvaa
Tch Tch Tch
Feel free to add your own.
February 22, 2007
Is the name of this quick and dirty recipe for when a daal-paalak and rice dinner for two needs to turn into a meal for three:
- Heat one and a half teaspoon oil in a kadhai.
- Throw in half a fistful of raw moongphalis.
- Let Fry.
- Add a medium sized chopped onion.
- Let Fry.
- Add a finely chopped quarter of a cabbage and half a capsicum.
- Let Fry.
- Add Salt and Pepper.
- Let Fry till Dry
- Add two slit green chillies somewhere along the way.
- Cook till, well, cooked
- And oh, remove slit green chilli from husband’s spoon one millisecond before it makes its way into him…
February 20, 2007
For the uninitiated, a balloon race involves running up to a chair on which a balloon is placed, sitting on the balloon and bursting it, and then running to the Finish line. Mamma and Papa Inkspill were definitely among the uninitiated, because they bought me a huge, industrial strength balloon that Godzilla could have sat on and not busted!
So during the selection race, we all ran to the chairs and tried to squash the balloons. Everyone who had got the holi-water balloon type contraption or the extremely tacky and mostly self-exploding birthday balloon was done in a second and ran to the finish line. I, however, sat and sat and the balloon would not bust. My face progressively became pink, red, purplish red, reddish purple, purple, tear-stained purple, but the balloon refused to bust. The selection race was over but I was still sitting on the balloon. I am sure people must have been laughing at me but I could not see anything. A teacher came and rescued me eventually.
I don’t know why this incident came back to me today. Maybe that was the day I was thrown out of the race (by which is implied the balloon race, the racing sport, the rat race, and, I am afraid, the human race)
February 19, 2007
Locked out of the house without my key yesterday, I waited for my knight in faded t-shirt to come and rescue me. Near the elevator of my building, a cutesy looking but not cutesy behaving little kitten furiously drew a lakshman rekha around me and my bag of veggies, and with very angry mewing refused to let me get our of it! I tried to reason with it in English, as I (unsuccessfully) do with the rooster (who lives on the top storey of our building and thinks he’s Michael Jackson), but the kitten was clearly in charge of affairs and thoroughly enjoying the angry circling and mewing.
At forty, I’ll probably be knocked to death by a feather at this rate!
In other news, a cool friend sent the boy a digital photo frame as a wedding gift! It looks like a harmless photo frame but when you just connect it to your laptop or put your camera’s card into it, it shows you a slideshow of all your digital images! Best of both worlds I say! Too much excitement in a single gadget for a stepchild of technology like yours truly!
February 18, 2007
February 14, 2007
Rose’s lips are red
And Violet’s eyes are blue
‘Ole Mary’s willin’ to wed
But my heart belongs to you
What he meant:
Jack and Jill went up the hill
And invested in mineral water
They got richer than Warren and Bill
And you’re their only daughter
What she said:
Humpty Dumpty just sits on the wall
For Valentine’s he did nothing at all
All the kings are horses, as are the king’s men
So let’s fly away and never see them again
What she meant:
Twinkle twinkle little star
The scheming golddigger that you are!
Our mineral water springs are dry
And you’ll pay our debts by and by
February 12, 2007
I went to the Belawadi Hoysala temple
At Belawadi, you are greeted by an obscure signboard saying that the temple is under the aegis of the ASI and the heritage monument is hajjar old. Workers are nonchalantly ripping up pieces of the temple and repairing other pieces of it, and the sounds are of a road-construction site, not those of an archaeological site by any means.
Surrounding the temple are homes of the villagers, separated from their heritage by a hesitant iron wire fence, which succeeds not because it is strong, but because nobody seems to want to pass through it in any case. We were the only tourists there, and immediately on our landing, we were greeted by faceless cries of “Pen please! Pen please!” As the children appeared, we gladly handed over our stationery, and I got this bright picture in return…
February 06, 2007
So yesterday I flu (which means flew with a bad cold) from Bengaluru to Dilli, seated between two (other) executives from the telecom industry (coincidence?) who were not just acting cool like me, but were actually pretty cool about flying. The uncle promptly fell asleep and the girlie replied to an inbox full of mails on her laptop all the way. I just blew my nose and sneezed, and did not even get a chance to look important and grown up, but across the aisle was a girlie who was affected with the same syndrome as me, to an even greater degree.
