June 27, 2008


The Husband was complaining yesterday that he interviewed a computer engineer who could not operate a computer. I’m regularly traumatized by candidates who are “MA English University Toppers” but who cannot write a sentence in the language. It’s great to know we’re all educated and have degrees. But have we learnt anything of any value? That sleepy little college with its uninspired teachers, inadequate equipment, archaic syllabus and lack of any academic contact with the outside world – is it creating post-graduates and engineers who will work as data entry operators at the same salary as office boys? Who are we kidding here?

June 25, 2008

Rassipi: Student Kadhi*

Just thought I'd share my recipe for a desperate meal with anyone who cares to read! This is a "healthy" variation of the North Indian kadhi, fast to cook, and if the doting husband is to be believed, good to eat as well!

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pan (sounds so funny), heat a tablespoon of desi ghee.
  2. Add some mustard seeds, hing powder, red chili powder
  3. When the seeds pop and before the powders burn, add chopped garlic and curry leaves
  4. Before it all burns, add a medium-sized onion, sliced into thin moons.
  5. Before the onions burn, add half a big capsicum and one orange carrot cut into strips, and one drumstick chopped up.
  6. Stir stir stir, then add salt and cover. Let it simmer. Don't peek. I know it smells bad right now. Shh.
  7. Open a 400ml pack of Nestle dahi that is closer to its expiry date than its mfg date. Add two tablespoons of besan into the jar.
  8. Stir the besan into the dahi gently, without forming lumps and without spilling dahi all over the kitchen counter, floor, or the office clothes you have not had time to change out of.
  9. Wipe all the surfaces on which you have spilt the dahi.
  10. Add a bit of turmeric to the gooey mixture in the dahi jar.
  11. Try to convince the husband that this is a beauty pack and you could give him a facial.
  12. Now that the husband will no longer venture near the kitchen, continue with full concentration.
  13. The vegetables should be done in about 20 minutes. No need to check. I'm telling you! Also, this is all stuff you'd eat raw, so don't worry if it is undercooked.
  14. Add the dahi-besan-haldi beauty treatment goo into the heavy bottomed pan that the veggies have been using as a sauna.
  15. Rinse the jar with 200 ml water and put that water into the kadhi. Never waste anything.
  16. Stir the kadhi and cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. When you bring it to a boil, the orangey tadka will rise to the surface.
  17. Taste to ensure that the besan does not taste raw. Have some raw besan for reference first if you dunno what you're looking for.
  18. Serve with rice. Two hungry DINKS who do not get snacks at work can finish this off. Would be enough for three civilized people otherwise.

* Etymology: Student from the English student: A person studying in England who has no inclination towards deep frying pakodis for kadhi, but still wants to eat this bachpan ki favorite dish. Kadhi from the Bollywood song "kadhi kadhi kya soch rahi hai chal ho jaayein nau do gyaarah, tan tana tan tan tan taara, chalti hai kya nau se baarah?"

June 23, 2008

Bondhu, Help Korbe?

Please translate the Bangla bits for me!

amar prothom dekha brishti-r jol-e
bhasiyechhi bhela khelar chhol-e
sei jol gechhe mishe, kon nodi-te
gechhe hariye kon sagar-e

majhi re, o majhi re,
dekhechho ki tumi tare?
majhi re, o majhi re,
dekhechho ki tumi tare?
nouko amar, chhele belar, kagoj-er...

amar prothom paoya aankar khata,
amar prothom lekha kobita,
sei chhelbelar, sopno hajar,
gechhe hariye kon sagar-e

majhi re, o majhi re,
dekhechho ki tumi tare?
majhi re, o majhi re,
dekhechho ki tumi tare?
nouko amar, chhele belar, kagoj-er...

neeli ambar si naiyyan meri,
lehorn ki dhoon mein beh chali,
gehri sagar mein tanha kahin,
geeton ko tumhare khojti..

ekta jholse jaoya bikel belai,
ekta laalche sagar-er jole,
jaye bhese jaye sopno bojha-i,
nouko amar, kagoj-er

majhi re, o majhi re,
dekha hai kya tumne usse,
majhi re, o majhi re,
dekha hai kya tumne usse,
kagaj ki nao, mein hain bhare,
sapne mere... o majhi re....

Thanks, Rahul for the lyrics. Lovely is the song!

June 16, 2008

Safai is next to Khudai

This weekend it was FINALLY time for a super-mega-ultra-hyper cleaning exercise in our house. Four years of my husband's bachelorhood and close to two years of DITLAWM (Double Income Two Lazy Asses Without Maid) were furiously scrubbed away by a crew of 5 professional cleaners, 50 rag cloths, one industrial vacuum cleaner, one floor scrubbing monster machine, and 10 litres of blue and green chemical stuff that could boil your eyeballs in three-millionth of a second. When they left, we were not only poorer, exhausted, coughing, but also quite sure that it wasn't the same house! The bathroom floor is light grey! There is a tree outside the kitchen window! There is no longer a mummified Neanderthal in the loft!

We've thrown away one third of all our worldly possessions in this cleaning cycle. It's amazing how much stuff you can easily do without. Pretty soon, we'll have ten pairs of clothes (we're the same jeans AND kurta size), three computers, five utensils and 10 books. Then we can do our own cleaning.

June 12, 2008

Stop The Harassment Already!

It's quite sad when society judges and ostracizes people based on its random criteria. You might be a great person, but you will be abhorred, shunned, taunted or even killed for being unable to fit into some crazy ideal the world has built for everyone. Usually, when religious, caste-based, language-related or even clothing-or-lack-thereof-based ostracism takes place, a lot of protest is heard from intellectual quarters. But these days a good person is being publicly humiliated, and I don't see anyone objecting. Some of the brightest brains in the country are, in fact, participating in the humiliation by repeating the taunts endlessly themselves!

Yes. So Pappu can't dance. What's so wrong about that?

Pappu has an MBA (that requires SOME brains), holidays in France (money AND taste!), plays the guitar (extra-curricular star, plus sensitive, music-loving man), Gucci perfume (metrosexual, probably has a feminine side), born with a silver spoon in his mouth, has a Papa who has great expectations of him (parents usually stop having false expectations of super-success when their kids turn 18, so this guy has something going for him), and is a yaaron ka yaar (a hit with his friends) and kudiyon mein kraze! Add to that his hot hot looks!

Most newspaper pullouts these days spend one ad-ridden page a day telling women how not to expect all the Pappu qualities in one man. Here is one man who defies the ad-ridden advice and is so close to perfection that it is mind-boggling. With those riches and that musical ear, he could join Shiamak Davar's classes and maybe even learn to dance for all you know! And hey, you think Mukesh Ambani or Sachin Tendulkar can dance? Come on! If Pappu does PT, then PT is the new dance!

And let me not get started about the losers who are ridiculing Pappu. One day, Aamir Uncle will drop you like a hot potato, Irfan, and you will soon be acting and dancing solely opposite ShivRajkumar, Genelia. Pappu and his poster-girl of a wife and their two chubby kids will not even cast a glance in the direction of the C-grade theatre where your latest shockbuster is playing, as they drive past in their BMW. Pappu, honey, you rock, naache tu ya naache na!

June 09, 2008


What's the favorite film of the Tamil Nadu Atheists Association?


June 05, 2008


Anyone planning to be a house guest is required to read this. After which, you can write to me for information about hotels, homestays and lodges in Bangalore.
Forget pest control, just book me a suite at NIMHANS.

June 03, 2008

Testing Word 2007's Posting Superpowers

I resent being made to switch to new technology. I still cannot find the Tools menu on this one. And the blue background? What were they thinking? Did they presume that our miserable Excel-Word-Powerpoint infested existence could be enhanced by a clinically insanely happy shade of blue? Please!