When the air hostess offered her buttermilk/orange juice, she asked for the choices to be repeated maha-eagerly and then chose buttermilk with such enthusiasm that I felt like bopping her on her head! Idiot! Even I’m cooler than you…don’t you know it’s always buttermilk on Indian and Tomato Juice on international flights? (I think that’s only my rule, but what the hell?)
When my cold-infested ears popped painfully while landing, and my nosy-tissue and eye-tissue and cough tissue all became pulp by the end of my flight, I sighed at the lost opportunity to be cool, decided to fly more, and to think less highly about it from now on. I’ll become the laptop-murdering girlie on the right, or the sleeping uncle on the left, or the female version of the husband, who flies so much that I’ve had to cut slits into his vests where he’s sprouting evolutionary little wings, and who treats flights like auto-rickshaw rides.
January 22, 2007
1. Find out how much the boy earned last month. Spend half of that sum on brooms, mops, cleaning liquids, cleaning solids, cleaning gases.
2. Open his clothes cupboard and pick every alternate shirt/t-shirt. Spilt them at the sides. These are your cleaning rags.
3. Wear a plastic bag over your hair, and scrub, swoosh, wash, rinse, mop etc.
Ok. None of this will make an iota of visible difference, except the net weight of the house will be 5 kilos lower. So move to phase 2.
1. Get furniture. At this stage, the boy might show symptoms of angina, stroke, or the flu. Ignore and Persist. Smart women will have had “the talk” about furniture well in advance, and when this stage comes, the boy will be a resigned-and-even-hyperenthusiastic partner in the shopping crime!
2. Begin with a cupboard for your clothes. Yes, so you brought three bags (one very small) of clothes. Add a dash of “you should have married a typical woman and then you’d know” in case the protest over this issue crosses 3-decibel muttering. Set up your cupboard and you’ll have your revenge when you catch the hero preening in front of the long mirror on the cupboard!
3. Get some cool storage space for his geeky stuff. This makes him enthu on shopping trips and shows him that he needs more shelf space for his CDs than you for your clothes. Remember, guilt is good!
4. Rip the archaic strings that hold up the prehistoric curtains. This will make him worry about the safety of the house that the landlord has left in his care. Don’t stop to wonder why dirty curtains are ok with him, but half suspended curtains aren’t. He will summon the landlord to stop the crazy wife, and the landlord will appear not only with a gift, but encouragement to change curtains, and will offer plumber and electrician help, which is much needed.
Simultaneously, or later, you can set up a kitchen. Here are the steps:
1. Throw away everything on the shelves currently. Save the pet jars and wash them and dry them.
2. Get a fridge. Ignore eye-rolling. He thinks one can live without a fridge. But then he also thinks one does not need three suitcases (one very small) of clothes. So get a fridge.
3. Get a gas connection. Setting it up makes him feel important and useful. Also the click of the lighter is a big event.
4. Get utensils. Be ready to field questions like “aren’t the ones we have already enough?” “what are you gonna use THIS for?” “so many?”… By now he will realize that resistance is futile and will silently hold the bag in a corner while you whip up a frenzy at Big Bazaar.
5. Get grocery. At this stage, he’ll be happy just being allowed to write out each individual item in his expenses sheet separately, instead of “home stuff” or “grocery” as you’d have put it.
Keep up the scrubbing and mopping everyday for at least three weeks, With any luck, you’ll be halfway through at the end of that duration. Here’s the rest.
1. Get curtains. Put them up. By now the boy is totally tuned into what’s happening and picks up a matching bedcover in the shop!
2. Home cooked food, and a cleaner floor, should have become incentives by now for boy to love the house that no longer looks or feels like his. Your moment of triumph will be when he brings in a friend to see the place, even before he has your permission (not clean enough yet, what will they think of me)
And then one day when you come from work and turn the key in the doorknob and hastily enter before the neighbor lady strikes up a conversation, you’ll see not a Ramsay Brothers film location, but a home. And hopefully a beaming boy at the clean dining table waiting with chai/for chai.
P.S.: The boy previewed this and said he fell for it all only because he wanted to. Ten extra points to you if you can hoodwink yours into believing that!!!
January 09, 2007
Back to work and trying to salvage a hint of normalcy in a world turned upside down…So long, and thanks for all the mithai….
Pic by the matchmaker himself…. What could be better!